Global Warming

Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.

The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration.

The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited.

“Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” a draft of the report states. A copy of it was obtained by The New York Times.

The authors note that thousands of studies, conducted by tens of thousands of scientists, have documented climate changes on land and in the air. “Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change,” they wrote.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

USA – Heavy rain falling on saturated soil with more to come caused flooding and road closures in low-lying areas of northern Vermont and parts of upstate New York Friday. The National Weather Service says an EF1 tornado touched down briefly in Broadalbin Friday evening. Thunderstorms loosed a barrage of hail on eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, shattering windshields, damaging roofs and shredding field crops and urban gardens. A tornado caused destruction throughout the town of Prairieburg, even ripping a mobile home off of its base. Authorities say a tornado touched down Thursday just south of Wynot in northeast Nebraska, ripping apart a shed and damaging a home.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Gusty winds and soaring temperatures have spread wildfires in numerous states across the Southwest, forcing hundreds of residents from their homes.

The National Interagency Fire Center said Thursday that six states including Arizona, California and New Mexico are dealing with “multiple large fires,” with more than 8,000 firefighters and support workers battling the blazes. The Interagency has raised the danger level, which helps mobilize additional resources.

In Central Arizona’s Yavapai County, the Goodwin Fire — named for the area near where the fire started — has engulfed more than 20,000 acres of mostly scrubland known locally as chaparral. The fire is also threatening several residential communities, spurring the evacuation of at least 1,500 people.

Officials say lightning sparked the Frye Fire earlier this month. It continues to burn around 40,000 acres of rugged terrain in Arizona’s Pinaleno Mountain Range. With more than 800 emergency workers battling it, the fire is at 45 percent containment.

In neighboring Utah, a massive blaze in Brian Head is burning around 60,000 acres, spurring evacuations.

And in California, multiple wildfires have also triggered dozens of evacuations and burned homes and cars.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the South Pacific: Tropical cyclone 18p (Donna), located approximately 283 nm northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu, is tracking south-southeastward at 08 knots.

NewsBytes:

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Midwest, USA – Nearly 10 million people across the Midwest were under a flood warning Saturday as several spots along the Mississippi River were expected to reach near-record crests this weekend, the latest threats to a region that got slammed this week by severe flooding. The river’s cresting — the highest stage or level of a flood wave — was due to affect communities in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. Floods late this week ravaged communities near St. Louis due to cresting of the Meramec River, which runs into the Mississippi River.

Bangladesh – Flash floods have washed away crops in north-eastern Bangladesh that would have yielded nearly 700,000 tonnes of rice, according to estimates from the agriculture ministry. The fields hit by the floods were about to be harvested, a major blow to the south Asian country, where local rice prices have hit an all-time high and reserves of the staple grain have dipped to a six-year low. The flooding triggered by heavy pre-monsoon rains also damaged other crops and fisheries in the marshy areas in the country’s north-eastern region, affecting millions of people.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the South Pacific: Tropical cyclone 18p (Donna), located approximately 344 nm north-northeast of Port Vila, Vanuatu, iss tracking westward at 05 knots.

NewsBytes:

USA – Two more Missourians have died after their vehicles were swept away by floodwaters, bringing the death toll from the sudden spring flood to five in the Show-Me State, with the total multi-state death toll having risen to 16. Flooding from weekend rains continued to threaten communities across Missouri and Illinois on Tuesday. The Mississippi and Kaskaskia Rivers were expected to crest Friday, the St. Clair County EMA said, though the crests were “significantly lower” than those experienced in the floods of December 2015.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

NewsBytes:

USA – Flooding Hits Coastal Areas of New Jersey, New York. Coastal flooding caused by Tuesday’s nor’easter is ravaging some neighbourhoods around New York and New Jersey, and the National Weather Service has issued warnings for particularly vulnerable areas. In Brooklyn’s Red Hook, water bubbled up from the sewers, flooding streets before disappearing back into storm drains. In Sea Bright, New Jersey, the storm sent up to 17 inches of ocean water flooding onto Church Street. Flooding had also hit Sea Bright’s Ocean Avenue. In Stone Harbour, New Jersey, streets were deluged with floodwaters that almost covered street benches and fire hydrants. And in Atlantic City, there were reports of people needing to be rescued as water levels rose during high tide. Over in the Point Beach area of Milford, Connecticut, floodwaters were pouring down some streets.

Argentina – Illegal Canals Flood Pampas

It was not just the heavy rains that left the streets of the Argentine town of Pozo del Molle flooded for three months last year.

Nearby farmers built small canals without authorization to drain their fields of surface water, redirecting flows toward urban areas and worsening the impact of flooding, said Carlos Salvatico, the mayor of the 7,500-person town in the key agricultural province of Cordoba.

So-called clandestine canals built by farmers to protect their crops are often blamed for exacerbating devastation across Argentina’s naturally flood-prone pampas grains and cattle belt.

Flooding this summer has prompted evacuations and left 2 million hectares (4.9 million acres) of highly productive land either underwater or cut off from markets because roads are flooded.

Wildfires

Wildfires – USA

Emergency crews on Tuesday struggled to contain deadly wildfires that have scorched hundreds of square miles of land in four states and forced thousands of people to flee their homes ahead of the wind-whipped flames. The fires have killed at least seven people.

The fires were burning in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, and warnings that fire conditions were ripe were issued for Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska, as powerful thunderstorms moved through the nation’s midsection overnight, spawning dozens of tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.

In Kansas, wildfires have burned about 625 square miles of land, said Katie Horner, the spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Emergency Management. She said the largest evacuations were in Reno County, where 10,000 to 12,000 people voluntarily left their homes Monday night. She said 66 people from the area were in shelters Tuesday in Hutchinson, which is 40 miles northwest of Wichita, as crews continued fighting fires that started over the weekend.

In Colorado, a fire in rural Logan County burned more than 45 square miles, forced the evacuation of three schools and threatened as many as 900 homes. The Logan County Emergency Management Office said at least four structures, including three homes, were destroyed.

Meanwhile, authorities issued mandatory evacuations and closed part of Interstate 75 as a wildfire burned more than 6,000 acres in Florida’s Collier County.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the South Indian Ocean: Tropical Cyclone “Carlos” (04S) Tropical Storm Carlos’ maximum sustained winds were near 51.7 mph (45 knots/83.3 kph). Carlos’ winds peaked on February 9. The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) expects Carlos to continue weakening. Carlos was centred near 28.5 degrees south latitude and 60.8 degrees east longitude, about 502 nautical miles southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. Carlos was moving to the southeast at 17 mph (15 knots/28 kph).

Newsbytes:

USA – Winter storm Niko has blanketed the Northeast with between 8 and 12 inches of snow, with some areas of New England expecting up to 18 inches (46 centimetres) over the past two days. The storm canceled thousands of flights and closed numerous schools and businesses in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and smaller communities. And the snow continues to fall.

Colorado, USA -Winds on the Front Range, foothills and mountains created problems throughout the state on Friday, from delayed flights to blown over tractor-trailers on State highways. The National Weather Service in Boulder said gusts could be north of 95 mph. On Berthoud Pass, one gust was clocked at 101 mph.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

USA – A spate of violent, fast-moving tornadoes continued to wreak havoc across the Deep South on Sunday, killing at least 14 people in south Georgia and raising the weekend’s severe-weather death toll to 18. Some of the most extensive damage came Sunday afternoon, when a large twister with winds of 60 mph tore across Albany, Ga., killing at least three people and mangling homes across suburban neighbourhoods. An elementary school, an airport and the sprawling Marine Corps Logistics Base were hit, Rowe said. So much debris blocked roads that fire crews had to navigate communities on foot. Earlier Sunday, just before 3 a.m., a single long-track tornado, or a couple of smaller tornadoes, struck the Georgia-Florida line, hurtling northeast for about 80 miles.

Australia – The weather bureau has issued an alert for severe thunderstorms with damaging winds of up to 125km/h for several regions — while Adelaide is also expecting a possible storm. Heavy rainfall may lead to flash flooding and wind gusts of 90-125km/h in the warning area — Lower Eyre Peninsula, Eastern Eyre Peninsula North West Pastoral, North East Pastoral and parts of the West Coast and Yorke Peninsula — over the next several hours, the Bureau of Meteorology says. Locations which may be affected include Cummins, Ernabella, Coober Pedy, Roxby Down and Marree. About 50mm of rain has already been recorded in Elliston and 49mm of rain at Cummins since 9am this morning.

California, USA – Fast-moving floodwaters swept through mountain communities south of the San Francisco Bay Area as thunderstorms and powerful winds wallop California. Rock slides, debris flows and flooding have closed roads and snarled traffic up and down the state as the third storm in four days dumped heavy rain and snow in the mountains. Flash flood watches and warnings are in effect for swaths of greater Los Angeles, where mountain locations could see up to 6 inches of rain. California residents have evacuated neighbourhoods below hillsides scarred by wildfires as the third — and largest — in the latest series of storms brings powerful rain and warnings about flash flooding and possible mudslides.

Tahiti – Heavy flooding in French Polynesia has forced many residents to evacuate, cut off power to thousands of homes, and closed Tahiti’s international airport. The French Polynesia High Commission said three people were injured, one seriously, while more than 100 homes were destroyed. Major roads were damaged by landslides. The floods were most severe on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea.

Singapore – A heavy downpour caused flash floods and traffic snarls in Singapore during the morning peak period on Monday.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

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Thailand – Flooding caused by continuous rain extended through eight southern provinces on Wednesday, affecting a large number of people and halting southbound train services at Thung Song junction in Nakhon Si Thammarat province.

Western USA – Stiff winds toppled a towering evergreen tree into an Oregon home, killing an 8-year-old girl, while blizzard conditions closed roads and triggered a small avalanche in the Sierra Nevada as wet winter storms pummeled much of the West, officials said Wednesday. In Nevada, a storm dropped 2 feet of snow and another foot was expected in the upper elevations around Lake Tahoe. The weather closed the main highway between Reno and Lake Tahoe. Flash flood watches were issued for most of the Sierra along the Nevada-California line, where the National Weather Service said the potential for another 6 to 12 inches of rain would create serious flooding concerns into the weekend. In Utah, snow that accumulated over several days caused the roof of a business to collapse in Provo. No injuries were reported. Snow was also falling in Wyoming, where a winter storm warning was posted for much of the Interstate 80 corridor, including Cheyenne. Heavy snow was also expected in Colorado. In New Mexico, forecasters said a blustery winter storm will produce significant snowfall and strong winds across much of the northern and eastern parts of the state beginning late Wednesday and peaking early Friday.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

No current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

South Africa – A series of storm cells wreaked havoc across parts of Buffalo City Metro and Mthatha late yesterday afternoon causing widespread damage to houses and leaving more than 20 people injured. In Mdantsane a storm followed by strong winds and hail ripped through NU6, NU7 and NU9, lifting roofs, flattening shacks and leaving scores of people without shelter. In Mthatha more than 20 people had to be rushed to health centres after they suffered injuries due to falling roofs and collapsing walls. Loose corrugated iron damaged cars in the Mthatha CBD.

Philippines – A flashflood caused by non-stop rains since New Year’s Day inundated several areas in Davao City. Flood water reached knee-deep and snarled traffic in barangays Bago Galliera and Puan Crossing.

USA – At least five people were killed Monday as severe storms swept across the South, spinning off several tornadoes and flooding widespread areas already drenched by heavy rain. Four people were killed in a single home when a tornado touched down Monday night in the town of Rehobeth in southeast Alabama. n DeFuniak Springs, Florida, the body of a 70-year-old man was found floating Monday afternoon in floodwaters outside his travel-trailer. The storm system drenched parts of Texas early Monday before moving east, causing significant damage from Louisiana to Florida. Much of the damage was caused by flash flooding after a series of storms left much of the region sodden over the past week.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the North Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone (tc) 04b (Nada), located approximately 846 nm south-southwest of Calcutta, India, is tracking westward at 06 knots.

Newsbytes:

Barbados – A day before Barbados’ 50th anniversary Independence celebrations were set to climax, a weather system dropped over six inches of rain, causing islandwide flooding and forcing several of the planned pre-Independence festivities to be postponed. In some areas the rainfall was so high it completely submerged vehicles. It also caused schools to be closed early.

Southern USA – Tornadoes that dropped out of the night sky killed five people in two states and injured at least a dozen more early Wednesday, adding to a seemingly biblical onslaught of drought, flood and fire plaguing the South. The storms tore through just as firefighters began to get control of wildfires that killed seven and damaged or wiped out more than 700 homes and businesses around the resort town of Gatlinburg, Tenn. In Alabama, the weather system dumped more than 2 inches of rain in areas that had been parched by months of choking drought. At least 13 confirmed twisters damaged homes, splintered barns and toppled trees in parts of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, the National Weather Service said.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Southern States, USA

Dozens of wildfires continue to burn across southern states on Wednesday, blanketing large areas with smoke and prompting health officials to warn people to stay indoors.

Some 40 large active fires are being tracked by the U.S. Forest Service across at 7 southern states. More than 80,000 acres have burned in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Virginia.

Forestry officials in Tennessee said 11 new fires popped up over 24 hours on Monday, even as crews were spread out battling 67 blazes totaling nearly 16,000 acres across the state. More than 200 patients have been hospitalized in Chattanooga due to breathing difficulties related to the circle of wildfires surrounding the city.

In North Carolina, firefighters are struggling with 15 large fires. Personnel working the state’s largest fire, which has burned more than 13,000 acres so far, appeared to have turned a corner. The Tellico blaze, as it is known, was 74 percent contained by Tuesday afternoon.

Smoky conditions have caused health officials across several states to issue air quality alerts and advise residents to avoid outdoor activities.

Fire officials say the largest wildfire in the South has now burned more than 23,000 acres in the north Georgia mountains — an area larger than the New York City borough of Manhattan. The blaze was 30 percent contained Wednesday morning.

Wildfires – Queensland, Australia

A firefighter has been hospitalised in far north Queensland as nearly a dozen fires burn across the state. Several fires in central Queensland remain within containment lines but heavy smoke is affecting Rockhampton and nearby areas. Fires inland of the Sunshine Coast are also under control but motorists are being asked to drive with caution.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Southeast USA

Firefighters are battling blazes which have engulfed thousands of acres in the southeast amid a devastating drought. Wildfires spanning from Tennessee to Georgia, North Carolina and parts of Alabama, have led to evacuations in some counties as firefighters try to suppress the flames.

More than 5,000 firefighters and support staff are currently in the Southeast to fight the wildfires in the area, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

In North Carolina, Evacuation orders were given to portions of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure communities as the Party Rock Fire grew to 977 acres Friday and crossed county lines. In all, about 25 fires have scorched more than 7 500 acres.