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Jackson Dill

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In a report released to US Congress this week by the Puerto Rican government highlighting a $139 billion reconstruction plan, they conceded that more than 1,400 people were killed as a result of Hurricane Maria, which struck the US territory about 11 months ago in September 2017. Facing criticism over their response to the storm, the government has previously kept their official death toll number at 64 people. An official told the Associated Press Thursday that “the confirmed toll remains frozen at 64 pending a scientific review due out soon.” Public Safety Department Secretary Hector Pesquera says that the figure of more than 1,400 “is simple math” and that “this is not the official number of deaths attributable to Hurricane Maria.” This new, unofficial death toll includes fatalities both directly and indirectly from the storm. It notes how most occurred after Maria hit, citing prolonged power outages and inaccessibility to food…

Southern California is currently witnessing record warm ocean waters, which is one of the reasons why the state just had its warmest July on record as it continues to feel the heat. A large ridge of high pressure has been a recurring feature over the western US this summer. These large ridges typically provide above-average temperatures and dry weather. It has also helped limit the development of low-level clouds on the coast, allowing for more direct sunlight to warm the ocean. The warm waters also result in higher humidity in the region, since there is more water vapor present in the atmosphere. At Scripps Pier in La Jolla, California, sea surface temperatures have been monitored daily since 1916, providing over a century of data for the location. This makes it one of the world’s longest ocean time series and the longest on the Pacific Rim. After accomplishing a record warm water…

The combination of a developing low, stationary front, and deep tropical moisture streaming in from the eastern Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico will fuel days of heavy rain and thunderstorms across parts of the southern Plains. While most of this region is experiencing a drought, too much rain too quickly may lead to flash flooding, something residents will have to keep an eye on. It all begins on Friday, as low pressure forms on the leeward side of the Rocky Mountains, sitting near the Texas Panhandle for days. Showers and storms will become widespread across northern Texas, especially in the afternoon, and scattered storms will enter the southwestern US, mainly areas in New Mexico and Arizona. There may be a few, isolated severe storms, but the main concern with these rounds of storms that move through will be flooding. There won’t be much of an organized rain, rather it…