Ana Becomes First Named Storm of Atlantic Hurricane Season

The formation of the subtropical storm makes it the seventh consecutive year that a named storm has developed in the Atlantic before the official start of the season.

#ana, #atlantic-ocean, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-hurricane-center, #wind

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Before Deadly Accident, Lift Boat Turned Toward Heavy Winds, N.T.S.B. Says

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board detailed the events that led to a commercial vessel’s capsizing off the Louisiana coast.

#boats-and-boating, #maritime-accidents-and-safety, #national-transportation-safety-board, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #rescues, #weather, #wind

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Severe Weather Expected in South for Third Straight Day

At least two people have been killed, and forecasters said more tornadoes could come on Tuesday.

#alabama, #arkansas, #georgia, #national-weather-service, #southern-states-us, #texas, #tornadoes, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #weather, #wind

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South Dakota Wildfires Prompt Mount Rushmore to Close

Gov. Kristi Noem said the monument was not under threat but that gusting winds could cause conditions to change quickly.

#fires-and-firefighters, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #mount-rushmore-national-memorial-sd, #noem-kristi, #rapid-city-sd, #south-dakota, #wildfires, #wind

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Tornado Watch Warns South of ‘Particularly Dangerous’ Storms

The storms were expected to bring damaging winds over 100 miles per hour and large hail to parts of the South on Wednesday evening.

#national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #national-weather-service, #southern-states-us, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

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Ice Floe Rescues and Highway Crashes Cap a Bad Week of Winter Weather

A cold front swept through parts of the Midwest this week, wreaking havoc on highways in Iowa. Bitter cold is in the forecast.

#cedar-rapids-iowa, #great-lakes, #lake-michigan, #national-weather-service, #snow-and-snowstorms, #weather, #wind, #wisconsin

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Yosemite National Park Reopens After Devastating Wind Storm Topples Sequoias

The wind storm last month downed 15 of the park’s giant sequoia trees. It also damaged park buildings, vehicles and facilities.

#weather, #wind, #yosemite-national-park-calif

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US grid will see 80 percent of its new capacity go emission-free

US grid will see 80 percent of its new capacity go emission-free

Enlarge (credit: US EIA)

Earlier this week, the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) released figures on the new generating capacity that’s expected to start operating over the course of 2021. While plans can obviously change, the hope is that, with its new additions, the grid will look radically different than it did just five years ago. This includes the details, where a new nuclear plant may be started up, although it will be dwarfed by the capacity of new batteries. But the big picture is that, even ignoring the batteries, about 80 percent of the planned capacity additions will be emission-free.

New nukes?

The EIA’s accounting shows that just under 40 Gigawatts of capacity will be placed on the grid during 2021, but there are a number of caveats to this. First and foremost is the inclusion of batteries, which account for over 10 percent of that figure (4.3GW). While batteries may look like short-term generating capacity from the perspective of “can this put power on the grid?”, they’re obviously not actually a net source of power. Typically, they’re used to smooth over short-term fluctuations in supply or demand rather than a steady source of power.

Still, given the rarity of grid-scale batteries even a few years ago, 4.3GW of them is striking.

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#batteries, #coal, #energy, #natural-gas, #nuclear-power, #science, #solar, #wind

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Nor’easter Knocks Out Power to More Than 200,000 in New England

More than 110,000 customers in Maine alone lost electricity after a nor’easter brought high winds and heavy snow.

#connecticut, #maine, #massachusetts, #new-england-states-us, #new-hampshire, #noreaster, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #snow-and-snowstorms, #weather, #wind

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Bond Fire Erupts Outside Los Angeles, Forcing Thousands to Evacuate

Two firefighters were injured on Thursday in Orange County as efforts to contain the Bond fire continued.

#california, #evacuations-and-evacuees, #orange-county-calif, #wildfires, #wind

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Major Winter Storm Brings Snow, Heavy Rain and Wind to East Coast

Forecasters are watching “a strong storm system” that will cover a long swath of the East Coast, from Georgia to New England.

#appalachian-region, #east-coast-us, #florida, #rain, #snow-and-snowstorms, #wind

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A Badly Timed Disruption for Wine Sales in the New York Area

A storm last week damaged a North Jersey warehouse, impeding deliveries to stores during a busy holiday season.

#bowler-wine, #new-jersey, #t-edward-wines-and-spirits, #weather, #western-carriers-inc, #wind, #wines

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Eta Makes Landfall in Florida, Again

The storm had already flooded streets and forced several universities to cancel classes on Thursday.

#federal-emergency-management-agency, #floods, #florida, #hurricane-eta, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-hurricane-center, #rain, #tropical-storm-eta, #weather, #wind

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Eta Targets Florida, Again

The storm, which had battered South Florida as well as parts of Cuba and Central America, briefly strengthened to a Category One Hurricane on Wednesday as it approached the Gulf Coast.

#floods, #florida, #gulf-coast-us, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-hurricane-center, #rain, #weather, #wind

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Tropical Storm Eta Causes Flooding in South Florida

Some areas saw more than 13 inches of rainfall, and there was a storm surge along the coast.

#floods, #florida, #florida-powerlight-co, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-hurricane-center, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #weather, #wind

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Tropical Storm Eta Heads Toward South Florida After Strengthening

Eta, the 28th named storm of the Atlantic season, is primed to hit the Florida Keys, possibly as a hurricane, by late Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said.

#deaths-fatalities, #floods, #florida, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #landslides-and-mudslides, #rain, #tropical-storm-eta, #weather, #wind

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As renewable power prices drop, researchers tally up their added costs

A wind turbine is silhouetted against the sunset.

Enlarge (credit: TLPOSCHARSKY / Flickr)

Renewable energy prices have plunged to the point where, for much of the planet, wind and solar power is now cheaper than fossil fuel-generated electricity. But the variability of these power sources can make managing them on an electric grid challenging—a challenge that can exact costs beyond their apparent price. The exact cost, however, has been heavily debated, with estimates ranging from “minimal” up to “build an entire natural gas plant to match every megawatt of wind power.”

Philip Heptonstall and Robert Gross of Imperial College London decided to try to figure out what the costs actually were. After wading through hundreds of studies, the answer they came up with is somewhere between “It’s complicated” and “It depends.” But the key conclusion is that, even at the high end of the estimates, the added costs of renewables still leave them fairly competitive with carbon-emitting sources.

Counting costs

Heptonstall and Gross start by breaking the potential for added costs down into three categories. The first is covering for the somewhat erratic nature of renewable power, which may incur expenses if their output doesn’t match their forecasted output. The second is the ability of renewables to meet the predictable daily peaks in demand—late afternoon in hotter climates, overnight in colder ones. Finally, there’s the costs of integrating renewables into an existing grid, as the best sites for generation may not match up with the existing transmission capacity.

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#batteries, #energy, #green, #power, #renewable-energy, #science, #solar, #wind

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Hurricane Zeta’s Winds Swept the Gulf Coast, Leaving Another Mess to Clean Up

It was the fifth named storm to hit Louisiana during a busy and brutal hurricane season. Hundreds of thousands of residents in Louisiana and Mississippi were left without power.

#hurricane-zeta-2020, #louisiana, #mississippi, #wind

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Zeta Is Forecast to Bring Life-Threatening Storm Surge to Louisiana

The storm, which was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, is expected to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon. Preparations across the state have already begun.

#disasters-and-emergencies, #gulf-coast-us, #hurricane-zeta, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #louisiana, #new-orleans-la, #rain, #weather, #wind

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Hurricane Delta Heads Toward Louisiana

Schools have been closed and several parishes are under either mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders.

#disasters-and-emergencies, #edwards-john-bel-1966, #hurricane-delta, #hurricane-laura-2020, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #louisiana, #mississippi, #national-hurricane-center, #weather, #wind

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Can You Stop a Car With Your Hand?

Open window, extend arm and your car will slow very slightly. But you’ll need more than a few arms to bring it to a halt.

#automobiles, #brakes, #physics, #wind, #your-feed-science

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Hurricane Sally Slams the Florida Panhandle With Deluge of Rain

The sluggish storm veered east and intensified before making landfall near the Alabama and Florida state line. Residents and officials said they were not anticipating a direct hit.

#alabama, #floods, #florida-panhandle, #gulf-shores-ala, #hurricane-sally-2020, #pensacola-fla, #rescues, #wind

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Live Hurricane Sally Updates

Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Ala., as a Category 2 hurricane, with sustained winds over 105 m.p.h. The slow-moving storm is expected to bring “catastrophic” flooding.

#alabama, #floods, #florida, #hurricane-sally-2020, #mississippi, #rain, #wind

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Tropical Storm Sally Barrels Toward the Gulf Coast

The storm is expected to bring dangerous flooding to areas of Louisiana and Mississippi, according to the National Hurricane Center.

#alabama, #floods, #florida, #gulf-coast-us, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #mississippi, #new-orleans-la, #ocean-springs-miss, #rain, #wind

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Snapped Poles, Shredded Roofs: A Long Road to Recovery After Laura

Hurricane Laura ravaged southwestern Louisiana, leaving weary residents to assess the toll and map a way forward. Some communities may be four weeks away from even getting power back.

#buildings-structures, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evacuations-and-evacuees, #floods, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #hurricane-laura-2020, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #lake-charles-la, #louisiana, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #wind

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Swift Storm Left Iowa in Tatters

Nearly two weeks after a destructive derecho storm swept through the Midwest, residents of eastern Iowa are still digging themselves out.

#cedar-rapids-iowa, #weather, #wind

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Tropical Storm Marco Expected to Become a Hurricane

Marco is expected to become a hurricane on Saturday and Laura is forecast to produce heavy rain over several Caribbean islands.

#caribbean-area, #gulf-of-mexico, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #louisiana, #rain, #tropical-storm-laura, #tropical-storm-marco, #weather, #wind

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Tropical Storm Laura Forms in the Atlantic

A second potential hurricane is also moving toward the Gulf of Mexico.

#caribbean-area, #gulf-of-mexico, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-hurricane-center, #national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #weather, #wind

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Reeling From a Storm, Iowans Worry They Have Been Forgotten

In Cedar Rapids, where President Trump stopped briefly on Tuesday, thousands of people are unable to return to their homes after devastating winds tore through the state.

#cedar-rapids-iowa, #disasters-and-emergencies, #iowa, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #trump-donald-j, #wind

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Isaias Hits NY Area: 2.5 Million Lose Power and One Is Killed

The storm that tore through New York City on Tuesday was second only to Hurricane Sandy in knocking out service to Con Edison customers.

#hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #new-jersey, #new-york-city, #new-york-state, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

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1 Dead and Millions Lose Power as Isaias Batters NY Region

Videos posted on social media showed at least one tornado touching down in New Jersey.

#hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #new-jersey, #new-york-city, #new-york-state, #tornadoes, #weather, #wind

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The Mysterious Life of Birds Who Never Come Down

Swifts spend all their time in the sky. What can their journeys tell us about the future?

#animal-behavior, #birds, #books-and-literature, #england, #wind

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Hurricane Douglas: Hawaii Braces for ‘Triple Threat’

The National Hurricane Center on Sunday warned that the storm could bring “damaging winds, flooding rainfall and dangerously high surf” to the state.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #floods, #hawaii, #hurricane-douglas, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-hurricane-center, #wind

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Three Storms Churn Across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

By Friday afternoon, Tropical Storm Gonzalo had weakened while Tropical Storm Hanna had strengthened, a meteorologist said. Douglas, in the Pacific Ocean, remained a Category 3 hurricane.

#hawaii, #hurricane-douglas, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #national-hurricane-center, #oceans-and-seas, #texas, #tropical-storm-gonzalo, #tropical-storm-hanna, #weather, #wind

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A New Weapon Against Climate Change May Float

The wind power industry sees an opportunity in allowing windmills to be pushed into deeper water.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #oceans-and-seas, #spain, #wind, #wind-power, #windfloat-atlantic, #windmills

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Electrifying West Africa with a renewable grid

Image of a dam and generating building.

Enlarge / A new hydroelectric power station in the Ivory Coast. (credit: Xinhua News Agency)

There’s been a lot of discussion about how areas that are seeing explosive renewable growth can manage the large amount of intermittent electricity sources. But these mostly focus on regions with mature electric grids and a relatively static growth in demand. What would happen if you tried to grow renewables at the same time you’re trying to grow a grid?

A EU-US team of researchers decided to find out what a good renewable policy might look like in West Africa, an area similar in size to the 48 contiguous US states but comprised of 16 different countries. Some of these nations already get a sizable chunk of their power from renewables in the form of hydropower, but they are expected to see demand roughly double in the next decade. Although renewables like solar and wind are likely to play a role purely based on their price, the researchers’ analysis suggests that a smart, international grid can balance hydro, wind, and solar to produce a far greener grid.

Hydro as a giant battery

The new work has a mix of focuses. It’s run against the backdrop of the expectation that West Africa’s demand for electricity will explode over the next decade. Right now, the region has nearly 400 million inhabitants who consume a bit over 100 terawatt-hours a year (compared to the United States’ 4,000TW-hr). By 2030, that demand is expected to be more than 200TW-hr—a fourfold increase from where demand was in 2015.

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#energy, #green, #hydroelectric, #renewable-energy, #science, #solar, #west-africa, #wind

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Coronavirus Pushes America’s Coal Industry to Once-Unthinkable Lows

For the first time, the United States is on track to produce more electricity from renewables than from coal this year, a climate milestone.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #coal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #energy-information-administration, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #solar-energy, #wind, #wind-power

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The Hidden Feats That Built New York’s Towering Skyscrapers

The ingenuity of engineers helped build landmarks like Black Rock and the new supertalls. Our critic takes a virtual tour with Guy Nordenson.

#1-world-trade-center-manhattan-ny, #architecture, #att-inc, #buildings-structures, #cbs-corporation, #eiffel-gustave-1832-1923, #engineering-and-engineers, #fuller-buckminster, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #johnson-philip, #manhattan-nyc, #mies-van-der-rohe-ludwig, #national-museum-of-african-american-history-and-culture, #noguchi-isamu, #park-avenue-manhattan-ny, #piano-renzo, #saarinen-eero, #skidmore-owingsmerrill, #steel-and-iron, #wind, #woolworth-building-manhattan-ny, #world-trade-center-manhattan-ny

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Hurricanes Are Reshaping Evolution Across the Caribbean

A new study of lizards in countries struck by hurricanes suggests cataclysmic weather can reshape entire species.

#caribbean-area, #donihue-colin-biologist, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #lizards, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #turks-and-caicos-islands, #wind, #your-feed-science

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