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Tennessee Wildfire is ‘Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen’

Tennessee Wildfire is ‘Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen’

The Southeast’s spate of freakish fall fires continued on Monday night. Tinderbox conditions and powerful winds whipped up a firestorm in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, forcing the evacuation of at least 14,000 residents from the gateway communities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Fleeing residents documented a harrowing nighttime … Read More

What a Warmer Future Means for Southeastern Wildfires

What a Warmer Future Means for Southeastern Wildfires

When Jeff Prestemon stepped outside his home near Raleigh, N.C., last Friday around 9 a.m., the skies were clear, the air “perfectly breathable.” But just an hour-and-a-half later, the winds had shifted, drawing with them the smoke from regional wildfires. “It was putrid,” Prestemon, a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service, said. “It stung… Read More

La Niña Arrives, Likely to Exacerbate Southern Drought

La Niña Arrives, Likely to Exacerbate Southern Drought

La Niña is here. But unlike the El Niño that preceded it, this climate event is expected to be weak and short-lived, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. But that doesn’t mean the U.S. won’t see some of the typical impacts of a La Niña; forecasters expect it to tilt the odds in favor of warmer, drier conditions across… Read More

Toasty October Keeps U.S. on Track for 2nd-Hottest Year

Toasty October Keeps U.S. on Track for 2nd-Hottest Year

The U.S. is still cruising toward its second-hottest year on record going back more than 120 years, with every state in the Lower 48, as well as Alaska, recording well above-average temperatures through October. This October was the third warmest on record, and 37 states had one of their five warmest January-October periods in the books, the… Read More

Drought, Climate Impact Fall Foliage in Complex Ways

Drought, Climate Impact Fall Foliage in Complex Ways

The riot of colors that erupts on trees each fall drives billions of dollars in tourism and remains a key way for people to connect with nature. But that simple transition from summer’s lush greens to fall’s brilliant reds, oranges and yellows can be impacted in surprisingly complex ways by weather and climate, and those effects may be even more… Read More

Deserts May Spread in Europe as Mediterranean Warms

Deserts May Spread in Europe as Mediterranean Warms

Global warming is on track to disrupt the Mediterranean region more than any droughts or heatwaves in the past 10,000 years, turning parts of southern Europe into desert by the end of the century, scientists said. Average temperatures in the region have already risen by 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.3 Fahrenheit) since the late 19th century, well above … Read More

Winter Drought Forecast for Much of U.S.

Winter Drought Forecast for Much of U.S.

While the weather catchphrase of recent winters was the shiver-inducing polar vortex, the buzzword for this winter in the U.S. will be drought. Significant droughts are already in place over nearly 45 percent of the contiguous U.S., with hotspots in California — where the drought is in its sixth year — the Southeast and Northeast. With the renewed… Read More

The World’s Poorest Most at Risk From Drought, Conflict

The World’s Poorest Most at Risk From Drought, Conflict

Agriculture is the key source — and in many cases, the only source — of income for many living in the developing world. When drought hits, it has the potential to take away everything and unravel the threads that stitch together society. New findings published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science are part of a burgeoning … Read More

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Changing Rainfall Patterns in the U.S. Since 1900, the average annual precipitation is up 5 percent for the continental U.S.

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