Leah McElrath Profile picture
Sep 10, 2018 18 tweets 12 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Many focus on hurricane wind speed and eye placement - which are important - but most hurricane-related deaths occur from storm surge and inland flooding.

#Florence is projected to hit land as a major hurricane and then SIT. It’s a worst-case flooding scenario similar to Harvey.
The most dangerous side of a hurricane is the “dirty” side, aka the one subjected to the most rainfall.

North of the equator, that is the NE side of a hurricane.

Because of these storms’ counterclockwise rotation, moisture from the ocean is cycled onto land as rain.
With #Florence, models of its size and potential placement show the storm to have a “dirty” side that encompasses DC, major military installations on the Virginia coast, and the entire Chesapeake Bay region.

It extends well all the way up the highly-populated New Jersey coast.
#Florence isn’t just another hurricane. It is poised to become a major threat to critical infrastructure and even national security.

Potentially historic flooding affecting power, major highways (including the I-95 corridor), access to food and water for millions of people, etc.
Please don’t @ me with any more jokes. I know dark humor is a coping mechanism, but this is not a funny situation.

People are going to die. Infrastructure sustaining millions of people is likely to be destroyed and will take an unknowable amount of time to be restored.
If the potential infrastructure damage and loss of life from #Florence doesn’t raise alarms, consider how Trump and the opportunistic GOP might use a catastrophe such as this to consolidate power.

Midterms are two months away.
I talked above about how the NE side is the “dirty” side of a hurricane (one above the equator).

Check out the right, upper quadrant below:’

See all the red/orange on the right side of the model below?

That’s projected wind bringing moisture in the form of rain onto land.

Now imagine it making landfall and sitting in place for days: possibly multiple FEET of rain.

#Florence is a HUGE storm.
I didn’t anticipate spending the final third of my life defending democracy and being a hurricane educator. But here we are.

Charleston, SC, to upper NJ, needs to prepare to be possibly without water, food, or power for at least a week and far longer for immediate coastal areas.
As I said, #Florence is a HUGE storm. And two *additional* storms are chasing its tail.

This is #HurricaneFlorence as seen from space. Note its size in comparison to the curvature of planet Earth:


#Florence was just declared a Category 4 hurricane.


h/t @EricHolthaus
#Florence potentially the strongest storm to hit the mid-Atlantic in 60 years.

But, again: inland and coastal *flooding* from #HurricaneFlorence is not category dependent and potentially threatens the DC area, the entire Chesapeake Basin, and even NJ.

U.S. military repositioning ships and submarines in advance of #Florence:

h/t @hlessig and @steffanwatkins

#Florence from today’s satellite images, followed in the Atlantic by named storms #Isaac and #Helene:

If you’re wondering what these #Florence imagery phenomena are, they’re called “convective outbursts” and indicate a very healthy storm.
#HurricaneFlorence is not likely to dissipate before landfall.

P.S. “Convective Outburst” would be a great band name.)
Areas that will be affected by #Florence have already had above-normal rainfall for the past two months.

That means the ground is saturated, which increases coastal and inland flooding risks.

Saturated ground also leads to more tree falls, which lead to more power outages.
Flooding risk for Washington, DC, area is high.

Also, due to ground saturation, tree-fall risk and resulting damage, road blockages, and power outages are also high.


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More from @leahmcelrath

Oct 9, 2018
There is still disinfo and agit prop going on (which @attackerman and @kpoulsen do a good job putting in context here) but some good news:

“Researchers: No Evidence That Russia Is Messing With Campaign 2018—Yet”


A couple of factors to keep in mind:

Trump has the U.S. bully pulpit now and is doing a better job sowing domestic and international division than Putin could have ever hoped for.

There are more mechanisms in place that would result in retaliation for direct interference.

No matter what the results are on November 6th, I would anticipate there will be a POST-election psy ops effort to try to cast doubt on the outcome and integrity of the electoral process.
Again: I would anticipate that no matter the results. It’s low-hanging fruit for Putin.
Read 4 tweets
Oct 8, 2018
Trump campaign aide Rick Gates sought proposals for social media manipulation (including creation of fake online personas) and opposition intelligence gathering from Psy Group, an Israeli intel firm

(Trump referred to as “the Lion” in proposals 🙄)

(Those of you who’ve followed me a long time know I have speculated in the past about Israeli versus/in addition to Russian involvement in the social media psy-ops during the 2016 election. Remember all those hashtag “MAGA” troll/bot accounts that had hashtag “StandWithIsrael”?)
Helluva kicker on this story:
Read 10 tweets
Oct 7, 2018
@RadioFreeTom Similar to Trump admin stripping immigrant children from parents: the message is “we can and will target anyone.”

@JKhashoggi didn’t identify as a “dissident,” was supportive of the monarchy, and only sought reform.

MBS apparently believes Trump and Bibi will turn a blind eye.
@RadioFreeTom @JKhashoggi (And MBS is likely correct he will do this with impunity. The context, of course, is the recent imprisonment of numerous female human rights advocates and charging them with serious crimes, seeking the death penalty for at least one - all without meaningful U.S. response.)
@RadioFreeTom @JKhashoggi It’s a horrific but efficient tactic in terms of political economy:

Target one low/non-threat critic to silence all criticism.
Read 7 tweets
Oct 6, 2018
.@JKhashoggi was an journalist with the @washingtonpost.

He entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, went missing, and is now reported to have been killed inside the consulate.
Thread with more information and context on the reported but UNCONFIRMED assassination of @washingtonpost journalist @JKhashoggi

If news re @JKhashoggi proves true, his assassination is an dramatic expansion of Saudi Arabia’s already Draconian war on dissent.

If MBS gets away w doing this w impunity (meaning Trump/Bibi turn a blind eye), some others in the region will follow suit.
Read 6 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
I hope @SenatorCollins is proud of doing her part to promote rape culture.

Just read these (TW for sexual violence survivors):
And more, @SenatorCollins.

You actively promoted rape culture today.

Read 4 tweets

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