Map 225 is weather related again (because climate change is a real, very serious thing). This one comes from FiveThirtyEight and shows a well-traveled stretch of sea in the Atlantic. Apparently, hurricanes and tropical storms often follow the same path from across the ocean toward the many tropical islands of the Caribbean and the Southeastern coast of the United States. Each line is a different storm where the thickness and color represent the strength. The darker and thicker lines are stronger storms. Hurricane Irma was a Category 4 storm as of early this morning.
Obviously Texas and Louisiana are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in mid-August (and will be recovering for the next year or two) and now Florida is in the direct path of Hurricane Irma as it heads West-Northwest from the coast of Africa. Irma features 185+ mile-per-hour winds and constant bands of torrential downpours (both of which cause giant storm surges when the storm crosses land). Many island nations and territories have already been crushed by this increasingly strong storm and it’s going to absolutely devastate Miami and possibly Tampa Bay next.
Why are people still denying that climate change is real and incredibly dangerous? This map doesn’t aim to prove that, of course, but a lot of what I’ve read lately regarding the severity of this year’s hurricane season points to warmer waters causing stronger storms. Harvey, and now Irma, have traveled this very familiar path through the ocean in warmer-than-usual waters that have fueled and increased their ratings rapidly (which is why Harvey only got stronger as it made landfall instead of getting weaker as hurricanes usually do). Harvey dumped nine trillion gallons of water on Houston and Southeast Texas and Irma is even stronger (the strongest Atlantic Hurricane on record). Climate change is real! The sooner everyone admits it, the sooner we can all work together to make a positive difference in our planet’s future.
The source articles at FiveThirtyEight and the Washington Post that helped inform this map also include several other excellent maps so I recommend checking them out when you’re done reading all of my posts (yes, all of them). Here’s another link from CNN that also has great maps.
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Map 226 was on Mount Rainier National Park’s Facebook page as part of a press release regarding wild fires in the area (yes, I follow several National Parks on Facebook because I like nature photos). Approximately seventy square miles of land in Washington have been overcome by wildfire which has resulted in the National Park Service closing part of the Mount Rainier Park for the foreseeable future. The map shows which portions of the backcountry (pink) and roads (red) are closed. Take a look.
I visited Mount Rainier with my family when I was twelve or so. I hope that everyone out there visiting currently is staying safe and that their trips are not completely ruined. It’s a beautiful area and hopefully it isn’t too badly damaged by these fires. I’ve seen many an acre of fire-damaged land in Yellowstone and, although I know it’s a natural way of life for forests, it does put a damper on otherwise gorgeous landscapes.
Wow! This edition of Fun with Maps was a real downer. In order to turn it around just a little bit, here are some recent pictures of my adorable, now one-year-old son, James. He’s a giggle monster and has just started to walk with assistance (either holding our hands or pushing a toy with wheels). Enjoy!
Until next time,
Bonus Map Link: Delta Airlines Flight Escapes Hurricane Irma
Bonus Bonus Map Link: FEMA Flood Data Post-Harvey