Currently — August 19th, 2022

The weather, currently.

Severe thunderstorms traveled more than 800 km (500 mi) across southern Europe on Thursday, bringing very high winds and lightning.

The storms were especially damaging on the French island of Corsica, where wind speeds were measured as high as 224 kph (139 mph), causing widespread destruction and severe injuries. Italy, Austria, and Czechia were also affected.

Water temperatures in the Mediterranean Sea are far above normal right now, consistent with a long-term rise in regional temperatures due to climate change. Warm water temperatures provide fuel for thunderstorms by increasing the available atmospheric potential energy and water content of the air.

-Eric Holthaus

What you need to know, currently.

Pets, according to a new study in PLOS Climate, are often overlooked victims in natural disasters. Researchers looked at data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Shelter Animals Count (SAC) and found that the number of dogs and cats in shelters was still significantly higher up to a year after a major natural disaster, like hurricanes and wildfires.

Failure to account for pets in emergency management plans may endanger humans as well. According to the study, during Hurricane Irene pet owners evacuated at a lower rate than those who did not own pets — of pet owners who didn’t evacuate, 51 percent said they were unable to find adequate shelter for their pets.