Extreme weather

The big picture

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

Jan 16, 2020
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Humans are a wildfire threat multiplier

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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

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.

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

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