'This Week': Extreme Weather

ABC News senior meteorologist Ginger Zee on the recent extreme weather across the country.
3:00 | 02/16/14

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Transcript for 'This Week': Extreme Weather
Good morning, and welcome to "This week." Weather wallop. Cars around me were just spinning. Monting droughts. Why the extreme weather, how to cope with the consequences and the cost? This is a lost opportunity for America. The speaker clears the decks, but is his latest surrender setting up gop gains some November? I'm an openly proud gay man. Will the NFL accept Michael Sam? Our powerhouse roundtable and experts take it all on. Plus -- I have no patience for useless things. "House of cards" is back. And we have Kevin spacey live. All right here this Sunday morning. Hello, a lot to get to this Sunday morning. Most of us are begging for spring. So much of the country battered by the record-breaking winter. And U.S. This weekend, yet another blizzard in the northeast. And out west, an epic drought. What's behind the weird weather, what can be done about it, and ABC meteorologist ginger zee starts us off. Reporter: Most of the nation is in a state of meteorology exhaustion. The coldest winter in Minnesota in 33 years. The great Lakes, almost 90% frozen. Normally it would be just over 30. And New York City, buried. Now in their top ten snowiest seasons. Snowfall totals from north Carolina up to Indianapolis between two and three times their Normal. 75,000 flights cancelled since December 1st. That's an all-time record. And Pennsylvania, they've been in the heart of the misery, a giant pile up on Friday. ABC's linn swree Janice was right there. Reporter: The sun was shining, the roads mostly clear, but there was one problem, temperatures plummeted overnight and turned this Pennsylvania turnpike into a sheet of ice. Reporter: Causing this five-mile long chain reaction pileup. More than a hundred cars, dozens injured. Almost all of this weather can be related to a single pattern locked in place. All winter, it's been stuck. Every time in the weather center, we see the same thing, the jet stream cutting the nation in half. On the east, the coldest in decades to come as far south as the deep south, the gulf, really. And the jet stream in the right place, that moisture rides along it, snowstorm after snowstorm from the great Lakes to the northeast. But that's also creating an extreme in the west. That big ridge gives record drought and heat. California last year, the driest year on record. President Obama traveled west Friday to see the drought up close. What happens here matters to every working American. Reporter: Wayne Friedman from ABC 7 in San Francisco visited a hay farm that's seen barely a sprout this year. What this drought is doing in California is unprecedented in five generations of living memory. Reporter: He says the it will affect everything from food prices to hydro electric power. We could see brownouts from less water. For small agriculturalowns, we are seeing the effects. Some of them have 50% unemployment. Bottom line, in California, a way of living could be ending. Reporter: But are the extremes of one year related to climate change? Stanford's Noah has been working through that very thorny link. He says man-made change does exacerbate the extreme weather events, meaning more intense storms, floods, tornados and droughts to come. Dr. Judith curry of Georgia tech says climate models aren't there yet. Just not up to the task of distinguishing what has caused an individual extreme weather event. For "This week," ginger zee, ABC news, New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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