Tropical Storm Lee is now swirling over the Gulf of Mexico, heading toward the drought-stricken states along the Gulf Coast; and although the storm is packing plentiful rain, it looks as though the system will live up to its unlucky former name, Tropical Depression 13.Forecasters say it appears the storm is going to dump the most rain where it's needed least, and deprive some of the driest regions in its path of any relief from some of the worst droughts on record.Tropical Storm Lee is projected to drop the heaviest rains on parts of Louisiana surrounding New Orleans — between 10 and 15 inches (25 and 38 centimeters), possibly up to 20 inches (50 cm) in some small pockets.Southeast Louisiana is in the midst of a drought, though not nearly as severe as those in regions nearby. Two large fires burning outside New Orleans have sent troublesome smoke through the city in recent days, which the rains could help put out."So we are welcoming it for that, but this is more rain than we … [Read more...] about Tropical Storm Lee’s Heavy Rain: Blessing or Curse for Gulf Coast?
Further ReadingForget boots on the ground, half of US-Mexico border watched via droneThe Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) own watchdog says that drones deployed at the United States-Mexico border do not achieve their objective of protecting the country. In a 37-page report issued on December 24, 2014 but published for the first time on Tuesday, DHS’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) concluded that "after 8 years, [Customs and Border Protection, or CBP] cannot prove that the program is effective because it has not developed performance measures." In a statement, the agency had a damning conclusion for the CBP drone program, which anticipates spending an additional $443 million to acquire and operate 14 more drones. "Notwithstanding the significant investment, we see no evidence that the drones contribute to a more secure border, and there is no reason to invest additional taxpayer funds at this time," said Inspector General John Roth in the statement. "Securing … [Read more...] about Feds find border drones don’t actually make border more secure
The wildfires burning in Texas are visible all the way from space, as seen in photos by astronauts on the International Space Station.NASA astronaut Mike Fossum was particularly saddened to see the fires, because Bastrop State Park, one of the damaged areas, is a favorite spot of his.Fossum asked Mission Control to update him about the fires, which have raged over thousands of acres in Central Texas during the past week. The fires are thought to have been spurred by winds from Tropical Storm Lee , which swirled over the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend and made landfall on the Gulf Coast."Did you guys confirm that the state park Bastrop is one of the directly affected areas with the fire in that region?" Fossum asked from space on Tuesday (Sept. 6). [Photos: Hurricane Irene Views From Space]"Yes Mike, unfortunately that's true," capcom Jay Marschke replied from Houston. "The news agencies are reporting up to two-thirds of the park has been burned and hundreds of homes in the area have … [Read more...] about Astronauts Spot Texas Wildfires From Space
A colder and wetter than average winter is in store for the Pacific Northwest, while the southern United States and California are expected to see a warmer and drier winter, government forecasters announced today (Oct. 21).Overall, forecasters expect another winter of extremes ahead based on the strengthening La Niña, a climate phenomenon that is associated with cooler-than-normal water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.This includes increased chances of storms and flooding in the northern plains and the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, while drought conditions continue in Hawaii.La Niña has the opposite effect as its cousin El Niño, but both occur every two to five years and drive extreme weather around the globe. Last winter's El Niño contributed to record-breaking precipitation and flooding in some parts of the United States, while other areas experienced record heat and drought."La Niña is in place and will strengthen and persist through the winter … [Read more...] about Another Winter of Extremes, Forecasters Say