Monday, August 3, 2015

Midwest Severe Storms: At Least 1 Dead, 16 Injured; Lollapalooza Music Festival Briefly Evacuated

Carolyn Williams
Published: August 3,2015

Severe thunderstorms rocked the Chicago area Sunday, killing at least one person when a tent collapsed at a festival. At least 16 people were injured in storm-related incidents, and there were six reports of tornadoes spawned across the region.
The storms left plenty of damage behind and knocked out power to more than 230,000 customers at the height of the event. Michigan was the hardest-hit in terms of power outages, with more than 200,000 homes and businesses in the dark late Sunday night.
(MORE: Latest Severe Weather Updates, Forecast)

Storms Turn Deadly in Chicagoland

One person died and 15 others were transported to local hospitals after strong winds toppled a tent at the Wood Dale Prairie Fest in Wood Dale, Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported. Among those hurt, at least three were seriously injured, the report added.
In a statement released Sunday, Wood Dale Mayor Nunzio Pulice said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased and we are also praying for all those who were injured or affected by this tragedy."
The festival was canceled in the wake of the tragedy, according to Wood Dale police.
A thunderstorm developed in north-central Illinois Sunday afternoon and tracked eastward toward the Chicago area just before 3 p.m. CDT. A wind gust of 52 mph was measured at Chicago's O'Hare airport and hail up to 1 inch in diameter was reported with this cell.
(MORE: Major Bridge Reopens, Sand Bags Made Available As Weekend Flooding Slams Tampa Metro Area)

Lollapalooza Evacuated Sunday Afternoon

The famous Lollapalooza festival was briefly evacuated around 3 p.m. as the storm rolled over Chicago. Concertgoers retreated from Grant Park to three pre-established shelters.
The festival's gates reopened at 3:30 p.m., and music resumed at 4 p.m.
A dome at the Ballpark at Rosemont in Rosemont, Illinois, collapsed while a Chicago Bandits softball game was delayed due to severe weather. No injuries were reported, and the game was canceled.
A man was injured when the storm caused a tree to fall on him near the boundary between the city of Chicago and the village of Lincolnwood, Illinois. Multiple trees in the area were downed by strong thunderstorm winds.
Later, a separate supercell thunderstorm prompted a tornado warning just north of Chicago in Lake County, Illinois. A funnel cloud was sighted at Route 83 and Rollins Road in suburban Round Lake Beach at 8:45 p.m. CDT while three miles north of Libertyville, a funnel was reported almost to the ground. Social media images posted from Grayslake, where siding was reportedly blown off a house, also showed a funnel cloud close to the ground.
The approaching storms prompted Lollapalooza to alter its concert schedule, putting some performers on stage two hours earlier than planned, according to its Twitter feed. The festival ended and attendees were on their way out before the storms reached downtown Chicago.

Damaging Storms Strike Other Midwest States

Thunderstorms also broke out across other areas of the Midwest throughout the day.
Tennis ball-sized hail was reported in Perham, Minnesota, and Hayward, Wisconsin, on Sunday morning. There were numerous reports of golf ball-sized hail across the area as well. Hail reached the size of softballs in parts of Ogemaw County in northern Lower Michigan, the National Weather Service in Gaylord said.
In Michigan, a tornado struck the village of Owendale around 6:40 p.m. EDT, according to the National Weather Service office near Detroit. Several buildings, including a school, were damaged. The NWS confirmed the tornado was an EF1 with winds as high as 90 mph.
Wind gusts exceeding 60 mph were reported in several Michigan communities. Tree and power line damage affected many counties across the state's Lower Peninsula.
In Iowa, thunderstorm winds toppled a semi truck in the parking lot of a large retail store in West Des Moines early Sunday evening. To the west, a tornado was reported in rural Adams County near Cromwell. That tornado was confirmed to be EF1 strength, with estimated maximum wind speeds to 100 mph, after a damage survey team studied the area.
A landspout tornado was also spotted near Lake Maloney south of North Platte, Nebraska, on Sunday afternoon.
In Wisconsin, a 32-foot sailboat capsized in Lake Michigan one mile away from Sister Bay due to high winds and waves. Coast Guard responders were able to rescue all passengers aboard the boat, and no injuries were reported.
Robert Martin and senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen contributed to this report.
MORE: Mammatus Clouds Over Indiana, Chicagoland

Cooler Conditions Help Fire Crews Make Progress Against Wildfires in California and Oregon

Associated Press
Published: August 3,2015

After a very tough weekend for firefighters battling two dozen wildfires in California, cooler weather helped crews get a better hand on a fire in Lower Lake, which is the largest and most vicious fire in the area.
The fire destroyed least two dozen homes over the past few days, and more than 13,000 people were urged to leave as the blaze roughly tripled in size over the weekend to 93 square miles, generating its own winds that fanned the flames and reduced thousands of acres of manzanita shrubs and other brush to barren land in hours.
Across the state, an estimated 9,000 firefighters are battling 21 massive fires, several of which were ignited by lightning strikes, raging across Northern California, said Daniel Berlant, state Department of Forestry and Fire protection spokesman. The state is in the midst of a historic drought, making conditions more difficult for those fighting from air and on the ground.
“The conditions and fire behavior we’re seeing at 10 in the morning is typically what we’d see in late-afternoon in late-August and September,” state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection division chief Nick Schuler described. “But because of the dry conditions, because of the drought-stricken vegetation accompanied by the steep terrain and winds, we’re seeing activity that’s abnormal for this time of year. “
(MORE: Investigation Continues Into Oil Slick off Santa Barbara County)
The fires prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency for California and activate the California National Guard to help with disaster recovery.

Firefighter Killed

Engine Capt. David Ruhl, from South Dakota, was killed battling a fast-moving blaze that broke out Thursday in the Modoc National Forest, about 100 miles south of Oregon.
Ruhl was in a vehicle Thursday, looking for ways to fight the blaze, when officials lost contact with him, fire information officer Ken Sandusky said. His body was recovered Friday.
Ruhl, part of a Black Hills National Forest firefighting team, had been helping California firefighters since June.
The so-called Frog fire has grown to about 3,900 acres as of Monday morning, and it was 20-percent contained.

Burning Hills

The largest California wildfire was raging in the Lower Lake area north of San Francisco. It nearly tripled in size over the weekend to 93 square miles.
The fire has destroyed 24 homes and 26 outbuildings and was threatening 5,000 homes, many of them ranches scattered in rural areas ranging from grasslands to steep hills, officials said.
Officials ordered as many as 13,000 people to evacuate. Several roads have been closed.
Fire officials "are calling the behavior of this fire unprecedented," state fire spokesman Jason Shanley told the newspaper. "It is jaw-dropping to see some of the things it is doing."
"Everyone we know that lives down there, they have nothing anymore. It's just crazy," Nikki Shatter of Clear Lake told KCAL-TV.
Even though the temperature dropped into the 80s Sunday and the humidity was up, the fire continued to advance.
"We chewed up a couple of thousand acres" in a single day, but no additional homes were lost, state fire spokesman Jay Smith said.

Foothills Fires

Cooler and cloudier weather helped firefighters make progress Monday on two wildfires in the foothills of the Cascades of southwestern Oregon. Smoke continued to choke communities to the south in the Rogue Valley.
The Stouts fire was 5 percent contained after burning through 24 square miles of private and federal timber 16 miles east of Canyonville, the Oregon Department of Forestry said. It started nearly a week ago and the cause remains under investigation. No homes have burned, but more than 300 remained threatened. Residents have been warned to be ready to evacuate.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reports smoke levels are unhealthy in Medford and Grants Pass, and hazardous in Shady Cove.
Meanwhile the nearby Cable Crossing fire is 20 percent contained after burning through 2 ½ square miles of timber and grass 6 miles east of Glide, also in Douglas County. Firefighters have built trail all the way around it. The cause remains under investigation. There are 1,250 firefighters assigned to the wildfire, along with three single-engine air tankers and 15 helicopters. The cost to date is $2.5 million.
"Crew bosses are hopeful they took the fight out of the fire," Incident Commander Link Smith said in a statement.

Bass Lake Blaze

A wildfire that caused the evacuation of 200 homes in the central California community of Cascadel Woods was 50 percent contained.
Authorities say a boy acknowledged starting the fire near Bass Lake by playing with a lighter to burn pine needles. The fire, which has been burning for several days, has grown to nearly 8 square miles.

Napa Fire Lines Holding

Crews battling a fire east of Napa Valley held their ground Saturday, more than a week after the blaze started about 45 miles east of Napa's wine country.
More than 12 square miles in Solano County have been charred, but the fire was 95 percent contained, and crews expected to have it fully corralled on Monday.
MORE: Jake Niece's Incredible Firefighting Photography

Floods, Landslides in Myanmar, Bangladesh and India Leave At Least 126 Dead, Thousands Homeless

Nick Wiltgen
Published: August 3,2015

At least 126 people are reported dead in three Asian countries in the wake of a monsoon depression that briefly became a tropical cyclone last week, unleashing over 1 meter (3 feet) of rain in parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The heavy rain developed as a slow-moving monsoon depression developed over Bangladesh, then formed into a tropical cyclone over the northern Bay of Bengal on Wednesday, July 29. The cyclonic storm named Komen reached tropical storm strength and moved inland Thursday, July 30. The remnant area of low pressure was centered near the border between India and Bangladesh as of Saturday, then drifted west into central India.
India is the latest country to see deadly impacts from the persistent rainfall. According to India's National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), at least 20 people died when a landslide hit the village of Joumol in the Manipur state of northeast India.
The India Meteorological Department issued heavy rainfall warnings. The states of Manipur, West Bengal and Odisha have been impacted, with roads and highways cut off. The NIDM said 39 people had died in West Bengal due to the flooding, and over 500,000 people were in shelters Sunday.
Observed rainfall amounts, in inches and millimeters, at selected sites in Bangladesh from July 24 through August 2, 2015. This includes rainfall from Tropical Cyclone Komen and the monsoon depression that spawned it.

Even for a region where average July rainfall exceeds 600 millimeters (2 feet), the rains have been exceptional. The coastal city of Chittagong reported more than 800 millimeters (32 inches) of rain in just a three-day period, July 24 through 26.
Much of southeastern Bangladesh saw repeated heavy rainfall on a daily basis. The results were deadly. Five people died in a landslide in Cox's Bazar Monday, July 27, according to the Bangladesh-based Daily Star. Four others were pulled from the mud alive. Two other people drowned in flooding elsewhere in the town of 52,000 residents, the report said. Cox's Bazar reported more than 1 meter (3 feet) of rain during the 10-day period ending Aug. 2, exceeding its already high July monthly average rainfall of 924.6 millimeters (36.40 inches), according to Bangladesh Meteorological Department climate data.
After the depression became Cyclone Komen, additional casualties were reported along the coast of Bangladesh Wednesday.
The Daily Star said a boat capsized in rough seas off Cox's Bazar Wednesday, killing two and leaving six missing. Falling trees were blamed for two deaths, and a boy died when a wall collapsed onto him. The cyclone was also blamed for the death of a newborn who succumbed to respiratory disease while being carried to a cyclone shelter by her parents.
In all, the Daily Star said 21 people died in Cox's Bazar district due to flooding, along with seven more in the Bandarban district.
While official rainfall totals are harder to come by in Myanmar, the effects have been as devastating or worse. At least 39 people are reported dead due to flooding, mainly in western and central parts of that country, according to the United Nations News Centre. Some 17,000 homes had been destroyed as of last Monday from the days-long deluge, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency.
"Most of the country is flooded now," a director from Myanmar's social welfare ministry told Australia's ABC network, adding that all but one of the country's 14 provinces and regions were impacted by flooding, rising waters and landslides caused by the torrential rains.
According to The Irrawaddy, a news portal covering Myanmar, power is out in several impoverished townships in the western part of the country, and a local leader voiced concern the damage may be heavier than local resources can handle. The BBC reported on Saturday that Myanmar's president declared a state of emergency in four regions due to the flooding.
The monsoonal depression that spawned Komen moved offshore from Bangladesh before strengthening over the Bay of Bengal, but it soon reversed course and moved back toward shore. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department said the center of Komen made landfall along the coast of southeastern Bangladesh between Hatiya and Sandwip late Thursday afternoon, July 30, local time. (Bangladesh is 10 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.)
Other unrelated storm systems have also unleashed deadly amounts of rainfall across South and Southeast Asia, leaving nearly 200 dead in Nepal, Pakistan and India, and another 17 in Vietnam.
MORE: Flooding Kills Dozens in Myanmar, August 2015

Feels-Like Temp Reaches 164 Degrees in Iran; Days Off Ordered as Mideast Broils in Extreme Heat Wave

Nick Wiltgen
Published: August 3,2015

Even in the Middle East, where scorching heat is part of everyday life during the summer, coping with extreme temperatures has its limits. A heat wave that has been building for days is testing those limits – and is testing the region's national temperature records too.
The searing heat led to an impromptu, mandatory four-day holiday in Iraq beginning this past Thursday.
The government has urged residents to stay out of the sun and drink plenty of water, but for many of the more than 3 million Iraqis displaced by violent conflict, that poses a dilemma.

Current Conditions: Iraq, Iran, Kuwait
Chronic electricity and water cuts in Iraq and other conflict-ridden countries make heat waves like the present one even more unbearable – particularly for the more than 14 million people displaced by violence across the region. In the southern Iraqi city of Basrah earlier this month, protesters clashed with police as they demonstrated for better power services, leaving one person dead.
Basrah has been near the epicenter of the heat wave. The city's high exceeded 120 F (48.9 C) for eight straight days before falling a pinch short Monday at 119.3 F (48.5 C). Still, Monday continued a now 37-day string of highs at or above 110 F (43.3 F). To the north, the Iraqi capital logged four consecutive days in the 120s Wednesday through Saturday, and has reached at least 100 F (37.8 C) every day since May 30.
(FORECAST: Baghdad)
The forecast calls for more punishing heat. Highs in the Baghdad area are likely to hover near 120 F (49 C) for much of this week. Cities in southeastern Iraq may push 125 F (52 C) later this week. Nighttime lows are forecast to remain in the 30 to 35 C range (86 to 95 F).
Unlike other countries in the region, Iraq lacks beaches and travel restrictions make it difficult for people to escape the sweltering heat, leaving many - even those fortunate enough to live in their homes - with limited options for cooling off. Some swim in rivers and irrigation canals, while others spend these days in air-conditioned shopping malls.

Current Heat Index (Feels-Like Temperature)
To the south, in the similarly sweltering Persian Gulf region, residents cranked up their air conditioners, and elsewhere in the Middle East, those who could headed to the beach to escape Thursday's soaring temperatures, high even by the standards of the region.
Water temperatures in the Persian Gulf routinely warm into the 90s each summer, releasing massive amounts of water vapor into the air above. For those unlucky enough to catch a breeze from the Gulf, the humidity can be stifling.
On Thursday, those breezes blew toward the Iranian side of the Gulf. At 3:30 p.m. local time (1100 GMT) Thursday, the manned observation site at the Mahshahr Airport in southwest Iran reported a temperature of 109 F (43 C) and a dewpoint of 90 F (32 C). Using the American heat index formula, those figures yielded a mind-boggling feels-like temperature of 159 F (70 C).
It was even hotter on Friday at the Mahshahr Airport when temperatures reached 114.8 F at 4:30 pm local time with a dew point of 89.6 F, leading to a heat index value of an incredible 164 F (73 C).
The heat index, or feels-like temperature, for selected cities in the Persian Gulf region at noon GMT on July 31, 2015. Parts of coastal Iran have been suffering from a brutal combination of triple-digit heat from the deserts and extremely high humidity originating from the waters of the Persian Gulf.

Mahshahr has been on a bit of a cooling trend since then; the heat index peaked at 155 F (68 C) on Saturday and 142 F (61 C) Sunday. Monday's heat index there actually peaked before sunrise, when the actual temperature of 93.2 F (34 C) felt like 130 F (55 C). After sunrise, lower humidity levels took the heat index down into the 120s.
Several other locations, however, have joined in the misery. The southeastern Iranian city of Jask reported a feels-like temperature of 156 F (69 C) on Friday. Feels-like temperatures topped 130 F (55 C) Sunday in several other Iranian coastal cities, as well as in Qatar. The feels-like temperature reached 128 F (53 C) in Bahrain.
It is not uncommon for well-off Gulf citizens to decamp with their luxury cars and servants to cooler spots such as Britain or Switzerland as temperatures rise. Last week Saudi Arabia's King Salman, joined by a delegation numbering in the hundreds, was cooling off in the south of France, where high temperatures have been in the 80s F (28 to 32 C) in recent days.
Several Gulf states, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, mandate midday breaks when temperatures are at their highest for low-paid migrant laborers during the summer months. But that only provides some relief as many still spend long hours working in the heat and travel to job sites on buses without air conditioning.

Five-Day Forecast
A Filipino migrant rights activist collapsed and later died of apparent heat stroke during a visit to his country's consulate in Dubai last week. Highs over the past week have hovered near 113 degrees (45 degrees Celsius) in Dubai, and the Dubai area has not reported a temperature below 90 F (32 C) even at night since July 24.
Another of the hottest spots in the Gulf was Kuwait City, where the official high last Thursday was 121.3 F (49.6 C). The civil aviation authority's meteorological department forecast daytime conditions as "very hot" and overnight temperatures as "relatively hot," with moderate winds providing little relief.
Kuwaitis nonetheless took it in stride.
Nazem al-Ghabra, 31, who works in corporate communications, told the Associated Press: "We're used to this weather, and Kuwait is well-equipped for this harsh weather as almost everything is indoors, even car parking."
While Kuwait may be well-equipped for heat, this episode promises to be among the more extreme in modern recordkeeping.
Climatologist Maximiliano Herrera says Kuwait's national all-time record high is 53.6 degrees Celsius (128.5 degrees Fahrenheit) set at Sulaibya on July 31, 2012. The high reached 52.8 C (127.0 F) at Mitribah, Kuwait, on July 30. So far that is the highest temperature in Kuwait during this heat wave.
According to Herrera, the national heat records for both Iraq and Iran are both 53.0 C (127.4 degrees F) set in a heat wave at this time of year in 2011. (In Iran the record was tied in August 2014.)
The hottest temperature in Iraq in this heat wave was in Kanaqin, where the high on July 30 hit 52.0 C (125.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The capital, Baghdad, wasn't far behind at 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 degrees Fahrenheit); this appears to have tied the modern all-time record high for that city.
The World Meteorological Organization says the official record-high temperature for Asia, of which the Middle East is a part, is 129 degrees (54 degrees Celsius) set at Tivat Tsvi, Israel, on June 21, 1942. Herrera says this record is unreliable and lists the 2012 Kuwait record as Asia's record.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE: Iraqi Heat Wave, July 2015

Tropical Storm Watches Have Been Issued For Parts Of Hawaii As Guillermo Weakens in Central Pacific

August 3,2015


  • Former Hurricane Guillermo was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday morning.
  • As of 5 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time, Guillermo was located about 515 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.
  • A tropical storm watch has been issued for the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe
  • Guillermo is weakening and that trend will continue over the next couple of days as Guillermo encounters unfavorable upper-level winds and dry air.
  • By the time Guillermo reaches the general area of Hawaii late Wednesday into Thursday it will have weakened to a low-end tropical storm.
  • The primary, potential impacts to Hawaii appear to be locally heavy rain and high surf.
(MORE: Expert Analysis | Hurricane Central)

Storm Information

Projected Path

Model Forecast Wave Heights

Probability of Tropical Storm-Force Winds




















Hawaiian Worry?

At this time, the trend in the computer forecast models continues to track Guillermo near or north of the Hawaiian Islands. Guillermo will also continue weakening as it approaches Hawaii due to increasing wind shear and dry air.
On Monday evening, tropical storm watches were posted for Hawaii and Maui counties, which means tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.
Interests in Hawaii should still continue to monitor the progress of this system. Here is a very early look at what impacts we could see depending on the track and strength of Guillermo as it moves near Hawaii:
- LIKELY: High surf and rip currents seems like a good bet no matter what path Guillermo takes. The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory for the east facing shores of Hawaii through Tuesday. Also, Guillermo's circulation will likely disrupt trade winds by Tuesday.
- POSSIBLE: Enhanced rainfall chances and gusty winds are possible Wednesday and Thursday depending on the exact path and strength of Guillermo.
(FORECASTS: Honolulu | Hilo | Kona Coast | Maui)
Virtually every system approaching Hawaii from the east since 1950 tracking at least as far north as the latitude of the Big Island of Hawaii eventually weakened to a tropical storm or depression by the time it reached the islands.
We discussed the reasoning behind this in a piece written in August 2014.
Last August, Iselle became only the second tropical storm to landfall on the Big Island dating to 1950, after strengthening to a Category 4 hurricane.
Incidentally, hurricanes Julio and Ana also passed near the Hawaiian Islands in 2014. Ana was one of only four hurricanes since 1950 to pass within 150 nautical miles of Honolulu, dumping locally heavy rain and generating high surf.
Hurricane specialist Michael Lowry says 17 tropical cyclones of at least tropical storm intensity have tracked within 100 nautical miles of Hawaii dating to 1950. Three of those -- Tropical Storm Flossie (2013), Tropical Storm Iselle (2014) and Hurricane Ana (2014) -- have done so since 2013.
Guillermo may not be the season's last to gain Hawaii's attention.
NOAA's 2015 central Pacific hurricane season outlook cited El Nino's tendency for reduced wind shear and more storm tracks coming from the eastern Pacific as reasons to expect an active season in the central Pacific Basin.
MORE: Amazing Hurricane Images (PHOTOS)

Super Typhoon Soudelor Becomes Earth's Strongest Cyclone of 2015; Moving Toward China, Taiwan, Japan

August 3,2015
  • Super Typhoon Soudelor underwent rapid intensification Monday and has become the strongest tropical cyclone on Earth so far in 2015.
  • Soudelor is expected to continue to track to the west-northwest the next several days over open waters of the western Pacific Ocean.
  • This track may bring it near Japan's far southwest Ryukyu Islands, including Ishigakijima and Miyakojima, as well as Taiwan and eastern China late this week.
  • Soudelor is expected to weaken as it approaches these areas, but it may still be a strong, formidable typhoon.
(MORE: Expert Analysis | Hurricane Central)

The Latest Forecast Path and Infrared Satellite Maps

Infrared Satellite

Forecast Path
Soudelor is intensifying rapidly over the western Pacific Ocean after raking through Saipan, a U.S. commonwealth in the northern Mariana Islands, Sunday night and early Monday.
Super Typhoon Soudelor became the fifth super typhoon of this year Monday after undergoing a replacement of its eyewall, a process which occurs in all intense tropical cyclones. A super typhoon is defined by sustained wind speeds of at least 150 mph.
According to Monday's 5 p.m. EDT bulletin from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Soudelor had strengthened into the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 180 mph (one-minute average) with gusts to 220 mph.
Soudelor has maintained its strength and as of 11 p.m. EDT Monday, Soudelor continues to have maximum sustained winds of 180 mph and some additional strengthening is possible.
Low wind shear and very warm sea surface temperatures have allowed Soudelor to ramp up quickly; the cyclone was just a minimal typhoon 36 hours earlier.
Soudelor continues to track to the west-northwest over the open waters of the Western Pacific.
(MORE: What is the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale?)
Soudelor has become the strongest tropical cyclone seen anywhere on Earth so far in 2015, at least by JTWC satellite estimation. Cyclone Pam in March reached peak estimated sustained winds of about 165 mph (145 knots) in the South Pacific basin.
On this path, Soudelor will move toward Japan's southwestern Ryukyu islands by Friday.
For now, the main island of Okinawa (including Kadena Air Base) lies at the north end of the forecast swath, but it remains far too soon to rule out a closer pass of the center of Soudelor to Okinawa.
Taiwan and China are also likely to be impacted by Soudelor this weekend. Even though it may be weakening by then, Soudelor could still be a very strong typhoon. Its center may pass directly over Taipei, the Taiwanese capital.

Saipan: Damage "Extensive"

Intensifying from a Category 1 to Category 2 equivalent storm, Soudelor's eye passed directly over the island of Saipan, home to about 48,000 residents.
A state of disaster and significant emergency was declared by Acting Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.
High winds downed power poles, removed roofs off buildings and flooded Saipan's power plant. About 350 people were in emergency shelters, as of Monday morning, the Pacific Daily News reported.
“From looking at the damage, I would guess weeks to months to restore power. It took about three to six months to restore service on Guam after Pongsona,” Dr. Phillip Dauterman told the Pacific Daily News in an email. "This is not the total damage of Pongsona, but it is close.”
Saipan International Airport recorded a peak wind gust to 91 mph just before 11 p.m. local time Sunday night, as the western eyewall approached, before wind observations dropped off -- not to mention the instrumentation erroneously reported snow -- for about an hour.
Soudelor passed north of Guam but wind gusts over 30 mph and light rain were measured. High surf from Soudelor will continue for the next few days.
Soudelor, a name contributed by the Federated States of Micronesia, was a legendary chief on the island of Pohnpei, about 1,650 kilometers (1025 miles) east-southeast of Guam.
Stay with The Weather Channel and for the latest on Super Typhoon Soudelor.
MORE: Typhoon Nangka July 16-17, 2015 (PHOTOS)

This Date in Weather History for August 3,2015 from

Weather History
For Monday,August 3,2015
1885 - A tornado hit Philadelphia and Camden along its eight mile path. (David Ludlum)
1970 - Hurricane Celia struck the coast of Texas producing wind gusts to 161 mph at Corpus Christi, and estimated wind gusts of 180 mph at Arkansas Pass. The hurricane was the most destructive of record along the Texas coast causing 454 million dollars damage, and also claimed eleven lives. (David Ludlum) (The Weather Channel)
1987 - A severe thunderstorm moved across Cheyenne, WY, during the mid afternoon. The thunderstorm produced hailstones up to two inches in diameter causing more than 37 million dollars damage. The eastern U.S. sweltered in the heat. A dozen cities reported record high temperatures for the date, including Paducah KY with a reading of 102 degrees. Beckley WV established an all- time record with an afternoon high of 93 degrees. (Storm Data) (The National Weather Summary)
1988 - Thunderstorms developing ahead of a slow moving cold front produced severe weather from the Central High Plains to the Upper Great Lakes Region. Thunderstorms around Fort Collins, CO, produced wind gusts to 74 mph along with marble size hail. Sixteen persons were injured in the storm, most of whom were accidently locked out of their office building, having evacuated it when the fire alarm went off, apparently triggered by lightning. (Storm Data) (The National Weather Summary)
1989 - Thunderstorms representing what remained of Hurricane Chantal drenched Wichita, KS, with 2.20 inches of rain in four hours during the early morning. Thunderstorms developing in Minnesota produced wind gusts to 85 mph at Baudette during the afternoon, and softball size hail at Lake Kabetogama, during the evening. Jamestown, ND, reported a record hot afternoon high of 103 degrees. (Storm Data) (The National Weather Summary)

California District Accused of Diverting Water During Record Drought Faces $1.5 Million Fine

By Karen Lo
August 3,2015; 4:40AM,EDT

Photo Modified: Flickr/USDA/CC 2.0
Byron-Bethany Irrigation District -- a rural district in California that provides water to farmers within the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta -- is accused by regulators of illegally diverting water as the state endures its fourth year of a record drought.
The district has been hit with a proposed civil penalty of $1.5 million, which it has the right to challenge in court.
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State officials have begun in earnest to crack down on regions where cutbacks mandated by the State Water Resources Control Board have been ignored. Among those emergency conditions, urban regions must reduce water usage by 25-percent, and farm regions, some with century-old water rights, must also submit to reductions. The Byron-Bethany district is one of the latter.
For its part, the district has accused state water regulators of making "an arbitrary example" of the region, and has pledged to "vigorously defend its right to water and due process."
The state, meanwhile, has promised that such penalties are just beginning, and that other regions not in compliance with the cutbacks can expect to see similar fines.
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BREAKING: 2 Dead, 15 Injured After Tent Collapses in New Hampshire During Storm

By Kevin Byrne, Staff Writer
August 3,2015; 10:26PM,EDT
Two children were killed and at least another 15 people were injured Monday, as strong storms forced a circus tent to collapse in Lancaster, New Hampshire, according to the director of the New Hampshire Director of Fire Safety.
The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the incident, Fire Safety Director J. William Degnan said at a news conference late Monday night.
The tent had more than 250 people inside, according to the Associated Press. The children were spectators at a circus performing at the Lancaster fairgrounds, Degnan said.
Severe thunderstorms pushed through the Northeast on Tuesday afternoon and evening. A few miles east of Lancaster, there was a reported wind gust of 35 mph with almost an inch of rain, AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards said.
Officers surround the scene of a tent collapse in Lancaster, N.H., Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. Authorities say the circus tent collapsed when a severe storm raked the New Hampshire fairground. (Photo/Sebastian Fuentes via AP)
"A band of severe thunderstorms tracked across the area during the late afternoon with widespread wind damage occurring," Edwards said. "There were many reports of trees and power lines down with estimated wind gusts of 60 mph or greater."
Walker International Events was scheduled to do two shows Monday before moving on to Vermont on Tuesday, the AP reported.
Northeast Regional Weather Radar
AccuWeather Severe Weather Center
VIDEO: Deadly Storms Tear Through Illinois

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said the State Emergency Operations Center had been activated and state officials will continue to assist and monitor the situation.
Investigators would check "the construction of the tent and how it was set up," Degnan said.
The incident in New Hampshire comes just one day after one person was killed and several others were injured after a tent collapsed during a thunderstorm in suburban Chicago.
AccuWeather Staff Writer Mark Leberfinger also contributed to this story.

Flooding Downpours to Diminish Across Florida This Week

By Jordan Root, Meteorologist
August 3,2015; 10:24PM,EDT
Following a week full of heavy rain and life-threatening flooding in the Sunshine State, there is light at the end of the tunnel, at least for the time being.
A stalled front that was draped over the region for days on end will finally weaken and dissolve early this week. In addition, an area of low pressure riding along the front will move away from the region, allowing for a welcoming break from the rain.
Developing Storms Swing from the South to the North
"Rain will diminish starting Tuesday as the area of disturbed weather shifts northward for a while," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Frank Strait.
Typical summertime showers and thunderstorms will be around through the week, but they will be less numerous. While isolated incidents of flooding may still be triggered, widespread issues as seen during last week and over the weekend are not expected.

Those widespread issues included submerged cars, closed highways and streets and flooded homes.
Tampa, Florida, was one of the hardest hit areas with more than one month's rain falling in a span of less than two weeks to close out July. Major highways were shut down, including the Gandy Bridge that connects South Tampa to St. Petersburg.

Showers and thunderstorms will become more spotty through the week which will allow for some areas to dry out across the west coast of Florida. More sunshine will be featured as well.
Those sick of the rain will want to take advantage of any dry time they can get this week. Unfortunately, downpours will increase in coverage as the weekend arrives.
"Another front will get unusually far south for this time of the year over the weekend," said Strait.
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Similar to the last two weeks, this will likely spell out some trouble for parts of Florida.
"The front will become stationary over Florida, which will lead to another period of soaking rains," said Strait.
Rain gauges will quickly fill up and flooding issues will likely be renewed yet again for parts of northern and central Florida. Areas where the rain is most needed will likely miss out on the rain.
Parts of southeastern Florida, especially around the Miami area, are under a severe or even extreme drought. The front is expected to stall north of South Florida, which will keep the most soaking rain away.

Guillermo to Track Toward Hawaii Through Midweek

By Jordan Root, Meteorologist
August 3,2015; 10:23PM,EDT
The Hawaiian Islands will want to be on alert this week as a tropical system is lurking over water east of the island chain.
After forming into a depression on Wednesday, July 29, Guillermo has tracked through the open water of the east-central Pacific with little impacts. However, that will be changing this week.
Once a hurricane, Guillermo has been steadily weakening and is now a tropical storm with maximum wind speeds of near 65 mph, Guillermo will continue on a west-northwestward path over the coming days, taking aim at Hawaii on Wednesday and Thursday.

Persistent wind shear will likely keep the system from strengthening early this week and will actually help to weaken it as it tracks closer. Slightly cooler ocean water will also help to weaken the system over the coming days.
Despite the weakening trend, Guillermo will still bring impacts to Hawaii. The exact impacts depend on the track Guillermo takes as it approaches the islands and the current state of the system when it does so.
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AccuWeather meteorologists expect Guillermo to travel fairly close to Hawaii as a tropical storm, and current forecast details have this system reaching the Big Island as a tropical storm during the day on Wednesday.
"While there remains uncertainty regarding the ultimate track of Guillermo, the most recent guidance indicated that it could pass near, if not over, the Hawaiian Islands," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Rich Jaworski.
If the track shifts farther to the south, greater impacts will be felt including: heavier rainfall, stronger winds and possible mudslides, especially across the northeast-facing portion of the islands.

Regardless of the track, high surf, large swells and dangerous rip currents will pose hazards this week as Guillermo approaches. Also, the system will likely pass close enough to disrupt the normal trade flow and bring an uptick in moisture that would enhance showers Wednesday and Thursday.
"A far northern track could still bring enhanced shower activity and breezy conditions" said Jaworski.
The rainfall could prove to be beneficial as well. Parts of Hawaii have seen a stretch of dry conditions which has initiated a drought. While Guillermo's rain will not eliminate the drought, it will surely bring some relief.
As the weekend approaches, Guillermo will likely weaken and dissipate as it battles cooler water and stronger wind shear.
While the rest of the eastern and central Pacific is quiet, the western Pacific is active with Soudelor expected to track towards China and Taiwan this week.

Heat to Ease in Northwest After Scorching End to July

August 3,2015; 10:20PM,EDT
After four consecutive days of 90-degree heat, some relief is on the way for Seattle and other areas in the Northwest U.S.
The oppressive heat that dominated the end of July in the Northwest will be replaced with warm, but more seasonable temperatures this week.
"A persistent dome of high pressure over the Northwest has brought scorching temperatures over the weekend. This feature will gradually shift to the east early in the week, allowing slightly cooler air to filter into the region," AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis said.

The more seasonable weather will be inviting to those with outdoor plans such as hiking, biking and camping. AccuWeather RealFeel® readings made for oppressive conditions for outdoor activities in the final days of July.
Seattle will see the 90-degree Fahrenheit heat replaced with highs near 80 F by Wednesday. The average high temperature for this time of year is 77 F. Despite the cooler weather this week, rain is not in the forecast near Seattle where it is needed.
Portland, Oregon, observed triple-digit heat to conclude the month of July. Residents and visitors will experience temperatures on par with the normal high of 82 F by midweek. Dry conditions will persist over the week.
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Temperature Maps

This heat relief arrives as an upper-level disturbance digging southeast, displacing the area of high pressure responsible for the heat. A more refreshing onshore flow will take hold by Tuesday.
"Chances for rain will remain relatively low during most of the week with just a few afternoon thunderstorms popping up over higher elevations," Travis said.
Much of the Northwest remains under moderate-to-extreme drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor. Meanwhile, normal to above-average rain fall has lead to minimal drought conditions along the eastern front range of the Rocky Mountains.
While the cooler air will be welcomed early this week, warmer air will yet again build back in towards the end of the week as a ridge of high pressure returns.

Written by Kyle Brown, AccuWeather Meteorologist

Madrid, Paris, Berlin Face Rounds of Heat This Week

By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
August 3,2015; 10:18PM,EDT
Another round of scorching heat is impacting millions of people from Spain to Germany and Poland. While some brief relief is possible in France and Germany, extreme heat will hold from Spain to Italy and Poland for much of the week ahead.
The setup for this round of heat is a slow-moving storm to the west of the British Isles and high pressure over eastern Europe which will combine to promote a strong southwest flow from northern Africa and Spain into northern and central Europe.

The heat began to build from Spain to Germany on Sunday before surging to some of the highest levels of the summer on Monday.
Temperatures soared past 32 C (90 F) for the seventh time this summer in Paris on Monday while temperatures flirted with the 32 C (90 F) mark in Brussels. Highs in the lower 20s C (lower to middle 70s F) are more common this time of year.
A cold front will bring cooler air along with showers and thunderstorms to areas from France into Netherlands, Belgium and western Germany on Tuesday.
The high temperature is only expected to climb to 24 C (75 F) in Paris on Tuesday while Brussels will be a cool 22 C (71 F).
Europe: Fast Forming Storms in Madrid and Vienna
Berlin and Warsaw also saw temperatures reach or surpass 32 C (90 F) on Monday with more heat on the way for Tuesday.
The cold front will reach Berlin by the end of the day on Tuesday, bringing a shower or thunderstorm during the evening followed by a much cooler day on Wednesday.
This front will weaken and never reach Warsaw, keeping the heat in place right into this weekend.
Residents are reminded to drink plenty of water and never to leave kids or pets unattended in a sealed car. Strenuous activities should be avoided during the midday and afternoon hours, the hottest times of the day. If that is not possible, be sure to take frequent breaks.
European Weather Center
Germany Radar
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"There is concern for some of the thunderstorms to be strong," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys. "That is especially true in northern Germany and Denmark later Tuesday."
The front will also not be able to sweep the heat away from Madrid, setting the stage for another round of heat spreading into France and Germany during the second half of the week. Highs in Paris will once again climb into the lower 30s C (near 90 F) by Thursday.
This second surge of heat would also build across southern and southeast Europe during the second half of the week, impacting areas such a Milan, Florence, Budapest and Prague.
Some locations such as Prague, Berlin and Warsaw will approach monthly and all-time record highs during the second half of this week.

Dallas: Sizzling Heat to Persist Into Late Week

By Kevin Byrne, Staff Writer
August 3,2015; 10:14PM,EDT
Sunny skies and very warm conditions will persist through the week in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
"Highs the next couple of days will be right around the century mark," AccuWeather Meteorologist John Feerick said.
By Friday, temperatures could push 105 F in several parts of the region, according to Feerick. A high near 97 F is common for this time of year.

Fans heading to Globe Life Park to watch the Rangers play the Houston Astros on Wednesday will certainly want to drink plenty of fluids. Evening temperatures will drop only to the upper 80s.
Showers and thunderstorms will continue to stay away from the area.
After a very wet May and June, Dallas only received 0.92 of an inch in July. Typically the city receives 2.16 inches for the month.
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Brain-Eating Amoeba That Thrives in Warm Conditions Detected in Louisiana Drinking Water

By Katy Galimberti, Staff Writer
August 3,2015; 10:12PM,EDT
Public officials are in the process of eliminating Naegleria Fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba, from two drinking water supplies in Louisiana.
Naegleria Fowleri was detected during routine tests last week at a utility district in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, roughly 25 miles from Baton Rouge.
The water system serves roughly 1,800 throughout the rural town. Three other systems in the area were tested with negative results, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).
While officials say the water is safe for drinking, residents are urged to use caution with the water, not letting it get into their nose. Humans are infected when water containing the amoeba travels through the nose and migrates to the brain, destroying the tissue.
"We want to emphasize that the water is completely safe to drink. The amoeba cannot survive your stomach acid and is harmless when consumed in this manner," the DHH said in a release posted on their Facebook page last week.
A brain-eating amoeba was detected at two separate water sites near New Orleans, but officials say the water is safe to drink. (Flickr Photo/Elias Gayles)
A 60-day free chlorine burn will be completed to eliminate the amoeba, officials said. According to the DHH, the chlorine burn will help reduce biofilm, or organic buildup, throughout the water system and will kill the amoeba.
The amoeba is commonly found in in warm freshwater such as lakes, ponds and hot springs. The DHH stated that water sites are routinely tested as temperatures rise during the summer months.
Temperatures in the New Orleans area have been running about 3 degrees Fahrenheit above normal the past three weeks, AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis said. Normal highs hit in the low 90s for this time of year.
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The Ascension Parish site is the second site to test positive for the amoeba within the last few weeks.
A site at St. Bernard Parish, roughly 15 miles from New Orleans, is where the amoeba was detected July 22. A chlorine burn is underway to eliminate the deadly amoeba.
"We are taking precautionary measures that DHH approves of and would ask our residents to follow the rules that DHH has provided," Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said.