LISTEN LIVE

NOAA

A massive cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert is arriving along the U.S. Gulf Coast this week after traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. The phenomenon happens every year – but the 2020 version is especially large and imposing, experts said.

The dust cloud is "quite large" this year, said Marshall Shepherd, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia, in an interview on NPR's All Things Considered. "I think that's why it's garnering so much attention."

The early start to the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season — the sixth in a row and the first with three named storms by June 1— has rekindled calls to move up the season’s official start.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Even though the six-month Atlantic hurricane season lasts as long as a typical Major League Baseball season, a Florida congresswoman thinks it needs to be longer.

hurricane hunter plane
STEPHANIE COLOMBINI/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Authorities say five employees of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s hurricane hunter base in Lakeland have tested positive for COVID-19.

hurricane damage to a sign and building
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

With the six-month Atlantic hurricane season starting Monday, emergency management officials have changed how Florida will respond to storms as they grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

Hurricane Michael satellite image
NOAA

There’s a better-than-average chance that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will produce an above-average number of storms.

*Editors Note: There is an image at the end of this article that some readers may find disturbing.

Last week, a dolphin was found off the coast of Naples with a fatal wound to its head, and another dolphin was found with a bullet in its side off Pensacola Beach.

 



Engineers are designing for an increasingly soggy future in a rough industrial bay west of Riviera Beach, building Erector set-style defenses to keep out a wily intruder — water.

Hurricane Dorian’s blue-sky eye was ringed with fire as it crawled toward the Northern Bahamas — spiked with lightning in a wreath of thunderstorm updrafts.

For decades, most of the news about coral reefs has been pretty gloomy. Now the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is launching a new mission to bring back a few of those reefs.

Come Monday, a national consortium of environmental groups will begin a major effort to transplant coral to South Florida's reefs.

The project is helmed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Ocean Service. But it wouldn't be possible without Tampa's Florida Aquarium, which earlier this year became the first to successfully induce Atlantic coral to spawn in a laboratory.

The timeline for South Florida to prepare for sea level rise just sped up a little. New projections show the region is in for higher seas, faster.

The latest predictions aren’t catastrophically different than previous years — unless your yard is already flooding a couple times a year from the steadily encroaching seas. In that case, a few inches a few years early is pretty important.

The National Hurricane Center is now tracking three tropical storms – one of which forecasters say could be a long-term concern for the East Coast.

NOAA's top scientist said Monday that he's investigating why the agency's leadership endorsed President Trump's false tweet that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian, after Birmingham-based meteorologists from the National Weather Service publicly pushed back on it.

The parent agency of the National Weather Service said late Friday that President Trump was correct when he claimed earlier this week that Hurricane Dorian had threatened the state of Alabama.

The surprise announcement in an unsigned statement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration essentially endorsed Trump's Sunday tweet saying that Alabama will "most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated."

Lt. Kevin Doremus (l) and Lt. Commander Patrick Didier aboard a P-3 Orion, one of NOAA's Hurricane Hunters.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

It’s been an all hands on deck situation for Hurricane Hunter crews since Dorian became a threat in the Caribbean.

These air crews fly into the storm to gather data they can share instantly with the National Hurricane Center and other weather experts.

Dorian has strengthened into a hurricane near St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and could become a Category 3 storm when it makes its projected landfall in Florida late Sunday night or early Monday.

Tropical Storm Dorian will face numerous challenges on its journey through the Caribbean in the coming days.

Potential effects from Dorian in Florida are highly uncertain, especially considering how many unknowns there are in the forecast at this time.

Updated projections released on Tuesday predict 13 more named storms will form in 2019, with six being hurricanes and two classified as major hurricanes.
NOAA

It’s time to stock up on sandbags.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today that the chances for an above-normal hurricane season have increased by 15% since May.

Scores of dolphins have died along Florida's southwest coast due to the red tide bloom in the past year, federal researchers said.
Mote Marine Laboratory

Associated Press

 Scores of dolphins have died along Florida's southwest coast due to the red tide bloom in the past year, federal researchers said.

Hidden Oil Spill: New Study Contradicts Owner's Claims

Jun 25, 2019
Photo courtesy of Louisiana Governor’s office

A new federally led study of oil seeping from a platform toppled off Louisiana's coast 14½ years ago found releases lower than other recent estimates, but contradicts the well owner's assertions about the amount and source of oil. 

NOAA: 279 Dolphins Dead On Gulf Coast, Triple Usual Number

Jun 15, 2019
A dolphin covered in oil from the 201BP oil spill swims through Bay Jimmy in Northern Barataria Bay, Louisiana.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

At least 279 dolphins have stranded across much of the U.S. Gulf Coast since Feb. 1, triple the usual number, and about 98 percent of them have died, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration is declaring an unusual mortality event for bottlenose dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico, ranging from Franklin County, Florida to Louisiana. 

Many residents in the southeast U.S. and along the Gulf Coast are already thinking about the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1. Last year brought two of the most destructive storms to ever hit the U.S.: Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

The Gulf of Mexico Bryde's whales are genetically distinct. They're a unique subspecies compared to other Bryde's whales worldwide. They have low genetic diversity. It's critical for populations and species to have genetic diversity for survival.
NOAA Fisheries

Federal scientists say a tiny group of Bryde's whales in the Gulf of Mexico is endangered, facing threats including oil and gas exploration and development.

Although the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) use the months in between for critical research.

So what effect might a prolonged federal government shutdown have on hurricane forecasting and research?

2018 was a hot year — in fact, the fourth warmest on record. The only years that were, on average, warmer were the past three, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

It has been warming for decades now. But 2018 brought several major new and markedly more precise reports from scientists about what climate change is doing to the weather and how dire they expect the consequences to be.

That didn't stop President Trump and others from continuing to question the evidence.

Shortly before noon on October 10, Lt. Col. Sean Cross and Maj. Dave Gentile, pilots with the U.S. Air Force Reserve, turned the nose of their WC-130J “Hurricane Hunter” toward the core of Hurricane Michael as it bore down on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Officials in Florida say dolphins seem to be red tide's latest victims as more than 20 have washed up dead since last week along the state's southwest coast.

The devastation red tide has caused in Florida will be one of the topics covered at the 8th annual St.Petersburg Science Festival Saturday.

Pages