Extreme weather

The big picture

2020 was an extraordinary year for fires. Expect more like it.

But the "explosion in fire catastrophes that we’ve seen in recent years is not inevitable," top climate scientist says.

Dec 29, 2020 - Science
The "war on nature"

The UN is urging U.S. citizens to do “everything you can” to curb emissions faster.

Dec 2, 2020 - Science
Mapped: Global temperatures since 1880

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

Updated Jun 7, 2018 - Energy & Environment

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Severe weather, tornadoes threaten Southern states

This weekend's extreme weather conditions, that included damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes in several Southern states, will continue through the first half of this week, reports the Washington Post.

Why it matters: More than 100 million Americans are facing an "elevated threat of thunderstorms" on Monday, some of which could prove severe, per the Post.

Apr 25, 2021 - Science

Millions in Central U.S. brace for extreme weather this week

A lightning strikes a building during a thunderstorm. Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images

A storm system moving eastward from California could hit Central U.S. mid-week, per CNN.

Driving the news: Starting Tuesday, the area stretching from Wichita, Kansas, to San Angelo, Texas may be subject to extreme weather that includes "damaging winds, hail and tornadoes," writes CNN.

Apr 10, 2021 - Science

NOAA expects more storms in an "average" hurricane season

A boathouse in the middle of a storm surge caused by Hurricane Delta making landfall in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Oct. 9, 2020. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

More tropical storms and hurricanes will take place during an "average" Atlantic hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday in its new guidelines.

Why it matters: NOAA attributed the uptick in hurricanes to better reconnaissance technology and climate change warming the oceans and atmosphere, which may make the storms more common and destructive.

Apr 9, 2021 - Science

St. Vincent rocked by volcanic eruption

La Soufrière volcano emitting steam over St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2004. Photo: philippe giraud/Corbis via Getty Images

A volcano on the northern tip of the main island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines that had been dormant for decades erupted Friday after showing signs of activity in late December, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: La Soufrière's eruption came hours after the Caribbean country evacuated around 20,000 people from near the volcano. There were no immediate reports of casualties, according to AP.

South Dakota wildfires prompt mass evacuations, shut down Mount Rushmore

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

More than 400 homes are being evacuated in South Dakota and Mount Rushmore has been shut down in response to wildfires in the state's Black Hills, AP reports.

The state of play: "Critical" to "extremely critical" fire weather conditions have developed across the Dakotas and much of the Plains as strong winds combine with a dry air mass ahead of a cold front moving in from the west.

Updated Mar 25, 2021 - Science

Tornado outbreak in the South kills 5 in Alabama

Simulated radar showing numerous heavy showers and thunderstorms across the South and Southeast during the afternoon of March 25, 2021. Credit: WeatherBell.

A tornado killed at least five people and injured several others in Calhoun County, Alabama, the county's coroner confirmed Thursday evening, according to NBC-affiliate WVTM13.

The big picture: A major tornado outbreak featuring high-end, "violent" tornadoes is underway across the South, with cities including Birmingham and Nashville at risk of severe weather.

Mar 25, 2021 - Science

Texas death toll from February winter storm climbs to 111

A neighborhood in Waco, Texas, covered in snow in February 2021. Photo: Matthew Busch/AFP via Getty Images

Texas officials on Thursday raised the death toll from February’s winter storm to at least 111, up from their initial tally of 57, AP reports.

Why it matters: The storm caused one of the worst power outages in U.S. history as demand for heat strained the state’s electric grid. More than 4 million customers lost power. Millions also lacked access to drinkable water for days.

Mar 23, 2021 - Science

Nearly a year's worth of rain fell in 6 days in parts of Australia

People are seen in a street affected by the flood on March 23 in Windsor, Australia. Photo: Flavio Brancaleone/Getty Images

Rainfall is easing in some parts of Australia Tuesday, but many rivers continue to rise in the wake of nearly a year's worth of rainfall that fell in just six days in New South Wales and Queensland.

Why it matters: The flooding is the latest in a string of extreme weather disasters that have struck Australia in the past year. The country has careened from drought and devastating wildfires to unusually heavy rains and flooding not seen in decades.

Updated Mar 20, 2021 - World

In photos: Volcano dormant for 6,000 years erupts in Iceland

The volcanic eruption in Fagradalsfjall near the capital Reykjavik on March 20. Photo: Vilhelm Gunnarsson/Getty Images

A volcano that had been inactive for roughly 6,000 years erupted on Friday night on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland, according to AP.

Why it matters: The eruption — which is relatively small for now — is the area's first in 781 years, the glow from which could be seen up to 20 miles away in Reykjavík, the country's capital. Iceland's Department of Emergency Management does not expect to issue evacuations since the Fagradals Mountain volcano is located in a remote area.

Mar 18, 2021 - Science

Nearly half of U.S. experiencing drought conditions

People waling along a reservoir near Orinda, California, in February. Photo: Stephen Lam/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Almost a half of the United States — a tract of land stretching from the Pacific Coast to the Great Plains and upper Midwest — is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought conditions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.

Why it matters: Conditions have prompted weather and agriculture officials to warn of water cutback in California, increased wildfires in the Southwest and damage to wheat crops around the country, according to AP.

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