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World News and Prophetic Trends
Reviewing Current World Conditions In Light Of Bible Prophecy
World Report-4 - Weather Disasters
More severe drought predicted for Midwest, South
WASHINGTON -- The National Weather Service is predicting continued drought conditions from June through August in much of the nation's heartland and Southern states.
According to a report released Tuesday by the agency, the extended drought, along with severe to extremely dry conditions forecast for large portions of the Southern United States, are being blamed on lingering effects from La Nina.
"That does not mean they will not get rain," said National Weather Service Director Jack Kelly. "It just means they will get less rain than normal."
La Nina is a phenomenon of nature that cools eastern areas of the Pacific Ocean and results in extreme weather conditions in parts of the Western Hemisphere.
Severe drought conditions, the report said, were expected to linger in eastern Nebraska, northern Indiana and most of Missouri, Iowa and Illinois -- farm states that provide much of the nation's corn and soybeans.
Severe to extreme dry conditions, according to the agency, were predicted to continue in Florida, Georgia, western South Carolina, western Texas, northern Arkansas and southern parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Kelly partially blamed months of near-drought conditions for New Mexico's ongoing wildfires, which have caused more than $1 billion in estimated damages.
However, Kelly said the drought forecast for the South and Southeastern United States included a "wild card."
"We expect a slightly above average hurricane season," Kelly said, "which could break the back of the drought (in coastal states). That's the wild card."
FEMA SAYS NATURAL DISASTERS IN AMERICA ARE GETTING MORE FREQUENT AND MORE SEVERE
Natural disasters are getting more frequent and more severe, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director James Lee Witt said Tuesday, preaching a gospel of preparation and prevention for Americans. Tornado activity, we see now, normally starts in the spring of the year, starting in January. Hurricane seasons seem like they're much more intense, Witt told editors and reporters of The Associated Press. We will see, he said, from what the scientists tell us, some extremely devastating events in the 21st century. Faced with a proposed budget of $300 million for a disaster fund, Witt said his agency studied its disaster costs over the previous five years and found the average was $2.9 billion annually. That's now the size of FEMA's disaster contingency fund...
RESEARCHERS SAY BUSY HURRICANE ERA IS BEGINNING
Weather.com reports: The United States is in for 20 or 30 years of above-normal hurricane activity, say researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A recent study shows warmer sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic combined with a decrease in vertical wind shear contribute to conditions for more hurricanes over a several-year period. And when we see this combination, we better be prepared for a very busy period for hurricane activity, said NOAA research meteorologist Stan Goldenberg, one of the scientists who authored the study. From 1995-2000 we saw the highest level of North Atlantic hurricane activity ever measured, Goldenberg said. That record busiest 5 years brought devastating hurricanes that included Opal (1995), Fran (1996), Georges (1998) and Floyd (1999).
Compared with the previous 24 years there were twice as many hurricanes in the Atlantic, including 2 1/2 times more major hurricanes -- those reaching Category 3 strength with winds reaching more than 110 mph -- and more than 5 times as many hurricanes impacting the Caribbean islands. We started looking at the records to find out why. The data suggest that we are in the beginning of a warm Atlantic phase and thus an active Atlantic hurricane era may be under way, similar to that last seen from the late 1920s to the late 1960s,Mestas-Nuñez added. Goldenberg notes that while the era will be a busy one, there will likely be some years that are not hyperactive&ldots;
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