Weather
La Niña Brings Rain, Avalanches, Floods, Tornadoes to the U.S.

La Niña Brings Rain, Avalanches, Floods, Tornadoes to the U.S.

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer This March will continue to bring more severe weather to the United States. An atmospheric river event — the “Pineapple Express” — is forecast to induce a rainy season in Washington and Oregon, as well as an increased risk of avalanches in the Pacific Northwest.  As the Pineapple Express […]

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One “Cool” Thing: Minnesota Is Colder Than Siberia

One “Cool” Thing: Minnesota Is Colder Than Siberia


We feel so badly for everyone in Texas suffering through days of bitter cold, many without heat.  But the people at the northern U.S. end of the polar vortex are reeling from the cold as well.  Low-temperature records are being broken in the northern plains — it’s so cold there that even Siberia was warmer.  […]

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Snowstorms Shut Down Power, Delay Vaccines Across Southern U.S.

Snowstorms Shut Down Power, Delay Vaccines Across Southern U.S.

After snowstorms swept across the South this week, 14 states are expecting power outages, frozen roads, and dangerous conditions. Hundreds of millions will be impacted by the storm.  Millions will be experiencing rolling blackouts in the coming days due to stress on the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

Why This Matters: Although it might seem that this polar vortex is an exception to global temperature rise, research says that erratic, far-reaching polar systems like the one we’re seeing now can be directly related to warming temperatures in the Arctic.

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Atmospheric Rivers Threaten Once-in-a-Millennium Flooding click button

Atmospheric Rivers Threaten Once-in-a-Millennium Flooding

In 2020, many Californians prayed for rain as wildfires in the region destroyed millions of acres of land. But they got more than they bargained for when what weather forecasters described as an “atmospheric river” set a course for the state, causing storms that triggered catastrophic mudslides and washed out a section of Highway 1. 

Why This Matters: Atmospheric rivers can carry as much water through the atmosphere as land rivers, and at similar speeds. Between 1978 and 2017, just 10 atmospheric rivers caused over half of all flood damage in the Western U.S.   

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One Funny Thing: Punxsutawney Phil No Match for NWS

One Funny Thing: Punxsutawney Phil No Match for NWS

This past week, America’s favorite groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, peeped out of his wintry lair to witness his own shadow and predict six more weeks of winter. But it turns out that everyone’s favorite rodent isn’t very good at his job. As CNN reported, In the past, Phil has been way more likely to see his […]

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Heat-Related Death Spike in Arizona

Heat-Related Death Spike in Arizona

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The number of heat-related deaths in Arizona spiked last year, a dangerous combination resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the hottest summer on record. State officials suggest that in 2020, at least 494 people died of heat-related complications, a marked increase from the previous record of 283 heat-related deaths […]

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