All Extreme weather stories

Aug 7, 2021 - Science

Fires blaze uncontrolled through Greece amid heatwave

Local residents use tree branches to fight a fire restart in Thrakomakedones, near Mount Parnitha, north of Athens, on Aug. 7. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP

Fires are spreading through Greece uncontrolled for a fifth day, destroying land and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate the second-biggest island of Evia, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: The fire began in Evia on Tuesday before spreading across thousands of acres of forest in the north, per Reuters.

Dixie Fire now 3rd largest wildfire in California history

Vehicles and a home are engulfed in flames as the Dixie Fire rages on in Greenville, California on August 5, 2021. Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Wildfires are expanding in Northern California after destroying communities nestled in the Sierras on Wednesday night and Thursday, with the Dixie Fire now ranking as the third largest blaze in state history.

Why it matters: Yet again, California is giving the country a lesson in what climate change looks like after just 1.2°C (2.16°F) of global warming.

California wildfire explodes in size, destroys historic town

Battalion Chief Sergio Mora looks on as the Dixie fire burns through downtown Greenville, Calif. on Aug. 4, 2021. Photo: Josh EdelsonAFP via Getty Images

The small Sierra town of Greenville, California, was heavily damaged on Wednesday night into early Thursday as the Dixie Fire surged northward amid high winds, extremely dry air and hot temperatures.

The latest: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, continued to threaten communities in Plumas County into Thursday night, as more mandatory evacuation orders were issued in the region.

Moody's to acquire disaster risk modeling company RMS for $2 billion

Firefighter near Redding, California. Photo: Neal Waters/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Moody's is acquiring climate and natural disaster risk modeling company RMS for about $2 billion from Daily Mail and General Trust.

Why it matters: Modeling climate risk exposure is becoming critical for a growing number of industries, especially as extreme weather events are dramatically picking up in frequency and impact. Supply chain disruptions are of particular concern.

Wildfires ravage communities in Northern California as thousands evacuate

Firefighters monitoring the scene as flames from the Dixie Fire jump across highway 89 near Greenville, California, on Tuesday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Two massive California wildfires have triggered new mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of people and destroyed homes and businesses in the state's north overnight.

Details: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through the town of Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County Wednesday night. The rapidly spreading River Fire burned "multiple" homes as it tore through Placer and Nevada counties, KOVR notes.

NOAA's updated hurricane outlook calls for even more storms in 2021

Hurricane Dorian seen on Sept. 2, 2019. Photo: NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday updated its 2021 Atlantic hurricane seasonal forecast, slightly increasing expectations for the number of named storms and powerful hurricanes.

Why it matters: With the U.S. already reeling from extreme heat and wildfires, disaster response agencies are overstretched. A particularly destructive and active hurricane season could overwhelm some of its response capacity.

In photos: First the record heat came to Greece, then the deadly wildfires

Forest fire flames can be seen in a northeastern suburb of Athens, Greece, on Aug. 3. Photo: Dimitris Lampropoulos/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Over 500 firefighters have been leading efforts to control wildfires near Athens, with Greece’s fire service saying on Wednesday that it hopes to bring the flames under control "in the coming hours," AFP reports.

The big picture: More than 75 wildfires broke out in Greece on Tuesday and Wednesday as the country faces its most intense heat wave in decades — temperatures in Athens have reached 43°C (109.4°F), according to Meteo France meteorologist Etienne Kapikian.

Smoke from intense Siberian wildfires reaches North Pole

NASA satellite image looking down at the North Pole on Aug. 2, showing wildfires burning across Siberia (orange dots) and a plume of dark, dense smoke snaking its way toward the North Pole. Photo: NASA Worldview

Intense wildfires burning across Siberia's Sakha Republic sent a plume of smoke all the way to the North Pole on Sunday into Monday, as seen by scientists tracking the blazes via satellite imagery.

Why it matters: The fires have been raging since early spring, and while this region is known for seasonal blazes, there are signs the fires are becoming more intense, starting earlier and lasting longer.

Jul 30, 2021 - Axios Tampa Bay

National Weather Service to get more specific on severe thunderstorm warnings

A man rides a bike down the Bayshore Boulevard sidewalk as a storm rolls in. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Starting next week, the National Weather Service will begin using more specific lingo to alert residents to the severity and potential impacts from thunderstorms — similar to tornado and flash-flood warnings.

Why it matters: 13 of the 22 billion-dollar weather and climate events in the U.S. last year were severe thunderstorms.

What to expect:

  • Destructive: Baseball-sized hail and/or 80mph winds; will activate cell-phone alerts.
  • Considerable: Golf-ball-sized hail and/or 70mph winds; no cell-phone alert.
  • Baseline: Quarter-sized hail and/or 50mph winds; no threat tag means the storm is expected to be at or below base level.

Heat dome sends temperatures soaring from Oregon to Louisiana

Forecast maximum temperatures (darker red shading represents the hottest temperatures, in the upper 90s to low 100s, Fahrenheit). July 29. Image: WeatherBell

The Pacific Northwest is once again in the midst of a heat wave after already seeing its worst such event on record this summer. Temperatures are soaring into the low 100s in some areas, while dangerous heat is also affecting the South Central states and Gulf Coast.

Why it matters: The occurrence of yet another heat wave during a drought in the West is ratcheting up wildfire risks. The heat itself is a major public health risk, as extreme heat is typically the biggest annual weather-related cause of mortality in the U.S.