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Willie Drye

Willie Drye is the author of Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, published by National Geographic Books. He also is a contributing editor for National Geographic News, where his posts about hurricanes have set records for page views. He and his wife live in Plymouth, North Carolina, where he is chairman of the town Planning Board and chairman of the Plymouth Small Town Main Street Committee. He served as an Army medic and earned a degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

How the American Dream Took Its Modern Form in Florida Nearly a Century Ago

  National Geographic news correspondent and book author Willie Drye provides a synopsis of his latest book, For Sale–American Paradise: How Our Nation Was Sold an Impossible Dream in Florida. The book, published by Lyons Press, tells the story of the great Florida Land Boom of the 1920s, when millions of Americans flocked to Florida seeking fun, sun and…

El Niño Calms Atlantic Hurricanes, Roils Pacific

A very powerful El Niño kept the lid on the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, but simultaneously created a spawning ground for powerful hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean. Only 11 named tropical storms formed in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Four of those storms became hurricanes with…

World War II Weathermen Recognized for Sacrifice During Battle of the Atlantic

In the summer of 1942, the tide of World War II was turning against the fascist Axis powers, but the struggle for control of the North Atlantic shipping lanes between the U.S. and Great Britain was still being fought in the sprawling Battle of the Atlantic. And if German submarines could continue sinking thousands of…

NOAA Expects 2015 To Be Warmest Year On Record

October 2015 was the warmest October since record-keeping began in 1880, and scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that 2015 likely will become the warmest year on record. Temperatures last month averaged 1.76 degrees Fahrenheit above the averages for the 20th century, said Jon Gottschalck, chief of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center-Operational Prediction…

Strong El Niño Could Mean Winter Tornadoes in South

One of the strongest El Niños on record could increase the chance of winter tornadoes forming in parts of the South, officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. Unseasonably warm and moist conditions during the winter can set the stage for tornado formation, and those conditions can be expected during the winter…

El Niño Winter: Warm and Dry in the North, Cold and Wet in the South

The winter of 2015-16 could be a dry one in the northern Rocky Mountains, around the Great Lakes, and in Alaska and Hawaii, while Southern California and southern states from Arizona to Florida might be in for an unusually wet winter. Forecasters for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration based that prediction Thursday on a very…

Stormy Summer of 2005 Prompted Hurricane Forecast Improvements

Powerful Hurricane Wilma’s storm surge inundated the lower Florida Keys in October 2005. (Photo by Jeff Pinkus) The powerful hurricanes that prowled the Gulf of Mexico during the summer of 2005 prompted evacuation orders that sent millions of people from Houston to Key West scrambling for safety. The evacuations saved lives, but for people who…

CSU Forecasters Expect Below-Average Hurricane Season

Meteorologists at Colorado State University think cooler ocean waters and the formation of a phenomenon known as El Niño will make the 2015 hurricane season much quieter than usual. The CSU preseason forecast released today predicts seven named tropical storms will form in the Atlantic Basin — which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean…

CSU Forecasters Reaffirm Forecast for Quiet Hurricane Season

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With the peak of the 2014 hurricane season approaching, researchers at Colorado State University reaffirmed their June forecast for a relatively quiet summer. CSU meteorologists Phil Klotzbach and William Gray said today they think nine tropical storms will form in the Atlantic Basin — which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea —…

NOAA Reaffirms Forecast For Active Hurricane Season

With the peak of the 2013 hurricane season approaching in the Atlantic Basin, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has reaffirmed its June forecast for a stormy summer. Four named tropical storms have formed in the Atlantic Basin — which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea — since the 2013 hurricane…

CSU Forecasters Still Think 3 Major Hurricanes Will Form In Atlantic This Summer

Meteorologists at Colorado State University made a slight modification to their forecast for the rest of the 2013 Atlantic Basin hurricane season, but they still think three major hurricanes are likely to form before the season ends. CSU forecasters Phil Klotzbach and William Gray had predicted four major hurricanes in the seasonal forecast they released…

Archaeologists Recover Two More Cannons From Blackbeard’s Ship

Lester Bell, in the white hard hat, directs the placement of a cannon recovered Thursday from the wreck of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the flagship of the infamous 18th-century pirate Blackbeard. Mitchel Gilliland, in the yellow hardhat and sunglasses, is helping guide the cannon, which is attached to a large inflatable lift-bag. Bell and other crewmen…

CSU Forecasters Think U.S. Is Overdue For Major Hurricane

Forecasters at Colorado State University think a stormy summer will produce a major hurricane with winds exceeding 110 mph that probably will make landfall somewhere on the U.S. Gulf or Atlantic coast. CSU meteorologists Phil Klotzbach and William Gray based their prediction of a major hurricane landfall on a mathematical formula that factors in the total…

CSU Forecasters Predict 4 Major Atlantic Hurricanes, With One Making U.S. Landfall

Meteorologists at Colorado State University think as many as four major hurricanes with winds exceeding 110 mph will form in the Atlantic Basin during an active 2013 hurricane season. And they think it’s likely that at least one of those catastrophic storms will make landfall somewhere on the U.S. coast from Maine to Texas. CSU meteorologists…

CSU Researchers Say Sandy Wasn’t Influenced By Global Warming

Researchers at Colorado State University say the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in October was not caused by human-induced climate change. In a recently released paper discussing the unusual “super-storm” that devastated the New Jersey shore and flooded the New York City subway and a traffic tunnel, CSU researchers William Gray and Phil Klotzbach say…