The hottest part of the northern hemisphere’s year brings sweltering heat — and since hot air holds much more moisture than cold, the chance of heavy precipitation rises. Some areas, on the other hand, are locked in long-term drought.
Time was, up until perhaps a few millennia ago, when all homo species moved with the weather. Then some humans decided it was easier to settle down and deal with the elements than move. The idea caught on.
Some animals are suited to various climates and can, like humans, become resident in a given area; but others try to find temperatures and precipitation patterns that temporarily suit their needs.
Wet Or Dry, The Weather Affects Animals
This year’s deluge in Texas, Oklahoma, and the midwest may be mostly over, but its legacy lives in the form of mosquito swarms.
Mosquitoes need stagnant, standing water in which to breed, and the water left from Weather Pattern Government followed by Tropical Storm Bill has created a nuisance for the soggy south and midwest. The nuisance of itchy bites turns to danger when the mosquitoes carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
The other side of the saturated coin is drought. In California, coyotes have invaded cities because of the scarce rainfall. The animals are not only thirsty; rodents, a major part of coyotes’ diets, have become scarce in some areas because of the lack of water.
Coyotes are normally wary of humans, as the two species have relatively little in common except for a fondness for small pets. And the coyotes’ interest is mainly in eating them.
Recently, two children were bitten near Irvine, California, and there is a single death from a coyote attack on the record, so people should not approach or feed coyotes.
If There Are This Many Tropical Cyclones, It Must Be Midsummer
Turning from insects and quadrupeds to more familiar summer weather fare, the tropical activity in the Pacific Ocean continues.
Former Super-Typhoon Chan-hom is just a remnant area of cloudiness on satellite photos, but the storm forced evacuations of over a million people in China near Shanghai. A slight jog to the right of the forecast track spared China’s biggest city a direct hit, and winds only gusted officially to 56 miles per hour at Shanghai airport. The most damage undoubtedly occurred as a result of storm surge and flooding rainfall south and east of Shanghai. News only trickles out of China, so the final tally of damage and possible deaths won’t be known for a while.
Chan-hom retained tropical storm strength as it crossed the Yellow Sea and made landfall in North Korea with winds estimated at fifty miles per hour.
The next impactful storm will be Typhoon Nangfa, which after meandering through the western Pacific for a week is now making a beeline for Japan.
Top winds are currently around 100 miles per hour, and Nangfa will not become the seventh Super-Typhoon of the season. But it is in position to bring damaging winds to southern Japan.
Many typhoons either curve out to sea, or weaken before they hit Japan due to their passage over cold water. Japan is protected by this cold water buffer the way New England is protected from hurricanes.
However, a fast-moving storm can retain much of its strength as it approaches Japan. Nangfa’s top winds will peak out at about 120 miles per hour; then the storm will speed up and come ashore near Hiroshima on Thursday afternoon. The storm will weaken some, but the forecast calls for winds of hurricane strength at landfall.
Typhoon Halola formed far out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean south of Hawaii, in an area that doesn’t spawn many typhoons. Halola could eventually become a Super-Typhoon as it heads west-northwest, but probably will not reach Asian before it gets too far north and dissipates.
Hurricane Dolores is currently about 100 miles off the coast of Mexico. It’s another in what promises to be a summer of close calls on the Mexican west coast. This is typical of an El Niño year.
Puerto Vallarta will feel tropical storm force winds today and tomorrow as the hurricane reaches peak intensity with top winds around 120 miles per hour, then slowly dissipates at sea.
Atlantic Tropical Storm Claudette
The National Hurricane Center named Tropical Storm Claudette, well east of the mid-Atlantic coast, yesterday. I question this call; the storm has at least some baroclinic (temperature-contrast) features, and should be classified as sub-tropical if not completely extra-tropical. But okay, we’ve already got the third Atlantic storm of what’s supposed to be a quiet season.
Claudette will move northeast and visit Newfoundland on Wednesday; to Newfoundlanders, Claudette’s 50 mile per hour winds are considered a refreshing breeze.
Heat Waves Go On
The heat is not as extreme in the US, but it is spreading into the plains. The only record maximum temperatures I could find in the last few days were at Apalachicola, Florida: 97 Saturday and 98 Sunday. However, there were many record high minimums.
In Europe, Spain still takes the hotcake, as heat dominates southern Europe while the north cools off.
This summer’s heat waves may be remembered more for longevity than extremity. Persistent weather patterns are looking like they may be a hallmark of global warming. Decoded Science will have more to say on this subject in the near future.
Sports And Weather
Despite the heavy rain and threats of tornadoes that rolled through Cincinnati Monday, the weather improved enough to hold the Home Run Derby Monday night. The threat of thunderstorms will persist through today, but the teams will likely play the all-star game. If that interests you, catch the other interactions between weather and sports on Decoded Sports.
Weather Around the World
Migrations, sports, mosquitoes and coyotes: The weather has an effect on everything. What is the weather doing where you are?