The National Weather Service (NWS) this week warned a “scorching heat wave” is expected to affect roughly two-thirds of the nation starting Wednesday and continuing through the weekend. On its website, the NWS said a “dangerous and widespread summer heatwave” is caused by a “large dome of high pressure that will allow high temperatures to surge into the 90s and 100s in many locations.”
At least one person was killed and 130 were injured as a rapid-fire line of tornadoes tore across Indiana and Ohio, packed so closely together that one crossed the path carved by another. The storms were among 55 twisters that forecasters said may have touched down Monday across eight states stretching eastward from Idaho and Colorado. The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the US, with no immediate end to the pattern in sight.
A devastating series of tornadoes ripped through Alabama on Sunday, killing at least 23 people in one county. The victims including children, died in Lee County, said Sheriff Jay Jones. At least 12 of those deaths occurred in an area about 5 to 6 miles south of the city of Opelika, he said. The 23 deaths reported on Sunday marked what would be deadliest day for tornadoes in the state since the deadly Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado that killed more than 200 people in 2011.
At least eight deaths have been reported in the U.S. as the deadly polar vortex with frigid Arctic temperatures slammed the Midwest and headed east on Wednesday. The polar vortex has caused temperatures to drop much farther south than usual, with temperatures in certain areas of the Midwest comparable or below those in Antarctica, where the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station hit minus 25 degrees. “A record arctic air mass will remain over the central and eastern U.S. over the next several days,” the NWS warned Tuesday.
Severe winter weather, including snow and bitter cold is snarling air travel from the upper midwestern U.S. to Georgia this week. Temperatures will remain well below zero degrees Fahrenheit in the Chicago area on Wednesday and early Thursday with “dangerously cold wind chills” of as low as minus 50, the National Weather Service said. Airlines canceled more than 850 flights scheduled to fly to or from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday, about a third of the day’s schedule at the American Airlines and United Airlines hub.
At least three people were killed in a heavy snowstorm in North Carolina as hundreds were left without power. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Monday that ‘a year’s worth of snowfall’ touched down in one day. The storm was expected to move off the coast on Monday but remain a ‘dangerous system.’
Hawaii saw nearly 20 inches of rain with flooding and landslides on Friday as Hurricane Lane approached the island. Public schools across the state are closed Friday in anticipation of the Category 3 storm and several major airlines have issued weather waivers. Typhoons Cimarron and Soulik weakened after battering Japan and South Korea this week.
Thousands of residents in Florida have been ordered to evacuate as Hurricane Michael will reach the area on Wednesday. The storm has already killed 13 people in Central America and is expected to be a category four hurricane with winds faster than 100mph. States of emergency have been declared in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
Evacuations have been ordered as the US East Coast braces for Hurricane Florence – in what may be the strongest storm to hit the region in decades. South Carolina residents have been ordered to evacuate from the coast as the state prepares for the category four hurricane to make landfall later this week. More than 1 million people face mandatory evacuation orders in coastal areas of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
At least 50 people were killed as a wildfire swept through the Greek town of Mati, just 18 miles east of Athens on Monday. Greece invoked EU civil protection agreements for help in fighting the fire. At least 30 people have been killed as a heat wave in Japan reached record high temperatures on Monday.