ON THE TIMES WE ARE NOW IN

thelivyjr
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Re: ON THE TIMES WE ARE NOW IN

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:40 p

MARKETWATCH

"Smoke from Western wildfires causing hazy skies on East Coast, even reaches Europe"


By Associated Press

Published: Sept. 16, 2020 at 6:02 p.m. ET

The smoke from dozens of wildfires in the western United States is stretching clear across the country — and even pushing into Mexico, Canada and Europe.

While the dangerous plumes are forcing people inside along the West Coast, residents thousands of miles away in the East are seeing unusually hazy skies and remarkable sunsets.


The wildfires racing across tinder-dry landscape in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are extraordinary, but the long reach of their smoke isn’t unprecedented.

While there are only small pockets in the southeastern U.S. that are haze free, experts say the smoke poses less of a health concern for those who are farther away.

The sun was transformed into a perfect orange orb as it set over New York City on Tuesday.

Photographs of it sinking behind the skyline and glinting through tree leaves flooded social media.

On Wednesday, New Jersey residents described a yellow tinge to the overcast skies, and weather forecasters were kept busy explaining the phenomenon and making predictions as to how long the conditions would last.

On the opposite coast, air quality conditions were among some of the worst ever recorded.

Smoke cloaked the Golden Gate Bridge and left Portland and Seattle in an ashy fog, as crews have exhausted themselves trying to keep the flames from consuming more homes and even wider swaths of forest.

Satellite images showed that smoke from the wildfires has traveled almost 5,000 miles to Britain and other parts of northern Europe, scientists said Wednesday.

The current weather system, which favors a westerly wind across the higher levels of the atmosphere, is to blame for the reach of the smoke, experts explained.

“We always seem, at times, to get the right combination of enough smoke and the upper level jet stream to line up to bring that across the country, so we’re just seeing this again,” said Matt Solum with the National Weather Service’s regional operations center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“It’s definitely not the first time this has happened.”

There could be some easing of the haze this weekend as a storm system is expected to move into the Pacific Northwest and could affect the conditions that helped the smoke travel across the country.

But Solum said there’s always a chance for more smoke and haze to shift around.

“Just due to all the wildfires that are going on, this is likely going to continue for a while,” he said.

“You might have ebbs and flows of that smoke just depending on how the upper level winds set up.”

Kim Knowlton, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York City, said she woke up Wednesday to a red sunrise and more haze.

She said millions of people who live beyond the flames can end up dealing with diminished air quality as it’s not uncommon for wildfire smoke to travel hundreds of miles.

Although the health impacts are reduced the farther and higher into the atmosphere the smoke travels, Knowlton and her colleagues said the resulting haze can exacerbate existing problems like asthma and add to ozone pollution.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/smoke ... latestnews

thelivyjr
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Re: ON THE TIMES WE ARE NOW IN

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:40 p

MARKETWATCH

"‘We are not out of the woods yet’: Gulf Coast braces for 2nd round of flooding in the wake of Hurricane Sally"


By Associated Press

Published: Sept. 17, 2020 at 2:59 p.m. ET

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Homeowners and businesses along the soggy Gulf Coast began cleaning up Thursday in the wake of Hurricane Sally, even as the region braced for a delayed, second round of flooding in the coming days from rivers and creeks swollen by the storm’s heavy rains.

In hard-hit Pensacola and surrounding Escambia County, where Sally’s floodwaters surged through downtown streets and lapped at car door handles on Wednesday before receding, authorities went door-to-door to check on residents and warn them the danger wasn’t over.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” said Escambia County emergency manager Eric Gilmore.

With the Florida Panhandle and Alabama on alert, Sally’s rainy remnants pushed farther inland across the Southeast, causing flooding in Georgia and threatening more of the same on Friday in North Carolina and Virginia.

Forecasters said Georgia could get up to a foot, and South Carolina 10 inches.

Along the Gulf Coast, officials inspected shut-down highways and bridges for damage.

A section of the main bridge between Pensacola and Pensacola Beach collapsed after it was hit by a barge that broke loose during the storm.

At least 400 people in Escambia County were rescued by such means as high-water vehicles, boats and jet skis, county Public Safety Director Jason Rogers said.

At least one death, in Alabama, was blamed on the hurricane, and more than a half-million homes and businesses were without electricity on the morning after the storm in Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

A few people cleaned up in Bristol Park, a creekside neighborhood where as much as 4 feet of water filled brick homes north of Pensacola.

Susan Cutts’ parents fled rising water inside their home into the garage, where they desperately called for help on a dying cellphone until aid arrived.

“They were on top of their car when they got to them,” Cutts said.

At least eight waterways in southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle were expected to hit major flood stage by Thursday.

Forecasters warned that some of the crests could break records, submerge bridges and flood homes.

Flooding in central Georgia forced Robins Air Force Base south of Macon to close one of its entrances and delay the start of the workday for some employees.

Elsewhere in Georgia, sheriffs reported numerous trees down and some highways and streets closed because of high water.

Sally blew ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama, with 105 mph winds, unloading more than 2 feet of rain near Naval Air Station Pensacola before weakening into a tropical storm and then a depression.

Pensacola streets looked like river rapids, and parked cars were swamped.


At a downtown marina, at least 30 sailboats, fishing boats and other vessels were found clumped together in a mass of fiberglass hulls and broken docks.

Some boats rested atop sunken ones.

The hurricane also drove two large ferry boats into a concrete seawall and left them grounded.

The boats had been purchased with BP oil spill money.

“This is kind of the initial salvo,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said of the hurricane’s onslaught, “but there is going to be more that you’re going to have to contend with.”

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/we-ar ... latestnews

thelivyjr
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Re: ON THE TIMES WE ARE NOW IN

Post by thelivyjr » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:40 p

NBC NEWS

"Houston faces flash flooding risk as Beta stalls inland"


By Kathryn Prociv

Sept. 22, 2020, 11:05 AM EDT / Updated Sept. 22, 2020, 6:12 PM EDT

Houston prepared for flooding Tuesday as Tropical Depression Beta moved onshore following overnight landfall in Texas.

Beta was downgraded from a tropical storm Tuesday, but it continued to present a serious threat as it moved slowly — at a rate of 5 miles per hour — toward Houston from the Gulf Coast.


Sustained winds were measured at 30 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Houston was under a flash flood warning until 7 p.m., federal forecasters said.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a morning news conference that the nation's fourth largest city was in for at least 24 hours of rain and that the region was at a high risk for flooding.

He encouraged residents to stay home.

Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed that recommendation.

"Texans who live in areas at risk for flooding should not travel if possible, avoid crossing flooded roadways, and continue to heed the guidance of local officials as this storm makes its way through the Lone Star State," he said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

The storm produced as much as 14 inches of rain as it made landfall with 45 mph winds around 10 p.m. on Monday near the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula, 5 miles north of Port O’Connor, Texas, according to the hurricane center.

With its arrival, Beta became the first Greek-named storm to make landfall in history and the ninth storm to come ashore this season.


The last time the United States saw that number of storms making landfall was in 1916.

In a typical year, the Houston area averages just over 4 inches of rain in September.

With Beta, parts of the metro area could double or triple that average Tuesday.

Beta was expected to dump as much as 20 inches of rain Tuesday, the hurricane center said.

Additionally, federal forecasters said they couldn't rule out the possibility of tornadoes.

"Rainfall totals of 13 to 14 inches have been measured across portions of the Houston metropolitan area thus far," the hurricane center said in an afternoon bulletin.

A storm surge warning and a tropical storm warning remained in effect for portions of the Texas coast, and 11 million people were under flash flood watches from the middle Texas coast to southern Louisiana.

Through Tuesday, the storm was expected to stall inland over southeast Texas.

Rainfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour, and training storms, are expected to cause life-threatening flash flooding.


On Wednesday, the center of Beta will move inland over southeastern Texas; the storm will then travel across Louisiana and Mississippi from Wednesday night through Friday bringing with it some 3-5 inches of rain.

Kathryn Prociv is a meteorologist and producer for NBC News.

Dennis Romero contributed.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/ho ... d-n1240697

thelivyjr
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Re: ON THE TIMES WE ARE NOW IN

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:40 p

NBC NEWS

"Hurricane Delta strengthens as it takes aim at storm-weary Louisiana coast"


By Tim Fitzsimons and Phil Helsel

Oct. 8, 202001:56
Oct. 8, 2020, 10:05 AM EDT / Updated Oct. 9, 2020, 1:29 AM EDT

Hurricane Delta is gaining strength and size over the Gulf of Mexico as it takes aim for the Louisiana coast, which is still recovering from a powerful Category 4 storm six weeks ago that ripped houses from their foundations, peeled off roofs and tore trailers in half.

The storm is expected to make landfall along the southwest Louisiana coast Friday afternoon or evening.

On Thursday, Delta regained "major hurricane strength," becoming a Category 3, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

By Thursday night maximum sustained winds increased to 120 mph.

It could strengthen slightly but some weakening is expected as it approaches the U.S. coast.

It will be the 10th hurricane to make landfall on the mainland U.S. this season, setting a new record.

"We just can't seem to get a break from the weather," one Louisiana resident told NBC News.

A video from a reconnaissance flight into the storm by the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters showed dark, stormy skies stretching for miles on Thursday morning.

The storm is churning toward the area around Lake Charles, which still has about 5,600 residents in New Orleans hotels because their homes are too damaged to occupy from Hurricane Laura in late August.

Trees, roofs and other debris left in Laura’s wake still sit by roadsides waiting for pickup even as forecasters warned that Delta could be a larger-than-average storm.

The large majority of structures damaged by Laura haven’t been permanently repaired, Gov. John Bel Edwards said on Wednesday.

“All that debris could become missiles in really strong wind,” said Edwards, who also worried about the “sheer anxiety” the storm could cause residents who are already traumatized.

NBC News correspondent Sam Brock reported Thursday afternoon that Interstate 10 west of Lake Charles was backed up for miles as residents evacuated the area, which is expected to get hit with tropical-storm force winds starting at about noon Friday.

When the hurricane makes landfall later in the day, maximum sustained winds of 100 to 115 mph and life-threatening flooding are forecast.

Forecasters at midday Thursday expanded the zone where a high storm surge is expected.

Now, a large stretch of low-lying Louisiana, from Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Port Fourchon, including Vermilion Bay, could see coastal waters rise by 7 to 11 feet.

Four million people from coastal Louisiana up through central Mississippi are under flash flood watches.

The storm's slight western shift may have spared the Alabama coast from a direct hit, as that state continues to recover from Hurricane Sally.

Delta first struck Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday as a Category 2 storm, forcing tourists in the area's resorts to hunker down.

It then weakened slightly before moving north over the Gulf of Mexico, where it strengthened again to a Category 2, and then to a Category 3 Thursday.

Some weakening is anticipated as the hurricane approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast, forecasters said.

At 10 p.m. local time Thursday (11 p.m. ET), the center of the hurricane was about 285 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana, and was moving north-northwest at 12 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

A hurricane warning is in effect for a stretch of coast from High Island, Texas, to Morgan City, Louisiana.

Tropical-storm warnings are in effect to the west and east — from Sargent, Texas, to High Island, and from Morgan City, Louisiana, east to the mouth of the Pearl River, including New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.

Tropical-storm watches are in effect from the Pearl River east to Bay St. Louis in Mississippi.

The governors of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi declared states of emergencies, and on Wednesday President Trump approved Louisiana's request for a federal emergency declaration.

In addition to the wind, storm surge and other effects, the hurricane is expected to dump 5 to 10 inches of rain, with isolated totals of up to 15 inches, from southwest to south-central Louisiana, forecasters said.

That will cause flash flooding and river flooding, the hurricane center said.

The threat is not limited to the center of the storm.

Hurricane-force winds extend around 35 miles from the center.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said everyone in the warning area needs to be prepared.

"A little change in that movement here could bring hurricane-force winds in either direction, because it's not just about that center point," Graham said in a video briefing Thursday afternoon.

Tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 160 miles from the hurricane's center Thursday night.

Those winds could be seen near the coast Friday morning.

Storm surge could also affect a large stretch of the coast, and those are traditionally some of the most dangerous parts of tropical systems, he said.

"Today's the day to really get ready for this hurricane," Gram said Thursday.

Tim Fitzsimons reports on LGBTQ news for NBC Out.

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

The Associated Press contributed.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/hu ... t-n1242595

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