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Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, is being consumed by wildfires, with 67 burning and so much smoke that it can be seen blowing all the way to New Zealand more than 2500 miles away, and experts are warning that conditions are poised to deteriorate even further, with the city of Sydney at risk for the first time, and the government has declared a state of emergency in the region for the next week. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., a massive arctic front has shifted south, bringing bone-chilling cold and snow to the middle of the country today, with more than 67 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and hundreds of cold temperature records could be broken.
Why This Matters: This is more than just uncomfortable weather — it is dangerous. This type of “catastrophic” wildfire risk has never happened before in New South Wales — and the public is being warned not to be dismissive — with officials explaining that these conditions mean that lives are at risk. The same is true for bitter cold here — with snow from the Dakotas to New England over the course of the week, and it is not even mid-November — due to changes in the jet stream. Politicians should not take this extreme weather lightly. Just ask the now-defeated Governor of Kentucky, Matt Blevin, who back in January criticized school and business closures due to record cold in Kentucky and he was lambasted for it. Look what happened to him.
This is a record-setting drought — the past 12 months have been among the driest on record for large parts of Australia — particularly at the border of New South Wales and Queensland—the epicenter of the fire outbreak last week.
Lake effect snow will hit the Great Lakes region and interior Northeast, where up to 1 foot of snow is expected in some areas 14 to 20 inches of snow is not out of the question.
In Eastern Canada, Quebec’s Islands are Disintegrating Into the Sea
The Washington Post recently published the next article in their series entitled “2 Degrees C: Beyond the Limit” — this one is about the Magdalen Islands of northeastern Canada that have warmed 2.3 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century, twice the global average, and are now are crumbling into the sea – losing as much as 14 feet of land a year and rising seas threatening their water supply.
This year has seen many bad records broken when it comes to climate-driven severe weather. We are now several letters into the Greek alphabet for storm names having reached this point (23 so far) for only the second time since storm names began.
Why This Matters: The number of storms is not just a fun fact — it is devastating for tens of thousands of people.
Hurricane Sally, now a category 2 storm (winds at 110 mph) has slowed and intensified in the last 24 hours, with landfall now shifting to the east (fortunately away from New Orleans), but crawling toward the Eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Panhandle coastline with its high winds whipping the shore, the storm surge and huge rainfall amounts are expected to last for the next 36 hours.
Why This Matters: As President Trump denies the science, which he literally did today in California, the Gulf Coast gets ready for rainfall totals measured in feet not inches.
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