U.S. vulnerability to sea level rise

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:04 PM GMT on June 23, 2009

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In the last century, sea level rose 5 - 6 inches (13 - 15 cm) more than the global average of 7 inches (18 cm) along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, because coastal lands there are sinking. Over 50% of the U.S. coastline is vulnerable or highly vulnerable to sea level rise, according to the Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) developed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). In the U.S., relative sea level rise (the combined effects of global sea level rise plus the fact the land is sinking) is highest along the Mississippi River Delta in Louisiana, where relative sea level rises of 3.2 ft (.98 meters) have been observed during the 20th century. This is one of the highest relative sea level rises in the world. According to the NOAA Tides and Currents sea level rise interactive tool, the U.S. tide gauges that have shown the highest rates of sea level rise over the past century are at Grand Island, LA (1.8 ft rise since 1947), Galveston, TX (1.1 ft since 1957), and Chesapeake Bay, VA (0.6 feet since 1975). Alaska and some areas along the Pacific Northwest coast are at low risk of sea level rise, because the relative sea level is actually falling at present. Land in these regions is rising as it recovers from removal of the weight of the great ice sheets that covered much of North America during the last Ice Age. For example, relative sea level at Kodiak Island, Alaska has fallen by 1.1 feet since 1975, despite the fact global sea level has been increasing.


Figure 1. Twentieth century annual relative sea-level rise rates in mm/year along the U.S. coast. The higher rates for Louisiana (9.85 millimeters [mm] per year, about 3.3 ft/century) and the mid-Atlantic region (1.75 to 4.42 mm per year, 0.6 - 1.4 ft/century) are due to land subsidence. Sea level is stable or dropping relative to the land in the Pacific Northwest, as indicated by the negative values, where the land is tectonically active or rebounding upward in response to the melting of ice sheets since the last Ice Age. Image credit: Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region (data from Zervas, 2001).

U.S. Coastal Vulnerability
The Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) takes into account six factors:

1) The geology of the coast. Barrier islands, river deltas, and marshes are the most vulnerable to erosion and sea level rise, while steep, rocky cliff shores are the least. Sheltered bays like Galveston Bay and Tampa Bay are less vulnerable than the exposed coasts. (Note, however, that hurricane storm surges are typically higher in sheltered bays, at least for slow-moving storms).

2) How steep the land near the coast is. Gently sloping lands are the most vulnerable. In the Gulf Coast region, the slope variable has the highest risk ranking along the Louisiana coast, the Texas coast north of Corpus Christi, and the southwest Florida coast.

3) The local rate of sea level rise. The sea level is rising faster along the western Gulf of Mexico than the eastern Gulf. The highest rates of sea-level rise in the Gulf of Mexico (and in the United States) are in the Mississippi delta region (10 mm/yr, or 1 inch/2.5 years).

4) The amount of shoreline erosion going on. Most of the U.S. coast is moderately or severely eroding, and very few areas are gaining (Figure 2).

5) The mean tidal range. Shores that have a large difference between low and high tide are less likely to get a significant storm tide--the height above mean sea level of the sum of the storm surge plus the tide. For example, in a region like Maine, which has a 12 ft range between low and high tide, a storm having a 9 ft storm surge will have a storm tide below local high tide for a quarter of a tidal cycle. Shores with a very narrow tidal range (e.g., the 2 ft tidal range common along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast) will get a storm tide of 8 - 10 feet with the 9 ft storm surge in the above example. Shorelines with a narrow tidal range always get high storm tides regardless of when the storm surge hits.

6) How high the waves at shore are. Obviously, shores that experience higher wave heights are at greater risk. In the Gulf of Mexico, wave energy is highest along sections of the Texas coast and on the southern tip of the Mississippi delta.

Figure 2. Shoreline change around the United States based on surveys over the past century. All 30 coastal states are experiencing overall erosion due to natural processes (e.g., storms, sea-level rise) and human activity. If the shoreline is uncolored, no data was available. Image credit: USGS, 1985, and taken from Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region).

The Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) web page gives detailed maps of each section of the U.S. coast, along with specific reasons why each portion of the coast was assigned the ranking it got. A brief summary:

The Gulf Coast
The Gulf Coast has 55% of its length in the "very high" or "high" vulnerability range. Fully 41% of the coast falls in the "very high" range, far more than the 28% in that category along the Pacific coast and 23% along the Atlantic coast. The region around New Orleans is the most vulnerable region of the entire U.S. coast. The Florida Panhandle, as well as the West Florida coast, are at low to moderate risk because the land is not sinking much, wave heights are lower, and the slope of the land is relatively steep near the coast. The Texas coast is considered to be at a high to very high risk because of the relatively high mean wave height, sinking land, and shallow coastal slope.

The East Coast
The East Coast has 50% of its length in the "very high" or "high" vulnerability range. The highest vulnerability areas are typically high-energy coastlines where the regional coastal slope is low and where the major landform type is a barrier island. A significant exception to this is found in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Here, the low coastal slope, vulnerable landform type (salt marsh) and high rate of relative sea-level rise combine for a high CVI value. The coastline of northern New England, particularly Maine, shows a relatively low vulnerability to future sea-level rise. This is primarily due to the steep coastal slopes and rocky shoreline characteristic of the region, as well as the large tidal range.

The Pacific Coast
The Pacific Coast has 50% of its length in the "very high" or "high" vulnerability range. Areas of very high vulnerability include the San Francisco - Monterey Bay coast and in southern California from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, where the coast is most highly populated. The highest vulnerability areas are typically lower-lying beach areas. The low risk, least vulnerable areas generally occur at rocky headlands along cliffed coasts where the coastal slope is steep, relative sea-level is falling, tide range is large, and wave energy is lower. Examples of these areas are the northern coast of Washington, Monterey, and Cape Mendocino, California.


Figure 3. The Coast Vulnerability Index (CVI) for the U.S.

References
Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region.

National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise: Preliminary Results for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Coast (USGS, 2000).

Jeff Masters

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Quoting hurricane2009:


Yea but I believe it was Levi who said that this wave could factor into whatever will try to develop in the GOM or West Caribbean. It is possible that this wave could be the added moisture surge needed


I understand that there is also supposed to be some trof-split in the Gulf that could stir up something during the next couple days.
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He lived on the Gulf Coast......

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Quoting jeffs713:
I think I can speak for everyone on the Gulf Coast between Brownsville, TX, and around to about Destin, FL...

PLEASE SEND RAIN TO US

If we need to, bloggers can be sacrificed to the rain gods.


You first...LOL! Rain, please rain. Where are those seabreeze storms I'm so used to? Atmosphere is as stable as I've ever seen in late June.
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Taz, your avatar is just wishful thinking now...
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Phoenix, Arizona
106.3 °F
Heat Index: 103 °F

Uptown, New Orleans, Louisiana (PWS)
105.4 °F
Heat Index: 101 °F

Having lived in phoenix for 5 years. I feel your pain.
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Quoting hurricane2009:
...the wave is in a high shear environment with shear on the order of 30-40 knots, the area it is in and just back to the east of it has increased in shear

However if the wave can stay intact until it passes the Islands, shear tendencies are dropping in the Caribbean. That being said shear is stil about 30 knots there as well. That wave will likely have to survive until it gets to the Western Caribbean for it to have a chance.

For the lack of anything else, I'll bet on it making it, just because it covers a pretty large area presently. Will see. Something to watch, anyway.
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COASTAL FLOODING...
AS OF 3 PM WEDNESDAY...OBSERVED TIDES CONTINUE TO RUN A FOOT TO FOOT
AND A HALF ABOVE PREDICTED VALUES BASED ON ASTRONOMICAL TIDES ALONE.
WHILE IT MAY BE TRUE THE DEGREE AND EXTENT OF FLOODING WILL LESSEN
TNGT COMPARED TO THE LAST FEW DAYS AS THE MOON LOOSENS ITS GRIP ON
THE LONG WAVES OF TIDE...IT APPEARS ENOUGH OF A PUSH MAY ONCER AGAIN
LEAD TO WATER ON THE ROADWAYS IN LOW LYING PRONE AREAS FOR THIS EVE.
THUS A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY REMAINS POSTED AN HOUR OR TWO EITHER
SIDE OF HIGH TIDE...EFFECTIVE 8PM - MIDNIGHT TNGT.


&&

.ILM WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
SC...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT EDT
TONIGHT FOR SCZ034-046.

NC...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT EDT
TONIGHT FOR NCZ097-101.

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I think I can speak for everyone on the Gulf Coast between Brownsville, TX, and around to about the Big Bend area of FL...

PLEASE SEND RAIN TO US

If we need to, bloggers can be sacrificed to the rain gods.
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Quoting Patrap:
Current Conditions

Uptown, New Orleans, Louisiana (PWS)
Updated: 1 min 5 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy

104.5 F

Mostly Cloudy



wow thats hot
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114710
Quoting hurricane2009:
Chicklit the wave is in a high shear environment with shear on the order of 30-40 knots, the area it is in and just back to the east of it has increased in shear

However if the wave can stay intact until it passes the Islands, shear tendencies are dropping in the Caribbean. That being said shear is stil about 30 knots there as well. That wave will likely have to survive until it gets to the Western Caribbean for it to have a chance.


I'd rather keep an eye closer to home (GOMEX, West Caribbean, SE Coast area)...decaying frontal boundaries, along with warm SSTs increases development prospects there next week. Marginal shear however makes development chances low, per the CPC forecast.
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It would melt instantly anyway. Mobile at 99 degrees.......a slight cool off from yesterday...good grief. GEAUX Tigers!
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CPC continues to predict a moderate chance for tropical cyclogenesis in part of the EPAC thru the end of next week.
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863. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting hurricane2009:
Thanks Skye, I have a question though, why did they fly the mission?


It was an non-task training mission. They actually did a very similiar one 2 days ago with way less zig zagging through a blob & less time with the SFMR on. Recon regularly flys out & drops a dropsonde in the GOM to excerise the planes, today there was something to throw it at. Wonder if this is going in the models..
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Not a Sno-cone to be found in the whole region.

Record Shattering Heat..widespread today.

Uptown, New Orleans, LA
Add to My Blog, Set as Default Current Conditions, Historical Data & Charts
105.1 F 42 F 12%
SW at 4.0 mph
29.85 in 0.00 in / hr 100 F 20 ft 23 sec ago Rapid Fire

Audubon Park-Patton St., New Orleans, LA
Visit Website, Add to My Blog, Set as Default Current Conditions, Historical Data & Charts
101.2 F 73 F 40%
West at 3.0 mph
29.76 in - / hr 112 F 23 ft 4 min 21 sec ago Normal Website

Harvey Canal, Harvey, LA
DCS Consultants, Add to My Blog, Set as Default Current Conditions, Historical Data & Charts
101.9 F 70 F 37%
West at 0.0 mph
29.77 in 0.00 in / hr 110 F 20 ft 1 sec ago Rapid Fire Website

Ninemile Point, Westwego, LA
Add to My Blog, Set as Default Current Conditions, Historical Data & Charts
103.8 F 57 F 22%
NW at 4.0 mph
29.82 in 0.00 in / hr 104 F 20 ft 4 min 30 sec ago Normal

Mid City Station, New Orleans, LA
Add to My Blog, Set as Default Current Conditions, Historical Data & Charts
100.7 F 73 F 41%
East at 4.0 mph
29.78 in 0.00 in / hr 112 F 25 ft 1 sec ago Rapid Fire

Plantation Estates, Marrero, LA
Add to My Blog, Set as Default Current Conditions, Historical Data & Charts
102.3
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Jenny Sanford's reputation is that she's one tough cookie...not likely the 'stand by her man' type...
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Quoting Patrap:
Current Conditions

Uptown, New Orleans, Louisiana (PWS)
Updated: 1 min 5 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy

104.5 F

Mostly Cloudy


A snowcone......just one snowcone....please.
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has any one noted this blog yet

Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114710


So what's with this wave? If it can squeak by the high shear and get to the Lesser Antilles it may be on its way to becoming something. (that's a lot of 'if's!)

(...On Father's Day weekend, no less.
She and 'the boys' must feel like crap.)
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Current Conditions

Uptown, New Orleans, Louisiana (PWS)
Updated: 1 min 5 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy

104.5 F

Mostly Cloudy
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TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 PM EDT WED JUN 24 2009

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION BASED ON 1200 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY
THROUGH 1715 UTC.

...TROPICAL WAVES...

A TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 50W/51W S OF 11N MOVING W NEAR 15 KT. THIS WAVE IS ASSOCIATED WITH A MAXIMUM IN DEEP LAYER MOISTURE BASED ON THE TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER PRODUCT FROM CIMSS.
VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT THIS WAVE COINCIDES WITH AN INVERTED-V PATTERN IN THE COVERAGE OF LOW LEVEL CLOUDS.
THIS WAVE IS ALSO ASSOCIATED WITH LOW LEVEL CYCLONIC CIRCULATION BASED ON THE CIMSS WAVETRAK PRODUCT. SCATTERED MODERATE/ISOLATED
STRONG CONVECTION IS FROM 7N-10N BETWEEN 47W-55W.
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Please Please Please send rain to Mississippi!!! Can't take it anymore.
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Mobile
Temperature
91.9°F

Humidity
62%

Dewpoint
77.0°F

Wind
NNW at 4.0 mph

Barometer
29.814 in & Steady

Monthly Rain
1.78 in

Yearly Rain
24.93 in

Wind Chill
91.9°F

THW Index
106.1°F

Heat Index
106.1°F

Please send some rain !!
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Quoting presslord:
his wife is the one with the money....

And she's going to have more of it once she gets through with him...unless she'll 'stand by her man!'
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Quoting Acemmett90:

what ever happend to our 3 oclock stom cycle it used to be like clockwork


The high pressure has been pushing the storms to the west away form the coast.
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From barely a hurricane to nothing.
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Quoting BobinTampa:
Patrap, thanks for the helpful photo above 'drink more fluid'. I would have had no idea what that meant without the photo. :o)


j/k I always love your posts.


I try to be efficient....


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Patrap, thanks for the helpful photo above 'drink more fluid'. I would have had no idea what that meant without the photo. :o)


j/k I always love your posts.
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Good Catch Skye..
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000
FLUS42 KILM 241945
HWOILM

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC
345 PM EDT WED JUN 24 2009

NCZ097-101-SCZ034-046-251945-
PENDER-NEW HANOVER-HORRY-GEORGETOWN-
345 PM EDT WED JUN 24 2009

...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO
MIDNIGHT EDT TONIGHT...

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR SOUTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA AND
NORTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINA.

.DAY ONE...THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.

PLEASE LISTEN TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR GO TO WEATHER.GOV ON THE
INTERNET FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOLLOWING HAZARDS.

COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY.

WANING...BUT STILL STRONG ASTRONOMICAL TIDES DUE TO THE RECENT
NEW MOON AND RELATIVELY LOW SURFACE PRESSURE OVER THE WESTERN
ATLANTIC...WILL AGAIN CAUSE MINOR TIDAL FLOODING IN THE NORMALLY
PRONE AREAS WHICH HAVE EXPERIENCED STANDING WATER OVER THE LAST
FEW DAYS. HIGH TIDE WILL OCCUR JUST AFTER 930 PM. FLOODING WILL BE
POSSIBLE AN HOUR OR TWO BEFORE AND AFTER THE OCCURRENCE OF HIGH
TIDE. TIDES WILL RUN ABOUT A FOOT TO A FOOT AND A HALF ABOVE
NORMAL THIS EVENING.

HIGH WATER RUN UP IS LIKELY ALONG AREA BEACHES AS WELL THIS
EVENING. THIS COULD EASILY POSE A DANGER TO CHILDREN OR ELDERLY
CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY THE RUSH OF WATER HIGH ONTO THE SAND DURING
HIGH TIDE.
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i just wondering here what the globalist are going to say when the sea level begins to drop!!!!??????? my guess is they will say the earth is drying up. these peple cannot be satisfied and are usually passing some form of propagandas for their own purposes . and you may quote me if you like .
dew
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Thanx for that RECON info skyepony..



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836. Skyepony (Mod)
This afternoon a P-3 Orion went out & flew around the small disturbance in the East Gulf of Mexico. It left & returned to Tampa. flight map Highest surface winds going in 23kts from the NW 17:45Z 25.533N 85.917W. Shortly after they decended from 10000' to 5000' & got the lowest pressure in the area of 1009.7 mb (~ 29.82 inHg). Coming out highest surface wind 29 knots (~ 33.3 mph) from the NNW at 26.000N 85.900W. In the same area the highest flight winds were recorded at 26kts.

They chucked us a sonde

Date: Near the closest hour of 18Z on the 24th day of the month
Highest Mandatory Level For Which Wind Was Reported: 700mb
Coordinates: 25.7N 85.8W
Location: 253 miles (407 km) to the WSW (255°) from Fort Myers, FL, USA.
Marsden Square: 081 (About)

Level Geo. Height Air Temp. Dew Point Wind Direction Wind Speed
1009mb (29.80 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 28.4°C (83.1°F) 23.5°C (74.3°F) 265° (from the W) 21 knots (24 mph)
1000mb 84m (276 ft) 27.6°C (81.7°F) Approximately 23°C (73°F) 270° (from the W) 25 knots (29 mph)
925mb 771m (2,530 ft) 24.8°C (76.6°F) Approximately 11°C (52°F) 265° (from the W) 15 knots (17 mph)
850mb 1,510m (4,954 ft) 22.2°C (72.0°F) Approximately 0°C (32°F) 320° (from the NW) 11 knots (13 mph)
700mb 3,157m (10,358 ft) 8.4°C (47.1°F) 3.8°C (38.8°F) 345° (from the NNW) 17 knots (20 mph)


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and it just updated....
Grogan's Mill, The Woodlands, Texas (PWS)
Updated: 0 sec ago
103.1 °F
Clear
Humidity: 36%
Dew Point: 76 °F
Wind: 0.0 mphfrom the NNW
Wind Gust: 2.0 mph
Pressure: 29.81 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 118 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 5.8 out of 16
Clouds: Clear -
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 139 ft
---------
This is off of a VERY accurate PWS, that has been right on 99% of the time.

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Quoting OSUWXGUY:
I'm surprised at how quickly Andres fell apart after a brief gasp of hanging on yesterday evening. The dryer, more stable air off to it's northwest was certainly the nail in the coffin once it got entrained!


I am not surprised at all. When I R.I.P. a system, it's dead meat.

I'm still smiling about my timing! :) Minutes before being upgraded to a hurricane, I R.I.P.ed it! Hahahahahaha! How long did it last after that as a TC? Minutes...
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Quoting presslord:
Well...well...well...

It seems my glorious Governor got caught with his pants down...


And to think he had to travel all the way to Argentina to do it!
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Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness


The best defense is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:



Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Dont wait until you're thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

* Dont drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar as these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

* Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library..even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.

* Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.

* Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

* NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

* Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:

o Infants and young children
o People aged 65 or older
o People who have a mental illness
o Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

* Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
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Quoting Acemmett90:

which way is it moving becuase its sunny in palm beach


It's a small cluster , looks like it's moving south.
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Quoting kellnerp:
Thanks Patrap.

I live about two hours east of Chicago and it feels like Houston here today. It's one of those days you keep your eyes open for those twirly things. I've never seen that before.


Stay cool,and hydrate and check on yer elderly or those without A/C.
It could make a difference in someones life forever.
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Lake Breeze Thunderstorms from Lake Michigan..
Now Midway reporting small hail.

Link
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Why it cooled some ..

LOL

Current Conditions

Uptown, New Orleans, Louisiana (PWS)
Updated: 9 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
102.9 °F
Mostly Cloudy
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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