May 15, 2018

Derecho likely to disrupt voting in Pennsylvania today

Severe thunderstorms hit the Capitol on May 14, 2018. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A day after a damaging weather event roared through Washington, a set of severe storms is hitting states in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, with expectations of derecho-like weather of wind damage, isolated tornadoes and large hail up to the size of a baseball.

Why it matters: The storms are likely to disrupt primary voting in central and eastern Pennsylvania, where every congressional district is holding a primary on Tuesday due to redistricting. They could also damage property and threaten lives from Washington to Boston, with New York City and Philadelphia at greatest risk.

What's happening now: All of the ingredients for an outbreak of severe thunderstorms are coming together on Tuesday, from the direction and speed of winds in the atmosphere to the presence of what's known as an "elevated mixed layer" at about 18,000 feet.

  • Such a phenomena can keep a lid on the atmosphere as heat and humidity build up during the day, triggering thunderstorms at the time when there is the most potential energy to tap into.
  • Already there are reports of power outages and severe weather warnings, with wind gust of 112 mph recorded in State College, Pa., earlier today.

Is this climate change? Some studies show that as the climate warms, days with an extremely unstable air mass will become more frequent, potentially leading to more events like this. But this is still an active area of research.

Go deeper: Stay on top of local watches and warnings from the National Weather Service and watch the latest satellite loop of the storms.

Go deeper

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

1 hour ago - Sports

European soccer's push to return

A Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munchen in an empty stadium. Photo: Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

European soccer made a splash Thursday, with two of its biggest leagues announcing official return-to-play dates in June.

Why it matters: Soccer is the world's most popular sport, so watching its return through the lens of various leagues, countries and cultures — all of which have been uniquely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic — is illuminating.

The corporate bankruptcy wave has just gotten started

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Even with trillions of dollars in loans, grants and government support — with markets having absorbed a record $1.22 trillion of corporate debt in just five months — a slew of companies are defaulting on their loans and filing for bankruptcy in what is expected to be a record wave of insolvencies and defaults.

Why it matters: While equity and debt markets have rallied thanks to massive interventions from the Federal Reserve and Congress and excitement about the removal of lockdown orders, the real economy is quietly buckling, with many companies threatened by issues that predate the coronavirus pandemic.