National Weather Forecast
We continue to track excessive heat across portions of the southern and western United States on Wednesday. Otherwise, two systems – one in the Upper Midwest and another along parts of the East Coast – will produce storm activity. Monsoonal storms will also be possible in the Southwest.
Heavy rains will impact parts of the eastern United States through the middle of the week, with some areas (particularly across Michigan and Florida) potentially seeing over three inches of rain.
Americans Have Breathed More Wildfire Smoke in Eight Months Than in Entire Years
More from Scientific American: “The average American may have already inhaled more wildfire smoke in the first eight months of this year than during any recent full year. What’s responsible for the record? Canada’s unprecedented blazes, which began in late April, have sent plumes of smoke south to the U.S., impacting communities in the Midwest and along the East Coast that are unaccustomed to wildfires. This event is undermining a decades-long trend toward generally cleaner air in the U.S., driven by decades of reduced anthropogenic pollution. Now experts hope the shock of 2023’s smoke will inspire collective and individual actions to reduce future wildfire smoke exposure. This year “fire activity has been near historic lows in most of the western U.S.,” says Marshall Burke, an economist at Stanford University. “Yet this will likely be the worst wildfire smoke year on record in the U.S. and [is] entirely due to Canadian fires. So that’s really new.””
Why the Maui wildfires were so deadly
More from Axios: “The devastating wildfires in Hawaii this week killed more than 90 people and decimated the historic town of Lahaina on Maui Island. The big picture: The fires are “likely the largest natural disaster in Hawaii’s state history,” according to Hawaii Gov. Josh Green. Dozens of people have been injured and thousands have been displaced. Officials expect the death toll to continue rising. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen told NBC News’s “Today” on Friday that the death toll currently consists of casualties found outside. “We have not yet searched in the interior of the buildings.” How it happened: Extreme winds augmented by Hurricane Dora, coupled with existing drought conditions across Hawaii, exacerbated the spread of the wildfires. Researchers believe climate change was likely a contributing factor to the wildfires, exacerbating the drought and making wildfire fuels, like dried out vegetation, more flammable. Nonnative grasses that are more flammable than indigenous plants have also proliferated across Hawaii in recent years, exacerbating the wildfire risk.”
Montana youth victory could spur momentum on other climate cases
More from E&E News: “A landmark court decision that Montana is violating its youngest residents’ rights to a clean and healthful climate could have legal repercussions well beyond the Treasure State. Judge Kathy Seeley of the 1st Judicial District Court in Montana found Monday that youth in the state have a “fundamental constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment, which includes climate” as she struck down two laws that bar state agencies from considering the climate effects of fossil fuel projects. “This is what climate justice in the courts, and protecting the constitutional rights of our childrens’ right to a safe climate, looks like,” said Nate Bellinger, senior staff attorney with Our Children’s Trust, the Oregon-based law firm that represented the 16 young Montanans.”
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