The Stream, May 24, 2019: Atlantic Hurricane Season Likely to Be Near-Normal, Says NOAA

The Global Rundown

U.S. meteorologists predict a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year. A new study analyzes how droughts can spread across continents. As heavy rains fall across much of the United States, Washington state declares a drought emergency. Despite heavy funding and decades of waiting, a water pipeline project fails to reach all residents of a South Dakota Sioux reservation. Water access and other basic amenities remain strained in Marawi, Philippines, two years after Islamic State militants seized the city.

“Two years on, there are still people in tents, and many are relying on aid. Everyone is waiting for a resolution.” –Martin Thalmann, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation to the Philippines, in reference to the aftermath of a five-month siege of Marawi by pro-Islamic State militants in 2017. The ICRC estimates that 100,000 people are still displaced due to the siege, and many are without water, healthcare, or income. Reuters

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By The Numbers

40 percent Likelihood of a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A near-normal hurricane season would include 9 to 15 named storms, and up to 4 major hurricanes. There is also a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season, and a 30 percent chance of a below-normal season. NOAA

$470 million Amount spent over the past 25 years on a pipeline project meant to bring water from the Missouri River to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, as well as several predominantly white communities, in South Dakota. Now, the U.S. government says the project is complete, but the piped water never reached the homes of many in the reservation. The Guardian

Science, Studies, and Reports

A recent study spearheaded by Stanford University found that drought can have a domino-like effect in some regions, or even across continents. Researchers found that drought in one area can decrease the amount of moisture in the air, which can bring dry conditions to other areas through broader atmospheric changes. Stanford University News

On the Radar

The United States is in the midst of an abnormally wet year, and countrywide drought levels are the lowest in years. In Washington state, however, dry conditions are spreading, with state officials declaring a drought emergency in nearly half the state. The state’s water shortages are expected to worsen over the summer. Pacific Standard  

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