World weather news, December 2014
A moist air mass associated with a storm system over the Mediterranean lifted north, interacting with the cold air to give areas of snow and freezing rain. Elsewhere, the increase in moisture helped produce thick fog, which froze to objects resulting in widespread icing.
With temperatures hovering just below freezing and ample moisture in the atmosphere, ice continued to build on trees and power lines causing them to snap to the ground.
Radio Prague reported numerous accidents related to icy roadways, while the rail system was brought to a standstill, leaving some passages stuck in railcars overnight.
The complete shutdown of the rail system is the first of its kind due to poor weather. More than 100,000 passengers were affected.
As the demand for chocolate grows worldwide, farmers are producing less cocoa than the world eats, creating a deficit, according to Bloomberg.
The chocolate deficit is expected to grow to 1 million metric tons by 2020 and to 2 million metric tons a year by 2030, Bloomberg reported.
Drought is compounding the concern in many major cocoa growing areas of the world. Drought conditions have been gripping Western Africa, which includes the number one area in the world for cocoa production, the Ivory Coast and Indonesia, according to the Global Drought Monitor. Indonesia is the world's number three cocoa producer.
- Schools and offices were shut in parts of the central Philippines and residents stocked up on supplies and food, as provinces yet to recover from last year's devastating super-typhoon Haiyan braced for another category 5 storm.
Typhoon Hagupit was churning across the Pacific at about 860 km east of the island state, packing winds of up to 195 km/h and gusts of up to 230km/h. It was expected to strengthen to a category 5 storm before slamming into Eastern Samar province in the central Philippines on Saturday.
Eastern Samar and Leyte island were worst-hit in November 2013 by Haiyan, one of the strongest storms to make landfall, which left more than 7,000 dead or missing and more than 4 million homeless or with damaged houses.
Local government officials and emergency teams from the Red Cross, army and coastguard were braced for swollen rivers, landslides, flash floods, and storm surges, said Roger Mercado, governor of Southern Leyte province.
The government said it had moved the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting next week from Legazpi to Manila to avoid the likely path of the typhoon.
About 20 typhoons strike the Philippines each year, most hitting the north along the main island of Luzon.
- Typhoon Hagupit made landfall as a powerful typhoon in the Philippines late Saturday night local time in the Province of Eastern Samar, bringing sustained winds over 185 km/h with gusts around 230 km/h.
Major threats from Hagupit, named Ruby in the Philippines, include widespread flooding, strong winds and mudslides.
Hagupit will continue to slowly traverse the Philippines through Monday bringing damaging winds and torrential rainfall.
The storm's landfall comes a little little over a year after Super Typhoon Haiyan brought devastation to the country and within 100 miles of where Haiyan first made landfall.
Recovery efforts from Haiyan are still ongoing, and there is concern that Hagupit's impacts could threaten to undo the rebuilding progress.
- A vigorous storm rolled into California and brought torrential rain, mudslides, power outages, roaring winds and even a tornado.
In the severely drought-stricken state, the rainfall provided some relief. However, thousands were without power as a result of the storm.
As the storm inundated parts of Northern and Southern California, it also produced a tornado Friday morning in South Los Angeles. No one was injured but damage occurred on several blocks from the EF-0 tornado.
Los Angeles County officials said the rain brought 1.8 billion gallons of water to the region, which they said is enough to support 30,000 residents for one year.
- Following a fast-hitting storm, Thursday morning commuters across Kansas City were slowed by snow-packed roadways and vehicle related incidents.
The first substantial snowstorm of the season, which totalled nearly 5 inches of snow in some areas, was responsible for widespread slide-offs and accidents during the commuting hours.
Major transportation routes along I-70 and I-35 were closed throughout Thursday morning due to snow related incidents.
- A picturesque northern winter-scape is hardly the reality as a spate of weird weather lingers in Anchorage (Alaska), which is almost 2ft behind the snowfall totals typical by this time. With just days to go until solstice Sunday signals the official start of winter, bare ground can be seen in places and temperatures have been averaging in the 30s, prompting a few hardy residents to take to the streets in T-shirts and shorts.
- As temperatures fall along the River Dee in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, each winter, it's not unusual for visitors to find foam freezing on the surface.
This month, however, River Dee Trust Biologist Jamie Urquhart discovered dozens of pancakelike pieces of ice floating along the historic river.
"What we think happened is this: Foam floating about on the water started to freeze, probably at night," Dee Catchment Outreach Officer Joanna Dick said.
"Bits of frozen foam got swirled around in an eddy, and became roughly circular. Perhaps each disc grew when smaller pieces of unfrozen foam struck the disc, adhered and then froze in place," she said.
This is the first time the ice pancakes have been spotted on the River Dee. They are more commonly seen in the Antarctic or the Baltic Sea.
Below-normal temperatures for the month of December may have aided in their formation.
- Pollution has combined with air stagnation across northern India and Pakistan to lead to extremely poor air quality during the past week. Without a significant change in the overall weather pattern, poor air quality and low visibility will remain into the start of the coming week.
Visibility from Islamabad, Pakistan to New Delhi and Patna, India has been reduced to under 1000 m frequently during the past several days due to the pollution and fog. Visibility at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport has dropped to bwlow 50 m on occasion over the weekend.
Smog is so prevalent it has also been keeping daytime temperatures cooler than normal across this region.
- Tornadoes unleashed by thunderstorms along the US Gulf Coast ripped through south-eastern Mississippi on Tuesday, killing at least four people, injuring numerous others and causing extensive damage to homes and businesses.
The twisters were spawned by thunderstorms in the region, and that severe weather was moving into north-western Alabama, followed by a wave of heavy showers that were expected to dump 100-150 mm of rain in some areas.
- A storm delivered wet snow to part of the United Kingdom on Friday. Accumulations in the hilly, interior areas of north-central England generally ranged from 2 cm to 8 cm. A spell of rain and sleet affected Ireland through the morning and afternoon with just a little snow over the hills. As the low deepened further and tracked into Wales and north-western England it encountered colder air and combined with the intensity of the precipitation caused a spell of heavy snow to affect parts of northern Wales, the north Midlands and northwest England. The precipitation rate was quite high resulting in the snow accumulating very quickly. The highest official snowfall depth was record at Leek Thorncliffe, Staffordshire with 12 cm of lying snow by 11 p.m. on Boxing Day.
- Heavy rainfall over the last several weeks has caused major flooding in Malaysia, leading to 10 deaths and forcing nearly 160,000 to be evacuated.
For the last two weeks, there has been torrential rain in the eastern side of the Malay Peninsula.
Bernama, the national news agency of Malaysia, reported that the situation in the states of Negeri Sembilan and Kedah had fully recovered after residents returned to their homes. However, the situation in the states of Terengganu Kelantan and Pahang remained problematic. Kelantan was among the hardest hit areas and more than 80,000 residents remained in relief centers on Saturday, Bernama said.
- A storm will continue to spread rain and disruptive snow farther to the east across southern and eastern Europe through Wednesday.
The storm has already delivered rain and wet snow to the United Kingdom Friday night and parts of France, Germany and Switzerland on Saturday.
In France, approximately 15,000 vehicles were stranded in the Savoy Prefecture late Saturday due to heavy snow, reports Lameteo. Savoy is situated in far eastern France near the border with Switzerland and Italy.
Additionally, a man was killed Saturday when his car slide off of a road into a ravine near Isère, France.
Snow totals on Saturday reached 3 cm in Brussels, Belgium, 6 cm in Frankfurt, Germany, and 10 cm in Luxembourg, Luxembourg.
As the storm continued to move southeastward, snow fell from the higher elevations of northern Italy into the Balkan Peninsula on Sunday. Heavy snow fell across parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Romania.
World weather news, November 2014
- A hefty clean-up task awaits after a destructive night of fire and wild weather stretched emergency services in New South Wales.
More than 1,000 firefighters were deployed across NSW on Saturday to battle 70 bushfires, including a large blaze that destroyed two homes in the Blue Mountains, and a storm that lashed Sydney and surrounding regions brought down power lines, cut electricity and ripped trees from the ground.
The storms claimed the life of a 15-year-old boy, who was struck by lightning on the coast of the Hunter region.
The State Emergency Service responded to more than 1,140 jobs, mostly for around Sydney's western fringes.
Two homes were lost by Saturday evening and several others had been badly damaged in the fire, which flared up and jumped containment lines on Saturday afternoon
- "We're making lots of snow, lots of it," Sugar Mountain Ski Resort in North Carolina boasted on Sunday, after a storm delivered 8-10 inches of natural snow to the slopes over the weekend.
The bounty of the early snowstorm, paired with ideal temperatures for snowmaking, afforded the resort a head-start into the 2014-2015 winter season, beating the opening days of many competitors farther north.
Sugar Mountain officially opened on Nov. 2, the second earliest opening on record, just behind the Oct. 31 record set two years ago.
The storm delivered more than a foot of snow to parts of the southern Appalachians, setting a new date for the earliest snowfall in recorded history for Columbia, South Carolina.
Tens of thousands of electricity customers across Maine were left in the dark at some point during the day on Sunday. Over 70,000 customers were still without power according to Central Maine Power's website early on Monday morning.
According to an official snowfall measurement by the National Weather Service, Bangor, Maine, received 12 inches of snow on Sunday. This obliterated the daily record of half of an inch set in 1951.
Other amounts recorded ranged from 15 to 21 inches across parts of Aroostook County in the northern part of the state.
- A potent storm system sits stubbornly over the region.
The storm has already been responsible for heavy rain and flooding from southern France to northern Italy and western Austria with snow burying parts of the Alps.
The storm already delivered tremendous rainfall to parts of southern France, southern Switzerland, northern Italy, western Austria, western Slovenia and northwestern Croatia.
Rainfall in excess of 175 mm inundated Nice, France. Kotschach, Austria, picked up more than 300 mm of rain from Tuesday through Thursday morning. At the same time, 265 mm soaked Cevio, Switzerland.
As rain inundated the lower elevations, heavy snow buried the higher elevations of the Alps.
At Andermatt, Switzerland, rain in excess of 100 mm at the start of the storm changed over to 90 cm of snow from Wednesday through Wednesday night.
Red alerts were issued for regions stretching from the Veneto to Umbria, Lazio and Sicily.
Two people were injured in Naples where they were hit Wednesday morning by broken tree branches and lambs were reported drowned on farms in Tuscany, swept away as heavy rains pounded central and northern regions.
In Tuscany and Liguria, boats and helicopters were used to rescue dozens trapped in their homes by flood waters and evacuations were ordered in the coastal regions.
- Heavy snow blanketed parts of the upper midwest USA with more than a foot of snow on Tuesday, leaving residents there and in the Rockies waking up to frigid temperatures that plunged as much as 30 degC overnight.
More than a foot of snow fell in northern Wisconsin, while Michigan's Upper Peninsula was buried under more than 14 inches of powder with at least another foot expected before the storm moves out Wednesday.
The blast of frigid air sent temperatures plunging as far south as the Texas panhandle, where balmy 70-degree weather fell into the teens overnight. In Oklahoma City, Monday's high of 80 degrees hit a low of 30 degrees Tuesday morning - a drop of 50 degF.
And in the Dakotas, where single-digit temperatures - already about 30 degrees below normal - came with frigid wind chills, dipping as low as into the negative 20s in Dickinson, North Dakota.
Minneapolis-St Paul international airport saw the brunt of the cancellations and delays Monday, with about 175 cancellations, while about 19 had been cancelled Tuesday, according to the airport.
Elsewhere in Minnesota, the state patrol said at least two people were killed in accidents on icy roads, and troopers handled 475 crashes and more than 700 spinouts statewide by Monday evening.
- A powerful storm has moved into the Bering Sea and has become the most intense storm to ever impact the region.
The former Super Typhoon Nuri has tracked northward into the Bering Sea, located in between Alaska and Russia, and has lost all tropical characteristics.
The system has undergone rapid intensification, producing howling winds as the central pressure plummets to near record levels.
On Friday night, the Ocean Prediction Center analyzed the central area of low pressure to be 924 mb.
This means that the storm has become the most powerful storm to ever move over the Bering Sea in recorded history in terms of central pressure.
Previous to this storm, the old record stood at 925 mb from a powerful storm that moved over the Bering Sea on 25 October 1977.
- Planes are being warned to avoid airspace near an erupting Alaska volcano as
it spews ash 30,000ft above sea level.
The National Weather Service said on Saturday ash was being blown to the west and
northwest of Pavlof Volcano.
Pavlof began erupting three days ago, pushing lava out from a vent near its
summit. On Friday, the ash cloud reached 16,000ft.
Alaska Volcano Observatory geophysicist Dave Schneider said the eruption
intensified at 6am on Saturday, sending the ash cloud higher. Schneider said it
was not clear how long the eruption will last, as Pavlof's eruptions may last for
weeks or months with varying levels of intensity.
Pavlof is Alaska's most active volcano. It sits along international air routes
connecting Europe, North America and Asia.
- An apparent tornado touched down early Monday at a state prison near
Blountstown in Florida's panhandle, slightly injuring two people and damaging a
number of vehicles.
Workers were just arriving for their shifts early Monday at the Calhoun
correctional institution and hadn't even got out of their vehicles when the storm
struck around 4am CST.
There was 'major damage' to between 25 and 30 vehicles in the parking lot and
some of the fencing around the prison's perimeter was knocked down. No one
escaped from the facility, which has a maximum capacity of 1,354 inmates.
- The last storm in a series of four brought another 25-75 mm to parts of
northern Italy on Monday, with just some lingering showers on Tuesday.
So far this month, rainfall has exceeded 250 mm in many areas from southeast
France into northern Italy and southern Switzerland. Already over 600 mm has
fallen in Genoa, Italy, and 420 mm has soaked Nice, France. In Genoa, this is
almost half of the yearly average rainfall in just two weeks.
- A round of strong thunderstorms lashed the Brisbane (Australia) area with
torrential rainfall and gusty winds.
The storms caused flash flooding and knocked out electricity in parts of the
The city and surrounding areas were struck during the middle to late afternoon
when thunderstorms developed to the south and blasted northward.
Rainfall of more than 50 mm fell in 30 to 60 minutes resulting in flash flooding
as many road ways were left impassable.
- Between 3 and 6 feet of snow and plunging temperatures have left thousands
snowed in over upstate New York, and the cold and snow has taken lives.
Four people died Tuesday due to the heavy snow. Three of the incidents were
caused by cardiac arrest from shovelling snow, while the other one was due to an
There were two additional deaths on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to six.
Another two deaths were reported on Wednesday evening.
A large lake-effect snow band formed on Monday night over Lake Erie as cold
arctic air began sweeping over the relatively warmer Great Lakes. The snow band
took aim at western New York and lingered for nearly 24 hours.
Communities along the I-90 corridor in southwestern New York, from Silver Creek
to the towns south of Buffalo, have been left in a disabled state, after several
feet of snow fell on Tuesday.
Parts of New York measured the season's first big snowfall in feet, rather than
Parts of western and northern New York state average more than 100 inches of snow
during the winter season. The lake-effect snow this week represents a large
amount of the seasonal average.
Depending on the investigation of snowfall measurement activities, there is a
chance the 24-hour United States snowfall record could fall. That official record
belongs to Silver Lake, Colorado, with 76 inches, spanning April 14-15, 1921.
- Across much of eastern Australia, so far this November, temperatures have been running above average and rainfall below
normal. This has set the stage for an active start to the summer wildfire season across eastern New South Wales.
Due do the continuous hot and dry weather, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued total fire bans across the region over
the weekend. A total fire ban remains in effect on Monday in the Lower Central West Plains area. Even though a fire ban is
not in effect across the rest of New South Wales, dry brush will keep the fire danger high across the rest of the state.
In Sydney, temperatures have averaged about 3 degCabove normal this month. Less than 11 mm of rain has fallen in the city.
This is only 20 percent of normal to date for the month. To the west of Sydney, in Cobar, no rain has fallen this month and
temperatures climbed as high as 43.3C.
- In the wake of deadly flooding across southern Morocco, more rain and potential new flooding issues are on the horizon.
The death toll from the floods stood at 32 on Monday.
Eleven bodies were recovered from the Oued Talmaadart alone. Oued Talmaadart is located near the city of Guelmim and is
normally a dry riverbed that turned into a raging waterway due to the flooding.
A slow-moving storm system that sat offshore of Morocco Friday through the weekend was responsible for the rounds of rain.
Northwest of Guelmim rainfall has totalled 91 mm from Friday through early Monday morning at Sidi Ifni, Morocco.
Farther north, 128 mm inundated Agadir during the same time period.
- Many of the 70 passengers on a flight taking off from Igarka, Russia, flexed their muscle by pushing a plane down the
runway after it became frozen in extreme cold weather on Tuesday, according to The Siberian Times.
Data from the airport indicates temperatures fell to as low as -50C, causing the planes brakes to freeze, locking it into
place on runway.
Passengers fearing that the flight would be delayed or canceled took it upon themselves to get the plane moving. It is
believed that the wrong kind of grease was used on the plane's landing gear.
Extreme cold began building across Igarka, which is north of the Arctic Circle on the 17th. The highest temperature recorded
at the airport between the 17th and the 25th was -21.8C.
- Thousands of people across New England had to spend their evening in darkness this Thanksgiving, as a powerful Northeast
snowstorm wiped out electricity across the region on Wednesday.
More than 160,000, or 34 percent, of people served by the Public Service of New Hampshire remained without power as of 8:00
a.m. As of early Friday morning, 119,000 were reported to be with out power, according to the utility.
An additional 18,000 people in the state served by Unitil were also experiencing outages.
The pre-Thanksgiving storm across the Northeast downed tree limbs and power lines across the region, knocking out power to
- A huge clean-up operation is under way in the Australian city of Brisbane after a severe storm swept across south-east
The storm produced hailstones the size of golf balls, causing widespread damage.
Up to 90,000 homes were without power as winds gusting at 140km/h (85mph) brought down trees and power lines.
Commuters were also stranded after rail services were suspended across Brisbane.
Transport Minister Scott Emerson estimated the cost of the damage at more than $A100m (£54m).
He said it was probably the worst storm Brisbane had seen in almost 30 years.
State-owned electricity supplier Energex had emergency teams working overnight to reconnect customers. But by Friday morning,
68,000 homes remained blacked out.
The storm swept in on Thursday afternoon, leaving many commuters trapped for hours in stalled electric trains.
The force of the storm ripped roofing from homes and businesses, and tipped over light planes at Brisbane's Archerfield
A spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology, Richard Wardle, said Thursday's storm dumped close to a month's worth of rain on
some parts of the city in a very short period.
'We had 72 mm of rainfall at Archerfield, over 60mm of that fell in about 20 minutes. Just to put that in context the average
rainfall out there is 78 mm for the month of November.'
Thursday's storm began when a humid air mass was sitting over southeast Queensland.
A southerly change moving up from New South Wales then lifted the air and created perfect conditions for severe storm
activity - creating a supercell system with 140 km/h winds.
- The worst flooding in years in southern France has claimed five lives and forced more than 3,000 people to evacuate their homes, officials said.
The latest victim was a 73-year-old man who died of heart failure in Rivesaltes, in the Pyrénées-Orientales region, while trying to force his car through a dip in a road that was flooded.
Along the banks of the Agly river in the same region, the government said about 2,800 people were evacuated by late afternoon on Sunday.
The flooding was considered more serious than the deadly overflows seen in 1999, with the government saying it would evacuate residents within 200 m of the river. Another 560 people had already left their homes in Canet, Argelès-sur-Mer and Barcarès, on the Mediterranean coast.
The river Berre had also flooded, reaching a metre above the level seen during flooding in 1999 that left 35 people dead and one missing in the region. About 250 people fled Sigean, in low-lying land and lagoons just south of Narbonne.
World weather news, October 2014
- A bolt of lightning has killed 11 members of a Colombian indigenous group and injured
19 others during a spiritual ceremony in an isolated mountain region.
The lightning struck the ceremonial hut where spiritual leaders of the Wiwa community of
the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta were holding a meeting on Sunday night. The building, made
of adobe walls and thatched roof, burnt to the ground.
- A powerful typhoon (Typhoon Phanfone) lashed southern Japan on Sunday, churning up high
waves that washed three American airmen out to sea and killed at least one.
In Suzuka, in central Japan, a French formula one driver was severely injured in an
accident in the Japanese grand prix, which had to be shortened because the heavy rain made
conditions too dangerous.
One of the three US airmen was found dead. The other two were missing, according to the air
force and the Japanese coast guard. They had been on Okinawa island's northern coast when
they were overcome by the waves.
In Suzuka, the Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of the Marussia team went off the track at
a turn and hit a recovery vehicle that was removing a car that had crashed earlier. An
unconscious Bianchi was taken to a nearby hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery
for a severe head injury. Race officials said he was in critical condition.
By late Sunday, Typhoon Phanfone was off the coast of Shikoku in south-western Japan, with
winds of up to 90 mph after hitting the regions of Okinawa and Kyushu, Japan's
Meteorological Agency said.
Several people on Kyushu island were injured in the typhoon. The storm also grounded more
than 100 flights on Sunday and knocked out power to more than 9,500 Kyushu homes.
Elsewhere in the Pacific, a separate typhoon whipped the Mariana Islands, including Guam,
with high winds and heavy rain.
The eye of the typhoon in the Marianas was expected to pass over the small island of Rota,
which has about 2,500 residents and many buildings made of concrete.
- A four-day heatwave eased in California, with temperatures dropping to the low 90s (F),
but another intense heatwave is due this weekend (11th-12th), bringing fresh risks of
wildfires and power outages.
The San Fernando valley hit 104F on Saturday, making Pasadena's 102F seem merciful, and
Torrance's 96F positively cool. Most Angelenos hunkered indoors, close to a fan or air-
conditioning, or splashed in the sea, swimming pools and fountains.
On Sunday an estimated 50,000, however, participated in the annual CicLAvia, a cycling-
centric event which closed streets around downtown and east LA.
- A slow moving trough of low pressure brought unseasonably heavy rain
to Vanuatu in the first week of October. Port Vila normally averages 105 mm in October but
received 297.7 mm in the 48 hours to 8am on the 9th, including 271 mm in a 24 hour period to
5pm (local time) on the 7th. In the past 60 years there have only been 4 or 5 occasions when
more than 200 mm fell in 24 h and all these appear to have been associated with tropical
cyclones in the vicinity.
- A fleeting but devastating microburst slammed parts of Easthampton, Massachusetts, in
the early morning, flattening trees and battering homes.
Just before 5 a.m. EDT, 100 mph winds pushed through Hampshire County, destroying trees
along a pathway estimated to be a mile long.
A microburst is a small column of exceptionally intense and localized sinking air that
results in a violent out-rush of air at the ground. The phenomenon is often destructive
with straight-line winds that can flatten trees and cause significant structural damage.
- A roof of a home has been ripped off and vehicles damaged after a tornado struck in a
Cars were turned over at the junction of Catherine Street and Mansfield Road in Alfreton,
Derbyshire, on Wednesday afternoon.
The Met Office confirmed it was a tornado, caused by volatile and unstable air.
A tornado was also spotted forming over the M53 motorway in Wirral.
Footage was posted online of a twister blowing across the motorway near junction 6 by
The tornado comes after temperatures have drastically dropped in Merseyside over the last
few days, with an increasing amount of wind and rain.
- Typhoon Vongfong started life at the end of September as a weak tropical disturbance.
It gained strength as it moved over the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean and was classified
as a tropical storm on the 2nd October. It was named Vongfong, which translates into
English as 'wasp'. The storm intensified further, becoming a typhoon on the 3rd October.
A measure of the intensity of a typhoon (or hurricane, or cyclone) is the atmospheric
pressure at the centre of the storm system. In simple terms, the lower the central
pressure, the stronger the storm is.
Super Typhoon Vongfong is estimated to have had a central pressure of 900 millibars on the
8th October, which makes it the strongest tropical storm seen anywhere in the world (so
far) this year. It isn't the lowest ever recorded though - that dubious honour belongs to
Typhoon Tip which had a central pressure of 870 millibars on October 12th, 1979.
- Only a week after Japan was slammed by Typhoon Phanfone, Vongfong brought another round of torrential rainfall and locally damaging winds.
Vongfong, meaning "the wasp" in Cantonese, turned northeastward and moved across Kyushu and Shikoku on Monday. Landfall occurred on Kyushu near Kagoshima around 9:15 a.m. on Monday, local time, as the storm began to accelerate northeastward.
This northeastward track continued on Monday night and Tuesday as the cyclone brought torrential rain and locally damaging winds to Honshu and parts of Hokkaido.
Prior to reaching Mainland Japan, Vongfong blasted through the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan over the weekend. Wind speeds peaked at 143 km/h at the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. Nearby, about 500 mm fell at Kunigami on Saturday.
Despite weakening while crossing Japan, wind gusts over 92 km/hwere reported in Tokyo along with torrential downpours that produced 50-100 mm of rain.
The Associated Press reported that at least 75 people have been injured and one killed in Japan as the cyclone brought torrential rain and locally damaging winds to the region.
As the storm moved across Japan, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) took precautions to prevent problems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
- Tropical Cyclone Hudhud, only the second named cyclone in the northern Indian Ocean this season, brought devastation to India.
The powerful cyclone moved onshore Sunday morning near Visakhapatnam, one of the largest cities on India's eastern coast.
Through Sunday evening local time, Visakhapatnam was drenched with over 150 mm of rainfall.
The heavy rain led to flooding across portions of eastern India, and more flooding is expected as Hudhud traverses through northern India and into Nepal.
While coming onshore, Hudhud brought wind speeds of 195 km/h. Many trees were unable to withstand the power of the cyclone and were brought down in the storm's wrath. Power has been cut to thousands of people across the region.
At least 400,000 people were evacuated from the coastal areas of the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa states ahead of the storm.
Gaurella in Chattisgarh reported more than 175 mm of rain as Hudhud moved through the area Monday into Tuesday. Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, received more than 115 mm.
- A slow-moving storm system produced severe thunderstorms in the Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night leading to flooding, while heavy snow fell in the higher elevations outside the city.
A powerful spring storm system was responsible for the wild weather that has resulted in numerous power outages caused by damaging winds. Sydney Airport reported winds as high as 105 km/h during the relentless storms that moved through the area.
Rainfall averaged 75-150 mm south and west of downtown Sydney with rainfall of 25-75 mmin the city itself through Tuesday evening, local time.
- Hurricane Gonzalo grew into a major category 3 storm and is expected to strengthen further as it heads toward Bermuda after killing a man in the Dutch Caribbean territory of St Martin.
The storm had top sustained winds of nearly 115mph and was centered about 770 miles south of Bermuda on Tuesday afternoon, said the US National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was moving north-west at 13mph.
Forecasters said Gonzalo could become a powerful category 4 hurricane Wednesday as it spins over open waters through Friday on a track toward Bermuda. category 4 storms have sustained winds of at least 130mph with the potential to cause catastrophic damage.
Gonzalo was blamed for the death of an unidentified elderly man who was aboard a boat in St Martin's Simpson Bay Lagoon, which looked like a ship graveyard Tuesday, with several masts protruding from the water. Acting coast guard director Wendell Thode said 22 of the 37 boats destroyed by the storm were in the lagoon.
- The Brazilian capital of Brasilia broke its all-time record high on Wednesday, a record that is already in jeopardy as the heat wave continues across central South America.
Temperatures soared to 36.0C on Wednesday in Brasilia and setting a new all-time record high for the city.
The previous record was 35.8C from 28 October 2008.
- Rescuers in Nepal are trying to reach more than 20 trekkers trapped below a high Himalayan pass by heavy snowfalls and avalanches as the death toll from the unfolding tragedy was reported to be as high as 32.
High winds and blizzards hit much of central Nepal this week as the tail end of a cyclone travelling west across northern India reached the Himalayan mountain chain. The head of the Trekking Agencies Association Nepal said there had never been a disaster like it.
The trekking group is reported to be trapped close to the 5,400m (17,700ft) Thorong La, a pass on the famous three-week Annapurna circuit route. Clear weather has raised hopes that they will be reached before further deaths, though there are concerns that members may be suffering exposure, frostbite and severe dehydration.
Local officials said 24 bodies had been found on the Annapurna circuit, which circles the Annapurna mountain and attracts thousands of walkers every year, after blizzards on the 15th.
- Cars were swallowed by rushing floodwaters that diced through streets in the Canary Islands, Spain, over the weekend.
A bout of rattling thunderstorms and torrential rain pushed over the region due to a low pressure system spinning to the west of the islands.
Rainfall averaged 50 to 100 mm across the islands, most of which fell within a six-hour time frame on Sunday. According to local reports, as many as five people died during the flooding. One woman reportedly died after being trapped under a parked car, unable to escape as flood waters rushed through local streets.
Schools in Tenerife, one of the most devastated areas, are set to open on Tuesday after being closed for cleanup efforts on Monday, according to local government.
- Strong winds have buffeted the UK as the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo hit.
Planes wobbled at they came in to land at Manchester Airport, while about 10,000 passengers were affected by flight cancellations at Heathrow.
A woman died and four people were taken to hospital after winds felled trees and caused widespread disruption.
Gusts of up to 88mph - the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo - hit Oban in western Scotland, while most of the UK saw strong winds.
The woman died in central London, with a man hurt in a nearby incident and three people injured in West Sussex.
The strongest winds in the UK were recorded mainly in northern parts of the country and in Wales.
Ferry services were cancelled, roads closed and hundreds left without power in parts of Scotland
At one stage 400 people were left without electricity as gusts of up to 70mph caused travel disruption and power cuts in Wales
- After slamming areas from the United Kingdom and Ireland into central Europe with damaging winds and locally heavy rainfall earlier this week, a powerful storm storm system containing the remnants of former Hurricane Gonzalo hit other parts of Europe
Rainfall from Tuesday night into Wednesday totalled 50-100 mm from southern Austria and western Hungary into Slovenia and northern Croatia. Flooding of homes and streets was reported in Slovenia, especially around the capital of Ljubljana where 137 mm of rain fell in under six hours.
Wednesday night into Thursday, the heaviest rain fell across southwest Romania, Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro. While rainfall averaged 25-50 mm, some areas received as much as 100 mm.
- A nor'easter storm battered New England on Wednesday night as widespread damage was reported. Tens of thousands of customers were without power across Connecticut, New York, Maine and Massachusetts. At one point, 44,000 customers throughout the area were without power.
Strong winds sent trees crashing throughout the region, blocking roadways across Massachusetts according to local fire departments and trained National Weather Service spotters. Winds gusted close to 60 mph at Blue Hill Observatory.
LaGuardia Airport and Philadelphia International Airport experienced over 500 flight delays each as the storm created hazardous conditions. Boston's Logan International Airport and New York's JFK International Airport both suffered extensive delays as well.
Some flooding was reported in New Jersey and Massachusetts, closing area roadways.
- A "running-mate" is being sought for a top job in the Lake District.
Two fell-top assessors take turns at making the daily climb to Helvellyn's 950m summit to report on conditions for the Weatherline service.
The Lake District National Park Authority said conditions could change rapidly on the fells so the service was "almost beyond value" in helping to keep visitors and locals safe.
One of the posts, which run from December to Easter, is now vacant.
Jon Bennett, who has been a fell-top assessor for eight years, described it as a "dream job", even though he often has to brave snow drifts and wind chill temperatures down to -16C.
- The weekend brought summerlike warmth to the central U.S. where locations from Texas to Idaho tied or broke their previous record-high temperatures for these days.
High pressure over the South pumped warm air in from Mexico and provided abundant sunshine to the central U.S.
Not only did many locations break their previous record-high temperatures, many also tied or broke their previous record high-minimum temperatures for these days.
- A moisture-laden cyclone, partly associated with the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo, moved slowly through Greece and neighboring parts of the Balkan Peninsula from Friday through Sunday.
The storm brought significant flooding to portions of Greece, including Athens. Meanwhile heavy rain and snow brought travel nightmares to parts of Bulgaria.
Tatoi and Eleusis, both northern suburbs of Athens situated in the Attica Region, picked up more than 60 mm of rain in a short period of time leading to flooding.
Numerous other cars and vehicles were swept down streets and piled onto of one another thanks to the ferocious force in which the flood waters traveled.
The heaviest rainfall shifted into Bulgaria over the weekend as nearly 125 mm fell in the city of Burgas, prompting widespread rainfall and travel chaos. The storm ended with one final blast as wet snow mixed in with the rain all the way to Black Sea coast.
Accumulating snowfall in some of the higher elevations resulted in road closures. Up to 20 cm of snow was reported in Pamporovo.
- Landslides have closed several roads across Scotland as further heavy rains batter the country.
The A835 Ullapool was closed for several hours because of a landslide at Garve.
The Met Office issued an amber warning of rain for the Highlands, as well as yellow warnings covering parts of Perthshire, Fife, Strathclyde and the south west.
In Edinburgh, Balcarres Street has flooded. People living in neighbouring flats have put up their flood gates to stop the water from entering their homes.
Meanwhile, the A82 was closed for a short time earlier on Tuesday between Tarbet and Crianlarich. The section of road has been reopened under temporary traffic lights.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued flood warnings for large parts of Perthshire and Tayside, Skye, Lochaber, Speyside and Easter Ross.
Flood alerts were also in place for Argyll and Bute, Wester Ross and Caithness.
The Met Office said that since Saturday the worst-affected parts of the country had seen three-day rainfall totals in excess of 150 mm.
And BBC Scotland weather presenter Chris Blanchett said 265 mm of rain had fallen in some parts of the Highlands since Friday.
- A deadly mudslide struck central Sri Lanka after days of rain soaked the nation. More downpours threaten to hinder rescue and recovery operations.
A total of 120 workers' homes at the Meeriabedda tea plantation in Sri Lanka's Badulla district were wiped out when the mudslide occurred at 7:30 a.m., local time.
At least 10 people are dead with as many as 250 others still missing.
The site of the mudslide is 220 km east of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo.
Badulla has recorded daily amounts of 23 mm or more of rain on eight out of the last ten days.
World weather news, September 2014
- Strong storms moving through the Atlanta metro area damaged
several buildings and flipped nearly a dozen planes Sunday night at
the Atlanta South Regional Airport in Hampton, Georgia.
One of the planes was reportedly moved 100 yards due to wind, the
station reported. There was no reports of injuries.
The cause of the damage could be the result of a microburst, the
National Weather Service in Atlanta said.
- Remnants of Norbert brought record-breaking monsoonal rainfall to
parts of the Southwest Sunday night and into Monday, creating havoc
for early-morning commuters in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. A stretch
of Interstate 15, north of Las Vegas has been shut down this week.
With the surging rain, Phoenix broke their all-time calendar record
for daily rainfall. Receiving 2.96 inches as of 7 a.m. local time, the
area received nearly 3 inches in less than seven hours, breaking the
previous record from 1933. The ongoing heavy rainfall prompted Arizona
Governor Jan Brewer to declare a state of emergency.
- Canadians in Alberta are calling it 'Snowtember' this week, as
heavy snow is falling across the Calgary region. The wintry inundation
has brought town trees and power lines, and is wreaking havoc on the
morning commute. Calgary snowfall totals this week are more than what
the city typically sees in the months of September and October,
On Monday, the Canadian province of Alberta saw an active cold front
sweep through from the Arctic, bringing a dramatic drop in
temperature. In Calgary, Alberta's largest city, the arrival of the
front was marked by a transition from rain to heavy snow through the
morning, giving accumulations of 11.8cm at the International Airport.
Temperatures in Calgary struggled to rise much above freezing through
Monday afternoon, a stark contrast to the summery 25C recorded just a
day earlier. Another round of snow struck the city on Tuesday and
Wednesday, bringing the three day total at the airport to 28.2cm.
Thousands of trees, which were still full of leaves, collapsed under
the weight of the heavy wet snow, cutting power to 30,000 homes and
leading to significant traffic disruption. September snow is not an
unusual occurrence in Calgary; indeed the city has recorded snow every
month of the year. On average, however, the city sees a total of 4cm
in September, which normally results from one or two events late in
the month. Only 8 September snow events have produced more than 20cm
since records began in 1880.
- Heavy snowfall Wednesday night and Thursday morning covered parts of
Montana, Wyoming and western South Dakota.
As of Thursday morning, up to 6-8 inches accumulated on portions of
the Black Hills in South Dakota, and Cut Bank and Lewistown in Montana
had their first snowfall of the season. The early snowfall has caused
over 30,000 power outages in Calgary, Alberta, and threatened to cause
power outages in the Rockies and northern Plains of the United States.
- A Philippine ferry sank near Panaon Island, forcing all of its
passengers and crew members overboard.
According to a report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and
Management Council, two people have died and three people have been
injured. A total of 144 people have been rescued with the search for
others still ongoing. Weather is believed to have played a major role
in the incident, as Typhoon Kalmaegi was churning in waters to the
north, stirring up rough seas in the region.
- Hurricane Odile hammered Mexico's Baja California Peninsula
overnight, tearing away the facades of luxury resorts, shattering
countless car and hotel windows and leaving lobbies swamped and full
of debris on Monday.
The storm, which made landfall near Cabo San Lucas the previous night
as a powerful Category 3 hurricane, toppled trees, power poles and
road signs along the main highway, which at one point was swamped by
rushing floodwaters. Room windows at the Westin were blown out, mud
and rock blocked the entrance to the Club Regina and workers said the
Hilton was seriously damaged.
Odile continued to rake the state of Baja California Sur as it marched
northward with strong winds and heavy rains.
The storm's maximum sustained winds were near 175 km/h as it moved
over the peninsula as a Category 2 hurricane.
- The first half of September is now in United Kingdom record books
for being the driest in more than 50 years.
Data calculated by the UK Met Office reveals that the average rainfall
across the United Kingdom for the first 15 days of September is only
"That makes [those 15 days] the driest first half of September for the
United Kingdom in available records back to 1960," stated the Met
- While the monsoon is retreating across northwestern and northern
India, a round of heavy monsoonal rain sparked deadly flooding and
mudslides in the northeast on Monday and Tuesday.
So far, at least 55 people have died as a result of the recent extreme
weather in India. Many people remain missing as flood waters continue
to flow through many villages across the region.
- Fung-wong brought heavy rainfall, flooding and mudslides to the
Philippines, China, Taiwan and South Korea over the past week.
Fung-wong (called Mario in the Philippines) made landfall in
northeastern Luzon Island on Friday (local time) and unleashed
torrential rain across the entire island. After flooding the northern
Philippines, Fung-wong turned to the north and targeted Taiwan with a
deluge of rainfall.
The storm affected more than one million people across the Philippines
and as many as 206,000 people were reported to be in 403 evacuation
centers during the height of the storm. That includes those in Metro
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, as widespread flooding
The storm damaged or destroyed more than 2,000 homes across the
Weather observations from downtown Manila indicate that 194 mm of rain
fell from late Thursday through Saturday (local time). In nearby
Quezon City, rain amounts exceeded 410 mm. Farther north, Baguio
received about 500 mm of rain.
Through Monday, local time, Pingtung County in southern Taiwan was the
hardest-hit area in terms of rainfall. The Taiwan Central Weather
Bureau reports that several locations in the county received over 500
mm of rain.
The Central Weather Bureau reported a wind gust to 140 km/h in
Pengjiayu, a small island just to the north of mainland Taiwan. On the
southern tip of the country, winds gusted to 100 km/h. The South China
Morning Post reports that more than 40,000 households in southern and
northeastern Taiwan were without power during the peak of the storm.
Fung-wong transitioned into a tropical rainstorm late Tuesday, but it
still brought heavy rains to South Korea Tuesday night into Wednesday.
Rainfall averaged 50-100 mm across much of the nation with higher
amounts exceeding 150 mm in parts of the southwest, including
- Tropical storm Rachel became the 17th named storm of the eastern
Pacific hurricane season last week, making this the third most active
season on record, behind 1985 and 1992. Winds peaked at 75mph over the
weekend, before the storm weakened into a tropical depression as it
moved over cooler water west of the Baja California peninsula.
Meanwhile, across the north-west Pacific, a thundery area of low
pressure originating near the Mariana Islands, developed into tropical
storm Kammuri, as it tracked northwards towards the east coast of
Japan. Wind gusts approached 80mph on Sunday, but the storm has now
decreased in strength, avoiding landfall.
- Powerful storms swept through the Southwest over the weekend,
ravaging local infrastructures with destructive winds and slashing
At Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, more than 40
flights had to be diverted to other airports due to unsafe landing
conditions as winds howled up to 67 mph at the site on the 27th.
The same winds tore apart the airport's roof, littering debris over
parts of the tarmac.
According to the National Weather Service in Phoenix, the rattling
thunderstorms were created due to a low pressure system that pulled in
monsoonal moisture. As the system encroached toward the area, wind
shear was strengthening, resulting in a severe weather outbreak.
Though the storms moved at a quick pace, a trail of widespread damage
was left behind. Multiple trees were downed, utility poles crashed
onto roadways and winds peeled roofing off of several local buildings.
- Flooding occurred in some areas as rainfall totalled 75-150 mm
from near Barcelona Spain to Agde, France, through midday Monday,
Extreme rainfall occurred in Montpellier, France where 300 mm fell,
the majority falling in three hours. This is nearly half the average
annual rainfall of 630 mm.
World weather news, August 2014
- Heavy rain, thunderstorms and even a tornado hit parts of Istanbul, Turkey.
The tornado, which started as a waterspout, moved inland dealing damage to parts of the Golden Horn and
Eminonu districts of the city.
Meanwhile, other parts of the city that were spared by the tornado had to deal with flash flooding as a
thunderstorms rolled through the city Saturday afternoon into Saturday night.
- A large ridge of high pressure over eastern Russia has brought extreme heat to areas from Poland
eastward through the Baltic states, Belarus and Ukraine. Temperatures ranging from 5-10 degC above
normal were common for several days in many locations.
In fact, some of the most extreme heat was felt from Belarus into Latvia and Lithuania. Here record
high temperatures were set, including the all-time record high in Latvia.
The record was initially broken on Sunday 3rd as the temperature reached 36.7C in Ventspils. Only 24
hours later, that record was replaced with a new one as the mercury reached 37.8C in Ventspils.
- Four people have been killed and 20 others injured after a flash flood tore through a festival in
Reports from the scene talk of panic as a mud-filled torrent swept people away late on Saturday night
at the festival at Refrontolo, north of Venice.
The event, by an old mill house beneath a waterfall, was meant to celebrate and promote the attractions
of the area.
But during the festivities, there was a burst of very heavy rain and a wall of water suddenly ripped
through the area.
Other villages in the area were also affected by landslides caused by the rain, reports say.
- At least one person has died in Sweden amid the nation's largest wildfire in over 40 years.
The fire which is has burned more than 37,000 acres had been aided by recent dry and unseasonably hot
The region has averaged less than 25 mm of rain over the past month. Along with the rainfall deficit,
temperatures continued to soar on Tuesday. The high temperature reached 34.7C in Sala, where the normal
high temperature is close to 21C this time of the year.
- Norway is in the midst of a wetter than normal start to August.
Oslo picked up 70.4 mm of rain during the first five days of August, which is nearly 75 percent of what
typically falls through the entire month.
- A rare tropical storm battering Hawaii has already caused power blackouts and blocked roads on one
island, but no deaths have been reported. Iselle made landfall early on Friday morning on the chain's
Big Island, shortly after it was downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm.
But Hurricane Julio, a Category 3 storm with winds of more than 120 mph, is about 1600 km away.
Hawaiian officials have urged residents to stock up on emergency supplies.
The last cyclone to hit Hawaii, Hurricane Iniki in 1992, killed six and caused $2.4bn (£1.4bn) in
Iselle was weakening as it hit the terrain of the eastern-most island of Hawaii.
- Police in Bosnia-Herzegovina are searching for two people swept away during the second bout of
torrential rainfall since May, when the Balkans were hit by the worst floods in more than a century.
The body of a woman was recovered on Thursday from the muddy bank of a river in northwestern Bosnia,
and two people were listed as missing, police said.
The country suffered almost €2bn (£1.6bn) worth of damage to homes, infrastructure and industry in May,
when heavy rains caused rivers to burst their banks, sweep away roads and bridges and set off hundreds
of landslides. More than 20 people died in Bosnia and more than 60 in Serbia.
There were similar scenes, on a lesser scale, this week in Bosnia and parts of Serbia, where a man
drowned in his cellar on Tuesday.
- Tropical Storm Halong was declared a post-tropical cyclone Monday morning (Japanese time) over the
Sea of Japan after a long trek that took it past Guam before later dumping record rainfall amounts on
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued an "emergency weather warning" for Mie Prefecture over the
The maximum reported rainfall occurred in Yanase, Kochi Prefecture, on Shikoku. The site recorded 1,081
mm of rain in the 72-hour period ending at 12:30 p.m. JST Sunday 10th, including a remarkable 862 mm of
rain in just 24 hours.
According to Japan's National Institute of Informatics, the 24-hour total in Yanase ranks among the 10
greatest 24-hour rainfall amounts on record since JMA's high-resolution observation network was
deployed in the mid-1970s.
Halong made its first landfall just after 6 a.m. JST on the 10th, as a typhoon with maximum sustained
winds of 75 mph near the city of Aki, Kochi prefecture, on the island of Shikoku.
Around that time, the observatory at Cape Muroto, which sits on a high exposed bluff on the Pacific
Ocean side of Shikoku, recorded a 94-mph sustained wind with a gust to 117 mph.
After crossing the Seto Inland Sea, Halong made a second landfall shortly after 10 a.m. JST on Sunday
as a tropical storm near the similarly-named city of Ako, Hyogo prefecture, on the island of Honshu,
Japan's largest island. Ako is 45 miles west of Kobe. Maximum winds were pegged at 70 mph during this
- Commuters across the Northeast USA woke to widespread flash flooding after intense storms rumbled
through Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning dumping over 13 inches of rain across the Long Island
The flash flooding proved deadly as one fatality occurred early Wednesday morning during an accident
caused by the high water levels on the Long Island Expressway according to the Associated Press.
Islip, New York, received an overwhelming record of 13.27 inches of rain Tuesday night through
Wednesday morning. The total eclipsed what the area usually receives over the course of an entire
summer - 11.68 inches.
- Although no longer a tropical system, remnants of former Hurricane Bertha slammed portions of the
United Kingdom and Europe from the weekend into Monday.
Around 80 sailing dinghies were hit by a storm east of Northern Ireland Monday after forcing a massive
water rescue. The dinghies were competing in the GP14 World Championship Races at the time of the mass
Tornadoes were reported across France and Belgium on Sunday. One tornado near Marbay, Belgium injured
dozens of people when a structure collapsed at a flea market.
Another tornado damaged several roofs and uprooted trees in the municipality of Thuin.
Heavy rains battered Tournai and Mouscron leading to flooding of homes and roadways Sunday afternoon.
- A train has derailed at the top of a gulley after running into a landslide near the Swiss ski
resort of St Moritz.
Eleven people are reported to have been injured and taken to nearby hospitals by helicopter.
The landslide happened after heavy rain in eastern Switzerland overnight.
The accident comes amid unusually bad weather for the month of August, normally a popular time for
- Four more bodies have been found buried under mud in Nepal, pushing the death toll from landslides
and flooding to 89, with 109 people still missing.
Torrential rain last week stranded thousands of villagers and sparked fears of a cholera outbreak.
Media reports on Sunday said several districts in the northern Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
were also flooded after heavy rain near
- A long-lived and intense thunderstorm dumped hail that ended up being measured in feet in some
parts of Mexico City Sunday afternoon and evening.
City tunnels and roadways became impassable in some locations and emergency workers were forced into
action to free vehicles and open roads. Heavy equipment was needed to clean up the hail, similar to the
clean-up efforts needed after a blizzard.
Mexico City sits at an elevation of roughly 7,000 feet which creates conditions where intense storms
can run through the city, dropping heavy rains and even hail.
Unique to Sunday's storms was the extreme amount of hail that pounded the area. There were reports of
hail stacking to the point where ploughs had to shovel the roads in efforts to make them clear.
- Rain-sodden slopes collapsed in torrents of mud, rock and debris on the outskirts of Hiroshima city
on Wednesday, killing at least 36 people and leaving seven missing.
Hillsides were swept down into residential areas in at least five valleys in the suburbs of the western
Japanese city after heavy rains left slopes unstable.
The land collapsed rapidly at multiple locations, with evacuation advice arriving an hour after the
first mudslide, said Kenzo Kanayama, the city's disaster management chief. "We misjudged the situation.
It was too late," he said.
- A wave of low pressure brought torrential rain central and southern South Korea from Sunday night
into Monday. Rainfall averaged 50-100 mm across the southern half of South Korea with isolated amounts
over 250 mm.
Some of the heaviest rain was reported around Busan and Changwon where widespread flooding has been
At least one person has died with widespread evacuations and rescues reported across the region.
- Three flood rescues have been carried out in northern New South Wales as rain inundates the region,
causing flash flooding and concerns that one community may be cut off.
State emergency service volunteers helped a woman stuck in her vehicle in floodwater in Ballina on
Not long afterwards a couple were led to safety after their car was stuck in floodwaters at Marom
Creek, west of Ballina, according to the SES.
On the mid-north coast a minor flood warning is in place for the Bellinger, Orara and Hastings rivers.
Toormina, near Coffs Harbour, recorded 110mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday.
World weather news, July 2014
- On Wednesday in Spain 35 cm of hail fell in around 45 minutes in Almazan, Soria. This freak storm caught locals by surprise damaging 70% of the houses in the town and causing local flash floods. Almazan wasn't the only place to be hit though, and many areas including Madrid also reported similar exceptional events.
- Leaving a battered North Carolina coast in its wake, hurricane Arthur is moving toward New England where it threatens to hamper Fourth of July celebrations. The first hurricane of the Atlantic season touched the North Carolina coast with 100 mph-plus winds Thursday night, striking as a category two hurricane - that is, a storm characterised by extremely dangerous winds of 96 to 110mph that are capable of causing extensive damage. Overnight, Arthur pounded North Carolina's Outer Banks islands with fierce winds and heavy rains, causing widespread power outages. It knocked out power, ripped apart trees and caused flash flooding.
- Giant hail has pummelled the US state of Nebraska, leaving vehicles and homes damaged. Severe weather has been sweeping the Mid-Western states, with tornado warnings in south-west Iowa and north-west Missouri. Meanwhile, boats have been used to rescue residents cut off by flash floods. Footage shows baseball-sized hail in Wilber, Nebraska, while in Missouri Valley, Iowa, an eyewitness captured the moment 90mph winds ripped the roof off a gas station.
- Post-tropical storm Arthur, weakened from a hurricane, has battered south-east Canada leaving more than 200,000 homes and businesses without power. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick bore the brunt of the storm's torrential rain and strong winds.
- Typhoon Neoguri headed for the Japanese mainland after crossing to the southern Okinawa island chain, killing two people and leaving a trail of damage. With gusts of up to180 km/h the typhoon was forecast to hit the southern main island of Kyushu as early as Thursday before moving east along the Japanese archipelago, the national weather agency said. Officials said Neoguri would bring heavy rainfall and warned of the risk of flooding and landslides after the storm - which has weakened from a super typhoon - forced half a million people to seek shelter in Okinawa on Tuesday. On Monday authorities gave issued their highest typhoon alert and on Wednesday the weather agency said the situation in Okinawa remained serious because of the prospect of further torrential rain bringing the possibility of landslides and flooding. In the Okinawan capital of Naha on Tuesday traffic lights went out, trees were split, signboards flew about and a restaurant was destroyed. Schools were closed, air and sea traffic ground to a halt and nearly 70,000 Okinawan households had no power.
- High pressure has brought dry and settled conditions to Scandinavia recently, but some parts of northern Norway (at 70N and inside the Arctic Circle) have experienced temperatures over 30C. For example, the observed temperature at Balnak at 70N in the far north of Norway on Thursday was 32.6C at 1200 GMT, due to a foehn wind. At the same time the Azores high pressure area brought a cool north to north-westerly flow to northern parts of Spain early on Thursday morning. In fact, Urbana situated in the Sierra de la Demanda mountain range of northern Spain, reported a minimum temperature of 0°C at an altitude of 1565 metres in the 12 h ending 0600 GMT. It was one of the coldest July nights on record in Spain; even in the mountains such cold temperatures in July are most unusual.
- Bathers on a beach in Novosibirsk in Russia's Siberia region were caught by surprise by a hailstorm following a sharp drop in temperature. Mobile phone footage showed people running out of the water to seek cover from the large hailstones, protecting themselves under umbrellas and trees. As temperatures reached 37C on Saturday afternoon, a powerful thunderstorm unleashed heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail on beachgoers along the Ob River.
- One person was killed and three were injured after a lightning strike at Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park Saturday around 3:30 p.m. local time. This comes one day after another strike occurred in the park on Friday, leaving one woman dead and seven injured.
The weather on Saturday was a combination of daytime heating instability and a slow-moving cold front that crossed through the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
- Two young Perth (Australia) men with muscular dystrophy died after they were unable to breathe or alert their carer when the machine that kept them alive stopped working during a tornado. The medical equipment that the two 25-year-olds depended on did not have back-up electricity after the tornado downed power lines, a grieving friend said.
Housemates Kyle Scolari and Conor Murphy died in their Beaconsfield residence on Monday morning as the freak storm hit.
- Officials in California have approved fines of up to $500 a day for residents who waste water, as the state faces its worst drought in nearly four decades. The measures have been introduced to stop water being wasted on lawns, landscaping and car washing. Water consumption rose by 1% in the year up to May, despite an appeal for people to make a 20% reduction. About 75% of water used in California is for agricultural purposes.
- Typhoon Rammasun killed at least 11 people when it hit northern Vietnam as China counted 33 dead from the strongest storm to strike its south in four decades. Rammasun had earlier battered southern China, killing 33 people and destroying tens of thousands of homes. It was the strongest typhoon to hit China's southern region in 41 years, damaging roads and ports, cutting electricity and water supplies, and hampering rescue efforts as it swept through dozens of coastal cities. Worst hit was the island province of Hainan, where the storm made its first landfall on Friday. By Monday 51,000 houses and 40,600ha (100,300 acres) of crops had been destroyed. The typhoon caused US$1.7bn in damage on the island.
- Former Typhoon Matmo brought torrential rainfall to China and Taiwan through Thursday night, local time.
Matmo made landfall along the east coast of Taiwan Tuesday night, local time, with winds over 160 km/h.
The cyclone then crossed Taiwan and emerged over the Taiwan Strait before making a second landfall on Fujian Province, China, late Wednesday afternoon, local time.
The hardest-hit areas in the mountains of eastern Taiwan received more than 650 mm of rain from Matmo. Heavy rain also fell across Lanyu Township, just east of the main island of Taiwan on Tuesday. Rainfall of 250-300 mm was reported. Also, wind gusts of 160 kph (100 mph) pelted the small island for several hours as the eye of the storm passed just to the northeast Forty-eight people died after a plane crash in Taiwan Wednesday evening, local time, amid heavy rain and gusty winds from former Typhoon Matmo.
- The Boston-area city of Revere was hit by a rare tornado that knocked out power and damaged homes and buildings. The National Weather Service said a tornado touched down during a storm that brought heavy rains, lightning and flooding to Boston, Massachusetts, and many of its northern suburbs on Monday evening. Boston and cities to its northeast reported extensive street flooding from the storm, which dropped rain at the rate of 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 cm) per hour, the National Weather Service said. Tornadoes are uncommon in Massachusetts, although a large spate of storms in June 2011 badly damaged downtown Springfield, in the central part of the state, killing three people.
- A landslide has struck a village in western India following heavy monsoon rains, killing at least 17 people and leaving as many as 200 trapped. Emergency services rushed to the remote village of Malin in the Pune district of Maharashtra state, where debris from a hill collapsed on to homes while residents were sleeping. Heavy rains have been falling for days in Maharashtra as a result of the annual monsoon. Building collapses are common in India, especially during the rainy season, with millions living in dilapidated old structures, or newly built but illegal constructions made from substandard materials.
World weather news, June 2014
- A powerful thunderstorm created a dust storm that has left at least four people dead in Tehran, Iran. The storm struck between 5 and 6 p.m. local time, sending temperatures from 33C to 19C in just an hour.
Along with the dramatic temperature drop, wind gusts reached nearly 70 mph during the storm as these powerful westerly winds blew thick dust through the city.
The winds also knocked down numerous trees and power lines, leaving many without power and snarling traffic throughout the city.
Reports also indicate that at least 27 other people were injured, mainly from falling trees and automobile accidents during the storm.
- A major outbreak of severe storms blasted portions of the Plains (USA), leaving a trail of damage.
Throughout Tuesday evening, an intense cluster of thunderstorms pushed across Nebraska with wind gusts 80 to 100 mph in some areas. The National Weather Service reported that Omaha received 5.3 inches of rain on Tuesday, setting a new daily record for the city.
Baseball-sized hail, high wind gusts and flooding downpours swept across Omaha, Nebraska, forcing the evacuation of several homes, according to Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert. This occurrence of severe weather is known as a derecho.
- The Greater Tokyo Area will experience several days of moderate to heavy rainfall through the first part of the weekend.
A slow-moving storm system has already brought 50-150 mm of rain to southern Japan, including the far northern Ryukyu Islands, eastern Kyushu and southern Shikoku. Local rainfall amounts have exceeded 380 mm across southern Shikoku.
- At least eight people were killed and over 3,000 homes damaged in heavy rains in southern China.
In the worst-hit Shiqian county in Guizhou Province, six people were killed and another one is reportedly missing after torrential downpour lashed for two days.
Deluge hit 33 counties in Guizhou, affecting one million people, more than 80,000 of whom were evacuated.
More than 3,000 homes were damaged. Power, water and communication services were also affected due to the rains.
Luzhai County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region reported 345 millimetres of rain both yesterday and today causing landslides and floods. One person was killed in a house collapse.
In Sichuan Province, a 70-year-old villager in Tongjiang County, died after being hit by a mountain torrent on Monday.
- Parts of north-eastern Europe have experienced warmer than normal conditions in recent days with highs of 29C recorded over parts of Latvia and Estonia on Wednesday 4th, some 10 degC above the seasonal average. Indeed, coastal resorts in Estonia were also bathed in sunshine for the day.
The early summer warmth comes after a milder than normal winter and spring over large parts of Europe.
- For the first time in seven months the Great Lakes are officially free of ice.
"This year is the longest we've seen ice on Lake Superior in our 40 years of records," Physical Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration George Leshkevich said.
Following one of the coldest winter's on record for the region with temperatures from Jan. 1 to April 1 averaging seven degrees below normal, the Great Lakes hit their second highest ice coverage on record, reaching 92.19 percent on March 6, 2014.
The last time the ice coverage on the lakes lasted nearly this long was in 2003, when the last of the ice cleared on May 29, according to Leshkevich.
- Parts of northern and western India are in the grip of a scorching heat wave with temperatures running above 45C in many places. The mercury touched 47.8C in the capital, Delhi, on Sunday, the hottest in 62 years.
- Heavy rain across Lincolnshire and north Nottinghamshire (England) has led to rail services being suspended between Lincoln and Worksop.
Surface water flooding has affected roads and properties in the Gainsborough area.
A number of homes in Retford were also affected by the rain.
- A cold front slicing into what is proving to be the hottest air mass so far this year is putting areas from eastern France to western Poland and northern Italy at risk for violent thunderstorms.
Thunderstorms, some severe, developed across western and northern France before spreading into Belgium, Netherlands and northwestern Germany on Monday.
The strongest thunderstorms produced damaging winds, hail and blinding downpours. At least six people were killed during the storms on Monday, including three who were seeking shelter in a building when a tree fell onto it. Firefighters rescued six others from the damaged building.
From Tuesday into Tuesday night, another round of gusty thunderstorms lashed areas from northeastern France into eastern Belgium and Germany.
As powerful thunderstorms erupted across France and Belgium, they dropped baseball to tennis-ball-sized hail near Brussels as well as the French countryside. Hail also fell in Paris overnight Sunday. These hailstones formed inside massive supercell thunderstorms, which are long-lived storms that feature rotating updrafts, which allows them to produce large hail and damaging winds.
- Almost 1,000 hectares of vines were ravaged by hail in the world-famous Bordeaux vineyards in two nights of storms that have hit France. Forecasters have lifted storm warnings for Tuesday after hail, torrential rain and lightning hit much of the country on Monday night.
The Météo France weather service lifted its orange storm warning (the second-highest level) for 41 departments, from Aquitaine in the west to the Belgian frontier, on Tuesday morning.
But storms and temperatures over 30°C were expected in the eastern city of Strasbourg, where the thermometer hit 37°C on Monday remaining at 29°C at midnight.
Around the village of Blaignan about 680 hectares were hit by hailstones up to two centimetres in diameter.
- In Brazil flooding across the southern state of Parana has reached the host city of Curitiba.
The civil defense department of Brazil's Parana state said that 132 cities have been flooded and more than 13,000 people have had to evacuate their homes.
The Iguazu and Parana rivers reached historic levels leading to record flow over the world famous Iguazu Falls, closing parts of the popular tourist attraction.
The current flooding and the next round of rain over the weekend could lead to travel disruptions for World Cup fans arriving ahead of the scheduled matches in southern cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba.
- As the second-consecutive day of severe storms unfolded across the Plains and Midwest on Tuesday, more twisters took form, barreling through Nebraska, Michigan, South Dakota, Montana, Iowa and even parts of Canada.
Following a tornado that led to catastrophic damage to the town of Pilger, Nebraska, on the 16th a massive rain-wrapped tornado swept through the Nebraskan town of Coleridge on Tuesday night.
Farther north in Canada, an unusual circumstance transpired as a tornado rolled through Angus, Ontario, Tuesday night.
Additional tornadoes were also reported in Whitman, Montana; Hartington, Nebraska; and Camp Crook, South Dakota.
- The monsoon has covered half of India's landmass four days behind the usual schedule, failing to recover from a late start that has slowed sowing of summer crops in a country where half of the farmland still lacks irrigation.
India's farming sector accounts for about 14 percent of its nearly $2 trillion economy.
The annual rains arrived over the southern Kerala coast five days behind the normal June 1 start and then entered a lull, with poor rains over the interior parts of southern India.
Rainfall was 45 percent below average for the week ended June 18, compared with 48 percent below average the previous week, weather office data showed on Thursday.
- Torrential rains and floods hit Bulgaria, killing at least 10 people, cutting off electricity, blocking roads and sparking evacuations.
Heavy rainfall in the Black Sea resort city of Varna triggered a flood wave late on Thursday in one of its low-laying suburbs that killed at least 10 people.
TV footage showed smashed cars on top of each other on the streets of the suburb, where a state of emergency was declared.
In central Bulgaria, firefighters evacuated 11 people from the top of their houses in the town of Kilifarevo. Thunderstorms and heavy rains flooded roads and damaged houses in several villages near the capital.
The rains that fell in the eastern regions of Varna and Burgas over 24 hours equalled the monthly average.
- The first snow has fallen across the higher terrain of Victoria, Australia,
and more is on the way.
The first snow is typically closer to the beginning of June; however, the
season will get off to a wintry blast this week as parts of the higher terrain,
including many ski resorts, will receive up to 90 cm of fresh snow.
The skiing season typically starts in June and ends by early October as the
Southern Hemisphere transitions into spring.
- A tornado-producing storm that hit central Indiana on Tuesday damaged
several homes in Indianapolis and its outskirts, downed power lines and
It was one of several thunderstorms that sprang up in southwestern Indiana near
Terre Haute and moved northeast toward Indianapolis, becoming more severe along
the way. No injuries were reported.
The twister, an EF1 on the 0-to-5 enhanced Fujita scale with an estimated wind
speed of 100 mph, tossed a camper onto the roof of a home and destroyed the
camper and about half of the roof, according to a storm survey team's report.
Strong winds from the storm also damaged more than 200 cars at an car auction
- The city of Melbourne (Australia) experienced the rare sight of the Yarra
river bursting its banks after strong winds and rain lashed the Victorian
The Yarra breached its banks at Southbank, flooding footpaths and cycle routes
and swelling to the extent that it came close to touching the bottom of the
Queen Street bridge. Ponyfish Island, a bar which normally floats on the Yarra,
has been swamped.
The Bureau of Meteorology said that while Melbourne has experienced 7.8 mm of
rain over the past 24 hours, rainfall “hasn’t been torrential.” The swelling of
the Yarra has been primarily caused by winds of over 100 km/h, which, in an
unusual phenomenon, pushed water from Port Phillip Bay back up the river,
virtually causing it to flow in the wrong direction.
As of 9.30am on Tuesday, the state’s north had seen the most rain, with Mount
Buffalo receiving between 50-60 mm.
- The combination of the stalled frontal boundary and abundant moisture from
the monsoon across Indochina has led to days of heavy rainfall in southern and
The flooding has claimed at least 26 lives in southern China, with more people
An estimate of 337,000 people have been evacuated from their homes with 115,000
needing urgent relief supplies, according to China's Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The hardest-hit regions extend from Guangxi and Guangdong northeastward through
Hunan, Jiangxi, northern Fujian and Zhejiang.
- The extended California drought continues to worsen, with a third of the
state now under exceptional drought conditions.
About 25 percent of the state had been gripped by the highest level of drought
for the last two months, but the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report shows
that the exceptional drought conditions expanded in coverage to 33 percent.
- High water will continue to impact communities and barge operations along
the upper Mississippi River into early July as more rain moves into the area.
Low-lying areas not protected by levees, such as farmland, homes, businesses
and some roadways, are being inundated as river levels surpass flood stage.
Excessive rainfall, in some cases near a foot over the past month, has pushed
the upper Mississippi River past flood stage from Minnesota and Wisconsin to
Iowa, Illinois and northern Missouri.
World weather news, May 2014
- The death toll from last week's (around the 25th) flash floods in northern Afghanistan now stands at almost 150.
Some areas are still completely cut off, with no help reaching people because roads were swept away.
The flooding last week caught many people by surprise. Hundreds were trapped on the roofs of their homes and needed to be rescued by army helicopters.
- It has been a very dry past 12 months for central Chile. Santiago, Chile, located in the Southern Hemisphere, is normally dry during October through April, but this year has been exceptionally dry.
Santiago only received 0.3 mm of rain from Oct. 1 to the end of April. This compares to a normal rainfall amount of 48.7 mm for the same time.
This lack of rain has already caused some issues with crops and also led to some wildfires. Just last week, the port city of Valparaiso, just west of Santiago, had thousands of people left homeless due to a rapidly spreading fire.
According to the Chilean Weather Service, 2004-2013 was the driest 10-year period in the last 150 years.
- How would you fancy being a mobile weather station?
Rolf Hut, from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, plans to turn our umbrellas into rain gauges.
His prototype smart brolly has a sensor that detects raindrops falling on its canvas, and uses bluetooth to send this information via a phone to a computer.
Dr Hut envisages thousands of us crowdsourcing data for the researchers who have come to rely on an ever dwindling number of scientific gauges.
"We have radar and satellites, but we're not measuring rain on the ground as we used to; it's expensive to maintain the gauges.
"Therefore, agencies are reducing the number, and that's a problem for people who do operational water management or do research into hydrology because they don't have the access to the data they used to," he told BBC News.
- California and much of the south-western United States are in a state of severe drought after one of the driest years on record last year and the continuation of the dry and warm conditions through the winter and into early spring. California and surrounding areas largely rely on rainfall during the winter season for their water supply as the summers are often rather dry and sunny. The drought has become so severe across the area that a state of emergency is in effect with water restrictions commonplace.
Another major source of water for California is from snow melt off the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the east of the State. The snow-pack over the mountains is currently only at 18% of the long term average for this time of year, due to the very low levels of precipitation over the winter and the fact that persistently high temperatures have led to any early spring melt. With snow melt estimated to account for around a third of the water supply in the state, water supply issues are only going to get worse over the coming months.
- At least 2,100 people were killed in massive landslides that struck a remote region of Afghanistan.
A spokesman for the governor in Badakhshan province, bordering Tajikistan, said on Saturday that 2,100 people had been confirmed dead after a village was buried in up to 100 metres of mud.
The Afghan military flew rescue teams to the area on Saturday because the remote mountainous region is accessed by narrow, poor roads that have been damaged by more than a week of heavy rain.
- Texas, the largest cattle-producing state in the United States, is
facing its fourth year of drought, pushing beef prices to record highs.
Beef and veal prices spiked by 1.9 percent in March and now sit at 7.4
percent over the same time last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) Economic Research Service reported.
Wholesale beef prices have climbed by more than half since May 2009 from
$1.49 per pound to $2.28.
The drought has reduced the supply of cattle in Texas and across the
Since January 2011, the total number of cattle and calves in Texas has
declined by 2.4 million head to 10.9 million head.
- The flooding rainfall over China from the weekend continues to push
off to the east and is currently drenching parts of southern Japan.
Rainfall over the weekend in parts of China approached 50 cm as a cold
front pushed off to the east. Just northwest of Hong Kong, rainfall
totals of 25-50 cm were scattered over the region.
Eighteen people died after a rain-related wall collapse on Sunday in
The collapse crushed a workers' house where 40 people were gathered.
Heavy rains have fallen across the region since Thursday night. Taishan,
China, located west of Hong Kong, received 419.2 mm of rain in 24 hours,
ending Friday evening local time.
- Powerful, destructive tropical cyclones are now reaching their peak
intensity farther from the equator and closer to the poles, according to
a new study. The results of the study show that over the last 30 years,
tropical cyclones - also known as hurricanes or typhoons - are moving
poleward at a rate of about 33 miles per decade in the Northern
Hemisphere and 38 miles per decade in the Southern Hemisphere.
"The absolute value of the latitudes at which these storms reach their
maximum intensity seems to be increasing over time, in most places," says
Kerry Emanuel, an MIT professor and co-author of the Nature paper. "The
trend is statistically significant at a pretty high level."
- Scientists have discovered new evidence to suggest that lightning on
Earth is triggered not only by cosmic rays from space, but also by
energetic particles from the sun. Researchers found a link between
increased thunderstorm activity on Earth and streams of high-energy
particles accelerated by the solar wind, offering compelling evidence
that particles from space help trigger lightning bolts.
Lead author of the Environmental Research Letters study, Dr Chris Scott,
said: "Our main result is that we have found evidence that high-speed
solar wind streams can increase lightning rates. This may be an actual
increase in lightning or an increase in the magnitude of lightning,
lifting it above the detection threshold of measurement instruments.
- Wildfires continue to rage in southern California on a second day, as
thousands of people in San Diego county are forced to flee their homes.
A major fire engulfed the coastal town of Carlsbad, north of San Diego,
scorching several buildings and forcing an amusement park to close.
Further north, blazes also caused evacuations at a nuclear plant and a
Four air tankers and 22 military helicopters were employed fighting the
Officials have ordered at least 20,000 people to leave their homes.
And the campus of California State University-San Marcos, with almost
10,000 students, has been shut down amid the university's final exams,
with all commencement ceremonies cancelled.
Officials say tinder-dry conditions following many months of drought -
coupled with the winds and high temperatures - have left parts of the
region highly combustible.
- The intensely hot temperatures baking parts of the Los Angeles area
this week are coming to a close, but not before managing to break a few
more records by the end of the day today. Areas around downtown L.A.
could exceed 100F this afternoon.
Los Angeles set a record high of 99F for the date yesterday, breaking the
previous record of 96F set in 1890.
- Packed into buses, boats and helicopters, carrying nothing but a handful of belongings, tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in Bosnia and Serbia to escape the worst flooding in a century.
Rapidly rising rivers surged into homes, sometimes reaching up to the second floors, sending people climbing to rooftops for rescue. Hundreds were also evacuated in Croatia.
Authorities said on Saturday 25 people had died, but warned the toll could rise. Tens of thousands of homes were left without electricity or drinking water.
Three months' worth of rain fell on the region in three days last week, creating the worst floods since records began 120 years ago.
On 15 May, the daily rainfall totals broke historical records in Belgrade (107.9 mm), Valjevo (108.2 mm) and Loznica (110 mm). By the 15th the monthly rainfall in Belgrade had broken the historical record (175 mm) from 1897, reaching 205 mm.
- A late-fall hailstorm left parts of Sao Paulo (Brazil) covered in white Sunday afternoon.
The storm, which struck between 4 and 5 p.m. local time, lasted only about 30 minutes but left parts of the city buried by large hailstones.
Enough ice accumulated that children were seen playing in yards and streets across the city, even making "snowmen."
Thunderstorms producing hail are not uncommon across southern Brazil in fall and early winter as cooler air throughout the atmosphere is more common allowing the hail to development within the storms.
While hail is not uncommon, the amount and size of the hail which left streets covered, requiring bulldozers to clear some areas is a rare event.
- Wheat in Russia’s Southern Federal District may face a heatwave by the end of the week, with temperatures forecast to exceed 30C this weekend, Paris-based farm adviser Agritel said.
Temperatures in the region, which is already suffering from a worsening water deficit, may locally rise to 35C, Agritel wrote.
The Southern Federal District is a main source of wheat for export, according to Agritel. Russia’s wheat crop is forecast to be little changed this year at 52 million metric tons, while the country’s exports may climb to 19 million tons from 18.2 million tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.
- Flooding continues to be a concern in parts of the Balkan Peninsula in eastern Europe, but a new concern has been raised: land mines.
The days of heavy rainfall from a slow-moving storm which led to historic widespread flooding may have also caused land mines hidden more than 20 years ago to appear above ground.
Bosnia and Herzegovina's demining center issued a warning to residents about the possibility of land mines and shells uncovered by mudslides and flood waters.
As many as 220,000 land mines are still hidden from the Bosnian War of 1992-1995, Mine Action Center said.
The heavy rainfall triggered some of the worst flooding in recent decades. Flooded rivers have closed roads, cut off power and caused hundreds of mudslides across the region.
At least 37 people, including a firefighter, have died in the flooding and mudslides, but authorities have warned that the death toll could rise.
In Belgrade, Serbia, around 225 mm (9 inches) of rain was reported in 48 hours, more than the normal rainfall for the city during the months of April, May and June combined.
At least 20,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in Serbia with many needing to be airlifted from their homes due to the flooding.
- A stretch of above-normal warmth over the weekend in Southern California created an unwelcome odour as thousands of dead fish covered the surface of marina waters.
Last week brought record-breaking temperatures for the area for the time of year, including a high of 102F in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, 15 May.
After investigation, The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) concluded the fish likely died of oxygen depletion. When temperatures rise, oxygen levels decrease in the water due to the decay of algal blooms. Without enough oxygen, fish and other sea organisms cannot survive.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, algal blooms can also block necessary sunlight to the fish along with depleting oxygen.
Approximately 300 bags of fish, each weighing 45 pounds, were recovered by Los Angeles County Beaches and Harbors. Most of the affected fish were anchovies.
- A spring heatwave has hit Korea. The highest temperature rose to 31.3 degrees Celsius, the highest this year, in Daegu on Thursday.
Cho Gu-hee, a weather forecaster at the KMA said, “As Korea is under the influence of high pressure, the warm southwest air current is steadily flowing into Korea. As it had no clouds covering the sun, the temperature went up.”
- An elderly couple had to be rescued from their home as storms and intense downpours caused flash flooding across south Wales.
Cardiff and Cwmbran were worst hit with homes and businesses affected as well as the M4.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said they received 115 calls with incidents also in Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan and Bettws in Newport.
- With the start of the Atlantic hurricane season merely days away, 2014, NOAA released its 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast, predicting a likely below-normal hurricane season.
The agency expects this season to offset the high hurricane activity seen in the last 20 years. Out of the last 20 years, 12 years have experienced above-normal hurricane seasons, according to NOAA.
NOAA predicts a total of eight to 13 named storms, with three to six developing into hurricanes and one to two intensifying into major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.
The seasonal averages are 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
- Six people died in a multi-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon on Interstate 10 near the New Mexico-Arizona border.
The crash occurred about 5:30 p.m. MDT when passenger and commercial vehicles collided in a dust storm near Lordsburg, New Mexico in Hidalgo County.
- One woman drowned in floods in Turkey’s south eastern province of Gaziantep.
Just under 1 hour of torrential rain on Saturday was enough to inundate streets and homes in the city of Gaziantep (Antep), which lies close to the border with Syria.
Many houses were damaged and several people were left stranded in their vehicles, some taking refuge of the roofs of cars and buses.
- Amanda became the strongest May eastern Pacific hurricane on record on Sunday morning as peak winds approached that of a Category 5 hurricane.
Amanda's maximum sustained winds increased to near 155 mph and its central pressure dropped to 932 millibars by 11 a.m. PDT Sunday, meaning Amanda was a very powerful Category 4 hurricane.
Amanda has continued to weaken from its peak strength, now a tropical depression, and continues to move slowly northward over the eastern Pacific.
Adolph from 2001 originally held the distinction of strongest May hurricane in the basin. At the peak of Adolph's intensity, the central pressure bottomed out at 940 millibars and winds were nearly 145 mph.
- A tornado touched down in Watford City, North Dakota, Monday evening, injuring nine people, including one critically, and damaging eight housing trailers in an oil field camp according to the Associated Press.
Karen Holte, a volunteer with the American Red Cross, told the AP that the "tornado descended on the camp so quickly that nobody had time to take shelter."
- Nearly a month's rainfall in one day led to localised flooding, causing problems for homes, businesses and roads across Norwich on Tuesday.
The fire service was called to more than 25 incidents and two nightclubs had to be pumped free of water.
Water levels reached 5ft (1.5m) in the basement of Mercy in the city.
Anglian Water said it had drafted in extra staff and some drainage systems had been "overwhelmed" by the deluge.
- The normal onset of the southwest Indian monsoon occurs during the second half of May across Myanmar before reaching southern India at the beginning of June.
This year the monsoon was actually several days ahead of schedule reaching Myanmar, but it has stalled over the Bay of Bengal during the past week.
As a result, the onset of the monsoon in southern India will likely be up to a week late across parts of the south, but the beneficial rains are forecast to increase during the second week of June.
Consequently, the northward advance of the southwest monsoon is forecast to be delayed for most of central and northern India allowing temperatures to soar well above normal for much of the month of June.
Several long stretches of temperatures over 42C are possible in New Delhi and the surrounding region.
- Recent heavy rain has claimed at least 37 lives across South China, and more rain is on the way.
Over the past week, torrential rain has left 37 people dead and six missing across southern China.
Guangdong province was hardest hit with 17 deaths reported from the most recent flooding.
Also in Jiangzi, 5,000 residents of Pingxiang City remained trapped by floods as of midday Sunday (local time). More than 4,000 people had already been evacuated.
Overall at least 25,000 homes have been destroyed by the flooding this year. In total more than 400,000 people have been displaced by the flood waters.
- A volcano (Mount Sangeang Api) has erupted in Indonesia, sending a huge ash cloud into the sky.
The plume, between 6-10 miles high, the cruising altitude for commercial aircraft, is causing major disruption to flights in the region, grounding planes in parts of Indonesia and northern Australia.
Darwin International Airport was closed to all inbound and outbound flights on Saturday and Bali's airspace was also affected.
World weather news, April 2014
- A World Meteorological Organization (WMO) panel has concluded that Cherrapunji in India now holds
the world record for two-day (48-hour) rainfall, with 2493 mm recorded on 15–16 June 1995.
This rainfall total exceeds the previous world 48-hour rainfall record of 2 467 mm associated with the
passage of a tropical cyclone over the Indian Ocean island of La Réunion (France) in April 1958. La
Réunion, which is frequently hit by tropic cyclones and receives large amounts of rainfall over its
mountains, continues to hold the record for the most rainfall over periods of 12-hours and 24-hours (in
1966), as well as 72-hours and 96-hours (in 2007).
The WMO Commission of Climatology international panel of experts reached its decision following an in-
depth investigation of the Cherrapunji rainfall event for it to be included in the WMO World Archive of
Weather and Climate Extremes, the official international listing of weather and climate extremes.
- Residents of the Solomon Islands were hit by flash flooding which killed over a dozen people and
left thousands homeless. Water supplies and sewer systems have been badly damaged and destroyed. The
flooding is the worst in the country's history and has led to around 52,000 people losing their homes.
- Severe thunderstorms and some tornadoes ignited across portions of Kansas and Missouri Wednesday
night and Thursday, starting off the first major severe weather outbreak of the spring season.
Through Friday, severe weather swept across Arkansas, cutting power to more than 22,000 people. Storms
that tracked across Arkansas Thursday night left more than 50,000 Entergy customers without electricity
for a time, the utility reported.
These storms had an extensive history of flooding with inches of rain causing water to flow into the
streets across several towns in southern Indiana Thursday night.
Only one tornado was reported Wednesday when a storm chaser spotted a brief rope tornado near Elk City,
Kan. Eight more twisters were reported Thursday, spanning from northeast Texas to southern Illinois. No
injuries or fatalities were reported on either day.
- An abnormally strong storm system brought rounds of heavy rain and severe weather to parts of
central and northern Argentina on Sunday to Monday with some heavy rainfall continuing Tuesday.
At least three people have been killed by the severe weather across Argentina.
This same storm system brought more than 50 mm in less than 6 hours to the Buenos Aires area, leading
to flash flooding.
Rosario, to the northwest of Buenos Aires, reported severe thunderstorms that brought wind gusts around
100 km/h along with hail and heavy rainfall.
Farther to the southwest, Neuquen received record setting rainfall as the storm brought days of rain to
Rainfall totalled more than 250 mm at Neuguen airport since the start of April, more than than they
normally receive in an entire year (175 mm).
- Tropical Cyclone Ita made landfall near Cape Flattery Queensland Friday evening local time.
Ita weakened rapidly before reaching land, but it still contained sustained winds of 90 to 105 mph at
the time of landfall, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.
As the center passed over Cape Flattery, a wind gust to 96 mph was measured. However, the instruments
failed before the stronger northern eyewall passed over the station. Also, according to the Australia
Bureau of Meteorology, a minimum pressure of 955 mb was recorded.
Very heavy rain was widespread across Queensland's northern peninsula.
Cooktown has recorded 165 mm of rain by Saturday afternoon, local time, while Cairns had received 132
mm by early on Sunday.
Ita is the strongest storm to hit since Cyclone Yasi, which struck in 2011.
Previously classed as a category-five storm, Ita was downgraded by the BOM to category four and then to
category three when it hit the Cape York Peninsula,
- Detroit has officially broke the record of their snowiest winter ever with an annual snowfall of
94.8 inches. The previous record was set during the 1880-81 winter season with an annual total of 93.6
inches of snow.
- The search for three Sherpa guides, missing after an avalanche on Mount Everest killed 13 of their colleagues, has been called off. The avalanche struck on Friday in an area just above Everest base camp at 5,800m.
The guides had climbed up the slope early that morning to fix ropes for climbers and prepare the route.
It was the single deadliest accident in modern mountaineering on the world's highest peak.
The avalanche struck a passage called the Khumbu Icefall, which is riddled with crevasses and large ice boulders that can break free without warning.
Although relatively low on the mountain, climbers say it is one of its most dangerous points.
Sherpas often make 20-25 round trips to carry kit and supplies to advanced camps, exposing them to greater risk. The most endangered are the so-called Icefall Doctors - a team that maintains and fixes the route.
- Sandstorms, gales and snow have swept many parts of north-west China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, disrupting traffic and damaging agricultural production. Large tree branches can be seen being broken off by the strong wind and some trees were even uprooted. The sandstorm paralysed the local power supply and has forced the suspension of local bus and taxi services
- At least 17 people have been killed by tornadoes as a huge storm system swept across the central and southern United States.
Sixteen of the victims were in several suburbs of Little Rock in Arkansas, officials said.
Tornadoes also struck in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.
Most of the casualties were in suburbs west and north of Little Rock. The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said 10 people died in Faulkner County, five in Pulaski County and one in White County.
- Six deaths were reported in Alabama and seven in Mississippi after tornadoes struck on Monday evening, although not all these fatalities were confirmed. Several tornadoes flattened buildings, overturned vehicles and brought down utility lines on a second consecutive night of devastation.
- Three men have been taken to hospital after they were struck by lightning while working on the back of a lorry.
The men were unloading scaffolding in Park Lane, Camberley, Surrey, when they were hit at about 13:00 BST.
Two were thrown from the truck, with one landing 12ft (4m) away.
He suffered burns to his hands and the other worker hurt his back. A South East Coast Ambulance Service spokesman described the third man as" walking wounded".
- The Florida Panhandle and Alabama Gulf Coast were hit with widespread flooding early Wednesday, with people stranded in cars and homes waiting for rescuers to find a way around impassable roads and others abandoning vehicles to walk to safety.
Fire rescue crews weren't able to respond to some calls for help because of road flooding in and around Pensacola, and one woman died when she drove her car into high water, officials said. Boats and jet skis were moved from the beaches to the streets, aerial rescues were planned, and the National Guard sent high-wheeled vehicles.
As much as 15 to 20 inches had fallen in Pensacola in a 24-hour period.
World weather news, March 2014
- A thunderstorm that brought sorely needed rain to California is winding down after sending mudslides down foothill communities, flooding roadways and opening up sinkholes.
Evacuation orders remained in effect for hundreds of homes in Los Angeles County foothill communities where fires have burned away vegetation that holds soil in place, and bursts of rain caused the mountains to belch occasional debris flows.
The heavy band of rain drenched parts of the state throughout Saturday before tapering off by nighttime. While the danger of mudslides was subsiding, officials urged residents who left their homes as much as three days earlier to stay away until Sunday morning.
The storm’s eastward move on Saturday finally broke a 70-day streak without precipitation in the Phoenix area. An 85-day spell of no measurable rainfall in Las Vegas ended on Friday. Rain and snow also finally came to drought-stricken New Mexico. In Denver, a highway pileup involving more than 100 vehicles killed one person and injured 30 others as heavy snow fell on Saturday.
Downtown Los Angeles tallied 4.34 inches from the second storm by 5 p.m. Saturday, said NWS meteorologist Joe Sirard in Oxnard. That raised the rainfall total to 5.54 inches since 1 July, still 6.19 inches below normal.
The storm was so volatile that a tornado warning was issued early on Saturday for suburbs east of Los Angeles.
- The Isle of Man has had its wettest winter for almost 50 years and the second wettest since records began in 1947, the island's Met Office has said.
The total rainfall from December to February was 374.3 mm, just 5 mm below the Isle of Man record from the winter of 1965/66.
- A heavy snowstorm has once again created travel havoc on the US East Coast with as much as a 30 cm expected to fall in some areas.
Schools were closed across the region, and Washington DC offices of the federal government were shut.
And more than 2,600 flights were cancelled, mostly in New York and Washington DC.
It is the fifth winter snowstorm to hit the eastern US since the beginning of 2014.
Fast-falling snow clogged up motorways and local roads in the US mid-Atlantic region during the morning and early afternoon on Monday. It had already brought a mix of freezing rain and snow to the Mid-Western states.
About 30,000 homes and businesses in Memphis, Tennessee, were without power after heavy sleet covered the area.
The storm and frigid temperatures have already been blamed for several deaths, including a 13-year-old girl who died when a vehicle overturned on a slick Missouri motorway on Sunday, state police said.
- An extended period of dry weather across Malaysia and southern Thailand has led to water shortages, agricultural problems and an increase in wildfires.
The last measurable rainfall of more than 1 mm in Singapore was Jan. 12, when the city reported 18 mm.
It has now been 50 days since the city recorded more than 1 mm of an inch), making it one of the longest stretches for dry weather in the recorded history of the city.
- Rain is finally starting to ease following the once-in-a-century storm that forced the evacuation of homes, caused slips and cut power to thousands of people across Canterbury (New Zealand).
The squall is blazing up the country, bringing gale force winds to the lower North Island.
Residents are being urged to avoid travel if possible while the Christchurch City Council scrambles to clear debris-strewn roads and help with stormwater drainage.
KiwiRail said they were also clearing a backlog after ferry crossings were suspended yesterday because of high waves through the Cook Strait.
Meanwhile, the storm has bustled north and Wellington was buffeted with gusts in exposed areas reaching 119 km/h.
160 mm of rain fell in Lyttelton.
- Sydney was battered by a brief but spectacular storm that shook buildings.
More than 12 mm of rain was recorded at Sydney Airport between 4.30pm and 5pm, while severe thunder and lightning rocked the city.
More than 22 mm of rain was recorded in the Illawarra. Wind gusts exceeding 50 km/h were also recorded along the NSW south coast. Sydney Airport received wind gusts approaching 60 km/h.
The storm proved a nightmare for peak-hour commuters, with a number of roads and train lines suffering minor flooding.
- This season, ice coverage on the Great Lakes has exceeded all other measurements since 1979.
"By a long shot, this is the most ice we've had on Lake Superior in 20 years," Associate Professor at the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, Minn., Jay Austin said.
During a typical winter, 30 to 40 percent of the Great Lakes are covered by ice.
Usually arctic air swept over the Great Lakes creates lake-effect snow but modifies the air, making it warmer. This typically makes regions from Ohio through the Northeast a little warmer than it otherwise would be.
However, this winter 80 to 90 percent of the Great Lakes are covered in ice. As of Wednesday, March 5, 2014, the total Great Lakes basin was 91 percent covered, ranking the Great Lakes ice coverage this winter second in the overall rankings.
The last time in recent history the ice coverage was even close to this winter's percentage was the winter of 1993-1994. That winter ice coverage was measured at 90.7 percent.
- Scientists have identified four new man-made gases that are contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer.
Two of the gases are accumulating at a rate that is causing concern among researchers.
Worries over the growing ozone hole have seen the production of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases restricted since the mid 1980s.
But the precise origin of these new, similar substances remains a mystery, say scientists.
"Our research has shown four gases that were not around in the atmosphere at all until the 1960s which suggests they are man-made," said lead researcher Dr Johannes Laube.
The scientists discovered the gases by analysing polar firn, perennial snow pack. Air extracted from this snow is a natural archive of what was in the atmosphere up to 100 years ago.
The four new gases have been identified as CFC-112, CFC112a, CFC-113a, HCFC-133a
The research has been published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
- CFC-113a has been listed as an "agrochemical intermediate for the manufacture of pyrethroids", a type of insecticide once widely used in agriculture
- CFC-113a and HCFC-133a are intermediaries in the production of widely used refrigerants
- CFC-112 and 112a may have been used in the production of solvents used to clean electrical components
- A snowstorm spread through Chicago early in the day, changing rain to snow and dumping approximately 6 inches of snow on the city.
This winter consequently became the third snowiest on record for Chicago with a total of 67.4 inches so far, according to NOAA.
- A storm system featuring heavy snow and strong winds tracked from Illinois to Maine early in the day and into Thursday morning.
Tens of thousands of people lost power as a result of Wednesday's snow and severe thunderstorms, stretching from Illinois to Virginia.
Upon departing Virginia, the storm then shifted its focus to parts of the Northeast, creating blizzard conditions in parts of upstate New York before heading up the coast to New England.
On Wednesday, flight delays across the nation reached nearly 4,000 with cancellations topping 1,750. Significant delays due to snow, thunderstorms and wind were reported at Chicago O'Hare International, Cleveland Hopkins International, Baltimore-Washington International and Philadelphia International airports.
- While the lack of showers and thunderstorms across Malaysia will aid the search for the missing Malaysian airplane, the ongoing severe drought has led to unhealthy air quality.
A persistent ridge of high pressure has prevented monsoon moisture from streaming across the Malay Peninsula and triggering showers and thunderstorms that are common this time of year.
The region would expect 300-400 mm of rain over the past two months but has only received 10 percent or less of those totals this year.
- An extended period of dry weather produced by a large area of high pressure centred over northern France forced Paris to enforce restrictions on travel due to increasing amounts of air pollution.
Harmful smog hung over the region for the last several days.
In a drastic attempt to reduce air pollution, it was announced on Monday that cars with even-numbered license plates were not allowed to be driven in Paris and some surrounding suburbs, according to the Associated Press.
In an effort to enforce the ban, around 700 police officers set up check points across the city, ticketing nearly 4,000 people by midday.
This marked the first time since 1997 that measures to this extreme had to be taken in Paris.
- Unusually heavy late summer rains have killed more than 30 people in South Africa but have brought welcome relief to grain farmers after drought conditions in some parts of the maize belt in January and February.
The government said 32 people had died because of the rains over the past two weeks in the northern and eastern provinces of North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. The toll included 25 drownings and six people killed by lightning.
A number of people have been rescued from the roofs of their vehicles and several were trapped in their homes.
However, the rains have broken a drought in parts of North West province and have been welcomed by farmers in Africa's top maize producer.
The wet weather also damaged coal supplies used to fuel power stations in Mpumalanga, forcing state-run power utility this month to impose the first rolling blackouts since 2008 to prevent a collapse of the national grid.
- Last year, atmospheric carbon dioxide briefly crossed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. However, it didn’t cross that threshold until mid-May. This year’s first 400 ppm reading came a full two months earlier this past week and the seeming inexorable upward march is likely to race past another milestone next month.
The graph of those concentrations is known as the Keeling Curve, one of the most iconic images in science. In addition to showing a steady rise in carbon dioxide, the graph also shows the seasonal variations in the curve. In Northern Hemisphere spring, plants burst to life and suck carbon dioxide out of the air until they die off in the fall.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide usually peaks in May. If levels continue to rise in the next few months — and there’s no reason to believe they won’t — April or May will likely be the first time the monthly atmospheric carbon dioxide average will be above 400 ppm.
- The death toll from the landslide that hit the Washington town of Oso on rose to 33 on 14 April,
according to the Snohomish County medical examiner's office, which said all but three of the dead have
The number of missing dropped to 10 on Monday, said Kelly Stowe, a spokeswoman for the medical
examiner's office. The number of missing does not necessarily correlate with the number of dead, said
Stowe. The missing list remains fluid as names are added and removed, she said.
The slide of dirt, trees, rocks and other debris – at least 135 feet wide and 180 feet deep – hit just
before 11 am on Saturday, authorities said.
- Snow associated with an incredibly powerful storm off the Eastern Seaboard continued across far
eastern New England and parts of Atlantic Canada through today and into the early evening.
Areas from Cape Cod, Mass. to Portland, Maine, including, Boston and Portsmouth, N.H., were among the
regions that experienced blizzard conditions.
Blizzard conditions impacted Cape Cod, Down East Maine and parts of Nova Scotia.
As the storm travels north, strong winds will accompany the storm, causing severe drifting of snow and
likely creating limited visibility and treacherous travel conditions on the roadways.
Downed power lines and trees also occurred due to strong gusts.
- It has been the coldest December to March period in Chicago history.
Ranked officially as the 19th coldest March on record in the city with an average temperature of 31.7
F, Chicago broke it's previous record set back in 1872 for its coldest December to March period ever
For 2013-2014, the city's average temperature for December to March now tops the charts with an average
of 22 F for the time period, according to the city's NWS office.
- Seattle (USA) broke its rainfall record with 9.44 inches, 270 percent of the normal March
precipitation. The previous record was 8.40 inches, set in March 1950.
- A torrential hail storm has struck Hong Kong, shattering windows at a shopping centre in the
Kowloon Tong district.
Amateur video shows rain pouring into the Festival Walk mall, accompanied by frequent flashes of
Meanwhile, several provinces of southern China were also battered by storms - including hailstones the
size of golf balls.
World weather news, February 2014
- Areas of Italy and France are on flood alert as heavy rain brings chaos to parts of Europe.
Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate their homes in the Italian city of Pisa as the Arno river threatened to burst its banks on Friday.
High seas are expected to cause widespread flooding along France's Atlantic coast.
Meanwhile, deep snow drifts left dozens of people stranded in Serbia.
Parts of the countryside near Pisa are completely submerged
Italian media said a stretch of medieval wall measuring about 30m in the town of Volterra, in the province of Pisa, collapsed as a result of heavy rain.
The French department of Finistere, in the west of the country, was placed on red alert as forecasters warned of huge waves and extensive flooding. Ten other French departments were also on alert for rising water levels.
- Blizzards in Slovenia have left one in four homes without power, with heavy snow and ice bringing down electricity lines and trees.
South-western areas have been hardest hit and the government has spoken of a large-scale natural disaster.
Some 250,000 people have been affected by the extreme weather which began on Friday.
The severe conditions have also hit Croatia and Serbia, where hundreds of people have been rescued from the snow.
A Slovenian request for help prompted Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic to send emergency generators, the European Union says.
Some areas around Postojna, 40km (24 miles) south of the capital, Ljubljana, have been without electricity for four days and the armed forces have been brought in to help restore power.
By Monday, about 120,000 households in the small Alpine nation of two million people were still waiting for power to be restored and 40% of schools were closed.
Parts of Croatia, Serbia, and Germany have also been severely affected by snow.
- Heavy snow in northern Iran has left around 480,000 homes without power and some towns and villages cut off. The winter storms were the worst in 50 years, with two metres of snow falling in some areas since the weekend.
- "Devastating" weather in south-west England has seen people evacuated from damaged homes and trapped in cars, boats sunk and railway lines closed.
In Dawlish, Devon, 20 people were evacuated from homes and the sea wall under the main rail line collapsed.
A number of properties in Kingsand in Cornwall were evacuated after it became swamped by huge waves.
Widespread flooding has been reported across the region and councillors said damage would cost millions to repair.
The damage in Dawlish has been quite extraordinary.
The sea wall, which was made of concrete and massive boulders, has been pounded by the waves, and one large stretch of it - I've measured it at 50m - has just gone.
Rail tracks have been left hanging in the air, there is no foundation underneath them, and homes and other buildings have been damaged too.
Network Rail estimates that railway damage caused in Dawlish will take "at least" six weeks to rectify.
Winds gusting up to 92 mph were reported in the Isles of Scilly.
- Snowstorms in China have disrupted railway transport and led to road closures, adding chaos to an already busy travel rush.
Tens of millions of people are making their way back to the cities as the week-long Spring Festival holiday comes to an end but their journey has been disrupted by the blizzards that swept across many parts of the country.
Highways in several provinces are closed as snow and ice has made driving conditions hazardous, while trains are slowing down to ensure transport safety.
The People's Daily reports that the railway operator in Wuhan has mobilised more than 10,000 people to shovel snow.
- The UK government will spend £130m in emergency funding to repair flood defences wrecked by recent storms.
But only £30m of the money, for repairs and maintenance, will be available this year, with the rest in the following year. No extra money for building new flood defences in future was announced.
- A severe snow storm warning has been issued in the Japanese capital,
Tokyo, with residents urged to stay indoors.
Correspondents say it is the first such warning for the city in 13 years.
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled, roads closed and some train
Local media has reported that at least 43 people have been injured because
of snow-related accidents. Up to 27 cm of snow fell in Tokyo between 06:00
and 23:00 hours.
- A 20,000-hectare bushfire is burning out of control and has destroyed
more houses in suburbs north of Melbourne, the state’s fire chief said.
Homes in Wallan and Kilmore are believed to have burned down overnight and
the fire now has two fronts, Victorian Fire Services commissioner Craig
Lapsley said on Tuesday.
At least 21 homes have been destroyed since Sunday when Victoria’s bushfire
emergency began, but authorities say as many as 30 more houses may have
No one has been killed or seriously injured but many animals are among the
casualties of the 333,000-hectare fires. About 180,000 hectares remain
Lapsley said 19 aircraft and 200 trucks were fighting the fire.
- A man has died apparently trying to clear a fallen tree as hurricane-
force winds batter parts of the UK.
The dead man, believed to be in his 70s, was killed after the tree brought
down power cables in Wiltshire.
Gusts of over 100 mph were recorded as Met Office "red warnings", the first
of the winter, were issued. Sixteen severe flood warnings remain in place.
Power and transport networks have been badly hit, in what has been called
an "almost unparalleled natural crisis".
Surrey Fire & Rescue said it had rescued 250 people from the floods on
A total of 850 people have been rescued in the county since Sunday.
As of 21:00 GMT on Wednesday, about 115,000 homes in parts of England and
Wales were still without power.
The Met Office said a wind gust of 112mph was recorded at Great Dun Fell,
in the Pennines - the strongest wind gust on land of the recent storms.
Gusts of 92 mph were recorded at Mumbles Head, South Wales. Winds of 96 mph
winds were recorded at the Needles, off the Isle of Wight.
Electric power cables and trees have been brought down by winds of up to 94
mph, blocking roads in Devon and Cornwall.
A section of the west coast main line in Lancashire was closed between
19:00 and 21:00 GMT, while the M6 at Thelwall Viaduct was closed in both
directions between junctions 20 and 21. The M62 was also shut both ways
between junction 22 and 23.
At Crewe railway station about 500 passengers were evacuated and taken to a
nearby hotel after roof panels fell on to overhead lines and caused a fire,
leaving trains stranded outside the station.
Virgin Trains has advised all passengers not to attempt travel and there
are major disruptions for other rail services, with severe delays between
Reading and London due to flooding near Maidenhead. Most of Virgin's west
coast main line services were suspended.
The rare Met Office red warnings, of wind posing a "risk to life", expired
at 21:00 GMT. Before Wednesday, the last red warning was issued in January
2013 as heavy snow hit Wales; before that, a red warning of wind was issued
in January 2012 in Scotland.
Meanwhile, motorists have been advised to avoid the A9 in Scotland after
several stretches were affected by snow and ice.
About 30 roads were closed in Shropshire due to fallen trees and floods
Manchester City's Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland was
postponed owing to "unsafe" conditions.
Everton's match with Crystal Palace was also called off, just 35 minutes
before kick-off, due to "building damage which has led to safety concerns".
All Blackpool trams have been cancelled following concerns about overhead
- Snow and ice have made driving conditions difficult in some parts of
the north and west of Northern Ireland.
There are reports of heavy snow in County Londonderry, including Tobermore,
Draperstown and Maghera.
The Roads Service said it used snow ploughs to keep some routes clear and
has gritted the main roads, but some minor roads are extremely icy.
A small number of schools in counties Londonderry and Tyrone have also been
affected by the icy weather and will remain closed on Wednesday.
- A huge snow storm is blanketing the densely populated US North-east,
after wreaking havoc in the South.
Across the typically mild South, more than half a million homes and
businesses lack power, and thousands of flights have been cancelled.
The weather system has affected people in about 22 states from Texas to
Maine and caused a dozen deaths.
The storm dumped more than 30 cm of snow in the Washington DC region,
before descending on New York.
Described by the National Weather Service as an event of "historical
proportions", it leaves in its southern wake a wreckage of snapped tree
branches and power lines coated in as much as an inch of ice, motorways
turned to car parks, road accidents and residents shivering in darkened
President Barack Obama declared a disaster in the state of South Carolina
and all northern counties in Georgia, opening the way for federal aid.
Thousands of vehicles have been stranded on snow-shrouded motorways around
Raleigh, North Carolina, with some people abandoning their vehicles.
- A giant winter storm that gridlocked traffic, left flights cancelled, and knocked out power in the US East Coast has pushed into eastern Canada.
As much as 60 cm was expected to fall in some areas by the end of Friday, blown about by heavy winds, from Quebec to Newfoundland.
Authorities closed a 200 km section of the Trans-Canada Highway in Quebec.
The storm has been blamed for the deaths of more than two dozen people.
In the US, almost 450,000 people and businesses remained without power in the typically mild southern states on Friday, some for a third day, after the storm destroyed power lines and knocked down trees.
- A massive snow storm that has dumped a metre and a half of snow in some areas of Japan has left areas cut off and hundreds of cars and trucks stranded.
The storm has killed at least 12 people and injured more than 1,000 others.
Some areas of the north of the country remain cut off and troops are helping to dig out hundreds of stranded cars and trucks .
Some 27 cm of snow was dumped on Tokyo on Friday and Saturday, and several other cities reported record snowfall.
- The Nevis Range ski resort in Scotland had its busiest day for 10 years on Sunday.
Almost 1,700 skiers and snowboarders took to the slopes of Aonach Mor and snow cover was described as "wall-to-wall".
The resort was not even able to operate all of its lifts because some were still buried under the unprecedented amounts of snow.
The managing director of the resort said it had snowed every day since 20 December.
She added that with the amount of snow which had already fallen there was a good chance the season could last until late spring or even summer.
- South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye has called for a full investigation into the collapse of an auditorium near the city of Gyeongju that killed at least 10 and injured more than 100.
More than 560 college students were believed to be attending a concert when part of the auditorium caved in.
Nine of those killed in the disaster - blamed on the weight of snow on the roof - were students.
The weather is also thought to have slowed down rescue efforts.
The building was a modern, pre-fabricated structure, and local police have reportedly asked why the snow was not cleared from the roof before the party began.
- The historic California drought is far-reaching not only impacting the Golden State but also the rest of the United States.
In the last 500 years, there have been only three years as dry as the current one, B. Lynn Ingram, a paleoclimatologist at the University of California at Berkeley, said.
As a result of the drought, higher prices are possible for produce and other commodities, communities may run out of water and jobs may be lost, officials say.
Millions of dollars in federal disaster and other emergency assistance will be made available to California to deal with the drought, President Barack Obama announced last week.
Relief is also available for five drought-affected states, the president said.
A long-term ridge along the West Coast has pushed the jet stream much farther north than is usual this winter, creating the current conditions during the now-three-year-old drought.
Californians are being asked to conserve 20 percent of their normal water use.
Since Dec. 1, Los Angeles has had only 6 percent of normal rainfall.
Water restrictions may cost California $11 billion in annual state revenue and affect 40 percent of Central Valley jobs that are tied to the agriculture industry, according to the California Farm Water Coalition, a nonprofit group representing a cross-section of the state's agricultural industry.
The other comparative droughts occurred in 1580, 1923-24 and 1976-77.
- With no end in sight, the US winter of 2014 rages on, ushering in frigid Arctic air and dumping record-breaking snow and ice on much of the nation. This season, ice coverage on Lake Superior has exceeded other measurements in recent history.
"By the long shot this is the most ice we've had on Lake Superior in 20 years," Associate Professor Jay Austin of the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, Minn., said.
During a typical winter, 30 to 40 percent of the Great Lakes are covered by ice; however, this winter 80 to 90 percent of the Great Lakes are covered in ice. As of Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, Lake Superior was classified as 90 percent covered.
The last time in recent history the ice coverage was even close to this winter's percentage was the winter of 1993/94. That winter ice coverage was measured at 90.7 percent.
- The latest rainfall update from the Met Office National Climate Information Centre shows that this has been the UK’s wettest winter on record in the national series going back to 1910.
These provisional rainfall statistics for the winter so far (from 1 December 2013 to 19 February 2014) show new records for the UK, Wales, east Scotland, southwest England & south Wales alongside the record already set for southeast & central southern England.
- The UK has now received 486.8mm of rain, narrowly above the previous record of 485.1mm set in 1995.
- Wales has seen 691.8mm of rain, beating the previous record of 684.1mm in 1995.
- East Scotland has seen 514.5mm of rain, beating the previous record of 482.2mm in 1915.
- Southwest England and south Wales has seen 632.5mm of rain beating the previous record of 610.7mm in 1990.
- Southeast and central southern England has seen 492mm beating the previous record of 437.1mm set in 1915.
- World-renowned climber Hamish MacInnes believes this winter in Scotland's mountains is the snowiest since 1945.
He said he had not seen such "colossal volumes" of snow since he started climbing as a youngster 69 years ago.
He said: "The first time I went climbing was in 1945 and I remember cutting our way through snow in Glencoe.
This covering of snow we have just now is very alpine. There is a very defined demarcation line between where the snow starts and the bare grass below.
The volume of snow is colossal. It has been falling for weeks now."
- Almost 100 vehicles were involved in a snow squall-related pileup Thursday morning near Barrie, Ontario in Canada.
Three people were taken to the hospital.
The crash occurred about 9 a.m.
A snow squall, associated with the passage of an arctic cold front, moved through the area at the time of the crash.
Visibility quickly dropped to less than 200 m within a matter of minutes.
Temperatures were about -13 C at the time of the squall with wind gusts up to 65 km/h.
- It was reported earlier this month that the northernmost parts of Norway had seen their driest January since records began 150 years ago. One reason for this dry weather is a relatively persistent area of high pressure which sat across Russia and the Baltic Sea. This high pressure prevented Atlantic weather systems from reaching Norway for a time, depriving them of their usual rain and snow. Obviously, there are parts of Britain which would have welcomed a break from the rain, but in Norway the dry weather has been linked to a series of wildfires which have destroyed 200 homes since January.
Recent figures also suggest that western parts of the country had unusually mild weather this winter. The city of Bergen in western Norway has had an average temperature of 4.8 C across the winter months of December, January and February. This beats the previous record set in 1990 when the average winter temperature was 4.6 C. Average daily temperatures usually hover between 2 C and 3 C in the winter.
Relatively mild weather has also had an affect on Svalbard, the archipelago in the Arctic Circle north of Norway. Sea ice around the islands is at unusually low levels at the moment, especially along the south and west coasts. Fjords which have usually frozen over at this time of year remain relatively ice free, affecting both wildlife and tourism.
- Early Met Office statistics for Winter 2014 show that England and Wales has already had its wettest winter in almost 250 years.
As February comes to an end provisional rainfall figures (from 1 December 2013 to 25 February 2014) confirm the UK has had its wettest winter since the national series records began in 1910.
New records have been set for many parts of the UK, with southeast and central southern England having seen well over double the rainfall expected in a normal winter.
It has also been the wettest winter in the long running England and Wales Precipitation (EWP) series going back to 1766, with 435 mm of rain being recorded up to 24th February. This beats the previous record of 423 mm set in 1915.
The UK average mean temperature for the winter so far is 5.2 °C making it the 5th warmest winter since the national series records began in 1910. It is the warmest since 2007 which was 5.6 °C and the record was set in 1989, which averaged 5.8 °C.
- Extremely mild, dry, no snow, but lots of sunshine sums up the winter in Germany. Overall it was the fourth mildest winter in Germany since 1881 2.3 degC warmer than the 1981-2010 average. In the west and south of Germany, the winter hardly happened; in Frankfurt the temperature fell no lower than -0.8 C.
- An extended period of dry weather across Malaysia and southern Thailand has led to water shortages, agricultural problems and the threat for wildfires.
The last measurable rainfall of more than 1 mm in Singapore was Jan. 12, when the city reported 18 mm.
It has now been more than 40 days since the city recorded more than 1 mm, making it one of the longest stretches for dry weather in the recorded history of the city.
Singapore has reported less than 75 mm of rain since Jan. 1, which is less than 20 percent of the normal 404 mm that falls in th first 8 weeks of the year.
The drought has begun to impact agriculture across both Malaysia and Thailand, including the crops of rice and rubber.
Drinking water shortages have also become a concern and could result in hundreds of thousands of people seeing their water supplies run dry in the coming weeks if rain does not return.
World weather news, January 2014
- Temperatures have climbed above 31C everyday since 13 December in Buenos Aires, putting a severe strain on the electrical grid of Argentina resulting in blackouts that have left many without power and any way to cool down. A cold front brought the hot spell to an end; as the front crossed the the region early Thursday morning, heavy rain fell in many places. Buenos Aires had received over 60 mm and further north, nearly 90 mm fell in Rocha, Uruguay.
- A winter storm hit the US north-east with numbing winds, punishing cold and up to 60 cm of snow overnight and early today.
Some major highways were ordered to be shut down overnight.
By late Thursday night, the National Weather Service reported that Boxford, just north of Boston, had received nearly 53 cm of snow and parts of upstate New York had already received 90 cm.
More than 4,000 flights were cancelled as the storm blanketed the US on Thursday and Friday.
New York's JFK airport closed for snow removal and all the city's public schools are shut. New York and New Jersey have declared states of emergency.
Wind-chill temperature was said to be as low as -25C in New York, with many road conditions treacherous.
The storm has stretched from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic coast.
- Tropical Cyclone Bejisa is starting 2014 churning east of Madagascar and taking aim at the French island of Réunion.
Bejisa was the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane.
The dangerous cyclone will remain well east of Madagascar as it moves south but poses severe dangers to lives and property on the French island of Réunion.
High winds and torrential rain have already inundated the island. Saint-Denis, located on the northern part of the island has already reported over 175 mm and wind gusts near 100 km/h.
- Today's release of the Bureau of Meteorology Annual Climate Statement 2013 confirms Australia has recorded its hottest calendar year on record.
Average temperatures were 1.20 degC above the long-term average of 21.8C, breaking the previous record set in 2005 by 0.17 degC.
All states and territories recorded above average temperatures in 2013, with Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia breaking their previous annual average temperature records.
The year started with a persistent heatwave in January, with Australia recording its hottest day (7 January), hottest week, and hottest month on record. A new record was set for the number of consecutive days the national average temperature exceeded 39C - seven days between 2 and 8 January 2013, almost doubling the previous record of four consecutive days in 1973.
- A record-setting heat wave impacted much of Australia during the final week of 2013
and the first week of 2014.
The heat wave was a fitting end to 2013, which has been confirmed as the hottest year in
Australia on record by the Australia Bureau of Meteorology.
Although this heat wave was not as long in duration as some notable heat waves of past
years, many areas recorded their hottest day on record.
The heat increased across Western Australia late in December before moving into South
Australia and eventually rose across parts of Queensland and New South Wales in early
The heat peaked across Queensland on the 3rd, which became the hottest day on record in
Queensland (in area-average terms), according to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology.
The heat wave also had deadly impacts on the wildlife of Queensland as reports indicate
as many as 100,000 bats have died from the heat, according to the RSPCA.
The highest temperature that was reported during the heat wave was 49.3C the 2nd in
Moomba, South Australia. This temperature fell just short of the heat experienced in
January of 2013.
The Bureau of Meteorology also reported that 34 locations in Australia set all-time high
temperature records between Dec. 30 and Jan. 4.
- Long-standing records were shattered across the East and South USA this morning, as
the coldest air in 20 years arrived.
An unusual positioning of the polar vortex is the reason for the cold. The polar vortex
is a large pocket of very cold air, which sits over the polar region during the winter
season, and it has shifted unusually far south into the U.S.
The cold was extreme enough to close schools, threaten frozen pipes and cause significant
Atlanta Public Schools were closed for the safety of students and employees on Tuesday as
the temperature plunged into the single digits in the morning. An emergency shelter was
opened by the City of Atlanta to provide warmth and cots for residents as the unusual
Numerous record lows fell as the cold gripped the region on Tuesday, and some were
records set more than 100 years ago.
Some record low temperatures for the date included:
The most extreme arctic blasts, blamed on a weather pattern known as the polar vortex, were said to have affected nearly 190 million people.
In Kentucky, an escaped prisoner turned himself in to get out of the cold.
Some parts of the Midwest hit -26C.
Daily temperature records were shattered in states across the US, including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Michigan, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
It was -17C in the small town of Hell, Michigan, prompting online jokes that the weather was so bad even hell had frozen over.
- 4F in New York City's Central Park; The old record for the date was 6F which was
set back in 1896.
- 4F in Philadelphia;
The old record for the date was 7F which was set in 1988.
- 8 below zero F in Zanesville, Ohio;
The old record for the date was -3F which was set in 1968.
- 3F in Baltimore;
The old record for the date was 8F which was set in 1988.
- 10F in Richmond, Va.;
The old record for the date was 12 F which was set in 1988.
- Much of Europe has experienced exceptionally mild winter so far.
Météo-France reported that on Wednesday, maximum daily temperatures were 5 to 9 degrees Centigrade above the January norm. On Thursday morning, the minimum temperature recorded at 7 a.m. was 17.9C in Biarritz and 19.2C in Bustince - temperatures more typical of summer.
Much of Russia has witnessed very much above normal temperatures reaching +9 degC anomalies during the week of 29 December-4 January, Currently it is still warm. For example Moscow's temperature on Thursday averaged 2C while January's daily average temperature is -9C. Parts of Scandinavia have also been unusually mild, as have Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
- The freezing polar vortex that has gripped the US has extended an abnormally mild winter in Scandinavia and disrupted the seasonal patterns of flora and fauna.
The weather system that brought snow, ice and record low temperatures to many parts of the United States this week left Iceland, Greenland and Scandinavia much warmer than normal.
On the back of a generally mild winter, there have been reports of bears emerging early from hibernation in Finland, changes in the behaviour of migratory birds off the coast of Sweden and plants appearing earlier than normal in Norway.
The knock-on effects of the vortex follow one of the mildest Decembers in a century in Nordic countries. Ketil Isaksen, a scientist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, said the country had been 4.2 degC above the mean temperature for December with parts of Oslo and south-eastern Norway experiencing the third warmest December on record. "It was very unusual to see no snow in large areas where it is normal in December. Only in the mountains and certain parts of Norway could you find snow."
Much of the precipitation in lowland and populated areas had fallen as rain instead of snow, he said. "In general it was a very wet December. Large parts of Norway had up to three times as much rain as normal and the country as a whole had 180% more than average."
Finland too has seen heavy rain, with flooding in western coastal areas and the majority of Finland's lakes containing record volumes of water. Temperatures exceeded their normal seasonal average by 4-5 degC nationwide, with Helsinki and southern Finland recording the mildest second half of December in 30 years.
Temperatures in parts of Sweden have fluctuated greatly, at Nikkaluokta falling from 4.7C on 3 December to -40.8C on 9 December, then rising two days later to 7.7C. Many locations measured their warmest December temperatures on record.
The rainy weather in Finland has reportedly disrupted the winter slumbers of many bears, bringing them out of hibernation early. Heavy rains and high waters may have invaded some dens, forcing the animals to seek new shelter.
Last week, the local Norwegian newspaper Sunnmørsposten published reader photographs of daffodils emerging as early as 14 December as well as crocuses, daisies, dandelions and honeysuckle.
- Just days after an arctic blast broke low temperature records in the Southeast USA,
the weekend started with severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes.
Violent thunderstorms hit the Atlanta area shortly after daybreak.
The thunderstorms left a trail of damage, mainly in the form of strong winds, from
eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle to North Carolina.
Winds early Saturday afternoon gusted to 86 mph at the Raleigh-Durham International
Airport, N.C., while a funnel cloud was sighted to the west in the community of Bynum.
As many as 45,000 Duke Energy customers in North Carolina were without power late
Saturday afternoon, the utility said on its website.
Weather-related flight delays occurred at Philadelphia International Airport.
- Authorities were searching remote islands for cyclone victims on Sunday after the most powerful storm to hit Tonga in decades visited destruction on the south Pacific archipelago, leaving at least one person dead and several injured.
Relief efforts following Saturday's storm were concentrating on the Ha'apai islands one of Tonga's three island groups between the main island of Tongatapu in the south and the Vava'u islands to the north, Tonga's director of emergencies Leveni Aho said.
Cyclone Ian hit Tonga with gusts up to 287 km/h. The storm was later downgraded from the top of five-scale destructive cyclones to category four, with gusts of up to 250 km/h.
- An extremely hot air mass over western and inland Australia spread across the
southeast , directing very hot northerly winds over South Australia, Victoria, New South
Wales and Tasmania.
Temperatures on Monday ranged from 34-37 C across the Melbourne area, a cool day compared
to the heat experienced on Tuesday and Wednesday.
As the Australian Open got underway on Monday, a heat wave was already building across
the region. On Tuesday and Wednesday the temperatures soared to around 42 C, extreme
conditions for both participants and spectators.
The all-time record for Melbourne was 7 February 2009, when the temperature climbed to
- Days of heavy rainfall caused by a tropical low have resulted in numerous mudslides
and widespread flooding across the southern Philippines.
Surigao City, in northern Mindanao, has received more than 500 mm of rain since the
weekend, and more heavy rainfall is expected in the coming days.
According to the Philippine Government, nearly 340,000 people have been affected by the
recent flooding. At least 26 people have died, and 11 more remain missing as rain
continues to fall across the region.
Many roads and bridges are no longer passable leading to problems reaching some villages
that have been hit hardest by the flooding and mudslides.
- Cold snaps such as the recent US cold blast of 5-8 January, can bring a different kind
of cold snap - the loud boom of the earth from frost quakes.
The quakes, known as cryoseisms, are a natural phenomenon caused from a sudden deep
freezing of the ground. They occur near the surface of the earth and result from freeze-
and-thaw cycles which weaken and break rock due to high water pressure, according to
Natural Resources Canada.
The frost quakes were recently reported around Toronto and Brantford, Ontario, and
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin during recent cold waves, including a
rare appearance of the polar vortex in the US.
- Australian firefighters are tackling fast-moving bushfires as the heatwave in South-east Australia continues.
In the state of Victoria, fires in the Northern Grampians area merged into one "out of control" bushfire.
A fire ban has been issued across the state and residents have been urged to evacuate the area.
Soaring temperatures have halted matches at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne with temperatures of 41.7C on Thursday.
- Lightning is being blamed for damaging the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
The right thumb of the statue was chipped during an apparent lightning strike Thursday night.
Winds gusted to nearly 55 mph as the thunderstorms arrived.
- Unusually heavy rain has flooded the French Riviera, leaving two people dead and thousands without electricity or access to roads.
The administration for the Var region evacuated some residents and urged others to stay indoors until the waters receded. It said a 73-year-old man was killed in his basement and another man died when his car was washed away by floodwater.
Dozens of roads were closed across the region, which includes resort towns such as St-Tropez and villages in Provence. Up to 200 mm of rain was registered over the weekend at some points, and rivers and streams that feed the Mediterranean flowed into residential areas.
Nice recorded 146 mm of rain from the 16th to 19th; the normal monthly rainfall in January is only 69 mm.
- Emergency workers have evacuated thousands of people across the southern Philippines, including many already made homeless by a typhoon in November, after three days of rain flooded towns and farmland.
More than 200,000 people have been taken to shelters over the past three days as flood waters rose, but hundreds were still marooned on the roofs of their houses on Tuesday.
42 people had been killed, 65 had been injured and damage to property and farms had reached 367m pesos (£5m).
- A two-wave winter storm is expected to bring as much as 40 cm of snow to Canada's Atlantic provinces.
All of Nova Scotia and parts of Newfoundland were under blizzard warnings on Wednesday, as the second part of the storm struck.
Schools in Nova Scotia were already closed and almost all flights at Halifax's main airport cancelled.
Gusting winds of up to 90 km/h were also expected later in the evening.
The front wave of the storm saw about 5-7 cm of snowfall on Wednesday morning, with weather officials predicting snowfalls of up to 30 cm in Nova Scotia later in the day.
Officials have warned of blowing snow and near-zero visibility. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have asked residents to stay off the roads as several accidents were reported.
Meanwhile, much of the eastern US is digging out of a heavy snowstorm that brought as much as 40 cm of snow to some areas on Tuesday.
Schools in Boston and Philadelphia were closed on Wednesday, but New York City kept open its doors for 1.1 million students.
About 1,400 flights were cancelled as snow tapered off on Wednesday at some of the nation's busiest airports. More than 3,000 were cancelled during the storm on Tuesday.
- Heavy rainfall has kept Alderney Airport's grass runway closed for almost two months.
The Director of Civil Aviation closed the runway in December because of poor drainage and uneven surface.
Alderney's grass runway is used when cross-winds mean the main tarmac surface cannot safely be used.
Airport director Colin Le Ray said: "The closure could affect operations during high cross-winds, which are more common during the winter."
- This January is now Detroit's snowiest on record.
Snowfall overnight Friday through Saturday pushed the month's snowfall total in Detroit to 31.9 inches, breaking the previous snowiest January record of 29.6 inches from 1978.
This January is also now Detroit's third all-time snowiest month. At the top of that list is February 1908 and its 38.4 inches.
The snow Chicago picked up Sunday morning made this month the city's third snowiest January on record with a total of 32.5 inches.
This month is the second snowiest in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Ind., with 26.9 inches and 26.5 inches respectively.
- A rare ice storm turned Atlanta (USA) into a slippery mess, stranding thousands for hours on frozen roadways and raising questions about how city leaders prepared for and handled the cold snap that slammed the U.S. South.
The storm, which has killed at least seven people, on Tuesday swept over a region of about 60 million largely unaccustomed to ice and snow - stretching from Texas through Georgia and into the Carolinas - and forecasts called for more freezing weather on Thursday.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed came under fire for his response to a storm that trapped hundreds of children in schools overnight, some without provisions, and created traffic jams stretching for miles on roads coated with two inches of snow.
The one-day snowfall of 2.6 inches ranked as the 20th heaviest in Atlanta, which has recorded a daily snowfall of an inch or more 55 times since 1928, according to the National Weather Service.
The city's highways became parking lots and thousands of motorists, still stuck 24 hours after the storm hit, were seeking help and food. Workers who couldn't get home were setting up makeshift accommodations in stores and offices.
About 800 traffic accidents were reported in the city, but there were no serious injuries, officials said. At least five deaths in Alabama and two in Georgia were blamed on the weather.
In southern Louisiana, the ice and cold were the worst the region has seen in a decade.
Near New Orleans, sections of major roadways were closed, including the 24-mile Causeway Bridge spanning Lake Pontchartrain, and nearly a full day of flights were cancelled at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
- A cold spell and snowstorms are sweeping across parts of central and eastern Europe, disrupting power supplies, travel and schools. Four people have died in Bulgaria over the past few days, and Wednesday was the coldest day of the year in Moscow.
Bulgaria's heavy snow and strong winds have left dozens of villages in the eastern half of the Balkan country without electricity and water.
A 76-year-old man died after getting stuck in a snowdrift in the village of Povet, near the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Three other men have died in weather-related incidents in eastern villages in the last two days.
Many roads are closed to traffic while rescue teams try to bring food supplies to remote areas. Hundreds of schools remain closed, and the main Black Sea port of Varna was shut because of high winds.
Snow fell in the central Adriatic coast in Croatia, which is highly unusual because the region has a Mediterranean climate. The ice and snow in the seaside town of Sibenik prompted authorities to close down schools there. Heavy snow is also falling in neighbouring Montenegro, causing road traffic problems.
Temperatures dipped to -22C in Moscow and -31C in surrounding regions, making it the coldest day of the year in the Russian capital.
Romanian authorities declared a "red code" weather warning in six eastern counties, warning residents of blizzards, winds of up to 85 km/h and near zero visibility. Heavy snow and high winds were forecast for the capital.
Railway authorities said more than 160 trains had been canceled as snow blocked railway tracks in southern and eastern Romania. About 5,000 people experienced power outages as the high winds disrupted electricity supplies in southern Romania.
- Firefighters continue to battle more than 20 out-of-control bushfires in Victoria as crews arrive from New Zealand, Queensland and New South Wales to help.
Bushfires across the state have burnt more than 140,000 hectares since mid-January with 22 not yet under control.
Many centres in northern Victoria face a stretch of days above 40C into next week, with the entire state facing those temperatures on Sunday.
- Torrential rain and wind gusts up to 140km/h are battering north Queensland as cyclone Dylan makes landfall.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the category two cyclone made landfall near Proserpine, north of Mackay, just after 4am on Friday.
About 450 mm of rain was dumped in the Pioneer river basin, west of Mackay, in the 24 hours from 9am on Thursday. About 200 mm to 300 mm of rain is expected in other areas.
If you have a snippet of weather news that you feel merits inclusion, then please feel free to email it to me.
Last updated 16 January 2015.