NASA animation tracks the end of Tropical Storm Delta

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NASA animation tracks the end of Tropical Storm Delta  
NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image to forecasters of Tropical Storm Delta moving through the southeastern U.S. on Oct. 11 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. At the time of the image, the storm was centered over northern Alabama. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).

NASA’s Terra satellite obtained visible imagery as Tropical Storm Delta made landfall in Louisiana and moved northeastward soaking the U.S. southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

NASA satellite view: Delta’s organization

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Delta on Oct. 11 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. The storm still appeared circular in imagery. At the time, it was centered over northern Alabama. At the time Terra passed overhead, Delta had weakened to a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds near 25 mph (35 kph).

Visible imagery from NASA’s Terra satellite captured from Oct. 9 to Oct. 12 were compiled into an animation. The animation showed the landfall and movement of Tropical Storm Delta. Delta dissipated over the southeastern U.S. and its remnants moved into the Atlantic states. The animation was created using NASA’s Worldview product at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Delta’s landfall on Oct. 9

National Weather Service Doppler radar imagery, Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft data, and surface observations indicated on Oct. 9 that Delta made landfall near Creole, Louisiana, around 7 p.m. EDT with estimated maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (155 kph). Delta was a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

NASA animation tracks the end of Tropical Storm Delta
This animation of visible imagery from NASA Terra satellite shows the landfall and movement of Tropical Storm Delta from Oct. 9 to Oct. 12. Delta dissipated over the southeastern U.S. and its remnants moved into the Atlantic


American higher education caught in perfect economic storm

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The COVID-19 pandemic has hit America’s colleges and universities like a category 5 hurricane. After a very tough spring and summer, campuses are doing their best to open. 

Those that cannot have gone virtual, which has generated demands for refunds of housing, meal plan fees, tuition and other fees. These refunds in combination with COVID-19 related compliance and safety-related expenses and major investments in technology and training to go virtual have just added to the pain. The losses that schools incurred from the spring shutdowns were only partially offset from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and additional funding from the federal government is questionable.

The refunds and additional expenses are being compounded with the loss of revenue from international students and students taking a gap year.  Future revenue is likely to be impacted due to projected demographics showing domestic college-bound students down or flat for the next decade throughout most of the country.

Many larger schools rely on their football and basketball programs to generate the revenue that is needed to support their other sports programs. The loss of revenue from the cancellation of the NCAA basketball and baseball tournaments and a significantly reduced or eliminated football schedule has meant billions in lost revenue.  

Very few schools have the reserves to deal with the financial deficits that they are experiencing and lie ahead. Smaller schools are at a particular disadvantage because they do not have the scale to spread these costs like their larger competitors, and average tuition has been increasing at more than two times the rate of inflation, so many schools have reached the limit of tuition that can be sustained. So cost cuts may be the only viable option. 

Many schools have been attempting to reduce costs by deferring maintenance on


NRL Melbourne Storm not stewing over Cameron Smith career call

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Melbourne say they aren’t troubled by the possibility Friday’s NRL preliminary final against Canberra may be the last match for their skipper Cameron Smith.

The 37-year-old is still to declare his plans beyond this season and teammate Dale Finucane says it hasn’t been a talking point for the Storm.

If Smith is set on retirement and Melbourne lose, the Suncorp Stadium showdown it will be his 429th and final game after 18 years with the club.

Finucane, who has been out since August with a calf injury and is racing the clock to play, says the team aren’t putting any pressure on their captain to show his hand.

Finucane was surprised by the public criticism of one of the game’s greats and said the team felt Smith had earnt the right to make a call whenever he saw fit.

“It’s not something that’s discussed at all,” Finucane said.

“It’s like any player in any given year, whether they are moving clubs or retiring – it’s a personal decision for the individual and their family and it’s not really our business.”

“With the legacy that Cameron has and the amount of time he’s been involved in the game, he’s earned the right to take his time and do what he likes.”

Finucane said that if the game did turn out to be Smith’s last hurrah, the team would ensure a fitting send-off even if it didn’t involve any grand on-field gestures.

“Regardless of what happens, those sort of things will be done in our own way when the season finishes,” he said.

“If that’s the way he goes, I’m sure the boys would be happy to have those sorts of celebrations off the field.”

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Teacher shortage, Covid-19 create perfect storm for education system

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The debate over how and where to educate students, from preschool to university, has been among the fiercest fought throughout the pandemic. Nearly every solution presents challenges for parents, students and teachers alike.

The Covid-19 crisis and an ongoing nationwide shortage of qualified teachers have created a perfect storm in the education system that may only worsen in the months to come.

Educators such as Cynthia Robles are feeling it firsthand.

Robles is a special education teacher at Roger Williams Middle School in Providence, Rhode Island, with more than two decades of experience. She is currently working in school, doing both in-person and remote learning, while helping to cover other classes during unassigned periods to make up for a lack of substitute teachers in the district.

“It’s truly a challenge every day. Teaching is challenging anyway, but with the lack of teachers in some rooms, and the rest of us having to kind of pick up the slack. … It’s exhausting. Honestly, it’s even heartbreaking,” Robles, a union member, said. “You sit back and you really look at these children. And you end the day with, ‘Did I give them everything they need?'”

The district is currently short some 100 teachers and could use an additional 100 to fill substitute needs, Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro said.

Educators are being forced to make tough decisions about their own health and safety, and that of their family members, simply by going to work.

Data from the American Federation of Teachers, the national labor union, shows that 1 in 3 teachers say the pandemic has made them more likely to retire earlier than planned, particularly among those over age 50 and with more than 20 years’ tenure. The American Enterprise Institute projected that more than 18% of all public and private


Tropical Storm Gamma moves inland over Yucatan Peninsula

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Oct. 3 (UPI) — The record-breaking nature of the 2020 Atlantic Tropical Season continues as Tropical Storm Gamma strikes the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Gamma became a tropical storm, and thus gained its name, on Friday evening as it strengthened in the northwestern Caribbean Sea. In doing so, Tropical Storm Gamma became only the second of its name to exist in Atlantic Basin history, and the earliest ever, beating out the Gamma of 2005.

At 12:45 p.m. EST on Saturday, Gamma made landfall near Tulum, Mexico, as a strong tropical storm.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that a weather station at Xel-Ha Park, along the Yucatan coast just north of Tulum, reported sustained winds of 55 mph (89 km/h) and wind gusts up to 68 mph (109 km/h).

On the island of Cozumel, just offshore from the Yucatan Peninsula, wind gusts of 40 mph (64 km/h) were reported early Saturday afternoon.

Gamma is expected to continue to batter the Yucatan Peninsula through the weekend with heavy rain and gusty winds before shifting into the Gulf of Mexico.

On Friday, tropical storm watches and warnings were issued for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula.

The Governor of the state of Quinatana Roo, which contains cities like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun, advised on Twitter that residents shelter at home and report emergencies to the appropriate authorities.

According to Noticaribe, one of the hardest-hit areas thus far is Playa del Carmen, where the State Coordination of Civil Protection issued a red alert on Saturday morning, due to Gamma’s impending impacts.

Reports of fallen trees, blackouts and flooding in main streets were noted by several emergency agencies in the city.

Just to the north, in Puerto Morelos, the local government set up two temporary shelters. Fire fighters, public services and civil protection