It’s getting real now, folks. South Florida is now officially under a tropical storm watch.The system in question? Isaías.So the question is, will you need hurricane shutters? And if so, when?The answer: It depends.A hurricane warning is when hurricane conditions are expected in 36 hours. That’s when you need to have your shutters in place.At this point, you should have your hurricane plans in place, pay attention to whether you are in an evacuation zone or not, and have your supplies in hand. And masking tape does not protect your windows from hurricane-force winds, and only leaves an unsightly mess if the storm bypasses your neighborhood. So, no tape.This would be especially true if you are using plywood or have storm panels you have to put up and screw in.If you have accordion-type shutters already attached to your house, you should be fine waiting until a hurricane watch is issued.So who is responsible for putting shutters up?The responsibility can vary widely. If you’re the sole owner of the property and don’t rent or live in a condo association, then it’s on you to protect your home.If you rent, often your landlord will want to protect their property and may work with you to secure the home. Some condo associations put up shutters. Others leave it to the residents to protect their own units. Check your association’s documents if you aren’t sure — but you were probably made aware of storm policies when you moved in to the community.The National Hurricane Center says that if you live in an area under a hurricane watch, you should start putting up storm shutters. Two days before the storm is enough time.Although Tropical Storm Isaías had not developed into a hurricane as of Thursday night, it is not advisable for homeowners to wait until the last minute to start preparing.Some quick tips:First of all, check who’s responsible for putting up shutters. If you’re the owner of a property, it’s on you.But if you’re a renter, check with your landlord and make sure to coordinate a plan to secure your home.
Climate change driven by industrial society is having an increasing impact on the UK’s weather, the Met Office says.
Its annual UK report confirms that 2019 was the 12th warmest year in a series from 1884.
Although it does not make the top 10, the report says 2019 was remarkable for high temperature records in the UK.
There was also a severe swing in weather from the soaking winter to the sunny spring.
The temperature extremes were:
- A new UK maximum record (38.7° C) on 25 July, in Cambridge
- A new winter maximum record (21.2° C) on 26 February, in Kew Gardens, London – the first time 20C has been reached in the UK in winter
- A new December maximum record (18.7° C) on 28 December, in Achfary, Sutherland
- A new February minimum record (13.9° C) on 23 February, in Achnagart, Highland
No national low temperature records were set in the State of the UK Climate report, published by the Royal Meteorological Society.
It shows that UK temperatures in 2019 were 1.1° C above the 1961-1990 long-term average.
Mike Kendon, lead author of the report, said: “Our report shows climate change is exerting an increasing impact on the UK.
“This year was warmer than any other year in the UK between 1884 and 1990, and to find a year in the coldest 10 we have to go back to 1963.”
The Central England Temperature series is the longest instrumental record of temperature in the world, stretching back to 1659.
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Dr Mark McCarthy, from the Met Office, added it was a particularly wet year across parts of central and northern England.
He said Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Cheshire received between a quarter to one third more rainfall than normal. For northern England this was the ninth wettest year in a series from 1862.
He said: „It’s worth noting that since 2009 the UK has now had its wettest February, April, June, November and December on record – five out of 12 months.”
Hannah Cloke, professor of hydrology at the University of Reading, identified a number of concerning trends.
She said: „As well as extreme hot temperatures, the stand-out weather events in 2019 were the many different types of floods, causing millions of pounds worth of damage and causing misery to many people.
“The picture that emerges is of the multiple flooding threats that are facing the UK, many of which are exacerbated by climate change.”
She cited as examples summer flash floods caused by extreme downpours, extensive autumn and winter river floods caused by persistent heavy rain and storms, and a backdrop of continued sea-level rises heightening the risk of coastal floods.
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Professor Ilan Kelman, from University College London, said heat would become an increasing problem.He said: „These UK records show that if we do nothing about stopping climate change we are on track for summer heat and humidity which would be highly dangerous for us to be outdoors – and to be indoors without continual cooling.”Gareth Redmond King from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said: “These are records we shouldn’t be breaking. Tropical temperatures may be nice on occasion, but here in the UK they are a stark reminder that we are in a climate crisis.“The whole world has to act ahead of next year’s UN climate conference; and as hosts we must urgently raise our ambition if the UK is to show global leadership.“Right now, that means investing in a green recovery in the coming budget and spending review, for the sake of both people and planet.”Follow Roger on Twitter.
Miami (AFP) – Florida registered a record 253 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, setting a grim new high for the third day in a row as the state closes down some COVID-19 test centers due to a looming tropical storm.
The state’s daily toll has leapt over the last week, bringing the overall deaths to 6,586, according to the Florida department of health.
As the pandemic wreaks havoc, the state is readying for Tropical Storm Isaias, which is approaching with sustained winds of 95 kilometers (59 miles) an hour and stronger gusts.
The storm is expected to hit strike the southern United States in the coming days, but forecasters are not sure yet how strong it will be at that point.
„There is a risk of impacts from winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surges along portions of the US east coast, beginning this weekend in Florida,” the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said, adding that tropical storm or hurricane watches could soon issued.
Isaias has already hit Puerto Rico, unleashing flooding, toppling trees and knocking out power for thousands of people.
„If you are watching this, please, we need help!” begged a man in a video shared on social networks that showed him and others trapped on the roof of a car by rising flood waters.
No evacuations have been ordered yet in Florida, but authorities warned locals to begin preparing their homes and businesses for the possible onslaught of Isaias.
The storm comes as Florida has emerged as a major new epicenter of the US coronavirus battle. Its number of confirmed cases recently surpassed New York and is now second only to California, a state with twice as many people.
More than 460,000 people have been infected with the virus in Florida, which has a population of 21 million.
A quarter of all of Florida’s cases are in Miami.
- SpaceX has NASA’s approval to land the company’s first-ever space mission carrying people, called Demo-2, back on Earth.
- But the ocean splashdown of two NASA astronauts aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon ship may need to wait for a tropical storm to clear out.
- Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley can’t land until at least two out of seven planned landing sites have good weather conditions.
- NASA is monitoring the situation and said Behnken, Hurley, and their spaceship „can easily stay in orbit longer, if necessary” — up to another two months.
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NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who made spaceflight history on May 30 by becoming the first people to launch to orbit aboard a SpaceX vehicle, might see their weekend homecoming plans thrown to the wind.
After docking SpaceX’s Crew Dragon „Endeavour” ship to the International Space Station and spending two months there, the men are preparing to undock on Saturday. They’re due back on Earth on Sunday at 2:48 p.m. ET.
NASA is overseeing SpaceX’s experimental mission, called Demo-2. On Wednesday, the agency gave the company a „go” to proceed with its landing plans. But Tropical Storm Isaias could force the astronauts to stay in orbit a while longer. The storm already hit Puerto Rico with high winds and flash-floods. Its current path would bring bad weather to several potential landing sites by Sunday afternoon — the planned time for the astronauts’ splashdown.
„We cannot wait to get Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley back to Earth. But of course we have some weather pending,” Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, said during a press briefing on Wednesday.
Crew Dragon can’t land if there’s rain, lightning, big waves, or winds exceeding 10 mph
Isaias officially became a named tropical storm on Wednesday night, when its wind speeds exceeded 39 mph.
The storm could affect several landing areas just as Endeavour is supposed to reenter Earth’s atmosphere, deploy its parachutes, and splash into the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico.
Three of the seven landing zones that SpaceX and NASA prescribed for the test mission, called Demo-2, lie within the „cone of probability” for the storm’s path.
Those splashdown sites (shown below) are located off the coasts of Cape Canaveral, Daytona, and Jacksonville, according to NASA.
Depending on how large the storm grows and how nasty weather conditions become, mission managers may scrub the undocking and landing attempt. Steep waves, rain, lightning, low clouds, poor visibility (for helicopters to fly the astronauts from a SpaceX recovery boat back to land), or even winds stronger than about 10 mph can trigger a „no-go” decision.
„We’re going to watch the weather very carefully,” Steve Stich, the manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said on Wednesday.
Once the astronauts undock, they have to land within about three days because the spaceship only has enough water and lithium hydroxide — which scrubs carbon dioxide from the air — to last Behnken and Hurley for that long, Stich said.
While docked to the ISS, though, Endeavour can share life support and last much longer. The vehicle has been in space for 63 days, but this version of Crew Dragon is designed to last about 120 days due to its solar-panel design, Stich said. In theory, that gives SpaceX and NASA opportunities through most of September to safely get Behnken and Hurley back home.
Stich noted SpaceX and NASA can make a call as late as an hour before undocking to delay the whole sequence and try again another day.
„If the weather’s looking bad that day, we’re not even going to try to undock,” Stich said. „The beauty of this vehicle is we can stay docked to the space station.”
As part of the process to approve a landing, NASA and SpaceX used a robotic arm to survey Crew Dragon’s heat shield, which must withstand temperatures of of to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit during atmospheric reentry, for damage by space debris.
„There were no areas on the vehicle that were any concern for entry,” Stich said.
This story was originally published July 29. It has been updated with new information.
Susie Neilson contributed reporting for this story.
Read the original article on Business Insider