- US Supreme Court legalises gay marriage
- Ruling tipped to bolster gay marriage cause in Australia
- American same-sex couples race to get married
Before lunch on Friday the United States Supreme Court ruled state bans on same-sex marriages were unconstitutional, enshrining gay marriage into law across America.
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. Justice Kennedy
As Justice Anthony Kennedy read his majority opinion from the bench a crowd outside exploded with joy. Hundreds sang, danced, hugged and wept.
The two huge victories for progressive forces in America’s ongoing culture war seemed too much for some of the conservative field running for the White House. The former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a pastor and presidential hopeful, rejected the ruling outright. “I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat,” he said. President ObamaVerified account
@POTUS 22h22 hours ago
Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else.
“They’ve reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law, that all people should be treated equally,” Obama said in the Rose Garden. Obama said the ruling ends uncertainty for same-sex couples by ending the “patchwork” system of marriage laws in the United States.
Severe Thunderstorm Risk Affects Multiple Regions; Tornadoes Sighted in North Dakota, Serious Flooding on East Coast (FORECAST)
Below you can find details on the forecast, as well as the latest minute-by-minute updates on severe weather, flash flooding, and radar maps of the stormiest areas.
Thunderstorm Forecast: Today/Tonight
- East and South: Scattered severe thunderstorms remain an issue mainly before midnight over parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Deep South. Damaging winds are by far the main threat. Serious flooding is ongoing in parts of Maryland and New Jersey, and heavy rain will continue to affect much of the Northeast from New Jersey northward through the night. This will bring the potential for additional flooding.
- Northern Plains: Severe thunderstorms that ripped through parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota should lose their punch as temperatures cool overnight.
- West: Monsoonal moisture gave rise to some late-day thunderstorms in parts of Arizona and New Mexico. That activity will quiet down during the night. Isolated strong to severe thunderstorms have also popped up over the Sierra Nevada and the interior Northwest, but should also diminish as nighttime temperatures drop. Besides the direct threat of local damaging wind gusts, any thunderstorms that pop up could create erratic winds and produce lightning strikes with little or no rainfall – raising the threat of wildfires.
- Threat Areas: Scattered strong to severe t-storms are possible in parts of the Upper and mid-Mississippi Valleys as another area of low pressure moves southeastward into the region.
- Primary Threats: Large hail and brief high wind gusts.
- Cities: Kansas City | Des Moines | Peoria, Illinois
(MAPS: 7-day National Rain Forecast)
A torrid heat wave is now shifting into high gear and has already broken at least five June record highs in the Northwest. Additional June or even all-time high-temperature records will be in jeopardy across parts of the Great Basin and Northwest for the rest of the month. Furthermore, the extreme heat is likely to last well into early July and may end up breaking records for longevity as well.
So far, Saturday has already broken at least five record highs for the month of June:
- Pendleton, Oregon, topped out at 109 degrees. That broke the city’s all-time June record high of 108 set June 30, 1924, and June 17, 1961. June records in Pendleton go all the way back to 1893, making this an especially impressive record.
- Yakima, Washington, reached 108 degrees. That broke the previous June high of 105 set June 23, 1992, and just tied 19 days ago. Official National Weather Service records for Yakima go as far back as 1946.
- Spokane, Washington, hit 102 degrees to break its June record high of 101 set June 23, 1992. Records in Spokane go back to 1881.
- Burns, Oregon, reached 102 degrees to break its June record of 100 set June 29, 2008, and June 30, 2013. Records in Burns go back to 1939.
- Kalispell, Montana, hit 97 degrees to edge out its June record of 96 set June 22, 1955. Temperature records there began in 1899.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for parts of northwest Oregon and western Washington as well as southern Nevada and parts of the California deserts. These warnings includePortland, Salem, Eugene, Vancouver, Seattle, Las Vegas and Death Valley. Heat advisories have also been posted for other parts of the Northwest and Great Basin.
On Friday, new daily record highs were set in Yakima, Washington (104), Pendleton, Oregon (104), Walla Walla, Washington (105), Medford, Oregon (107), Helena, Montana (98), Eugene, Oregon (98) and Mount Shasta City, California (99). Daily record highs were tied in Seattle (87), Red Bluff, California (108), and Reno, Nevada (100).
Unofficial state-by-state highs Friday included 110 degrees at Grants Pass, Oregon; 109 degrees in Entiat, Washington; 105 degrees in Lowell, Idaho; and 101 degrees at the airport in Plains, Montana, in the far western part of that state.
Daily record highs were tied Thursday in Ely, Nevada (95), South Lake Tahoe, California (90), Olympia, Washington (90), and Bellingham, Washington (83).
June has already been a hot month in parts of the West.
Earlier in the month, Yakima, Washington, had tied its all-time June high of 105 degrees. This occurred 15 days earlier on the calendar than the previous June 105-degree high.Medford, Oregon, is pacing for their hottest June on record, dating to 1911. Portland, Oregon, logged its seventh day of 90-degree-plus heat this month on Saturday, breaking the June record of six days set in 2003.
The culprit in this hot setup is part of an overall pattern shift taking place across the United States.
West Heat Wave Setup
A dome of high pressure aloft that has been searing the Desert Southwest over the past week is surging northwestward, and will become established over the Great Basin by this weekend.
In addition to suppressing thunderstorm development over most of the Great Basin, this will allow the sizzling late-June sun to send temperatures soaring not simply in the typically hot Desert Southwest, but also locations well to the north including the Pacific Northwest, interior Northwest and northern Rockies.
Highs in the triple digits are expected in many lower-elevation locations west of the Continental Divide and inland from the Pacific Coast.
This includes much of Nevada, California’s Central Valley, the Salt Lake Valley, Idaho’s Snake River Plain, much of Oregon’s lower elevations east of the immediate coast, and areas to the east of the Cascades in Washington State. Valley locations in western Montana such as Kalispell and Missoula will also top the century mark this weekend into early next week.
In particular, parts of the Columbia Basin and lower Snake River Valley may surge above 110 degrees. This includes cities such as Yakima, Kennewick and Walla Walla in Washington as well as Lewiston, Idaho.
The extreme heat is even expected to surge north into Canada. Even Revelstoke, British Columbia – 130 miles north of the U.S. border and better known for skiing – could touch 100 degrees (38 degrees Celsius) this weekend. Environment Canada says parts of southern British Columbia could reach 40 degrees Celsius – 104 degrees Fahrenheit – this weekend, which may not only top daily records, but also set June records, as well.
Compared to what the more arid Great Basin is used to, evening and overnight temperatures will be slow to drop, bottoming out in the 70s in the hottest locations. In that regard, the air mass moving north into the region already has a strong pedigree; Las Vegas recorded a low of 91 on Friday, marking the first time Vegas has ever recorded a daily low in the 90s during the month of June. (The previous record-warm daily low in June was 89 on June 29-30, 2003.)
Saturday morning’s low at Portland International Airport was 71 degrees; if that holds through the rest of Saturday, it will be the first time PDX has ever recorded a low in the 70s in the month of June.
This heat appears to be locked in place well into next week, as the upper-level dome of high pressure remains camped out near the Great Basin. In fact, many interior Northwest locations may see highs in the 100s every day from now through at least July 10.
(MAPS: 10-Day Temperature Forecasts)
The hot, dry weather will also produce high fire danger, as drought conditions have worsened over the Northwest and northern Rockies in the spring. Disturbances riding around the west side of the upper-level ridge and just enough mid-level moisture may trigger isolated, mainly dry afternoon thunderstorms, which may ignite new wildfires.
(MORE: Western Wildfires Latest News)
In mid-May, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statewide drought emergency, and spring runoff from winter’s paltry snowpack was expected to be the least in 64 years.
Seattle has seen only 7 days with measurable rain since May 1, one-third the average number of such days, according to NWS-Seattle. Portland, Oregon, set a new record June dry streak of 22 straight days through Thursday, according to NWS-Portland.
Epicenter of the Heat
Gerard Tangalan Of Seattle leans on International Fountain while cooling off at the Seattle Center July 29, 2009 in Seattle, Washington. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Monthly, All-Time Records Threatened?
This heat wave may not only top daily record highs, but may also threaten record highs for the entire month of June, or, in a few locations, all-time record highs.
Here are some locations that may flirt with – we’re defining that as within 3 degrees – either their June or all-time record highs. Click on the city link for the latest 10-day forecast.
- Yakima, Washington: All-time record is 111 degrees on July 26, 1928
- Spokane, Washington: All-time record is 108 degrees on July 26, 1928 and Aug. 4, 1961
- Boise, Idaho: All-time record is 111 degrees on July 19, 1960 and July 12, 1898
- Salt Lake City: June record is 105 degrees on June 28-29, 2013
- Kennewick, Washington: June record high is 110 degrees on June 7, 1912
- Portland, Oregon: June record high is 102 degrees on June 26, 2006
- Pendleton, Oregon: June record high is 108 degrees on June 30, 1924, and June 17, 1961
- Reno, Nevada: June record is 104 degrees on June 16, 1940
- Kalispell, Montana: All-time record high is 105 degrees on Aug. 4, 1961.
- Missoula, Montana: June record high is 100 degrees on Jun. 29, 1937 and Jun. 13, 1918.
One of the biggest factors in heat wave deaths is not only the magnitude, but also the longevity of the heat.
- Seattle may see highs reach at least the low 90s for several days, starting this weekend. On average, they typically see the 90-degree mark only three days a year.
- Spokane, Washington may see a couple of days with century-mark highs. Only one such day a year is the average, there. Even when not in the 100s it will be at least in the middle or upper 90s.
- Portland, Oregon last saw triple-digit heat in August 2012. They may see at least one, if not more in this heat wave. The city may also make a run at its longest streak of 90-degree days; that was a 10-day streak in 2009.
- Pendleton, Oregon may threaten its all-time record of eight consecutive 100-degree days set in five previous years, most recently in 1967.
- Medford, Oregon may tie its record number of June triple-digit days (6 days in 1987, 1970 and 1926) and will likely tie its June record for 90-degree-plus days (21 in 1918).
- Salt Lake City may see triple-digit highs several days in a row from the weekend into next week. Six days a year reach 100-degrees or hotter in the Salt Lake Valley, on average.
- Kalispell, Montana may see two or three days in a row of triple-digit heat beginning this weekend. In records dating to 1899, they’ve only seen 12 such days, only two of which have occurred this century. They have never recorded a triple-digit high in June.
This is a dangerous heat wave. Take safety precautions against the heat.
Those playing or working outdoors, as well as those without access to air conditioning, will face an elevated risk of heat-related illness.
Remember to never leave kids or pets unattended in cars and drink more water than usual. Wear light-colored clothing and keep your head and body cooler with a hat. Take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.
Read more at SMH