Articles by Seth Borenstein and Carla K. Johnson

‘Uncertainty Is the Only Certainty’ When it Comes to Pandemic Modeling

A statistical model cited by the White House generated a slightly less grim figure Monday for a first wave of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. – a projection designed to help officials plan for the worst, including …

Study Finds El Niños Getting Stronger

Climate change is making stronger El Niños, which change weather worldwide and heat up an already warming planet, a new study finds. Scientists examined 33 El Niños—natural warming of equatorial Pacific that triggers weather extremes across the globe—since 1901. They …

Hurricane Activity Could Pick Up as El Nino Fades, Say Forecasters

Government meteorologists say this year’s hurricane season may be busier than initially expected now that summer’s weak El Nino has faded away. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center said Thursday the Atlantic season looks more active than …

Deadly Alabama Tornado Highlights Human Safety Risk Despite Improved Forecasting

Sometimes in forecasting tornadoes, you can get everything technically right, and yet it all goes horribly wrong. Three days before the killer Alabama tornado struck, government severe-storm meteorologists cautioned that conditions could be ripe for twisters in the Southeast March …

Improved Tornado Forecasting Doesn’t Prevent All Deaths

Sometimes in forecasting tornadoes, you can get everything technically right, and yet it all goes horribly wrong. Three days before the killer Alabama tornado struck, government severe-storm meteorologists cautioned that conditions could be ripe for twisters in the Southeast on …

Despite Improved Tornado Forecasting, Deaths Continue

Sometimes in forecasting tornadoes, you can get everything technically right, and yet it all goes horribly wrong. Three days before the killer Alabama tornado struck, government severe-storm meteorologists cautioned that conditions could be ripe for twisters in the Southeast on …

Report by 13 U.S. Agencies Warns of Dire Economic Effects from Climate Change

As California’s catastrophic wildfires recede and people rebuild after two hurricanes, a massive new federal report warns that these types of disasters are worsening in the United States because of global warming. The White House report quietly issued Friday also …

Researchers: Houston Skyscrapers Slowed Hurricane Harvey, Causing More Rain

Humans helped make recent devastating U.S. hurricanes wetter but in different ways, two new studies find. Hurricane Harvey snagged on the skyscrapers of Houston, causing it to slow and dump more rain than it normally would, one study found. The …

U.S. Agencies Split Over Cell Phone Cancer Risk

Two U.S. government agencies are giving conflicting interpretations of a safety study on cell phone radiation: One says it causes cancer in rats. The other says there’s no reason for people to worry. No new research was issued but last …

As Tornadoes Shift Eastward, Scientists Explore Why

Over the past few decades tornadoes have been shifting — decreasing in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas but spinning up more in states along the Mississippi River and farther east, a new study shows. Scientists aren’t quite certain why. Tornado activity …