Extreme weather

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Exclusive: FEMA braces for COVID-infected hurricane season

"We're doing a lot of things that are not necessarily in any playbook that has existed," the head of FEMA told Axios.

May 3, 2020
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

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Updated 7 mins ago - Science

Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in North Carolina

People walk through floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Hurricane Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Ocean Isle Beach in southern North Carolina at 11:10 p.m. ET Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, per the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

What's happening: Hurricane conditions were spreading onto the coast of eastern South Carolina and southeastern N.C., the NHC said in an 11 p.m. update. Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT News the eye of the storm triggered "a series of fires at homes" and "a lot of flooding." Fire authorities confirmed they were responding to "multiple structure fires in the area."

Updated Jul 27, 2020 - Science

As Hanna's rains lash South Texas, Hurricane Douglas threatens Hawaii

Police wait for people to return to their cars before closing the beach parking lot in preparation for Hurricane Douglas, in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday. Photo: Ronen Zilberman/AFP via Getty Images

As South Texas continued to feel the effects of one hurricane, another one was threatening parts of Hawaii, according to forecasters.

Driving the news: Former Hurricane Hanna triggered flooding after dumping over 15 inches of rain over Texas — and the downpour's continuing overnight, the Washington Post notes. Meanwhile, a "dangerous Hurricane Douglas" was approaching the Hawaiian island of Kauai Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Jul 25, 2020 - Science

Natural disaster deaths have fallen in 2020

Destruction from Cyclone Amphan in Kolkata, India in May. Photo: Debajyoti Chakraborty/NurPhoto via Getty Images

New data indicates that the number of people killed in natural disasters in the first six months of 2020 was much lower than average figures over the past 30 years.

Why it matters: A combination of climate change and more people moving into risk-prone areas can intensify the effects of natural disasters. But better preparation and greater wealth can prevent deaths, even as the overall price of catastrophe rises.

Jun 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Independent panel finds NOAA leadership violated code of ethics in "Sharpiegate"

President Trump gives an Oval Office briefing on the status of Hurricane Dorian, Sept. 4. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

An independent panel commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that two top officials violated the agency’s code of ethics during a series of events that led to an NOAA statement contradicting its own meteorologists to support President Trump’s false claims about the path of Hurricane Dorian.

Why it matters: The September episode, which came to be known as "Sharpiegate" after Trump drew on a map of Hurricane Dorian's path to support his assessment that it could hit Alabama, embroiled the NOAA in a scandal about possible political interference within the scientific agency.

Updated Jun 8, 2020 - Science

Tropical Depression Cristobal: Flooding threat to Louisiana communities

"Multiple pumps have been placed and are now operational in Grand Isle, as crews battle surge and flooding impacts" from Tropical Storm Cristobal, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority reports. Photo: Louisiana CPRA/Twitter.

Cristobal weakened to a tropical depression as the center of the storm moved inland on Monday morning. But the National Hurricane Center warns there remains a "life-threatening storm surge" danger for parts of Mississippi and Louisiana.

What's happening: A flood-watch was in effect for Louisiana amid heavy rain forecast by the National Weather Service, as the storm moved 40 miles north of Baton Rouge, packing maximum sustained winds of 35mph on Monday morning.

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.

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.

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