National Weather Forecast

Heat continues to blast parts of the lower and mid-Mississippi Valleys (and surrounding areas) on Friday, with highs reaching 100F as far north as St. Louis. On the edge of that heat bubble, we will be watching showers and thunderstorms – some of which could be severe. Scattered storms will also be possible in the eastern United States.

Heavy rain will be on the edge of that heat bubble across the southern United States through the first half of the weekend, with some areas from Nebraska to Indiana expected to see at least 3” of rain over the next few days.


The first battery-powered trains have arrived in Europe

More from CNN: “As the aviation world looks to battery-powered planes to help sustainability, the rail sector has been quietly working on a faster alternative. Enter Europe’s first battery-powered trains. A 20-strong fleet of Hitachi Masaccio trains is now running in Italy, where they are known as “Blues.” It’s the first phase of a 1.23 billion euros project which will add 135 battery-powered trains to national operator Trenitalia’s network, running in Calabria, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Tuscany, and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. In Calabria, the trains are running on the Ionian Coast, while Sicilian routes include Messina to Palermo and Messina-Catania-Syracuse. Of course, not all the trains on these lines will be the Blues, so it’s pot luck which travelers end up on.

Mountains Vulnerable to Extreme Rain from Climate Change

More from Berkeley Lab: “As the world warms, extreme weather events grow – and they also change. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found that climate change is shifting snowfall to rainfall on mountains across the Northern Hemisphere. Those surges of liquid water bring a distinct set of dangers, including floods, landslides, and soil erosion. “One quarter of the global population lives in or downstream from mountainous regions,” said Mohammed Ombadi, first author of the paper published today in Nature. “They are going to be directly affected by this risk.” Scientists already expect climate change to increase the volume of water falling during extreme events (which typically take place over a few hours to a day), but this study is the first time researchers have looked at whether that extreme precipitation comes as rain or snow. They found that the fraction of water falling as snow decreased in mountainous regions, falling instead as rain – making mountains particularly susceptible to extreme rain hazards. They even put a number to it: For every 1 degree Celsius increase in the global temperature, researchers expect an average of 15% more rain at high elevations.

The EPA was on the cusp of cleaning up ‘Cancer Alley.’ Then it backed down.

More from Grist: “This week, the EPA abruptly terminated three of its highest-profile open civil rights complaints. The move deals a major blow not only to the majority-Black communities that filed them but also to the EPA’s own authority to enforce Title VI in places with some of the nation’s worst air quality. The cases originated in the region widely known as “Cancer Alley,” an 85-mile industrial corridor in southeast Louisiana, and were voluntarily closed after the state’s Republican attorney general sued the federal government for alleged abuses of power during the complaint negotiations. Grist obtained copies of two draft agreements from the now-defunct negotiations, which reveal efforts by EPA officials to institute profound changes to Louisiana’s permitting process, which has historically concentrated chemical plants near Black communities. One of the most substantial terms of the resolution would have required state regulators to assess whether a community is already exposed to disproportionately high levels of pollution before permitting new plants there. With the cases closed, the prospect of those changes has all but vanished.


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– D.J. Kayser