Editor's note

One expects a hurricane to bring heavy rain, but the volume of water brought by Hurricane Harvey – which has so far produced about 50 inches of rain and nine trillion gallons of water – is hard to fathom. Colorado State’s Russ Schumacher, who studies extreme rain events, explains the meteorological reasons why this storm has been such a prodigious rain producer.

Amid disasters like the ones in Harvey’s wake, millions of Americans make donations intended to ease the burdens experienced by people whose lives are being upended. Choosing which groups to support and how to give is harder than it might appear, says David Campbell, who teaches nonprofit management at SUNY Binghamton.

And it’s time for a major rethink of your passwords. They’re the keys to your digital life, and over the past few years it’s become common to think that a secure password should Lo0k a l!ttl3 çra$y. A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon has been examining whether that’s true, and new federal guidelines about passwords echo their findings.

Martin LaMonica

Deputy Editor, Environment & Energy Editor

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The rainfall from Harvey has now exceeded the amount from the previous record-bearer, Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

What made the rain in Hurricane Harvey so extreme?

Russ Schumacher, Colorado State University

An expert in extreme weather events explains why the rain – and thus flooding – associated with Hurricane Harvey has been 'unprecedented.'

Environment + Energy

Economy + Business

Science + Technology

  • Choose better passwords with the help of science

    Lorrie Cranor, Carnegie Mellon University; Blase Ur, University of Chicago; Lujo Bauer, Carnegie Mellon University; Michelle Mazurek, University of Maryland; Nicolas Christin, Carnegie Mellon University

    Recent federal changes to password-strength guidelines echo the findings of research we've been doing. It's time to think differently about what makes a password secure.

Politics + Society

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Today’s quote

Older adults are affected by disasters well after storms or other threats have passed. But disaster response planning for communities and health care systems focuses on the immediate surge after the event.

  Sue Anne Bell