Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

This new virus is called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or Sars-CoV-2. The disease it causes is called Covid-19. Source: Wall Street Journal. This is a serious disease – “a potential pandemic.” They think it originated in a (animal) market in Wuhan, China, on December 1, 2019. As of March 3, 2020, the WHO reports that there are 92,315 confirmed cases – 3,131 deaths; 60 cases in the US and 6 deaths.

The WHO and the CDC are monitoring the disease very closely, and they are taking measures to minimize the spread of the disease – no thanks to President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, his appointed “White House coronavirus response coordinator.” Source: Politico.com

Countries like China (Wuhan specifically) have been shut down; affecting the global economy. Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, South Korean, Japan, and Iran have also been hit hard. There’s talk of a global recession if this goes on for too much longer. (President Trump says it will be over by April, because of the warmer weather.)

A big health concern is the massing of people: any place or event where people gather is considered dangerous. The Summer Olympics, scheduled to open in Tokyo, Japan, on July 24, are in danger of being cancelled – or at best delayed for months. “March Madness” basketball tournaments might be played without fans. The Major League Baseball Opening Day is scheduled for March 26; they’re monitoring the situation.

UPDATE 3/15/2020

Last week the WHO declared COVID-19 is a pandemic. Things are getting worse in the United States. Tomorrow, we’re starting to work from home and shelter-in-place for at least 1 week and possibly up to 8 weeks. It is already affecting the US economy, and we are looking at a global recession. Mnuchin dropped the “we could reach 20% unemployment” bomb, and the Fed cut rates to 0.0%. Smaller restaurants and retail shops in my town – and every city and town – are closing; health departments are mandating bars & restaurants close dining rooms. Some restaurants are adjusting – drive through only, curbside delivery, home delivery, etc.

UPDATE 4/3/2020

Coronavirus map 4-2-2020
Coronavirus map April 3, 2020. Source: Johns Hopkins University.

As of now there have been 1,076,017 cases worldwide and 58,004 deaths; 5,368 cases in Texas and 93 deaths. We’ve been ordered to continue to shelter-in-place until April 30.

Many States have postponed their Primaries until Summer. The 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed until July 2021.

The 2020 Primary Election

The schedule for Democratic and Republican primaries and caucuses is very confusing and convoluted. A good place to start is with Frontloading HQ.

The Democratic candidates are Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Michael Bennet, John Delaney, Deval Patrick and Andrew Yang.

The Republican candidates are Donald Trump, Bill Weld, Rocky De La Fuente, Mark Sanford and Joe Walsh.

February 3

Iowa caucuses took place on February 3, 2020, but there wasn’t a clear Democratic winner because a new application (mobile app) failed to tally and report the votes correctly.

Monday night’s Iowa caucuses dragged on into the early hours of Tuesday with no clear Democratic winner declared, and the New York Times reported that a brand-new, untested mobile app designed in just two months was at least partially to blame for the holdup in results.

Source: Forbes

The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) – the folks who commissioned the app – promised to have the majority of results published by 5 PM (ET) today.

On February 9, 2020, Iowa finally allotted Pete 14 delegates, Bernie 12, Elizabeth 8, Joe 6, and Amy 1, out of 41 for the Democratic caucus. For the Republican caucus, Donald got 39 and Bill got 1, out of 40.

Both Pete and Bernie requested a recount, which (completed Feb. 27) didn’t change the results, and it was finally certified by the IDP on February 29.

Withdrawals Before the Primaries

Democratic candidates who withdrew before the Primaries started: Beto O’Rourke, Bill de Blasio, Cory Booker, Eric Swalwell, Jay Inslee, Joe Sestak, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Marianne Williamson, Mike Gravel, Richard Ojeda, Seth Moulton, Steve Bullock, Tim Ryan, Wayne Messam. Source: Wikipedia.

Republican candidates who withdrew before (or shortly after) the Primaries started: Joe Walsh, Mark Sanford. Source: Wikipedia.

February 11

New Hampshire primary results: Bernie 9, Pete 9, Amy 6, out of 24 total. For Republicans, Donald 22, out of 22 total.

Today, after the NH primary, Michael Bennet and Andrew Yang dropped out. On February 12, Deval Patrick suspended his campaign.

February 22

Nevada caucus results: Bernie 24, Joe 9, Pete 3, out of 36 available. For Republicans, they cancelled their caucus so Donald presumably gets all 25 delegates.

Side note: Michael Bloomberg (billionaire, former mayor of New York) qualified for the debate in Nevada (Feb. 19), but he was not on the ballot. He’s trying to buy his way in.

February 29

Happy Leap Day! South Carolina (D) primary results: Joe 39, Bernie 15 out of 54 delegates.

On March 1, Pete dropped out and gave his support to Joe.

On March 2, Amy dropped out and gave her support to Joe. Beto also gave his support to Joe.

March 3

“Super Tuesday” is primary/caucus day for Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia (D), and American Samoa (D).

If you’re keeping count, going into Super Tuesday, Bernie 60, Joe 54, Elizabeth 8, and Michael 0.

In Texas early voting starts February 18. If needed, the primary election runoff day will be May 26, 2020.

Texas has 228 Democratic delegates and 155 Republican delegates. 1283 The results for Texas are Joe 110, Bernie 99, Michael 11, Elizabeth 5, Cory 2 of 228 total. For Republicans, Donald 117 of 155 total.

Nationally, the totals so far are Joe 596, Bernie 531, Elizabeth 65, Michael 58, Pete 26, Amy 7, and Tulsi 1.

After spending $500+ million Michael Bloomberg dropped out on March 4. Bernie announced on March 4 that he will drop out if “Biden gets plurality” going into Democratic convention. On March 5, Elizabeth Warren withdrew from the race. This leaves Joe, Bernie, and Tulsi is still running.

Texas Candidates

U.S. Senate (Texas)
Democratic Party candidates
Chris Bell
Michael Cooper
Amanda Edwards
Jack Daniel Foster Jr.
Annie Garcia
Victor Harris
Mary Jennings Hegar
Sema Hernandez
D. R. Hunter
Adrian Ocegueda
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez
Royce West

Republican Party candidates
John Cornyn (incumbent)
Virgil Bierschwale
John Castro
Dwayne Stovall
Mark Yancey

Independent candidates
Ricardo Turullols-Bonilla

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17 Texas)*
Democratic Party candidates
William Foster III
David Jaramillo
Rick Kennedy

Republican Party candidates
Ahmad Adnan
Scott Bland
Laurie Godfrey McReynolds
George Hindman
Todd Kent
Kristen Alamo Rowin
David Saucedo
Pete Sessions
Trent Sutton
Renee Swann
Elianor Vessali

Libertarian candidates
Ted Brown

*Bill Flores (R) is stepping down

Texas Governor
Greg Abbott (R) – Next election is 2022

Texas Lieutenant Governor
Dan Patrick (R) – Next election is 2022

Texas Attorney General
Ken Paxton (R) – Next election is 2022

Texas Senate (District 5)
Charles Schwertner (R) – Next election is 2022

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)
Democratic Party candidates
Janet Dudding
Raza Rahman

Republican Party candidates
John Raney (incumbent)

Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar (R) – Next election 2022

Commissioner of the General Land Office
George P. Bush (R) – Next election 2022

Commissioner of Agriculture
Sid Miller (R) – Next election 2022

Railroad Commissioner
Democratic Party candidates
Roberto Alonzo
Chrysta Castaneda
Kelly Stone
Mark Watson

Republican Party candidates
Ryan Sitton (incumbent)
James Wright

Libertarian Party candidates
Matt Sterett
Charlie Stevens

Read More

March 10

Democrats Abroad (D), Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota (D), and Washington primary results: Joe 177+, Bernie 111+ out of 352 delegates; Washington was still counting as of Wednesday at noon.

March 14

Northern Mariana Islands (D), and Guam (R)

March 15

Northern Mariana Islands (R)

March 17

Arizona (D), Florida, Illinois, and Ohio.

March 18

American Samoa (R)

One March 19, 2020, Tulsi dropped out and endorsed Joe Biden.

March 24

Georgia (postponed to May 19)

March 29

Puerto Rico (D) and North Dakota (R) primary results: ND Republicans cancelled election, Trump got 29 out of 29 delegates; PR is TBD.

April 4

Alaska, Hawaii (D), Louisiana, and Wyoming (D)

April 7

Democrats warn people will die as courts rule Wisconsin’s election on for Tuesday Source: NBC News

Wisconsin

April 28

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

May 2

Guam (D), Kansas (D), Virginia (R), and South Carolina (R)

May 5

Indiana

May 9

Arizona (R), and Wyoming (R)

May 12

Nebraska, and West Virginia

May 19

Georgia (postponed due to coronavirus), Kentucky, and Oregon

May 30

United States Virgin Islands (R)

June 2

District of Columbia, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota

June 6

United States Virgin Islands (D)

June 7

Puerto Rico (R)

June 20

Louisiana (postponed due to coronavirus).

Brexit schmexit

Britain’s exit from the European Union is finally here. At the stroke of midnight, Brussels time, 5 PM Central US, on Friday, January 31, 2020, the deed is done.

Britain formally exits the European Union on Friday night, casting off from the Continent after nearly half a century and ending a debate that had convulsed the country for more than three years.

Source: New York Times: Britain’s Brexit Shrug: Let’s Just Get On With It

By the sounds of it – and going by how long it has dragged on – Britons are tired of it all and just want to get on with life. Not so fast. For all this time – time supposedly used to negotiate trade deals and legal separation agreements – it seems like very little was done: for the next 11 months they’ll work out trade relations.

Welcome to the Not-So Roaring 20s

It feels like the year 2020 came out of nowhere! I can’t believe it’s been a decade since I wrote, Finally, 2010, The Year We Make Contact – and I can’t believe this blog is almost 15 years old!

Social media is still a force to be reckoned with. President Donald Trump (yes that happened in 2016) was elected largely because of his infamous celebrity on Twitter. He’s been using social media to bash, berate, and belittle people for years; his base loves it.

I’m still married to my beautiful wife, Barbara. We’re empty nesters now: Vincent married Sara this year and they live in Dallas, Katie moved to Richmond to be with Shawn, and Jake joined the Air Force this year and got stationed at Fairbanks.

In the past decade my wife and I quit smoking, and now I’m being treated for atrial fibrillation (AFib). We’ve had cats leave us, and new ones come along. There has been droughts, and there has been hurricanes.

This year I plan on attending my 30 year class reunion. If the 20 year was any indication, the 30 year should be off the chain; no worries Chuck. [I just read that my high school is set to be “remodeled” (demolished and rebuilt) in February.]

Storm Area 51 Fizzles To Selfies and Alienstock

For all the hullabaloo, when the time came, only a few hundred people (of the 2+ million who RSVP) showed up for some music and camping.

Stormers were instructed to run like Naruto – and at least one man did – towards the base, because “they can’t stop all of us” was the mantra.

Andrew Griffin was there and “live blogged” the events for British newspaper The Independent:

If you’re just joining us, here’s a rough summary of the nights events, which happened at four main locations:

  • In Las Vegas, people gathered for Alienstock, which was run like a traditional EDM festival, with lots inflatable aliens.
  • In Hiko, there was another alien festival, with themed displays out in the desert.
  • And in Rachel, there was another Alienstock, with live rock music played out across the Nevada sand, and themed events. Despite the warnings from locals, this appears to have gone largely without major incident.

But perhaps most interestingly of all…

  • At the gate to Area 51 itself, some people did gather. They gathered round, chatted, took some photos and joked. While there are reports of at least one arrest, there was no attempt to storm Area 51.

Storm Area 51 Could Be Fyre Festival 2.0

The “Storm Area 51” organizer, Matty Roberts, is comparing Alienstock – music festival he organized as an alternative to Storm Area 51 – to the Fyre Festival – a name that has become synonymous with “epic failure.”

With just over a week to go until the event, Roberts and the host town’s website are both comparing Alienstock to the Fyre Festival, which was supposed to be held in April and May of 2017 in the Bahamas but became synonymous with “epic failure” and led to a fraud conviction. Roberts has pulled his name and support from the three-day gathering in Rachel, Nev., but the owner of a motel in the town who had signed up as a partner plans to go ahead.

Source: Washington Post

We shall see if a human disaster unfolds – or no one shows up and the joke event passes like a tumble weed in the Nevada desert.

The 2019 Hurricane Season

According to predictions, this year’s forecast calls for a slightly below average season with at least 13 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes. The reason for the weaker season is the continuation of a weak El Niño.

This year’s Atlantic tropical cyclone names are: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van, Wendy.

Andrea

On Monday, May 20, 2019, we had the first named storm of 2019. Andrea was born on Monday (5/20/2019 at 2230 UTC) and died on Tuesday (5/21/2019 at 2100 UTC).

Andrea Is 1st Named Storm Of Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Source: NPR.

Barry

One year and four days after I wrote about the first storm of 2018, we have the second storm for 2019. Tropical Storm Barry formed this morning (7/11/2019 at 1500 UTC) and is expected to strengthen to category 1 (see Saffir-Simpson scale) hurricane before it makes landfall early Saturday along mid-Louisiana Gulf Coast.

UPDATE 7/12/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Barry is located about 70 miles south-southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana, with winds of 65 miles per hour moving west-northwest at 6 miles per hour.

UPDATE 7/13/ at 1800 UTC: Hurricane Barry made landfall near Intracoastal City, LA, as category 1 hurricane Saturday afternoon and quickly weakened to a tropical storm.

Wind speed is not what is troubling much of the region. Experts predict possible rains of up to 25 inches in parts of southern Louisiana and coastal Mississippi, and the slow-moving storm could create big flooding risks in inland areas like greater Baton Rouge. Officials issued mandatory evacuation orders in communities along the coast, including parts of Plaquemines, Jefferson and Lafourche Parishes.

Source: NYTimes

UPDATE 7/14/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Depression Barry is located about 20 miles north-northeast of Shreveport, Louisiana, with winds of 35 miles per hour moving north at 9 miles per hour.

Chantal

Tropical Storm Chantal formed on Tuesday, August 20, about 485 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is moving eastward, and it is not expected to strengthen or make landfall.

Dorian

Tropical Storm Dorian formed on Saturday, August 24, about 725 miles southeast of Barbados, and moving northwest at 12 miles per hour. It is expected to strengthen to hurricane strength over the next few days.

UPDATE 8/26/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Dorian is about 60 southeast of Barbados with max winds of 60 miles per hour. It is moving west-northwest at 14 miles per hour. A Tropical Storm watch has been issued for Puerto Rico.

UPDATE 8/27/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Dorian continues moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour. Tropical storm warnings are issued for Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Hurricane watches are issued for Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic; P.R. Governor Vazquez declares a state of emergency.

UPDATE 8/28/2019 at 2100 UTC: Dorian strengthened into a hurricane over the British and US Virgin Islands – east of Puerto Rico – Wednesday afternoon with maximum winds of 75 miles per hour (Category 1) . Hurricane Dorian is expected to strengthen as it approaches Florida’s southeast coast this Labor Day weekend. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declares a state of emergency.

UPDATE 8/29/2019 at 1500 UTC: Hurricane Dorian is 220 north-northwest of Puerto Rico, 370 miles east of Bahamas, and is expected to strengthen to major hurricane over the next few days as it moves toward Florida’s east coast. Dorian’s maximum winds are 85 miles per hour, and it’s moving northwest at 13 miles per hour. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declares a state of emergency.

Hurricane Dorian is predicted to hit Florida and the northern Bahamas this weekend as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, bringing intense rains and sustained winds of 130 mph, the National Hurricane Center says.

Source: NPR

UPDATE 8/30/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Dorian, located about 595 miles east of West Palm Beach, FL., has maximum winds of 115 miles per hour (Category 3) and moving 300 degrees at 9 miles per hour. Hurricane Warnings were issued for northwestern Bahamas. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declares a state of emergency.

UPDATE 8/31/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Dorian has strengthened to 150 miles per hour (Category 4), and turn slightly northward. It is expected to hit northern Bahamas on Sunday, then curve northwards skimming the east coast from Florida to Virginia. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency.

UPDATE 9/1/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Dorian has strengthened to 185 miles per hour (Category 5) as it crawls across Abacos Islands, Bahamas. Movement is west at 5 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/2/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Dorian is 25 miles northeast of Freeport Grand Bahama Island or 105 miles east of West Palm Beach Florida. Earlier, the 10-15 foot storm surge destroyed virtually everything on Great Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands. The worst part is that the storm has been moving west at 1 mph for hours. Dorian’s maximum winds are at 145 miles per hour. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declares a state of emergency.

UPDATE 9/3/2019 at 1500 UTC: Hurricane Dorian is located 45 miles north of Freeport Grand Bahama Island or 105 east of Fort Pierce Florida, and moving northwest at 2 miles per hour. Dorian’s maximum winds are 110 miles per hour. Dorian is still predicted to move northward along the east coast.

UPDATE 9/4/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Dorian is located 150 miles south of Charleston South Carolina (30.6N, 79.8W) with winds of 110 miles per hour and moving north-northwest at 8 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/5/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Dorian is located about 45 miles south-southeast of Myrtle Beach South Carolina with winds of 105 miles per hour and moving northeast at 10 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/6/2019 at 0900 UTC: Eye of Hurricane Dorian passed just east of Cape Lookout. Hurricane Dorian is located about 25 miles east of Cape Lookout, North Carolina, with winds of 90 miles per hour moving northeast at 14 miles per hour.

Hurricane Dorian made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday…

Source: Reuters

UPDATE 9/6/2019 2100 UTC: Hurricane Dorian is located about 330 miles south-southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts, with winds of 90 miles per hour moving northeast at 24 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/7/2019 at 2100 UTC: Dorian becomes Post-Tropical Cyclone Dorian. Post-Tropical Cyclone Dorian is located about 50 miles south-southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with winds of 100 miles per hour moving northeast at 30 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/8/2019 at 2100 UTC: Post-Tropical Cyclone Dorian is located about 65 miles west-southwest of St. Anthony, Newfoundland, with winds of 65 miles per hour moving northeast at 23 miles per hour.

Erin

While we were not looking, Tropical Storm Erin formed (8/27/2019 at 0300 UTC) and is located about 430 miles west of Bermuda with maximum winds of 40 miles per hour moving west at 2 miles per hour.

UPDATE 8/28/2019 at 1500 UTC: Erin was downgraded to a Tropical Depression located about 470 west-northwest of Bermuda with winds of 35 miles per hour moving north-northwest at 13 miles per hour.

UPDATE 8/292019 at 0900 UTC: Erin was downgraded to Post-Tropical Cyclone located about 225 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina with winds of 35 miles per hour moving north-northeast at 15 miles per hour.

Fernand

Tropical Storm Fernand formed Tuesday afternoon (9/3/2019 at 1800 UTC) about 160 miles east of La Pesca Mexico with winds of 40 miles per hour and moving west at 7 miles per hour. Fernand is expected to continue moving west. Fernand is not expected to strengthen much as it will likely make landfall within 24 hours.

UPDATE 9/4/2019 at 1500 UTC: Tropical Storm Fernand is located 40 miles northeast of La Pesca Mexico with winds of 45 miles per hour and moving west-northwest at 8 miles per hour. Heavy rain and gusty winds continue spreading inland over northeastern Mexico and deep south Texas. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Puerto Altamira Mexico to the mouth of the Rio Grande River.

UPDATE 9/4/2019 at 2100 UTC: Fernand is no longer a tropical storm. The depression is breaking up as it moves into the mountains of northern Mexico.

Gabrielle

Topical Storm Gabrielle formed 9/4/2019 at 0900 UTC over the open Atlantic Ocean, about 680 miles west-northwest of Cabo Verde Islands (19.6 N, 33.6 W) with winds of 40 miles per hour and moving north west at 10 miles per hour. Gabrielle is expected to strengthen slightly over the next 2 days.

UPDATE 9/4/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Gabrielle is 740 west-northwest of Cabo Verde Islands (21.0N, 34.0W) with winds of 50 miles per hour and moving north west at 9 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/5/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Gabrielle is struggling to maintain thunderstorms near its center with winds of 45 miles per hour moving northwest at 10 miles per hour. Gabrielle is located 925 miles northwest of Cabo Verde Islands (23.4N, 35.9W).

UPDATE 9/6/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Gabrielle quickly regenerated overnight and is expected to strengthen to hurricane by early next week. Gabrielle is located about 1010 miles southwest of the Azores with winds of 45 miles per hour moving northwest at 17 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/7/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Gabrielle is located about 1180 west-southwest of the Azores with winds of 50 miles per hour moving west-northwest at 18 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/8/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Gabrielle is located about 1250 miles west of the Azores with winds of 65 miles per hour moving north at 16 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/9/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Gabrielle is located about 1000 miles west-northwest of the Azores with winds of 50 miles per hour with winds of 40 miles per hour moving northeast at 21 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/10/2019 at 1500 UTC: Gabrielle weakened to Post-Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle early this morning. Gabrielle is located about 695 northwest of the Azores with winds of 50 miles per hour moving northeast at 29 miles per hour.

Humberto

Tropical Storm Humberto formed late last night (9/14/2019 0300 UTC) – about 130 miles east-southeast of Great Abaco Island, Bahamas, with winds of 40 miles per hour, and moving northwest at 6 miles per hour. On the forecast track, the system is anticipated to move very near the northwestern Bahamas on Saturday, and offshore of the east coast of Florida this weekend and early next week. Gradual strengthening is forecast, and Humberto is expected to become a hurricane in two or three days.

UPDATE 9/14/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Humberto is located about 70 miles north of Great Abaco Island, Bahamas, with winds of 50 miles per hour and moving northwest at 7 miles per hour. Humberto is still expected to strengthen into hurricane by Monday as it continues to move north then turning to northeast. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

UPDATE 9/15/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Humberto is located about 170 east-northeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, with winds of 70 miles per hour and moving north at 6 miles per hour. Humberto is expected to strengthen into a hurricane (74 miles per hour) in the next few hours.

UPDATE 9/16/2019 at 2100 UTC: Humberto strengthened to a hurricane late last night. Hurricane Humberto is located about 670 miles west of Bermuda with winds of 90 miles per hour (Category 1) and moving east-northeast at 7 miles per hour. Additional strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours, and Humberto is forecast to become a major hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

UPDATE 9/17/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Humberto is located about 450 miles west of Bermuda with winds of 105 miles per hour and moving east-northeast at 12 miles per hour. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Bermuda.

UPDATE 9/18/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Humberto is located about 100 miles west-northwest of Bermuda with winds of 120 miles per hour and moving east-northeast at 20 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds expected to persist across Bermuda into early Thursday morning.

UPDATE 9/19/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Humberto is located about 550 northeast of Bermuda with winds of 105 miles per hour and moving northeast at 24 miles per hour.

Imelda

About 12:45 PM today (9/17/2019 1745 UTC) Tropical Storm Imelda formed on top of Freeport, Texas, with winds of 40 miles per hour, and moving north at 7 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/17/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Imelda is located 30 miles south-southeast of Houston with winds of 40 miles per hour moving north at 7 miles per hour.

Imelda is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches across the upper coastal region of Texas, including the Houston and Galveston areas. Rainfall amounts of 4 to 6 inches with isolated totals of 10 inches are possible across portions of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana through Thursday. This rainfall may produce significant to life-threatening flash floods.

UPDATE 9/18/2019 at 0900 UTC: Imelda downgraded to a depression is located 65 miles southeast of College Station, Texas, with winds of 30 miles per hour and moving north at 5 miles per hour. Flash flood watches are in effect for southeast Texas and extreme southwest Louisiana. Accumulations of 6 to 12 inches are possible over the next 48 hours.

UPDATE 9/19/2019 at 0900 UTC: Tropical Depression Imelda is located about 70 miles northeast of College Station, Texas, with winds of 30 miles per hour and moving north-northwest at 5 miles per hour.

Imelda is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts through Friday: Across the Upper Texas Coast into far southeast Texas…additional 5 to 10 inches with isolated storm totals of 25 to 35 inches. Across portions of southwest Louisiana…Additional 3 to 5 inches with isolated totals of 10 inches. Rest of east Texas…2 to 4 inches with isolated totals around 8 inches. These rainfall totals may produce significant to life threatening flash floods.

Interstate 10 is closed in both directions between Winnie and Beaumont due to flooding.

Source: KHOU

UPDATE 9/19/2019 at 2100 UTC: Remnants of Imelda are moving toward the west-northwest near 3 miles per hour with winds of 15 miles per hour.

Imelda is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts through Friday: Across the Upper Texas Coast into far southeast Texas…additional 3 to 5 inches with isolated storm totals of 35 to 45 inches. Across portions of southwest Louisiana…An additional 1 inch with isolated totals of 3 inches. Rest of east Texas…2 to 4 inches with isolated totals around 8 inches.

Jerry

Tropical Storm Jerry formed this morning (9/18/2019 at 0900 UTC) about 960 miles east of the Leeward Islands with winds of 45 miles per hour and moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour. Further strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Jerry is expected to become a hurricane by the time it moves near the northern Leeward Islands. Jerry is the tenth named storm this year

UPDATE 9/19/2019 at 1500 UTC: Jerry has strengthened into a hurricane. Hurricane Jerry is located about 490 miles east of the Leeward Islands with winds of 75 miles per hour (Category 1) moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/19/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Jerry is located 395 east of the Leeward Islands with winds of 90 miles per hour moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/20/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Jerry is located about 140 miles north of Barbuda with winds of 80 miles per hour moving west-northwest at 18 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/21/2019 at 2100 UTC: Jerry weakened to Tropical Storm Jerry at 0600 UTC this morning. Tropical Storm Jerry is located about 645 miles south of Bermuda with winds of 65 miles per hour moving northwest at 14 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/22/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Jerry is located about 405 miles south-southwest of Bermuda with winds of 65 miles per hour moving north-northwest at 9 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/23/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Jerry is located about 340 miles southwest of Bermuda with winds of 65 miles per hour moving north-northwest at 6 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/24/2019 AT 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Jerry is located about 260 miles west-southwest of Bermuda with winds of 50 miles per hour moving north at 6 miles per hour. On the forecast track, the center of Jerry is expected to pass near Bermuda on Wednesday. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next few days.

UPDATE 9/25/2019 at 2100 UTC: Jerry has weakened to Post-Tropical Cyclone Jerry located about 45 west of Bermuda with winds of 35 miles per hour moving east-northeast at 12 miles per hour.

Karen

Tropical Storm Karen formed this morning (9/22/2019 at 0900 UTC) located about 100 miles east of Grenada with winds of 40 miles per hour moving west-northwest at 9 miles per hour. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours; however, the forecast track takes Karen over Puerto Rico Tuesday or Wednesday. (Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria two years ago.)

UPDATE 9/22/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Karen is located about 85 miles northwest of Grenada with winds of 40 miles per hour moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/23/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Karen is located about 135 miles south-southwest of St. Croix with winds of 35 miles per hour moving north-northwest at 13 miles per hour. On the forecast track, the center of Karen will move across the eastern Caribbean Sea this evening, and pass near or over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands late tonight or Tuesday morning. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.

UPDATE 9/24/2019 AT 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Karen is located about 35 miles southeast of San Juan Puerto Rico with winds of 45 miles per hour moving north at 8 miles per hour. The center of Karen will pass near or over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands during the next few hours. Slow strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days.

UPDATE 9/25/2019 AT 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Karen is located about 330 miles north-northeast of San Juan Puerto Rico with winds of 40 miles per hour moving north-northeast at 14 miles per hour. Karen is expected to slow down and make a clockwise loop over the southwestern Atlantic into the weekend.

UPDATE 9/26/2019 AT 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Karen is located about 370 miles south-southeast of Bermuda with winds of 45 miles per hour moving north-northeast at 12 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/27/2019 at 2100 UTC: Karen weakened to a surface trough located about 425 mile east-southeast of Bermuda with winds of 35 miles per hour and moving northeast at 6 miles per hour.

Lorenzo

Tropical Storm Lorenzo formed this morning (9/23/2019 at 1500 UTC) about 255 miles south of Cabo Verde Islands with winds of 40 miles per hour moving west at 18 miles per hour. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Lorenzo is expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday.

UPDATE 9/23/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Lorenzo is located about 255 miles south-southwest of Cabo Verde Islands with winds of 45 miles per hour moving west at 16 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/24/2019 AT 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Lorenzo is located about 465 miles west-southwest of Cabo Verde Islands with winds of 65 miles per hour moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/25/2019 at 2100 UTC: This morning Lorenzo strengthened into the 5th Atlantic Hurricane. Hurricane Lorenzo is located about 835 miles west of Cabo Verde Islands with winds of 90 miles per hour (Category 1) moving west-northwest at 18 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/26/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Lorenzo is located about 1095 miles west of Cabo Verde Islands with winds of 140 miles per hour (Category 4) moving northwest at 12 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/27/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Lorenzo is located about 1575 miles southwest of the Azores with winds of 125 miles per hour (Category 3) moving north-northwest at 12 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/28/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Lorenzo is located about 1470 miles southwest of the Azores with winds of 130 miles per hour (Category 4) moving north at 10 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/29/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Lorenzo is located about 1260 miles southwest of the Azores with winds of 115 miles per hour (Category 3) moving north-northeast at 15 miles per hour.

UPDATE 9/30/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Lorenzo is located about 990 miles west-southwest of the Azores with winds of 105 miles per hour (Category 2) moving north-northeast at 15 miles per hour.

UPDATE 10/01/2019 at 2100 UTC: Hurricane Lorenzo is located about 285 miles southwest of Flores Island, Western Azores with winds of 100 miles per hour (Category 2) moving northeast at 29 miles per hour.

UPDATE 10/02/2019 at 1500 UTC: Lorenzo is now a post-tropical cyclone. Post-Tropical Cyclone Lorenzo is located about 945 miles west-southwest of Cork Ireland with winds of 80 miles per hour moving northeast at 43 miles per hour.

Melissa

Subtropical Storm Melissa formed this morning (10/11/2019 at 1500 UTC) off the coast of New England. The storm is located about 190 miles south of Nantucket Massachusetts with winds of 65 miles per hour moving south-southwest at 3 miles per hour.

UPDATE 10/11/2019 at 2100 UTC: Subtropical Storm Melissa is located about 210 miles south of Nantucket Massachusetts with winds of 60 miles per hour moving south-southeast at 3 miles per hour.

UPDATE 10/12/2019 at 2100 UTC: Melissa transitioned to Tropical Storm. Tropical Storm Melissa is located about 305 miles southeast of Nantucket Massachusetts with winds of 50 miles per hour moving east-northeast at 12 miles per hour.

UPDATE 10/13/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Melissa is located about 405 miles southeast of Halifax Nova Scotia with winds of 40 miles per hour moving east-northeast at 18 miles per hour.

UPDATE 10/14/2019 at 1500 UTC: Melissa weakened to Post-Tropical Storm. Melissa is located about 405 miles south-southeast of Cape Race Newfoundland with winds of 40 miles per hour moving east at 23 miles per hour.

Nestor

Tropical Storm Nestor formed in the Gulf of Mexico this afternoon (10/18/2019 at 2100 UTC). Nestor is located about 150 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, or 280 miles southwest of Panama City, Florida, with winds of 60 miles per hour and moving northeast at 22 miles per hour.

UPDATE 10/19/2019 at 2100 UTC: Post-Tropical Cyclone Nestor is located about 70 miles northeast of Apalachicola Florida with winds of 40 miles per hour moving northeast at 23 miles per hour.

Olga

Tropical Storm Olga formed (10/25/2019 at 2100 UTC) about 260 miles south of Lake Charles Louisiana with winds of 40 miles per hour moving north-northeast at 18 miles per hour.

UPDATE 10/25/2019 at 0300 UTC: Post-Tropical Cyclone Olga is located about 170 miles south-southeast of Lake Charles Louisiana with winds of 50 miles per hour moving northeast at 17 miles per hour.

Pablo

Tropical Storm Pablo formed (10/25/2019 at 2100 UTC) about 325 miles west-southwest of the Azores with winds of 115 miles per hour moving east-southeast at 10 miles per hour.

UPDATE 10/26/2019 at 2100 UTC: Tropical Storm Pablo is located about 55 miles south-southwest of Santa Maria Island in the Azores with winds of 60 miles per hour moving northeast at 25 miles per hour.

Rebekah

Subtropical Storm Rebekah formed (10/30/2019 at 2100 UTC) about 745 miles of west of the Azores with winds of 45 miles per hour moving east at 13 miles per hour.

UPDATE 10/31/2019 at 2100 UTC: Subtropical Storm Rebekah is located 405 miles northwest of the Azores with winds of 45 miles per hour moving east at 20 miles per hour.

UPDATE 11/1/2019 at 0900 UTC: Post-Tropical Storm Rebekah becomes a remnant. Rebekah is located about 140 miles north of Faial Island in the central Azores with winds of 35 miles per hour moving east at 20 miles per hour.

The Amazon Rain Forest Is On Fire

There have been more than 72,000 fire outbreaks in Brazil so far this year, up 84% on the same period in 2018, according to the country’s National Institute for Space Research. More than half were in the Amazon. It followed reports that farmers were feeling emboldened to clear land for crop fields and cattle ranches because the new Brazilian government was keen to open up the region to economic activity. The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, instead accused environmental groups of starting fires.

Source: The Guardian

A lot of people took to social media to discuss this developing situation: the Amazon burns every year during the dry season, but this year there are 84% more fires! They are still trying to gain perspective.

African savannas are also burning; they’ve adapted to fires, but humans don’t help. It was reported (can’t see it in the map) that Siberia was on fire since May.

The truly disturbing part about the Amazon is the blantant disregard of the global environment for small, economic gains. Fires are having an impact, and it’s getting worse every year.