News Tropical depression forecast to form, could become ‘dangerous’ hurricane with ‘damaging winds and deadly storm surge’ Doyle Rice•The second storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season appears likely to form over the next couple of days.”This system has the potential to become a dangerous hurricane,” the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, Louisiana, said on its Facebook page. „The threat for damaging winds and deadly storm surge is increasing.”The National Hurricane Center said Tuesday that there’s an 80% chance a tropical depression will form this week in the Gulf of Mexico.”Regardless of whether or not a tropical cyclone forms, this system has the potential to produce heavy rainfall along portions of the northern and eastern U.S. Gulf Coast later this week,” the hurricane center said in its 8 a.m. advisory. If the depression’s winds reach 39 mph, it would become Tropical Storm Barry.”The possibility of intensification to a tropical storm or even a low-end hurricane is real, particularly for the western Gulf Coast,” according to meteorologist Ryan Truchulet of Weather Tiger.At first, development of the system will be slow, AccuWeather said. However, if the system remains offshore, it could gain strength at a fast pace and drift toward the central and western Gulf of Mexico this weekend.”There are a number of petroleum rigs and refineries along the central and western Gulf Coast, and there may be considerable risk if this storm ramps up, develops to its full potential and travels in that direction,” AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.Rain, and lots of it, appears likely to be the main threat from the storm.”Heavy rain is possible from the upper Texas coast to southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and parts of the Florida Panhandle,” the Weather Channel said.Up to 10 to as much as 15 inches of rain is possible, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.As of the latest model runs midday Tuesday, there is „growing consensus that Barry will develop in 36-48 hours and then slowly track westward thru northern Gulf,” tweeted BAM Weather meteorologist Ryan Maue. „Landfall possible from far Northeast Texas to Louisiana by Saturday.”The storm could also produce „wind and storm surge impacts later this week or this weekend from Louisiana to the Upper Texas coast,” the hurricane center warned.Tropical systems are occasional visitors to the U.S. in July: The most recent July hurricane to hit the continental U.S. was Hurricane Arthur in North Carolina in 2014, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.”The most recent July tropical storm landfall was Tropical Storm Emily in Florida in 2017,” he said.The strongest recent storm to make landfall in the United States in July was Hurricane Dennis, which hit the western Florida Panhandle on July 10, 2005, as a Category 3 hurricane, the Weather Channel said.Contributing: The Tallahassee DemocratThis article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tropical depression forecast to form, could become ‘dangerous’ hurricane with ‘damaging winds and deadly storm surge’
U.S. California’s Recent Earthquakes Are Reigniting Fears of the ‘Big One’
Time John Rogers, Robert Jablon And Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP,Time•July 8, 2019660 Comments RIDGECREST, Calif. — Shaken residents were cleaning up Sunday from two of the biggest earthquakes to rattle California in decades as scientists warn that both should serve as a wake-up call to be ready when the long-dreaded “Big One” strikes.California is spending more than $16 million to install thousands of quake-detecting sensors statewide that officials say will give utilities and trains precious seconds to shut down before the shaking starts.Gov. Gavin Newsom said it’s time residents did their part by mapping out emergency escape routes and preparing earthquake kits with food, water, lights and other necessities.“It is a wake-up call for the rest of the state and other parts of the nation, frankly,” Newsom said at a Saturday news conference on efforts to help a desert region jolted by back-to-back quakes.A magnitude 6.4 earthquake Thursday and a magnitude 7.1 quake Friday were centered 11 miles (18 kilometers) from the small desert town of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles (241 kilometers) from Los Angeles.The quakes buckled highways and ruptured gas lines that sparked several house fires, and officials said about 50 homes in the nearby small town of Trona were damaged. No one was killed or seriously injured, which authorities attributed to the remote location in the Mojave Desert.“Any time that we can go through a 7-point earthquake and we do not report a fatality, a major injury, do not suffer structure damage that was significant, I want to say that that was a blessing and a miracle,” Kern County Fire Department spokesman Andrew Freeborn said Sunday.Seismologists said a similar-sized quake in a major city like San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego could collapse bridges, buildings and freeways, as well as spark devastating fires fueled by ruptured gas lines.“We’re going to have a magnitude 6, on average, somewhere in Southern California every few years. We’ve actually gone 20 years without one, so we have had the quietest 20 years in the history of Southern California,” said seismologist Lucy Jones of the California Institute of Technology.“That’s unlikely to continue on the long run,” she added. “Geology keeps on moving … and we should be expecting a higher rate. And when it happens near people, it is going to be a lot worse.”Thus the need for preparation, Newsom and others say.Some Californians, like Greg Messigian of Los Angeles, say they’re already taking precautions. His wake-up call came with the 1994 Northridge earthquake that killed 61 people and caused $15 billion in damage. His San Fernando Valley home, located just above the fault line, was all but destroyed.“We had brick walls around the perimeter that had all fallen down. We had cracks in the pool. Inside the house everything that we ever had on a shelf was broken. Television sets fell off the places where they were and cracked. Our chimney was broken. There were cracks in the walls.”With the help of earthquake insurance, he rebuilt.On Sunday, the retired schoolteacher was going over his preparedness kit, making sure he had everything he would need for the next quake.Among the contents: Enough water to last a week, extra shoes and clothes, blankets, flashlights, batteries, food, a cellphone charger and food for the family dog. On top of that, he has an escape route planned and keeps one car parked in the garage and another in the driveway — in case the garage falls down on the car.The 1994 quake was not the state’s most devastating. The famous 1906 San Francisco earthquake killed 3,000 people. The 1971 San Fernando quake, centered not far from the Northridge quake, killed 65. The 1989 Loma Prieta quake, nicknamed the World Series Earthquake because it struck the Bay Area as the San Francisco Giants were playing Game 3 of the World Series, killed 63.Kathy Mirescu of Los Angeles said she had been meaning to restock her earthquake safety kit and got a push after the quakes she called the strongest she’s felt since moving to California in 2000.“The size of those quakes drove home the urgency of making sure we had everything we needed,” she said.The Salesforce product designer spent $250 on everything from camping lanterns, flares and waterproof matches to nonperishable food, iodine tablets for purifying water and freeze-dried food for her dog. She also printed out copies of her and her husband’s passports and driver’s licenses and earthquake insurance policy.
Some in other states were taking heed as well.
“When you see a place that suffers two huge earthquakes back-to-back like that, I always think what’s next?” said Laura Sampson of Palmer, Alaska. “It absolutely makes me think of worrying about what comes next and if I’m prepared.”
Sampson was at home in her community northeast of Anchorage last November when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook the area. She said she still needs a better plan for contacting loved ones after a quake.
As people prepared, authorities in rural Kern County repaired roads and utilities.
The quakes sparked several house fires, shut off power, snapped gas lines, cracked buildings and flooded some homes when water lines broke. Newsom estimated the damage at more than $100 million and said President Donald Trump called him to offer federal support.
All roads serving Ridgecrest, a town of 28,000 residents, were safe to drive again Sunday, water and power had been restored and bus service would resume Monday, Police Chief Jed McLaughlin said. He said homes were being inspected for damage and that all government buildings were declared safe.
Officials told several hundred people at a community meeting Sunday evening in Ridgecrest to take precautions once running water returns to their homes after it was cut off by the two earthquakes that hit the town Thursday and Friday.
The officials asked residents at the two-hour meeting to boil the water for at least several days once it comes back on.
Mayor Peggy Breeden said that two trucks with water are coming to Ridgecrest and the nearby small town of Trona.
Several people at the meeting in the Kerr McGee Community Center said that they will need counseling after dealing with the disruptions caused by the earthquakes, which included sleeping outside of their homes.
Breeden told residents that they had proved their toughness.
“Let’s hear it for Ridgecrest!” she said to a standing ovation.
Residents of the nearby town of Trona, southwest of Death Valley, reported electricity had been restored but water and gas service was still out at many homes. People in the town of about 2,000 lined up for free water that California National Guard soldiers handed out at Trona High School.
“I just picked up a couple cases for me and my dog,” said Jeb Haleman, adding that his home of 40 years otherwise escaped unscathed.
When Friday’s quake struck he said he was about 10 stories off the ground working on a boiler at the Searles Valley Minerals plant.
“I was holding on for dear life,” he said, laughing. “That was quite a ride.”
With temperatures hovering around the 100-degree mark, Sgt. Robert Madrigal said the National Guard would provide water “just as long as they need us here.”
Officials were taking precautions because of the heat and expectation of thousands of smaller aftershocks over the next several days.
The U.S. Geological Survey said there was just a 1% chance of another magnitude 7 or higher earthquake in the next week, and a rising possibility of no magnitude 6 quakes.
The National Guard was sending 200 troops, logistical support and aircraft, Maj. Gen. David Baldwin said.
The California Office of Emergency Services brought in cots, water and meals and set up cooling centers in the region, Director Mark Ghilarducci said.
Rogers and Jablon reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press Writers John Antczak in Los Angeles, Amy Forliti in Minneapolis and Courtney Bonnell in Phoenix contributed to this story.
Severe Weather Washington Flooding
WASHINGTON (AP) — A slow-moving rainstorm Monday washed out roads, stranded drivers and soaked basements, including the White House’s, during a chaotic morning commute in the national capital region.
Water gushed into the press workspace in the basement near the White House’s West Wing. Government employees worked to drain puddles of standing water with wet vacs.
Flooding led to electrical outages that closed the National Archives Building and Museum, according to a statement from the National Archives, which said the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were safe and not in any danger.
National Weather Service meteorologist Cody Ledbetter said the storm dumped about 6.3 inches of rain near Frederick, Maryland, about 4.5 inches near Arlington, Virginia, and about 3.4 inches at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in a two-hour period.
„The storm was not moving very quickly,” Ledbetter said.
Water levels at Cameron Run in Alexandria, Virginia, a flood-prone area along the Capital Beltway, rose more than 7 feet over 30 minutes after 9 a.m., according to the weather service. Four Mile Run, which runs through Arlington and Alexandria, saw a similar increase.
Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the fire department in Montgomery County, Maryland, said emergency workers responded to dozens of rescue calls and used boats to pluck people from flooded cars.
„Everywhere I turned, there was traffic and roads closed,” he said.
Piringer said he didn’t immediately receive any reports of storm-related injuries.
In northern Virginia, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said it responded to more than 30 calls for swift water rescues throughout the county. Authorities advised people to avoid driving if possible. Neighboring Arlington County also reported numerous rescues.
Gretchen Eisenberg’s morning 4-mile commute usually lasts 10 minutes. It took her nearly an hour to drive to work from her Frederick home. She stopped to shoot eye-popping video of a Frederick park inundated with raging floodwaters.
„I tried to take my normal route, but I had to turn around and take a different way in because of the flooding,” she said.
On the Fourth of July, Anchorage, Alaska, hit 90 degrees, shattering the previous high from 1969 by an entire five degrees. „Breaking an all-time record by this much is pretty unheard of in the climate community,” NBC News reported. Two other Alaskan towns, Kenai and King Salmon, also hit record highs the same day: 89 and 88 degrees, respectively. „These kinds of extreme weather events become much more likely in a warming world,” Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, told the Associated Press.
Extreme heat has been ravaging states farther south, too. In 2018, 155 people died from heat-related causes in Phoenix, and now, as NPR details, authorities there are trying to find ways to heat-proof the city the same way coastal cities try to prepare for hurricanes. But as the world gets hotter, the challenge gets more difficult. Heat is already the deadliest weather event in the U.S. Last year, the National Weather Servicedocumented 530 severe weather-related fatalities—108 of them were from extreme heat.
As David Hondula, an assistant professor at Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, told NPR, cities are particularly deadly in high temperatures because of something called the urban heat-island effect. Sprawling networks of asphalt roads and parking lots, even buildings themselves, all trap heat, while cars and air-conditioning units—ironically—pump even more heat into the surroundings. On top of raising public awareness on how to stay cool, Phoenix is hoping to find ways to redesign the city itself to cut down on its heat retention, including expanding shade cover to 25 percent of the city, repaving roads with permeable material, and covering roofs in white paint or other reflective surfaces. „If they are successful here, then they can be successful anywhere,” Hondula said.
It’s a model that needs to be successful elsewhere, not just in the southwestern states. Europe just came out of a heat wave so intense, fueled by winds blowing north from the Sahara, that it produced the hottest ever June on the continent. And a study out of Columbia University warns that by 2080, New York City could see as many as 3,331 heat-related deaths annually, with a direct link to human-caused climate change.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, heat-related illness, or hyperthermia, often exacerbates some underlying health problems. It’s a horrifying process to experience, as the body runs out of sweat, losing its ability to regulate its own temperature, and internal organs essentially begin to cook. Treatment can take days to be successful and involves „aggressive fluid replacement and cooling of core body temperature.” And as average temperatures worldwide keep crawling higher, heat-related illness could become a nationwide epidemic.
Originally Appeared on GQ