Much-needed rain will fall from Kansas to Texas this weekend as a cold front becomes nearly stalled over the region. Unseasonably warm, dry weather will encompass the East. The exception will be across Florida, as strong easterly winds and rough surf batter the state's east coast. Showers will dampen the state as well.
Mostly tranquil, warmer weather will settle into the West.
Texas Bat Colonies Plagued by Drought
In this photo taken Sept. 1, 2011, some of the 20 million bats emerge from Bracken Cave in Bracken, Texas. A depleting insect population has forced millions of bats around drought-stricken Texas to emerge before nightfall for food runs, making them more susceptible to natural predators. Some experts have already noticed fewer bats emerging from caves and have seen evidence that more infant bats are showing up dead, hinting at a looming population decline. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
More than 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats migrate from Mexico to Bracken, Texas every year to give birth, according to the Associated Press. The female bats swoop in around March and stay for the summer before heading home. Primarily, these bats typically feed on "agricultural pests" (over 200 pounds worth per daily meal for the entire colony).
Texas suffered from severe drought conditions throughout the summer. "It is the worst drought in over 50 years in general," said AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "This was probably the hottest and driest summer on record for the state."
Because of these conditions, the bats' food supply is declining in Texas. Usually, the bats head out to feed around 8:30 p.m. The bats are now heading out to forage for food roughly two hours earlier, before sunset, according to the Associated Press.
The emergence of the bats generally brings in tourists. The massive size of the colony is visible even on weather radar. While tourism is up for the nocturnal creatures' premature outings, the bats themselves are suffering.
Thankfully, experts believe there will be no long-term damage to the colony.
Tropical Bird Stranded by Hurricane Irene
Photo Credit: Glen Tepke - http://www.pbase.com/gtepke/
According to the Associated Press, a White-tailed Tropicbird was discovered in Claremont, N.H. on Aug. 30. The bird, generally making its home over warmer waters, had never been seen in the state before, said Saint Anslem College Biology Professor Jay Pitocchelli.
Pitocchelli also said that finding the bird so far inland anywhere was very rare.
The bird was taken to a wild bird hospital in Lyme, but it died the next day. The bird's body is scheduled to be sent to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Parts of this story were contributed by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Andrew Mussoline.
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The Seattle area is facing drenching rain and abundant clouds through the early part of the week.
A snowstorm will sweep from the Midwest to the Northeast into Groundhog Day causing major travel delays as well as power outages.
A snowstorm is cutting power and creating treacherous travel conditions in the Midwest, and the Northeast is next up.
With no break in sight this week across Europe, several more low pressure systems will bring rain, snow and wind to portions of the continent.
Tropical Cyclone Ola will bring rough surf and rip currents to the east coast of Australia and rain to New Zealand.
North Central, FL (2007)
A tornado outbreak across portions of north-central Florida resulted in numerous damage reports and some fatalities. Two people were injured in the town of Anthony when a tree fell on a home. A tornado caused extensive damage in Lady Lake and The Villages resulting in 7 fatalities. 3 people were killed by by an EF 3 tornado in Paisley. Another EF 3 tornado killed 10 people near Forest Hills. Three people were injured in DeLand.
Pacific Northwest (1987)
A storm produced wind gusts to 100 mph at Cape Blanco, OR and up to six inches of rain in the northern coastal mountain ranges.
St. Louis, MO (1893)
Snow and sleet with thunder and lighting at 13 degrees. (Thunder on and off for 3 hours).