Hurricane Laura Barreling Toward the Texas/Louisiana Coast

Hurricane Laura Barreling Toward the Texas/Louisiana Coast

Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall very late tonight or very early tomorrow as a monstrous Category 4 hurricane that will cause major damage due to both high winds and storm surge.  Twenty million people are in the storm’s path and more than 500,000 people have been told to evacuate low lying areas even as the COVID pandemic makes it difficult to house them safely in crowded temporary group shelters.

Why This Matters:  A category 4 storm is bad enough, but to have to deal with evacuating half a million people, many of them poor, during a pandemic is beyond challenging.

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Unprecedented: Two Major Storms In Succession Will Pound Gulf Coast

Unprecedented: Two Major Storms In Succession Will Pound Gulf Coast

An unprecedented “double whammy “of hurricanes is bearing down on the Gulf Coast — the first storm to reach the U.S. will be Marco, that became a hurricane yesterday afternoon and it is forecast to reach Louisiana by Monday late afternoon. 

Why This Matters:  As many news outlets reported, “There has never been anything we’ve seen like this before, where you can have possibly two hurricanes hitting within miles of each over a 48-hour period,”

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More Extreme Weather Makes Life Harder for Millions of Americans This Week click button

More Extreme Weather Makes Life Harder for Millions of Americans This Week

The extreme weather events this summer keep piling up. Phoenix set a record for the most number of days over 110 degrees in a year with 35 — so far as of yesterday.  Plus a derecho, which is akin to an inland hurricane, swept 700 miles across the midwest Monday.

Why This Matters:  President Trump is trying to remove $50 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay for needed unemployment benefits he unilaterally ordered.  Given the increased number of hurricanes predicted (a new storm is forming in the Atlantic), it seems like a particularly bad time to raid FEMA’s emergency funds.

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Now NOAA Predicts So Many Hurricanes This Year They May Run Out of Names – YIKES

Now NOAA Predicts So Many Hurricanes This Year They May Run Out of Names – YIKES

Late last week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its annual update on this year’s outlook for tropical hurricanes and they are now predicting the conditions are ripe for a huge season, with 19-25 named storms with sustained winds over  39 mph or greater, and even worse, 7 to 11 are expected to become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or greater.

Why This Matters:  Hurricane season really gets serious only now, so the worst is still ahead of us. And the revised forecast is a big increase over what had been forecast at the beginning of the season when NOAA said it there was a 70% chance of 13 to 19 named storms.

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Heat Dome in Southwest Keeps Temps At or Near 100 Degrees for Days on End

Heat Dome in Southwest Keeps Temps At or Near 100 Degrees for Days on End

Temperatures are forecast to continue to exceed 110 degrees across the Southwestern U.S. this week — Phoenix might set a record for its all-time high. But it’s not only going to bake the South — the heatwave will cause 100-degree temperatures across the Ohio Valley and into the Mid-Atlantic. At the same time, NOAA forecast that a “La Niña” (cooling of the ocean near the equator in the Pacific) could develop later this year increasing the likelihood of fall hurricanes, as well as a colder winter for some parts of the country.

Why This Matters:  The very areas of the country that are being ravaged by COVID-19 are now experiencing the worst of the heatwave too.

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NOAA Predicts It’s Going To Be An Active Hurricane Season

NOAA Predicts It’s Going To Be An Active Hurricane Season

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.

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