Mar 21, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Predictions for a warm spring follow an abnormally balmy winter

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The National Weather Service, AccuWeather and the Weather Channel are each predicting the U.S. will experience above-average temperatures through June.

Why it matters: The temperate spring would follow an abnormally mild winter, ranked the sixth-warmest on record, and playing a hand in spring's early start, The Washington Post reports.

What they're saying:

  • The National Weather Service stated: "NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above-average temperatures across the country this spring, as well as above-average precipitation in the central and eastern United States. Significant rainfall events could trigger flood conditions on top of already saturated soils."
  • AccuWeather noted: "The higher temperature departures do not mean it will be warm all the time; if that were the case, the numbers would be even higher."
  • The Weather Channel wrote: "The best chances for warmer-than-average temperatures are from the West to much of the Rockies, Plains, Great Lakes and Northeast for the three-month period."

Worth noting: “If there is a correlation between the weather and the new coronavirus that can be a positive to helping slow down the spread as we transition to spring in the Northern Hemisphere, that’s what everyone is looking for right now,” said Jon Porter, vice president of AccuWeather for Business. 

Go deeper: All the global temperature records broken in 2019, so far

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Tech firms crunch coronavirus data to track disease spread

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech companies are using artificial intelligence and other tools to comb through coronavirus data to track cases and find transmission hotspots.

Why it matters: Finding patterns in otherwise discrete data points could help make sense of where and how the virus is spreading in the U.S., and could aid in allocating the country's limited testing and treatment capabilities.

How climate change and wildlife influence the coronavirus

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The good news is, climate change is not directly at play with the coronavirus. The bad news: we humans are still root drivers in pandemics like this one.

Driving the news: Buying, selling and consuming wild animals, such as at the Wuhan, China, market where this novel coronavirus is believed to have originated, is increasingly spreading deadly infectious diseases, experts say.

Go deeperArrowMar 27, 2020 - Science

NCAA cancels March Madness tournament due to coronavirus

Photo: Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The NCAA announced Thursday that it will cancel its annual men's and women's Division I basketball tournaments, set to begin with Selection Sunday on March 15, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: March Madness is a cultural phenomenon and one of the biggest sporting events in America. The NCAA was initially planning to play games without fans, but faced pressure to cancel after top-ranked teams Duke and University of Kansas suspended all athletic activities.

Go deeperArrowMar 12, 2020 - Sports