As Texas is hit with another bout of extreme weather, flooding in Abilene has buried multiple vehicles in water. The wild video was shot after a record-breaking 3.26 inches of one-day rainfall. "Oh, my God! Stupid!" the filmer, Matthew Adkins said.
As Texas is hit with another bout of extreme weather, flooding in Abilene has buried multiple vehicles in water. The wild video was shot after a record-breaking 3.26 inches of one-day rainfall. "Oh, my God! Stupid!" the filmer, Matthew Adkins said.
AccuWeather meteorologists are monitoring the potential for rounds of flooding rainfall and severe weather that are expected to erupt across portions of the Plains this weekend into early next week. After a below-average number of tornadoes in the month of April 2021, conditions are coming together for an active severe weather pattern in mid-May. There were just 73 tornadoes reported across the United States in April, well short of the three-year average for the month of 224, according to the Storm Prediction Center. May has already produced more than 100 tornado reports. Violent thunderstorms ravaged portions of southern Louisiana late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, bringing down trees and power lines across much of the Uptown portion of New Orleans. The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado with estimated peak winds of 85 mph caused the damage. Farther west, flooding downpours and high winds wreaked havoc on eastern Texas where a wind gust of 48 mph was recorded in Huntsville, Texas, located about 70 miles north of Houston. Experts say more rounds of flooding downpours and severe weather are expected this weekend and into early next week. However, the area being targeted will be centered over portions of the southern Plains rather than the Southeast. This will come as a relief to residents in waterlogged portions of the Southeast as a broad area of high pressure centered over the Great Lakes will allow portions of the region to start the process of drying out. CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP As high pressure builds in the East Friday, a southeasterly flow will begin to set up across much of the southern Plains. Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be allowed to move north into portions of Kansas, Missouri, central Illinois and portions of central Indiana, which will set the stage for thunderstorms and heavy rainfall to spread across the region. "A series of weak disturbances are expected to track eastward from the Rockies and into the Plains Friday through the weekend," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said. One of these weak storms that will move out of the Rockies will bring the threat for locally severe thunderstorms from eastern New Mexico to the Texas Panhandle, western Kansas and eastern Colorado Friday afternoon through Friday night. These storms will be capable of producing hail and strong wind gusts that could potentially reach an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 70 mph. Residents in cities like Dodge City, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; and Roswell, New Mexico, should be on alert for any rapidly developing severe thunderstorms. Motorists along Interstate 40 should also remain vigilant, especially where heavy downpours can result in rapidly reduced visibility. "Storms will continue to move across the Midwest into the weekend as warm and increasingly humid air advances northward through the southern Plains and clashes with cooler air farther north," Anderson said. Cities like Kansas City; Omaha; St. Louis; and Peoria, Illinois, will be at risk for rounds of heavy rainfall and locally severe storms. There is the potential for flash flooding, especially where heavy downpours repeatedly move over the same areas. An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 8 inches of rainfall is possible in these areas. Motorists traveling through this region should remain on alert for sudden downpours, which can lower visibility to less than a few hundred feet at times. Ponding can also occur in any low-lying or poor drainage areas. "Some locations may end up with up to 8 inches of rainfall over a three-day period and the strongest storms may produce locally damaging wind gusts, especially over the southern half of Kansas and Missouri," Anderson said. Along with the flooding threat and surge in humidity levels across the Midwest and southern Plains this weekend, another area of severe thunderstorms will erupt across much of the same area that is expected to receive robust storms Friday. A weak storm will bring the threat for severe weather from portions of western Texas into southwestern Kansas. Residents in cities like Odessa, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; and Garden City, Kansas, should remain on alert Saturday afternoon through Saturday evening for severe storms. These storms will be cable of producing hail, torrential downpours and damaging wind gusts that could reach the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 70 mph. As the weekend comes to a close, a potent storm is expected to move into the southern and central Plains early next week. A dip in the jet stream pattern, along with warm and increasingly humid conditions ahead of a potent storm tracking out of the Rockies, will bring the threat for severe weather to the southern Plains early next week. "Early next week, storms could become more widespread and very nasty in the south-central Plains, including parts of central Texas," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said. The exact location of severe weather has not been solidified yet, but meteorologists caution that severe thunderstorms can often carry a number of risks including hail, torrential rainfall, damaging wind gusts and even isolated tornadoes. As the severe threat gets underway in the Plains early next week, storms are expected to return to Louisiana and portions of the Southeast. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.
With it going along the bayou, one question is about flooding. But developers say this area was left high and dry during Harvey. See the plans.
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“It’s like you are giving the country a heart attack by shutting down the I-40 bridge.”
Just about every indicator of drought is flashing red across the western U.S. after a dry winter and warm early spring. The snowpack is at less than half of normal in much of the region. Reservoirs are being drawn down, river levels are dropping and soils are drying out. It’s only May, and states are already considering water use restrictions to make the supply last longer. California’s governor declared a drought emergency in 41 of 58 counties. In Utah, irrigation water providers are increasing fines for overuse. Some Idaho ranchers are talking about selling off livestock because rivers and reservoirs they rely on are dangerously low and irrigation demand for farms is only just beginning. Scientists are also closely watching the impact that the rapid warming and drying is having on trees, worried that water stress could lead to widespread tree deaths. Dead and drying vegetation means more fuel for what is already expected to be another dangerous fire season. As climate scientists, we track these changes. Right now, about 84% of the western U.S. is under some level of drought, and there is no sign of relief. The U.S. Drought Monitor for mid-May shows nearly half of the West in severe or extreme drought. National Drought Mitigation Center/USDA/NOAA The many faces of drought Several types of drought are converging in the West this year, and all are at or near record levels. When too little rain and snow falls, it’s known as meteorological drought. In April, precipitation across large parts of the West was less than 10% of normal, and the lack of rain continued into May. Rivers, lakes, streams and groundwater can get into what’s known as hydrological drought when their water levels fall. Many states are now warning about low streamflow after a winter with less-than-normal snowfall and warm spring temperatures in early 2021 speeding up melting. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Lake Mead, a giant Colorado River reservoir that provides water for millions of people, is on pace to fall to levels in June that could trigger the first federal water shortage declaration, with water use restrictions across the region. Dwindling soil moisture leads to another problem, known as agricultural drought. The average soil moisture levels in the western U.S. in April were at or near their lowest levels in over 120 years of observations. Four signs of drought. Climate Toolbox These factors can all drive ecosystems beyond their thresholds – into a condition called ecological drought – and the results can be dangerous and costly. Fish hatcheries in Northern California have started trucking their salmon to the Pacific Ocean, rather than releasing them into rivers, because the river water is expected to be at historic low levels and too warm for young salmon to tolerate. Snow drought One of the West’s biggest water problems this year is the low snowpack. The western U.S. is critically dependent on winter snow slowly melting in the mountains and providing a steady supply of water during the dry summer months. But the amount of water in snowpack is on the decline here and across much of the world as global temperatures rise. Several states are already seeing how that can play out. Federal scientists in Utah warned in early May that more water from the snowpack is sinking into the dry ground where it fell this year, rather than running off to supply streams and rivers. With the state’s snowpack at 52% of normal, streamflows are expected to be well below normal through the summer, with some places at less than 20%. Snowpack is typically measured by the amount of water it holds, known as snow water equivalent. National Resource Conservation Service Anthropogenic drought It’s important to understand that drought today isn’t only about nature. More people are moving into the U.S. West, increasing demand for water and irrigated farmland. And global warming – driven by human activities like the burning of fossil fuels – is now fueling more widespread and intense droughts in the region. These two factors act as additional straws pulling water from an already scarce resource. As demand for water has increased, the West is pumping out more groundwater for irrigation and other needs. Centuries-old groundwater reserves in aquifers can provide resilience against droughts if they are used sustainably. But groundwater reserves recharge slowly, and the West is seeing a decline in those resources, mostly because water use for agriculture outpaces their recharge. Water levels in some wells have dropped at a rate of 6.5 feet (2 meters) per year. The result is that these regions are less able to manage droughts when nature does bring hot, dry conditions. California fish hatcheries have started trucking their salmon to the Pacific Ocean because the rivers they are usually released into are too low and warm. AP Photo/Rich Podroncelli Rising global temperatures also play several roles in drought. They influence whether precipitation falls as snow or rain, how quickly snow melts and, importantly, how quickly the land, trees and vegetation dry out. Extreme heat and droughts can intensify one another. Solar radiation causes water to evaporate, drying the soil and air. With less moisture, the soil and air then heat up, which dries the soil even more. The result is extremely dry trees and grasses that can quickly burn when fires break out, and also thirstier soils that demand more irrigation. Alarmingly, the trigger for the drying and warming cycle has been changing. In the 1930s, lack of precipitation used to trigger this cycle, but excess heat has initiated the process in recent decades. As global warming increases temperatures, soil moisture evaporates earlier and at larger rates, drying out soils and triggering the warming and drying cycle. Fire warnings ahead Hot, dry conditions in the West last year fueled a record-breaking wildfire season that burned over 15,900 square miles (41,270 square kilometers), including the largest fires on record in Colorado and California. As drought persists, the chance of large, disastrous fires increases. The seasonal outlook of warmer and drier-than-normal conditions for summer and fire season outlooks by federal agencies suggest another tough, long fire year is ahead. [Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Mojtaba Sadegh, Boise State University; Amir AghaKouchak, University of California, Irvine, and John Abatzoglou, University of California, Merced. Read more:Water wells are at risk of going dry in the US and worldwideTwo-thirds of Earth’s land is on pace to lose water as the climate warms – that’s a problem for people, crops and forests Mojtaba Sadegh receives funding from the National Science Foundation. Amir AghaKouchak receives funding from National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.John Abatzoglou receives funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation.
A woman watching grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park this past week was charged by one of the animals as she stood in the open, vulnerable to attack.
More than 700 barges are stranded on the Mississippi River after inspectors discovered a large crack in a bridge near Memphis, Tennessee, Bloomberg reports.Why it matters: The blockage, which closes off the biggest route for U.S. agriculture exports when at its busiest, comes as President Biden is pushing Congress to pass his $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, which seeks to improve the country's infrastructure.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe big picture: "The disruption hit as strong demand for U.S. corn and soybeans has tightened inventories and pushed crop prices to their highest in more than eight years," Reuters writes.A sustained halt could negatively impact the crop market since most corn and soybeans pass through the Mississippi River en route to export terminals along the Gulf of Mexico.What they're saying: “The length of the blockage is important," Colin Hulse, a senior risk management consultant at StoneX in Kansas City, told Bloomberg. "If they cannot quickly get movement, then it is a big deal. If it slows or restricts movement for a longer period it can be a big deal as well.”What's next: The bridge will be closed indefinitely while the Tennessee Department of Transportation conducts repairs, per Bloomberg.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
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A tornado ripped off roofs, knocked down utility polls and cut off power to thousands in New Orleans early Wednesday, but no serious injuries were reported in what one city official called an unexpected “dry run” for the approaching hrricane season. The National Weather Service had issued a warning of a possible tornado as the winds hit. City emergency preparedness director Collin Arnold, speaking at a news conference, called the storm “pretty much a dry run for what we are going to face in a few weeks with hurricane season.”
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On May 7, a beachgoer in Newport Beach, Calif. discovered a strange-looking fish that had washed ashore.
Parts of Europe had a taste of summer amid a hot spell during late March, but it was followed by a harsh blast of winter weather in April that likely served as a reality check. Many across Europe may be looking forward to the warmer weather that summer often brings, and perhaps are even planning holidays as pandemic restrictions ease. June 1 kicks off the start of meteorological summer, but the summer solstice, which will mark the start of astronomical summer, doesn't occur until June 20. AccuWeather's team of long-range meteorologists warns that heat expanding across Europe through the summer and a lack of widespread rainfall can create agricultural issues. Even some summer crops that are typically resilient amid drought conditions may face issues after winter weather lingered in spring and may have impacted the hardiness of the plants. As the second consecutive summer during a global pandemic approaches, some signs of normalcy are returning. AccuWeather forecasters break down what people can expect weather-wise during the season in a complete region-by-region breakdown below: Hot Spain, Portugal and Italy The core of heat this summer will be located across Portugal, Spain, southern France and much of Italy as heat from northern Africa spreads north into southern Europe. Temperatures across southwest and south-central Europe are expected to be near to above normal throughout the summer months. Normal high temperatures rise from the 21-26 C (70s F) in June to 26-34 C (80s to lower 90s F) in July. By August, temperatures begin to trend cooler again. In addition to scorching temperatures, precipitation is expected to be below normal as the storm track shifts well north of southern Europe throughout the season. While a summer of hot and dry conditions would typically raise concerns about the amount of water available in the reservoirs across Spain, a potent winter storm earlier in the year may play a part in easing the concerns about water scarcity. Record-setting Storm Filomena swept across the Iberian Peninsula in January, bringing an estimated 33 cm (13 inches) of snow to Madrid over four days, while there were reports of up to 60 cm (24 inches) in surrounding areas. Several people were killed in northeastern Spain in the blast of Arctic air that followed the storm. The temperature dropped to 13.4 degrees Fahrenheit below zero (25.2 degrees Celsius below zero) in Molina de Aragón, the lowest for the month of January in the city since 1981. The snow in mountains has been gradually melting throughout the spring and is expected to continue melting into the summer. Runoff from high up in the mountains can collect in the reservoirs and can keep the water levels higher despite the predicted lack of consistent rainfall this summer. Additionally, near- to above-normal rainfall in April added to the available water supply. A lack of rainfall can delay crops, including olive trees, until water from the mountains runs down into the rivers and reservoirs in these areas. Olive trees are drought resistant; however, newly planted trees need moist soil to thrive. CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP The stress from freezing temperatures earlier this year can cause the olive crops to be susceptible to the heat and lack of rainfall expected in Spain and Portugal, said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert. But this will largely depend on how far above normal the temperatures are able to climb. Heat to expand into central Europe The storm track across Europe will continue to push north throughout the summer, and drier conditions will build over central and southeastern portions of the continent. People enjoy the sunny weather along the Canal Saint-Martin despite the Coronavirus Pandemic in Paris, France, on March 31, 2021. Critical care doctors in Paris say surging coronavirus infections could soon overwhelm their ability to care for the sick in the French capital's hospitals, possibly forcing them to choose which patients they have the resources to save. President Macron is expected to give a TV speech on Wednesday detailing possible new restrictions to fight Covid-19. (Photo by Aurore Marechal/ABACAPRESS.COM) As the storm track pushes north, heat will also expand from Spain and Italy and as far as the southern United Kingdom, northern France, Belgium, Germany, southern Poland, Ukraine, and the Balkan countries. However, the expansion of the warmer weather will not be consistent across these areas. "There can be heat in the west and in the east, but never at the same time," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tyler Roys. "It's very rare for heat to be that widespread. It is more likely for heat to come in waves." The spread of warmer weather will also be gradual, and the farther away from the core of the heat, the longer it will take for above-normal temperatures to reach an area. Persistent heat in Paris and Berlin is expected to be delayed until late July and August. Normal high temperatures across the region climb from 19-21 C (upper 60s F) to 21-25 C (low to mid-70s F) during the months of June and July. In August, temperatures typically begin to trend back toward 19-21 C (upper 60s F), but this year they are expected to remain above normal for at least part of the month. In addition to the heat, this can be the third straight summer with below-normal precipitation across France and Germany as well as into the United Kingdom, said Roys. "This can lead to growing problems for the summer crop, including wheat and corn in France and Germany," explained Roys. "In France, much of the wine crop has already been lost due to the freezes earlier in April." At least one-third of the wine production in France will be lost this year after a blast of Arctic air and even areas of snow created headaches for farmers this year, The Guardian reported. À vous, agriculteurs qui, partout en France, avez lutté sans relâche, nuit après nuit, pour protéger les fruits de votre travail, je veux vous dire notre soutien plein et entier dans ce combat. Tenez bon ! Nous sommes à vos côtés et le resterons. pic.twitter.com/uaW9TmPxYh— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 10, 2021 Michel-Henri Ratte, like other farmers, spent several nights lighting small fires and large candles in an attempt to keep the vines warm; however, Mother Nature won out and Ratte expects a 100% loss on this year's harvest, according to The Guardian. Anything that is left is already stressed from the freezes and can be susceptible to heat and drier conditions expected to develop this summer, added Reppert. While hot and dry conditions can settle in by the middle to latter part of summer, that weather pattern will not eliminate the risk of severe thunderstorms across the center of the continent. Widespread severe weather is not expected across central Europe, said Roys, which is typical for the continent. Heavy downpours from thunderstorms are expected to be more localized. Damp start in the U.K. As the U.K. and Ireland wait for the arrival of typical summer temperatures, rounds of showery weather will linger over the region through at least the beginning of summer. While wet weather will persist over Ireland, Scotland and northern England through at least June and into July, precipitation is forecast to remain below normal throughout the rest of the season. Last month ranked among the top-five driest Aprils on record across southern England, and that trend could continue through the rest of May. This theme can continue across parts of the area during the summer, which could cause problems as the growing season kicks off. Parts of southern England may face difficult growing conditions, similar to France and Germany. "Last year was the worst crop of wheat for the U.K. because of a dry start early in the season," said Roys. This growing season could be similar with below-normal precipitation expected across the Midlands, southern England and Wales. Some wet weather can push into this area in August, but it may be too late for crops, warned Roys. "By that point the damage will be mostly done," he added. With the storm track nearby in Scotland and northern England, precipitation is expected to be closer to normal. This will also keep temperatures near to below normal (15-21 C or 60s and 70s F) for the region. Temperatures more typical of the summer months are expected to arrive in early July. Highs reaching 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher are most likely to occur between July 1 and Aug. 15. Cool, wet in Scandinavia and the Baltics Due to the slow progression of heat from southern Europe, above-normal temperatures are expected to stop short of the northernmost reaches of the continent. A storm track from north of the U.K. and into Norway and Sweden will help to block the progression of warmer conditions to the north and will also keep rounds of rainy weather over the region. By August, this storm track is expected to continue its northward march into northeastern Europe, bringing rounds of unsettled weather to the Baltic states as well as Poland and Belarus and on into western Russia. A women exercises with a jump rope upside the Reichstag building on a sunny day in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) Temperatures in Poland will be near to below normal. Berlin will sit closer to the edge of more intense summer heat. "The heat typically builds into central Europe and stops around far eastern Germany," said Roys, adding that the much wetter pattern expected in Poland and the Baltic states can limit how high temperatures can climb. More saturated soil can also help to moderate the temperature during the summer months as energy from the sun works to evaporate the moisture from the soil rather than warming the air. Normal high temperatures around Germany and Poland are 21-26 C (70s F) during the summer months. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.
Researchers have identified a new species of saber-toothed cat that weighed 600 pounds, and hunted animals like rhinoceros and giant camels. The post A 600 Pound Rhino-Hunting Saber-Toothed Cat Once Roamed the Earth appeared first on Nerdist.
Officials on Vancouver Island say at least 100 trees have been illegally cut down, leaving one stump with a face carved into it A menacing face chainsawed into the stump of a poached Douglas fir not far from the Mount Prevost Main Line logging road on Vancouver Island, Canada. Photograph: Larry Pynn/sixmountains.ca/The Guardian Two tree stumps signaled to Larry Pynn that something was wrong. Jutting from a mossy forest floor in western Canada, the fresh stumps were the final remnants of two western red cedars that had been chopped down by chainsaw. Nearby, a set of deep tire tracks ran for nearly a kilometer in the mud before terminating at the main road. “I immediately suspected that this is the work of poachers,” said Pynn, a journalist who lives nearby. “These are clearly valuable trees and they were likely cut because of that.” Since January, local officials on central Vancouver Island say at least 100 trees have been illegally chopped down. As lumber prices across the continent soar – prompting a flurry of memes and conspiracy theories – ecosystems full of valuable old growth trees have increasingly become a target for poachers. The section of forest Pynn found the stumps in is part of a municipally owned 5,000 hectare swath of woods known locally as Six Mountains. The area, popular with hikers and mountain bikers, is also home to the endangered coastal Douglas fir ecosystem, which is on the verge of vanishing after centuries of logging and urban development. Days after discovering the two stumps, Pynn spotted more trees in another section of the municipal forest reserve that had suffered a similar fate – and a menacing face carved into one of the stumps. Western red cedar, estimated at 87 years old, poached on Stoney Hill. Photograph: Larry Pynn/sixmountains.ca The first trees he spotted in the forest were probably worth close to C$1,000 ($824) each for the raw wood. But the current fine for removing wood from the forest stands at C$200. “It’s the same fine if you litter – there’s no deterrence,” said Pynn. Poaching isn’t new to the area, but the scope and frequency have worsened in recent months, says Shaun Mason, a forester with the municipality. While Douglas fir are often taken as firewood, he speculates poachers could be targeting cedar because of high lumber prices, which have nearly tripled over the last year – but has no firm evidence. Timber marking systems are widely used to track the provenance of wood – and as a rule, mills won’t accept timber that hasn’t been marked. If the wood is milled down into boards, tracing its origins is nearly impossible. “It’d be illegal, but if someone had a sawmill set up on their property and someone said, ‘Hey, I could get some cedar, would you mill it for me? You know, obviously, it’s not on the up and up, but it definitely could take place,” said Mason. The poachers have used a number of tricks to hide their work, including placing moss over fresh stumps and covering tracks of their vehicles into the forest. Pynn suspects the culprits are operating under the cover of darkness. The brazen thefts have left residents outraged and some have suggested banding together to patrol the area at night – a move Pynn says is probably too risky. “I’m not sure it’s a great idea for people to be out in these areas at three in the morning,” he says. New Stoney Hill sign. Photograph: Larry Pynn/sixmountains.ca In response to the thefts, the municipality has put up new signage, is patrolling the area daily and is looking at how to increase fines and installing video surveillance. Police have also been made aware of the issue. In recent weeks, the municipality has received dozens of tips from residents. While the spike in poaching has centred on the small municipal reserve, Mason says the issue is probably far more widespread on Vancouver Island. “It’s happening all over the place. We just happen to have un-gated, unfettered access, not that far from a main road or highway,” he said. “So we tend to be the easiest targets.” For Jens Wieting of British Columbia’s Sierra Club, the spate of felled trees speaks to a broader crisis within the province. He points out that on Vancouver Island, the scale of legal old-growth logging still far outstrips recent poaching. If governments want to shift behaviour, far steeper fines are needed, he says. “Maybe, with a change in perspective, people who might be tempted to make an extra buck by poaching trees won’t do it because they get a sense that it would be wrong – and that the consequences could be bigger and more serious.”
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