124 news posts related to Natural Hazards

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UW scientist to lead NASA field study of East Coast snowstorms

Lynn McMurdie

Snowstorms can wreak havoc across the United States, but especially on the East Coast. Snow is the least-understood form of precipitation, with major snowstorms among the most difficult weather events to forecast. Yet people rely on these forecasts to stay safe, plan travel routes and decide whether to close schools or businesses. To better understand large, disruptive snowstorms, a University of Washington atmospheric scientist will lead a NASA field campaign this winter to fly through major snowstorms along the East Coast. 

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Better wildfire and smoke predictions with new vegetation database

trees

It’s hard to find a place in the U.S. that isn’t impacted by wildfires and smoke. Dry landscapes, warmer temperatures and more development near forested areas all contribute to massive wildfires across North America each year. Smoke and haze from these fires can travel hundreds of miles from their source, affecting the health and wellbeing of communities across the U.S. Given these impacts, scientists rely on models that try to predict the severity of wildfires and smoke. 

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World Tsunami Awareness Day: what are the risks and how can we prepare?

The coast of the Pacific Northwest from space.

In the depths of the Pacific Ocean, just off the upper West Coast of the United States, a collision between an unstoppable force and an immovable object has been gathering energy for hundreds of years. The Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ), where the Juan de Fuca and North American tectonic plates meet, must release this pent up energy eventually in an event many refer to as “the really big one”. 

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USGS awards $10.4M to ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system in the Pacific Northwest

Field engineers Karl Hagel and Pat McChesney with Mount Hood in the distance.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) today announced $10.4 million in funding to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN), based at University of Washington, to support the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system. Some $7.3 million of the funding will go to the UW. The PNSN is responsible for monitoring earthquakes and volcanoes in Washington and Oregon. It is a partnership between the University of Washington, the University of Oregon and the USGS. 

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What does the 2019 fire season look like for Washington? UW experts weigh in

Wildfire season is already upon us. In 2018, roughly 1700 fires occurred in Washington, burning 500,000 acres of forested land and immediately affecting thousands of people in rural communities. Wildfires have a larger, regional impact too – long term exposure to smoke can increase the risk of heart and lung disease, as well as increase sensitivity to asthma. So what’s in store for Washington this year as the 2019 wildfire season gets underway? 

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