Weather

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. Here are the facts: A photo of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in front of a green screen was taken in Kyiv for a virtual conference address, not outside of the country. A video claiming to show a Russian missile was created using visual effects. A man who was charged with child pornography didn’t work for Drag Queen Story Hour. A video shows dead sheep in the country of Georgia, not Idaho. And an image purporting to show a headline from The Atlantic about “Biden’s bike fall” is fabricated.

Summer swelter: Persistent heat wave breaks records, spirits

A heat wave that's already lasted more than a week keeps on baking the US, Asia and even the Arctic. At least nine US states Thursday hit 100 degrees, that's after 12 did that on Wednesday. Records keep falling. A city in the Russian Arctic hit nearly 90 degrees. This early summer heat wave looks and feels more like August. Scientists say it has all the hallmarks of climate change. In Macon, Georgia, the temperature ramped from 64 to 105 degrees on Wednesday and then hit 104, a further record, on Thursday.

Owners of candle factory damaged in tornado plan expansion

The company that operated a Kentucky candle factory leveled by a deadly tornado last winter is planning to ramp up production. Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday that Mayfield Consumer Products plans a $33 million investment at a nearby plant. It plans to employ more than 500 people full time in the next five years at its factory in Hickory. Its plant in Mayfield, Kentucky, took a direct hit from a tornado that devastated the town last December. Beshear touted the economic development news without mentioning workplace citations against the company. State officials recently cited the company for alleged violations of occupational safety and health laws.

Lightning strike kills woman, 2 dogs in Southern California

Authorities in Los Angeles County say a woman and two dogs found dead on a path were struck by lightning. A sheriff's official says the bodies were found Wednesday morning along the San Gabriel River in Pico Rivera. Thunderstorms with lightning and downpours began rumbling across Southern California before dawn as a low-pressure system off the coast pulls monsoonal moisture into the region. The National Weather Service says the weather will become calmer on Thursday and then return to more typical June conditions.

Nursing home owner whose residents suffered in Ida arrested

The owner of seven Louisiana nursing homes whose residents suffered in squalid conditions after being evacuated to a warehouse for Hurricane Ida has been arrested. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry says 68-year-old Bob Glynn Dean Jr. faces multiple counts of cruelty to persons with infirmities, Medicaid fraud, and obstruction of justice. Dean's lawyer said Dean surrendered to authorities in Tangipahoa Parish on Wednesday and was to be released on $350,000 bond. In a news release, Landry says Dean billed Medicaid for dates his residents were not receiving proper care at the warehouse and engaged in conduct intended to intimidate or obstruct public health officials and law enforcement.

Crowds flock to Yellowstone as park reopens after floods

Throngs of tourists have gleefully returned to watch geysers erupt and bison cross roads at Yellowstone National Park as it partially reopens following destructive floods. Park managers raised the gates Wednesday at three of Yellowstone’s five entrances for the first time since June 13. That day, 10,000 visitors were ordered out after rivers across northern Wyoming and southern Montana surged over their banks following a torrent of rainfall that accelerated the spring snowmelt. The cost and scope of the damage is still being assessed.

Massive New Mexico blaze blamed on miscalculations, errors

U.S. Forest Service employees made multiple miscalculations, used inaccurate models and underestimated how dry conditions were, causing a planned burn to reduce the threat of wildfires to turn into the largest blaze in New Mexico's recorded history. The agency on Tuesday released the findings of an investigation into a fire that ultimately displaced thousands of people and destroyed hundreds of homes. It also forced a pause on the agency's prescribed fire operations nationwide. Anger and frustration have been simmering among residents and elected officials. The blaze has charred more than 533 square miles, and forecasters are warning of post-fire flooding threats amid summer rains.

Clarification: Yellowstone-National-Park-Flooding story

In a story published June 18, 2022, The Associated Press reported that Yellowstone National Park was already due to receive funding from the Great American Outdoors Act, a 2020 law passed by Congress that authorizes nearly $3 billion for maintenance and other projects on public lands. The story should have made clear that national parks and other public lands will receive a similar amount yearly for five years.

Yellowstone Park aims for quick reopening after floods

Federal officials say most of Yellowstone National Park should reopen within the next two weeks. Record floods pounded the region last week and knocked out major roads. Yellowstone's superintendent said the park will be able to accommodate fewer visitors for the time being, and it will take many months to re-connect the world-renowned park's roads with some southern Montana communities. Yellowstone will partially reopen at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Only portions of the park that can be accessed along its “southern loop” of roads will be opened initially and access to the park’s scenic backcountry will be for day hikers only. Within two weeks officials plan to also open the northern loop.

Montana governor under fire for vacationing during flood

Montana's governor was not in Montana — or in the U.S. at all — when punishing floods hit Yellowstone National Park and communities on its fringes this week. He was in Italy. But Republican Greg Gianforte's office didn't tell his constituents that for days. Now Gianforte is back in Montana and under fire for not hurrying home more quickly and for keeping the public in the dark as to his whereabouts. In Gianforte's defense, his office says he was briefed regularly about the flooding. The floods washed away roads, bridges and houses and closed all of Yellowstone, threatening some of the communities on the park’s outskirts that depend heavily on tourists visiting one of America’s most beloved natural attractions.

From dry to deluge, how heavy snow, rain flooded Yellowstone

A culmination of unique events led to the recent extensive flooding in the Yellowstone region. Water quickly rose in an area that was in an extended drought, forcing officials to race to save homes, roads and towns. Mountain snow accumulated in the late spring. During a warm stretch, rain fell and melted snowpack, causing a tremendous amount of water to flow down the mountains. The resulting flood raged higher and faster than the rare benchmark 500-year storm. La Nina conditions occur when parts of the Pacific cool and while those conditions keep the Southwest dry, they can lead to more rain and snow in the Northwest. It is another extreme weather event in a warming world.

EF-2 tornado in Monroe Co. traveled about 21 miles, damaged multiple structures

Jamie and Jamin Raiten live on Grosbeak Avenue in Byron. During the EF-2 tornado that struck late Wednesday afternoon, the home they’re renting was severely damaged. “I could feel the house rattling a little bit,” said Jamie Raiten. “The lights, chandeliers and stuff were shaking,” she added. The Raiten family spent most of Thursday clearing out their yard from debris….

Warm, dry, breezy weather to challenge fire crews in Arizona

Crews battling a pair of wildfires in northern Arizona were expecting some growth Thursday because of warm, dry and breezy weather. Both blazes were moving through grass, brush and pine trees on the northern outskirts of Flagstaff. The larger fire has burned more than 38 square miles and was 27% contained Thursday. A smaller fire is burning in the same region. The forecast calls for chances of showers and thunderstorms starting Friday and through the weekend, which could help suppress the wildfires. Flooding and dry lightning are also concerns. The largest wildfire in the U.S. is burning in northern New Mexico.

Gateway towns to Yellowstone become dead ends after flood

Businesses in some of the gateway towns leading to Yellowstone National Park are worried about the coming weeks and months after severe flooding closed the park. Officials say the park’s southern part, which features Old Faithful, could reopen as soon as next week. But the north end, which includes Tower Fall and the bears and wolves of Lamar Valley, could stay closed much longer, perhaps the rest of the summer. Towns like Red Lodge, Montana, are both cleaning up from the flood and figuring out how they'll make ends meet without a steady stream of tourists.