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An “Atmospheric River” Is About To Wallop California — Here’s What It Means

People canoeing in a flooded Healdsburg, California, parking lot in December.  AP / Eric Risberg

People canoeing in a flooded Healdsburg, California, parking lot in December. AP / Eric Risberg

Atmospheric rivers are rare and not particularly well-understood tropical weather phenomena that bring moisture from one place and drop it on another. They are narrow, intense, and warm, hence the “river” part. They also carry a lot of water, National Weather Service forecaster Steve Anderson told BuzzFeed News. “It’s grabbing some subtropical moisture from Hawaii and with the warmer air more moisture can be held,” Anderson explained. One type of atmospheric river is the so-called “Pineapple Express,” because it originates in the tropics. Anderson said that these storms contrast to what California normally experiences at this time of year — colder, drier storms moving south from the Gulf of Alaska…

 

2013 record heatwave ‘virtually impossible’ without climate change, Climate Council of Australia report says

More than 123 temperature records were broken during the summer of 2013. (BoM)

More than 123 temperature records were broken during the summer of 2013. (BoM)

A new report by the Climate Council of Australia says it would have been “virtually impossible” for 2013 to be the hottest year in the country’s record without man-made emissions in the atmosphere. The independently-funded group used new modelling to look at the odds of extreme heat events occurring, with and without man-made emissions…

 

Rising from the floods, the Kelantanese show their resilience

IN a makeshift kitchen standing on the site of a house ruined by the floods in Kampung Laloh here, Rozita Mat Saad and some family members were busy cooking ‘nasi goreng ikan bilis’ (fried rice with anchovies) in a big wok. At an adjacent space covered with building materials salvaged from the floods, a few of her siblings were frying the ‘Cek Mek Molek’, a Kelantanese fritter made from sweet potatoes. “We are cooking more than we need, the others who are homeless and have yet to start cooking can come and eat with us here, we are ready to share whatever little we have,” she said in a gentle tone. Though the family home was ruined by the floods, Rozita has been putting up there with her parents and siblings as her own house located some 500 metres away was also destroyed by the deluge…

 

Blizzard alert! How do US cities compare in dealing with major snowstorms?

Residents in South Boston dig out their cars following the recent visit of snowstorm Juno. Photograph: CJ Gunther/EPA

Residents in South Boston dig out their cars following the recent visit of snowstorm Juno. Photograph: CJ Gunther/EPA

American TV audiences were riveted last week by the sight of CNN anchor Don Lemon roaming the virtually vacant streets of New York in the news channel’s very own “Blizzardmobile”. In anticipation of the major snowstorm that had been forecast, mayor Bill de Blasio had shut the subways and closed schools, while governor Andrew Cuomo – along with his counterparts across the region – had declared a state of emergency…

 

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