World weather news, August 2016
- Hong Kong came to a standstill as Typhoon Nida brought 90 mph winds and torrential rain, shutting down schools, businesses and transport services. More than 180 flights were cancelled and hundreds rescheduled.
After battering the northern Philippines last weekend, with more than 275 mm of rain falling over the town of Tuguegarao in 24 hours, Nida made landfall near Hong Kong on Tuesday morning, rated as the equivalent of a category 1 hurricane. Thousands of people were evacuated from offshore oil rigs, as well as from construction sites, and headed to tunnels and bridges in the city. Hong Kong Observatory recorded 121 mm of rain on Tuesday.
As Nida moved north-west away from Hong Kong and into mainland China it weakened to a severe tropical storm. However, due to the slow-moving nature of the storm, torrential rain triggered widespread flooding across south-west China, particularly in low lying regions.
- Macedonia declared a state of emergency in its capital, Skopje, and neighbouring districts on Sunday, a day after at least 21 people were killed in flash floods caused by a storm.
Torrential rain flooded homes, swept away a section of the city's ring road and wrecked cars late on Saturday evening. Northern suburbs of the capital were particularly hard hit, though the city centre also suffered.
Macedonia, a small former Yugoslav republic of about two million people, has declared Monday a day of national mourning. "This is a catastrophe of unprecedented magnitude," the deputy prime minister, Nikola Todorov, told reporters.
The rain had stopped by Sunday morning and water levels receded and though there was more rain on Sunday evening - there were no reports of further flash flooding.
Further north in Croatia, heavy winds caused disruption on some roads, including the closure of the highway linking the capital, Zagreb, to the southern coast for lorries and buses, according to local media.
- Mudslides triggered by intense rainfall in eastern Mexico have killed 38 people as saturated hillsides collapsed on to homes in the wake of tropical storm Earl.
At least 28 people died in multiple mudslides in the mountainous north of Puebla state.
The states of Puebla and Veracruz bore the brunt of the wild weather and more is on the way after the US National Hurricane Center said on Sunday that a new tropical storm, Javier, had formed off the country's Pacific Coast.
Before crossing into Mexico, Earl battered Belize on Thursday, punching holes in the roofs of Belize City's wooden houses. It also flooded parts of the coast.
World weather news, July 2016
- A record was set in the tropical northwestern Pacific Ocean as the basin entered its longest stretch of time without a named
The new record of 199 days ended on Sunday with the development of Tropical Storm Nepartak. The lack of tropical systems occurred from
17 December 2015 to 2 July 2016.
The previous record was 198 days which occurred from 15 December 1972, to 30 June 1973, and also from 22 December 1997, to 7 July
- Flooding in the Yangtze river basin in China has left 112 people dead or missing in recent days, with more damage feared from a
typhoon expected to land within days.
About 16 million people have been affected by heavy rains that have engulfed vast areas near the Yangtze, China's longest river, the
Beijing News cited the civil affairs ministry as saying.
Water levels in Lake Taihu, close to Shanghai, are at their highest since 1954, it said, adding the area faced a serious risk of
flooding if a typhoon hit nearby on Friday.
Flooding is common during the summer monsoon season in southern China, but rainfall has been particularly heavy this year and many
areas have been lashed by torrential rains this week.
China's vice-premier, Wang Yang, warned last month that a strong El Niño effect this year would increase the risk of floods in the
Yangtze and Huai river basins.
The El Niño effect was linked to China's worst floods of recent years when more than 4,000 people died in 1998, mostly around the
- The Chinese city of Wuhan is on red alert for more heavy rainfall, after torrential downpours overnight left parts of the city
Transport links and water and power supplies in the city of 10 million are severely affected, and some residents are trapped in their
Flooding has killed more than 180 people and caused chaos across China.
Police in neighbouring Anhui province even warned that alligators from a farm there had escaped due to the flooding.
- Several tropical storms prowled the eastern and western regions of the Pacific Ocean this week, as a dormant tropical season sprung to life.
The first three tropical storms of the year in the East Pacific developed southwest of Mexico. While Agatha reached tropical storm strength by 2 July, it was downgraded to a depression by 4 July.
Blas developed into a tropical storm on the 3rd, well south of Mexico like Agatha. Unlike Agatha, the system continued to strengthen and became a Category 3 hurricane on the 5th, the first major hurricane of the season for the basin.
Tropical Storm Celia followed close behind, forming southwest of Mexico on Friday.
Agatha, Blas and Celia remained well away from shore.
- A tropical storm in China has killed six people, with at least eight more missing, reports said, after super typhoon Nepartak lashed Taiwan.
By late Sunday more than 200,000 residents in 10 mainland cities had been temporarily relocated and 1,900 homes destroyed.
Power was cut for hundreds of thousands in the south-eastern province of Fujian, while five airports were closed and hundreds of high-speed train journeys cancelled, the Global Times newspaper reported on Monday.
Nepartak hd previously brought chaos to Taiwan on the 8th, forcing more than 15,000 people to flee their homes as part of the island saw its strongest winds in over a century.
It had weakened into a tropical storm by the time it made landfall in Fujian on Saturday but still caused havoc, with pictures showing cars upended, buildings ripped apart and towns swamped in mud.
In Taiwan, Nepartak killed three people and injured more than 300, according to the island's central emergency operation centre.
- Across parts of Iraq, western Iran, Kuwait and northern Saudi Arabia, extremely high temperatures have been recorded over recent days. On Thursday Basrah Airport, Iraq reached 53.4C, while Mitribah in northern Kuwait recorded 54.0C. Both of these temperatures, subject to confirmation, are new national records and the 54.0C recorded at Mitribah is among the highest temperatures ever recorded in Asia.
- Lightning killed a teenager today, the second teen lightning death in three days in the USA.
Brooklyn Reynolds, 14, was struck and killed by lightning as she was riding a jet ski in the Flaming Gorge Reservoir that straddles the Utah-Wyoming border.
Reynolds was riding on the watercraft with her stepmother, who was critically injured by the lightning strike and airlifted to a hospital in Salt Lake City.
The number of lightning deaths across the U.S. now stands at 18, according to John Jensenius, Jr., Lightning Safety Specialist with the National Weather Service (NWS).
On average, 49 people are killed by lightning in the U.S. each year. Hundreds more are severely injured, according to the NWS.
- Stifling heat has been baking the central United States, but will finally ease across northern areas this weekend. Some figures include:
- 109F in Pierre, South Dakota on the 20th was the highest since 29 August 2012.
- Dallas first reached 100F on the 22nd, 21 days later than normal.
- 105F at Little Rock, Arkansas, on the 22nd tied the day's record high with 1943.
- Flooding and mudslides have been reported in and around Durban (South Africa) with the city recording 150 mm of rainfall in 12 hours on Monday, or five times its average July rainfall. Along the coast in Paddock, 315 mm of rain has fallen since Sunday, equivalent to around a third of the rainfall it would expect in a whole year.
Meanwhile inland in the southeastern interior there has been heavy snowfall. The South African Weather Service has issued a number of snow warnings and has highlighted the risk of travel disruption for various passes between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
- Heavy rains and floods in India have affected more than 1.6 million people in the tea-growing north-eastern state of Assam, with officials having to move hundreds of thousands of people into 300 makeshift relief camps.
The death toll in Assam rose to at least 12 on Wednesday, according to police and rescue workers. Heavy monsoon rains are forecast for at least another 48 hours.
Hundreds of thousands of villagers have abandoned their homes and livestock. Some used homemade rafts made from banana trees to flee; others were rescued by soldiers from the rooftops of their waterlogged homes.
In neighbouring Nepal, flash floods and landslides have swept through villages, killing at least 58 people over two days.
The Brahmaputra river and its tributaries have burst their banks, flooding roads, highways and villages in more than half of the region's 32 districts. Mobile phone signal is down in many parts of the state, and power transmission towers have been toppled.
- Meanwhile in south Asia dozens of people were killed by severe thunderstorms at the weekend. Heavy rain claimed the lives of nine citizens in Mumbai when a building collapsed, and it forced about 50,000 from their homes in southern and eastern India.
Lightning killed more than 50 people in Odisha, on the east coast of India. At the same time, in Bangladesh, 15 people were killed by lightning, and flooding took the lives of a further 17 people.
- Howard County officials said on Sunday the body of a second person had been found after flash flooding devastated low-lying Ellicott City, in Maryland.
The damage sustained during the flooding on Saturday night was reportedly the worst in at least 50 years and possibly the worst in the history of the 244-year-old town. Virtually every structure and business along Ellicott City's Main Street was damaged, with the damage estimated at tens of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The town received more than 150 mm of rain, most of it between 7pm and 9pm. Maryland governor Larry Hogan was touring the damage having declared a state of emergency, which will allow greater aid coordination and assistance.
World weather news, June 2016
- The storms that hit New Jersey in the morning brought heavy rains and strong winds that knocked down trees and power
No injuries were reported. But the storm knocked the roof off a Camden County College building and caused a partial roof
collapse at an Atlantic City apartment building.
Rides at the Great Adventure amusement park in Jackson were briefly shuttered after the park lost power. And Camden
Riverline service was briefly suspended between the Pennsauken Transit Center and Route 73 in Pennsauken due to a downed
tree blocking the tracks.
Roughly 30,000 people had no power as of late Wednesday afternoon.
- A very wet spring season continued for parts of the central United States this week resulting in swollen rivers,
evacuations, traffic problems and several fatalities.
In southeastern Texas, the Brazos River in Richmond reached a record flood stage of 54 feet. Elsewhere along the river,
about 150 people had to be evacuated in Rosenberg, Texas. Unprecedented water levels were observed in the northern part
of the town.
Nine soldiers were killed after their vehicle overturned at a low-water crossing near Fort Hood, Texas on Thursday. The
bodies of four missing soldiers were recovered on Friday, according to the Fort Hood Press Center.
- At least five people died in flooding across France and Germany, authorities say.
Search teams in the Bavarian town of Simbach am Inn found the bodies of three people who had been trapped in a house and
a woman was found dead by a nearby stream. In central France an 86-year-old woman lost her life.
Dozens of towns have been inundated and people have been saved by helicopter.
Forecasters say waters are expected to keep rising for several days.
The floods are thought to have caused substantial damage.
The worst affected area in southern Germany is the district of Rottal Inn, where a disaster centre has been established.
In the town of Triftern, rivers and streams burst their banks. Floodwaters dragged along cars, trees and furniture from
In many places the water reached several metres above street level. The inhabitants, surprised by the sudden flooding,
had to be rescued by helicopter.
However, 250 children who had been trapped in a school in Triftern over Tuesday night were able to leave the building on
Wednesday evening, officials said.
A further 350 pupils in Simbach am Inn were also brought to safety and a refugee shelter in the town was evacuated.
The floods were also declared an emergency in the historic town of Passau, on the border with Austria, the scene of
massive flooding three years ago.
In nearby Pfarrkirchen more than 35 mm fell in the space of six hours on Wednesday, according to DWD.
In France, the town of Nemours, near Paris, had to be evacuated. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said emergency
workers had carried out more than 8,000 rescue operations over two days between the Belgian border and the Burgundy
Central France has seen some of its worst flooding in 100 years. The Loiret area received the average rainfall of six
weeks in three days.
The high level of the Seine in Paris led to the closure of many promenades, amid fears the water could rise another
metre in coming days.
Some 10,000 emergency call-outs have been made by fire services nationwide in France since Sunday.
- The death toll from a powerful storm which lashed Australia's east coast and left homes hanging over the edge of the
sea rose to four Tuesday, with three people still missing.
Torrential rains caused flooding across New South Wales over the weekend, with three people dying after their vehicles
were swept away in rising waters.
In Sydney, high winds and huge seas caused coastal erosion which washed away beachfront lawns and damaged homes.
The storm then swept south to Victoria and the island state of Tasmania, where one woman died after her house was
inundated and where two other people are still missing after being swept away by floodwaters.
In New South Wales, where the rain has eased, waves which on the weekend punched holes into surfside buildings and in
one case swept an in-ground swimming pool onto the beach, caused further damage.
In the northern Sydney suburb of Collaroy, up to 50 metres of the beach had been lost, coastal engineer Ian Turner told
AFP, with officials concerned about the safety of seven waterfront homes.
The Insurance Council of Australia said as of early Tuesday, insurers had received 14,500 claims across Queensland, New
South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, with estimated insured losses of Aus$56 million (US$41.6 million).
- Organisers of Rock Am Ring in Mendig pulled the plug on the weekend event on Sunday morning (05Jun16) "out of
responsibility for the welfare" of almost 90,000 festival-goers.
Lightning struck the site on Friday night, leaving at least 80 people injured, and the casualty list increased over the
weekend, as heavy rain storms hit Rock Am Ring.
The festival was briefly suspended on Saturday, but reopened for evening performers.
Lightning also hit the festival site in 2015, injuring 33 people.
- Tropical Storm Colin made landfall near Deckle Beach in Taylor County, Florida, on Monday night. The storm then
raced across northern Florida early Tuesday morning.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Monday in preparation for the storm. Scott also activated the
state's national guard, with more than 6,000 guardsmen ready for deployment.
Portions of the Florida Panhandle received up to 10 inches of rain in under 12 hours on Monday.
As Colin rolled ashore, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued two people from a sinking houseboat in Bradenton Beach, Florida,
according to a local news outlet.
- Northern Tasmania is grappling with the most devastating flooding it has experienced in decades after a severe
weather system that devastated Queensland and New South Wales hit the state.
As night fell, police held grave concerns for two elderly people reported missing in the Tasmanian floodwaters, which
continue to rise.
By Monday night more than 100 people in Latrobe in Tasmania had been evacuated by helicopter and boat, including a
family of three rescued from the roof of their car. Residents in St Leonards, in Launceston, had also been evacuated.
A flood watch is in place for all Tasmanian river basins, with some areas experiencing in excess of 200 mm of rainfall.
- A house has been struck by lightning and several others flooded during torrential downpours in parts of Scotland.
The band of heavy rain also caused travel problems, flooding a number of routes in the Scottish Borders.
Firefighters were called to a property in Mayfield, Midlothian, after it was hit by lightning.
No-one was hurt but the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service sent five appliances to the scene to deal with roof damage.
Three people were trapped in their cars after being submerged in flash floods in south-east London.
Luton Airport warned flash flooding in the local area had hit the power supply to the airport and wider vicinity.
The Environment Agency said 1.4 inches (3.5cm) of rain fell in London in one hour.
Elsewhere, a man and a boy are in a critical condition and a girl is seriously ill after they were struck by lightning
in Lisburn, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland.
Bedfordshire Police said it was currently only able to respond to life-threatening emergencies in Dunstable town centre
due to floodwater.
In south London, flash floods hit Mitcham, Croydon and Wallington.
The road near Wallington Station was under two metres of flood water, the fire brigade said.
Firefighters were called to London Road in Croydon after lightning struck several buildings.
The brigade said it attended a small fire, however, it was out within 30 minutes.
Trees, billboards and telephone poles were also set on fire by the lightning.
Between 01:00 and 16:00 on Tuesday, the Met Office recorded 47 mm of rainfall at Kenley Airfield in Surrey, 29.6 mm in
Ravensworth in north Yorkshire and 21.2 mm in Lough Fea in Northern Ireland.
- After a delay of almost seven days, Southwest Monsoon on Tuesday finally hit Kerala, marking the official
commencement of rainy season in the country, as heavy showers in the southern state left one person dead.
It has also advanced into most parts of Tamil Nadu, some parts of south interior Karnataka and remaining parts of south
Bay of Bengal, according to IMD.
Several parts of Kerala have been receiving heavy rains since Monday night which left a 36-year-old man dead due to
landslip in Idukki district of Kerala.
To declare the onset of monsoon over Kerala, the IMD has three important parameters.
The 14 stations at which the rainfall is being monitored for declaring the Monsoon onset over Kerala have reported
widespread rainfall for the last 48 hours with more than 60 per cent of stations recording rainfall on June 7 and 8.
The Westerly/ West-southwesterly winds of the order of 30-40 kmph were observed upto 600 hPa (approximately upto 4.5 km)
over the south Arabian Sea.
The satellite (INSAT-3D) derived Outgoing Longwave Radiation value was less than 200 W/m2 on June 8. "All these three
conditions got fulfilled for the first time today i.e. June 8 since the monitoring was started by IMD from May 10. As a
result, the Southwest Monsoon has set in over Kerala, Tuesday, June 8, 2016."
The usual date for onset of monsoon is June 1. The season is also expected to witness "above normal" rainfall after two
consecutive seasons of weak monsoon.
- The French Insurance Association (AFA) has released a more formal initial estimate of the insurance industry losses
to be expected from the recent French flooding, saying that the final loss could be as much as EUR1.4 billion
(approximately $1.6 billion).
The figure from the AFA is a little lower than the estimate cited by the director general of the French mutual insurers
group the MAIF, who said that the French flooding and storms could result in an insurance industry loss of EUR2 billion
($2.3 billion) or more.
The difference in estimates of the industry losses that will be faced by insurance and reinsurance firms is typical of a
loss that is largely flood related. Flood loss events are difficult to quantify and it can take time for claims to be
filed, with damage continuing to occur after the rains stop and while flood waters remain.
- In London firefighters and control staff dealt with another deluge in weather related calls yesterday afternoon as
parts of London were hit with flash floods.
Between 3pm and 6.15pm the Brigade took 436 calls. Of those 150 were flooding related and 10 of those calls were to
people trapped in vehicles.
The largest amount of calls came North and North West London with Harrow and Pinner the worst affected.
- Flights have been diverted away from Bristol Airport this morning because of fog at Lulsgate.
The Easyjet flight from Belfast (Easyjet EZY 444), scheduled to arrive at 9.40am, has been diverted to Cardiff Airport,
while a number of other flights are currently being held overhead in the hope the fog will lift.
- Flooding rain and landslides struck part of Indonesia, killing at least 24 people, according to local officials.
Rescue efforts are ongoing to search for the dozens of people that remain missing.
- Parts of Queensland's south-east are mopping up after storms flooded homes, swamped cars and generated a mini-tornado that tore
the roofs from two unit blocks.
There were no reports of injuries, but the damage bill from Sunday's deluge was expected to be significant and the wild weather
sparked more than 300 calls for help.
People in Mooloolaba's Akeringa Place said a mini-tornado swept through, leaving chaotic scenes in its wake.
Police said two unit blocks lost their roofs and power poles were snapped bringing live wires down on to the road.
- At least 93 people have been killed and more than 20 injured by lightning strikes in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar
Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Most of the people who died were working on farms during torrential rains.
Lightning strikes are common in India during heavy monsoon rains.
Fifty-six people died in Bihar while 37 people were killed across Uttar Pradesh, Jharkand and Madhya Pradesh.
- A powerful tornado and hailstorm has killed at least 78 people on the outskirts of an eastern Chinese city.
Nearly 500 people were injured, 200 of them critically, when the storm hit a densely populated area of farms and factories near
Yancheng, in Jiangsu province, north of Shanghai.
The state broadcaster CCTV showed people carrying the injured to hospitals, cars and trucks lying upside down, streetlamps snapped in
half and electricity pylons crumpled and lying on their side. Power and telephone communications were knocked out over a broad area
and roads were blocked.
The reports said the tornado struck at about around 2.30pm and hit Funing and Sheyang counties hardest, with winds of up to 125 km/h.
- A massive thunderstorm hit Brabant on Thursday evening. The southeast of the province bore the brunt of the storm with lightning flashes lighting the night sky and giant hailstones falling from the sky. The size of the hail stones ranged from 3 to 5 cm in diameter, Omroep Brabant reports.
Drivers on the A2 highway in Valkenswaard had to find cover under overpasses.
According to the broadcaster, there were reports of damage from numerous municipalities in Zuidoost-Brabant. Roof were tiles blown off, cars' windows broken and house windows broken in Lierop, Valkenswaard and Westerhoven, among others.
In addition to the massive storm, Brabant also had its first tropical day of the year on Thursday, with afternoon temperatures reaching 32 degrees.
- Nearly two dozen people died in West Virginia as a result of extreme flooding that inundated portions of the state on Thursday and
On Monday (27th), officials announced that the death toll had been lowered to 23 after two people who were presumed dead were found
A total of 32,170 homes and businesses remained without power, according to the report.
"The amount of rain that recently fell on parts of West Virginia and southern Virginia exceeded a once-in-a-century event for the
specific area and resulted in catastrophic flooding in some communities," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex
"Radar estimates indicated 6 to 10 inches of rain fell on some locations in 24 hours," he said.
Extensive damage was reported and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency for 44 counties, including all but the northern
and eastern panhandles. He also authorized the deployment of up to 150 members of the state's National Guard.
"The flooding we experienced Thursday and into [Friday] is among the worst in a century for some parts of the state," Tomblin said.
- Very hot weather across the Southwest USA challenged all-time record highs and provided ideal conditions for burgeoning wildfires
Highs soared well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in many cities during the first half of the week. Phoenix recorded its fifth highest
all-time temperature on Sunday, hitting 118F; Las Vegas (115F) and Death Valley (126F) each set new daily record highs on Monday.
Blythe, California, about 200 miles east of Los Angeles, set all-time record highs on consecutive days after hitting 124F on Monday
and 126F on Tuesday.
At least five hikers died while hiking in Arizona as temperatures approached record high levels.
- Thunderstorms brought heavy rain to Karachi and surroundings parts of Pakistan on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rainfall on Tuesday totalled 1.71 inches, the highest single-day total since September 2011.
Additional rain falling on Wednesday brought an additional 0.79 of an inch to the city for a total of 2.50 inches in a 24-hour time
This is more rain than was reported during the entire 2015 calendar year and almost as much as was reported in 2014-2015 combined.
The recent rain is responsible for at least nine deaths in southern Pakistan, including four in Karachi.
- The most intense June heat wave in more than a decade for some parts of Germany has been replaced with cooler air and no return of
heat is in sight.
After reaching 35C on Friday and 33C on Saturday, Berlin finally had some relief on Sunday as temperatures climbed to only 24C.
- 277 mm of rain fell at the Limburg (Netherlands) weather station at Ysselstein, a new national record for the month of June. In the southeast of the country many places recorded over 200 mm of rain.
World weather news, May 2016
- India and many parts of south-east Asia have been struggling with a severe heatwave, caused in part by the El Niño
conditions across the Pacific. El Niño, characterised by warmer than normal Pacific equatorial waters, has continued for
several months and has been the strongest such event on record.
Although the El Niño has begun to weaken rapidly in recent weeks its effects are still being felt, especially in
exacerbating the hot and dry conditions across India and south-east Asia. Temperatures in Thailand exceeded 40C (104F)
every day during April, while neighbouring Cambodia and Laos have set all-time temperature records during the heatwave.
The Indian state of Bihar last week implemented a ban on cooking between 9am and 6pm, in an attempt to prevent
Meanwhile in Darwin, Australia, the start of the dry season was interrupted on the 3rd by a storm that brought
torrential rain and frequent lightning. At at Darwin airport 47.2mm (1.85in) of rain was recorded in 90 minutes, more
than twice the average rainfall for the whole of May. The recent wet season in Darwin has been unusually dry, another
symptom of the strong El Niño.
Further south in Australia, there was heavy rain and damaging winds across Tasmania and Victoria over the past few days
as an active cold front moved through. Wind gusts exceeded 60mph in places, bringing down trees and damaging buildings,
and waves in excess of six metres battered many western coastal areas.
- The raging wildfire that forced the evacuation of the Alberta oil town of Fort McMurray intensified on Saturday as
hot, dry weather whipped up fires around the beleaguered community. Police continued to escort fresh convoys of evacuees
out of the region as officials warned the fire could double in size this weekend.
The blaze - the largest of more than 40 wildfires that are now burning across the province of Alberta - has forced
virtually all the 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray to flee. The weather, which has seen temperatures rise to 28C,
continues to hinder efforts to fight the wildfire, said Matthew Anderson, an official with the Alberta government. 'It's
going to be a very extreme fire-hazard kind of day,' he said. 'The fire's growth potential is quite large.'
The Alberta government, which declared a state of emergency last week, said the blaze had grown to cover more than
100,000 hectares (around 250,000 acres) or about 1,000 square kilometres (390 sq miles). Aided by high winds, scorching
heat and low humidity, the fire grew from 75 sq km on Tuesday to 100 sq km on Wednesday, but by Thursday it was almost
nine times that size, at 850 sq km. That is an area roughly the size of Calgary, Alberta's largest city.
The full extent of property losses in Fort McMurray has yet to be determined, but authorities said about 1,600
structures were believed to have been destroyed. One analyst estimated insurance losses could exceed C$9bn (£4.8bn).
Entire neighbourhoods have been burned to the ground, though most evacuees fled the town without knowing the eventual
fate of their homes. The majority got away with only a few possessions and some were forced to leave pets behind.
At least 10 oil-sands operators have cut production because of evacuations and other emergency measures that have
complicated delivery of petroleum by rail, pipeline and highway. About half of Canada's oil-sands production capacity
has been taken offline by the conflagration, according to Reuters.
Although no deaths or injuries have been reported, Alberta's premier, Rachel Notley, warned on Saturday that the impact
of the wildfire would be long-lasting. 'The city of Fort McMurray is not safe to return to, and this will be true for a
significant period of time,' she said.
This point was emphasised by Chad Morrison, Alberta's manager of wildfire prevention, who said he expected the fire to
expand into more remote forested areas north-east and away from Fort McMurray. 'We have not seen rain of significance in
this area for the last two months,' Morrison said. 'This fire will continue to burn for a very long time until we see
some significant rain.'
- Chinese president Xi Jinping has ordered 'maximum efforts' to find survivors after dozens of people were buried by a
landslide caused by heavy rains in south-east China. On Monday domestic media said at least 41 people were missing after
a torrent of boulders and mud tore through the construction site of a hydroelectric dam in Fujian province the previous
About 100,000 cubic meters of debris engulfed the riverside camp in Fujian's Tainan county at about 5am on Sunday.
Tornadoes killed two people, destroyed homes, overturned vehicles and stripped the bark from trees as they churned
across Oklahoma, part of a strong series of storms that hit the plains.
At least two people died in weather so violent that forecasters declared a 'tornado emergency' for communities in the
path of one of the twisters. The Storm Prediction Center said 23 tornadoes were reported across five states.
'You are in a life-threatening situation,' forecasters declared while warning the communities of Roff, population 725,
and Hickory, population 71, which were ultimately spared major damage. 'Flying debris will be deadly to those caught
- 64 people have reportedly been killed by lightning over the past two days during tropical storms across Bangladesh.
The reports said most of the deaths have occurred in rural Bangladesh, where farmers are busy with the harvesting
The reports of casualties could not be verified independently, with lightning deaths not usually monitored by government
Experts say increased deforestation and people's exposure to metal equipment like mobile phones are the reasons behind
lightning deaths in Bangladesh.
- It has been unusually warm across much of eastern Australia so far this May.
The high for Sydney was 28C on Tuesday when the average temperature for May is 19.5C.
All the way from Brisbane down to even Hobart is warmer than average for this part of year, acording to the Bureau of
In Brisbane the average high temperature for May is 23.2C - and so far this month not a day has failed to reach 24C.
Canberra has also been warmer than the average May, with an average high of 18.9C so far this month compared with the
And the effect has been felt as far south as Melbourne, where this month it has been 20.3C while the average May day
peaks at 16. 7C.
The cause was warm ocean temperatures off the east coast and over northern Australia and prevailing winds bringing warm
air from over the central part of the country to the eastern states.
- Up to 500,000 people transferred to shelters as cyclone causes landslides, house collapses and embankments to break
Cyclone Raoanu battered coastal Bangladesh on Saturday, killing at least 21 people and injuring many more.
It has now weakened into a depression that, according to the weather office, could still bring brief periods of violent
wind or rain.
Several people were injured after winds damaged houses and shops and uprooted trees and electric poles. Some places were
inundated by a storm surge of three to four feet (more than 1 metre) above normal tide height, officials said.
Authorities evacuated people from hilly parts of Chittagong in case persistent rain triggered more landslides. Officials
suspended flights at Chittagong airport, while the Bangladesh inland water transport authority restricted movement of
all ships and ferries.
- Severe weather erupted across the central U.S., unleashing multiple strong tornadoes.
One powerful tornado moved dangerously close to Dodge City, Kansas, tracking just west of the city center.
The severe thunderstorm responsible for the twister was so powerful that at its strongest, it produced multiple
tornadoes at the same time.
Two people were critically injured as a result of the storm.
None of the tornadoes moved into Dodge City itself, staying just west of the city. However, other tornadoes were
reported in western Kansas, including near the towns of Ness City, Utica and Scott City.
Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service in Dodge City, Kansas, supports a tornado producing at least EF-3
- Violent hailstorms over the weekend have wreaked havoc in Chablis, Cognac and Beaujolais, with one producer
describing the situation as 'apocalyptic'.
The hailstorms, which swept through parts of Chablis, Cognac and Beaujolais 27-28 May, have caused severe damage to
Fierce hail has damaged vines in the Chablis communes of Chichée, Courgis and Préhy. While the full extent of the damage
is not yet known, France's national farming federation, FNSEA, has declared a 'state of catastrophe' in the worst hit
This isn't the first hailstorm to cause havoc in Chablis this year - the region was blighted by hail in early May and
suffered from late spring frosts in April.
In Beaujolais the damage was concentrated in the north of the reion, where some plots in the Beaujolais Cru village of
Chiroubles were completely destroyed.
Cognac was also heavily hit, with around 7% of its vineyards (around 6,000 hectares of vines) affected by the storms
that saw 15 cm of hail fall in 15 minutes.
According to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), the intensity of the storm 'caused considerable
damage to varying degrees' and will lead to a smaller 2016 harvest.
- 11 people, including eight children and three adults, were hit by lighting in a Paris park amid stormy conditions on
Saturday, officials said.
The people struck had sought shelter under a tree at the Park Monceau.
Six of the victims, including four children and two adults, were seriously injured, a Paris fire service spokesman said.
World weather news, April 2016
- Mexico City officials ordered all cars to off the road one day per week, following a smog alert and dangerous air
quality during the middle of March.
From April 5 until June 30, all vehicles will participate in the program "One day without car." Previously, a hologram
permit would allow exemptions from travel restrictions. Likewise, authorities have decided to eliminate the pre
contingency, which previously only required restrictions to go into effect at air quality indices over 200, which are
considered a "purple alert" or very unhealthy. Now, Phase 1 will be enabled when the air quality index reaches 150, which
is considered a "red alert" or unhealthy. Phase 2 will begin when levels reach 200, according to the statement from CAMe.
An estimated 20 million people, owning roughly 10 million vehicles, live in Mexico City's metropolitan area.
- Rescuers are attempting to reach thousands of people stranded by floods and landslides in Pakistan's north-west and
parts of Kashmir after the death toll rose to 55.
Disaster management officials in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where 47 people have died since the downpour began on
Saturday night, said they were consulting the military about a rescue operation there amid fears the death toll could still
In Pakistan-administered Kashmir's Neelum Valley, officials said thousands were stranded by landslides. At least eight
people including five children died there when two houses were buried in a landslide caused by the rains.
- Fiji suffered severe flooding Monday and Tuesday, following several days of torrential rain due to a slow-moving
tropical disturbance nearby. Many homes flooded, especially in the north-west of Viti Levu, where schools were shut, and
the town of Nadi closed off after the river burst its banks. The effects of the flooding strike especially hard as many
areas are still recovering from the extensive damage wrought by from Cyclone Winston in February.
- Parts of Sydney (Australia) have experienced the hottest April day on record, with the weather bureau saying the
temperature reached 34.2C at Observatory Hill about 1:30pm.
The previous April record of 33.9C was set in 1986.
It was a hot day in the west, with Richmond hitting 36.6C, but that was shy of the April record there of 38.2C in 1986.
Meanwhile at Bourke in the state's central-west, the mercury hit 38.6C, recording the hottest April day anywhere in New
South Wales for 30 years.
- At least one person is dead and another is missing in Fiji in the wake of flooding brought on by Tropical Cyclone Zena.
The cyclone was the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane in the eastern Pacific or Atlantic basins at peak strength.
Zena is impacting much of the same area that was inundated by Tropical Cyclone Winston in late February, the strongest ever
to hit the island nation.
A fatality and a missing person were reported in the western division of the island chain, the Fiji Times said. Thousands
of other people were evacuated as a result of the cyclone.
A separate disturbance brought around 300 mm of rain to Nadi on Sunday and Monday causing flooding ahead of Tropical
Cyclone Zena. Another 150 mm have fallen from Tuesday night into Wednesday from Zena.
Satellite imagery confirmed that Zena had strengthened markedly on Tuesday before weakening as it passed south of Fiji's
- Severe thunderstorms erupted in parts of the southern and central United States this week,
bringing damaging hail the size of baseballs in spots.
The hailstorm wrecked hundreds of vehicles at a BMW dealership in San Antonio on Tuesday, according
to the San Antonio Express-News.
In Cole Camp, Missouri, hail about 2 inches in diameter was reported along with dented cars, broken
windshields and siding damage to buildings.
As part of the same outbreak that brought large hail and damaging winds, torrential rains inundated
the Deep South. In Jackson, Mississippi, the rains caused a school roof to collapse, sending people
running to safety. A 24-hour rainfall total of 6.07 inches was reported northeast of Jackson on
- A series of storms brought heavy rain to central Chile, including Santiago, where widespread
flooding was reported from Sunday into Monday. The flooding forced many businesses and schools to be
The early season rain brought more than a month's worth of rain in a single day to much of central
Chile, while rain was reported as far north as La Serena.
Heavy rain has also fallen across parts of northeastern Argentina and Uruguay; more than 200 mm of
rain has fallen in Treinta y Tres, Florida and Paso de los Toros, Uruguay and the potential exists
for 75-150 mm (3-6 inches) of additional rain by the end of the day on Tuesday.
- A powerful April snowstorm buried parts of Colorado under feet of snow, forcing road closures
and flight delays over the weekend.
The storm's slow movement allowed heavy, wet snow to persist for more than 24 hours in some
The heaviest snow fell across the Colorado Rockies. Over 46 inches accumulated near Conifer,
Colorado, just west of Denver. Amounts between 20 and 30 inches were widespread.
Portions of I-70 and I-80 were closed for a time due to white-out conditions.
The weather also snarled air travel for thousands, as snow forced the cancellation of nearly 70
percent of inbound and outbound flights at Denver International Airport on Saturday.
- Tropical cyclone Fantala's estimated maximum sustained winds reached 150 knots making it the
most powerful South Indian Ocean tropical Cyclone of 2016. This increase in intensity made Fantala a
category five tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane wind scale.
Fantala became this powerful while moving over the open waters of the South Indian Ocean to a
position north of Madagascar.
On April 18, satellite radar found rain falling at over 186 mm per hour in an intense feeder band on
the eastern side of the tropical cyclone.
- Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, was forced to declare a state of emergency in Houston on
Monday as torrential rain during the day and on the previous night caused severe flooding and
damage, leaving at least seven people dead, hundreds displaced and thousands without power.
Monday was the wettest April day on record at Bush intercontinental airport, with 252 mm falling,
leading to nearly 2,000 flights being cancelled or delayed. Not only did this surpass the previous
record of 207 mm in 1976, but it was almost three times the average for all of April. The highest
rainfall total recorded was in Harris county where 447 mm fell at Little Mound Creek.
- Blistering heat is common across India ahead of the yearly monsoon rains; however, temperatures
are soaring earlier than normal this year.
Intense heat has affected the country, with impacts being felt from Hyderabad to Kolkata and New
The heat has already claimed the lives of more than 160 people and has also forced the closure of
schools in Orissa until at least April 26.
- In recent weeks all-time national heat records have been observed in Cambodia, Laos, and
(almost) in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. Meanwhile extreme heat has resulted in all-
time record high temperatures in the Maldives, India, China, and portions of Africa as well. Here
are some details:
- Cambodia: National all-time record high of 42.6C set at Preah Vihea on April 15th. This
surpassed the record set just two days previously at Bantey Ampil (42.2C on April 13th). Prior to
this year, the maximum measured temperature in Cambodia was 41.4C at Stoeng Treng in 1960.
- Laos: National all-time record high of 42.3C set at Seno on April 13th. This surpassed the
former record of 42.0C recorded at Savannakhet in March 1933. An all-time national record high
minimum temperature was measured at Takhek on April 13th of 30.5C.
- Malaysia: Near national record of 39.2C measured at Batu Embun on April 10th (the hottest
temperature ever measured in central Malaysia). The all-time Malaysian record is 40.1C at Chuping on
April 9, 1998. In March this year Chuping reached 39.5C.
- Singapore: Near national record set in Singapore with a 36.6C at Pulau on April 13th. National
record is 37.0C at Tengah on April 17, 1983.
- All-time national temperature records have also been set for the Maldives Islands, India, China
and in Africa. China's southernmost province of Hainan (Island) saw several sites breaking all-time
heat records with the warmest being Danxian with a 40.5C reading on April 16th. In India on April
24th the city of Titlagarh measured 48.5C. This is the highest reliably measured temperature in
India for the month of April. In addition, Bangalore recorded its all-time highest temperature on
record with a 39.2C reading beating out its previous record of 38.9C observed on May 22, 1931.
In the Maldives a national record high of 34.9C was observed at Hanimadhoo on April 16th edging out
the previous record of 34.8C set at Kadhdhoo on March 27, 1999. In Africa Burkina Faso set its all-
time national record high with 47.5C on April 13th; the previous record was 47.2C at the same site
on May 13, 1984.
- With the official end of the Australian tropical season only days away, the calmest season in
decades will come to an end.
The season, which officially runs from 1 November through 30 April, has seen only three named
cyclones originating within the Australian Tropical Basin.
Having only three named storms of Category 1 strength or higher in the basin would be the fewest
dating back to 1970, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
According to Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls, "El Niño played an important role in the low
activity of the tropical season as tropical development flourished closer to Fiji and Vanuatu and
away from Australia." El Niño occurs when ocean water temperatures rise above normal across the
central and eastern Pacific, near the equator which influences global weather patterns.
Nicholls added, "A positive Indian Ocean Dipole during the early season limited development near
Western Australia." The Indian Ocean Dipole is a measure of heat across the Indian Ocean from west
to east. A positive event occurs with cooler-than-normal waters near and northwest of Australia. As
a result, the first landfall did not occur in Australia until late January.
Tropical Cyclones Stan, Uriah and Tatiana each strengthened to Category 2 tropical cyclone strength
on the BOM scale, which means peak winds ranged between 88 and 142 km/h.
- Thailand is currently experiencing its longest heatwave in at least 65 years and authorities
have advised people to stay indoors.
The average temperature has risen above 40C in many regions in April, with the mercury spiking one
day to a near record breaking 44.3C.
The hottest day ever recorded in Thailand was 44.4C on April 27, 1960, in the northern province of
According to the Thai Meteorological Department, the average temperature nationwide has surpassed
alert levels and the heatwave is expected to continue,
World weather news, March 2016
- Heavy snow and icy, freezing conditions wreaked havoc across the north of the UK on Thursday night and Friday morning as the storm swept in from the Atlantic.
Snowfalls of up to 10 cm on higher ground forced schools to shut in parts of Yorkshire and Lancashire on Friday, and in Northern Ireland public transport foundered when Ulsterbus was forced to cancel services.
Leeds Bradford airport closed briefly on Friday morning when 5 cm of snow had to be cleared from the runway.
Northern Ireland and Wales have also been affected and there are warnings of snowfalls in Scotland.
- Melbourne sweltered through its hottest March night on record on Tuesday, hovering around 30C after reaching a peak of 38.6C in the city at 5pm.
The temperature dropped to an overnight minimum of 27.7C at 8.45am Wednesday, just before the 6am cut-off for overnight temperatures.
It broke a previous record for the warmest overnight minimum of 26.5C, which was set on 13 March 2013.
However the daytime maximum of 38.9C fell short of the March record of 41.5C, set in 1940.
Sydney has also been unseasonably warm, with a record-breaking 31 days in a row above 26C. Canberra has had a daily maximum temperature of more than 30C for every day of March so far.
Alain Baillie, forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne, said the uncomfortable night was the result of a low-intensity heatwave, which has hovered over south-eastern Australia for the past week.
Mildura has not had a daily maximum temperature below 36.7C since March began.
- A storm system brought significant impacts to the southeastern Arabian Peninsula. Thunderstorms erupted Wednesday causing travel chaos in U.A.E. and northern Oman. The Gulf News reported that flights out of Abu Dhabi International Airport were suspended for a time during the worst of the storms. The Abu Dhabi Air Expo was also disrupted for the second day of the event.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms also lashed Oman on Wednesday causing flooding and closing schools.
The Royal Oman Police have reported at least 40 distress calls from flooding along with numerous flooded roadways. At least one person was killed by lightning from the storms on Wednesday.
According to the Times of Oman, the Ministry of Education has decided to close all schools in Oman on Thursday, except in Al Wusta and Dhofar regions.
- Severe flooding has caused widespread disruption across parts of central England, with rail passengers stranded and many schools shut.
British Transport Police formed human barriers in front of the main concourse at London Euston after trains between Rugby and Milton Keynes were cancelled.
Passengers were warned people could be killed as some had fallen from earlier trains on Wednesday.
A total of 46 flood warnings are in place across England and Wales.
Train operator London Midland said the severe flooding in several areas had caused problems with signalling and electrical equipment, leaving it unable to run trains between Rugby and Milton Keynes.
A London Midland spokesman said: "Once the floodwater subsides we are still faced with trains and train crew out of place across the network."
Network Rail said flooding on train lines around Daventry, Rugby and Wolverton had delayed services between Birmingham New Street and London Euston.
Trains on the West Coast Mainline were also running at reduced speeds due to heavy flooding.
Fourteen schools were closed in Warwickshire and and a number of people were rescued from trapped cars by firefighters due to rising floodwater.
Firefighters rescued drivers from stranded vehicles in Great Alne, Wolston, Baginton and Princethorpe.
There were also reports of cars stuck in Kenilworth Ford.
- Residents in Louisiana and Mississippi were taking stock of damage on
Saturday after a massive deluge of rain submerged roads and cars, washed
out bridges and forced residents to flee homes.
The rain and flooding is part of a weather system that has affected
Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama. At least three
people have died in Louisiana alone.
In Mississippi, officials said as many as 1,000 residents could see their
homes flooded by the rising Leaf River in Hattiesburg, Petal and
Nearly 61 cm of rain falling in some spots. At least four deaths have been
attributed to the flooding, with nearly 5,000 homes damaged in Louisiana
alone. The Sabine River, which runs along part of the Texas-Louisiana
border, reached a record flood level of 10.7 m. This smashed the previous
record by more than a metre.
Over 275 mm of rainfall was reported in Shreveport, Louisiana, between
Tuesday and Thursday. A normal rainfall total for the entire month of March
for the city is 105 mm.
- The National Disaster Management Authority said the preliminary death
toll due to flooding throughout Pakistan is 49 with at least 80 other
people needing medical attention.
Nine people were killed and over 100 houses were damaged in Baluchistan
The flooding also caused a coal mine collapse in northwestern Pakistan over
the weekend. As of Monday, the National Disaster Management Authority of
Pakistan confirmed that 10 workers had been killed.
Islamabad received around 135 mm of rain from Friday to Tuesday. Normal
rainfall for the entire month of March is less than 75 mm.
Murree, a mountainous area just north of Islamabad, has recorded about 200
mm. Banhial, in the Indian state of Kashmir and Jammu, reported around 300
mm of rain through to Tuesday.
- An avalanche struck high in the Italian Alps on Saturday, killing six
skiers and injuring another as a swath of snow hundreds of metres wide
Helicopters ferried survivors and the bodies back to the valley floor from
the avalanche site, located not far below Monte Nevoso's peak. The mountain
is close to the Austrian border in Italy's Alto Adige region.
According to Bolzano province's avalanche report, the avalanche risk
forecast for Saturday was moderate, a two on a 1-to-5 scale.
Monte Nevoso, in the Aurina valley in the south Tyrol region in Italy's
north-east, reaches a height of 3,358 metres. Conditions were sunny and
windy after heavy snowfall in recent weeks, a local police official said.
It is unknown what caused the avalanche.
- The severe storm season in the US has started to build up with some
southern states being hit by strong winds, hail and tornadoes on Sunday.
Arkansas was one of the worst-affected states, with hailstones the size of
baseballs being reported in Montgomery County in the south-west. The hail
caused damage to two prisons in the state, with more than 100 windows and
skylights broken. Numerous funnel clouds and tornadoes were reported, with
three confirmed by the National Weather Service, all bringing winds of up
to 110 mph.
- A major winter storm tracking from the Intermountain West to the Great Lakes caused widespread travel concerns from
Tuesday into Thursday.
Blizzard conditions shut down travel around the Denver metro area on Wednesday and left over 100,000 people without power.
Denver International Airport was shut down for several hours, and over 1,300 flights were cancelled. It was the first time
in 10 years that the airport was forced to close. A storm total of just over 13 inches of snow was measured at the airport.
Much of eastern Colorado received 12-18 inches of snow although there were some locally higher reports. One location near
Boulder measured over 25 inches, while over 31 inches fell near Pinecliffe.
- Palau (located east of the Philippines) has joined the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia by declaring a state of emergency amid one of the worst droughts in recorded history.
President Tommy Remengesau stated that rainfall recorded in the capital of Koror over the past four months was the lowest in 65 years.
He added that the dam supplying water to the city has dried up, and the Ngerikiil River was now at only 19 percent of its capacity.
Water rationing has begun on Koror and Airai with access to water for 10 hours of each day.
This extreme drought is being fueled by the strongest El Nino conditions on record which have prevailed since last year.
Unfortunately, even though the current El Nino is now weakening, below-normal rainfall is expected over the next several months across the islands of the Western Pacific.
- Powerful Storm Katie unleashed wind, rain and snow across the United Kingdom from Sunday night into Monday.
Just west of London in Woodley, Berkshire, the strong winds caused scaffolding to collapse from a market rooftop.
The Needles, along the extreme western edge of the Isle of Wright reported the strongest gusts from Katie with a peak gust
of 105 mph.
Gusts in excess of 60 mph were also reported in Bournemouth, Odiham, Southend and Lydd
The strong winds across Southern England affected more than 100 flights from London-Gatwick and London-Heathrow airports on
Katie also caused more than 80,000 power cuts throughout England with numerous reports of tree damage as thousands remain
Highways England reported the strong winds resulted in closure of the M48 Severn Bridge and the Dartford River Crossing.
Heavy rain also caused flooding which resulted in several road closures, including the M6 northbound between junctions 13
While Southern England endured downpours and damaging winds, the higher terrain of the Midlands woke up to wintry weather.
Rain mixed with snow fell from Stoke-on-Trent to Leeds with accumulating snow reported across the Peak District.
- Fueled by dry brush and fanned by high winds, a large grassland fire erupted Tuesday night and continued to burn near
Medicine Lodge, Kansas (USA), into the Easter weekend.
The Anderson Creek fire has burned close to 400,000 acres in Oklahoma and Kansas as of Friday afternoon, March 25, 2016,
according to the Oklahoma Forestry Services.
The fire forced officials to close a portion of routes 160 and 281 in the vicinity.
The wildfire prompted Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to declare a State of Disaster Emergency, in order to channel state
assistance to the local communities.
- A blinding duststorm triggered a large traffic pileup in Southern California in the evening.
At least 30 people were injured as a result of the incident, which occurred on Highway 247 in Lucerne Valley. One person
was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for major injuries, according to the San Bernardino County Fire District.
The dust storm brought visibility in the area down to zero, the fire district said, and at least 15 vehicles were involved
in the crash.
- A multi-day severe weather outbreak targeted portions of the central and southern United States this week.
On Wednesday, two EF2 tornadoes struck northeastern Oklahoma. One of the tornadoes touched down near Tulsa, causing at
least seven injuries and damaging multiple homes, according to the Tulsa World.
Dangerous flash flooding was reported around parts of central Arkansas on Wednesday night. In the town of Jonesboro, a
flash flood emergency was declared after over 75 mm of rain fell in the city. Local police warned people to avoid travel
following reports of washed-out roads and stalled vehicles in floodwaters.
In Dermott, Arkansas, local emergency management stated that one person was injured after a reported tornado occurred near
the town. Several homes were damaged as well as a nursing home.
The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center listed four tornado reports on Wednesday. In addition to Oklahoma
and Arkansas, two weak tornadoes caused minor damage in Louisiana.
The severe thunderstorms shifted farther east on Thursday, with additional damaging tornadoes touching down. A tornado tore
the roof off of a house and snapped trees near Columbus, Mississippi, while other tornadoes downed power lines and threw
debris around in Morgan County, Alabama, and Grady County, Georgia.
World weather news, February 2016
- Heavy snow has disrupted public transport in southern China, stranding tens of thousands of people outside a rail station, police say.
The crowd outside Guangzhou station swelled to nearly 100,000 at its peak on Monday night, police said.
Central China has experienced some of its coldest weather in years.
The rare snow has coincided with the run-up to Chinese New Year - where hundreds of millions of Chinese travel home to see their families.
Many trains from north and central China were delayed by the snow - leaving passengers in the south stranded with no transport.
Officials estimate nearly three billion trips will take place over the holiday season, in what is considered the world's biggest annual human migration.
- Storm Henry has lashed Scotland with winds of over 100 mph, forcing the closure of roads, rail services and leaving 2,000 homes without power.
Scottish and Southern Energy said it had restored power to 9,000 homes, but 2,000 remained cut off after gale force winds brought down and damaged power lines.
Gusts reached 148mph on the summit of Cairngorm and a speed of 100mph was recorded at the Tay Road bridge, Dundee. Winds of 90mph were recorded in South Uist on Monday night, with gusts of 60mph in Glasgow and 63mph in Loftus, North Yorkshire.
The Tay Road bridge was briefly closed overnight and, together with the Forth bridge, remains closed to high-sided vehicles.
Police and Traffic Scotland urged drivers to take care as scores of minor roads were blocked by fallen trees and structural damage to bridges.
Duke's Pass in the Trossachs remained blocked by snow. Most of the main roads remained open but travel on the A82 between Glencoe and Rannoch Moor was restricted after a van and a lorry were blown off the road.
In England, the Humber Bridge near Hull was also closed to high-sided vehicles and caravans and a speed limit was imposed after a lorry blew over in 49mph winds.
- Several tornadoes ripped across parts of eastern Mississippi and western Alabama on the 2nd, while a brutal winter storm paralyzed parts of the Midwest with more than a foot of snow.
The southern tornadoes left behind devastation but no deaths. The storms took down trees and power poles and damaged structures, the Weather Channel reported. More than 14,000 Alabama Power customers were without power, mostly in Birmingham, the utility reported.
In Alabama, the National Weather Service in Birmingham reported a "confirmed large and destructive tornado" on the ground near the city of Aliceville, about 45 miles west of Tuscaloosa.
In Mississippi, a tornado damaged homes and at least one church, and strong winds damaged student housing at a community college in eastern Mississippi.
Overall, there were nine reports of tornadoes in the two states, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
The Midwest was struggling with a snowstorm that left a swath of Interstate 80 shut down in Nebraska on Wednesday morning. Parts of the state were hit with more than 15 inches of snow, the National Weather Service reported. Much of Colorado was blasted with more than a foot of snow, 41 inches in Coal Bank Pass.
- A crowd gathered at Gobbler's Knob early this morning, awaiting the emergence of the groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil. After a tap of a cane on Phil's tree-trunk cage, his door was opened, and the animal emerged.
He was held aloft to cheers and applause. Phil did not respond, other than to blink. Placed on top of the trunk, he attempted to flee before his actions were closely analyzed.
Interpreting Phil's behavior, the Groundhog Club master of ceremonies proclaimed, "There is no shadow to be cast! An early spring is my forecast!"
He added, "Take your jackets off, you're not going to need them!"
Few in the crowd followed that advice; the temperature this morning in Punxsutawney, Pa., was reported at 22F.
- The El Niño-influenced weather pattern over the past several months has brought above-normal temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast (USA), causing the ice coverage on the Great Lakes to be significantly lower than it has been over the past two winters.
As of today, the total ice coverage on the Great Lakes was less than 6 percent, just a fraction of what it was at the start of February in 2014 and 2015, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL).
During the past two winters, early intrusions of arctic air paired with the persistence of below-normal temperatures caused ice to develop and to expand across large areas of the lakes by the middle of the winter.
However, the weather pattern during the first half of this winter has been significantly different, favoring temperatures near to above normal across the region. As a result, only a small amount of ice has been able to form on the Great Lakes.
- Storm Imogen battered England and Wales with powerful winds and downpours from Sunday night into Monday evening.
The storm caused more than 19,000 power cuts. The brunt of the outages occurred across the South West of England where some homes remained without power on Tuesday.
Disruption to travel was widespread across the southern U.K. including rail delays, flight delays and road closures due to flooding and high winds.
Several Cornwall schools were closed or evacuated due to power cuts and storm damage. Two children were injured when a wall collapsed onto them amid the dangerous weather.
The strongest winds topped 80 mph across the Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly and Wales. The highest wind gust recorded is 96 mph at Needles Old Battery on Isle of Wight.
Cornwall reported a peak wind gust of 79 mph during Imogen. Greater London experienced frequent wind gusts of 40-50 mph with a peak gust of 59 mph at London City Airport.
Seas of 8-10 metres were observed in these areas, and the Met Office reported a maximum wave height of 19.1 metres off the coast of St. Ives, Cornwall.
- Snow pounded New England on Monday as a coastal storm impacted the region.
Travel became difficult across much of the area, including Boston. Blizzard conditions were reported in at least six locations in southeast New England including Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled at Boston Logan International Airport. In Connecticut, more than 30 people were injured in a bus crash on Interstate 95 in the town of Madison.
- An increasingly cold weekend saw rain turning to snow across the Iberian Peninsula.
The wintry weather set in as a cold northerly wind brought temperatures down across the region. According to the Spanish Traffic Service, 20 roads had to be closed due to snow, rain and high winds.
The regions of Cantabria and Asturias along Spain's northern coast saw some of the heaviest snowfall. However, Galicia in the northwest was worst-affected with 30 to 40cm of snow in places.
Hundreds of drivers were also trapped in their cars for hours near Ourense as the weather closed in. Mountain roads soon became passable only with the use of snow chains.
Meanwhile, the same disturbance also brought continuous rain and widespread flooding to parts of northern and central Portugal. The Coimbra region has been particularly affected.
A few days ago Mallorca was recording temperatures of around 20C. As the cold air set in, temperatures plunged, turning the rain to snow over the higher ground, bringing around 20cm of snow to the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range.
- Snow and rain created hazardous travel across the northeastern U.S., causing hundreds of accidents and shutting down major roadways.
The worst of the wintry weather impacted western New York through Tuesday afternoon as snow and rain tapered off across other portions of the mid-Atlantic. However, some roads were still difficult to navigate across western Pennsylvania as crews continued to clear roads of snow and ice.
Meanwhile, heavy rain and gusty winds spread into southern New England and caused thousands of power outages in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
- Severe droughts and floods triggered by one of the strongest El Niño weather events ever recorded have left nearly 100 million people in southern Africa, Asia and Latin America facing food and water shortages and vulnerable to diseases including Zika, UN bodies, international aid agencies and governments have said.
New figures from the UN's World Food Programme say 40 million people in rural areas and 9 million in urban centres who live in the drought-affected parts of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and Swaziland will need food assistance in the next year.
In addition, 10 million people are said by the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) to need food in Ethiopia, and 2.8 million need assistance in Guatemala and Honduras.
Millions more people in Asia and the Pacific regions have already been affected by heatwaves, water shortages and forest fires since El Niño conditions started in mid-2015, says Ocha in a new briefing paper, which forecasts that harvests will continue to be affected worldwide throughout 2016.
- A couple from Wexford (Ireland) have been forced to leave their home after Storm Imogen.
The house was left hanging from the edge of a 75ft cliff after it was damaged during the bad weather.
It is the second storm to cause severe damage in recent weeks.
Roddy Hickson and his wife Maureen had lived in the house for 20 years.
Speaking to the Wexford People newspaper, Mr Hickson said: "It's hard to believe that it has come to
this. Twenty-eight inches of rain fell in the 31 days of January.
"The waves in the storm on January 25 and 26 threw stones up on our deck, but Imogen was the straw that
broke the camel's back, and it took the whole bank away."
- The death toll from a massive category five cyclone that swept through Fiji is now believed to have
risen to at least 29.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston was the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall over Fiji on record.
The system was first noted as a tropical disturbance on 7 February, when it was located to the northwest
of Port Vila, Vanuatu. Over the next few days, the system gradually developed as it moved southeast,
acquiring gale-force winds by 11 February. The following day, it underwent rapid intensification and
attained ten-minute maximum sustained winds of 175 km/h. Less favourable environmental conditions
prompted weakening thereafter. After turning northeast on 14 February, Winston stalled to the north of
Tonga on 17 February. Regaining strength and due to a change in higher level steering the storm drifted
back to the west, achieving Category 5 status on both the Australian tropical cyclone scale and the
Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale on 19 February. It reached its peak intensity the next day with
ten-minute sustained winds of 230 km/h and a pressure of 915 mb, shortly before making landfall on Viti
- A storm brought severe weather to parts of the Middle East Sunday night into Monday as heavy rain
and thunderstorms produced flooding, strong winds, and hail.
Rainfall averaged 25-50 mm across Israel, Jordan and Lebanon with local amounts up to 100 mm.
The storms produced flooding in the Negev which resulted in 10 hikers being rescued.
The strong storms caused a roof to collapse at a shopping mall in Beersheba.
The heavy rain also caused several school cancellations across Israel.
This potent storm system brought heavy snow to Mount Hermon closing a ski resort and causing travel
problems in the highest elevations.
- At least three people have been killed when seven tornadoes, possibly more, hit south-east Louisiana
and south-west Mississippi, authorities and the National Weather Service said.
Two people were killed when a tornado ripped through an RV park in Convent, Louisiana, said Sheriff
Willy Martin of St James parish. He said authorities are using dogs to search piles of rubble left in
the wake of the storm to find anyone else still missing under the debris.
Ken Graham, the meteorologist in charge for the National Weather Service's southeast Louisiana office,
said teams will be sent out in the morning to document the damage and rate the tornadoes.
He said a lightning strike hit the building where the weather service is located in Slidell, knocking
out their radar systems and forcing them to go to backup systems.
Earlier on Tuesday, the governors of Mississippi and Alabama declared states of emergency.
- Three houses have been lost to the bushfire near Ballarat (Victoria, Australia).
Victoria's emergency management commissioner, Craig Lapsley, said one of the homes was on a farm near
'We now see over 143 homes have been lost in Victoria during this fire season,' he told the Nine Network
The cause of the fires is still under investigation but Lapsley urged people to take care. 'It doesn't
mean to say we've got malicious arsonists - but it is concerning that we still have total fire ban days,
days of severe weather where we see fire starting. We had over 400 fires reported yesterday.'
Parts of Victoria are subject to a total fire ban on Wednesday as the mercury looks likely to soar well
into the 40s again. The Mallee, northern country, north central and north-eastern districts have been
assigned severe fire danger warnings as strong winds and high temperatures create perfect conditions for
- A powerful storm system swept across the east coast of the USA, killing three people in Virginia and
knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the Carolinas.
A day earlier, the system spawned at least 10 tornadoes along the Gulf coast, damaging hundreds of homes
in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. Three people were killed and dozens were injured.
Forecasters warned the threat wasn't over and that more than 88 million people were at risk on Wednesday
of seeing some sort of severe weather.
- Seattle set its wettest winter precipitation record by receiving 24.65 inches of rain. This broke the previous record of 22.77 inches set in the winter of 1998-1999. Records in Seattle date back to 1894.
World weather news, January 2016
- The heavy snowfall that hit northern and central Turkey in the last days of 2015 has continued into the New Year, causing flight cancellations and road chaos.
The bad weather prompted Istanbul authorities to warn residents against going outside unless necessary, while officials said they had more than 1,000 vehicles and heavy machinery ready to keep roads open.
Turkish Airlines cancelled approximately 300 flights in and out of the main Ataturk airport and many at Sabiha Gokcen, Istanbul's second airport.
Ferries across the Bosphorus Strait bisecting Istanbul were disrupted but the waterway remained open to shipping.
The problem here was the strength of wind, roughing up the water and bringing blizzard visibility.
At least one person was killed and 30 were injured in a mass pile-up on a major road into Istanbul involving 13 cars.
Since the snow started on Wednesday evening, 18 cm has accumulated at Ataturk airport, far more in drifts. Northerly winds gusted to between 50 and 60 km per hour throughout Wednesday and Thursday.
Every day in December has been unusually warm, registering above 10C, but as a cold front passed over Istanbul that all changed.
- Temperatures fell below 0C for the first time this season in New York City on Monday morning, the latest date on record for such an occurrence. The city's previous record for the latest date for temperatures to drop below freezing was 22 December 1998.
- Temperatures continued to plunge in Poland over the weekend, killing 21 people.
This brings the number of weather-related deaths over the past two months to 40.
Poland has been in the grip of a freezing cold spell since the beginning of the new year, with temperatures yet to climb above -7C.
In the capital Warsaw, the temperature dropped to -18C in the first weekend of 2016.
This is a complete contrast to the month of December, when the weather was far milder than usual - on December 26, the temperature in Warsaw reached a balmy 14C, 12 degC higher than the usual December maximum.
The sudden change in the weather caught some people by surprise, and many of those who died were homeless people sleeping in makeshift shelters.
Meanwhile, in the Polish Tatra Mountains, six tourists have slipped and fallen to their deaths since December 25 while trekking on frozen snow and ice.
The cold spell over Poland is affecting much of central and eastern Europe.
Freezing rain has caused travel disruption in Germany, and Balkan countries have seen the first major snowstorm this winter.
- Tropical Storm Pali formed 1,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, making it the earliest on record that a tropical storm has formed in the central Pacific basin.
The storm system is the first tropical cyclone to form in the Central Pacific this year and is also the earliest storm on record, beating Tropical Storm Wiona, which formed on Jan. 13, 1989.
But it is actually the second tropical cyclone this year.
Tropical Depression 9C formed on New Year's Eve in the Central Pacific near the equator and the International date line, but it weakened and dissipated on New Year's Day.
- The US experienced its second-warmest year on record in 2015, which was
also one of the costliest years for climate and weather-related disasters,
federal scientists announced on Thursday.
The average national temperature in 2015 was 12.4C, 1.3C above the 20th-
century average - making it the second-warmest year since record-keeping began
in 1895, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) said.
Last year was the 19th consecutive year where the annual average US
temperature exceeded its 20th-century average - only 2012 was warmer, with an
average temperature of 12.9C.
- At least three people, including two students, were killed in an avalanche
that struck the French Alps on Wednesday afternoon.
French officials confirmed three fatalities in the ski resort of Les Deux
A group of 10 schoolchildren and one teacher were involved in the avalanche.
Two students were killed. A Ukrainian man who was not a member of the group
was also killed.
- A man has died after a tree came crashing down on the car he was
travelling in, as wild storms pummelled west Sydney's (Australia).
Strong winds caused trees and power lines to fall across the city's western
parts, and lightning strikes sparked fires in the Blue Mountains.
By early evening the emergency services had received more than 800 calls for
help, mostly coming from suburbs in the city's west and south.
- At least two people are dead near Sarasota after tornadoes and severe thunderstorms crossed central and South Florida in the early morning hours of Sunday.
Tornado damage was reported in Siesta Key and Duette early on Sunday morning between 3-4 a.m. EST.
The tornadoes were spawned as a line of strong thunderstorms crossed central and South Florida during the early morning hours of Sunday. The thunderstorms were associated with the storm that brought soaking rain to the rest of the southeastern United States with snow on its northern fringe.
This storm followed in the footsteps of a storm that moved across Florida on Friday, producing damaging winds and a tornado across South Florida.
Winds from one thunderstorm produced a gust of 82 mph at the Naples Municipal Airport.
- As snow ends across the Balkans, the most disruptive snowstorm so far this winter moved through Ukraine on Monday.
Over the weekend, this snowstorm brought major snowfall across the Balkans, including Bulgaria and Romania, where some locations saw blizzard conditions. Sofia, Bulgaria received 40 cm of snow over the weekend.
Heavy snow and wind also moved into southwestern Ukraine on Sunday, leaving Odessa with several inches of snow.
The Odessa Regional State Administration closed 10 roads on Sunday, claiming they were unsafe for travel due to the snow.
- 2015 broke the record for the hottest year since reporting began in 1850, according to the first full-year figures from the world's three principal temperature estimates.
Data released by the UK Met Office shows the average global temperature in 2015 was 0.75 degC higher than the long-term average between 1961 and 1990, much higher than the 0.57 degC in 2014, which itself was a record. The Met Office also expects 2016 to set a new record, meaning the global temperature records will have been broken for three years running.
Temperature data released in the US on Wednesday by Nasa and by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) also showed 2015 broke previous records.
- The South Korean island of Jeju has seen its biggest snowfall in three decades, causing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.
Jeju is a popular holiday destination and thousands of visitors are reported to have been left stranded.
All 517 flights scheduled for Sunday were cancelled, as well as about 60 on Monday, following 11cm (4.3in) of snow.
In Hong Kong, residents shivered in three degrees Celsius, the lowest temperature there in nearly 60 years.
- Snow, sleet and icy winds across east Asia have caused deaths, flight cancellations and chaos as the region struggles with record-low temperatures due to an Arctic cold snap that brought snow to several tropical areas for the first time in many people's lifetimes.
In Taiwan, the capital Taipei recorded a low of 4C, the coldest in 44 years. Local media said 90 people had died due to the cold weather, mainly from hypothermia and cardiac arrest. Five more died in Japan.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled across the region, tens of thousands of holidaymakers were stranded in South Korea, and freezing conditions in sub-tropical Hong Kong caused mayhem on its tallest peak.
In northern Vietnam, snow blanketed mountain areas as the wave of cold air arrived on Sunday to Lào Cai province. In the capital, Hanoi, it dropped to a milder 6C, although authorities said that was the coldest the city has been for two decades.
The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, which is by the tropic of Cancer, saw sleet for the first time in 60 years, the local meteorological station said. Residents posted photos online of small snowmen they had made, quickly constructed from a thin layer of icy flakes that fell on cars and roads.
In Hong Kong, primary schools and kindergartens were closed on Monday after temperatures fell to 3C, a 60-year low. A 100km ultra-marathon race was abandoned as competitors crossing the city's tallest peak, Tai Mo Shan, slipped on icy slopes buffeted by freezing winds. A race official described the scene as one of 'carnage', with dozens of people suffering from hypothermia; firefighters called in to rescue them were filmed slipping and sliding on the icy roads.
In Bangkok, labelled the planet's hottest city by the World Meteorological Organisation for its mean air temperature of 28C, the mercury dropped to 16C on Monday. Scarves and padded jackets, normally bought only as winter holiday items by residents of Bangkok, appeared in the city as locals dealt with the unusually cool weather.
In China, 24 weather stations recorded all-time low temperatures. Further north, in Inner Mongolia, the temperature dropped to a record low of -46.8C (-52F) and in China's eastern city of Qingdao, fishing boats were stuck fast in the frozen waters.
- Millions of commuters across the eastern US battled disrupted transport systems struggling to recover from a huge blizzard.
Slippery pavements, crippled train networks, treacherous roads and cancelled flights were among the problems workers faced on Monday.
The US government in Washington, as well as many schools and businesses throughout the region, are shut.
As the clean up begins, at least 36 people have been left dead.
Many East Coast residents spent Sunday digging out their cars and clearing pathways of snow which reached about 90 cm in five states.
Flights resumed in Washington and Baltimore but 1,510 flights are delayed or cancelled throughout the region.
Amtrak has limited service throughout the US northeast.
Sections of the Pennsylvania turnpike, where over 500 vehicles were stranded over the weekend, have now reopened.
It affected some 85 million people, at one point cutting the power to 300,000 people. The heaviest fall was recorded in Glengary, West Virginia, which had 42 inches of snow.
In New York City - which saw its second-highest snowfall since records began in 1869 - a travel ban that effectively shut the city down has now been lifted.
In New York, the storm was the second-biggest on record, while in Washington and Philadelphia, it was the fourth biggest.
By the time the snow had stopped falling after two days, late on Saturday, New York's Central Park had received 26.8in, the second-biggest fall recorded since 1869.
The total was just 0.1in shy of the all-time high, 26.9in, recorded in February 2006.
However, the 26.6in that fell in the park on Saturday alone was a one-day record for the city.
The 36 fatalities were as a result of car accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks suffered while shovelling snow.
- This year has been a deadly one for avalanches in the US.
Ten people have died in the past 10 days, and a
total of 14 have died this snow season in the US, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. With 11 deaths this month, it's the highest death rate for January since 2008 and the second worst January in 20 years.
- A town on West Australia's Pilbara coast has been spared the worst of Cyclone Stan as it failed to reach the predicted category three strength overnight.
The cyclone crossed at the Pardoo roadhouse, east Pilbara coast at 2am and was on Sunday morning moving inland in a south-easterly direction.
It was still classified as a category two cyclone and was moving about 18km/h.
Stan is the first cyclone of the Australian season, which begins officially on 1 November each year.
- A man has been killed and many rescued after severe storms dumped heavy rain on parts of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
More than 125mm of rain was recorded in some areas between the Sunshine Coast and Gladstone.
More than 1000 calls for help were received by the SES after Saturday's storms in Sydney, which hit large parts of the state with winds of more than 100km/h that brought down trees and powerlines.
Penrith, Mount Druitt and surrounds were the worst hit parts of Sydney while at Forbes Creek, east of Canberra, seven of the 12 homes in the village were severely damaged by fallen trees and strong winds.
At Strathfield 36mm of rain fell in just 15 minutes and 42mm was dumped at Goulburn during Saturday's storms.
Power was cut to more than 50,000 homes and businesses across Sydney, with the Sutherland area the hardest hit.
If you have a snippet of weather news that you feel merits inclusion, then please feel free to email it to me.
Last updated 8 August 2016.