Warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico raise alarm as US storm season approaches

Warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico raise alarm as US storm season approaches

On Easter Sunday, dozens of tornadoes tore across Southeastern US, killing more than 30 people. The deadly cluster of storms coincided with waters in the Gulf of Mexico that were three degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the long-term average.

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Adam Wernick

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Hurricane Michael in 2018. Warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico helped turn the hurricane from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm in just 24 hours.

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NASA/Joshua Stevens

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As storm season begins in the southeastern US, scientists are casting a wary eye on the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Science links above-average sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico to larger tornado clusters and supercharged hurricanes in the southern and southeastern United States. The tornadoes that hit the southeastern US on Easter Sunday, resulting in over 30 deaths, came as water in the Gulf of Mexico was running three degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the long-term average.

Tornado season in the US generally runs from March through June and hurricane season follows right on its heels. Warm waters in the Gulf provide “a basic fuel” to these massive storms, explains atmospheric scientist Kevin Trenberth, a distinguished scholar at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research and a faculty affiliate with the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

RelatedWarming ocean waters turned Hurricane Michael into a superstorm

“Warm, moist air wants to rise, and as it rises, the moisture condenses [and] creates extra heating — we call it latent heating — in the atmosphere,” Trenberth says. “All of this convection in the atmosphere moves heat from lower levels into the upper part of the atmosphere and then it gets transported by the jet stream and the circulation to other parts of the world. Some of it can actually radiate to space. [Storms are] one way the atmosphere responds.”

Different types of atmospheric disturbances tap into this heat, but essentially “they’re all trying to move the heat away, in some sense,” Trenberth explains. “It depends quite a bit on the nature of the disturbances — whether there are a lot of, say, individual thunderstorms, or whether there are these larger supercell complexes that can indeed trigger major tornado outbreaks.”

In 2017, similarly warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico led to disastrous consequences, as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria all caused massive destruction. In 2018, one of the hotspots in the global ocean was off the east coast of the Carolinas, Trenberth notes. Hurricane Florence developed in this area, producing 30-40 inches of rain and catastrophic flooding.

RelatedScientists pinpoint link between climate change and Hurricane Harvey’s record rainfall

A lot can happen between now and the start of hurricane season to change the current conditions in the Gulf, but if storms moving toward the US encounter the right environment, they could again become exceedingly dangerous.

Trenberth says the lack of preparedness for the novel coronavirus that he is seeing in the US and around the world is “really dismaying,” and has a parallel in the realm of storm preparedness.

“The big warning sign was in 2005, with Katrina, Wilma and Rita. … The concern was certainly there. What has been disappointing, from my standpoint, is how little preparedness seems to have developed.”

Kevin Trenberth

“The big warning sign was in 2005, with Katrina, Wilma and Rita — all these Category 5 storms that occurred then,” he says. “I went to some meetings, which had heads of states of some of the islands in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico…and, correctly, they were very concerned about two things: the rise in sea level, and stronger hurricanes. So, the concern was certainly there. What has been disappointing, from my standpoint, is how little preparedness seems to have developed.”

Hurricane Harvey in 2017 highlighted this problem, Trenberth points out: “The total lack of adequate drainage systems, building in wrong places and building structures that weren’t prepared in Southern Texas,” he says. “The lack of preparedness in Puerto Rico was astounding, appalling. … The warnings have been there. Why isn’t there more effort to prepare for the sort of thing scientists have more or less guaranteed, but can’t say exactly when?”

“Once global warming is here with us, no vaccine is going to be developed that will make it go away.”

This is the paradigm for global warming, Trenberth warns. Global warming is coming, but there is one crucial difference between global warming and a deadly virus like COVID-19. Unlike a virus, for which we can ultimately develop a vaccine, “once global warming is here with us, no vaccine is going to be developed that will make it go away.”

“So, I think this is a warning sign,” Trenberth says, “and I certainly hope the governments around the world and the peoples around the world can take account of that.”

This article is based on an interview by Steve Curwood that aired on Living on Earth from PRX.

Lil Baby – All Of A Sudden (feat. Moneybagg Yo)

[Intro: Moneybagg Yo]
Ugh ugh ugh
Fed shit
Ayy, gangster shit only nigga
Lil Baby what’s poppin’?
DMac got me too bangin’
All four of my pockets full now

[Chorus: Moneybagg Yo & Lil Baby]
I can’t be totin’ no handguns (Glock)
Unless that bitch come with a thirty (with a thirty)
I can’t be fuckin’ these dog hoes
Unless that bitch come with a buddy (with a friend)
I can’t be drivin’ no regular cars (skrt)
That bitch gotta come with a button (a button)
I was broke like a while back
Now I’m up all of a sudden
I can’t be rappin’ for free, they gotta send me the budget (send me that)
I can’t be fuckin’ these hoes raw, I had to slip on a rubber (slip in that)
I can’t be rockin’ no plain jane, both of my watches be flooded
I can’t be drinkin’ on regular soda, all of my cups be muddy
I just came home with nothin’ (woo)
Now I’m up all of a sudden (hey)
Now I’m up all of a sudden (hey)
Now I’m up all of a sudden (hey, hey)

[Verse 1: Lil Baby]
Moneybagg, Moneybagg (fuck with it)
I’m in the booth with a money bag
Here go the bricks, where the money at?
Give me a load, I ain’t comin’ back
I make ’em shoot where your stomach at
We gon’ pull up where your mama at
Runnin’ through hoes like a running back
We can fuck but you can’t call this number back
If you knew better, baby you’d do better
I got plenty hoes, call me Hugh Hefner
I’m with MoneyBagg, we went four federal
Four Pockets, Bread Gang, who better?

[Chorus: MoneyBagg Yo & Lil Baby]
I can’t be totin’ no handguns
Unless that bitch come with a thirty
I can’t be fuckin’ these dog hoes
Unless that bitch come with a buddy
I can’t be drivin’ no regular cars
That bitch gotta come with a button
I was broke like a while back
Now I’m up all of the sudden
I can’t be rappin’ for free, they gotta send me the budget
I can’t be fuckin’ these hoes raw, I had to slip on a rubber
I can’t be rockin’ no plain jane, both of my watches be flooded
I can’t be drinkin’ on regular soda, all of my cups be muddy

[Verse 2: MoneyBagg Yo]
If I said fuck you I meant that
I’m whippin’ this coupe, I ain’t rent that
The shit that you savin’, I spent that
And if you want smoke you can get that
I just want proof of the backend
Any time I fuck her I hit from the back end
I’m pullin’ her hair while I dig in her
She like hold up baby, keep my tracts in
I can’t hit that bitch raw, got a glove on me
I’m in the trap with the drugs one me
I just went bonkers all up, exclusive gang
Fly as fuck like a dove on me
Diamonds wet like a tub on me
Hurricane Harvey, flood on me
Left the spot with a dub on me
Walk in the spot, bitches tug on me

[Chorus: MoneyBagg Yo & Lil Baby]
I can’t be totin’ no handguns
Unless that bitch come with a thirty
I can’t be fuckin’ these dog hoes
Unless that bitch come with a buddy
I can’t be drivin’ no regular cars
That bitch gotta come with a button
I was broke like a while back
Now I’m up all of the sudden
I can’t be rappin’ for free, they gotta send me the budget
I can’t be fuckin’ these hoes raw, I had to slip on a rubber
I can’t be rockin’ no plain jane, both of my watches be flooded
I can’t be drinkin’ on regular soda, all of my kush be muddy
I just came home with nothin’
Now I’m up all of the sudden
Hey, now I’m up all of the sudden, hey
Now I’m up all of the sudden
I just came home with nothin’
Now I’m up all of the sudden
Hey, now I’m up all of the sudden, hey
Now I’m up all of the sudden

Dreezy – Spar (feat. 6Lack & Kodak Black)

[Intro: Kodak Black]
Aye mayne, I like the depth of this song, ya know what I’m sayin’
Not the death of the song but the D-E-P-T-H of the song
Ya feel me, the complexity and shit
I like the topic
Kodak Black man

[Chorus: 6LACK]
Look my word is bond as fuck
My life is hard enough
They not rewarding us
They disregarding us
And if I go to D.C., I’m tryna spar with Trump
I’m not a politician, just can’t ignore the stuff

[Verse 1: 6LACK]
This really just a free verse, I put my life in reverse
I dug up out my old pain and put it on a t-shirt
So many sides to this shit, not here for the popular shit
Your own people will laugh when you on positive shit
Before I die, I’ma teach, I light a blunt and I preach
Ain’t no facade you can see, that I can only be me
I got a daughter to raise, one day she gon’ be a queen
I’m tryna get shit together, so she can have anything

[Chorus: 6LACK]
My word is bond as fuck
My life is hard enough
They ain’t rewarding us
They disregarding us
And if I go to D.C., I’m tryna spar with Trump
I ain’t a politician, just can’t ignore the stuff

[Verse 2: Dreezy]
I take this life how it come
Got heart but still won’t show love
If I tell people where I’m from, they might think I gotta gun
Got J’s that’s still in the box
No tax or bands on my ones
I took my feelings out this shit and put my trust in my funds
Tat my dead homie on my sleeve
Don’t need glasses, see what I see
Told me at ten, what I wasn’t gon’ be
Nigga ain’t make the league, so we turn to the streets
Cops wanna blast ‘fore they see ya I.D
Might do the race ‘fore a nigga catch me
Damn if it be another R.I.P
It’s a black/white world but I only see green
Killers gettin’ off innocent, when the clip showin’ that he did the shit
Try to talk and they ain’t listenin’ but they’ll point it out if you get ignorant
Fuck with you if you a benefit
That’s why I pay off cash at the dealership
But I got money stashed for the bail and shit
But I’ma write it off, good penmanship
Can’t say we representing when half the office White Supremacist
This can’t be, "Land of the free"
If kneeling might cost your position
I’m supposed to respect the system
They call our brothers, "Sons of bitches"
And when my Unc’ came home from prison
For the same shit y’all tried to turn into a business
Take our culture, our blueprint
Pay the knockoff to come model us
Hurricanes come and swallow us
Opp niggas tryna put the dot on us
We pourin’ Henny, cause we all bottled up
Granny said, "Scratch ya lottos up"
But the bible says it goes full circle
I’ma tryna find me a good purpose

[Chorus: Dreezy]
My word is bond as fuck
My life is hard enough
They not rewarding us
They disregarding us
And if I go to D.C., I’m tryna spar with Trump
I’m not a politician, you can’t ignore the stuff

[Verse 3: Kodak Black]
Ain’t old enough to hit the club to fill my cup with rum
But I can go die in the army or go to war for them
Ain’t old enough for marijuana cigars, spark my blunt
But old enough to spend my life behind bars, that dumb
Totin’ magazines that got me in the articles
When I’m in Washington D.C., I’m doing fraud n’ stuff
Ain’t worried bout Donald Trump
Ain’t worried bout seeing no monuments
These people got weather control
Where the hell you think Hurricane Harvey from?
The weather ain’t got no name
Where the hell you think Hurricane Harvey from?
These people control the rain, these people be diggin’ bunkers up
But they only got 2 more years of slavery to do harm to us

[Outro: Kodak Black]
I feel like Kunta Kinte nigga, I’m the one who fought for us
I was in the clubs in 6th grade, fightin’ the adults and stuff
Feel like Kunta Kinte nigga, I’m the one who fought for us
Ever since the 6th grade nigga, I was the one who fought for us
Ever since the 10th grade nigga, I was the one who fought for us
So I feel like Kunta Kinte nigga, I’m the one who fought for us yeah
I fought for us, nigga I die for us, nigga I risk my life for us
I risk my life for us nigga and I’ll die for us nigga