TIME weather

Earth Just Had Its Warmest Spring on Record

People gather in in Central Park as temperatures in Manhattan hit 90 degrees F (32C) for the first time in 2015, in New York City on June 11, 2015.
Kena Betancur—AFP/Getty Images People gather in in Central Park as temperatures in Manhattan hit 90 degrees F (32C) for the first time in 2015, in New York City on June 11, 2015.

It was officially the warmest May ever, too

This year is shaping up to be a hot one—literally.

This past May was officially the warmest on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a new report. What’s more, researchers say Earth experienced the warmed spring and first five months of the year on record, too. Land and sea temperatures across the globe were higher than the agency has ever recorded in more than 130 years.

Last month was 1.57 degrees Fahrenheit above the average worldwide of 58.6 degrees, the agency said. And the spring averaged 1.53 degrees above the the typical temperature. In the U.S., May turned out to be the country’s wettest month on record.

TIME weather

U.S. Sees Wettest May on Record

Flooding Texas bridgeport
Max Faulkner—Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Getty Images Flood waters surround the Bridgeport Building Center in Bridgeport, Texas, June 1, 2015.

The contiguous U.S. saw record precipitation totals for the month of May

This May was the wettest on record for the contiguous United States, according to federal weather data.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports 4.36 inches of rain fell on the contiguous U.S. this May, 1.45 inches above average and the most rain the administration has recorded for the month of May in 121 years.

The total precipitation that fell in the spring was 9.33 inches, making it the 11th wettest spring on record for the contiguous U.S.

Severe weather events and heavy rainfall across the U.S. have contributed to the uptick in precipitation. Fifteen states had totals well above average, including Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado which each suffered severe flooding. However, seven states along the East Coast had lower than average levels of precipitation.

About 24.6% of the contiguous U.S. was in drought according to a June Drought Monitor report, an improvement across the board though many states in the West, Northwest, Southeast and Northeast have seen drought conditions worsen.

So far, 2015 has brought a number of record-setting months weather-wise. January through March 2015 was the warmest first three months of the year on record across the globe. In the contiguous U.S., this January to May has been the 17th warmest in the 121 years that the NOAA has tracked temperatures.

TIME weather

Hurricane Blanca Is Now a ‘Major’ Category 3 Storm

hurricane blanca
National Hurricane Center

The severe storm is expected to dump up to 5 inches of rain on much of Baja California Sur

Hurricane Blanca intensified off the Pacific Coast of Mexico early Saturday and has been upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane packing 120 mph winds, forecasters said.

A new Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the coast from La Paz to Santa Fe, including Cabo San Lucas, and a Hurricane Watch is in effect from Cabo San Lucas to Santa Fe, the National Hurricane Center said in an overnight update.

It said Blanca had become a “major hurricane” again.

The severe storm is expected to dump up to 5 inches of rain on much of Baja California Sur and the southern portion of Baja California when it hits later in the weekend, the NHC said…

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TIME weather

Colorado Battered By Hail, Heavy Rainfall, and Tornadoes

Colorado Tornadoes
Dan Elliott—AP In this frame from video, a tornado moves through Longmont, Colo., June 4, 2015.

Reports of hail the size of grapefruit

Hail the size of grapefruit, heavy rainfall, and several tornadoes caused damage and flooding across parts of the Rockies and Plains overnight into Friday, officials and meteorologists said.

Seven tornadoes were reported in Colorado and one in Kansas, according to the National Weather Service.

At least three homes were demolished in the town of Berthoud, 40 miles north of Colorado, the Larimer County Office of Emergency Management said. The Associated Press reported there were no injuries.

Crews were checking reports of 25 other homes in the area that were possibly damaged or destroyed, the AP added, but they were hindered by bad …

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TIME Economics

El Nino Could Cause Serious Trouble Across Asia

Aerial view of a flooded area in Trinida
Aizar Ralder—AFP/Getty Images Aerial view of a flooded area in Trinidad, Beni, Bolivia on Feb. 24, 2007. Authorities say two months of rain and floods left 35 people dead, 10 unaccounted for, and affected hundreds of thousands of people. The disaster, blamed on the "El Nino" weather phenomenon, also has caused millions of dollars in material losses.

Bad weather on the horizon

You may recall a time in the mid-1990s when American citizens were worried about El Niño, the tropical weather pattern that can cause global changes in temperature and rainfall. Now, according to a new Citigroup report, the next group to pin concerns to El Niño may be bankers.

The report, produced by Citi analysts Johanna Chua and Siddharth Mathur, suggests that the current El Niño (the weather anomaly takes places at unpredictable times, sometimes more than five years apart) could have a deleterious effect on economies in countries in and around Asia.

India, Thailand, The Philippines, and others, where agriculture contributes a major percentage of GDP, might see inflation in food prices, since a severe El Niño can brings dry spells and cause crop damage. In Indonesia, for example, the agriculture sector makes up more than 50% of overall employment.

In economies dependent on farming, long-lasting weather that upends crops will naturally impact farming output, and thus commodity pricing.

With these countries especially vulnerable to economic disruption, it may be more bad news that recent reports indicate we are about to see a particularly violent El Niño.

TIME weather

Flood Threat to Millions as Storms Bring Rain from South to Northeast

Flood warnings were in place from Washington to Boston

Millions of Americans were under the threat of flooding Tuesday as severe storms brought torrential rain from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast—including areas already waterlogged by recent downpours.

Flood watches and advisories were in place from Washington, D.C., through to Boston as heavy overnight rain was forecast to continue until the early afternoon.

Up to three inches of rain was also forecast for Virginia and the Carolinas, while the northern Plains including Nebraska and Iowa were set for repeated rounds of heavier thunderstorms with wind and hail damage, and possibly even tornadoes.

“There’s a storm system centered over Nashville, Tennessee, pulling moisture out of the Gulf all the way up the East Coast,” Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth said…

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MONEY real estate

Atlantic Hurricane Season Could Bring High Costs

Prepare your home and finances for a disaster.

Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. While the 2015 season is expected to bring ‘below average’ activity according to NOAA, that still means six to 11 named storms. Homeowners in geographic areas susceptible to hurricanes should be prepared with homeowners’ and flood insurance. For more information about hurricane-proofing your finances, check out It’s Hurricane Season: 5 Ways to Disaster-Proof Your Finances.

TIME weather

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Switches to Canning Water to Aid Flood Victims

The cans will go to those in need in Texas and Oklahoma

The next time Texans and Oklahomans crack open an Anheuser-Busch can, it may contain water instead of Bud Light.

The company has temporarily halted beer production at its Cartersville, Ga. brewery to instead can drinking water for victims of the severe flooding in Texas and Oklahoma. Approximately 50,000 cans are on their way to the two states. The company has a partner in the American Red Cross, which is helping distribute the water to the areas most in need.

Anheuser-Busch says the company switches to emergency production like this several times a year to help in crises. Earlier this month, it sent about 50,000 more cans to those affected by tornadoes and storms in the Oklahoma City area.

Twenty-five people have died in these recent floods, and more are missing.

TIME Apple

Everybody With an Apple Watch Is Now an Amateur Meteorologist

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images An attendee inspects the new Apple Watch during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California.

More like "cloudsourcing," right?

The latest update to popular iOS app Weather Underground lets Apple Watch wearers help crowdsource weather data straight from their wrists.

In a 5.0.1 update that was recently released for the free app, the new versions adds the following functionality: “Added crowd reporting, because your watch is waterproof, your phone is not. Tell us it’s raining from your wrist.” Basically, when you notice it’s starting to rain, you can tell the app, which then adds that to data from other users for more accurate weather reporting.

“Powered by 100,000+ weather stations, Weather Underground provides the world’s most accurate hyper-local weather forecasts, radar, maps, and severe weather alerts,” according to the app’s website.

In addition, the app boasts that it allows Apple Watch users to get all their weather data “at a glance,” including viewing current conditions both hourly and for the next 10 days.

The news of the app’s update comes after reports showed that Apple Watch third-party apps are expected to get a boost in quality by the fall, as developers will be able to create apps that run natively on the device.

 

 

TIME weather

Texas Floods: Dozens Rescued as State Struggles With Record Rain

Flood alerts extended nearly 800 miles from southern Texas to central Missouri

Dozens of people were rescued from flash flooding in central Texas early Friday, as emergency responders throughout the state struggled to cope with the wettest May on record.

Flood alerts extended nearly 800 miles from southern Texas to central Missouri, according to The Weather Channel’s Justin Abraham. He highlighted “major flash flooding issues around Dallas” after up to 6 inches of rain fell overnight.

Tow-truck driver Robert Levtzow, was stranded on a flooded Dallas street after responding to a police call.

“I was trying to put in reverse to get out and it died off and the water started rising immediately,” he told The Weather Channel. “I was scared, didn’t know really what to do [so] I called my wife immediately.”

Read the full story from our partners at NBC News

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