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Volcanoes. Geysers. Earthquakes. Mother Earth is scary right now

By AJ Willingham

Published May 21, 2018

USGS

When it rains, it pours … and erupts and flows and shakes and swelters and blows and generally wreaks havoc around the country. You have to admit there's a lot of wild and scary Mother Nature stuff happening across the US right now.

USGS

Smoldering flows of glowing red and crusty black lava from the Kilauea volcano have been consuming parts of Hawaii's Big Island since May 3.

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Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area, and there may be more eruptions to worry about in the near future as lava mixes with groundwater and creates what are known as "steam explosions."

Mario Tama/Getty Images

There's also movement under the earth on the US mainland. Wyoming's Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park just erupted for the fifth time this year. The last time it erupted before this year was in 2014.

Behnaz Hosseini/USGS/National Park Service

The US Geological Survey assured worried geyser watchers on Twitter that such eruptions are normal at any frequency. "Geysers erupt all the time -- it's what they do," they wrote.

Behnaz Hosseini/USGS/National Park Service

Small earthquakes happen all the time all around the United States, but every once in a while a series of them -- called a "swarm" -- will jostle one area and set people on edge. That happened in Southern California in early May. Californians were watchful, for good reason.

CNN

"No, you should not be worried about this little swarm. But keep in mind that a large earthquake can happen in [seismically active] Southern California any time."

Don Blakeman

Geophysicist, USGS National Earthquake Information Center

CNN

If you aren't in the vicinity of lava, earthquakes, geysers or intense rain, chances are you're still unseasonably hot. In general, CNN's Dave Hennen says temperatures are running 15 degrees above normal.

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From a geological and meteorological standpoint, all of these events are nothing more than a lot of different stuff happening at once. However, brace yourself for more wild -- and potentially dangerous -- weather in the weeks and months ahead.

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June 1st marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season, which is bad news for places like Puerto Rico which are still recovering from last year's spate of devastating storms.

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Oh, and late spring and early summer are also when the Midwest sees the most tornadoes.

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That's a lot to think about, but remember: Worrying doesn't achieve anything. Preparedness does.

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Check with the U.S. Geological Survey for resources about preparing for earthquakes. The National Hurricane Center can help calm your worries in hurricane-prone areas. In tornado country? Check with FEMA.

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