Meteorologists explain that Hurricane Harvey stalled off the Texas coast because two high-pressure atmospheric masses—huge bookends made out of air—have squeezed it in place, and there haven’t been any high-level currents to help steer it away. Harvey is yet another of several recent weather disasters marked by such shocking staying power, punishing whole regions for days or weeks on end—and longer. Others include a massive heatwave over Russia and flooding in Pakistan in 2010, the Texas drought of 2011, the California drought that began around the same time and continued through this year, and the flooding last year in Texas’s neighbor to east, Louisiana. Sluggishness in storms is a big deal, particularly if they’re increasing in frequency. “It turns a garden-variety disaster into a catastrophe,” said Paul Douglas , a broadcast meteorologist and weather entrepreneur. As Harvey stays put, it functions as a firehose that sucks warm water from […]