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Thailand cave: Rescuers in race against weather as rains close in

Thailand cave: Rescuers in race against weather as rains close in

World
Rescuers in Thailand are racing against the rains to free 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.A deluge is expected to hit in a matter of days and could force the water level up, threatening to flood the pocket where the group has taken refuge.The boys, aged 11-16, and their coach have been trapped since 23 June.They are believed to have entered the cave when it was dry, before sudden heavy rains blocked the exit.The group was found on Monday night by two British rescuer divers, on a rock shelf about 4km (2.5 miles) from the mouth of the cave. What are the rescue options? Community of hope springs up outside cave The region of Chiang Rai where the boys are trapped has for the past few days experi...
New US weather satellite can't keep cool, could hurt photos

New US weather satellite can't keep cool, could hurt photos

Technology
The nation's newest weather satellite, launched less than three months ago, has a serious cooling problem that could affect the quality of its pictures. The trouble is with the GOES-17 satellite's premier instrument for taking images of hurricanes, wildfires, volcanic eruptions and other natural calamities, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday. The imager's infrared sensors aren't getting properly cooled. Experts are scrambling to understand what went wrong and how to fix it. Officials expect it will take at least a few months to figure out. "As you can imagine, doing this remotely from 22,000 miles below only looking at the on-orbit data is a challenge," said Steve Volz, head of NOAA's satellite and information service. NOAA stresses that three other GOES s...
NASA launches advanced weather satellite for western US

NASA launches advanced weather satellite for western US

Technology
NASA launched another of the world's most advanced weather satellites on Thursday, this time to safeguard the western U.S. The GOES-S satellite thundered toward orbit aboard an Atlas V rocket, slicing through a hazy late afternoon sky. Dozens of meteorologists gathered for the launch, including TV crews from the Weather Channel and WeatherNation. GOES-S is the second satellite in an approximately $ 11 billion effort that's already revolutionizing forecasting with astonishingly fast, crisp images of hurricanes, wildfires, floods, mudslides and other natural calamities. The first spacecraft in the series, GOES-16, has been monitoring the Atlantic and East Coast for the past year for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . The same first-class service is now coming to the Pacifi...
Changes in jet stream since 1960 responsible for uptick in extreme weather

Changes in jet stream since 1960 responsible for uptick in extreme weather

Science
Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Scientists have identified a link between jet stream variability during the last half-century and increases in extreme weather in Europe, including storms, flooding, drought, heatwaves and wildfires.Using tree rings from the British Isles and Mediterranean, scientists at the University of Arizona sussed out late-summer weather patterns across Western Europe going back nearly three centuries, to 1725."We find that the position of the North Atlantic Jet in summer has been a strong driver of climate extremes in Europe for the last 300 years," Valerie Trouet, a scientist at Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, said in a news release.The work of Trouet and her colleagues helped provide context for modern observations of the jet stream's seasonal patterns. Their data -- p...
US hits record for costly weather disasters: $306 billion

US hits record for costly weather disasters: $306 billion

Technology
With three strong hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought, the United States tallied a record high bill last year for weather disasters: $ 306 billion. The U.S. had 16 disasters last year with damage exceeding a billion dollars, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. That ties 2011 for the number of billion-dollar disasters, but the total cost blew past the previous record of $ 215 billion in 2005. Costs are adjusted for inflation and NOAA keeps track of billion-dollar weather disasters going back to 1980. Three of the five most expensive hurricanes in U.S. history hit last year. Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive flooding in Texas, cost $ 125 billion, second only to 2005's Katrina, while Maria's damage in Puerto Rico cost $ 90 billion, r...