More Hurricanes Than Usual Are Forecast for 2017

iStock
iStock

The upcoming hurricane season is shaping up to be a nasty one, The Weather Channel reports. New data from The Weather Company (owners of The Weather Channel and Weather Underground) projects that 14 named storms—including seven hurricanes and three Category 3 (or stronger) hurricanes—will form over the Atlantic in 2017, bringing the total number of storms for this hurricane season well above the average.

According to 30 years of statistics analyzed by Colorado State University [PDF], the Atlantic sees 11 named storms, four hurricanes, and two major hurricanes (Category 3 or above) in an average year. These numbers are starting to skew higher: In 2016, a total of 15 named storms, with seven hurricanes and four major hurricanes, hit the area. Scientists blame rising sea-surface temperatures for the volatile weather. Above-average temperatures have already been recorded in the Atlantic, and the ocean surface is only predicted to get warmer as the year progresses.

El Niño, a climate cycle in the Pacific that impacts weather around the world, is expected to be less aggressive than usual this year. A more active El Niño would put a damper on the formation of hurricanes in the tropical Atlantic.

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1, but this year it got off to an early start. Tropical Storm Arlene, which appeared in April without making landfall, marked the first named storm of 2017. The season runs through November, with peak activity occurring between mid-August and mid-October.

[h/t The Weather Channel]

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It

ChopBox
ChopBox

When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

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Snow Kidding: A Polar Vortex Could Hit the Eastern U.S. This Month

You may not want to put your ice scraper away just yet.
You may not want to put your ice scraper away just yet.
Tamara Dragovic/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re in the eastern U.S. and planning some gardening sessions, you might want to double-check the forecast. According to the Washington Post, a polar vortex like the one that hit the U.S. in 2019 is lurking and prepared to unleash chilly air in the eastern half of the country. Some areas can even expect snow—in Pennsylvania, maybe as much as an inch.

Powder is expected in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic areas, with cool temperatures spreading from the Upper Midwest to New England, which might see a topcoat of snow beginning this weekend. Georgia might get some frost. The cold front could experience 20-degree reductions in temperatures, with Minneapolis dropping into the upper 40s and Chicago seeing 45°F.

Areas like Providence, Rhode Island; Hartford, Connecticut; and Boston—normally in the 60s this time of year—might not climb out of the 40s over the weekend. New York City, which has been enjoying temperatures in the 70s, won’t get out of the 50s.

Blame the peculiar weather on the polar vortex, which may be best described as an arctic hurricane that transports freezing air south when warm weather pushes it out of northern Canada, Alaska, or Greenland. In other words: There’s no rush on installing that air conditioner just yet.

[h/t Washington Post]