Home | SOAP Tools | UDDI Browser | ResourcesSource Code | RFCs | News Reader  | SOAP Interop | Bookmarks 

  

General
Reuters
CNN
Wired News
News.com
CBS News
NY Time
BBC
BBC World
Google News
Yahoo News
ABC News
Political Wire
WashingtonPost
WorldPress
US News
CS Monitor
Business
NY Time
CNN
Reuter
ABC News
CBS News
BBC Business
Forbes
Technology
CNET
CNN
Reuter
NY Time
WashingtonPost
Wired News
BBC
InfoWorld
InfoWorld WS
WebReference
LinuxToday
XML.com
XML Cover Pages
OASIS
W3C
Internet.com
JavaScript Tip
Linux Today
WDVL
CodeProject
SOAPAgent.com
Articles
Web Services
SOAP Resources
New Additions
Software Download
Most Popular
New Releases
Hot Title
Software Developer
Yahoo News
Top Stories
World
Business
Technology
Politics
Science
Sports
New York Times
Home Page
World
Business
Technology
Politics
Science
Sports
Reuters
Top News
World
Business
Technology
World News
CNN
CBS
WashingtonPost
RSS News Feeds
ChannelYahoo News - Latest News & Headlines    
RSS File: https://news.yahoo.com/rss/science
Description: The latest news and headlines from Yahoo! News. Get breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with videos and photos.
  • Trump administration scales back U.S. water protections      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 07:30:53 -0500

    Trump administration scales back U.S. water protectionsThe Trump administration finalized a rule on Thursday to pare back the types of waterways protected from pollution under federal law, easing burdens on industries like agriculture and mining but angering environmental groups. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule could win political points ahead of the November election for Republican President Donald Trump in the Farm Belt, a key constituency. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the rule at a meeting of the National Association of Home Builders in Las Vegas.


    Trump administration scales back U.S. water protectionsThe Trump administration finalized a rule on Thursday to pare back the types of waterways protected from pollution under federal law, easing burdens on industries like agriculture and mining but angering environmental groups. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule could win political points ahead of the November election for Republican President Donald Trump in the Farm Belt, a key constituency. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the rule at a meeting of the National Association of Home Builders in Las Vegas.


     

  • The mysterious, deadly Wuhan coronavirus may have jumped from snakes to humans, scientists say      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 06:13:29 -0500

    The mysterious, deadly Wuhan coronavirus may have jumped from snakes to humans, scientists sayThe new findings appear to be the most comprehensive understanding of the mysterious virus, known as 2019-nCoV, so far.


    The mysterious, deadly Wuhan coronavirus may have jumped from snakes to humans, scientists sayThe new findings appear to be the most comprehensive understanding of the mysterious virus, known as 2019-nCoV, so far.


     

  • Experts think the Wuhan coronavirus jumped from bats to snakes to people. Bats have been the source of at least 4 pandemics.      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 21:03:00 -0500

    Experts think the Wuhan coronavirus jumped from bats to snakes to people. Bats have been the source of at least 4 pandemics.Both the Wuhan coronavirus and SARS most likely jumped from bats to other animals, which then passed it to humans.


    Experts think the Wuhan coronavirus jumped from bats to snakes to people. Bats have been the source of at least 4 pandemics.Both the Wuhan coronavirus and SARS most likely jumped from bats to other animals, which then passed it to humans.


     

  • A spill at a California vineyard has sent 97,000 gallons of wine flowing into sewers and a local river      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 20:45:00 -0500

    A spill at a California vineyard has sent 97,000 gallons of wine flowing into sewers and a local riverAt the Rodney Strong Winery, 97,000 gallons of Cabernet Sauvignon accidentally spilled, and some entered the nearby Russian River.


    A spill at a California vineyard has sent 97,000 gallons of wine flowing into sewers and a local riverAt the Rodney Strong Winery, 97,000 gallons of Cabernet Sauvignon accidentally spilled, and some entered the nearby Russian River.


     

  • 2 new potential US cases of the Wuhan coronavirus are being monitored in Texas and Los Angeles      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 20:32:17 -0500

    2 new potential US cases of the Wuhan coronavirus are being monitored in Texas and Los AngelesThe new potential cases followed the first confirmed US patient in Washington state — a man in his 30s who arrived before screening procedures began.


    2 new potential US cases of the Wuhan coronavirus are being monitored in Texas and Los AngelesThe new potential cases followed the first confirmed US patient in Washington state — a man in his 30s who arrived before screening procedures began.


     

  • The Chinese city of Wuhan was a breeding ground for an outbreak, experts say. The coronavirus has infected more than 800 people.      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 20:18:00 -0500

    The Chinese city of Wuhan was a breeding ground for an outbreak, experts say. The coronavirus has infected more than 800 people.The coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, a dense city in central China at the center of major transportation hubs.


    The Chinese city of Wuhan was a breeding ground for an outbreak, experts say. The coronavirus has infected more than 800 people.The coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, a dense city in central China at the center of major transportation hubs.


     

  • The Wuhan coronavirus has killed 25 people and infected more than 830. Here's everything we know about the outbreak.      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 19:45:00 -0500

    The Wuhan coronavirus has killed 25 people and infected more than 830. Here's everything we know about the outbreak.Chinese authorities have confirmed more than 830 cases of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, which has spread to other parts of China and other countries.


    The Wuhan coronavirus has killed 25 people and infected more than 830. Here's everything we know about the outbreak.Chinese authorities have confirmed more than 830 cases of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, which has spread to other parts of China and other countries.


     

  • Blue Origin ramps up team for Blue Moon lander as it waits for word from NASA      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 19:25:53 -0500

    Blue Origin ramps up team for Blue Moon lander as it waits for word from NASAAmazon billionaire Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space venture has posted more than 50 job openings for its Blue Moon lunar lander program, which is currently under consideration for NASA funding. The online listings put out the word about positions at Blue Origin's home base in Kent, Wash., ranging from chief engineer to administrative assistant. Most of the positions focus on software engineering and systems development. For what it's worth, a mockup of the Blue Moon lander is the centerpiece of the O'Neill Building, the company's new headquarters in Kent. Bezos unveiled that mockup last May in Washington, D.C., and last… Read More


    Blue Origin ramps up team for Blue Moon lander as it waits for word from NASAAmazon billionaire Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space venture has posted more than 50 job openings for its Blue Moon lunar lander program, which is currently under consideration for NASA funding. The online listings put out the word about positions at Blue Origin's home base in Kent, Wash., ranging from chief engineer to administrative assistant. Most of the positions focus on software engineering and systems development. For what it's worth, a mockup of the Blue Moon lander is the centerpiece of the O'Neill Building, the company's new headquarters in Kent. Bezos unveiled that mockup last May in Washington, D.C., and last… Read More


     

  • Gates Foundation’s new nonprofit venture will boost innovations for farmers facing climate change      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 18:32:37 -0500

    Gates Foundation’s new nonprofit venture will boost innovations for farmers facing climate changeThe Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is starting up a new nonprofit group that will focus on providing small-scale farmers in developing countries with the tools and innovations they'll need to deal with the effects of climate change. The nonprofit is known as Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations, or Gates Ag One for short. The effort will be headquartered in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, and will be headed by Joe Cornelius, who's currently a director within the Gates Foundation's Global Growth & Opportunity Division. Gates Ag One will work closely with the foundation's Agricultural Development team. Gates… Read More


    Gates Foundation’s new nonprofit venture will boost innovations for farmers facing climate changeThe Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is starting up a new nonprofit group that will focus on providing small-scale farmers in developing countries with the tools and innovations they'll need to deal with the effects of climate change. The nonprofit is known as Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations, or Gates Ag One for short. The effort will be headquartered in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, and will be headed by Joe Cornelius, who's currently a director within the Gates Foundation's Global Growth & Opportunity Division. Gates Ag One will work closely with the foundation's Agricultural Development team. Gates… Read More


     

  • Drawn out of darkness: This US town just saw 1st sunrise since November      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 16:35:48 -0500

    Drawn out of darkness: This US town just saw 1st sunrise since NovemberFor the first time since Nov. 18, the northernmost city in the United States saw the sun rise above the horizon on Thursday afternoon.Utqiaġvik, formerly known as Barrow, is located on the northern tip of Alaska far above the Arctic Circle.After 65 days of darkness, the sun rose at 1:09 p.m. AKST on Thursday with a temperature of minus 17 F and an AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature of minus 34 F. This animation shows the first sunrise of the year in Utqiaġvik, Alaska, on Jan. 23, 2020. (FAA) The reason Utqiaġvik experiences long stretches of darkness in the heart of winter is due to the tilt of the Earth and the city's close proximity to the North Pole.Since the Earth orbits the sun on its axis, the North Pole is pointed away from the sun in the winter, resulting in an extended period of darkness around the Winter Solstice.The exact opposite occurs during the Summer Solstice, resulting in weeks of constant sunlight in Utqiaġvik from mid-May into early August. Each day in the coming weeks will be noticeably longer than the last, with the city seeing over four hours of sunlight each day by the start of February.This trend will continue until May 10 when the sun will rise and remain above the horizon until August. The sun rises over the ice near Barrow, Alaska, for the first time in 66 days Friday, Jan. 23, 2004. (AP Photo/Earl Finkler) Although people in Utqiaġvik will see some sunlight this week, temperatures are forecast to remain below zero F through the balance of January and well into February.This is not unusual for the city, as the average high temperature in late January is minus 8 F, with overnight temperatures plummeting toward minus 20 F.


    Drawn out of darkness: This US town just saw 1st sunrise since NovemberFor the first time since Nov. 18, the northernmost city in the United States saw the sun rise above the horizon on Thursday afternoon.Utqiaġvik, formerly known as Barrow, is located on the northern tip of Alaska far above the Arctic Circle.After 65 days of darkness, the sun rose at 1:09 p.m. AKST on Thursday with a temperature of minus 17 F and an AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature of minus 34 F. This animation shows the first sunrise of the year in Utqiaġvik, Alaska, on Jan. 23, 2020. (FAA) The reason Utqiaġvik experiences long stretches of darkness in the heart of winter is due to the tilt of the Earth and the city's close proximity to the North Pole.Since the Earth orbits the sun on its axis, the North Pole is pointed away from the sun in the winter, resulting in an extended period of darkness around the Winter Solstice.The exact opposite occurs during the Summer Solstice, resulting in weeks of constant sunlight in Utqiaġvik from mid-May into early August. Each day in the coming weeks will be noticeably longer than the last, with the city seeing over four hours of sunlight each day by the start of February.This trend will continue until May 10 when the sun will rise and remain above the horizon until August. The sun rises over the ice near Barrow, Alaska, for the first time in 66 days Friday, Jan. 23, 2004. (AP Photo/Earl Finkler) Although people in Utqiaġvik will see some sunlight this week, temperatures are forecast to remain below zero F through the balance of January and well into February.This is not unusual for the city, as the average high temperature in late January is minus 8 F, with overnight temperatures plummeting toward minus 20 F.


     

  • 12 relationship habits science says predict divorce      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 14:58:00 -0500

    12 relationship habits science says predict divorceResearchers have pinpointed multiple factors that make it more likely a married couple will split up — from your level of education to when you marry.


    12 relationship habits science says predict divorceResearchers have pinpointed multiple factors that make it more likely a married couple will split up — from your level of education to when you marry.


     

  • The 27 most back-breaking jobs in America      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 14:42:00 -0500

    The 27 most back-breaking jobs in AmericaFitness trainers, aerobics instructors, structural iron and steel workers, and forest firefighters all do a lot of physical activity in their work.


    The 27 most back-breaking jobs in AmericaFitness trainers, aerobics instructors, structural iron and steel workers, and forest firefighters all do a lot of physical activity in their work.


     

  • Wuhan, China, and 5 other cities have been quarantined as China attempts to halt the spread of the coronavirus. That's about 23 million people on lockdown.      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 14:14:00 -0500

    Wuhan, China, and 5 other cities have been quarantined as China attempts to halt the spread of the coronavirus. That's about 23 million people on lockdown.The Wuhan coronavirus has infected more than 640 people and killed 18. Chinese authorities quarantined its origin city and five others.


    Wuhan, China, and 5 other cities have been quarantined as China attempts to halt the spread of the coronavirus. That's about 23 million people on lockdown.The Wuhan coronavirus has infected more than 640 people and killed 18. Chinese authorities quarantined its origin city and five others.


     

  • A scientist warns we haven't seen the worst of the Wuhan coronavirus — it could reach 10 times the scale of the SARS outbreak and peak in March      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 13:35:00 -0500

    A scientist warns we haven't seen the worst of the Wuhan coronavirus — it could reach 10 times the scale of the SARS outbreak and peak in MarchA Chinese virologist said authorities missed the "golden time" to halt the coronavirus' spread, since people had already begun Lunar New Year travels.


    A scientist warns we haven't seen the worst of the Wuhan coronavirus — it could reach 10 times the scale of the SARS outbreak and peak in MarchA Chinese virologist said authorities missed the "golden time" to halt the coronavirus' spread, since people had already begun Lunar New Year travels.


     

  • Weather impacting NFL Pro Bowlers all week in Orlando      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 13:29:12 -0500

    Weather impacting NFL Pro Bowlers all week in OrlandoFollowing a late-week storm with drenching rain and thunder, a new storm is forecast to take shape over Texas and advance eastward over the Gulf of Mexico region this weekend.A powerhouse storm is not expected to develop, but the system has the potential to disrupt some weekend outdoor plans from the Texas coast to the Florida Peninsula. The forward speed of the storm will determine if inclement weather impacts outdoor activities such as the 2020 Pro Bowl, the National Football League's all-star game, in Orlando on Sunday. The bulk of the rain is forecast to fall over the Gulf of Mexico, but a few hours of showers are likely from late Saturday to Saturday night over central and southeastern Texas.On Sunday, the showers will push eastward across the lower Mississippi Valley and the central Gulf coast, where a thunderstorm cannot be ruled out.During Sunday night, the rain and embedded thunderstorms are expected to push across the northern and central parts of the Florida Peninsula. However, it may take the better part of Monday morning for the rain to clear the central counties of the peninsula. AFC safety Minkah Patrick is interviewed as NFC running back Dalvin Cook looks on before they compete in the Gridiron Guantlet at the 2020 Pro Bowl Skills Showdown Wednesday, January 22, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) If the storm ends up being a bit faster, rain could move in during the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando during Sunday afternoon. It poured for the games there in 2018 and 2019. Between 0.25 and 0.50 of an inch of rain fell in 2018, but 2 inches of rain drenched the region in 2019. It was a chilly week of practice for the players who were selected to compete in the game. Star quarterbacks such as Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson could be seen going through warmups wearing long-sleeved shirts and hooded sweatshirts as below-normal temperatures were recorded in the region. NFC players watch the action in the rain during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio) Temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 60s by the 3 p.m. EST kickoff, slightly below the normal high of 71 for Jan. 26 in Orlando. By the end of the game, temperatures will settle in the lower 60s.A west-northwest wind of 7-14 mph will contribute to slightly lower AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures during the Pro Bowl, AccuWeather meteorologists say. CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPThe rain could be heavy enough to delay some flights out of Orlando and Tampa, Florida, from Sunday night to Monday morning. People with plans at area theme parks early on Monday, or fans heading home from the Pro Bowl, may want to keep checking the forecast and potentially delay those plans until the afternoon or Tuesday.For South Florida and the Keys, rain and thunderstorms are likely to affect the region much of the day on Monday. So plans for the beach or a boating excursion may be best accomplished this weekend or put on hold until Tuesday.Most areas from Louisiana to Florida do not need rain thanks to an ample supply of moisture they have received this winter.However, any rain that falls from central Texas to the Lone Star State coast may not be frowned upon both in the short and long term. Conditions in these areas range from abnormally dry to severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. However, at this time, it appears most of the rain will tend to fall east of these needy areas of Texas although there will be a few exceptions.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


    Weather impacting NFL Pro Bowlers all week in OrlandoFollowing a late-week storm with drenching rain and thunder, a new storm is forecast to take shape over Texas and advance eastward over the Gulf of Mexico region this weekend.A powerhouse storm is not expected to develop, but the system has the potential to disrupt some weekend outdoor plans from the Texas coast to the Florida Peninsula. The forward speed of the storm will determine if inclement weather impacts outdoor activities such as the 2020 Pro Bowl, the National Football League's all-star game, in Orlando on Sunday. The bulk of the rain is forecast to fall over the Gulf of Mexico, but a few hours of showers are likely from late Saturday to Saturday night over central and southeastern Texas.On Sunday, the showers will push eastward across the lower Mississippi Valley and the central Gulf coast, where a thunderstorm cannot be ruled out.During Sunday night, the rain and embedded thunderstorms are expected to push across the northern and central parts of the Florida Peninsula. However, it may take the better part of Monday morning for the rain to clear the central counties of the peninsula. AFC safety Minkah Patrick is interviewed as NFC running back Dalvin Cook looks on before they compete in the Gridiron Guantlet at the 2020 Pro Bowl Skills Showdown Wednesday, January 22, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) If the storm ends up being a bit faster, rain could move in during the Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando during Sunday afternoon. It poured for the games there in 2018 and 2019. Between 0.25 and 0.50 of an inch of rain fell in 2018, but 2 inches of rain drenched the region in 2019. It was a chilly week of practice for the players who were selected to compete in the game. Star quarterbacks such as Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson could be seen going through warmups wearing long-sleeved shirts and hooded sweatshirts as below-normal temperatures were recorded in the region. NFC players watch the action in the rain during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio) Temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 60s by the 3 p.m. EST kickoff, slightly below the normal high of 71 for Jan. 26 in Orlando. By the end of the game, temperatures will settle in the lower 60s.A west-northwest wind of 7-14 mph will contribute to slightly lower AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures during the Pro Bowl, AccuWeather meteorologists say. CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPThe rain could be heavy enough to delay some flights out of Orlando and Tampa, Florida, from Sunday night to Monday morning. People with plans at area theme parks early on Monday, or fans heading home from the Pro Bowl, may want to keep checking the forecast and potentially delay those plans until the afternoon or Tuesday.For South Florida and the Keys, rain and thunderstorms are likely to affect the region much of the day on Monday. So plans for the beach or a boating excursion may be best accomplished this weekend or put on hold until Tuesday.Most areas from Louisiana to Florida do not need rain thanks to an ample supply of moisture they have received this winter.However, any rain that falls from central Texas to the Lone Star State coast may not be frowned upon both in the short and long term. Conditions in these areas range from abnormally dry to severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. However, at this time, it appears most of the rain will tend to fall east of these needy areas of Texas although there will be a few exceptions.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


     

  • Australians told to be on alert for deadly spider after heat, recent rain      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 12:13:26 -0500

    Australians told to be on alert for deadly spider after heat, recent rainA female Sydney funnel-web Spider photographed on November 2004 at the Reptile Park at Gosford. (Creative Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0) After dealing with catastrophic fires then flooding and hailstorms, Australians are being warned to watch out for one of the world's most deadly spiders due to what experts call "perfect conditions" for the arachnid to thrive.In a video posted to the Australian Reptile Park Facebook page, spokesman Dan Rumsey said the escalated threat from the spiders is weather-related."Because of the recent rain and now the hot days we are now experiencing, funnel-web spiders will start to move around." He added, "Funnel-web spiders are potentially one of the most dangerous spiders on the planet in terms of a bite towards a human."Rumsey said the spiders that are now out and about are mostly male spiders in search of females. The spider is nocturnal and extremely sensitive to sunlight. As reported by AustralianGeographic.com, males wander at night in search of a mate. Ranger Mick from the Australian Reptile Park told the website they will look for anywhere sheltered to wait the day out, and that's when they end up in people's shoes or houses. Male funnel-web spider. (Doug Beckers / CC BY-SA 2.0) Funnel-web spiders are ground-dwelling, meaning they can't climb smooth surfaces like plastic or glass. Their bites are painful, have clear fang marks and are capable of causing serious illness or death in humans if left untreated. If bitten, experts advise victims to immobilize the affected area, put on a bandage and seek immediate medical attention.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPAn antivenom to the funnel-web spider bite was developed and made available in 1981. But in September 2012, stockpiles of the medication ran low and organizations, including the Australian Reptile Park, began asking members of the public to catch the spiders so they could be milked for venom. Rumsey warns only adults should attempt to capture the spiders and describes exactly how to do so in his Facebook video.Warren Bailey, owner of ABC Pest Control Sydney, told CNN that the spiders are typically active during the summer, but because of the "very dry" weather over the past few months, spider season arrived earlier than usual.Australia has been ravaged by the worst wildfires seen in decades. At least 28 people have died nationwide, more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed in New South Wales alone and more than a billion animals are estimated to have been killed. Severe thunderstorms offered some relief last week but also created flooding. Parts of southeastern Australia were also pelted by hailstones the size of golf balls."Their venom is pretty toxic and can kill someone," Bailey told CNN. "The funnel-webs are now out with the recent rains, (and) they can go into people's houses on the ground or from the roof."> FUNNEL WEB SEASON IS HERE!> > ����WARNING! FUNNEL-WEB SEASON IS HERE! ����We are issuing a message of warning to the public as recent wet weather conditions followed by hot days have created perfect conditions for funnel-web spiders to thrive.We're asking for any collected spiders to be brought to the park to contribute to our lifesaving antivenom program! ����️> > Posted by Australian Reptile Park on Monday, January 20, 2020 Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


    Australians told to be on alert for deadly spider after heat, recent rainA female Sydney funnel-web Spider photographed on November 2004 at the Reptile Park at Gosford. (Creative Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0) After dealing with catastrophic fires then flooding and hailstorms, Australians are being warned to watch out for one of the world's most deadly spiders due to what experts call "perfect conditions" for the arachnid to thrive.In a video posted to the Australian Reptile Park Facebook page, spokesman Dan Rumsey said the escalated threat from the spiders is weather-related."Because of the recent rain and now the hot days we are now experiencing, funnel-web spiders will start to move around." He added, "Funnel-web spiders are potentially one of the most dangerous spiders on the planet in terms of a bite towards a human."Rumsey said the spiders that are now out and about are mostly male spiders in search of females. The spider is nocturnal and extremely sensitive to sunlight. As reported by AustralianGeographic.com, males wander at night in search of a mate. Ranger Mick from the Australian Reptile Park told the website they will look for anywhere sheltered to wait the day out, and that's when they end up in people's shoes or houses. Male funnel-web spider. (Doug Beckers / CC BY-SA 2.0) Funnel-web spiders are ground-dwelling, meaning they can't climb smooth surfaces like plastic or glass. Their bites are painful, have clear fang marks and are capable of causing serious illness or death in humans if left untreated. If bitten, experts advise victims to immobilize the affected area, put on a bandage and seek immediate medical attention.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPAn antivenom to the funnel-web spider bite was developed and made available in 1981. But in September 2012, stockpiles of the medication ran low and organizations, including the Australian Reptile Park, began asking members of the public to catch the spiders so they could be milked for venom. Rumsey warns only adults should attempt to capture the spiders and describes exactly how to do so in his Facebook video.Warren Bailey, owner of ABC Pest Control Sydney, told CNN that the spiders are typically active during the summer, but because of the "very dry" weather over the past few months, spider season arrived earlier than usual.Australia has been ravaged by the worst wildfires seen in decades. At least 28 people have died nationwide, more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed in New South Wales alone and more than a billion animals are estimated to have been killed. Severe thunderstorms offered some relief last week but also created flooding. Parts of southeastern Australia were also pelted by hailstones the size of golf balls."Their venom is pretty toxic and can kill someone," Bailey told CNN. "The funnel-webs are now out with the recent rains, (and) they can go into people's houses on the ground or from the roof."> FUNNEL WEB SEASON IS HERE!> > ����WARNING! FUNNEL-WEB SEASON IS HERE! ����We are issuing a message of warning to the public as recent wet weather conditions followed by hot days have created perfect conditions for funnel-web spiders to thrive.We're asking for any collected spiders to be brought to the park to contribute to our lifesaving antivenom program! ����️> > Posted by Australian Reptile Park on Monday, January 20, 2020 Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


     

  • Health experts issued an ominous warning about a coronavirus pandemic 3 months ago. Their simulation showed it could kill 65 million people.      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 12:04:00 -0500

    Health experts issued an ominous warning about a coronavirus pandemic 3 months ago. Their simulation showed it could kill 65 million people.The virus in the simulation was a fictional one called CAPS, but it bears some similarities to the Wuhan coronavirus.


    Health experts issued an ominous warning about a coronavirus pandemic 3 months ago. Their simulation showed it could kill 65 million people.The virus in the simulation was a fictional one called CAPS, but it bears some similarities to the Wuhan coronavirus.


     

  • The outbreaks of both the Wuhan coronavirus and SARS started in Chinese wet markets. Photos show what the markets look like.      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 21:08:00 -0500

    The outbreaks of both the Wuhan coronavirus and SARS started in Chinese wet markets. Photos show what the markets look like.The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak started in a Chinese wet market, where livestock and poultry are sold alongside animals like dogs, hares, and civets.


    The outbreaks of both the Wuhan coronavirus and SARS started in Chinese wet markets. Photos show what the markets look like.The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak started in a Chinese wet market, where livestock and poultry are sold alongside animals like dogs, hares, and civets.


     

  • The Wuhan coronavirus has spread to 8 countries. Here's how to protect yourself while traveling.      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 11:36:00 -0500

    The Wuhan coronavirus has spread to 8 countries. Here's how to protect yourself while traveling.Hundreds of millions of people travel to China for the Lunar New Year celebration, which could raise the risk of the disease's spread.


    The Wuhan coronavirus has spread to 8 countries. Here's how to protect yourself while traveling.Hundreds of millions of people travel to China for the Lunar New Year celebration, which could raise the risk of the disease's spread.


     

  • Northeast to face wide range of impacts from next potent winter storm      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 10:40:15 -0500

    Northeast to face wide range of impacts from next potent winter stormA storm trekking across the country toward the Northeast will arrive this weekend, but the latest forecast indicates a shift in the amount of snow it will produce -- and where the snow will fall.Even though the storm slated for the Northeast continues to trend warmer, snow is still forecast to bury the northern tier and blanket parts of the central Appalachians, while pockets of ice can pose a travel risk.A storm from the Midwest will strengthen and track far enough to the north to have a significant influence on the primary form of precipitation in the Northeast. "We are getting a strong indication now that a southerly wind will get going at most levels of the atmosphere as the storm moves in," AccuWeather Senior Storm Warning Meteorologist Brian Wimer said. "That southerly flow should be enough to pull warmer air in from the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and effectively avoid snow altogether in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston," Wimer added. North and west of Interstate 95, all or mostly rain is likely from northern Virginia to central New England with the storm. A few hours of a wintry mix can occur early on. Despite the primary form of precipitation being rain in these areas 100 miles inland of the coast, a cold ground can cause a layer of black ice to form. In this situation, the black ice would be more common in areas that are shaded from the sun, such as the north side of buildings, gaps in the mountains and wooded locations. Because of the patchy nature of the ice, some motorists and pedestrians may think the entire stretch of roads or sidewalks are just wet. The ground can be icy even though car or home thermometers show temperatures above freezing.Adding to the spotty black ice risk will be the potential for locally dense fog.There will be areas in the Northeast where shoveling and plowing operations are needed.Locations where enough snow is likely to fall and accumulate with the storm will extend from the mountains of northern West Virginia and western Pennsylvania to the northern tier of Pennsylvania, western, central and northern New York state and northwestern New England. From 6-10 inches of snow is forecast from northern New York state to the northern parts of Vermont and New Hampshire as well as part of northwestern Maine. In this swath an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 14 inches is anticipated.Areas from western to east-central New York state, southern Vermont, central New Hampshire and central Maine can expect a 3- to 6- inch snowfall. A total of 1 to 3 inches of snow is forecast from the northern West Virginia mountains to the mountains of western Pennsylvania, the southern tier of New York state and in a narrow zone across central New England.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPThe combination of heavy rain and gusty winds for a time can lead to travel delays in the I-95 corridor. Enough rain can fall along the coast to cause urban flooding.As the center of the storm from the Midwest moves in, colder air will rotate southeastward from later Saturday to Sunday. Enough moisture will accompany the cold air to produce snow showers from the Appalachians on north and west later Saturday to Sunday. However, it is unlikely for the snow showers to survive the trip to the coast. Temperatures are forecast to climb into the 40s in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia and near 50 in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. As a result, rain will subside and dry air will sweep in across the swath from much of Virginia to southeastern New England.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


    Northeast to face wide range of impacts from next potent winter stormA storm trekking across the country toward the Northeast will arrive this weekend, but the latest forecast indicates a shift in the amount of snow it will produce -- and where the snow will fall.Even though the storm slated for the Northeast continues to trend warmer, snow is still forecast to bury the northern tier and blanket parts of the central Appalachians, while pockets of ice can pose a travel risk.A storm from the Midwest will strengthen and track far enough to the north to have a significant influence on the primary form of precipitation in the Northeast. "We are getting a strong indication now that a southerly wind will get going at most levels of the atmosphere as the storm moves in," AccuWeather Senior Storm Warning Meteorologist Brian Wimer said. "That southerly flow should be enough to pull warmer air in from the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and effectively avoid snow altogether in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston," Wimer added. North and west of Interstate 95, all or mostly rain is likely from northern Virginia to central New England with the storm. A few hours of a wintry mix can occur early on. Despite the primary form of precipitation being rain in these areas 100 miles inland of the coast, a cold ground can cause a layer of black ice to form. In this situation, the black ice would be more common in areas that are shaded from the sun, such as the north side of buildings, gaps in the mountains and wooded locations. Because of the patchy nature of the ice, some motorists and pedestrians may think the entire stretch of roads or sidewalks are just wet. The ground can be icy even though car or home thermometers show temperatures above freezing.Adding to the spotty black ice risk will be the potential for locally dense fog.There will be areas in the Northeast where shoveling and plowing operations are needed.Locations where enough snow is likely to fall and accumulate with the storm will extend from the mountains of northern West Virginia and western Pennsylvania to the northern tier of Pennsylvania, western, central and northern New York state and northwestern New England. From 6-10 inches of snow is forecast from northern New York state to the northern parts of Vermont and New Hampshire as well as part of northwestern Maine. In this swath an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 14 inches is anticipated.Areas from western to east-central New York state, southern Vermont, central New Hampshire and central Maine can expect a 3- to 6- inch snowfall. A total of 1 to 3 inches of snow is forecast from the northern West Virginia mountains to the mountains of western Pennsylvania, the southern tier of New York state and in a narrow zone across central New England.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPThe combination of heavy rain and gusty winds for a time can lead to travel delays in the I-95 corridor. Enough rain can fall along the coast to cause urban flooding.As the center of the storm from the Midwest moves in, colder air will rotate southeastward from later Saturday to Sunday. Enough moisture will accompany the cold air to produce snow showers from the Appalachians on north and west later Saturday to Sunday. However, it is unlikely for the snow showers to survive the trip to the coast. Temperatures are forecast to climb into the 40s in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia and near 50 in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. As a result, rain will subside and dry air will sweep in across the swath from much of Virginia to southeastern New England.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


     

  • The Wuhan coronavirus patient in Washington state is being isolated in a tiny room and treated by a robot as doctors try to prevent an outbreak      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 10:11:30 -0500

    The Wuhan coronavirus patient in Washington state is being isolated in a tiny room and treated by a robot as doctors try to prevent an outbreakThe Wuhan coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, can spread among humans and has already infected medical staff in China.


    The Wuhan coronavirus patient in Washington state is being isolated in a tiny room and treated by a robot as doctors try to prevent an outbreakThe Wuhan coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, can spread among humans and has already infected medical staff in China.


     

  • Residents left in Wuhan — which China quarantined to stop the coronavirus — are desperately stockpiling food and fuel, leaving empty shelves and prices skyrocketing      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 09:26:51 -0500

    Residents left in Wuhan — which China quarantined to stop the coronavirus — are desperately stockpiling food and fuel, leaving empty shelves and prices skyrocketingChina shut off the city on Thursday. One person wrote on social media: "Right now people are fighting over supplies. Soon they may just be fighting."


    Residents left in Wuhan — which China quarantined to stop the coronavirus — are desperately stockpiling food and fuel, leaving empty shelves and prices skyrocketingChina shut off the city on Thursday. One person wrote on social media: "Right now people are fighting over supplies. Soon they may just be fighting."


     

  • China extended its Wuhan coronavirus quarantine to 2 more cities, cutting off 19 million people in an unprecedented effort to stop the outbreak      Thu, 23 Jan 2020 08:26:38 -0500

    China extended its Wuhan coronavirus quarantine to 2 more cities, cutting off 19 million people in an unprecedented effort to stop the outbreakHuanggang and Ezhou joined Wuhan in shutting down transport links on Thursday. The WHO says the quarantine is "unprecedented in public health history."


    China extended its Wuhan coronavirus quarantine to 2 more cities, cutting off 19 million people in an unprecedented effort to stop the outbreakHuanggang and Ezhou joined Wuhan in shutting down transport links on Thursday. The WHO says the quarantine is "unprecedented in public health history."


     

  • Computer modeling and tiny meteorites suggest that CO2 blanketed ancient Earth      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 20:52:40 -0500

    Computer modeling and tiny meteorites suggest that CO2 blanketed ancient EarthToday, rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a cause for concern, but 2.7 billion years ago, high levels of CO2 probably kept our planet warm enough for life even though the sun was about 20% fainter than it is today. A newly published study, based on analyses of ancient micrometeorites and a fresh round of computer modeling, estimates just how high those CO2 levels were. The likeliest level is somewhere in excess of 70% CO2, scientists from the University of Washington report today in the open-access journal Science Advances. Based on the modeling, global mean temperatures would have been… Read More


    Computer modeling and tiny meteorites suggest that CO2 blanketed ancient EarthToday, rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a cause for concern, but 2.7 billion years ago, high levels of CO2 probably kept our planet warm enough for life even though the sun was about 20% fainter than it is today. A newly published study, based on analyses of ancient micrometeorites and a fresh round of computer modeling, estimates just how high those CO2 levels were. The likeliest level is somewhere in excess of 70% CO2, scientists from the University of Washington report today in the open-access journal Science Advances. Based on the modeling, global mean temperatures would have been… Read More


     

  • This map shows where China's mysterious, deadly Wuhan coronavirus has spread as death toll rises to 18      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 20:30:00 -0500

    This map shows where China's mysterious, deadly Wuhan coronavirus has spread as death toll rises to 18As well as in mainland China, cases of the coronavirus has been reported in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.


    This map shows where China's mysterious, deadly Wuhan coronavirus has spread as death toll rises to 18As well as in mainland China, cases of the coronavirus has been reported in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.


     

  • 2 dramatic charts show the rapid spread of the Wuhan coronavirus within and outside China      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 19:20:00 -0500

    2 dramatic charts show the rapid spread of the Wuhan coronavirus within and outside ChinaCases of a coronavirus that started in Wuhan, China, have been reported in eight other countries.


    2 dramatic charts show the rapid spread of the Wuhan coronavirus within and outside ChinaCases of a coronavirus that started in Wuhan, China, have been reported in eight other countries.


     

  • As New Virus Spreads From China, Scientists See Grim Reminders      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 14:53:15 -0500

    As New Virus Spreads From China, Scientists See Grim RemindersLess than a month after the first few cases of a new respiratory illness were reported in Wuhan, China, travelers have carried the virus to at least four other countries, including the United States. More than 400 people have been infected, at least 17 have died -- and the world is bracing itself for what might come next.On Wednesday, experts at the World Health Organization will meet to decide whether to declare the outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern," a label given to "serious public health events that endanger international public health" and "potentially require a coordinated international response."Public health officials around the world are on alert because the new infection is caused by a coronavirus, from the same family that caused outbreaks of SARS and MERS, killing hundreds of people in dozens of countries.The WHO has already advised governments to be prepared for the disease, to be vigilant and ready to test anyone with symptoms like cough and fever who has traveled to affected regions. Air travel is expected to surge as the Lunar New Year approaches this weekend.Several countries have already begun screening travelers from China for fever and cough. Airports in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco last week started to screen arriving flights from Wuhan, and airports in Atlanta and Chicago will begin doing so this week.But important questions about the outbreak are still unanswered, and WHO's expert committee now must grapple with significant unknowns."We don't know how many people are infected," said Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the WHO. "The more you test, the more you will find people who are infected. We don't know if there are asymptomatic cases. If they are asymptomatic, are they contagious?"Broad studies to test for evidence of infection, past and present, would give a true picture of how many people have been exposed to the virus."Testing is possible because China immediately shared the genetic sequence of the virus, and we have to give them credit for that," Jasarevic said.The virus causes a pneumonialike illness, with coughing and fever in some people but not all. The severity matters: If there are cases with mild illness or no symptoms at all, they may go undetected, and those people will keep working, shopping and traveling, possibly infecting others.A milder illness has the potential to spread farther and cause longer-lasting outbreaks than one with more obvious symptoms, according to Dr. Mark R. Denison, an infectious disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who studies coronaviruses.Compared to SARS and MERS, the Wuhan illness so far does seem less severe, he said.SARS, which began in live-animal markets in China in 2002, quickly spread to dozens of countries, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing nearly 800. The virus is thought to have originated in bats and spread to civet cats that were being sold for consumption.The civets spread the virus to humans, who infected one another through respiratory secretions and also exposure to feces.SARS often caused severe illness, so cases were detectable; aggressive public health measures, including quarantines and travel restrictions, helped stamp out the epidemic.But the travel bans, not to mention widespread fear and distrust, took a heavy economic toll on China, and since then international authorities have become hesitant about taking drastic steps to quell outbreaks.MERS cases have been occurring in the Middle East since 2012, mainly in people who have been exposed to camels, which were most likely infected by bats. Human-to-human transmission does occur, and some spread has happened in hospitals.As of November, there had been 2,494 cases of MERS in the past seven years, mostly in Saudi Arabia. The death rate is 34% but may actually be lower if there are mild cases of the disease that have not been detected or counted.Denison described the new Wuhan coronavirus as "sort of a first cousin of SARS," more closely related to it than to MERS, based on its genetic sequence.Researchers do not know just how contagious the Wuhan coronavirus is. The first people to be infected are thought to have contracted it at a market in Wuhan that sold meat, fish and live animals.That market has been shut down and disinfected. Which animal might have been carrying the virus is not yet known.Initially, the illness appeared to spread only from animals to people. Then, experts said there was evidence of "limited" human-to-human transmission. Now, more cases are emerging among people with no known exposure to the animal markets, and in medical staff members caring for infected patients."Now that you have a cluster of 14 health care workers infected, it suggests that the potential for spread is much greater," said Dr. Ian W. Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York, who has researched SARS and MERS."I saw film footage of a hospital lobby in Wuhan, and they are wearing full personal protective equipment from head to toe," he said. "They are taking it very seriously. I still don't think this is as bad as SARS, but it's worse than they originally portrayed it."Denison said that with both SARS and MERS, there were episodes in which individual patients became "super-spreaders" who infected many other people, for unknown reasons."That's a wild card we don't know, the capacity to have multiple transmissions from one person," Denison said. "There was no evidence they had dramatically different virus."It is possible, he said, that super-spreaders had received a high dose of the virus and had more of it to transmit. Alternatively, their immune systems might have not been able to control the virus, allowing it to multiply and spread extensively in their bodies, making them more contagious.Although no drugs have been approved specifically to treat coronavirus diseases, Denison said that in animal studies, an antiviral called remdesivir appeared effective. He has been working with other researchers to develop treatments.Jasarevic said that antivirals were being tested against MERS, but that none had been approved yet.How and why viruses that have peacefully coexisted with their animal hosts for a long time strike out for new territory -- us -- is not well understood.Coronaviruses often inhabit bats without harming them, and sometimes move into other animal species and from them to humans.In places that bring multiple animal species together with lots of people -- like the food markets in Wuhan and in other parts of China that sell live mammals and birds, along with meat and fish -- viruses can pass back and forth between species, mutating as they go. Along the way, they may become able to infect humans."Coronaviruses have repeatedly shown an ability to probe across species and cause new animal and human diseases," Denison said.To go successfully from animal hosts to people, the viruses need to adapt in several ways: They must gain the ability to invade human cells, evade the immune system, replicate inside the human body and spread to others.The move is often described as "jumping" into humans, but that is an oversimplification, Denison said."The process it has to go through is more like high hurdles with a thousand hurdles along the way," he said.Still, the new outbreak does not greatly surprise him: "This was a matter of not if, but when."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


    As New Virus Spreads From China, Scientists See Grim RemindersLess than a month after the first few cases of a new respiratory illness were reported in Wuhan, China, travelers have carried the virus to at least four other countries, including the United States. More than 400 people have been infected, at least 17 have died -- and the world is bracing itself for what might come next.On Wednesday, experts at the World Health Organization will meet to decide whether to declare the outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern," a label given to "serious public health events that endanger international public health" and "potentially require a coordinated international response."Public health officials around the world are on alert because the new infection is caused by a coronavirus, from the same family that caused outbreaks of SARS and MERS, killing hundreds of people in dozens of countries.The WHO has already advised governments to be prepared for the disease, to be vigilant and ready to test anyone with symptoms like cough and fever who has traveled to affected regions. Air travel is expected to surge as the Lunar New Year approaches this weekend.Several countries have already begun screening travelers from China for fever and cough. Airports in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco last week started to screen arriving flights from Wuhan, and airports in Atlanta and Chicago will begin doing so this week.But important questions about the outbreak are still unanswered, and WHO's expert committee now must grapple with significant unknowns."We don't know how many people are infected," said Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the WHO. "The more you test, the more you will find people who are infected. We don't know if there are asymptomatic cases. If they are asymptomatic, are they contagious?"Broad studies to test for evidence of infection, past and present, would give a true picture of how many people have been exposed to the virus."Testing is possible because China immediately shared the genetic sequence of the virus, and we have to give them credit for that," Jasarevic said.The virus causes a pneumonialike illness, with coughing and fever in some people but not all. The severity matters: If there are cases with mild illness or no symptoms at all, they may go undetected, and those people will keep working, shopping and traveling, possibly infecting others.A milder illness has the potential to spread farther and cause longer-lasting outbreaks than one with more obvious symptoms, according to Dr. Mark R. Denison, an infectious disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who studies coronaviruses.Compared to SARS and MERS, the Wuhan illness so far does seem less severe, he said.SARS, which began in live-animal markets in China in 2002, quickly spread to dozens of countries, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing nearly 800. The virus is thought to have originated in bats and spread to civet cats that were being sold for consumption.The civets spread the virus to humans, who infected one another through respiratory secretions and also exposure to feces.SARS often caused severe illness, so cases were detectable; aggressive public health measures, including quarantines and travel restrictions, helped stamp out the epidemic.But the travel bans, not to mention widespread fear and distrust, took a heavy economic toll on China, and since then international authorities have become hesitant about taking drastic steps to quell outbreaks.MERS cases have been occurring in the Middle East since 2012, mainly in people who have been exposed to camels, which were most likely infected by bats. Human-to-human transmission does occur, and some spread has happened in hospitals.As of November, there had been 2,494 cases of MERS in the past seven years, mostly in Saudi Arabia. The death rate is 34% but may actually be lower if there are mild cases of the disease that have not been detected or counted.Denison described the new Wuhan coronavirus as "sort of a first cousin of SARS," more closely related to it than to MERS, based on its genetic sequence.Researchers do not know just how contagious the Wuhan coronavirus is. The first people to be infected are thought to have contracted it at a market in Wuhan that sold meat, fish and live animals.That market has been shut down and disinfected. Which animal might have been carrying the virus is not yet known.Initially, the illness appeared to spread only from animals to people. Then, experts said there was evidence of "limited" human-to-human transmission. Now, more cases are emerging among people with no known exposure to the animal markets, and in medical staff members caring for infected patients."Now that you have a cluster of 14 health care workers infected, it suggests that the potential for spread is much greater," said Dr. Ian W. Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York, who has researched SARS and MERS."I saw film footage of a hospital lobby in Wuhan, and they are wearing full personal protective equipment from head to toe," he said. "They are taking it very seriously. I still don't think this is as bad as SARS, but it's worse than they originally portrayed it."Denison said that with both SARS and MERS, there were episodes in which individual patients became "super-spreaders" who infected many other people, for unknown reasons."That's a wild card we don't know, the capacity to have multiple transmissions from one person," Denison said. "There was no evidence they had dramatically different virus."It is possible, he said, that super-spreaders had received a high dose of the virus and had more of it to transmit. Alternatively, their immune systems might have not been able to control the virus, allowing it to multiply and spread extensively in their bodies, making them more contagious.Although no drugs have been approved specifically to treat coronavirus diseases, Denison said that in animal studies, an antiviral called remdesivir appeared effective. He has been working with other researchers to develop treatments.Jasarevic said that antivirals were being tested against MERS, but that none had been approved yet.How and why viruses that have peacefully coexisted with their animal hosts for a long time strike out for new territory -- us -- is not well understood.Coronaviruses often inhabit bats without harming them, and sometimes move into other animal species and from them to humans.In places that bring multiple animal species together with lots of people -- like the food markets in Wuhan and in other parts of China that sell live mammals and birds, along with meat and fish -- viruses can pass back and forth between species, mutating as they go. Along the way, they may become able to infect humans."Coronaviruses have repeatedly shown an ability to probe across species and cause new animal and human diseases," Denison said.To go successfully from animal hosts to people, the viruses need to adapt in several ways: They must gain the ability to invade human cells, evade the immune system, replicate inside the human body and spread to others.The move is often described as "jumping" into humans, but that is an oversimplification, Denison said."The process it has to go through is more like high hurdles with a thousand hurdles along the way," he said.Still, the new outbreak does not greatly surprise him: "This was a matter of not if, but when."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


     

  • 'Unprecedented' locust swarms devastating several countries in Africa fueled by multiple weather factors      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 14:37:50 -0500

    'Unprecedented' locust swarms devastating several countries in Africa fueled by multiple weather factorsUnusually heavy rain is being cited as a factor in one of the worst outbreaks of desert locusts in decades across parts of East Africa and posing what officials say is an "unprecedented" threat to crops in third world countries, according to a recent report issued by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO).The rare outbreak is destroying crops and pastures across eastern Ethiopia and neighboring areas of Somalia, parts of Sudan, Eritrea and northern Kenya as it risks spreading further due to the continuation of favorable ecological conditions for locust breeding until around June.The report states that South Sudan and Uganda are not currently affected, but they are at risk for the species to eventually arrive."This has become a situation of international dimensions that threatens the food security of the entire subregion. FAO is activating fast-track mechanisms that will allow us to move swiftly to support governments in mounting a collective campaign to deal with this crisis," FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in a statement earlier this week.Dongyu said control efforts are underway, but due to the scale and urgency of the threat, additional financial backing is needed from international donors to help authorities."Communities in Eastern Africa have already been impacted by extended droughts, which have eroded their capacities to grow food and make a living. We need to help them get back on their feet, once the locusts are gone," Dongyu said.The FAO says the devastating swarms potentially contain hundreds of millions of locusts and that the insects can travel distances of more than 90 miles in a single day. If left unchecked, the insect swarms could grow 500 times by June. In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, a Samburu man who works for a county disaster team identifying the location of the locusts, holds one on his hand near the village of Sissia, in Samburu county, Kenya. (AP Photo/Patrick Ngugi) It's been 25 years since people in Kenya and Ethiopia have seen swarms of this magnitude and 70 years since Kenya last encountered such an invasion of locusts.FAO officials warn that the locusts are rapidly heading toward Ethiopia's Rift Valley, known as the country's "breadbasket.""Unusually high rainfall in desert and savanna can definitely lead to blooms of rich vegetation that swarming insects like locusts will readily take advantage of," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.Some of the data sites AccuWeather meteorologists track suggest unusually high rainfall, which can create favorable breeding environments for the locusts, occurred on at least a few days in October to November."The climate across the affected areas [typically] varies from favorably moist, which supports forest or savanna, as well as crops in season, to desert, which is fit for limited grazing, as crops grow only where water is available," Andrews said, adding that the region hosts a rather diverse climate. In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, a Samburu boy uses a wooden stick to try to swat a swarm of desert locusts filling the air, as he herds his camel near the village of Sissia, in Samburu county, Kenya. The most serious outbreak of desert locusts in 25 years is spreading across East Africa and posing an unprecedented threat to food security in some of the world's most vulnerable countries, authorities say, with unusual climate conditions partly to blame. (AP Photo/Patrick Ngugi) Andrews said the excessive rainfall could be related to the Indian Ocean Dipole, which set a record-high value during 2019.The Indian Ocean Dipole, which is sometimes referred to as the "Indian Niño" because of its similarity to its Pacific equivalent, El Niño, and refers to the difference in sea-surface temperatures in opposite parts of the Indian Ocean."In a nutshell, the dipole is indicative of unusual sea-surface warmth in the western tropical Indian Ocean while the eastern tropical Indian Ocean has an overall temperature that is normal to below normal," Andrews said.According to Andrews, this dipole has been linked to unusual patterns of rainfall in other parts of the world, including in the Indian subcontinent, and it's one culprit behind Australia's severe drought and devastating fires.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPOne of the factors that worsened the situation was the heavy rain unleashed by deadly Cyclone Pawan in early December across Somalia."The already threatening situation was further exacerbated by limited operational capacities in Somalia and by heavy rains and floods from Cyclone Pawan that will allow at least one to two more generations of breeding, causing a substantial increase in locusts over the next six months," the FAO said in the report. In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, two Samburu men who work for a county disaster team identifying the location of the locusts, are surrounded by a swarm of desert locusts filling the air, near the village of Sissia, in Samburu county, Kenya. (AP Photo/Patrick Ngugi) "In South-West Asia, intensive control operations were in progress along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border where numerous swarms continued to form," the FAO said.These swarms have been present in India, Iran and Pakistan since June 2019. Officials say recent rounds of heavy rain in Iran have allowed swarms to migrate to southern Iran to lay eggs, which could develop into a new swarm come springtime.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


    'Unprecedented' locust swarms devastating several countries in Africa fueled by multiple weather factorsUnusually heavy rain is being cited as a factor in one of the worst outbreaks of desert locusts in decades across parts of East Africa and posing what officials say is an "unprecedented" threat to crops in third world countries, according to a recent report issued by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO).The rare outbreak is destroying crops and pastures across eastern Ethiopia and neighboring areas of Somalia, parts of Sudan, Eritrea and northern Kenya as it risks spreading further due to the continuation of favorable ecological conditions for locust breeding until around June.The report states that South Sudan and Uganda are not currently affected, but they are at risk for the species to eventually arrive."This has become a situation of international dimensions that threatens the food security of the entire subregion. FAO is activating fast-track mechanisms that will allow us to move swiftly to support governments in mounting a collective campaign to deal with this crisis," FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in a statement earlier this week.Dongyu said control efforts are underway, but due to the scale and urgency of the threat, additional financial backing is needed from international donors to help authorities."Communities in Eastern Africa have already been impacted by extended droughts, which have eroded their capacities to grow food and make a living. We need to help them get back on their feet, once the locusts are gone," Dongyu said.The FAO says the devastating swarms potentially contain hundreds of millions of locusts and that the insects can travel distances of more than 90 miles in a single day. If left unchecked, the insect swarms could grow 500 times by June. In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, a Samburu man who works for a county disaster team identifying the location of the locusts, holds one on his hand near the village of Sissia, in Samburu county, Kenya. (AP Photo/Patrick Ngugi) It's been 25 years since people in Kenya and Ethiopia have seen swarms of this magnitude and 70 years since Kenya last encountered such an invasion of locusts.FAO officials warn that the locusts are rapidly heading toward Ethiopia's Rift Valley, known as the country's "breadbasket.""Unusually high rainfall in desert and savanna can definitely lead to blooms of rich vegetation that swarming insects like locusts will readily take advantage of," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.Some of the data sites AccuWeather meteorologists track suggest unusually high rainfall, which can create favorable breeding environments for the locusts, occurred on at least a few days in October to November."The climate across the affected areas [typically] varies from favorably moist, which supports forest or savanna, as well as crops in season, to desert, which is fit for limited grazing, as crops grow only where water is available," Andrews said, adding that the region hosts a rather diverse climate. In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, a Samburu boy uses a wooden stick to try to swat a swarm of desert locusts filling the air, as he herds his camel near the village of Sissia, in Samburu county, Kenya. The most serious outbreak of desert locusts in 25 years is spreading across East Africa and posing an unprecedented threat to food security in some of the world's most vulnerable countries, authorities say, with unusual climate conditions partly to blame. (AP Photo/Patrick Ngugi) Andrews said the excessive rainfall could be related to the Indian Ocean Dipole, which set a record-high value during 2019.The Indian Ocean Dipole, which is sometimes referred to as the "Indian Niño" because of its similarity to its Pacific equivalent, El Niño, and refers to the difference in sea-surface temperatures in opposite parts of the Indian Ocean."In a nutshell, the dipole is indicative of unusual sea-surface warmth in the western tropical Indian Ocean while the eastern tropical Indian Ocean has an overall temperature that is normal to below normal," Andrews said.According to Andrews, this dipole has been linked to unusual patterns of rainfall in other parts of the world, including in the Indian subcontinent, and it's one culprit behind Australia's severe drought and devastating fires.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPOne of the factors that worsened the situation was the heavy rain unleashed by deadly Cyclone Pawan in early December across Somalia."The already threatening situation was further exacerbated by limited operational capacities in Somalia and by heavy rains and floods from Cyclone Pawan that will allow at least one to two more generations of breeding, causing a substantial increase in locusts over the next six months," the FAO said in the report. In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, two Samburu men who work for a county disaster team identifying the location of the locusts, are surrounded by a swarm of desert locusts filling the air, near the village of Sissia, in Samburu county, Kenya. (AP Photo/Patrick Ngugi) "In South-West Asia, intensive control operations were in progress along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border where numerous swarms continued to form," the FAO said.These swarms have been present in India, Iran and Pakistan since June 2019. Officials say recent rounds of heavy rain in Iran have allowed swarms to migrate to southern Iran to lay eggs, which could develop into a new swarm come springtime.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


     

  • Scientists pinpointed the oldest meteor crater ever found. When the space rock struck Australia 2.2 billion years ago, it ended a global ice age.      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 13:00:00 -0500

    Scientists pinpointed the oldest meteor crater ever found. When the space rock struck Australia 2.2 billion years ago, it ended a global ice age.Scientists know of 190 impact craters around the world. The record for the oldest was just awarded to a crater in Western Australia.


    Scientists pinpointed the oldest meteor crater ever found. When the space rock struck Australia 2.2 billion years ago, it ended a global ice age.Scientists know of 190 impact craters around the world. The record for the oldest was just awarded to a crater in Western Australia.


     

  • Iguanas spring to life after being stunned by cold spell in Florida      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 12:40:46 -0500

    Iguanas spring to life after being stunned by cold spell in FloridaWinter in Florida? The winter haven for freeze-fleeing northern residents? How could it be?For three days this week, some Floridians have been forced to deal with the most daunting of Southeastern circumstances: freezing temperatures. After spending much of the first half of the month sweating through temperatures that were routinely more than 5 to 15 F above the historical average, a sharp turn toward the cold sent residents in cities such as Tampa Bay and Miami scrambling for scarves."It was bitterly cold by Florida standards on Wednesday morning," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bill Deger said. "Factoring in wind, some weather stations in South Florida observed wind chills in the 20s, leading to wind chill advisories."Wind chill advisories were issued in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on Wednesday morning, and Jacksonville and Tallahassee had temperatures lower than Denver, Colorado, Juneau, Alaska, and Great Falls, Montana.While some of the shocking figures to come out of the region have been due to erroneous reports - Miami didn't actually get snow and temperatures didn't actually reach minus-74 in Alligator Alley \- the shocking temperatures have been anything but fake. Just ask the iguanas.Iguanas are not native to Florida and the cold-blooded reptiles struggle to maintain their core body temperature when temperatures drop. The struggle results in the reptiles becoming stiff, immobile and, thus, much more likely to fall out of trees, where they usually sleep.When fully grown, iguanas can be up to 5 feet long and weigh up to 25 pounds. Such large lizards falling from trees can damage sidewalks and could cause injury to unaware humans who don't normally prepare for raining reptiles.To warn the public, the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Miami issued an unofficial falling iguana alert on Tuesday night.> Jan 21 - This isn't something we usually forecast, but don't be surprised if you see Iguanas falling from the trees tonight as lows drop into the 30s and 40s. Brrrr! flwx miami pic.twitter.com/rsbzNMgO01> > -- NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) January 21, 2020Sure enough, iguanas were seen falling out of trees during the overnight hours. By Wednesday morning, as the sunshine warmed up the air, iguanas began emerging from their cold-induced slumber and returning to consciousness. Frank Guzman, the Broward bureau chief for WSVN-TV, captured video of a zombie-like iguana lying on its back unconscious on the sidewalk, and then slowly waking up and staggering to its feet. Frank Guzman, a bureau chief for a local TV station, caught video of an iguana that had fallen unconscious on the sidewalk emerging from its cold-induced stupor on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Frank Guzman / WSVN-TV) Robert Molleda, a warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS in Miami, told AccuWeather that issuing such a unique warning was fun for the meteorologists."Despite the fact that it wasn't an official warning, the fact that it's such a unique aspect of the cold temperatures certainly made it take a life of its own on social media," Molleda said. "I don't think we expected the posts to get as much attention as they did. The mention of falling iguanas wasn't meant to be the main takeaway from this event, but it appears it has overshadowed what in reality is a non-record breaking cold spell."Molleda said the iguanas were introduced to Florida from the Caribbean and Central and South America. Recent warm winters have allowed the reptiles to adapt and spread throughout the southern portion of the state, but the iguanas are still susceptible to winter cold snaps like the one to hit Florida this week. A frozen iguana spotted in a Delray Beach, Florida, backyard on Wednesday morning, Jan. 22, 2020. (Twitter / @RoyalGoddess) CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPBecause of the invasiveness and destructive habits of iguanas, Molleda said most Floridians have come to despise the reptiles."Iguanas are not viewed favorably by South Floridians, however they're not aggressive and don't attack or harm humans or pets, so people generally view them more as pests than a real threat," Modella said. "However, their droppings can contain the salmonella bacteria." A young iguana found on a road Wednesday morning, Jan. 22, 2020, after falling out of a tree due to cold weather. (Twitter/@EricBlake12) Even though meteorologists had some fun issuing the "warnings," visitors in the supposed Sunshine State are probably ready to see the warm conditions they expected when their trips were booked.Local residents, however, may not be as disappointed, according to Molleda."Contrary to what some people may think, a lot of local South Floridians like the cold weather as it's a change from the typical mild/warm weather," Molleda said. "People break out jackets, boots, and other warm clothing they don't get to wear too often. As far as tourists are concerned, there are probably some varying opinions, with some people looking forward to and expecting 80-degree temperatures probably surprised and disappointed by weather resembling more of where they came from." On Wednesday morning, temperatures in multiple locations dipped under 30 F for the first time in years. In Miami, the low temperature of 39 F on Wednesday morning made for the coldest day since 2010.Iguanas weren't the only animals that dealt with the unseasonable chill. Over on Florida's Gulf Coast, manatees could be seen in aerial footage huddling together in the shallow water near the docks in Apollo Beach, a sight that brought out troves of onlookers.Molleda said the cold spell is a result of a high-pressure area from Canada that traveled down into the United States over the past week, bringing a cold air mass that coupled with a low-pressure area off the Southeast coast on Tuesday to spread the cold air across the eastern half of the country. An iguana falls from a tree in southern Florida as an unseasonable cold snap enveloped the Sunshine State Tuesday night into Wednesday. (WPLG / ABC Newsone) Thankfully, the weather forecasts showed a clear likelihood for this cold spell to arrive, giving the state's residents enough time to dig through their closets to find those rarely-worn winter boots."Weather models were showing a distinct possibility of colder weather as early as last week, and lower temperatures have been in the forecast for several days," Molleda said. "Therefore, I don't think residents were caught by surprise, and many were looking forward to a spell of colder weather after a pretty warm first half of January."Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


    Iguanas spring to life after being stunned by cold spell in FloridaWinter in Florida? The winter haven for freeze-fleeing northern residents? How could it be?For three days this week, some Floridians have been forced to deal with the most daunting of Southeastern circumstances: freezing temperatures. After spending much of the first half of the month sweating through temperatures that were routinely more than 5 to 15 F above the historical average, a sharp turn toward the cold sent residents in cities such as Tampa Bay and Miami scrambling for scarves."It was bitterly cold by Florida standards on Wednesday morning," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bill Deger said. "Factoring in wind, some weather stations in South Florida observed wind chills in the 20s, leading to wind chill advisories."Wind chill advisories were issued in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on Wednesday morning, and Jacksonville and Tallahassee had temperatures lower than Denver, Colorado, Juneau, Alaska, and Great Falls, Montana.While some of the shocking figures to come out of the region have been due to erroneous reports - Miami didn't actually get snow and temperatures didn't actually reach minus-74 in Alligator Alley \- the shocking temperatures have been anything but fake. Just ask the iguanas.Iguanas are not native to Florida and the cold-blooded reptiles struggle to maintain their core body temperature when temperatures drop. The struggle results in the reptiles becoming stiff, immobile and, thus, much more likely to fall out of trees, where they usually sleep.When fully grown, iguanas can be up to 5 feet long and weigh up to 25 pounds. Such large lizards falling from trees can damage sidewalks and could cause injury to unaware humans who don't normally prepare for raining reptiles.To warn the public, the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Miami issued an unofficial falling iguana alert on Tuesday night.> Jan 21 - This isn't something we usually forecast, but don't be surprised if you see Iguanas falling from the trees tonight as lows drop into the 30s and 40s. Brrrr! flwx miami pic.twitter.com/rsbzNMgO01> > -- NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) January 21, 2020Sure enough, iguanas were seen falling out of trees during the overnight hours. By Wednesday morning, as the sunshine warmed up the air, iguanas began emerging from their cold-induced slumber and returning to consciousness. Frank Guzman, the Broward bureau chief for WSVN-TV, captured video of a zombie-like iguana lying on its back unconscious on the sidewalk, and then slowly waking up and staggering to its feet. Frank Guzman, a bureau chief for a local TV station, caught video of an iguana that had fallen unconscious on the sidewalk emerging from its cold-induced stupor on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (Frank Guzman / WSVN-TV) Robert Molleda, a warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS in Miami, told AccuWeather that issuing such a unique warning was fun for the meteorologists."Despite the fact that it wasn't an official warning, the fact that it's such a unique aspect of the cold temperatures certainly made it take a life of its own on social media," Molleda said. "I don't think we expected the posts to get as much attention as they did. The mention of falling iguanas wasn't meant to be the main takeaway from this event, but it appears it has overshadowed what in reality is a non-record breaking cold spell."Molleda said the iguanas were introduced to Florida from the Caribbean and Central and South America. Recent warm winters have allowed the reptiles to adapt and spread throughout the southern portion of the state, but the iguanas are still susceptible to winter cold snaps like the one to hit Florida this week. A frozen iguana spotted in a Delray Beach, Florida, backyard on Wednesday morning, Jan. 22, 2020. (Twitter / @RoyalGoddess) CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPBecause of the invasiveness and destructive habits of iguanas, Molleda said most Floridians have come to despise the reptiles."Iguanas are not viewed favorably by South Floridians, however they're not aggressive and don't attack or harm humans or pets, so people generally view them more as pests than a real threat," Modella said. "However, their droppings can contain the salmonella bacteria." A young iguana found on a road Wednesday morning, Jan. 22, 2020, after falling out of a tree due to cold weather. (Twitter/@EricBlake12) Even though meteorologists had some fun issuing the "warnings," visitors in the supposed Sunshine State are probably ready to see the warm conditions they expected when their trips were booked.Local residents, however, may not be as disappointed, according to Molleda."Contrary to what some people may think, a lot of local South Floridians like the cold weather as it's a change from the typical mild/warm weather," Molleda said. "People break out jackets, boots, and other warm clothing they don't get to wear too often. As far as tourists are concerned, there are probably some varying opinions, with some people looking forward to and expecting 80-degree temperatures probably surprised and disappointed by weather resembling more of where they came from." On Wednesday morning, temperatures in multiple locations dipped under 30 F for the first time in years. In Miami, the low temperature of 39 F on Wednesday morning made for the coldest day since 2010.Iguanas weren't the only animals that dealt with the unseasonable chill. Over on Florida's Gulf Coast, manatees could be seen in aerial footage huddling together in the shallow water near the docks in Apollo Beach, a sight that brought out troves of onlookers.Molleda said the cold spell is a result of a high-pressure area from Canada that traveled down into the United States over the past week, bringing a cold air mass that coupled with a low-pressure area off the Southeast coast on Tuesday to spread the cold air across the eastern half of the country. An iguana falls from a tree in southern Florida as an unseasonable cold snap enveloped the Sunshine State Tuesday night into Wednesday. (WPLG / ABC Newsone) Thankfully, the weather forecasts showed a clear likelihood for this cold spell to arrive, giving the state's residents enough time to dig through their closets to find those rarely-worn winter boots."Weather models were showing a distinct possibility of colder weather as early as last week, and lower temperatures have been in the forecast for several days," Molleda said. "Therefore, I don't think residents were caught by surprise, and many were looking forward to a spell of colder weather after a pretty warm first half of January."Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


     

  • Death toll climbs in wake of Storm Gloria, which pounded Spain with massive waves, heavy snow and flooding      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 12:12:08 -0500

    Death toll climbs in wake of Storm Gloria, which pounded Spain with massive waves, heavy snow and floodingStorm Gloria unleashed fierce winds, flooding rainfall and stirred up phenomenal waves on Spain's southern and eastern coastlines from Sunday into Wednesday. By Thursday, officials reported the death toll was rising and several people were still missing.Some of the locations that were hit the hardest by Gloria during the four-day stretch include Murcia, Valencia, Barcelona, and the Balearic Islands.The heavy rain, snow and strong winds created widespread travel disruptions and localized flooding.> ¡Temporal marítimo histórico asociado a la BorrascaGloria! Olas de más de 6 metros en la CostaBlanca. Esta mañana (20/01/2020), en Calpe (Alicante). @spainsevere @severeweatherEU. Vídeo: @_joanlopez. pic.twitter.com/WENcRbD7jv> > -- MeteOrihuela (@MeteOrihuela) January 20, 2020The storm has been blamed for at least 13 fatalities, according to Telecinco. Four other people were still missing as of Thursday.Reuters reported that Spain's government was scrambling together an emergency meeting for Friday to deal with the aftermath. Pedro Sanchez, Spain's prime minister, flew over some eastern parts of the country that were hit hard by Gloria to survey the damage."I think what's important right now is that we're all united, that we work shoulder-to-shoulder and cooperate, as we are doing," Sanchez said to reporters, according to Reuters. He added that the storm hit just as many in the country were preparing for high tourist season.Rainfall began to increase across eastern Spain from Sunday into Monday with the Balearic Islands enduring the brunt of the storm.Majorca was lashed by strong winds of 65-80 km/h (40-50 mph) and heavy rainfall.> StormGloria unleashed her full force on us over night here in not so sunny spain and more to come ���� pic.twitter.com/YMQhY11tJV> > -- Kelly Beasley (@hornetspain0012) January 20, 2020Rainfall totaled 75-125 mm (3-5 inches) through midday Monday with local amounts over 175 mm (7 inches).Pounding surf also caused coastal flooding across the islands.A U.K. national remains missing in Ibiza following the stormy weather, according to BBC News.Heavy rainfall and damaging winds also moved into Valencia and surrounding areas from Sunday into Monday.Rainfall of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) caused flooding while coastal flooding was reported due to waves up to 6 meters (20 feet) battering beaches and communities. Waves hit a partially damaged bridge during a storm in Badalona's beach, outskirts of Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Massive waves and gale-force winds smashed into seafront towns, damaging many shops and restaurants and flooding some streets. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu) A man was hospitalized with a broken leg after being struck by a large wave along the Costa Blanca on Monday.The body of another man was found on Wednesday after flooding caused a building to collapse in Alcoy.A wind gust of 135 km/h (84 mph) was reported in Xàbia, along Spain's eastern coastline to the south of Valencia on Monday.Flights were canceled at several airports in eastern Spain due to the downpours and strong winds. Alicante airport was closed on Monday during the worst of the storm.The storm cut power to more than 10,000 people in eastern France on Monday, according to the AP.Conditions worsened across northeastern Spain Monday night into Tuesday as Gloria shifted northward.More than 200,000 people were left without power on Tuesday in the Girona province area due to heavy rain and snow, according to Reuters.Widespread rainfall totals of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) were common across Catalonia and Girona with some communities receiving 150 mm (6 inches) of rainfall by Wednesday. The hardest-hit communities of northeastern Catalonia may record an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 300 mm (12 inches) by Wednesday night.Cities in this region normally receive around an inch of rainfall for the entire month of January.The Ebro Delta was flooded up to 3 km (1.84 miles) inland due to the combination of heavy rainfall and large surf. This caused significant damage to crops in the region.The relentless pounding surf also caused waist-high sea foam to take over the streets of Tossa de Mar Tuesday night into Wednesday.Additional flooding, significant travel disruptions and a high risk of mudslides continued into Wednesday night.The heavy rainfall spilled over into southern France where flooding was reported on Wednesday.> The street next to ours is flooding in Esperaza (France) as the nasty storm from nearby Spain sends the Aude River over its banks. pic.twitter.com/kXm77thS1b> > -- SorayaSarhaddiNelson (@sorayanelson) January 22, 2020CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPLocations from Almería to Malaga escaped the worst of the storm with occasional rain into Wednesday.Periods of locally heavy rain on Thursday and continuing into Friday will raise the risk for flooding along Spain's southern coastline from Marbella to Cadiz.The snow had already begun to pile up in higher elevations of southeastern Spain on Monday.> Así nieva en Villena pic.twitter.com/xDgixEo7yt> > -- Est. Meteo Villena (@EstacinVillena) January 20, 2020The snow forced the closure of around 30 roads across the higher elevations of eastern Spain, according to the AP.The higher elevations of the Baetic Mountains and the eastern Iberian Range received 30 cm (12 inches) or more of snowfall.> ❄️❄️�������������������� @paula7898 pasdelacasa andorra pic.twitter.com/3xkJ072oPi> > -- Météo Pyrénées (@Meteo_Pyrenees) January 22, 2020Heavy snowfall in the Pyrenees from Tuesday into Wednesday brought travel to a standstill.The town of Vilafranca reported a new maximum snow depth record of 86 cm (33.9 inches) on Wednesday. The previous record was 80 cm (31.5 inches) set in 1968.> El espesor de nieve registrado ayer en Vilafranca, 86 cm, supera a los máximos históricos de su serie que eran el 7 de marzo de 1968 (80 cm) y el 21 de enero de 2017 (74 cm). Vídeo del observatorio meteorológico hoy. pic.twitter.com/igZ1IrShgZ> > -- AEMET_C. Valenciana (@AEMET_CValencia) January 22, 2020The heavy snowfall caused significant power cuts across the region.AccuWeather meteorologists say a period of dry and tranquil weather may settle across much of eastern Spain and the western Mediterranean during the second half of the week, but some heavier rain may fall across southern France.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


    Death toll climbs in wake of Storm Gloria, which pounded Spain with massive waves, heavy snow and floodingStorm Gloria unleashed fierce winds, flooding rainfall and stirred up phenomenal waves on Spain's southern and eastern coastlines from Sunday into Wednesday. By Thursday, officials reported the death toll was rising and several people were still missing.Some of the locations that were hit the hardest by Gloria during the four-day stretch include Murcia, Valencia, Barcelona, and the Balearic Islands.The heavy rain, snow and strong winds created widespread travel disruptions and localized flooding.> ¡Temporal marítimo histórico asociado a la BorrascaGloria! Olas de más de 6 metros en la CostaBlanca. Esta mañana (20/01/2020), en Calpe (Alicante). @spainsevere @severeweatherEU. Vídeo: @_joanlopez. pic.twitter.com/WENcRbD7jv> > -- MeteOrihuela (@MeteOrihuela) January 20, 2020The storm has been blamed for at least 13 fatalities, according to Telecinco. Four other people were still missing as of Thursday.Reuters reported that Spain's government was scrambling together an emergency meeting for Friday to deal with the aftermath. Pedro Sanchez, Spain's prime minister, flew over some eastern parts of the country that were hit hard by Gloria to survey the damage."I think what's important right now is that we're all united, that we work shoulder-to-shoulder and cooperate, as we are doing," Sanchez said to reporters, according to Reuters. He added that the storm hit just as many in the country were preparing for high tourist season.Rainfall began to increase across eastern Spain from Sunday into Monday with the Balearic Islands enduring the brunt of the storm.Majorca was lashed by strong winds of 65-80 km/h (40-50 mph) and heavy rainfall.> StormGloria unleashed her full force on us over night here in not so sunny spain and more to come ���� pic.twitter.com/YMQhY11tJV> > -- Kelly Beasley (@hornetspain0012) January 20, 2020Rainfall totaled 75-125 mm (3-5 inches) through midday Monday with local amounts over 175 mm (7 inches).Pounding surf also caused coastal flooding across the islands.A U.K. national remains missing in Ibiza following the stormy weather, according to BBC News.Heavy rainfall and damaging winds also moved into Valencia and surrounding areas from Sunday into Monday.Rainfall of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) caused flooding while coastal flooding was reported due to waves up to 6 meters (20 feet) battering beaches and communities. Waves hit a partially damaged bridge during a storm in Badalona's beach, outskirts of Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Massive waves and gale-force winds smashed into seafront towns, damaging many shops and restaurants and flooding some streets. (AP Photo/Joan Mateu) A man was hospitalized with a broken leg after being struck by a large wave along the Costa Blanca on Monday.The body of another man was found on Wednesday after flooding caused a building to collapse in Alcoy.A wind gust of 135 km/h (84 mph) was reported in Xàbia, along Spain's eastern coastline to the south of Valencia on Monday.Flights were canceled at several airports in eastern Spain due to the downpours and strong winds. Alicante airport was closed on Monday during the worst of the storm.The storm cut power to more than 10,000 people in eastern France on Monday, according to the AP.Conditions worsened across northeastern Spain Monday night into Tuesday as Gloria shifted northward.More than 200,000 people were left without power on Tuesday in the Girona province area due to heavy rain and snow, according to Reuters.Widespread rainfall totals of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) were common across Catalonia and Girona with some communities receiving 150 mm (6 inches) of rainfall by Wednesday. The hardest-hit communities of northeastern Catalonia may record an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 300 mm (12 inches) by Wednesday night.Cities in this region normally receive around an inch of rainfall for the entire month of January.The Ebro Delta was flooded up to 3 km (1.84 miles) inland due to the combination of heavy rainfall and large surf. This caused significant damage to crops in the region.The relentless pounding surf also caused waist-high sea foam to take over the streets of Tossa de Mar Tuesday night into Wednesday.Additional flooding, significant travel disruptions and a high risk of mudslides continued into Wednesday night.The heavy rainfall spilled over into southern France where flooding was reported on Wednesday.> The street next to ours is flooding in Esperaza (France) as the nasty storm from nearby Spain sends the Aude River over its banks. pic.twitter.com/kXm77thS1b> > -- SorayaSarhaddiNelson (@sorayanelson) January 22, 2020CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPLocations from Almería to Malaga escaped the worst of the storm with occasional rain into Wednesday.Periods of locally heavy rain on Thursday and continuing into Friday will raise the risk for flooding along Spain's southern coastline from Marbella to Cadiz.The snow had already begun to pile up in higher elevations of southeastern Spain on Monday.> Así nieva en Villena pic.twitter.com/xDgixEo7yt> > -- Est. Meteo Villena (@EstacinVillena) January 20, 2020The snow forced the closure of around 30 roads across the higher elevations of eastern Spain, according to the AP.The higher elevations of the Baetic Mountains and the eastern Iberian Range received 30 cm (12 inches) or more of snowfall.> ❄️❄️�������������������� @paula7898 pasdelacasa andorra pic.twitter.com/3xkJ072oPi> > -- Météo Pyrénées (@Meteo_Pyrenees) January 22, 2020Heavy snowfall in the Pyrenees from Tuesday into Wednesday brought travel to a standstill.The town of Vilafranca reported a new maximum snow depth record of 86 cm (33.9 inches) on Wednesday. The previous record was 80 cm (31.5 inches) set in 1968.> El espesor de nieve registrado ayer en Vilafranca, 86 cm, supera a los máximos históricos de su serie que eran el 7 de marzo de 1968 (80 cm) y el 21 de enero de 2017 (74 cm). Vídeo del observatorio meteorológico hoy. pic.twitter.com/igZ1IrShgZ> > -- AEMET_C. Valenciana (@AEMET_CValencia) January 22, 2020The heavy snowfall caused significant power cuts across the region.AccuWeather meteorologists say a period of dry and tranquil weather may settle across much of eastern Spain and the western Mediterranean during the second half of the week, but some heavier rain may fall across southern France.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


     

  • Another dose of wintry weather to smack Northeast for 2nd weekend in a row      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 11:24:56 -0500

    Another dose of wintry weather to smack Northeast for 2nd weekend in a rowForecasters say troublesome winter weather will affect the northeastern United States for the second weekend in a row, and even though the storm headed east this weekend is not expected to bring the same precipitation pattern as the last one, it could bring its share of travel hazards and delays.After impacting the Central states, the storm will spread across the Northeast from west to east spanning late Friday to Saturday night. "All or most of this storm is likely to bring rain to the major Interstate 95 cities from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to Philadelphia and New York City," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.Rain will be a significant part of the storm for much of Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, central and southeastern Maryland, Delaware, central and southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southeastern New York state and southeastern New England."At this time, there is only a remote chance of enough cold air to be manufactured by the storm or drawn in from the north to bring a change to snow in these mid-Atlantic areas," Miller added. The chance of a change back to snow has somewhat higher odds in southeastern New England, but if that does occur, it will be right before the storm departs.Although late January is typically the time of the year when cold air tends to put up a fight, meteorologists say that will not likely be the case with this storm for most of the heavily populated I-95 corridor in the East. It will be a different story for areas farther north and west, where a wintry mix may cause more problems. Portions of western Connecticut and Massachusetts are likely to receive a combination of snow and rain from the storm with slippery travel during at least part of the storm.Interior locations like Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, are expected to experience rain for most of the storm, but a change to accumulating snow is possible toward the end."Even where mostly rain is predicted, there could be some funny business and slick areas to watch out for," Miller said. Even though Arctic air in place this week will modify prior to the arrival of the storm, some surfaces, especially those in the shade and in elevated areas, will remain cold enough for spotty ice to form for a time.The potential for pockets of a bit of freezing rain could extend as far south as the Piedmont areas of western Virginia to coastal areas as far north as Maine. Despite the risk of patchy ice, a widespread major ice event is not expected with this storm.AccuWeather meteorologists say there is one zone where heavy snow will fall during most of the storm, and the central Appalachians to central New England is the likely bull's-eye. "A general 6-10 inches of snow is likely from the mountains of central New York to western Maine," Miller said.An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 14 inches can occur in portions of the Catskills, Berkshires, Adirondacks, Green Mountains and White Mountains, as well as the northern part of the Alleghenies. CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPIn other areas from western and northern Pennsylvania to northern Maine, a general 1-6 inches of snow are likely to fall. The mountains of West Virginia and western Maryland are also likely experience a snowfall within this range.Except for the highest elevations, where snow does fall, the snow is likely to be wet and clinging in nature due to air temperatures near or perhaps slightly above freezing. This means that rock salt should be able to do a decent job at melting the snow, ice and slush, whereas it would not normally do the job with a typical late January storm with temperatures in the single digits, teens and lower 20s F. The storm will wind down from west to east spanning later Saturday to Sunday afternoon.A blast of Arctic air is not expected to follow in the wake of the storm. Instead, a blend of air from the Pacific and southwestern Canada will settle in. The air will be cold enough to support snow showers and a few bands of lake-effect snow from the Great Lakes to the central Appalachians on Sunday.Blustery conditions over much of the region and cloud cover from the mountains to the Great Lakes will add some chill. However, with the polar vortex expected to remain strong and to retreat north once again, temperatures are likely to be above average in most cases.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


    Another dose of wintry weather to smack Northeast for 2nd weekend in a rowForecasters say troublesome winter weather will affect the northeastern United States for the second weekend in a row, and even though the storm headed east this weekend is not expected to bring the same precipitation pattern as the last one, it could bring its share of travel hazards and delays.After impacting the Central states, the storm will spread across the Northeast from west to east spanning late Friday to Saturday night. "All or most of this storm is likely to bring rain to the major Interstate 95 cities from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to Philadelphia and New York City," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.Rain will be a significant part of the storm for much of Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, central and southeastern Maryland, Delaware, central and southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southeastern New York state and southeastern New England."At this time, there is only a remote chance of enough cold air to be manufactured by the storm or drawn in from the north to bring a change to snow in these mid-Atlantic areas," Miller added. The chance of a change back to snow has somewhat higher odds in southeastern New England, but if that does occur, it will be right before the storm departs.Although late January is typically the time of the year when cold air tends to put up a fight, meteorologists say that will not likely be the case with this storm for most of the heavily populated I-95 corridor in the East. It will be a different story for areas farther north and west, where a wintry mix may cause more problems. Portions of western Connecticut and Massachusetts are likely to receive a combination of snow and rain from the storm with slippery travel during at least part of the storm.Interior locations like Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, are expected to experience rain for most of the storm, but a change to accumulating snow is possible toward the end."Even where mostly rain is predicted, there could be some funny business and slick areas to watch out for," Miller said. Even though Arctic air in place this week will modify prior to the arrival of the storm, some surfaces, especially those in the shade and in elevated areas, will remain cold enough for spotty ice to form for a time.The potential for pockets of a bit of freezing rain could extend as far south as the Piedmont areas of western Virginia to coastal areas as far north as Maine. Despite the risk of patchy ice, a widespread major ice event is not expected with this storm.AccuWeather meteorologists say there is one zone where heavy snow will fall during most of the storm, and the central Appalachians to central New England is the likely bull's-eye. "A general 6-10 inches of snow is likely from the mountains of central New York to western Maine," Miller said.An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 14 inches can occur in portions of the Catskills, Berkshires, Adirondacks, Green Mountains and White Mountains, as well as the northern part of the Alleghenies. CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPIn other areas from western and northern Pennsylvania to northern Maine, a general 1-6 inches of snow are likely to fall. The mountains of West Virginia and western Maryland are also likely experience a snowfall within this range.Except for the highest elevations, where snow does fall, the snow is likely to be wet and clinging in nature due to air temperatures near or perhaps slightly above freezing. This means that rock salt should be able to do a decent job at melting the snow, ice and slush, whereas it would not normally do the job with a typical late January storm with temperatures in the single digits, teens and lower 20s F. The storm will wind down from west to east spanning later Saturday to Sunday afternoon.A blast of Arctic air is not expected to follow in the wake of the storm. Instead, a blend of air from the Pacific and southwestern Canada will settle in. The air will be cold enough to support snow showers and a few bands of lake-effect snow from the Great Lakes to the central Appalachians on Sunday.Blustery conditions over much of the region and cloud cover from the mountains to the Great Lakes will add some chill. However, with the polar vortex expected to remain strong and to retreat north once again, temperatures are likely to be above average in most cases.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


     

  • Disruptive fog to lift as storms bring return of wind, rain to UK      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 11:10:23 -0500

    Disruptive fog to lift as storms bring return of wind, rain to UKA large dome of high pressure that has been centered over the United Kingdom since the weekend will depart in the coming days as a significant pattern change unfolds.The calm weather allowed daily bouts of fog to develop and cause travel disruptions across the U.K. this week as Storm Gloria pounded Spain and southern France with flooding rainfall and snow. Satellite image showing pockets of dense fog across the United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. (EUMETSAT/image) Fog and low cloud may continue to cause travel delays on Thursday and Friday morning before an increase in winds arrives on Saturday which will help to disperse the problematic fog.A few showers may dampen Northern Ireland and Scotland on Saturday and Saturday night as the pattern change begins to take effect.By Sunday, blustery showers are possible across all of the U.K. with more wet and windy weather on the way. The first in a series of storms over the Atlantic will bring rain and strong winds on Monday.This storm has the potential to be a named windstorm with wind gusts over 60 mph. The next name for a windstorm this season will be Ciara.Heavy rainfall will also increase the risk of local flooding and travel disruptions.Additional strong winds and showers will be possible across the country on Tuesday.Another storm set to arrive from Wednesday into Thursday will bring another round of strong to locally damaging winds and downpours.Travel delays and local flooding will again be a concern, especially in areas that receive multiple days of heavy rainfall.There will be little rest for the weary as a third storm may bring additional rain and strong winds throughout the U.K. next weekend.AccuWeather meteorologists say a break in the stormy weather will be possible during the first full week of February.


    Disruptive fog to lift as storms bring return of wind, rain to UKA large dome of high pressure that has been centered over the United Kingdom since the weekend will depart in the coming days as a significant pattern change unfolds.The calm weather allowed daily bouts of fog to develop and cause travel disruptions across the U.K. this week as Storm Gloria pounded Spain and southern France with flooding rainfall and snow. Satellite image showing pockets of dense fog across the United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. (EUMETSAT/image) Fog and low cloud may continue to cause travel delays on Thursday and Friday morning before an increase in winds arrives on Saturday which will help to disperse the problematic fog.A few showers may dampen Northern Ireland and Scotland on Saturday and Saturday night as the pattern change begins to take effect.By Sunday, blustery showers are possible across all of the U.K. with more wet and windy weather on the way. The first in a series of storms over the Atlantic will bring rain and strong winds on Monday.This storm has the potential to be a named windstorm with wind gusts over 60 mph. The next name for a windstorm this season will be Ciara.Heavy rainfall will also increase the risk of local flooding and travel disruptions.Additional strong winds and showers will be possible across the country on Tuesday.Another storm set to arrive from Wednesday into Thursday will bring another round of strong to locally damaging winds and downpours.Travel delays and local flooding will again be a concern, especially in areas that receive multiple days of heavy rainfall.There will be little rest for the weary as a third storm may bring additional rain and strong winds throughout the U.K. next weekend.AccuWeather meteorologists say a break in the stormy weather will be possible during the first full week of February.


     

  • The US plans to force passengers to change routes, and potentially redirect entire flights, to make sure they get screened for the Wuhan virus      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 10:09:00 -0500

    The US plans to force passengers to change routes, and potentially redirect entire flights, to make sure they get screened for the Wuhan virusUS officials described an ambitious 'funnel' system to make sure every passenger from Wuhan, China, to the US gets screened — no matter their route.


    The US plans to force passengers to change routes, and potentially redirect entire flights, to make sure they get screened for the Wuhan virusUS officials described an ambitious 'funnel' system to make sure every passenger from Wuhan, China, to the US gets screened — no matter their route.


     

  • Fears are rising over the spread of China's deadly Wuhan virus, which has now reached the US. Here's how airports around the world are trying to stop it.      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 08:07:11 -0500

    Fears are rising over the spread of China's deadly Wuhan virus, which has now reached the US. Here's how airports around the world are trying to stop it.Authorities want to stop the disease from spreading further after cases were confirmed across China and in four other countries.


    Fears are rising over the spread of China's deadly Wuhan virus, which has now reached the US. Here's how airports around the world are trying to stop it.Authorities want to stop the disease from spreading further after cases were confirmed across China and in four other countries.


     

  • Winter storm spews snow, ice and rain across central US      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 07:20:16 -0500

    Winter storm spews snow, ice and rain across central USA prolonged period of unsettled wintry weather is underway for the midsection of the United States as a slow-moving, multifaceted storm system tracks through the region.Conditions across southeastern Nebraska deteriorated quickly Tuesday night as freezing rain developed, resulting in numerous accidents between Hastings and Omaha. The Nebraska State Patrol urged drivers to stay off the roads on Tuesday night following multiple accidents. (Twitter/@NSP_TroopC) Early Wednesday morning, hazardous driving conditions were also reported along Interstate 94 in Minnesota where state troopers had responded to numerous accidents, including a jackknifed pickup truck that was pulling a trailer. Sleet covered the ground in western Arkansas into the midday hours.The threat for a disruptive wintry mixture of precipitation continued to slowly expand northeastward across the Midwest Wednesday night. This radar image, taken Thursday midday, Jan. 23, 2020, shows rain (green and yellow), ice (pink and purple) and snow (blue) over the middle of the nation. (AccuWeather) Snowfall accumulations across the Midwest through Wednesday night was generally light, especially by Midwesterners' standards. However, a few inches of snow piled up in some locations with up to 6 inches in parts of northern Missouri.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPThe storm system continued to keep many of the same areas across the Midwest grey and dreary on Thursday as well. Some locales, such as St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, may switch back and forth between rain and snow as temperatures hover in the lower to middle 30s.A disturbance in the upper atmosphere will join up with the storm and give it a boost toe end the week. Along with adding the threat for a steadier snow in the Midwest, it will also bring the threat for heavy rain and thunderstorms farther south. If the disturbance is able to inject enough cold air into this storm system, it will bring a threat for more substantial snowfall across the Midwest into Thursday night. Places across Missouri, Iowa and Illinois that received a mixture of rain and snow on Thursday may have a complete changeover to snow during the overnight hours. This would include areas in between the Interstate 70 and 80 corridors in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.If the added boost of energy fails to inject enough cold air into the storm system by Thursday night, many of those places may just continue to have a mixture of rain and snow into Friday morning. The storm system is expected to continue to slowly spin its way towards the Ohio Valley Friday, shifting the threat for wintry weather eastward. Again, depending on how cold the air is in the vicinity of the storm system will determine how widespread the snowfall will be. Regardless of the magnitude of the cold weather, a focal point for some of the steadiest and heaviest snowfall is likely from northern Missouri to southeastern Iowa, northwestern and northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. This area can expect a general 3-6 inches of snow with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 8 inches.The storm system will begin to make a more eastwardly jog from Friday into Saturday, bringing an end to the wet and wintry weather across Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and much of Wisconsin and Illinois. Bouts of rain and snow will likely continue to persist across Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, but again with temperatures hovering in the lower to middle 30s, accumulations may mainly be on non-paved surfaces. At the same time, wintry weather will expand into the Northeast.The entire Midwest and western Great Lakes region will finally say goodbye to the storm system by Sunday, and unlike previous storms to track across the region this January, slightly above-average temperatures are expected in the wake of the system.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


    Winter storm spews snow, ice and rain across central USA prolonged period of unsettled wintry weather is underway for the midsection of the United States as a slow-moving, multifaceted storm system tracks through the region.Conditions across southeastern Nebraska deteriorated quickly Tuesday night as freezing rain developed, resulting in numerous accidents between Hastings and Omaha. The Nebraska State Patrol urged drivers to stay off the roads on Tuesday night following multiple accidents. (Twitter/@NSP_TroopC) Early Wednesday morning, hazardous driving conditions were also reported along Interstate 94 in Minnesota where state troopers had responded to numerous accidents, including a jackknifed pickup truck that was pulling a trailer. Sleet covered the ground in western Arkansas into the midday hours.The threat for a disruptive wintry mixture of precipitation continued to slowly expand northeastward across the Midwest Wednesday night. This radar image, taken Thursday midday, Jan. 23, 2020, shows rain (green and yellow), ice (pink and purple) and snow (blue) over the middle of the nation. (AccuWeather) Snowfall accumulations across the Midwest through Wednesday night was generally light, especially by Midwesterners' standards. However, a few inches of snow piled up in some locations with up to 6 inches in parts of northern Missouri.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPThe storm system continued to keep many of the same areas across the Midwest grey and dreary on Thursday as well. Some locales, such as St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, may switch back and forth between rain and snow as temperatures hover in the lower to middle 30s.A disturbance in the upper atmosphere will join up with the storm and give it a boost toe end the week. Along with adding the threat for a steadier snow in the Midwest, it will also bring the threat for heavy rain and thunderstorms farther south. If the disturbance is able to inject enough cold air into this storm system, it will bring a threat for more substantial snowfall across the Midwest into Thursday night. Places across Missouri, Iowa and Illinois that received a mixture of rain and snow on Thursday may have a complete changeover to snow during the overnight hours. This would include areas in between the Interstate 70 and 80 corridors in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.If the added boost of energy fails to inject enough cold air into the storm system by Thursday night, many of those places may just continue to have a mixture of rain and snow into Friday morning. The storm system is expected to continue to slowly spin its way towards the Ohio Valley Friday, shifting the threat for wintry weather eastward. Again, depending on how cold the air is in the vicinity of the storm system will determine how widespread the snowfall will be. Regardless of the magnitude of the cold weather, a focal point for some of the steadiest and heaviest snowfall is likely from northern Missouri to southeastern Iowa, northwestern and northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. This area can expect a general 3-6 inches of snow with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 8 inches.The storm system will begin to make a more eastwardly jog from Friday into Saturday, bringing an end to the wet and wintry weather across Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and much of Wisconsin and Illinois. Bouts of rain and snow will likely continue to persist across Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, but again with temperatures hovering in the lower to middle 30s, accumulations may mainly be on non-paved surfaces. At the same time, wintry weather will expand into the Northeast.The entire Midwest and western Great Lakes region will finally say goodbye to the storm system by Sunday, and unlike previous storms to track across the region this January, slightly above-average temperatures are expected in the wake of the system.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


     

  • Here are the symptoms of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus and when you should be worried      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 06:37:19 -0500

    Here are the symptoms of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus and when you should be worriedThe deadly coronavirus 2019-nCoV, known as the Wuhan virus, has killed nine people and infected 440 others in China.


    Here are the symptoms of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus and when you should be worriedThe deadly coronavirus 2019-nCoV, known as the Wuhan virus, has killed nine people and infected 440 others in China.


     

  • China warns the deadly Wuhan coronavirus is 'mutating' and could spread further, with over 2,000 people tested after being close to those infected      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 05:41:01 -0500

    China warns the deadly Wuhan coronavirus is 'mutating' and could spread further, with over 2,000 people tested after being close to those infectedThe number of people known to be infected with the Wuhan coronavirus has increased ninefold in just one week, and it has spread to other countries.


    China warns the deadly Wuhan coronavirus is 'mutating' and could spread further, with over 2,000 people tested after being close to those infectedThe number of people known to be infected with the Wuhan coronavirus has increased ninefold in just one week, and it has spread to other countries.


     

  • A terrifying graph shows how fast the Wuhan virus has spread so far and how close it is to becoming a pandemic      Wed, 22 Jan 2020 05:32:30 -0500

    A terrifying graph shows how fast the Wuhan virus has spread so far and how close it is to becoming a pandemicChina has blamed the Wuhan coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, for nine deaths, with hundreds more confirmed cases of infection.


    A terrifying graph shows how fast the Wuhan virus has spread so far and how close it is to becoming a pandemicChina has blamed the Wuhan coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, for nine deaths, with hundreds more confirmed cases of infection.


     

  • The US is ramping up efforts to catch the Wuhan coronavirus and stop it from spreading. But there are still gaps in the net.      Tue, 21 Jan 2020 22:29:17 -0500

    The US is ramping up efforts to catch the Wuhan coronavirus and stop it from spreading. But there are still gaps in the net.Five major US airports are due to screen passengers who may be carrying a deadly respiratory infection from Wuhan, China. But the system is imperfect.


    The US is ramping up efforts to catch the Wuhan coronavirus and stop it from spreading. But there are still gaps in the net.Five major US airports are due to screen passengers who may be carrying a deadly respiratory infection from Wuhan, China. But the system is imperfect.


     

  • The Wuhan virus sweeping China has now killed 9 people and infected more than 440      Tue, 21 Jan 2020 21:34:50 -0500

    The Wuhan virus sweeping China has now killed 9 people and infected more than 440The Chinese National Health Commission added three deaths and more than 100 confirmed infections to its official toll Wednesday morning local time.


    The Wuhan virus sweeping China has now killed 9 people and infected more than 440The Chinese National Health Commission added three deaths and more than 100 confirmed infections to its official toll Wednesday morning local time.


     

  • NASA lists nine potential names suggested by kids for its next Mars rover: Vote for your favorite      Tue, 21 Jan 2020 19:53:26 -0500

    NASA lists nine potential names suggested by kids for its next Mars rover: Vote for your favoriteNASA and an army of nearly 4,700 volunteer judges have selected nine potential names for a rover that's due to be launched to Mars in July, and you have just six days to cast an online vote for your favorite name. NASA kicked off the "Name the Rover" essay contest last August, and more than 28,000 name suggestions and accompanying essays were received from students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It took weeks for the judges to narrow down the field, first to 155 semifinalists, and then to the nine finalists — three for grades K-4, three for grades 5-8,… Read More


    NASA lists nine potential names suggested by kids for its next Mars rover: Vote for your favoriteNASA and an army of nearly 4,700 volunteer judges have selected nine potential names for a rover that's due to be launched to Mars in July, and you have just six days to cast an online vote for your favorite name. NASA kicked off the "Name the Rover" essay contest last August, and more than 28,000 name suggestions and accompanying essays were received from students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It took weeks for the judges to narrow down the field, first to 155 semifinalists, and then to the nine finalists — three for grades K-4, three for grades 5-8,… Read More


     

  • Lego is releasing an International Space Station set. The company sent it into the stratosphere in a brilliant marketing stunt.      Tue, 21 Jan 2020 19:51:00 -0500

    Lego is releasing an International Space Station set. The company sent it into the stratosphere in a brilliant marketing stunt.Lego's International Space Station set is slated to go on sale in February. A marketing stunt carried it into the stratosphere.


    Lego is releasing an International Space Station set. The company sent it into the stratosphere in a brilliant marketing stunt.Lego's International Space Station set is slated to go on sale in February. A marketing stunt carried it into the stratosphere.


     

  • NASA launches new program to chase big snowstorms like never before      Tue, 21 Jan 2020 15:29:35 -0500

    NASA launches new program to chase big snowstorms like never beforeOf all the weather elements, perhaps none causes forecasters more fits than predicting snow accumulation totals. Trying to forecast snow presents challenges for local TV meteorologists, government forecasters and even the experts here at AccuWeather."It has to do with the liquid to snow ratio," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski explained. Sosnowski has been forecasting for AccuWeather since 1983 and he has seen and predicted all manner of winter weather in his day."If you're off by a couple of tenths of an inch of liquid, that can be the difference between a coating of snow and 3 or 4 inches of snow. And that can have major implications for road conditions and travel in general."And it's not just the science that makes it tricky, Sosnowski said. Psychology plays a factor too. "The other problem is people only hear the higher number in a forecast range for snow accumulations," he continued. "So, if you predict 3 to 6 inches and a place gets 2 ½ inches, people may think that the forecast was a bust. But actually, it was pretty close."But there's only so much meteorologists can do about public perception. To better understand the science of snowstorms, particularly those that wreak havoc over the northeastern part of the United States, NASA has announced a new initiative aimed at solving some of the enduring mysteries surrounding snowfall.Scientists are set to embark on the first comprehensive study of East Coast snowstorms in 30 years, which could help improve the quality of forecasts in the years to come. NASA's ER-2 aircraft flies over a storm system in North Carolina during the Integrated Precipitation and Hydrology Experiment. (Image via NASA/Stu Broce) The multi-year project is called the Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threating Snowstorms (IMPACTS) and scientists at NASA expect it will have many benefits once the research is complete.NASA already uses the vantage point of space to monitor what's happening in planet Earth's atmosphere at any given time, and for this project the space agency will deploy two aircraft to chase and "study the inner workings of snowstorms," NASA said in a statement. NASA will complement the air and space effort with a significant ground game, consisting of numerous weather instruments collecting data from the Earth's surface.AccuWeather Broadcast Meteorologists Brittany Boyer and Geoffrey Cornish recently interviewed Lynn McMurdie, a research associate professor at the University of Washington, who is currently working with NASA studying East Coast storms. The red arrow in the radar image above is pointing to a snow band, a generally narrow area of heavier snow moving through the atmosphere, moving over central and southern New Jersey during a nor'easter in early March 2018. (AccuWeather) "We focus on snowstorms that we can reach with our aircraft. We will be looking at, not only the storm itself but inside the storm, there are regions of heavier snowfall organized in things called snow bands," McMurdie said on the AccuWeather Network. Snow bands are narrow areas of heavier precipitation falling as snow that move through the atmosphere.The project is investigating the processes that contribute to snow band formation and how that might be applied to things like improving forecasts.Researchers know these snow bands occur, but they don't know why snow bands form or the processes that govern how they evolve over a storm's lifetime, McMurdie said."We are going to be measuring the snow bands primarily using aircraft. That enables us to reach snowstorms that are in a variety of locations," McMurdie said.Areas that get a lot of snow tend to be beneath narrow regions within the clouds called snow bands which produce intense snowfall. Other regions of clouds don't snow as hard. Dr. Lynn McMurdie during a video explaining the IMPACTS project. (NASA) The team had to do a lot of planning because the two aircrafts require many different components. One will be flying very high above the snowstorms and one will be flying inside the snowstorms."The high-flying aircraft called the ER-2 will be equipped with remote sensing instrumentation looking down at the snowstorms as we fly patterns over top of them. The remote sensing instruments are like radars and radiometers," McMurdie said."Inside the snowstorm itself will be the P-3 which will be flying right in the clouds where the snowflakes are forming, measuring the environment they are forming in and actually the shapes and sizes of crystals themselves," McMurdie said.The P-3 is outfitted with cloud probes fitted under the wings that will measure the sizes and shapes of snowflakes, as well as the temperature, water vapor, and other elements of the environment in which they form.Collectively known as microphysics, "these properties are what govern the small interactions of water droplets and ice crystals as they collide, melt or freeze and eventually fall as rain or snow," NASA said in the statement announcing the initiative.Relating those two together helps researchers understand the processes that make snow bands, which can result in one place picking up twice or three times as much snow as another very nearby location. NASA's P-3 and ER-2 research planes are studying East Coast snowstorms Jan. 17-March 1, 2020. (NASA) CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP"We are hoping to chase as many winter storms as we possibly can. We are OK with going with the weak ones all the way to the big nor'easters, and we can also go in different locations," McMurdie said.The aircraft is located in Wallops Flight Facility in Wattsville, Virginia, which allows the team the ability to reach storms that are in the Midwest and on the East Coast, as well as just offshore when the storm has already gone past the country."We are looking for any winter storms that are in that range, primarily focusing on snow as best as we can. But if it happens to be raining at the surface, the processes that make the rain start as snow a lot ... we will be measuring that, so that will help us answer our science questions," McMurdie said.This multi-institutional study will gather data during the next three winters with a six- to seven-week operation window. The team will be able to look at enough storms over that time period to get a better understanding of snowstorm structures."For the everyday person, the benefits will be in the long term since we will hopefully improve the way our numerical models handle these snowstorms and the snowfall portions of these snowstorms, and they help us improve our measurement from space," McMurdie said.NASA has many satellites rotating around the Earth that measure precipitation, and this project will also help measure that and the global water cycle."We will improve how we [measure precipitation]," McMurdie said, adding that right now precipitation measurement is challenging for scientists. "These results will help us to do that."Additional reporting by Doug Hicks.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


    NASA launches new program to chase big snowstorms like never beforeOf all the weather elements, perhaps none causes forecasters more fits than predicting snow accumulation totals. Trying to forecast snow presents challenges for local TV meteorologists, government forecasters and even the experts here at AccuWeather."It has to do with the liquid to snow ratio," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski explained. Sosnowski has been forecasting for AccuWeather since 1983 and he has seen and predicted all manner of winter weather in his day."If you're off by a couple of tenths of an inch of liquid, that can be the difference between a coating of snow and 3 or 4 inches of snow. And that can have major implications for road conditions and travel in general."And it's not just the science that makes it tricky, Sosnowski said. Psychology plays a factor too. "The other problem is people only hear the higher number in a forecast range for snow accumulations," he continued. "So, if you predict 3 to 6 inches and a place gets 2 ½ inches, people may think that the forecast was a bust. But actually, it was pretty close."But there's only so much meteorologists can do about public perception. To better understand the science of snowstorms, particularly those that wreak havoc over the northeastern part of the United States, NASA has announced a new initiative aimed at solving some of the enduring mysteries surrounding snowfall.Scientists are set to embark on the first comprehensive study of East Coast snowstorms in 30 years, which could help improve the quality of forecasts in the years to come. NASA's ER-2 aircraft flies over a storm system in North Carolina during the Integrated Precipitation and Hydrology Experiment. (Image via NASA/Stu Broce) The multi-year project is called the Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threating Snowstorms (IMPACTS) and scientists at NASA expect it will have many benefits once the research is complete.NASA already uses the vantage point of space to monitor what's happening in planet Earth's atmosphere at any given time, and for this project the space agency will deploy two aircraft to chase and "study the inner workings of snowstorms," NASA said in a statement. NASA will complement the air and space effort with a significant ground game, consisting of numerous weather instruments collecting data from the Earth's surface.AccuWeather Broadcast Meteorologists Brittany Boyer and Geoffrey Cornish recently interviewed Lynn McMurdie, a research associate professor at the University of Washington, who is currently working with NASA studying East Coast storms. The red arrow in the radar image above is pointing to a snow band, a generally narrow area of heavier snow moving through the atmosphere, moving over central and southern New Jersey during a nor'easter in early March 2018. (AccuWeather) "We focus on snowstorms that we can reach with our aircraft. We will be looking at, not only the storm itself but inside the storm, there are regions of heavier snowfall organized in things called snow bands," McMurdie said on the AccuWeather Network. Snow bands are narrow areas of heavier precipitation falling as snow that move through the atmosphere.The project is investigating the processes that contribute to snow band formation and how that might be applied to things like improving forecasts.Researchers know these snow bands occur, but they don't know why snow bands form or the processes that govern how they evolve over a storm's lifetime, McMurdie said."We are going to be measuring the snow bands primarily using aircraft. That enables us to reach snowstorms that are in a variety of locations," McMurdie said.Areas that get a lot of snow tend to be beneath narrow regions within the clouds called snow bands which produce intense snowfall. Other regions of clouds don't snow as hard. Dr. Lynn McMurdie during a video explaining the IMPACTS project. (NASA) The team had to do a lot of planning because the two aircrafts require many different components. One will be flying very high above the snowstorms and one will be flying inside the snowstorms."The high-flying aircraft called the ER-2 will be equipped with remote sensing instrumentation looking down at the snowstorms as we fly patterns over top of them. The remote sensing instruments are like radars and radiometers," McMurdie said."Inside the snowstorm itself will be the P-3 which will be flying right in the clouds where the snowflakes are forming, measuring the environment they are forming in and actually the shapes and sizes of crystals themselves," McMurdie said.The P-3 is outfitted with cloud probes fitted under the wings that will measure the sizes and shapes of snowflakes, as well as the temperature, water vapor, and other elements of the environment in which they form.Collectively known as microphysics, "these properties are what govern the small interactions of water droplets and ice crystals as they collide, melt or freeze and eventually fall as rain or snow," NASA said in the statement announcing the initiative.Relating those two together helps researchers understand the processes that make snow bands, which can result in one place picking up twice or three times as much snow as another very nearby location. NASA's P-3 and ER-2 research planes are studying East Coast snowstorms Jan. 17-March 1, 2020. (NASA) CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP"We are hoping to chase as many winter storms as we possibly can. We are OK with going with the weak ones all the way to the big nor'easters, and we can also go in different locations," McMurdie said.The aircraft is located in Wallops Flight Facility in Wattsville, Virginia, which allows the team the ability to reach storms that are in the Midwest and on the East Coast, as well as just offshore when the storm has already gone past the country."We are looking for any winter storms that are in that range, primarily focusing on snow as best as we can. But if it happens to be raining at the surface, the processes that make the rain start as snow a lot ... we will be measuring that, so that will help us answer our science questions," McMurdie said.This multi-institutional study will gather data during the next three winters with a six- to seven-week operation window. The team will be able to look at enough storms over that time period to get a better understanding of snowstorm structures."For the everyday person, the benefits will be in the long term since we will hopefully improve the way our numerical models handle these snowstorms and the snowfall portions of these snowstorms, and they help us improve our measurement from space," McMurdie said.NASA has many satellites rotating around the Earth that measure precipitation, and this project will also help measure that and the global water cycle."We will improve how we [measure precipitation]," McMurdie said, adding that right now precipitation measurement is challenging for scientists. "These results will help us to do that."Additional reporting by Doug Hicks.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


     

  • Why These Australia Fires Are Like Nothing We've Seen Before      Tue, 21 Jan 2020 14:59:13 -0500

    Why These Australia Fires Are Like Nothing We've Seen BeforeSYDNEY -- In late October, lightning struck brittle earth on Gospers Mountain in New South Wales. The remains of trees bone dry from consecutive winters with little to no rain were ignited, and the fire quickly spread.Three months later, it is still burning.The Gospers Mountain fire, which became Australia's largest "megablaze" as it grew to link several separate fires, offers a sense of the scale of the country's most disastrous fire season ever. The blaze has burned 2 million acres, enveloping hinterland and wine country, and prompted a special mission to save prehistoric trees so rare their exact location is kept secret.That fire is now largely contained. But dozens of others are still burning in the southeastern states of New South Wales and Victoria, some out of control, despite heavy rain in some areas in recent days. And fire season is far from over -- hot and windy conditions are expected to return this week, and a month of summer remains. Here is a look at the devastation.The amount of land burned is immense.The modern world has never seen anything quite like these Australia fires.About 16 million acres have burned in New South Wales and Victoria, where the crisis is centered. That's an area about the size of West Virginia. Millions more acres have burned in other parts of the country.What sets these blazes apart, in terms of their size, is that they are happening in populated areas. Until now, fires this large happened mostly in places like northern Canada or Siberia, where few people live and blazes burn largely uncontrolled."What we're seeing in Australia, in a completely different environment, are fires that are approaching or even exceeding the magnitude of things that we only saw in the most remote forested regions in the world," said Ross Bradstock, director of the Center for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales."We're looking at a globally significant fire season in Australia," he added.The numbers from Australia dwarf those from some of the most high-profile fires in recent years.The bush fires in southeastern Australia this season have burned about eight times as much land as the 2018 fires in California, which covered nearly 2 million acres and were the worst in that state's recorded history. They are also far larger than the estimates of 2.2 million acres burned by September last year in the Amazon basin, where farmers, some emboldened by the policies of President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, ignited tens of thousands of fires to clear land."It's quite phenomenal and far exceeds anything you would see in the western USA, which is a very fire-prone area, the southwest of Canada, the Mediterranean and parts of South America," Bradstock said. "It's so much bigger than anything else."It goes well beyond a ravaged landscape.Australia has had deadlier fire seasons: The Black Saturday bush fires, which began in February 2009 when downed power lines ignited blazes that were spread by 60 mph winds, killed 173 people in Victoria. The 2018 California fires killed 103 people.But the losses Australia is experiencing in lives and property are still staggering, and not yet over. At least 29 people have been killed. Hundreds of millions of animals, by some estimates, have perished or are facing starvation or dehydration in devastated habitats. And more than 2,500 homes have been destroyed.Smoke generated by the fires has blanketed Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, at times giving them some of the worst air in the world. The prolonged exposure of bush fire smoke to millions of people has raised fears of health effects that could last for years.Early this month, NASA began tracking a plume of smoke from the fires that was the size of the continental United States. By Jan. 14, smoke had circumnavigated the globe, returning to eastern Australia. Along the way, it caused hazardous breathing conditions in New Zealand and discolored skies in South America.The fires have also produced huge amounts of heat-trapping carbon emissions. A top expert on greenhouse gas emissions at Australia's national research agency told NPR that the fires in southeastern Australia had produced as much carbon as the entire country emits from man-made sources in more than eight months of the year.Climate change helped set the table.Why have these fires been so vast? While Australia is normally hot and dry in the summer, climate change is bringing longer and more frequent periods of extreme heat. That makes vegetation drier and more likely to burn.Last year was the hottest and driest year on record in Australia, and some regions have been gripped by drought for years. This season, the fires started earlier than usual -- some as soon as July -- and they are expected to last well into February and even March.High temperatures, strong winds and dry forests have combined to create the conditions for powerful fires. There have even been blazes in wetlands and rainforests that have not contended with this threat before. To combat the flames, tens of thousands of firefighters, most of them volunteers, have been called on to work long days over extended periods.Most of the fires have been caused by lightning strikes, though some people have misleadingly pointed to arson in an effort to minimize the links to climate change and the Australian government's inaction on the issue. Others have argued that the drought is unrelated to climate change, though there is evidence that warming temperatures have been a major contributor to it, in part by pushing rain out of areas where it once fell."The wildfires decimating Australia, killing people, ravaging wild habitats and pushing communities and firefighters to their absolute limits are growing and coalescing into the country's worst peacetime catastrophe precisely because of climate change," said Paul Read, co-director of the National Center for Research in Bushfire and Arson at Monash University in Melbourne.Here is what the future looks like.In Australia's history, most bad fire seasons have coincided with the warming of an El Niño pattern. But that is not the case this time, showing how much this season stands out and the danger the country faces with more unpredictable weather patterns in the future.While scientists have long predicted that climate change would bring longer and more intense fire seasons, the blazes were not expected to be this bad this soon, Bradstock said. Under his projections, Australia would not have seen this kind of devastation for another 40 to 50 years, he said."I guess I'm as shocked as anyone about what's unfolding and, probably, like everyone else who's involved and affected, we'll very quickly recalibrate thinking about what we're doing," he said.Recalibrating means expecting these phenomenal fires to continue to occur, particularly as Australia's drought shows few signs of ending, and temperatures are expected to continue to climb after the warmest decade on record."We would be extremely foolish given all the evidence and the magnitude of this event to just laugh it off as a one-off phenomenon," Bradstock said. "I think we have to get ready to deal with a season like this again in the not-too-distant future."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


    Why These Australia Fires Are Like Nothing We've Seen BeforeSYDNEY -- In late October, lightning struck brittle earth on Gospers Mountain in New South Wales. The remains of trees bone dry from consecutive winters with little to no rain were ignited, and the fire quickly spread.Three months later, it is still burning.The Gospers Mountain fire, which became Australia's largest "megablaze" as it grew to link several separate fires, offers a sense of the scale of the country's most disastrous fire season ever. The blaze has burned 2 million acres, enveloping hinterland and wine country, and prompted a special mission to save prehistoric trees so rare their exact location is kept secret.That fire is now largely contained. But dozens of others are still burning in the southeastern states of New South Wales and Victoria, some out of control, despite heavy rain in some areas in recent days. And fire season is far from over -- hot and windy conditions are expected to return this week, and a month of summer remains. Here is a look at the devastation.The amount of land burned is immense.The modern world has never seen anything quite like these Australia fires.About 16 million acres have burned in New South Wales and Victoria, where the crisis is centered. That's an area about the size of West Virginia. Millions more acres have burned in other parts of the country.What sets these blazes apart, in terms of their size, is that they are happening in populated areas. Until now, fires this large happened mostly in places like northern Canada or Siberia, where few people live and blazes burn largely uncontrolled."What we're seeing in Australia, in a completely different environment, are fires that are approaching or even exceeding the magnitude of things that we only saw in the most remote forested regions in the world," said Ross Bradstock, director of the Center for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales."We're looking at a globally significant fire season in Australia," he added.The numbers from Australia dwarf those from some of the most high-profile fires in recent years.The bush fires in southeastern Australia this season have burned about eight times as much land as the 2018 fires in California, which covered nearly 2 million acres and were the worst in that state's recorded history. They are also far larger than the estimates of 2.2 million acres burned by September last year in the Amazon basin, where farmers, some emboldened by the policies of President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, ignited tens of thousands of fires to clear land."It's quite phenomenal and far exceeds anything you would see in the western USA, which is a very fire-prone area, the southwest of Canada, the Mediterranean and parts of South America," Bradstock said. "It's so much bigger than anything else."It goes well beyond a ravaged landscape.Australia has had deadlier fire seasons: The Black Saturday bush fires, which began in February 2009 when downed power lines ignited blazes that were spread by 60 mph winds, killed 173 people in Victoria. The 2018 California fires killed 103 people.But the losses Australia is experiencing in lives and property are still staggering, and not yet over. At least 29 people have been killed. Hundreds of millions of animals, by some estimates, have perished or are facing starvation or dehydration in devastated habitats. And more than 2,500 homes have been destroyed.Smoke generated by the fires has blanketed Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, at times giving them some of the worst air in the world. The prolonged exposure of bush fire smoke to millions of people has raised fears of health effects that could last for years.Early this month, NASA began tracking a plume of smoke from the fires that was the size of the continental United States. By Jan. 14, smoke had circumnavigated the globe, returning to eastern Australia. Along the way, it caused hazardous breathing conditions in New Zealand and discolored skies in South America.The fires have also produced huge amounts of heat-trapping carbon emissions. A top expert on greenhouse gas emissions at Australia's national research agency told NPR that the fires in southeastern Australia had produced as much carbon as the entire country emits from man-made sources in more than eight months of the year.Climate change helped set the table.Why have these fires been so vast? While Australia is normally hot and dry in the summer, climate change is bringing longer and more frequent periods of extreme heat. That makes vegetation drier and more likely to burn.Last year was the hottest and driest year on record in Australia, and some regions have been gripped by drought for years. This season, the fires started earlier than usual -- some as soon as July -- and they are expected to last well into February and even March.High temperatures, strong winds and dry forests have combined to create the conditions for powerful fires. There have even been blazes in wetlands and rainforests that have not contended with this threat before. To combat the flames, tens of thousands of firefighters, most of them volunteers, have been called on to work long days over extended periods.Most of the fires have been caused by lightning strikes, though some people have misleadingly pointed to arson in an effort to minimize the links to climate change and the Australian government's inaction on the issue. Others have argued that the drought is unrelated to climate change, though there is evidence that warming temperatures have been a major contributor to it, in part by pushing rain out of areas where it once fell."The wildfires decimating Australia, killing people, ravaging wild habitats and pushing communities and firefighters to their absolute limits are growing and coalescing into the country's worst peacetime catastrophe precisely because of climate change," said Paul Read, co-director of the National Center for Research in Bushfire and Arson at Monash University in Melbourne.Here is what the future looks like.In Australia's history, most bad fire seasons have coincided with the warming of an El Niño pattern. But that is not the case this time, showing how much this season stands out and the danger the country faces with more unpredictable weather patterns in the future.While scientists have long predicted that climate change would bring longer and more intense fire seasons, the blazes were not expected to be this bad this soon, Bradstock said. Under his projections, Australia would not have seen this kind of devastation for another 40 to 50 years, he said."I guess I'm as shocked as anyone about what's unfolding and, probably, like everyone else who's involved and affected, we'll very quickly recalibrate thinking about what we're doing," he said.Recalibrating means expecting these phenomenal fires to continue to occur, particularly as Australia's drought shows few signs of ending, and temperatures are expected to continue to climb after the warmest decade on record."We would be extremely foolish given all the evidence and the magnitude of this event to just laugh it off as a one-off phenomenon," Bradstock said. "I think we have to get ready to deal with a season like this again in the not-too-distant future."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


     

  • Researchers went to festivals to study psychedelic drugs and found they left people feeling happy and connected hours after the high wore off      Tue, 21 Jan 2020 14:28:00 -0500

    Researchers went to festivals to study psychedelic drugs and found they left people feeling happy and connected hours after the high wore offYale University researchers went to six festivals in the US and UK to study how psychedelic drugs like 'magic' mushrooms affected festival goers.


    Researchers went to festivals to study psychedelic drugs and found they left people feeling happy and connected hours after the high wore offYale University researchers went to six festivals in the US and UK to study how psychedelic drugs like 'magic' mushrooms affected festival goers.


     



Copyright 1997-2011 SQLData System, Inc  All rights reserved.

Comments, or suggestions? Send to info2 at sqldata.com

This site is powered by SQLData SOAP Server