Disastrous weather seems to be all around, a tornado in the South, an earthquake in California, and more on the way – flood warnings in 3 states today and the largest dust storm approaching the US since the 1970s.
There’s a potential for flooding for three states along the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday. The most impacted might be Texas. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a triple-warning for the Houston/Galveston area, issuing a flash flood warning, a flood warning, and a flash flood watch.
To the east, the NWS issued a flash flood watch for southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi along the Gulf, extending into inland areas.
An EF-1 tornado, with peak winds of 110 mph, tore a nearly four-mile path of destruction in Baton Rouge early Wednesday, the National Weather Service tweeted. The tornado was reported to be 100 yards wide at its peak, uprooting trees, destroying homes and tossing vehicles about like toys.
There were no injuries reported. One vehicle was thrown a few hundred feet from where it was parked and onto the interstate.
An earthquake with a preliminary 5.8-magnitude struck central California near Sequoia National Park at roughly 10:40 AM on Wednesday. The US Geological Survey (USGS) initially listed the quake as a magnitude 6.1, with the epicenter about 20 miles southwest of Lone Pine in the Sierra Nevada range, KRON4 reports.
The location of the quake was centered around 14 miles east of Cartago, or roughly 46 miles west of Porterville, in the Central Valley. The recorded depth of the quake was 9.0 kilometers. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages. The quake was felt as far as Los Angeles and Southern California.
The Saharan dust plume of 2020 is of historic proportions, and it is already darkening skies and leading to the worst dust storm in the Caribbean in decades. By the weekend, it will have moved into the United States, in areas of the South along the Gulf, extending into the Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, and stretching to parts of the central Plains and upper Midwest.
The result will be hazy skies and reduced air quality. It could create problems for those with respiratory issues, particularly for younger and elderly sufferers, and smokers, who really might want to start looking for the best way to quit smoking now. For the rest of us, we may see allergies acting up, especially those who are sensitive to dust.