I’m not sure why anyone pays attention to the Iowa caucuses anymore, considering its Republican voters have only picked their Party’s eventual presidential nominee twice since the 1960s, and only one of those went on to win the general election. But Iowa is the time-honored kickoff to the quadrennial American presidential passion play regardless, and one must observe the conventions and traditions that make the country what it is.
Tag archive: Sturm
On 30 August 2023 the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season kicked off with a bang, as Hurricane Idalia battered the northern Florida coast with 125 mph winds and a 7-foot storm surge, making landfall as a category 3 storm at Keaton Beach, in the Sunshine State’s Big Bend region, at 7:45 AM EDT. Earlier projections had seen the storm coming ashore somewhat further south, in more populous areas, but despite the already swampy terrain and smaller communities in its path, Idalia is estimated to have caused some $9 billion+ in damage. Thankfully, loss of life was minimal, with three traffic-related fatalities attributed to Idalia’s effects.
After a very dry spring in much of the eastern US evoked widespread drought conditions, the climate change worm turned dramatically in late June and early July 2023, deluging these same areas with more rain than they could handle. Vermont quickly became the poster child for Northeast flooding, with new records set for rainfall in the Green Mountain State. Wastewater treatment facilities were among the hardest-hit, with 33 impacted statewide, and the plant in Johnson inundated by eight feet of water, leaving “total destruction” in its wake, with “just the shell of a building” remaining.
After a fairly somnolent summer, the Atlantic hurricane season has been working overtime to make up the deficit, with two powerful storms wreaking havoc up and down the east coast of North America in the last week of September. Hurricane Fiona devastated areas of the Canadian Maritimes on the 24th, while Hurricane Ian pounded central Florida on the 28th with nightmarish winds and massive flooding, traversed the Sunshine State, then refueled in the Atlantic and turned its sights on the Carolinas.
On Friday evening, 10 December 2010, some 30 tornadoes smashed through six mid-West states, creating havoc and spreading devastation, claiming upwards of 100 lives. The outbreak, apart from being one of the worst recorded, is all the more historic given the unseasonable timing, with most tornadoes occurring in the spring. Normally, cooler temperatures preclude the formation of tornadoes, and this December rampage is yet another sign of increasing weather instability stemming from unchecked climate change globally.
In mid-September, Hurricane Florence became the first major storm to strongly impact the US in the 2018 season. A Category 4 hurricane just days before crashing into the Carolinas, Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 before making landfall, and quickly diminished to tropical storm strength, likely sparing billions in property damage and additional lives.
But Florence will still wreak havoc with its storm surge, up to 11 feet in some areas, and its accompanying deluge; with as much as two feet of rain expected generally, some areas could see almost 40 inches in a matter of hours. Billions of dollars’ worth of damage will likely ensue, with affected areas taking years to recover.