Extreme weather

The big picture

The 2010s were officially the hottest decade on record

2019 was the second-hottest year on record, NOAA reports.

Jan 16, 2020
The rising seas global warming has already locked in

The challenge isn't just how to slow climate change, but how to adapt to a warmer world.

Nov 6, 2019
Humans are a wildfire threat multiplier

The biggest climate change-related impact is manifested in the increased dryness of vegetation.

Nov 16, 2018
Mapped: Global temperatures since 1880

There is virtually no such thing as a cooler than average year on Earth anymore.

Updated Jun 7, 2018
Here's every volcano that has erupted since Krakatoa

From Krakatoa to Kilauea, all the eruptions since 1883.

May 31, 2018

All Extreme weather stories

May 15, 2020 - Science

6.4 magnitude earthquake rattles Nevada

Western Nevada was hit with a 6.4 magnitude earthquake early Friday morning, and the area could still experience some smaller quakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The state of play: The earthquake struck about 4.7 miles deep near Tonopah, which is halfway between Reno and Las Vegas. At least six aftershocks were recorded, and the shaking was reported felt in California The Los Angeles Times reports. The last time the region saw an earthquake with a magnitude higher than 6 was in January 1934.

May 12, 2020 - Science

Podcast: Coronavirus clouds weather forecasting

Weather forecasts draw on data collected by commercial aircraft, and the sudden drop in passenger flights may be impacting meteorology as we head into hurricane season. Dan digs in with the Washington Post's Andrew Freedman.

Polar vortex could bring record-cold temperatures in parts of Midwest, Northeast

Icicles hang in front of Hudson Yards and the Empire State Building at sunset in New York City. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

A polar vortex is expected to bring snow over the next few days to parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic and record-challenging cold temperatures from the Upper Midwest to New England, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture "A lobe of the tropospheric polar vortex will pinch off from its main circulation closer to the Arctic, sagging southeast across the eastern Great Lakes and New England, translating to numbingly cold surface temperatures for May," the Post writes.

Exclusive: FEMA braces for COVID-infected hurricane season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Pete Gaynor, who runs the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is drafting a document whose title sounds like the stuff of horror movies: "COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season."

Driving the news: "We're doing a lot of things that are not necessarily in any playbook that has existed," Gaynor told me in an interview on Saturday. "In some cases, we write the playbook as we go."

Updated Mar 4, 2020 - Science

In photos: At least 25 dead after tornadoes tear through Tennessee

A heavily damaged building in East Nashville. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Intense thunderstorms across Tennessee early Tuesday morning spawned tornadoes, including one that struck downtown Nashville. The tornadoes destroyed at least 140 buildings and killed at least 25 people in the state, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said.

What we know: Schools, courts and transit lines in Nashville were closed Tuesday, and more than a dozen polling stations were damaged before Super Tuesday voting began in the state.

Feb 18, 2020 - Science

Heavy rain expected to pummel already-flooded Mississippi

This drone photo shows flooding on Feb. 15. Photo: Melvin Martin/Hardin County Fire Department, Savannah, Tennessee, via AP

More rain is expected to barrage Mississippi's already-flooded capital city of Jackson later on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The state of play: Heavy rain is projected to strike eastern Louisiana, central parts of Mississippi, Alabama and even into far western Georgia, the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, predicts, per AP. As much as 2 inches is expected to fall rapidly in Mississippi, prompting flash flood warnings.

Feb 17, 2020 - Science

What we know: Deadly Storm Dennis whips at England, Wales and Ireland

Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

At least two deaths are being attributed to Storm Dennis on Monday as it continues to strike at parts of England, Wales and Ireland, per AccuWeather.

The big picture: Dennis is the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains have caused widespread flooding across the United Kingdom. The army has been deployed in the U.K. to help with flood relief.

Storm Ciara causes floods and travel disruption in northern Europe

A flooded street in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, in northern England on Sunday. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Storm Ciara has unleashed heavy rains, hurricane-force winds and floods in northern Europe, causing widespread travel disruption, EuroNews reports.

Details: "Two of Europe's busiest airports — one in Frankfurt, Germany, the other in Amsterdam, Netherlands — each grounded more than 100 flights due to the storm," per CNN. Airlines also reported that flights were canceled or disrupted in the U.K., where the national weather agency issued over 250 flood warnings. Several British rail firms warned people to expect delays and urged them not to travel, AP notes.

Go deeper: British Airways rides storm winds in record-breaking transatlantic flight

"Far-reaching" winter storm to impact travel across the U.S.

Fire crews work in snow to put out a house fire in Denver, Colorado. Photo: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A powerful storm system that's seen temperatures plummet in the Rockies is set to bring heavy rain across the Southeast "and a long stretch of wintry weather from the southern Plains to the interior Northeast," the National Weather Service warns.

What's happening: Per the NWS, the effects of the system will be "far-reaching" and impact travel in a vast area that's likely to affect millions of people. Multiple weather-related crashes have already been reported in Denver — including one fatality, per the Denver Post. The city's temperature fell 58 degrees from a "daily-record-tying high of 74 at 2 p.m. Sunday to 16 degrees by 8 p.m. Monday," the Washington Post notes.

Flashback... In photos: Impact of powerful Thanksgiving storms across the U.S.

Updated Jan 23, 2020

In photos: Australia endures floods, dust storms and brown rain as fires rage

Workers clean a court after overnight rain on day four of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne Thursday morning local time. Photo: William West/AFP via Getty Images

Soaring temperatures in the Australian state of New South Wales of over 100°F have triggered fresh bushfires, while dust has produced brown rain in Victoria.

What's happening: Dust storms have been pummeling parts of southeast Australia for days. A massive bushfire in the Australian Capital Territory impacted flights at Canberra Airport, where hail the size of golf balls struck earlier in the week. The storms come days after floods hit southeast Queensland, which has also been impacted by the fires. Here's what's been happening, in photos.

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