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Floods, Quakes, Tropics, Extreme Heat: United States Weather Roundup

While New England is in for a very pleasant and mostly quiet week weather-wise, much of the rest of the country is facing more extreme weather including hurricanes, earthquakes and extreme heat. On top of this, the Atlantic is heating up with more tropical activity. Here's a look at the weather around the country for this week:


HILARY BARRELS THROUGH WEST


Tropical Storm Hilary slammed southern California yesterday, and will continue its journey up the west coast today. Flood and wind alerts are in effect from the Mexican border through northern Idaho. As feared, Hilary has caused significant flooding across southern California. The National Weather Service of Los Angeles has stated that "virtually all rainfall daily records have been broken." A widespread 4-7 inches of rain has fallen across Los Angeles County.


Significant flash flooding has been widespread across southern California, with some flash flood warnings remaining in effect Monday morning. Roads have been swamped, washed out and destroyed, major mudslides have occurred and multiple water rescues have been reported. This is the first tropical storm to directly impact southern California in 84 years.

Photo: Mario Tama


EARTHQUAKE STRIKES AMID HILARY


Yesterday afternoon, while Tropical Storm Hilary was barreling through the region, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck southern California, near Ojai, California. The USGS has reported that the maximum intensity was VII on the Modified Mercalli Scale. This indicates "very strong" shaking with some damage possible. This scale also mentions that a VII can cause "moderate" damage, although no notable damage has been reported. Several weaker aftershocks have been felt since the main quake.




EXTREME HEAT WAVE GRIPS CENTRAL U.S.


Another brutal heat wave is tightening its grip on the country's midsection. This heat wave began last week, and is set to continue through much of this upcoming week. This may be the most brutal heat wave of the season thus far. Yesterday, the National Weather Service of Topeka, Kansas reported a high of 102° with a dew point of a ridiculous 84°. This equals a heat index value of over 130°.


Excessive heat warnings are in effect for over a dozen states today, stretching from Texas to Minnesota. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 100s in the Topeka area with heat index values over 120° remaining possible. Minneapolis is expected to reach for 100° Tuesday and Wednesday with heat index values approaching 110°. The city will be pushing record highs in the middle of this week. The heat is expected to begin to subside by the end of this week.



ATLANTIC ACTIVITY


After a quiet first half of August, the Atlantic is really starting to wake up. Tropical Storm Emily, Tropical Storm Gert and Tropical Storm Franklin are all swirling around. On top of this, there are two areas of interest to watch, with more areas of interest possible soon.

TROPICAL STORM FRANKLIN


This storm is set to impact Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where tropical storm warnings are in effect. This storm will begin to turn in a northwest direction after impacting the island. There are signals of an abrupt northward turn after trekking northwest, potentially paralleling the US east coast. This may bring the storm near Bermuda. The storm is expected to undergo very gradual development, with a hurricane possible by late this week, near the Sargasso Sea.


Current Franklin spaghetti models. These models are looking a week plus out, so don't take this as being set in stone:

TROPICAL STORM EMILY


Emily is expected to gradually weaken as it moves generally northward through the Atlantic ocean. The storm will not come anywhere near the United States (or any other country for that matter).



TROPICAL STORM GERT


Gert is expected to weaken gradually and revert to a post-tropical depression by Tuesday. The system is expected to swirl around the general area it is in now.


AREAS OF INTEREST


An area in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to develop (it has an 80% chance as of writing) as it makes its way toward South Texas. The storm may reach tropical storm strength before impacting Texas. Either way, the storm will bring tropical downpours and storms to the area by Tuesday.



Another area of interest has emerged off the coast of Africa and is looking to follow a similar path to Emily. The storm currently has a 70% chance of development within the next seven days.



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