December 7, 2022

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/3/2022

What we know — and don’t — about how climate change impacts hurricanes like Ian

Most researchers agree it’s not valid to point to a single storm and say it was “caused” by the warming world. Too many variables. But there’s a growing consensus that the sea level rise and higher temperatures in the last hundred years have already impacted storms like Ian, which raked Florida last week, and may continue to do so in the future. At the very least, hotter weather means hotter oceans, which fuel hurricane strength. [Source: Miami Herald]

Feds pledge unprecedented aid to Ian victims as Florida death toll climbs

With the death toll from Hurricane Ian rising and hundreds of thousands of people without power in Florida and the Carolinas, U.S. officials vowed Sunday to unleash an unprecedented amount of federal disaster aid as crews scrambled to rescue people still trapped by floodwaters. Days after Ian tore through central Florida, carving a deadly path of destruction into the Carolinas, water levels continued to rise in some flooded areas, inundating homes and streets that were passable just a day or two earlier. [Source: AP]

Hurricane center eyes 2 systems in Atlantic, 1 headed for Caribbean

The National Hurricane Center began tracking a second system headed for the Caribbean along with an Atlantic tropical wave already with high chances to become the season’s next tropical depression or storm. The closer of the two has low chances for now. The NHC said the tropical wave does have shower and thunderstorm activity that has increased since Saturday, now located several hundred miles east of the Windward Islands. “Some gradual development of the wave is possible during the next few days while it moves generally westward at 15 to 20 mph,” the NHC said. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

After Hurricane Ian, ULA and SpaceX hope to clear launch backlog

The Space Coast's two most prolific launch providers hope to clear a backlog of missions with three back-to-back flights this coming week, a cadence deemed necessary after Hurricane Ian forced them to stand down. With Ian's impacts to the spaceport declared minimal and teams returning to work just after the storm passed, United Launch Alliance and SpaceX are planning flights on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this coming week to make up for lost time. Pads at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Kennedy Space Center will host. [Source: Florida Today]

Citrus growers face ‘gamut of damages'

As they begin to assess groves damaged by Hurricane Ian, Southwest Florida citrus growers are seeing conditions potentially worse than after Hurricane Irma, which played a key role in citrus production falling by more than one-third in 2017. Matt Joyner, executive vice president and CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, said Friday it might be more than a week before Ian’s impacts are fully known, as growers in DeSoto and Hardee counties still have fields underwater. But Joyner said some growers he’s talked with already “feel like this is going to be, for them, worse than Irma.” [Source: News Service of Florida]


› This 'magic' mushroom dispensary in Florida is selling psychedelics and testing legal boundaries
A hemp dispensary in Florida has started selling psychedelic mushrooms as it pushes legal boundaries. Chillum, founded in Tampa in 2018 by Carlos Hermida, introduced "magic" mushrooms to his dispensary last month. But Hermida has taken another route to bypassing strict laws, based on a curious legal precedent he hopes will catch on.

› Central Florida struggles with Ian’s ongoing sewage crisis
Days after Ian’s last gusts, the Orlando region’s sewage systems are fighting to recover and losing ground in many cases, swamping homes with wastewater, sending streams across roads without warning and pouring untold thousands of gallons into lakes. Orlando leaders have warned that people should stay out of every city lake as a precaution and should “severely limit water usage until further notice.” That could be for at least a week.

› A veteran Hispanic executive says this exclusive economic club will ‘elevate’ Miami
For 30 years, executive, mom, women’s advocate and conservative political activist Lourdes Castillo has been a fixture in Miami’s business and civic circles, either behind the scenes or at the forefront of the city’s development as an epicenter of Hispanic and Latin American commerce. Now, after a long professional break to raise four children, a period in which she worked as a political volunteer and helped her now ex-husband build a thriving legal business, Castillo is embracing a fresh direction.

› Commander of next SpaceX Crew Dragon to be 1st Native American woman in space
NASA and SpaceX are about to send another quartet for a months-long mission to the International Space Station, but among them will be the first Native American woman in space. Col. Nicole Aunapu Mann will command the Crew-5 mission slated to launch as soon as noon Wednesday from KSC on board the Crew Dragon Endurance atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Pad 39-A. Mann, still an active duty Marine whose call sign is “Duke,” joined NASA’s astronaut corps in 2013.

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In the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, a food drive meets needs
In the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store, a food drive meets needs

Over the course of the morning, volunteers will hand out boxes full of produce and pantry items. More than 300 people will walk — or drive — away with cartons of eggs and gallons of milk, bread and pastries and cereal. They’ll leave with bags of bananas, and apples and meats that they’ll feed to their families.

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