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Category: Flood

First hand accounts of Mount St. Helens’ 1980 eruption

First hand accounts of Mount St. Helens’ 1980 eruption

Author’s Note: This part of a weekly series on geology for a class I am taking this semester at BYU-Idaho. This week’s prompt required students to interview somebody who had firsthand experience with a volcano. I interviewed my grandparents, who lived in Kennewick, Wash. when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. Other posts from this assignment can be found under the “Geology 111” category.  Mount St. Helens famously erupted immediately after an earthquake caused the north side of the mountain…

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Warm system for Thanksgiving week

Warm system for Thanksgiving week

An atmospheric river is set up to douse almost the entire West Coast. Raising freezing levels today and tomorrow will aid Thanksgiving travelers the next couple of days, keeping snow off of the major passes. By midnight Monday night, the freezing level in much of Oregon will be above 9,000 feet with freezing levels remaining near 10,000 feet for the Pacific Northwest through Wednesday. I apologize in advance, I’ll be mentioning rain a lot in this post. While major highways won’t…

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No, we don’t need to add a ‘Category 6’ to the hurricane scale

No, we don’t need to add a ‘Category 6’ to the hurricane scale

Hurricanes are categorized according to the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, which organizes tropical cyclones with winds greater than 74 mph into categories from 1 to 5. Each category comes with a description of what damage can be expected in an area that the center of the storm passes over. Occasionally, I see talk of a need to add a 6th category to the Saffir-Simpson scale. Some recent examples of this come after Hurricane Patricia (2015) managed to get itself to…

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Half of Idaho in Flood Alerts

Half of Idaho in Flood Alerts

Take a look at the Weather Service’s website this morning and south Idaho is a sea of green with Flood Advisories and Warnings. The snow is melting and rain is falling and those two together are causing record flooding that has closed Interstate 86 between Burley and Pocatello. The Interstate has since reopened, but other highways are closed both in the Snake River Plain as well as in the mountains, where this warmer rainy weather is causing an avalanche threat….

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