State Of Emergency Declared As 3rd Day Of Severe Weather Outbreak Spawns Tornadoes In Eastern US

A string of violent storms that spawned possible tornadoes on Friday capped off a wild week of severe weather across the southern and eastern U.S.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency on Friday in response to the tornadoes that left behind a trail of destruction on Thursday. This is the second time in less than a week that a state of emergency has been declared in Mississippi due to tornadoes.

As of Friday afternoon, at least five fatalities had been reported due to the storm. The latest fatality is from a traffic incident involving hydroplaning in Fort Gordon, Georgia, on Friday evening.

Earlier Friday morning, the storm caused the death of an 8-year-old girl in Leon County, Florida. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office report that a tree fell into a house in Woodville, located south of Tallahassee, killing the girl and injuring a 12-year-old boy.

Three deaths occurred on Thursday – one in Alabama and two in Mississippi.

A 42-year-old woman was killed Thursday night in St. Clair County, Alabama. Monica Clements died when a when a tree fell on her home, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office told local news station WRBC. According to officials, Clements’ 10-year-old son was also home at the time of the incident. He sustained minor injuries.

In Mississippi, Amite County Coroner Campbell Sharp told local news station WLBT that 24-year-old Kenderick Magee was killed while driving in the severe weather. Magee’s car crashed on Bean Road in the Gillsburg Community. He died as a result of his injuries.

A tree fell onto a vehicle Thursday afternoon in Neshoba County, Mississippi, leaving one person dead, according to the Neshoba Democrat.

There have been widespread power outages as the storms blast eastward. Over 200,000 electric customers were without power on Friday evening from Mississippi to Florida and northward through Virginia, according to PowerOutage.us. North Carolina topped the list with over 70,000 outages. These numbers started to decline on Friday night.

Travel delays mounted as fallen trees and flooding made some roads impassable. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport had over 1,000 delays on Friday, and airline delays and cancellations will continue to have ripple effects for travelers across the nation.

Flash flood, severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings clashed in regions of Mississippi and Louisiana Thursday afternoon as a line of vigorous thunderstorms swept through the region. One tornado just missed striking Jackson, Mississippi, but instead passed through the nearby town of Clinton. Cars lay strewn across a Walmart parking lot, knocked over onto their sides while rain continued to fall.

In Utica, Mississippi, authorities reported a Hinds County school bus trapped by two trees on the road. Officials confirm that the driver and children are okay. According to officials, homes have been destroyed in Morton, Mississippi, after severe storms and a potential tornado moved through the area.

Storms ravaged Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle before moving into western Georgia on Thursday night. Having seen the destruction that played out in the Mississippi Valley over the past few days, many school districts in central Georgia canceled class for Friday as part of storm preparation tactics.

The multi-day outbreak began on Wednesday afternoon when powerful thunderstorms developed from the Texas Panhandle to central Iowa. One tornado was confirmed near Higgins, Texas, Wednesday evening. Two EF0 tornadoes also struck Missouri, one near Greenfield and another near Meinert.

A rare phenomenon occurred on Wednesday as twin tornadoes – two tornadoes appearing near each other at the same time – touched down 4 miles west-northwest of Shattuck, Oklahoma.

Weather Officials Upgrade Hurricane Michael To Category 5 Storm As It Struck Florida

Scientists at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center announced on Friday that Hurricane Michael was a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale when it made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida on Oct. 10, 2018. It was previously listed as a Category 4 hurricane.

The adjustment to the hurricane’s category came after a post-storm analysis of the devastating storm that hit the Florida Panhandle last year. Scientists now estimate that the wind intensity at landfall was 160 mph, not the previously estimated 155 mph. The additional 5 mph was enough to push it into the next category.

“It will look like a bomb or a tsunami hit the area,” AccuWeather Founder and President Dr. Joel Myers said before the hurricane hit.

The now-Category 5 hurricane had blasted through the Florida Panhandle, carving a path of destruction through the East Coast before tracking back into the Atlantic. Before the storm hit, Myers estimated there would be about $30 billion in damage from the storm. The last Category 5 hurricane to strike the mainland U.S. was Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which was also initially designated as a Category 4 and was later upgraded to a Category 5.

“When looking at a hurricane at real time, you don’t have time to look at every piece of information,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said. “When doing a post analysis, you can look at damage. The engineers go in and can see how much damage was done and how much wind it takes.”

Prior to becoming a Category 5, Michael was already known as one of the most destructive and powerful storms in recorded history.

Michael had a minimum central pressure of 27.13 inches of mercury when it made landfall, making it the third-most intense U.S. landfalling hurricane behind Katrina and Andrew.

“The minimum central pressure is probably the most accurate way to measure the intensity of a hurricane,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Measuring the wind speed of a hurricane can often prove more difficult, as anemometers can be destroyed or blown away at wind speeds above 100 mph on land.

Some meteorologists stated back in October that they would not be surprised if it was later upgraded to a Category 5.

“Based on central pressure and looking at some of the damage photos and videos coming in, I would not be shocked if Michael is upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane after official review,” Sosnowski said a few days after Hurricane Michael hit.

But even with the damage at around $30 billion, the Category 5 storm didn’t come close to the financial losses of Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm at landfall, which had an economic impact of $190 billion.

Kottlowski points out that even though Michael’s damage was catastrophic, the financial cost shows that the Category 5 hurricane missed highly populated areas.

“Opportunities will be there for these monstrous storms to develop,” Kottlowski said. “If we can do anything, it’s to get people to realize that you have to prepare.”

Laurel, Delaware Tornado Rips Apart Homes, Barns

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in Laurel, Delaware, overnight, leaving behind a path of destruction for miles. Officials say an EF-2 tornado, with maximum wind speeds of 120 mph, tore through the town.

The tornado traveled 6.2 miles and ended in Seaford, Delaware.

Drone video from the Laurel Fire Department shows the path of destruction left by the tornado in Sussex County. The storm’s 120 mph winds ripped apart homes and barns and many roads were blocked by downed power lines. Some buildings were also completely decimated.

McWilliams, of Laurel, was sleeping when fast-moving winds ripped the roof off above her bedroom.

“It was horrible. It was a loud whistle and then like a roar, and it was terrible. It was scary,” said McWilliams.

She tried finding anywhere in her home for cover as debris started flying everywhere.

“I got up and was hiding behind a recliner in the living room. What are you gonna do? You hear stuff moving, you’re gonna hit the floor,” said McWilliams.

Nearby, an Utz Food Distribution Center is missing walls and a delivery truck was knocked over. Utz usually opens around 6 a.m., so there was no one inside when the storm passed through.

“Thankfully no one was here and everybody is safe,” said Matt Smith, of Utz.

The storm also caused widespread damage across New Jersey and Pennsylvania, ripping a roof off an apartment building in Camden, New Jersey and uprooting trees.

The storm system that hit the area also decimated communities in the south over the weekend.

At least 10 tornadoes damaged or destroyed more than 100 homes in Mississippi and the severe weather is blamed for at least eight deaths.

Deadly Storm System Spawns Tornadoes, Slams South, Heads Northeast

A deadly storm system was bearing down on the East Coast and parts of the Midwest. The storm has already left a violent swath of eath and destruction across parts of the South this weekend, with at least eight people killed as of late Sunday.

The storm surge has been made up of a mix of strong winds, heavy rain, flooding and even tornadoes. At least 11 tornadoes have touched down in three different states as a result of a stronger-than-usual storm system. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a declaration of emergency Sunday. Dozens of homes in Hamilton, Mississippi, have been completely leveled.

Saturday was a particularly destructive day for the storm. More than 100,000 people were left without power once the storm hit Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Now the storm turns toward the Midwest and East Coast. Tornado warnings have been issued in Ohio and South Carolina on Sunday afternoon and a tornado watch has been issued in Virginia.

Large Volcanic Eruptions Can Alter Hurricane Strength And Frequency

A new study led by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory researcher Suzana Camargo and Université du Québec à Montréal’s Francesco Pausata provides deeper insight into how large volcanic eruptions affect hurricane activity. Previous studies could not clearly determine the effects of volcanic eruptions on hurricanes, because the few large volcanic eruptions in the last century coincided with El Niño-Southern Oscillation events, which also influence hurricane activity. In the study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Camargo and Pausata approached this relationship by simulating very large volcanic eruptions in the tropics multiple times. Their modeling told a more complex story than previous papers had indicated.

“This is the first study to explain the mechanism of how large volcanic eruptions influences hurricanes globally,” said Camargo.

According to their findings, large tropical volcanic eruptions can affect hurricanes by shifting the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a region that circles the Earth near the Equator and greatly influences rainfall and hurricane activity. As the Intertropical Convergence Zone moves after a large volcanic eruption, it affects both the intensity and frequency of hurricanes, causing some regions to experience an increase in activity and other regions to experience a decrease. For example, a large eruption in the tropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere leads to a southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. This results in an increase in hurricane activity between the Equator and the 10°N line, and a decrease further north. The zone’s southward shift has further effects in the Southern Hemisphere, causing a decrease in activity on the coasts of Australia, Indonesia, and Tanzania, while Madagascar and Mozambique experience an increase. These changes can last for up to four years following the eruption.

Camargo and Pausata were able to separate the effects of volcanic eruptions and El Niño-Southern Oscillation on hurricane activity and show the different impacts that the two factors have on hurricanes globally. Their findings are important in helping scientists better understand the relationship between volcanoes and hurricanes.

Massive Storm Sparks Blizzard Warnings From Colorado To Minnesota

A potentially record-breaking storm is squeezing the warmth from spring as it brings snow and howling winds across the U.S. Great Plains and threatens to flood rivers from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The giant system, set to strengthen Wednesday, has sparked blizzard warnings from Colorado to Minnesota and could drop more than 2 feet of snow in South Dakota and as much as 8 inches in Minneapolis, the National Weather Service said. Severe thunderstorms will hit Texas and the Mississippi Valley. The system threatens to delay wheat and corn planting.

“It is pretty extensive,” David Roth, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center, said by telephone.

The storm, which will pack near-record low pressure, could be on par with the massive system that triggered flooding across Nebraska and Iowa last month. Snow and rain area already falling across the Great Plains and Midwest. The storm will build over Wyoming on Wednesday, cross Nebraska on Thursday and then hit Minneapolis, said Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services.

Farther south, the storm will push dry winds across Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas — raising the risk of wildfires.

The Mississippi River is already at moderate-to-major flood stage in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. The Red River is at major flood stage in Fargo, N.D.

“Because the Mississippi is flooding — none of this is welcome,” Roth said.

Nonetheless, the Mississippi should be able to handle this week’s storm, because water levels are currently falling, said Matt Roe, spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans. The Corps has begun to close the Bonnet Carre spillway upstream from New Orleans, designed to prevent flooding.

High water has restricted Mississippi barge traffic to daylight and has limited the amount of freight that can be hauled, said Austin Golding, president of Golding Barge Line in Vicksburg, Miss. Right now, the river is entirely navigable, but the hardest parts to traverse are the bridges in Vicksburg and Baton Rouge.

“May will be nasty if it gets hot up north and the snow melt accelerates after this winter system they are encountering now,” Golding said.

This system’s icy reach won’t extend to Chicago, which will get rain and have a low of 39 degrees Wednesday before temperatures rebound into the 60s by Thursday. Detroit and Toronto will also be spared, Carolan said.

As the storm passes, weather will whiplash between extremes in many places. On Tuesday, Denver’s temperature reached 78 degrees. Wednesday, however, the city is under a blizzard warning with readings set to plunge to 21, the weather service said. Cheyenne, Wyo., will go from 71 on Tuesday to 18 degrees late Wednesday.

While the storm bulldozes across the central U.S., mild air on the East Coast will keep temperatures in New York in the high 50s and low 60s through the rest of the week, the weather service said.

The snow and rain across the northern Midwest will delay corn and wheat planting, said Dan Hicks, a meteorologist with Freese-Notis Weather Services in Des Moines, Iowa. Farther south, from Kansas to Southern Illinois, planting is unlikely to be interrupted.

Large Volcanic Eruptions Can Alter Hurricane Strength and Frequency

A new study led by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory researcher Suzana Camargo and Université du Québec à Montréal’s Francesco Pausata provides deeper insight into how large volcanic eruptions affect hurricane activity. Previous studies could not clearly determine the effects of volcanic eruptions on hurricanes, because the few large volcanic eruptions in the last century coincided with El Niño-Southern Oscillation events, which also influence hurricane activity.

In the study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Camargo and Pausata approached this relationship by simulating very large volcanic eruptions in the tropics multiple times. Their modeling told a more complex story than previous papers had indicated.

“This is the first study to explain the mechanism of how large volcanic eruptions influences hurricanes globally,” said Camargo.

According to their findings, large tropical volcanic eruptions can affect hurricanes by shifting the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a region that circles the Earth near the Equator and greatly influences rainfall and hurricane activity. As the Intertropical Convergence Zone moves after a large volcanic eruption, it affects both the intensity and frequency of hurricanes, causing some regions to experience an increase in activity and other regions to experience a decrease. For example, a large eruption in the tropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere leads to a southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

This results in an increase in hurricane activity between the Equator and the 10°N line, and a decrease further north. The zone’s southward shift has further effects in the Southern Hemisphere, causing a decrease in activity on the coasts of Australia, Indonesia, and Tanzania, while Madagascar and Mozambique experience an increase. These changes can last for up to four years following the eruption.

Camargo and Pausata were able to separate the effects of volcanic eruptions and El Niño-Southern Oscillation on hurricane activity and show the different impacts the two factors have on hurricanes globally. Their findings are important in helping scientists better understand the relationship between volcanoes and hurricanes.