May 30, 2019

A historic tornado onslaught in central U.S.

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Data: NOAA; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The U.S. has been hammered by an onslaught of severe weather, as a persistent weather pattern set up a clash of seasons across the central U.S.

The state of play: Epic flooding has also been affecting the Upper Midwest, Plains, central U.S. and Mississippi River Valley this spring, with many locations seeing their highest water levels on record.

  • Parts of Oklahoma have picked up more than 400% of their typical May rainfall.
  • As of May 29, the Mississippi River in the St. Louis area has been at or above flood levels for over 70 days, according to the National Weather Service.

By the numbers: Meteorologist Sam Lillo broke down some of the tornado statistics on Twitter. During the past 30 days, the U.S. has seen:

  • 584 tornado reports.
  • 13 straight days with 8 or more tornado reports.
  • 10 straight days with 16 or more tornado reports.
  • Only 3 days without tornado reports.
  • 185 severe weather watches issued by the Storm Prediction Center.

Context: While the heavy rains are consistent with studies showing an increase in heavy precipitation events and stalled, highly amplified weather patterns due to climate change, trends are tougher to discern with tornadoes.

Studies suggest that environments supporting severe weather will increase but become more variable in coming years, leading to potentially bigger tornado outbreaks that are fewer in number. They also project an eastward shift in "Tornado Alley" as the climate warms and storm environment changes.

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Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 34 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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