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Why This Matters: The hot summer-like temps in SoCal and Florida are not making it easy for local officials trying to keep people safe during the shelter in place orders. Tens of thousands flocked to beaches in both states. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is already warning there’s a 75 percent chance that 2020 will set the record for the warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880. We have noted the risk to the healthcare system that could be caused by storms and flooding during the coronavirus pandemic, but heat illness and respiratory problems caused by heat-related poor air quality could be a huge problem in some parts of the country too — just as they are trying hard to flatten the curve.
Florida Heat and Beyond
High temps in the south are caused in no small part by extremely high water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, which is a very bad sign for hurricane season and for tornado outbreaks too. Last Monday, according to the Capital Weather Gang of The Washington Post, Miami’s temperature topped out at 97 degrees, which broke three records, not just for the day and the month but for the earliest in the year — by more than 5 weeks — Miami has been that hot. Indeed, meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center in Miami tweeted about the heat saying that April was so hot, that its temps would have been tied with last year as the second hottest May ever. But it was not just Florida that was stiflingly hot. Last week, Corpus Christi, Tex., hit a record high of 96 on Monday, smashing the previous record for April 20 by seven degrees, Houston was a record of 92 degrees on Easter Sunday, and New Orleans was 90 degrees on April 9, the earliest on record the city has been that warm.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes and 3 to 6 become major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher. The forecast is due to cooler ocean conditions in the Pacific and warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Why This Matters: It could be a disastrous summer. The new climate normal on top of the COVID-19 pandemic will make things challenging everywhere.
After suffering record-breaking heavy rains, the Central Michigan city of Midland experienced a catastrophic 2-dam collapse along the Tittabawassee River yesterday evening. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency and expressed that “In the next 12 to 15 hours, downtown Midland could be under approximately nine feet of water.” Whitmer also urged people […]
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