News Massive heat wave bakes central, eastern U.S., with sweaty night ahead
By Barbara Goldberg
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gargantuan heat wave hunkered down over the central and eastern United States on Saturday, sending residents to cooling centers and inflicting on Washington a heat index of 106 degrees F (41 C) with even steamier conditions in the forecast.
„It’s pretty hot right now from the Plains states all the way through the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast,” said Alex Lamers, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.
Heat is the deadliest of all weather phenomena, according to the weather service, and cities from Chicago to New York urged residents to seek refuge at cooling centers set up in locations ranging from libraries to shopping malls.
Tourists visiting the monuments and museums on the National Mall in Washington endured temperatures approaching 100 degrees F (37.8 C).
About 250 senior citizens returned home on Saturday a day after having to leave a retirement community in Philadelphia when a power failure disabled the air conditioners, forcing many of them into a shelter at West Philadelphia High School, said city spokeswoman Deana Gamble.
Nighttime temperatures have remained so high in the heat wave, which started midweek in the Midwest, that Rockford, Illinois, for the first time since 1918 matched its all-time record by failing to fall below 80 degrees F (27 C) on Friday.
High temperatures combined with high humidity make it feel even hotter, called the heat index.
„Heat stress tends to have a cumulative effect so if you’re not recovering at night, especially if you don’t have an air conditioning unit, you’ll accumulate more heat stress,” Lamers said.
„When it stays warm overnight, it provides a higher launch for temperatures the next day,” he added.
By midday Saturday, Boston’s heat index was 102 F (39 C) and forecast to rise to 105 F (40 C) by late afternoon. New York’s heat index was 100 F (38 C) and forecast to rise to 110 F (43 C), and Washington’s was 106 F (41 C), expected to climb to 111 F (44 C), Lamers said.
Some outdoor activities, including the New York City Triathlon and a running race outside Washington, were canceled. Others bent their rules to keep attendees cool and safe, including Yankee Stadium, which allowed fans to bring their own bottled water and shading umbrellas and offered hydration stations on all levels of the ballpark.
Sizzling temperatures were expected to persist through Sunday, but relief is in sight, Lamers said.
„A cold front north of us will start shifting south and by Sunday evening, it will make progress toward Boston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis. By Monday morning, it might be reaching Washington, Cincinnati with some rain and thunderstorms,” he said.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)
Records fall as last day of heat wave bakes Midwest, East Coast originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
Ninety-four million people in parts of 23 states remain under excessive heat warnings and heat advisories on Sunday as one last day of scorching temperatures hits the Midwest and East Coast.
Sunday is the last day of oppressive heat, with many places in the Upper Midwest already feeling cooler Sunday morning after heat indices of 115 to 120 on Friday and Saturday. That seasonably cool air will make its way east this week.
JFK International Airport and Atlantic City, New Jersey, both set daily record highs at 99 degrees Saturday, but most records being set are for the warm overnight temperatures. New York City and Boston are just two of many cities that set or tied record-high minimum temperatures, with temperatures failing to drop below 80 degrees.
Heat indices far surpassed the triple-digit mark across the eastern U.S. Saturday:
–Hartford, Connecticut: 110 degrees; actual high 95
–Washington, D.C.: 108 degrees; actual high 97
–Kansas City, Missouri: 109 degrees; actual high 98
–Baltimore: 107 degrees; actual high 100
–Boston: 107 degrees; actual high 97
–Chicago: 107 degrees; actual high 95
Heat index values continued to feel higher than 90 degrees overnight from Norfolk, Virginia, to Boston.
The excessive heat warnings remain in effect for Sunday, with heat indices reaching 110 degrees.
Actual temperatures will stay in the 90s for most of the East Coast — often in the upper reaches.
Boston has another chance of hitting 99 on Sunday — the hottest temperature since 2013.
Washington, D.C., could also hit 100 degrees for the first time since 2016.
The relief is finally making its way east, though.
It’s already significantly cooler across the Great Lakes and Midwest.
Chicago; Minneapolis; Des Moines, Iowa; and Detroit felt like 105 to 119 degrees. The high temperatures Sunday are in the 70s and low 80s.
Those temperatures will reach the East Coast early this week and there will be a nice break from the heat and humidity with below-average temperatures.
More severe weather possible
Several rounds of severe storms across the Midwest and Great Lakes have knocked out power to hundreds of thousands and caused widespread damage. There were over 430,000 customers without power Sunday morning across Wisconsin and Michigan.
There were more than 240 storm reports just from Saturday, and more than 450 storm reports between Friday and Saturday.
Winds gusted 70 to 80 mph and brought down numerous tree limbs, and thousands of power lines from South Dakota to Minnesota, and in Wisconsin and Michigan.
The severe weather will be focused around Missouri and Kansas again on Sunday. The main threat again is damaging winds, along with hail and also an isolated tornado.
Storms will be scattered from Missouri to Pennsylvania, but have the potential to be severe at times with damaging winds.
The 18-year-old whale, spotted in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Canada’s east coast, has been trapped for at least two weeks, CTV reported.
The whale is known to biologists who are tracking it as Number 3125, according to CTV. It was first spotted in distress on July 4 east of the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec.
The Campobello Whale Rescue Team planned to attempt to disentangle the whale on Sunday, CTV reported.
Several right whales have been found dead off the coast of Canada this year. On Friday, the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced the death of two more whales, brining the total to eight in 2019.
Around 400 are left in the world, according to The Associated Press.
Oceans Canada did not have an update on the whale’s condition when contacted by ABC News on Sunday.
Earlier this month, the Canadian government announced new protections for the rare whale, which include increasing surveillance, expanding slowdown zones and changing the rules that trigger fishing shutdowns, AP reported.
The U.S. government is also working to shield marine animals from threats like fishing gear and ship strikes, according to AP.
Should the U.S. go back to the moon?Mike BebernesEditor•The 360 is a feature designed to show you diverse perspectives on the day’s top stories.Should we go back to the moon?
A total of 24 astronauts visited the moon between 1968 and 1972, and 12 of them walked on its surface. Since then, NASA has focused on other forms of space exploration, such as deep-space telescopes, rovers and unmanned spacecraft that travel the solar system.In March, Vice President Mike Pence announced the goal of sending American astronauts back to the moon by 2024. NASA’s plan involves returning to the lunar surface, as well as establishing a space station in the moon’s orbit that one day could serve as a waystation for a mission to Mars.China, India, Russia and European countries have also announced plans for lunar exploration. A number of private aeronautics companies have joined the pursuit as well.Follow the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in Augmented Reality(To see a longer version of this augmented reality experience, check out Time’s new immersive app.)Why there’s debate: Advocates for returning to the moon see it as a vital step toward humankind’s future pursuits in space, both as destination itself and as an opportunity to test new technology for human excursions into deeper space. Some scientists believe recently discovered water on the moon could provide hydration for long-term stays on the surface or that the hydrogen and oxygen could be split to create fuel.Partnerships with private companies could help reduce the burden of lunar missions on taxpayers, some argue. Others point to a strong likelihood that other nations — in particular China — appear destined to go to the moon in future decades, which would give scientific and strategic advantages the United States might not be able to consider currently.Skeptics warn of the extraordinary expense to send humans back to the moon — the Apollo missions cost the equivalent of $228 billion in today’s dollars. Others believe the political will that powered lunar missions in the 1960s just doesn’t exist anymore. There are also significant technological hurdles to overcome, many say, if the United States wants to do anything more than short visits like it did 50 years ago.What’s next: Pence’s goal of returning to the moon by 2024 will be a difficult challenge to meet, scientists say. Any delay could put the entire mission in jeopardy, since the president who comes after Trump may not prioritize human space flight. NASA hopes to have the first major technical element of the mission — a super-powered rocket that will propel astronauts and spacecraft out of earth’s gravity — operational by 2020 or 2021. The agency said that if Americans do return to the moon, the group will include the first woman to walk on its surface.Perspectives:The discovery of water changes what’s possible from lunar exploration„A primary impetus for a moon stampede now? The discovery that there is water there, especially ice deep within polar craters where the sun never shines. That is a potentially invaluable source of drinking water for future astronauts visiting the moon, but also for water that can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen.” — Kenneth Chang, New York TimesGovernment support could revolutionize the aerospace industry„Some in the private sector see government plans for space as opening up a new frontier for industry and investment similar to federal support for the first transcontinental railway in the 19th century and federal airmail contracts that subsidized the growth of commercial airlines in the 1920s.” — Wall Street JournalNASA must overcome enormous hurdles to return humans to the moon„[NASA] does not have a rocket ready to fly humans into deep space, and it has not developed a lunar lander since the Apollo programme ended in 1972. Then there is Congress, which controls NASA’s budget and seems increasingly uninterested in paying for the Moon mission.” — Alexandra Witze, NatureThe plan may be too expensive„The total cost of sending humans to the moon by 2024 is likely to be between $20 [billion] to $30 billion. It’s unclear if Congress will appropriate that money, or where it would come from. Democratic lawmakers seem determined not to cut NASA’s other science and STEM missions to pay for exploration.” — Jacqueline Feldscher, PoliticoA symbol of U.S. greatness would be tarnished if China dominates a new era of moon missions„If China gets to the moon and America is not there, then Apollo, which signified America’s greatness in 1969, will come to signify lost greatness instead.” — Oliver Morton, MIT Technology ReviewThe moon could be a testing ground to develop strategies for deep space travel„A return to the moon would allow NASA to not only test out technologies and habitation systems in preparation for a trip to Mars, but would also allow astronauts to explore whether there is enough water ice on the celestial body to break down and use for life support (oxygen) and propulsion (hydrogen).” — Alex Stuckey, Houston ChronicleInternational cooperation would maximize the benefits of lunar exploration„To ensure that our nation’s values are enshrined in space governance, the White House and Congress must together reduce needless barriers to engagement with China and other competitors, ideally through reinvigorated U.S. diplomacy within the framework of existing U.N. treaties and committees. Collaboration, not conflict, is the sustainable path forward to the moon.” — Editorial, Scientific AmericanWaste left behind by Apollo astronauts could hold secrets to extraterrestrial life„With the Apollo 11 moon landing, we took microbial life on Earth to the most extreme environment it has ever been in. … If microbes can survive on the moon, can they survive interstellar travel, making them capable of seeding life across the universe, including on places like Mars?” — Brian Resnick, VoxA permanent base on the moon may lead to extraordinary benefits on Earth„This coming age of space exploration will see humans return to the moon — for good. We will see an era of sustained exploration where people live and work on the moon for extended periods of time. And this exploration will be a search for good, resulting in capabilities that improve life on Earth just as the Apollo missions did.” — Kaigham J. Gabriel, Space.com
Daniel R. DePetris
Security, Middle East
Welcome to the crash-course.
Secrets: Everything You Wanted to Know About Israel’s Nuclear Weapons
The Iranian nuclear nonproliferation agreement has been the top foreign policy issue throughout Washington for the past two months. Approving or disapproving the deal was the first order of business for the U.S. Congress until the very last day of congressional action under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (September 17). Hours of debate have been conducted on the floors of the House and Senate, both chambers have held roll call votes, and Senate Democrats bonded together to filibuster a motion of disapproval — a resolution that would have prevented President Obama from providing the Iranians sanctions relief.
The Obama administration’s main selling point for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is based on the theory that forcing Tehran to downgrade its nuclear program will make the threat of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East — the world’s most frenetic and violent region even without nuclear weapons— far less urgent. Yet we should remember that there is in fact a state in the region that already possesses nuclear weapons. That state happens to be Washington’s closest ally in the Middle East: Israel.
(This first appeared in September 2015.)
There are a lot of mysteries surrounding Israel’s nuclear arsenal. That is partly due to the Israeli security establishment’s unwritten rule of never speaking about the country’s nuclear weapons program in public in order to preserve the principle of deterrence. But there are indeed some basic elements of Israel’s nuclear program that are acknowledged by defense analysts in the United States and around the world.
1. The Number is in Doubt: