News

Severe Weather

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Smoke and ash from massive wildfires in the American West clouded the sky and led to air quality alerts Wednesday on parts of the East Coast as the effects of the blazes were felt 2,500 miles away.

Strong winds blew smoke east from California, Oregon, Montana and other states all the way to other side of the continent. Haze hung over New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


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The threat of thunderstorms and lightning has prompted officials in fire-ravaged Oregon to ask for help from outside the Pacific Northwest to prepare for additional blazes as many resources are already devoted to a massive fire in the state that has grown to a third the size of Rhode Island.

The 537-square-mile Bootleg Fire is burning 300 miles southeast of Portland in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest, a vast expanse of old-growth forest, lakes and wildlife refuges. Evacuations and property losses have been minimal compared with much smaller blazes in densely populated areas of California.


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At least 110 people have died in devastating floods across parts of western Germany and Belgium, officials said Friday, as rescue operations and the search for hundreds still unaccounted for continued.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he was “stunned” by the devastation caused by the flooding and pledged support to the families of those killed and to cities and towns facing significant damage.


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Wildfires that torched homes and forced thousands to evacuate burned across 10 parched Western states on Tuesday, and the largest, in Oregon, threatened California’s power supply.

Nearly 60 wildfires tore through bone-dry timber and brush from Alaska to Wyoming, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Arizona, Idaho and Montana accounted for more than half of the large active fires.


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Firefighters were working in extreme temperatures across the U.S. West and struggling to contain wildfires, the largest burning in California and Oregon, as another heat wave baked the region, straining power grids.

The largest wildfire of the year in California — the Beckwourth Complex — was raging along the Nevada state line and has burned about 134 square miles as state regulators asked consumers to “conserve as much electricity as possible” to avoid any outages starting Monday afternoon.


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Severe weather from Tropical Storm Elsa spurred tornado warnings in Delaware and New Jersey early Friday as the system moved over the mid-Atlantic states and into the northeastern United States.

Overnight in coastal New Jersey, a 78 mph (126 kph) wind gust was recorded in Ludlam Bay, and a 71 mph (114 kph) gust was recorded in Beach Haven — both appeared to be “associated with nearby tornadoes,” the National Hurricane Center said in a 5 a.m. update.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Chevron Corp's first-quarter profit fell 29% compared with the same period a year ago as gains from oil and gas prices were undercut by weaker refining margins, production losses and the impact of an asset sale that benefited results last year.

Oil companies are generally enjoying a recovery in energy prices, up at least a third this year, after the pandemic hammered demand at the start of 2020. Chevron and its peers slashed spending, paving the way for several firms to post sharply better results.


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Deadly tornadoes roared through Alabama on Thursday, toppling trees, demolishing homes and knocking out power to thousands, part of a broad swath of violent weather sweeping across the Deep South. At least five fatalities and an unknown number of injuries were reported.

All of the deaths happened in eastern Alabama’s Calhoun County, Coroner Patrick Brown said. Farther west, in Shelby County near Birmingham, a family in the Eagle Point subdivision was able to escape from a home that a tornado had turned to rubble, firefighters said. Other homes in the complex were missing upper floors or roofs.


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Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods slumped 1.1% in February with demand in a key sector that tracks business investment also dropping.

Orders had been rising for nine consecutive months, including a sizable 3.5% jump in January, according to the Commerce Department.


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With nearly two-thirds of the United States abnormally dry or worse, the government’s spring forecast offers little hope for relief, especially in the West where a devastating megadrought has taken root and worsened.

Weather service and agriculture officials warned of possible water use cutbacks in California and the Southwest, increased wildfires, low levels in key reservoirs such as Lake Mead and Lake Powell and damage to wheat crops.