Air Force ‘doomsday’ planes damaged in tornado

Ten US Air Force planes, including two E-4B “doomsday” aircraft, were damaged when a tornado hit near Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska last week, the service told CNN on Friday.

Nicknamed the Air Force’s “doomsday” plane, the Boeing-made E-4B serves as an aerial command center in case of national emergency or destruction of ground bases.

It provides a “highly survivable command, control and communications center to direct US forces, execute emergency war orders and coordinate actions by civil authorities,” according to the Air Force.

“The E-4B serves as the National Airborne Operations Center and is a key component of the National Military Command System for the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” according to Air Force spokesperson Col. Patrick Ryder.

The aircraft is also protected against the effects of electromagnetic pulse and has an electrical system designed to support advanced electronics and a wide variety of communications equipment, according to the Air Force’s fact sheet.

The Air Force has four E-4Bs in active service, and the primary aircraft was off-station during the tornado on June 16, according to Ryder.

“There is no impact to the E-4B’s primary mission, so it remains capable of completing its National Airborne Operations Center,” he said.

In addition to the two E-4B planes, eight RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft were also damaged in the storm that took out some trees and caused building damage on base.

Six of those eight aircraft have now been returned to mission-capable status, Ryder said.

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At least 2 dead in California amid heat wave

The record-breaking heat roasting the West has killed at least two people.

A 72-year-old man and an 87-year-old woman died Monday in San Jose, California. Their deaths were attributed to the heat, Santa Clara County officials said.

“It is tragic when someone dies of hyperthermia since in most every case it could have been prevented,” Dr. Michelle Jorden of the county’s medical examiner office said in a statement. “Hyperthermia and heat stress happen when a body’s heat-regulation system cannot handle the heat.”

San Jose sweltered in record-breaking, 103-degree weather on Sunday, and the area is under a heat advisory until 9 p.m. PT Thursday.

Large swaths of California, Nevada and Arizona are under excessive heat warnings as residents have endured stifling, triple-digit temperatures in the last few days. Parts of eastern Texas and New Mexico are under heat advisories.

In New Mexico, two hikers were found dead earlier this week at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and heat could have been a factor in their deaths, authorities told CNN affiliate KRIS.

Phoenix burns through the records

For the third day in a row, the heat in Phoenix set new daily records.

The week started with a high of 118 degrees on Monday, then hit 118 degrees on Tuesday and 117 degrees on Wednesday.

Though it has cooled off a few degrees in the Grand Canyon state, it’s still burning hot, with a forecast of 113 degrees for Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Crayons melt in Las Vegas

In Las Vegas, which also has seen its share of record-shattering heat, National Weather Service staffers got creative — and conducted an experiment to show just how hot it is.

They eschewed the cliché of frying an egg on the sidewalk and instead left crayons outside in the sun on Wednesday, when the temperature hit 114 degrees. The wax sticks melted into a rainbow sludge of colors.

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Tropical Storm Cindy forms in Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm Cindy formed Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm is forecast to make landfall somewhere near the Texas-Louisiana border by Thursday.

As of 5 p.m., Cindy was located about 280 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana. It’s movement was stationary with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

“The big deal with Cindy will be the heavy rainfall, and the fact that it could cause some flash flooding for parts of the Gulf coast,” Local 10 News chief certified meteorologist Betty Davis said.  

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Bret weakened to a tropical wave Tuesday afternoon. 

Be sure to download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to keep you safe before, during and after a storm. 

Remember to stay up to date on the all the latest storm news by downloading the Max Tracker app for iOS and ANDROID.

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Tropical storm warning issued for Louisiana’s Gulf coast

A tropical storm warning has been issued for a section of Louisiana’s coast as a weather system approaches from the Gulf of Mexico.

The warning is in effect from Cameron, Louisiana, to Intracoastal City.

The system’s maximum sustained winds early Tuesday are near 40 mph. The National Hurricane Center said some slight strengthening is possible before the system reaches the coast, either late Wednesday or Wednesday night.

As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, the system is centered about 305 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and is moving northwest near 8 mph.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Bret is moving along South America’s northern coast. Its maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with weakening expected to begin later in the day.

Be sure to download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to keep you safe before, during and after a storm. 

Remember to stay up to date on the all the latest storm news by downloading the Max Tracker app for iOS and ANDROID.

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Tropical Storm Bret forms east of Windward Islands

Tropical Storm Bret has formed east of the Windward Islands, the National Hurricane Center said on Monday.

Bret is the second named storm of 2017 for the Atlantic Basin.

As of the 11 p.m. advisory, the tropical storm was located about 30 miles south of Trinidad.

The system was moving north northwest a 23 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. 

“It’s not expected to get much stronger than it already is heading out to the Caribbean Sea and perhaps becoming a remnant low as we’re heading toward Wednesday,” Local 10’s chief certified meteorologist Betty Davis said.  

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada and Venezuela, from Pedernales to Cumana, including Isla de Margarita.

The National Hurricane Center predicts that about 2 to 4 inches of rain will fall over the Windward Islands and the eastern coast of Venezuela on Monday and Tuesday. 

A tropical storm watch was in effect for Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba. 


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