National Weather Service News

20 May 2020

Near- or Below-normal Hurricane Season Predicted for Central Pacific

(Image: NOAA)

There is a 75% chance of near- or below-normal tropical cyclone activity during the Central Pacific hurricane season this year, according to NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, divisions of the National Weather Service.The outlook also indicates a 25% chance of an above-normal season.For the season as a whole, two to six tropical cyclones are predicted for the Central Pacific hurricane region. This number includes tropical depressions, named storms and hurricanes.

28 Apr 2020

Failure to Heed Weather Warning Led to Duck Boat Sinking -NTSB

The Stretch Duck 7, a modified WWII DUKW amphibious passenger vessel, shown in this July 25, 2018, photo after it was recovered from Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo. The vessel sank during a storm July 19, 2018. (NTSB Photo by Brian Young)

The continued operation of an amphibious passenger vessel despite severe weather warnings led to its fatal sinking during a derecho in July 2018, the National Transportation Safety Board said during a public board meeting Tuesday.The 33-foot-long, modified, World War II-era DUKW amphibious passenger vessel Stretch Duck 7 sank in Table Rock Lake, near Branson, Mo., killing 16 of 29 passengers and one of two crewmembers on board for a tour.Operator Ripley Entertainment Inc., dba Ride The Ducks of Branson continued to run waterborne tours after a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued.

31 Dec 2019

Crew of Dismasted Sailing Vessel Rescued

Courtesy Photo
U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific

The Coast Guard and good Samaritans aboard two commercial vessels located and rescued the crew of the 42-foot white dismasted sailing vessel Coco Haz III 656 miles west southwest of the Hawaiian Islands, Sunday.The three crew are reportedly in good condition, with one possible concussion after further assessment by a flight surgeon, and en route to Honolulu aboard the motor vessel Kalamazoo. They are expected to arrive later in the week.Crews aboard a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules and a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon airplanes conducted searches over several days.

05 Sep 2019

Bahamians Struggle in Dorian's Devastating Wake

A file image of Equinor's South Riding Point storage terminal (CREDIT: Equinor)

Stunned residents of the Bahamas surveyed the wreckage of their homes and officials struggled to assess the number killed by Hurricane Dorian, as the storm bore down on the South Carolina coast, threatening record flooding on Thursday.The United Nations said 70,000 people in the Bahamas needed immediate humanitarian relief after the most damaging storm ever to hit the island nation.Aerial video of the worst-hit Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas showed widespread devastation…

29 Aug 2019

Hurricane Dorian races toward Florida

Hurricane Dorian is moving quickly through the Caribbean and heavy rains are expected in the Bahamas, Florida and the southeastof the US. this weekend, the National Weather Service has said. The National Hurricane Center said that Dorian’s winds currently have speeds of about 80 miles per hour and that the storm is moving northwest at 13 miles per hour and that the Category 1 hurricane could grow in strength to a major Category 3 storm before it potentially reaches Florida.Dorian is still moving away from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and hurricane warnings and watches for those areas have been discontinued but the storm is still…

12 Jul 2019

Big Easy Braces for Barry Flooding; Emergency Declared

file image: AdobeStock / © mode list

New Orleans braced for severe flooding with residents told to hunker down as a growing tropical storm in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico headed for landfall late on Friday or early on Saturday as the first Atlantic hurricane of 2019.U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana late on Thursday, hours after the region's oil production was cut by half as energy companies evacuated offshore drilling facilities and a coastal refinery.Tropical Storm…

11 Jul 2019

New Orleans Braces for TS Barry

File Image: A containership transits the Port of New Orleans on a better day. Image CREDIT: Port NOLA

Some residents and visitors prepared to flee New Orleans on Thursday as Tropical Storm Barry closed in and city officials warned of severe flooding if it makes landfall by early Saturday as the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2019 season.The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (64 kph) as of 10 a.m. CDT (1500 GMT) on Thursday, the National Weather Service said.Forecasters issued a storm-surge warning for a stretch of Louisiana coastline south of already-sodden New Orleans stretching from the mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Shell Beach.

11 Jul 2019

National Hurricane Center Miami Issues Hurricane Watch

File Image: AdobeStock / © mode list

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Pearl River to Intracoastal City. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Mississippi River to Cameron. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Mississippi River northward to the Mouth of the Pearl River.A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours. For a depiction of areas at risk please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic available at hurricanes.gov.

03 May 2019

Flood-Swollen Mississippi River Closed at St. Louis

The Mississippi River as it winds around the St. Louis Arch on a better day. CREDIT: St. Louis Regional Freightway.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it closed the Mississippi River near St. Louis to boat and barge traffic on Friday as excessive rains and heavy snow melt this spring swelled the major shipping waterway to near record levels.The river - a key transportation artery for shipments of grain, agricultural chemicals, energy products and other commodities - is closed from river mile marker 179 to 184, the Coast Guard said."The Mississippi is closed to all vessel traffic due to extremely high water levels and fast-moving currents," said U.S.

25 Apr 2019

Floods Stall Inland Fertilizer Barge Shipments

Inland waterways with St. louis in the background. (Credit: St. Louis Regional Freightway)

Farm supplier CHS Inc has dozens of loaded barges trapped on the flood-swollen Mississippi River near St. Louis - about 500 miles from the company's two Minnesota distribution hubs.The barges can't move - or get crucial nutrients to corn farmers for the spring planting season - because river locks on the main U.S. artery for grain and fertilizer have been shuttered for weeks. High water presents a hazard for boats, barges and lock equipment.Railroads have also been plagued by delays from winter weather and flooding in the western Midwest…

22 Feb 2019

PVA Submits Testimony to Hawaii Legislature

Bob Lawler, PVA's 2019 President

Last week,The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) submitted written testimony to the Hawaii State Senate, in support of Senator Inouye's proposed bill SB1505, as discussed at a joint hearing of the Committee on Transportation and the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental Affairs, and Military Affairs.The proposed statute, SB1505, would authorize the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) to make commercial harbor facilities temporarily available as a harbor of safe refuge when the National Weather Service forecasts a tropical storm or hurricane strength cyclones…

10 Jan 2019

U.S. Forecaster Sees 65 pct Chance of El Niño in Spring

There is a 65 percent chance of an El Niño weather pattern emerging during the northern hemisphere spring this year, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday."However, given the timing and that a weak event is favored, significant global impacts are not anticipated during the remainder of winter, even if conditions were to form," the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) added in its monthly forecast.Last month, the weather forecaster pegged the chances of the El Niño emerging at 60 percent during spring 2019.The last El Niño, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years…

18 Dec 2018

French Frigate Shoals: A Canary in the Coal Mine

© cartoonresource/Adobe Stock

French Frigate Shoals are located in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, between Kauai and Midway. The atoll consists of a twenty-mile long crescent-shaped reef, with 13 coral and sand islands and the 120-foot high volcanic rock Perouse Pinnacle, named for French explorer Jean-Francois de la Perouse, who charted the atoll in 1786 and nearly grounded his two frigates. Tern Island is the largest, covering 105,276 square meters or 26 acres. Second largest is (or was) East Island, with 35…

20 Sep 2018

In Florence’s Wake, Flooding Still a Big Concern in the Carolinas

Coast Guard crews discuss tactics prior to conducting rescue operations in response to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. The Coast Guard is working with state and local agencies throughout the affected region. Image: USCG)

Flooding is expected to worsen in the coming days as the Coast Guard continues its relief efforts.The emergency is by no means over in North Carolina. As flooding is expected worsen across the Carolinas later this week in the choppy wake of Hurricane Florence, Coast Guard units across North Carolina are continuing to assess damage, and respond over a wide geographic area. Florence, responsible for 36 deaths in three states, continues to impact the Carolinas. Major waterways across the tri-state area of North Carolina…

12 Sep 2018

Florence Compared to North Carolina's Worst Storm Ever

file Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © mode_list

As Florence bears down on the North Carolina coastline, the Category 4 storm is being compared to the worst storm ever to hit the Tarheel State - Hurricane Hazel, occurring back in 1954.Hurricane Florence, packing winds of more than 130 mph. Hazel, in comparison, brought winds of 150 mph, causing 19 deaths and destroyed thousands of buildings as it bulled its way inland.As many as 1.5 million residents have been told to evacuate coastal and low lying areas in South Carolina and North Carolina.

04 Sep 2018

Storm Gordon Starts Kicking Up Waves on U.S. Gulf Coast

Photo: NOAA

Waves began to batter parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday as the region felt the first hit of Tropical Storm Gordon, which is expected to become a hurricane before it comes ashore with high winds and heavy rain, forecasters said.The storm also caused a jump in global oil prices after the evacuation of two oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.Gordon was due to come ashore late on Tuesday near the border between Louisiana and Mississippi, and drop as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain in areas still recovering from last year's hurricanes…

30 Jul 2018

Investigators Examine DVR Content from Fatal Duck Boat Sinking

The SD card from the digital video recorder system on board the amphibious DUKW "Stretch Boat 7" that sank July 19 near Branson, Mo. (Photo: NTSB)

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have completed their initial review of the digital video recorder system recovered from the fatal duck boat sinking near Branson, Mo.The Ride The Ducks amphibious vehicle DUKW Stretch Boat 7 had 29 passengers and two crewmembers on board for a tour on July 19 when deteriorating weather conditions caused the vessel to sink in Table Rock Lake, killing 16 passengers and one crew member.Recording media including an…

30 Jul 2018

Families of 'Duck Boat' Sinking Victims Sue Tour Operator

The Stretch Duck 7 is removed from Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., July 23, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lora Ratliff)

The families of four of the 17 people killed when a World War Two-style tourist "duck boat" sank on a Missouri lake during a storm this month have sued the tour operator, saying it recklessly allowed the vessel out in dangerous weather.On Sunday, relatives of Ervin Coleman, 76, and 2-year-old Maxwell Ly, his great-nephew, both of Indianapolis, sued tour operator Ripley Entertainment Inc, which operates under the name Ride the Ducks, and vessel manufacturer Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing LLC…

20 Jul 2018

Thirteen Dead as Missouri Storm Sinks 'Duck Boat'

At least 13 people including children drowned after a tourist "duck boat" sank during a storm on a lake in Missouri, and authorities were set to resume a search on Friday for other missing victims, Missouri Governor Michael Parson said.The sinking of vehicle, inspired by the amphibious landing craft used during D-Day in World War Two, marked one of the deadliest incidents at a U.S. tourist destination in recent history. Divers were still searching Table Rock Lake, a large reservoir outside the town of Branson, for missing passengers.Video of the incident showed the hull of the vessel submerging into choppy waters."Just a terrible, horrific tragic accident has occurred," Parson told CNN on Friday, noting that 13 people had been confirmed dead.

24 Aug 2018

Torrential Rain, Howling Winds as Hurricane Lane Nears Hawaii

Hurricane Lane (Photo: NOAA)

Hurricane Lane, a powerful Category 3 storm, spun slowly north out of the Pacific toward Hawaii on Friday, causing torrential downpours and catastrophic flooding on the Big Island.The greatest threat from wind and rain shifted to Maui overnight and then to Oahu, the U.S. state's most populous island, through Friday, the National Weather Service said. Hurricane conditions were possible over Kauai into Saturday, according to forecasts.More than 2 feet (60 cm) of rain had already fallen on a few areas on the windward side of the Big Island…

23 Jan 2018

Update: Alaska, Canada Tsunami Alerts Lifted

Image: USGS

Alaska and parts of western Canada braced for a possible tsunami on Tuesday after a magnitude-7.9 earthquake struck the Gulf of Alaska, sparking evacuations in coastal Alaska and a tsunami warning for California that was later lifted. In Alaska, people packed into high schools and other evacuation centers after the quake hit shortly after midnight local time (0900 GMT). Officials had warned residents as far south as San Francisco to be ready to evacuate coastal areas but by 5:15 a.m. PST (1315 GMT) the U.S.

23 Feb 2018

Flooding Cripples Grain Barge Shipments in U.S. Midwest

CREDIT: MVFCA

Grain barge shipping came to a near standstill in parts of the U.S. Midwest on Thursday as recent heavy rain and melting snow swelled rivers, halted barge loading and sidelined the towboats that haul farm belt crops to Gulf Coast export terminals. The flooded waterways sent cash premiums for corn barges delivered to Gulf Coast terminals soaring. Rates hit peaks on Thursday that have not been seen in 18 months, as exporters scrambled to secure enough grain to top off vessels bound for overseas markets, traders said.

12 Apr 2018

La Niña to Transition to Neutral Weather in April-May -U.S. Forecaster

Photo: NOAA

The La Niña weather pattern is likely to transition to ENSO-neutral conditions during the April-May period, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday. ENSO-neutral refers to those periods in which neither El Niño nor La Niña is present, according to CPC. There is a more than 50 percent chance of ENSO-neutral conditions prevailing through the northern hemisphere summer in 2018, the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in its monthly forecast.

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