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In the 1850 Atlantic hurricane season, three significant tropical cyclones affected land. Records of other storms are incomplete, since the Atlantic hurricane database goes back only to 1851. The first system struck North Carolina in July, causing significant damage before battering the Mid-Atlantic states. Rivers were flooded from Baltimore to northern New England, and 20 people were killed along the Schuylkill River. In August, a strong hurricane hit Havana, Cuba, before making landfall on the Florida Panhandle with an enormous storm surge. Coastal flooding was severe around Apalachicola. Abundant precipitation fell from Georgia through Virginia; one river swelled more than 20 feet (6 m) above its normal height. The storm toppled a railroad bridge near Halifax, North Carolina. Offshore, a pilot boat collided with a larger ship in the rough seas and sank. Considered the worst storm in nearly 30 years in the tidewater region of Virginia, the cyclone briefly reentered the Atlantic off New Jersey before making landfall over New England, with strong winds and moderate to heavy rains. In September, a hurricane brushed the coastline from New York to Cape Cod with gusty winds and appreciable rainfall, and later struck Atlantic Canada. (Full article...)

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A creek, with trees in the background

There are 26 named tributaries of Catawissa Creek (pictured), a 41.8-mile (67.3 km) long creek flowing into the Susquehanna River. Of the 26 tributaries, 19 are direct. The creek flows through Luzerne, Schuylkill, and Columbia counties in Pennsylvania. The two shortest tributaries are approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) long, while the longest is about 10.8 miles (17.4 km) in length. By length, the five largest tributaries of Catawissa Creek are Little Catawissa Creek, Tomhicken Creek, Scotch Run, Beaver Run, and Messers Run. By watershed area, the five largest tributaries are Tomhicken Creek, Little Catawissa Creek, Beaver Run, Scotch Run, and Messers Run. Various species of fish inhabit most of the tributaries of Catawissa Creek. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection considers eleven tributaries of the creek to be Coldwater Fisheries, an official designation that means that a stream supports fish from the family Salmonidae and other coldwater fauna and flora. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Tilework on the Dome of the Rock

Detail of the tiled facade on the Dome of the Rock, a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Completed in 691 CE, at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik, it is one of the oldest extant works of Islamic architecture. It contains the Foundation Stone, which is religiously significant for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

The tile work on the facade of the shrine dates back to the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520 to 1566) and took seven years to install. Many of the tiles were replaced during a restoration project which began in 1955, as the originals had been dislodged by rain.

Photograph: Andrew Shiva

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