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One of the Driest Places on Earth Is Covered in Flowers

The Atacama Desert is blooming thanks to record rainfall

(Newser) - One of the driest, harshest landscapes in the world has been transformed into a psychedelic canvas of reds, purples, and greens after record-setting rain. Live Science reports that Chile's Atacama Desert averages just over half an inch of rain a year, with some parts of the desert getting even... More »

Mushrooms Make It Rain

'Nothing else works like this in nature'

(Newser) - It turns out mushrooms may be better for more than topping pizzas. Who knew? According to a study published Wednesday, mushrooms may actually help produce the rain they need to live. Discovery reports researchers documented a previously unknown system in which rain makes mushrooms grow, mushrooms release spores into the... More »

What This Year's El Nino Will Mean for Winter

It will be wetter than normal in the South, drier near the Great Lakes

(Newser) - The NOAA's winter forecast has arrived, and thanks to a well-known Pacific Ocean phenomenon, parts of the country can expect to be doused in plenty of chilly precipitation. "A strong El Nino is in place and should exert a strong influence over our weather this winter," Mike... More »

SC Devastated Yet Again as 18 Dams Let Loose

Governor says it may just be start of crisis after 'storm of historic proportions'

(Newser) - Eleven deaths have been reported and at least 18 South Carolina dams have breached or failed completely since Saturday, per the state's emergency management agency, leaving the region reeling in the aftermath of its torrential weekend storm , CNN reports. Of the 11 deaths, seven were from drowning and four... More »

What Could Happen Even If Joaquin Doesn't Hit

Storm staying out at sea so far, but it will probably still rain hard on land

(Newser) - Hurricane Joaquin remains a Category 4 storm that's currently battering the Bahamas, but the East Coast may dodge one bullet this weekend if the storm keeps to its offshore path, Weather.com and CNN report. Tracking maps show Joaquin solidly out in the Atlantic and set to keep veering... More »

Northwest's 'Milky Rain' Mystery Is Solved

Chalky substance came from dry lake bed in Oregon: scientists

(Newser) - Some 15 cities along a 200-mile stretch of the Pacific Northwest were coated in a mysterious, chalky substance on Feb. 6 after "milky rain" fell from the sky. For months, the white substance has been considered a "good old-fashioned weather mystery," per CNN . Now, it's a... More »

How Raindrops Get Their Smell

MIT researchers reveal the mechanism that releases the earthy smell of fresh rain

(Newser) - If you think rain has a distinct scent, you're not imagining it. Petrichor, that earthy smell that accompanies light showers, could be the result of raindrops releasing aerosols, which are tiny amounts of liquid suspended in gas, reports MIT News . "Rain happens every day—it’s raining now,... More »

Family's Rescue a 'Good Story in Time for Christmas'

Steven Van Lonkhuyzen and his 2 boys lived on rainwater, 4 days' worth of food

(Newser) - After double tragedies rocked Australia last week, farmer Tom Wagner couldn't bear hearing about another. So when he heard a dad and his two young sons had disappeared on a road trip and been missing for a week, Wagner canceled his waterskiing plans, conferred with other local farmers and... More »

SF Schools Closing Due to ... Rain

National Weather Service: could be worst storm in 5 years

(Newser) - New York was pelted with record rain this week, but even more could fall on the West Coast today. California could clearly use it , but San Francisco, Oakland, and Novato could see so much rainfall—2 to 4 inches are expected in San Francisco, with up to 8 inches in... More »

Elephants May Know When It's Raining 150 Miles Away

GPS study suggests they head toward storms

(Newser) - Maybe the Weather Channel should start hiring elephants. A study in PLoS ONE suggests the creatures can detect rainstorms happening 150 miles away, possibly by hearing them even from that far off. Migrating elephants are known to change direction out of the blue, and researchers haven't been certain why.... More »

Freak Rain Douses Burning Man

Attendees forced to camp in parking lots of Walmart, casino til today

(Newser) - It might be tough to become one with nature in a Walmart parking lot, but Burning Man participants don't have a lot of choice after a rare rainstorm saturated the Black Rock Desert and left it filled with standing water, reports the Reno Gazette-Journal . Would-be attendees were turned away... More »

In Flooded Detroit, Driver Killed in 3 Feet of Water

1K vehicles abandoned in suburban area: mayor

(Newser) - The Detroit area has been pounded with rain, with more than 6 inches hitting some parts of the region—and the onslaught has now been linked to a death. A woman is thought to have suffered cardiac arrest as her car battled 3 feet of water, the AP reports. Another... More »

How a Sea Snake That Can't Drink Seawater Survives

Study finds they can just go months without drinking anything

(Newser) - Just one species of sea snake lives in the open ocean, even giving birth there—yet it can't drink seawater. Scientists have been puzzled at just how the yellow-bellied sea snake survives, National Geographic explains. Now, they've learned that it simply doesn't have to drink for months... More »

Scientists: Raindrops Aren't Shaped Like Tears at All

They actually resemble hamburger bun tops

(Newser) - It turns out you've been drawing raindrops incorrectly your entire life. NASA scientists have determined that they don't actually resemble tears. They look more like hamburger bun tops: rounded above, flat on the bottom. As a video made by NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement explains, a raindrop begins... More »

1.2K Missing as Colo. Deluge Continues

Helicopters, horses prepare for rescue missions

(Newser) - Officials are pulling out all the stops to help Coloradans escape continuing floods , but "Mother Nature is not cooperating," says an emergency commander. An air rescue is planned for today, and those stranded in Boulder County have been instructed to "flag down the choppers in any way... More »

Andrea's Gift to East Coast: Downpours

Heavy rain forecast for New York City, DC

(Newser) - East Coasters can expect plenty of rain today despite a weakening Tropical Storm Andrea , with flash-flood watches in effect in parts of 13 states spanning from Georgia to Maine and flash-flood warnings from Florida to Virginia, CNN reports. Washington, DC, may get up to six inches of rain, while New... More »

Next Up: A Nor'easter Next Week?

Potential storm could bring nasty weather for Election Day

(Newser) - More good news for New Jersey and the coast: A nor'easter could be on its way next week, bringing more wind, rain, and possibly snow, the Star-Ledger reports. Fortunately, early forecasts suggest it won't be anything like Sandy: "If it does form, it’s going to be... More »

In Drenched Philippines, Fresh Rain, Misery

Hard rains again fall overnight, sending many fleeing again

(Newser) - Fresh rain fell on the Philippines today, ending yesterday's reprieve, thwarting rescue efforts, and again sending Filipinos scurrying for higher ground as rivers rose and resurgent flood waters washed through city streets. Many evacuees had returned home yesterday, but hard rains overnight and into today meant a second evacuation... More »

End to Drought Could Come in ... October

Corn, soybean prices reach record highs

(Newser) - The worst drought in decades shows few signs of letting up; in fact, it could stretch through October and get even worse, according to weather officials. Following the hottest half-year ever recorded, "we don't have a reason for saying it's going to improve," notes one. "... More »

London Olympics Forecast: Wet

Organizers attempting to prepare for lots of rain

(Newser) - Massive downpours, double the average rainfall, record-setting wet weather, flash floods … not exactly the weather London Olympics organizers were hoping for in the weeks leading up to the summer games. We're less than three weeks out now, and forecasts indicate that though the rains probably won't be... More »

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