Winter Storm Drenches U.S. West Coast; No Relief from Drought Conditions in Jamaica
“Pineapple Express” Barrels into California
The west coast of the United States is directly in the sights of a powerful winter storm fueled by an atmospheric river known as the “Pineapple Express” (TWC). Forecasts expect northern California to be the hardest hit by “one of the strongest storms to come its way in more than five years” (NWS/TWC). According to FEMA, heavy rain, mountain snow, and strong winds are currently (as of Thursday) impacting areas from the Pacific Northwest to northern/central California, bringing the potential for flooding, flash flooding and mudslides (FEMA). FEMA’s Daily Briefing also reports sporadic power outages, numerous school closures in California and the declaration of a state of emergency in Washington for five counties.
Jamaican “Breadbasket” Severely Impacted by Drought
According to the Jamaican government, severe drought conditions persist across the island nation (JIS). Over the past few months, the lack of rainfall has greatly impacted the southern “breadbasket region” responsible for approximately 40% of the nation’s agricultural production. Assessments indicate that more than 1,600 hectares, estimated to be valued at nearly J$900M (~US$8 million) has been lost or damaged due to drought conditions and related forest and farm fires.
Current Hazard Warnings
Drought: Central America, United States (Southwest, Pacific), Bolivia, Jamaica
High Wind: Croatia, Italy, Spain, Norway, Montenegro, Canada (British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia), Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Netherlands
Biomedical: West Africa
Flood: United States (California, Washington), Peru, Australia (Victoria), Scotland
Severe Weather: United States (Northeast, Western), Canada (Yukon, New Brunswick, Quebec), Greece, Serbia
Earthquake: Panama, Papua New Guinea
Volcano: United States (Hawaii), Cape Verde
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