Horse-drawn buggy overturns in flooded Kentucky creek, leaving 4 children dead by Renee Duff•Horse-drawn buggy overturns in flooded Kentucky creek, leaving 4 children dead A heavy rainstorm in northeastern Kentucky turned tragic late Wednesday after a horse-drawn buggy overturned while crossing a flooded creek.The Kentucky State Police have confirmed that six people were in the buggy at the time of the incident, including one adult who has been accounted for and five children. Four of the children have been found and pronounced dead, while the other remains missing as of early Thursday morning.The horse pulling the buggy reportedly lost its footing and slipped while crossing the floodwaters, causing the buggy to overturn.Missi Mosley, a nearby resident, rushed to the scene with her boyfriend when they heard the emergency call on their scanner. The two were able to pull the horse out of the creek, but they saw little else in the murky floodwaters, according to WKYT-TV.”It was devastating,” Mosley said. „The waters are so swift, and the rain was pouring down. It was just a somber feeling.”Emergency crews stated that the muddy water was not helping with search and rescue efforts. Helicopters were called in to assist in the search, while people on the ground scoured the area using flashlights.The incident occurred in Peasticks in Bath County, Kentucky, a small community about 50 miles east of Lexington.
My Fellow Bath Countians,It is with a heavy heart that I share this unfortunate update with you. However, it has…
Bath County Judge Executive Bobby Rogers called Wednesday „a very tragic and mournful day within Bath County,” in a post on Facebook.
„Sadly, we have lost our first Bath County citizen to Coronavirus. Tragically, we have also had five Amish children swept away by floodwaters this evening after the heavy rain we’ve experienced today. I ask that you please remember these individuals, and their families in your prayers this evening, and the days ahead,” Rogers said.
Rain gauges in the area reported 1.25-1.50 inches of rain had fallen Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening.
While showers will persist in the area on Friday, rainfall will not be nearly as heavy. Drier weather is forecast to return on Saturday.
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Forecasting the intensity of hurricane season months ahead of time is a complex challenge, especially when the atmosphere and oceans send mixed signals. But that’s not the case right now. With just over one month to go before hurricane season officially begins, the meaningful signs are pointing to an active season, and as a result, so are the major forecast centers.
The latest seasonal forecast comes from Pennsylvania State University which is calling for 20 named storms (the average is 12) in the Atlantic. If that figure is reached, it would make 2020 the second most active season on record in terms of the number of storms.
With this in mind, disaster experts are raising concerns about the government’s capacity to simultaneously manage the coronavirus crisis and a landfalling hurricane.
„The ability to respond will be severely hindered,” said Jeff Schlegelmilch, deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
We predict one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons on record (20±4 named storms) | „The 2020 North Atlantic Hurricane Season: Penn State ESSC Forecast”: https://t.co/MNs6uvpX0Z@Penn_State @PSUClimate @PSUEarth @PSUEMS pic.twitter.com/VfKa89cuNl
— Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann) April 27, 2020
Each spring, various teams of experts put out forecasts for the upcoming hurricane season. The most famous is Colorado State University, which is projecting 16 named storms this year. AccuWeather is projecting 14 to 18, the Weather Channel is forecasting 18 and the University of Arizona said 19.
All of these groups are also forecasting a greater than normal number of hurricanes and major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger). The University of Arizona forecast is projecting a very concerning 10 hurricanes (the average is six) and five major hurricanes (average is two).
To be sure, sometimes these seasonal forecasts miss the mark. But this summer there are two major signals pointing to an intense Atlantic hurricane season ahead: warm sea surface temperatures in the main development region of the Atlantic Ocean, and cooling waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
„In general, sea surface temperatures in the eastern Atlantic are most important in terms of serving as predictors for Atlantic hurricane activity in April,” explains Dr Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the Colorado State University seasonal forecasts.
Currently, water temperatures in the main development region of the tropical Atlantic into the Caribbean are running about 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
Seasonal forecasts project an active hurricane season. One factor is sea surface temps in the main development region (MDR) which, on average, is above normal. Closer to home, water is super warm. While this does not correlate to active seasons, it may help power stronger storms. pic.twitter.com/evNGnP8YAw
— Jeff Berardelli (@WeatherProf) April 28, 2020
Closer to home, sea surface temperatures are currently way up, running in some cases several degrees above normal. But Klotzbach said that won’t necessarily translate into a greater number of storms. „Sea surface temperatures closer to the U.S. coast don’t typically correlate with Atlantic hurricane activity, especially during the spring months,” he explains.
However, if that extra heat in the Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas and western Caribbean persists through the season, it’s reasonable to assume it will fuel stronger storms.
The other factor weighed heavily in forecasts — perhaps surprisingly — are water temperatures thousands of miles away in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. While it may seem counterintuitive that ocean temperatures in the Pacific would impact the Atlantic hurricane season, it turns out to be the second most important factor.
That’s because the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) — an interannual cycle of warming and cooling waters — takes place in the tropical Pacific. An El Niño means that sea surface temperatures in the east-central Pacific are above normal. This extra energy tends to invigorate upper level winds which blow into the Atlantic and disrupt tropical systems, making for quieter hurricane seasons.
La Niña patterns in the Pacific tend to have the opposite effect, with cooler temperatures in the central-eastern Pacific and weaker winds extending into the Atlantic. During La Niñas and in years with neutral conditions, tropical activity is enhanced in the Atlantic. The difference is clear in this graphic below.
In regards to today’s CSU hurricane forecast. El Nino vs La Nina can be very influential to Atlantic season. Here’s a comparison of El Nino, La Nina and Neutral years from way back. You can see how El Nino years have ‘significantly’ less activity. Image credit: unknown. pic.twitter.com/L1rbhwLkgz
— Meteorologists United on Climate Change (@MetsUnite) April 2, 2020
With that said, forecasting what phase the tropical Pacific will be in during the prime of hurricane season is not an easy challenge. Right now waters in the ENSO region are borderline El Niño, but there are signs the warm phase is on its way out. Underneath the surface waters, a pool of cooling waters are gathering. Typically when that happens it means a gradual phase shift is on the way to neutral conditions or even a cool La Niña.
Hurricane season forecasts have been aggressive this year. One reason is the possible development of La Niña by late summer/ fall. One clue as to whether it will happen is cool sub surface tropical Pacific waters in/ near the Niño region. Perhaps our answer is emerging. https://t.co/vKHK2H5KSw
— Jeff Berardelli (@WeatherProf) April 27, 2020
„Many models indicate a cooling of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific by the fall, but the [forecast] model spread is wide and the cooling signal not strong going into the fall,” explains Dr. Weston Anderson, a climate variability expert at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University.
In other words, cooling will likely continue, but perhaps not quite enough to reach La Niña status. Experts admit it’s a close call. For instance, NOAA’s North American Multi-Model Ensemble (pictured below) is forecasting cool (in blue) La Niña waters in the equatorial Pacific and, at the same time, very warm (in red) waters in the tropical Atlantic. It’s a recipe for an overactive season.
NMME forecasts of sea surface temperature anomaly for August-October initialized in March. It seems quite favorable for Atlantic tropical cyclones. We should keep an eye on the updates of NMME (https://t.co/iNdNsRkIed). pic.twitter.com/7mkJ0SZu18
— Wei Zhang (@zhangw6) April 1, 2020
Schlegelmilch, who has serious concerns about the U.S. government’s response to COVID-19, said adding any additional stress from hurricane season will further expose our vulnerabilities, „Each of these disasters stretch the limits of our ability to respond. Multiple major disasters is an unfortunate new reality that we are not ready for,” said Schlegelmilch.
He’s also concerned that a landfalling hurricane could very well amplify the spread of the virus, warning about „increased transmission of COVID-19 in congregate settings such as shelters, with disrupted infrastructure, such as loss of power, and a myriad of other realities.”
„Prepare now, and expect less,” he said. „That is the unfortunate reality we are in.”
Although he is confident that first responders will still do their best to reach and help everyone in need if a hurricane hits, he’s concerned that a lack of extensive preparation will hurt us.
„You can’t summon new capabilities and capacities in a moment of panic. They take years and require significant commitments from politicians, legislators and the private sector to build lasting resilience,” Schlegelmilch said.
As the climate continues to warm, compound disasters such as intense hurricanes, floods, heat waves, shortages of food and water, and the spread of infectious diseases will continue to pile on top of each other, forcing societies to deal with multiple crises at once, with limited resources.
With this in mind, Schlegelmilch stresses that humanity must get better at prioritizing long-term strategic planning.
„Sustainable development requires rethinking the way we contribute to these threats and vulnerabilities, and better price resilience into the way we build our communities if we want to be ready in the face of whatever comes next.”
Summer in the United States is going to look different in many ways this year given how the coronavirus pandemic has upended life. For many Americans, it’s still unclear if sports will be played and whether large gatherings will be held. Vacation plans remain up in the air for millions.
What’s not up in the air is that no matter what Americans end up spending time doing this summer, there will be weather to contend with.
AccuWeather’s long-range forecast team, led by veteran meteorologist Paul Pastelok, has provided an early look at what weather trends can be expected all around the nation this summer. With the official start to summer a little less than two months away, Pastelok and his team examine where severe weather will remain a threat as summer kicks off, look at places where scorching summer temperatures could build, bringing the possibility for a heat wave, and assess which areas are at risk of drought and wildfire threats as the season progresses. Plus, the forecasters analyze where and when the first tropical weather threat might emerge.
All of this and much more is addressed in the 2020 edition of AccuWeather’s annual summer forecast. Take a look at the complete region-by-region breakdown below.
|A child reacts to water pouring over her as she stands in the International Fountain at the Seattle Center during a heat wave Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)|
Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, eastern Ohio Valley
Summer, which begins with the solstice on Saturday, June 20, will kick off with frequent showers and thunderstorms across the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes this year, not unlike the pattern that took hold for the early part of spring in those regions when persistent wet weather suppressed temperatures below normal on most days.
The weather pattern will spell frequent unsettled conditions for the regions, but particularly the mid-Atlantic, from late June into July.
However, the season won’t be a total washout. Plenty of summer heat is poised to move in as the season progresses.
„Heat will come in spurts in the first half of the summer season,” Pastelok said. „But, as we get into July, it will start to dry out a little, and I think that’s when we’ll start to see the heat peak, with temperatures climbing into the 90s.”
Most of the scorching heat will take place in July and early August for places like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York. The latter part of summer will yield a good chance for heat waves, where highs can climb to 90 degrees Fahrenheit or greater for three consecutive days, although Pastelok said record-shattering stretches of heat are unlikely.
Compared with the summer of 2019, which brought grueling heat at times with above-average temperatures for the season, the second half of summer 2020 is likely to be a little hotter. Temperatures are expected to average 1-3 degrees higher across the Northeast for the month of August compared to 2019 and closer to 1-2 degrees higher along the I-95 corridor throughout August, Pastelok said.
Once the hot weather arrives, the pattern may be tough to shake. Summer heat could persist well into September, said Pastelok, who’s been with AccuWeather for 28 years and in charge of long-range forecasting since 2011.
Southeast, Tennessee Valley, Gulf Coast
This threat will continue as frequent heavy thunderstorms target the area into the middle of the season. And that’s only half of the story, particularly for the Southeast, where the threat of hurricanes loom especially large.
Tropical weather could also trigger flooding with the Gulf Coast appearing the most likely area for early development, not unlike last summer when Hurricane Barry, briefly a Category 1 storm, made landfall over part of the Louisiana coast on July 13, 2019.
„The risk this year is the Gulf of Mexico. Everything that we look at — past years, modeling, you name it — suggests that the Gulf Coast is going to be active,” Pastelok said. Earlier in April, AccuWeather released the 2020 edition of its annual hurricane forecast. This year, forecasters are expecting above-normal tropical activity with seven to nine hurricanes, two to four of which are predicted to strengthen into major hurricanes.
Dan Kottlowski, AccuWeather’s top hurricane expert, said the risk area for early development could extend farther, but the Gulf Coast is a primary area of concern earlier in the season.
„The U.S. Gulf Coast, all of Florida and the Georgia to Carolina coast, has the highest chance of being impacted directly by tropical activity this season,” Kottlowski said, stressing that areas from the Louisiana coastline eastward to the Florida Panhandle face a higher likelihood than normal to experience an early-season hit.
Central and southern Florida drought conditions will persist as the peninsula is expected to pick up less rainfall than the rest of the Southeast, but a potential tropical impact could alleviate any drought conditions being experienced in the Sunshine State.
Areas farther west will also have to watch tropical forecasts closely though, but the threat for those places may not emerge until later in the season.
„I do think there is a higher-than-normal chance for Texas to have a direct impact from a tropical storm or hurricane this season. However, statistically Texas is more vulnerable during August and September,” Kottlowski, who’s been focused on tropical weather for 43 years, said.
Even outside of tropical threats, more rain is anticipated for the lower Mississippi Valley and Tennessee Valley, which can lead to further delays for farmers, Pastelok warned. His team looks at how weather could affect a host of industries, including farming and commodities. Minor setbacks are expected for crops such as soybeans and rice, as farmers were already dealt slowdowns amid a wet spring. Flash flooding could also lead to crop damage and losses, and cotton could take a hit if heavy rain persists through May ahead of a wet summer.
Ohio Valley, Midwest, northern Plains
In the Ohio Valley, Midwest and northern Plains, stretches of cooler weather with lower humidity will prevail throughout the summer season.
Minneapolis, Chicago and Kansas City may experience periods of pleasant afternoons followed by cooler summer nights, Pastelok said.
Early on in the summer, severe thunderstorms are forecast to roll through the Ohio Valley, but the severe activity will shift eastward as the season progresses.
„We do think the air masses will become more stable as the season progresses,” Pastelok said. „There may be very little severe weather to talk about in the Plains and parts of the Midwest. It’ll be farther east into the Ohio Valley and eastern Tennessee Valley as we get into late June and July.”
„Places like Detroit, Columbus and Cleveland have a higher risk this summer than places like Des Moines, Iowa, Kansas City and Minneapolis,” he added.
Central and southern Plains
Parts of the central and southern Plains states may experience lower humidity and cooler-than-normal weather at times this summer.
„Frequent fronts may get down into the southern U.S., which is kind of unusual as you get into July and August,” Pastelok said. With cooler air prevailing to the north and a more humid air mass fueled by the warm waters of the Gulf Coast, parts of southeastern Texas up to Dallas could get more frequent severe weather, he said.
Meanwhile, southwestern Texas, including cities such as El Paso, is poised for prolonged hot weather. One city may feel some heat relief this summer compared to last as tropical moisture and cold fronts trim back temperatures in Laredo. Last summer, the city made headlines as temperatures soared past the triple-digit mark during a 38-day streak of sizzling heat. Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz declared, „Thank goodness, we have air conditioning!” at the height of the heat.
Drought conditions may persist and even intensify, particularly in areas away from the Southeast coast for most of the summer season.
Not surprisingly, hot weather will be a recurring theme during the first part of the season in the Southwest.
In fact, heat more typical of summer had already made an entrance in late April, complicating social distancing measures in Southern California, where many sought relief by heading to the beach.
In Phoenix, the mercury soared into the triple digits in late April as a heat wave set in. Not only was it hot in some of these places, but minimal precipitation made it very dry. By late April, parts of Central California, northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona were experiencing drought conditions.
„We’ve seen dry weather already in the middle of the spring,” Pastelok said. „We think that’s going to continue all the way into June.”
The region will finally get a break from parched conditions in July and August, as monsoon moisture begins to arrive.
Despite the possibility of a few fire-prone areas in the early part of the season, the moisture should hold back wildfires until August and September for Central and Southern California, Pastelok said. However, the monsoon rainfall overall may average near to slightly below normal.
Northwest to Rockies
Residents in the Northwest and Rockies should brace for a very warm summer and possibly some water restrictions later in the season.
„Places anywhere from Spokane, Washington, southward down into Northern California near Redding will easily see high temperatures in the 90s in the middle of the summer, and it may continue all the way into August,” Pastelok said.
The heat, paired with a lack of precipitation, is likely to cause drought conditions to develop quickly across the interior Northwest.
„These areas missed out on a lot of the precipitation during the course of the winter and spring seasons, so water restrictions will probably come into high gear throughout the summer,” Pastelok said.
A severe drought could develop in San Francisco and much of northern California by the heart of the season, and drought conditions could expand into the northern Rockies by late summer and possibly early fall, he added.
The persistent dry weather will also increase the likelihood of wildfires, with an early start expected for Northern California and the interior Northwest.
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