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.

UPDATE: Cyclone Idai May Be ‘One of the Worst’ Disasters in the Southern Hemisphere

Officials with global aid groups and in Mozambique, where the storm hit hardest, are only beginning to reckon with its destruction. Potentially 1.7 million people were in the direct path of the cyclone, the United Nations estimated on Tuesday, and rain is forecast to continue in parts of the region for several days.

Cyclone Idai, the storm that has killed hundreds of people, submerged homes and battered cities in southeastern Africa, may prove to be one of the worst weather-related disasters ever in the Southern Hemisphere, a United Nations official said on Tuesday.

Herve Verhoosel, a spokesman for the United Nations World Food Program, said in an interview that the agency’s workers had described seeing “water and water for miles and miles” – flooding so severe it resembled an inland ocean where homes and towns had stood.

The situation remained dire, he said, for potentially hundreds of thousands of people in need of food, clean water and evacuation.

What happened

Cyclone Idai made landfall last Thursday into Friday on the coast of Southeast Africa, striking Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. (Like hurricanes and typhoons, a cyclone is a low-pressure circular storm system with winds greater than 74 miles per hour, each termed according to where it forms.)

In addition to the 1.7 million people potentially affected in Mozambique, the World Food Program estimated that 920,000 people were affected in Malawi and 15,000 in Zimbabwe.

Because of the flooding, most roads and bridges are closed, and many regions have no power – shutting down communications and airports that could be used to bring in supplies and evacuate people. Mr. Verhoosel said that people were stranded on rooftops and climbing into trees to escape the water, and were without food, safe water or medicine.

President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique said in a televised statement on Tuesday that the cyclone had killed more than 200 people, Reuters reported. In Zimbabwe, state news media reported that more than 100 people had died.

Earlier Mr. Nyusi had reportedly said he feared as many as 1,000 people could be found dead. Mr. Verhoosel said the death toll was expected to climb into the hundreds.

“If these reports, these fears, are realized, then we can say that this is one of the worst weather-related disasters – tropical cyclone-related disasters…Pin the Southern Hemisphere,” said Clare Nullis, a spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization, citing the president’s figure.

__________________

Science Of Cycles keeps you tuned-in and knowledgeable of what we are discovering, and how some of these changes will affect our communities and ways of living.

 

Never Seen So Much Rain’: Zimbabweans Struggle With Storm floods

Chipinge, Zimbabwe – The death toll from Cyclone Idai continues to rise as southern African countries struggle to deal with the devastating aftermath of the torrential downpours.

The powerful storm has killed at least 64 people in Zimbabwe in recent days, government officials say, while in neighbouring Mozambique the death toll has jumped to 48.

Idai made landfall in Mozambique on Thursday evening before proceeding to Zimbabwe and Malawi, causing flash floods, wrecking infrastructure and leaving communities without electricity.

More than a million people have been affected, including tens of thousands who have been displaced, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

In Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands, the heavy rains had died out by Sunday – but only after causing widespread destruction.

In Chipinge, an eastern town some 450km southeast of the capital, Harare, transport links were cut off after a road was damaged due to water pressure.

A bus carrying passengers bound for Harare was stuck in a mush of soft tar and mud. A few small cars managed to bypass the sludge when volunteers and soldiers laid down a makeshift path made of wooden planks.

Transport engineers told Al Jazeera that the works to repair the damaged road could take up to a day, leaving locals trying to leave the flooded town stranded.

Gladys Nyandoro, a 58-year-old Chipinge resident whose home had been flooded, said she would seek alternative transport to continue her journey with her son to a temporary shelter in Harare.

“I could only leave with a few clothes, but my house is full of water. I have never seen so much rain since we moved back here,” she said of her husband’s communal home.

“I just want to go back to Harare; this area is too much for me.”

Anesu Chitepo, a 22-year-old shopkeeper, said his grocery store had been affected by erratic power outages caused by the heavy rains.

“We can’t be happy to think this rain is a blessing when everything it touches is destroyed,” he said. “This will only bring us more trouble, than the real water we wanted.”

Zimbabwe’s government has declared the torrential storm a disaster and dispatched members of the military and national youth service to help evacuate stranded villagers.

Meanwhile, the country’s Civil Protection Unit has been using helicopters to gain access to the remote town of Chimanimani, on the northeastern border with Mozambique.

Local aid groups have yet to access the area where dozens are thought to be missing and hundreds more are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

According to Joshua Sacco, a local member of parliament, all four bridges leading to the mountainous town have been damaged.

“We have people stranded in this area, but the access roads to this area have landslides,” he said.

“There is nothing, we don’t have any road accessible,” added Sacco.

“The best form of help we need is an excavator or a grader to clear the roads.”

The cyclone has brought torrential rains and winds thought to be worst in decades since Cyclone Eline struck the region in 2000.