Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Rounds of Showers, Severe Storms to Swipe at Eastern and Southern US Through Friday

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
July 1,2015; 11:30AM,EDT
 
 
Two disturbances tracking eastward from the Plains will bring bouts of showers and thunderstorms to the Ohio Valley, East and South through the rest of the week.
The first of the disturbances is expected to take a more northerly track early in the week, while the second swings father south late in the week, shifting the axis of the heaviest showers and storms.
Breaking: Storms Target Northeast Tuesday Evening
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, through Wednesday, showers and thunderstorms will stretch from New England to the Deep South.
"Some of the storms will be locally severe with strong wind gusts, hail and flash flooding," Sosnowski said.

This includes parts of the Interstate 64, I-70, I-77, I-80, I-81, I-85 and I-95 corridors.
A brief tornado could also be spawned by a couple of the strongest and longest-lived thunderstorms.
"The metro areas of many major cities could be hit by a disruptive storm or something more severe," Sosnowski said. "This includes Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C."

By Thursday, the second disturbance will enter the picture, taking a more southerly path.
As a result, the main corridor of showers and storms will shift south, allowing some drying to expand from the Great Lakes region to New England.

This second disturbance is also likely to bring the heaviest rain of the week and the risk of flooding to the Tennessee Valley, the southern Appalachians and part of the southern Atlantic Seaboard.
Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green, Kentucky, may end up receiving 1 to 2 inches of rain on Thursday alone.
RELATED:
Interactive Radar
How the Weather Affects Fireworks
How to Protect Your Family From Rapidly Rising Floodwaters

"The ground in many places is saturated, so any rain is going to be considered excessive by a lot of folks, especially in light of one of the wettest Junes on record," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Joe Lundberg.

Rivers are likely to swell from the rapid rainfall rate, leading to flooding in unprotected low-lying areas located near the banks of rivers across the region.
Even through the rain is not expected to be as heavy heading into Friday, any additional rainfall from showers and thunderstorms could spark more flooding issues due to the heavily saturated ground.
Showers and thunderstorms will not end in the East with the conclusion of the week, carrying over into the holiday weekend.

The Fourth of July is not expected to be a complete washout anywhere in the East, but showers and thunderstorms can still lead to interruptions in parades, cookouts and firework displays across a large swath of the East.
Areas most likely to experience thunderstorms or drenching downpours will stretch from the southern part of the Ohio Valley and the Tennessee Valley to the central and southern Appalachians and the middle part of the Atlantic coast on Saturday evening. However, that zone could shift farther north or south, due to weak steering winds.

World Weather Hot Spot for July 1-2,2015 from accuweather.com

Mount Unzendake,Japan: Very heavy rain;received more than 10 inches of rain Tuesday-Wednesday (June 30-July 1,2015)

Today's Worst Weather for July 1,2015 from accuweather.com

Marble Hill,Missouri: Heavy Thunderstorms

WeatherWhys for July 1,2015 from accuweather.com

Average temperatures continue to slowly climb during the first few weeks of July while daylight slowly decreases. Thunderstorm and tropical storm frequency are on the rise.

This Date in Weather History for July 1,2015 from weatherforyou.com

Weather History
For Wednesday,July 1,2015
 
 
 
1792 - A tremendous storm (a tornado or hurricane) hit Philadelphia and New York City. Many young people were drowned while out boating on that Sunday. (David Ludlum)
1911 - The high of just 79 degrees at Phoenix AZ was their coolest daily maximum of record for the month of July. The normal daily high for July 1st is 105 degrees. (The Weather Channel)
1979 - It snowed almost half a foot (5.8 inches) at Stampede Pass WA, a July record. (The Weather Channel)
1987 - Lake Charles LA was drenched with a month's worth of rain during the early morning. More than five inches of rain soaked the city, including 2.68 inches in one hour. A thunderstorm in the southern Yakima Valley of Washington State produced high winds which downed trees up to six feet in diameter. (Storm Data) (The National Weather Summary)
1988 - Twenty-six cities in the north central and northeastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Lows of 48 degrees at Providence RI, 48 degrees at Roanoke VA, 49 degrees at Stratford CT, and 48 degrees at Wilmington, DE, were records for the month of July. Boston MA equalled their record for July with a low of 50 degrees. Five inches of snow whitened Mount Washington NH. (The National Weather Summary)
1989 - Showers and thunderstorms associated with the low pressure system which was once Tropical Storm Allison continued to drench parts of Mississippi, Louisiana and eastern Texas. Late night thunderstorms produced 12.58 inches of rain at Biloxi, MS, in six hours, and 10.73 inches at Gulfport MS. Flooding in Mississippi over the first six days of the month caused 55 million dollars damage. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)

New York City metro-area forecast for July 1-15,2015 from weather.com

Here's the 15-day weather forecast for the New York City metro-area for the period of the first half of July (July 1-15),2015 from The Weather Channel's web-site, weather.com









Today,July 1: July 2015 begins turning partly cloudy,but remaining seasonably warm for early summer with a high temperature of 80-85 degrees.As of 12PM,EDT,it's 76 degrees and partly cloudy,with 65% humidity,in White Plains,NY,and it's 78 degrees and mostly cloudy,with 62% humidity,in New York City.

Tonight: Remaining partly cloudy and seasonably warm for early summer and the beginning of July with a low temperature dropping to the middle 60's,overnight.

Tomorrow,July 2: Becoming mostly sunny,but remaining seasonably warm for early summer and the beginning of July with a high temperature of 80-85 degrees,once again.

Tomorrow night: Remaining clear and seasonably warm for early summer with a low temperature dropping to 60-65 degrees,overnight.

Friday,July 3: Becoming partly cloudy,but remaining seasonably warm for early summer with a high temperature,for the third straight day,of 80-85 degrees and a low temperature dropping to 60-65 degrees,once again,overnight.

Saturday,July 4: Independence Day (the Fourth of July),2015 will be remaining partly cloudy and seasonably,comfortably,reasonably warm for early summer with a high temperature in the upper 70's to lower 80's,and a low temperature dropping,for the third straight night,down to 60-65 degrees, overnight.

Sunday,July 5: Turning mostly sunny and warmer than recent days with a high temperature of 85-90 degrees and a low temperature dropping to the middle and upper 60's,overnight.

Monday,July 6: Remaining mostly sunny and seasonably very warm for early July and early summer with a high temperature in the middle and upper 80's and a low temperature dropping to 65-70 degrees,overnight.

Tuesday,July 7: Becoming partly cloudy,but remaining very warm to hot with a high temperature of 85-90 degrees,and a low temperature dropping to around 70 degrees,overnight.

Wednesday,July 8: Becoming mostly cloudy,rainy,stormy,seasonably warm and muggy with a chance for scattered thunderstorms possible and a high temperature in the lower and middle 80's and a low temperature dropping to 65-70 degrees,overnight.

Thursday,July 9: Turning cloudy,and rainy,but remaining seasonably very warm for early July and early summer with a chance for a few rain showers and a high temperature in the middle 80's,once again,and a low temperature dropping to 65-70 degrees,once again,overnight.

Friday,July 10: Remaining cloudy,rainy,seasonably warm and muggy with a chance for some afternoon rain showers and a high temperature in the lower and middle 80's and a low temperature dropping,for the third straight night,down to 65-70 degrees,overnight.

Saturday,July 11: Becoming mostly sunny,but remaining seasonably very warm for early summer with a high temperature in the middle 80's and a low temperature dropping,for the fourth straight night,down to 65-70 degrees,overnight.

Sunday,July 12: Becoming cloudy,rainy,and a bit cooler than recent days with a chance for some morning rain showers and a high temperature of 80-85 degrees,and a low temperature dropping,for the fifth straight night,down to 65-70 degrees,overnight.

Monday,July 13: Becoming mostly sunny,but remaining seasonably,reasonably warm for early summer and early-to-mid July with a high temperature in the lower and middle 80's and a low temperature dropping,for the sixth straight night,down to 65-70 degrees,overnight.

Tuesday,July 14: Becoming partly to mostly cloudy,warm,and humid,with a chance for scattered thunderstorms and a high temperature of 80-85 degrees,and a low temperature dropping,for the seventh straight night,down to 65-70 degrees,overnight.

Wednesday,July 15: Becoming partly cloudy,but remaining seasonably warm for mid-July and early summer with a high temperature in the lower and middle 80's and a low temperature dropping,for the eighth straight night,down to 65-70 degrees,overnight.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thousands without Power, Drivers Rescued from Water After Strong Storms Hammer Missouri

Carolyn Williams
Published: June 26,2015

Powerful storms hammered parts of Missouri Thursday night into early Friday, leaving thousands without power and causing widespread flooding.
Over 150,000 customers – the majority from Kansas City Power & Light – experienced power outages, the Associated Press reported.
Storms seen over Chillicothe, Missouri, on June 25, 2015. (Photo Credit: Instagram/ttwags88)
"A cluster of thunderstorms, known to meteorologists as a mesoscale convective system, rolled through northeast Kansas and western Missouri, with damaging winds and locally flooding rain," said weather.com senior meteorologist Jon Erdman.
(FORECAST: Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood Threats in the Midwest, South and East)
Heavy flooding closed sections of Highway 61 and Highway 79 early Friday morning, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Motorists were warned to stay off the roads to avoid being swept away.
Several water rescues were performed in the cities of Winfield and Troy, Missouri, where flash flooding inundated several cars, KSDK-TV reported.
About 10 residents in Winfield had to evacuate their homes after the McLean Creek levee overflowed, according to the Post-Dispatch. Flooding also prompted the evacuation of some residents in Old Monroe, Missouri, the AP said.
(MORE: Pakistan Heat Wave Kills At Least 1,000; Death Toll Rises Despite Lower Temperatures)
The Red Cross opened a shelter in Troy, Missouri, KTVI-TV said.
A lightning strike caused an apartment building fire in Granite City, Missouri, KSDK reported. Four apartments were damaged. There were no injuries.
The National Weather Service reported additional damage, including downed trees and power lines and overturned structures.
MORE: Southern Plains Flooding - May 2015

Lightning Deaths Traditionally Peak In July: What You Need To Know To Stay Safe

Sean Breslin
Published: June 29,2015

March, April and May are better known for severe weather because they're traditionally the most favorable months for large tornadoes to strike the Plains and Dixie Alley. But it's not until the summer that another severe weather threat becomes most dangerous for millions of Americans.
According the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, July is the month with the most lightning deaths, on average. From 2006 through 2014, an average of 15 lightning fatalities occurred in July, whereas no other month averages more than 11.
"The combination of more thunderstorms, sometimes moving more slowly, in areas where more people are enjoying outdoor activities is why summer is the peak for lightning deaths in the U.S.," said weather.com meteorologist Jon Erdman. "This emphasizes the importance of being weather aware."
(MORE: U.S. Lightning Deaths In 2015)
As of Monday, there have been 13 lightning deaths in the United States this year. NOAA's 30-year statistics show that an average of 20 lightning deaths occur from January through June, and the annual average is 49 deaths.
The 13th lightning death of the year also marked 300 lightning fatalities since the beginning of 2006, NOAA's stats show. Of those deaths, 240 of those have been men, and 60 were women.
NOAA offeres the following advice for staying safe when thunderstorms are present.
  • Keep in mind that no place outside is safe during a thunderstorm. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter; a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Indoor Lightning Safety

  • Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

If You're Caught Outdoors And Can't Get To Shelter ...

  • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
  • Never lie flat on the ground
  • Never shelter under an isolated tree
  • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
  • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)
MORE: The Counties Where You're Most Likely To Be Struck By Lightning

June 2015 Smashes Heat, Rainfall Records Across the U.S.

Jon Erdman
Published: June 30,2015



 
June 2015 shattered records across the U.S., thanks in part to Tropical Storm Bill's inland resilience and two prominent heat waves in opposite corners of the nation.
(MORE: June's Best Weather Images | Strangest Weather of 2015, So Far)
Here is the impressive list of monthly or all-time records set in June. Each list is ordered alphabetically by location.

June 2015's Records/Notables

Wet

  • Baltimore, Maryland (BWI Airport): Record wettest June (13.09 inches) and fourth wettest calendar month.
  • Corpus Christi, Texas: Wettest year-to-date (31.84 inches); average January-June precipitation is 13.51 inches.
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana: Record wettest month (11.91 inches); previous record wet month was 11.00 inches in July 1986.
  • Grapevine Lake, Texas: Record water level around June 20 after rainfall from Tropical Storm Bill; this exceeded the lake level following May's record rain.
  • Hastings, Nebraska: Wettest June calendar day on record (4.74 inches on June 4).
  • Illinois: Record wettest June statewide, topping the previous record from 1902.
  • James River near Springfield, Missouri: Record crest (22.2 feet) on June 16, just over 2 inches above the previous 1909 record.
  • Millville, New Jersey: Record wet June (12.74 inches); tied with August 2011 for the second wettest month behind 12.90 inches in July 1969.
  • Montpelier-Barre, Vermont: Record wet June (8.94 inches); previous record wet June (8.36 inches) was in 2013.
  • Mt. Mansfield, Vermont: Record wet June (15.54 inches); previous wettest June (15.28 inches) was in 1998.
  • Oklahoma City: Record wettest year-to-date (34.43 inches); average January-June precipitation is 18.56 inches.
  • Phoenix: First measurable rain on record for June 5 (0.16 inches); average June rainfall is 0.02 inches.
  • Port Huron, Michigan: Record wet June (7.86 inches); previous record (7.46 inches) was in 1962.
  • Rapid City, South Dakota: Record wet June (7.07 inches); previous record (7.00 inches) was in 1968.
  • Red River near Gainesville, Texas: Record crest on June 19 (42.05 feet) topped the previous record from May 31, 1987 by almost 2 feet.
  • St. Louis: Record wet June (13.14 inches); previous record (12.35 inches) was in 2003; second wettest month behind August 1946 (14.78 inches)
  • Warren, Ohio: Record wet June (13.03 inches); previous record (10.78 inches) was in 1896
  • Washita River near Dickson, Oklahoma: Record crest (48.7 feet) on June 19. 

Hot

  • Boise, Idaho: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1918.
  • Burns, Oregon: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1961.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina: Record number of June 100-degree-plus days (6); previous record (3 days) was in 1959 and 1952.
  • Ely, Nevada: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1900
  • Eugene, Oregon: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1926.
  • Helena, Montana: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1961.
  • Kalispell, Montana: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1898.
  • Las Vegas: Record hottest June; previous record was in 2013.
  • Lewiston, Idaho: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1940.
  • Medford, Oregon: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1926.
  • Miami: Record hottest year-to-date (January-June), according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center; previous hottest January-July was 2008.
  • Missoula, Montana: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1903.
  • Moses Lake, Washington: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1958.
  • Olympia, Washington: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1969.
  • Orlando Utilities Commission: All-time peak power use record on June 22.
  • Pendleton, Oregon: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1961.
  • Portland, Oregon: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1992.
  • Provo, Utah: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1994.
  • Raleigh, North Carolina: Record streak of 95-degree-plus highs (12 straight days) from June 13-24; previous record (9 straight days) was from July 13-21, 1977.
  • Reno, Nevada: Record hottest June; previous record was in 2006.
  • Salem, Oregon: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1926.
  • Salt Lake City: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1988.
  • Seattle: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1992; also the record warmest January-June.
  • Spokane, Washington: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1922.
  • The Dalles, Oregon: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1977.
  • Walla Walla, Washington: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1992.
  • Wenatchee, Washington: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1992.
  • Winnemucca, Nevada: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1918.
  • Yakima, Washington: Record hottest June; previous record was in 1948.
(MORE: All June Calendar-Day, All-time Northwest Heat Records | Spain's Record Heat)

Dry

  • Great Falls, Montana: Record driest June (0.44 inches); previous record was 0.52 inches in 1960.
  • Portland, Oregon: Longest June dry streak: 24 days without measurable rainfall June 4-27.
  • Quillayute, Washington: Record driest June (0.20 inches); previous record was 0.40 inches in 1967.
  • San Francisco (downtown): Record driest year-to-date (3.10 inches); average January-June precipitation is 14.54 inches.
(MORE: Alaska's June Wildfires)

Cold

  • Boston: Record cold daily high for June – 49 degrees – set two days in a row on June 1 and 2. This was 6 degrees colder than the daily average low, and is an average high for March 29 or Nov. 22.
Contributing: Weather Underground's Christopher Burt, senior digital meteorologist Nick Wiltgen, meteorologist Brandon Wright and many other behind-the-scenes meteorologists at The Weather Channel.

MORE: Tropical Storm Bill Photos

Alaska Wildfires in June 2015 Have Surpassed June 2004, Which Was a Record Wildfire Year

Chris Dolce
Published: June 30,2015




 
The number of wildfires and acres burned in Alaska in June 2015 has exceeded what the state saw during the same month in 2004, a year considered the worst for wildfires in the state.
According to the Alaska DNR - Division of Forestry, a combined 1.6 million acres have been burned by 399 separate fires in the state this month through June 29. That is nearly double the number of fires in June 2004, which had 215 wildfires that charred 1.15 million acres.
The Associated Press reported that 314 wildfires remained active over more than 2,265 square miles as of Monday. No new evacuations occurred this past weekend, however residents in some small communities left in voluntary evacuations last week, including elders, children and those that were medically vulnerable.
Widespread smoke across Alaska's interior on June 24, 2015. The red locators show where fires were active on that day.
(NASA)




























Most of the fires in June 2004 were located in Alaska's interior, while this June they have been scattered throughout the state, Alaska DNR said. They added that it was unusual to have this concentration of fire starts.
Lightning strikes were a major contributor to the ignition of wildfires in both June 2015 and June 2004. However, Alaska DNR says that June 2015 has had much more lightning than June 2004. In a span of three days from June 21-23, 2015, about 50,000 lightning strikes were recorded across the state.
The largest wildfire in the state is the Iditarod River Fire, which had burned 98,183 acres through June 28. That wildfire and the other top 10 largest wildfires in Alaska through June 28 were all started by lightning strikes.
Active fire locations on June 30, 2015.
(NIFC/NASA/NOAA/USFS)
When looking at the year as a whole, the number of acres burned still trails 2004 considerably. A massive 6.59 million acres were burned in that record year. That's eight times the average number of acres burned per year in Alaska.

MORE: Flooding on Alaska's Dalton Highway in May 2015

Sleepy Hollow Fire: Residents Return To Charred Homes in Wenatchee, Washington

Eric Zerkel
Published: June 30,2015

Residents in Wenatchee, Washington, returned to their burned homes Monday evening to survey the damage after a massive wildfire reduced entire streets of houses to smoldering ash.
"These were all really nice homes," Wenatchee resident Joan Mullene, whose home survived, told the Associated Press. "It's really devastating."
As many as 24 to 28 houses have been burned in the Sleepy Hollow fire. The wildfire started outside of Wenatchee Sunday afternoon, but winds drove the flames directly toward Wenatchee, creating a nightmarish situation for firefighters who struggled to bring the fire under control, KOMO News reports.
Three firefighters suffered what the AP described as minor injuries, but no residents have been hurt.
(MORE: An Update On Other Notable Western Wildfires Currently Burning)

Current Radar/Lightning














Due to an ongoing heat wave in the Northwest, temperatures in Wenatchee were still in the 90's as of midnight local time, according to weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Erdman.
"Light surface winds eventually shifted northwesterly up to 15 mph Sunday evening into the overnight hours," said Erdman. "Showers moved over Wenatchee, but only produced a trace of rain, given the dry air in place."
As a result, the fire had reached homes and businesses within hours. According to the Wenatchee World, the first homes burned after 8 p.m. local time.
The flames also spread to businesses, burning through Michelsen Packaging, Northern Wholseale Inc. and the Bluebird fruit warehouse, the Wenatchee World reports. Monday morning, Chelan County Emergency Management alerted residents to shelter in place because of an ammonia leak. Officials began warning citizens as early as midnight Sunday that the leak may happen.
Multiple streets in Wenatchee were evacuated as flames threatened additional buildings. But on Monday night, citizens were allowed back into some areas, where they found nothing but the charred remains of their lives.
Tom Bryant, a resident who had to leave his home at a moment's notice Sunday night as the flames quickly advanced, returned home a day later and saw his vintage Shelby Mustang GT 500 sports car completely destroyed and buried in ash.
"It hurts, but it's just stuff," he told the AP while his wife looked for a missing cat.
Diane Reed and her two daughters returned to the plot of land where their house once stood and found what she called a "war zone," the Seattle Times reported.
“Was this where the closet was?” said Reed's 13-year-old daughter, Erin, according to the Seattle Times. “This is where I grew up.”
(MORE: Check To See If Wildfires Are Burning In Your Area)
Most of Chelan County is mired in moderate drought, as of the last release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, creating abnormally dry conditions. Those conditions are only amplified by the ongoing extreme heatwave in the Northwest.
According to Erdman, temperatures soared to 109 degrees at Wenatchee's airport Sunday.
"That's an all-time record for June, and just one degree shy of the city's all-time record set on July 17-18, 1941," said Erdman.
Wenatchee, Washington, is located more than 100 miles east of Seattle in the central part of the state and is home to more than 30,000 people.

In 24 Hours, Lightning Sparks Three Dozen New Fires In Northern California

Sean Breslin
Published: June 30,2015 



 
In an area that's as dry as northern California, all it takes is a spark to create a raging inferno.
That's why firefighters were on edge Sunday as thunderstorms moved through the Golden State. With countless dead trees and plants along the parched landscape, every lightning strike was a new opportunity to start a new wildfire.
Storms fire up near the California-Nevada border on the night of Saturday, June 27, 2015.
According to the Los Angeles Times, some 800 lightning strikes happened in a 24-hour span in northern California, initiating about three dozen new fires.
(MORE: Sleepy Hollow Fire Destroys Two Dozen Homes In Washington)
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection told CBS San Francisco that the fires were quickly put out, but it's a sign of things to come in a long fire season. More than 94 percent of California is in severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and the state's vegetation is dying out, providing more fuel for the fires.
Conditions have reached such dire levels that firefighters have stopped controlled burns of brush piles, the L.A. Times also reported. These piles of dead vegetation are a fire crew's worst nightmare, as they can allow a blaze to spread quickly, but it's just too dry to safely burn them off, the report added.
California should have a couple of days without stormy weather, but it's possible that the lightning will return after that.
"Although an upper-level high-pressure system will stay in place across the West into this weekend, portions of northern California will be on the periphery of this high where disturbances will rotate through from time to time," said weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce. "Those disturbances may lead to the development of some thunderstorms, particularly across higher terrain locations, especially late in the week."
MORE: The Sleepy Hollow Fire In Central Washington

50 Beautiful Images of the Earth From Space (PHOTOS)

Chris Dolce
Published: June 30,2015




 
The collection of photos above shows some of the most beautiful features that cover the Earth as viewed from space. All of the images were taken by both satellites and astronauts over the course of many years.
You'll see a number of climate zones represented in the images, ranging from deserts and tropical oceans to locations where frigid temperatures are a common occurrence.
(MORE: Photos Show How the Earth is Changing)

Long-Lasting Heat Wave Bound for Europe; June Records Smashed in Spain

Jon Erdman
Published: June 30,2015

While record-smashing heat is searing the Northwest United States and southwest Canada, another heat wave is about to become more widespread in Europe, and may last in some areas into next week.
A woman cools off with a fan displayed on a terrace of a bar during a heatwave in Madrid on June 28, 2015.
(GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Heat records are already being toppled in parts of Spain.
Madrid (central Madrid) set a new June record high for the second day in a row Monday, reaching 39.7 degrees Celsius -- 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit -- edging out their previous June record of 39.1 degrees Celsius set Sunday.
Monday afternoon, Madrid's Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport pushed up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 F), a first for June in records dating to 1945. According to AEMet, four other locations in Spain with records dating to at least the 1950s tied or set new June heat records Monday.
Cordoba, in southern Spain, reached a sizzling 43.7 degrees Celsius Sunday (110.7ºF).
Highs in parts of southern France topped out in the 100s on Tuesday. Cazaux, France, hit 104 degrees on Tuesday afternoon and Dax, France, topped out at 100 degrees.
(FLASHBACK: Europe May Heat Records)
This heat is now spreading and set anchor in some parts of Europe, and it looks like it'll last through the weekend -- if not longer.
The culprit is an area of high-pressure aloft over and near the Iberian Peninsula, expected to expand as far east as the southern Baltics, Belarus and western Ukraine, and as far north as southern Scandinavia.

Europe Heat Wave Upper-Air Pattern

Current Temperatures

Five Day Forecast
Under this dome of















































High pressure aloft, dry, sinking air and generally light winds will allow stifling heat to build.
Wednesday, the heat will ramp up considerably in France, the U.K., Belgium, the Netherlands and western Germany, as well as parts of southern Norway, southern Sweden and Denmark.
Forecast highs Wednesday could reach 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of southern England by Wednesday, including London.
(MORE: U.K. Detailed Weather Forecast)
Fortunately for the U.K., a cold front will sweep in by Thursday, limiting the truly excessive heat to a couple of days. Their friends across the English Channel won't be so fortunate.
Meteo France warned the country may experience its hottest temperatures in almost nine years: "The major heat waves that hit France in the past generally occurred later in the summer."
(MORE: Extreme Heat Waves, Cold Snaps More Frequent)
Code orange heat alerts ("vigilance orange") have been issued by Meteo France for a large swath of central and northeast France. Code orange is the second-highest level on the four-color hazard scale adopted by national meteorological services in most European countries.
"Europeans, and the French in particular, have been painfully aware of the dangers of extreme heat since the killer heat wave of July 2003," said weather.com senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. According to the United Nations, an estimated 30,000 Europeans (14,000 in France alone) died in that heat wave, making it the deadliest natural disaster of the past 50 years in Europe.
Paris will be sweating through a high of around 39 degrees Celsius (102 F) Wednesday. Tuesday's high topped out in the low 90s.
After a brief break, mainly in western France, the heat will return Friday into the upcoming weekend, and could even linger into early next week. Highs in Paris will hover between 35 to 39 degrees Celsius (95 to 102 F) Thursday through Saturday.
The worst and most persistent heat will spread from Spain and France into Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, western Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania through early next week.
(FORECASTS: Amsterdam | Brussels | Berlin | Prague | Zurich | Vienna | Budapest | Krakow)
A cold front may bring some heat relief by early-mid next week from The Netherlands and Belgium into Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, southern Scandinavia and the Baltics.
However, that front may stall out before ever bringing relief to southern Europe.
"The latest (long-range forecasts) suggest the ridge and heat will persist across central Europe and Iberia through the month (of July)," said Leon Brown, chief meteorologist based in the U.K. for The Weather Company.
If your travel plans take you to Europe over the next 7 to 10 days, be prepared for the heat. Limit exposure during the hottest times of the day, take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

MORE: The "Hidden Gems" of Europe

Western Heat Wave Shatters At Least 31 June Record Highs (FORECAST)

Jon Erdman
Published: June 30,2015

A torrid heat wave is easing a bit, but will kick into high gear yet again later this week into the July 4th holiday weekend, and possibly beyond.
June record highs have been broken in at least 31 cities in the Northwest, five of which appear to have tied or broken their all-time record highs. The extreme heat is likely to last into next week and may end up breaking records for longevity as well.

June Record Highs Set














An unofficial weather station located in Hell's Canyon along the Oregon/Idaho border (Pittsburg Landing) recorded an incredible 116 degrees for a high Sunday.
The culprit in this hot setup is a dome of high pressure aloft, surging northwestward to encompass a large area of the western states. The center of this high will shift around through the week ahead, but overall it will remain a dominant feature.
This will allow the sizzling late-June and early-July sun to send temperatures soaring not simply in the typically hot Desert Southwest, but also locations well to the north including the Pacific Northwest, interior Northwest and northern Rockies.

Hot Week Ahead

Highs well into the 90s and triple digits are expected in many lower-elevation locations west of the Continental Divide and inland from the Pacific Coast.

Heat Alerts














This includes much of Nevada, California's Central Valley, the Salt Lake Valley, Idaho's Snake River Plain, much of Oregon's lower elevations east of the immediate coast, and areas to the east of the Cascades in Washington State.
In particular, parts of the Columbia Basin and lower Snake River Valley will see particularly extreme and persistent heat. This includes cities such as Yakima, Kennewick and Walla Walla in Washington as well as Lewiston, Idaho, as noted in the records below. Temperatures will get knocked down a bit into the 90s or low 100s to start the new workweek, but will then surge towards the middle or possibly upper 100s again late in the week.
(FORECASTS: Seattle | Portland | Boise | Salt Lake City)
The extreme heat has even surged north into Canada. Cranbrook, in far southeast British Columbia at an elevation of about 3,000 feet, set a new all-time record high of 98 degrees (36.8 degrees Celsius) Sunday, according to The Weather Network.
Even Revelstoke, British Columbia – 130 miles north of the U.S. border, about 1,500 feet above sea level and better known for skiing – reached an amazing 103 degrees (39.5 degrees Celsius) Sunday.

Current Temperatures














Compared to what the more arid Great Basin is used to, evening and overnight temperatures will be slow to drop, bottoming out in the 70s in the hottest locations.
In that regard, the air mass moving north into the region already has a strong pedigree; Las Vegas recorded a low of 91 on Friday, marking the first time Vegas has ever recorded a daily low in the 90s during the month of June. This happened again Sunday, when the calendar-day low was only 90 degrees. (The previous record-warm daily low in June was 89 on June 29-30, 2003.)
This heat appears to be locked in place well into the week ahead, as the upper-level dome of high pressure remains camped out near the Great Basin. In fact, some interior Northwest locations may see highs in the 100s every day from now into at least early next week.
(MAPS: 10-Day Temperature Forecasts)

Forecast Highs














The hot, dry weather is also causing a high fire danger, as drought conditions have worsened over the Northwest and northern Rockies in the spring. Disturbances riding around the west side of the upper-level ridge and just enough mid-level moisture may trigger isolated, mainly dry afternoon thunderstorms, which may ignite new wildfires.
(MORE: Wenatchee, Washington Wildfire)
In mid-May, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statewide drought emergency, and spring runoff from winter's paltry snowpack was expected to be the least in 64 years.
Seattle has seen only 8 days with measurable rain since May 1, one-third the average number of such days, according to NWS-Seattle. Portland, Oregon, set a new record June dry streak of 24 straight days through Saturday, according to NWS-Portland.
One of the biggest factors in heat wave deaths is not only the magnitude, but also the longevity of the heat.
  • Seattle will see highs in the middle 80s to low 90s through the holiday weekend and likely into next week. They reached the low 90s on Saturday and may see several more days in the low 90s later this week. On average, they typically see the 90-degree mark only three days a year. 
  • Spokane, Washington may see a couple of days with century-mark highs through the holiday weekend. Only one such day a year is the average, there. Even when not in the 100s it will be at least in the middle or upper 90s.
  • Portland, Oregon last saw triple-digit heat in August 2012. They may see one, if not more such days in this heat wave this week. The city may also make a run at its longest streak of 90-degree days; that was a 10-day streak in 2009.
  • Medford, Oregon will tie its June record for 90-degree-plus days (21 in 1918).
  • Salt Lake City may see triple-digit highs several days into next week. Six days a year reach 100-degrees or hotter in the Salt Lake Valley, on average and as of Tuesday there have been four days.

Epicenter of the Heat
This is a dangerous heat wave. Take safety precautions against the heat.
Those playing or working outdoors, as well as those without access to air conditioning, will face an elevated risk of heat-related illness. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 25 percent of homes, apartments, condos in the states of Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming do not have air conditioning.
Remember to never leave kids or pets unattended in cars and drink more water than usual. Wear light-colored clothing and keep your head and body cooler with a hat. Take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.

New Record Highs

Here is a list of the all-time record highs tied or broken (all Sunday, June 28, unless otherwise noted):
  • Chief Joseph Dam, Washington, hit 113 degrees, topping the previous all-time record of 110 degrees most recently set on July 23, 2006. This is located near the town of Bridgeport, in north-central Washington. Records date to 1949.
  • LaCrosse, Washington, tied their all-time record high of 113 degrees, set previously on Aug. 4, 1961. LaCrosse is in eastern Washington, about 40 miles west-northwest of Pullman. Records, there, date to 1931.
  • Chelan, Washington, reached 110 degrees, topping their previous all-time record set just one day earlier (109 degrees). Prior to this heat wave, their all-time record was 106 degrees set most recently on July 22, 1985. Records date to 1890.
  • Omak, Washington, also reached 110 degrees, topping their previous all-time record of 109 degrees set on July 8, 2001. Records date to 1931.
  • Bonners Ferry, Idaho, soared to 105 degrees, eclipsing their previous all-time record of 104 degrees on July 16, 1941. Records date to 1907. 
Here is a rundown of the June record highs tied or broken Sunday:
  • Walla Walla, Washington, hit 113 degrees. According to Weather Underground weather historian Christopher Burt, if validated this reading will establish a new June record high not just for Walla Walla, but the entire state of Washington. That record is 112 degrees at John Day Dam on June 18, 1961. Of course, Sunday's high also crushed the June record of 109 set just a day earlier, which in turn beat the record of 107 set June 23, 1992.
  • Lewiston, Idaho, reached 111 degrees. This broke the previous June high of 109 set on June 22, 1936. Burt says this too may be a new June record for the state of Idaho, surpassing the 110 degrees recorded at six different locations.
  • Boise, Idaho, topped out at 110 degrees. This replaced the previous June high of 109 set June 19, 1940. It also missed Boise's all-time record high by 1 degree, and was the hottest day in Boise since a high of 110 on Aug. 4, 1961.
  • Ephrata, Washington, hit 110 degrees to break the record of 107 set Saturday. Previously 106 was the June record from June 30, 1998. Sunday goes down as the second-hottest day on record in Ephrata behind the 115 recorded Aug. 4, 1961.
  • Pendleton, Oregon, topped out at 109 degrees both Saturday and Sunday. Those readings broke the city's all-time June record high of 108 set June 30, 1924, and June 17, 1961. June records in Pendleton go back to 1893.
  • Yakima, Washington, reached 108 degrees both Saturday and Sunday. Those broke the previous June high of 105 set June 23, 1992, and just tied earlier in June. Official National Weather Service records for Yakima go as far back as 1946.
  • Spokane, Washington, hit 105 degrees Sunday. That broke a record that had only stood for one day – 102 degrees on Saturday. Before this heat wave the June record had been 101 on June 23, 1992; records in Spokane go all the way back to 1881, making this an especially impressive record. Sunday was also the hottest day in Spokane since Aug. 4, 1961.
  • Kalispell, Montana, hit 102 degrees to crush its June record of 97 degrees just set Saturday. The previous June record was 96 set June 22, 1955, and the previous record for earliest 100-degree day was July 6 back in 2007. Temperature records there began in 1899.
  • Missoula, Montana, saw a high of 102 degrees. This breaks the previous June record high of 101 set Saturday, and marks the first consecutive triple-digit June days, there. Prior to that the June high had been 100 on June 29, 1937 and June 13, 1918. Records date back to 1893.
  • Helena, Montana, topped out at 103 degrees Saturday, which eclipsed the previous June record high of 102 degrees set June 21, 1900.
  • Meacham, Oregon, hit 101 degrees Sunday to set its third consecutive June record high. Saturday's high was 98; Friday's 93 had tied the old record of 93 from June 16, 1961. Sunday's high also beat the daily record for June 28 by a whopping 16 degrees.
Gerard Tangalan Of Seattle leans on International Fountain while cooling off at the Seattle Center July 29, 2009 in Seattle, Washington.
(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
The following record highs for the month of June were broken on Friday and Saturday, not including cities that matched or broke them again Sunday:
  • Burns, Oregon, reached 102 degrees Saturday to break its June record of 100 set June 29, 2008, and June 30, 2013. Records in Burns go back to 1939.
  • Helena, Montana topped out at 103 degrees Saturday, beating its previous June record high of 102 degrees set in 1900. Records date back to 1880.
  • Redmond, Oregon, had a high of 101 degrees Friday to tie the all-time June record originally set there on June 25, 1968.
  • The Dalles, Oregon, tied its June record high Friday when Columbia Gorge Regional Airport, technically across the river in Washington, hit 108 degrees to match the mark set June 22, 1992.
In addition to the extreme high temperatures, daily low temperatures were unusually balmy for a region that normally drops into the 50s at night in June. The following locations have experienced their warmest daily low temperatures on record for the month of June:
  • Medford, Oregon, recorded a low of 76 on Sunday. This not only broke the June record, but the all-time record for any day of the year; the previous warmest low was 75 degrees on July 14, 1996. The previous June record was 74 on Saturday, which in turn broke the old record of 71 set June 23, 1992.
  • Lewiston, Idaho, only dipped to 78 on Sunday. That beat the previous June record of 76 set June 25, 1928. Lewiston set yet another June record Monday with a low of 79.
  • Wenatchee, Washington had a low of 77 Sunday, beating its June warm-low record of 75 set June 30, 2008.
  • Spokane, Washington, dipped no lower than 73 Sunday; the previous June record for balmiest daily low was 71 on June 30, 2008, and June 25, 1992. Spokane broke its record again Monday with a low of 74.
  • Portland, Oregon, recorded a low of 71 on Saturday (as noted above), the city's first 70-degree low ever recorded in June.
(MORE: Earth's Record Year? | How Hot is Too Hot?)
June has already been a hot month in parts of the West.
Medford, Oregon, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho and Salt Lake City are likely to set their record warmest June.
Portland, Oregon, logged its eighth day of 90-degree-plus heat this month Monday, breaking the June record of six days set in 2003 and reached 91 degrees on Tuesday making it nine days of 90-degree-plus heat for June.
Meteorologist Chris Dolce contributed to this report.

MORE: Heat Waves of the Past (PHOTOS)