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Why This Matters: It was less than a month ago that a deadly cluster of severe tornadoes hit Nashville. What if the city had been battling the surge of the virus at the time? What if another storm like Hurricane Harvey hits Houston causing severe flooding when hospitals are overflowing with virus patients? Imagine the injuries and the potential virus exposure such a collision of catastrophes would cause. As Dr. Fauci has preached for months, we must prepare for the worst — a storm and virus double whammy. Great.
The Potential For An Active Tornado and Hurricane Season
According to the Capital Weather Gang, the warm waters in the Gulf have led to quite warm land temps across the region — it has been one of its top five warmest Marches on record, and many temperature records were broken as some cities temps have been in the 90’s last month. Cities right on the Gulf itself –Brownsville, Tex., Corpus Christi, Tex., Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Ala., and parts of Florida — have seen their warmest March ever. The summer of 2017 was very similar, with quite warm water temperatures, which coincided with an above-average tornado season through the spring, and then Category 4 Hurricane Harvey that summer. And the worst of the severe weather is still ahead of us — it is the clash of warm air from the Gulf and cold air from the Rockies that makes severe thunderstorms and tornadoes even more likely right now. The Gang explains the science — a paper in Science found that Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperatures in April have a “robust dynamical linkage” to annual tornado accounts in the southern Great Plains. As for hurricanes, the warmer water is likely to cause hurricanes to be more intense and to dump more rainfall, just as what happened with Hurricane Harvey in 2017 when the waters were last this 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 […]
An important new study out this week from researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Wisconsin at Madison reveals that hurricanes are getting stronger, just as climate models have predicted. As the New York Times explained, the analysis, of satellite images dating to 1979, shows that warming has increased the […]
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