World weather news

World weather news, March 2019

More than 1,000 people are feared dead in a devastating cyclone that hit Mozambique on Friday, the country's president has said. Filipe Nyusi told Mozambican radio he had seen "many bodies floating in the overflowing Pungwe and Busi rivers. "It appears that we can register more than 1,000 deaths, he said, adding that more than 100,000 people were at risk because of severe flooding. At least 215 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds are missing across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe from Tropical Cyclone Idai, according to government agencies and the Red Cross, which said 1.5 million people had been affected. A more precise death toll and the true scale of the damage is not likely to be known soon, as many areas are cut off. "I think this is the biggest natural disaster Mozambique has ever faced. Everything is destroyed, Celso Correia, the environment minister, said. "Our priority now is to save human lives. Residents of the devastated port city of Beira, where the Pungwe and Busi rivers flow into the sea, have had no communications since Idai hit. Many families have been frantically trying to get information about their relatives, but with no phones or internet access, no electricity and great chunks of the main road into Beira washed away and blocked by flooding, all they can do is wait.
At least 50 people have been killed by flash floods in Indonesia's eastern Papua province. The floods in Sentani, near the provincial capital of Jayapura, were triggered by torrential rain and subsequent landslides on Saturday, and also left 59 people injured. Dozens of homes were damaged by floodwaters, the national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. The waters had receded but officials were still trying to evacuate people.
Authorities were using boats and large vehicles on Saturday to rescue and evacuate residents in parts of the US midwest where rainwater and snowmelt has poured over frozen ground, overwhelming creeks and rivers. At least one person was dead. In eastern Nebraska, rescue efforts were hampered by reports of levee breaches and washouts of bridges and roads, including part of Nebraska Highway 92, leading in and out of south-west Omaha. Authorities confirmed that a bridge on that highway that crosses the Elkhorn river had been washed out. In Fremont, west of Omaha, the Dodge County sheriff's office issued a mandatory evacuation order for some residents after floodwaters broke a levee along the Platte river. And in Mills county, Iowa, authorities ordered people in some rural areas to evacuate after the Missouri river overtopped levees. The flooding followed days of snow and rain, record-setting in some places, that swept through the west and midwest. The deluge pushed some waterways to record levels in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. The flooding was the worst in nearly a decade in places. Further east, the Mississippi river saw moderate flooding in Illinois from Rock Island south to Gladstone. Meteorologist Brian Pierce with the National Weather Service's Quad Cities office in Davenport, Iowa, said flooding on the Mississippi could get worse a few weeks as more snow melts in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Seattle is experiencing a string of rare weather following one of the snowiest Februarys on record that has led to record-breaking warmth in the Emerald City. Seattle experienced its warmest winter day on record on Tuesday when temperatures topped out at 79F at 3 p.m. local time, a mark that beat the previous record of 76F, which was set on Monday. Typically, mid-March temperatures in Seattle are 54F. Spring begins on Wednesday. The 79-degree reading also made for the warmest March day on record, according to the National Weather Service, edging out the previous record for the month, 78F, set on March 29, 2004. Tuesday was the hottest March day in the city's history dating back to 1894, when officials began keeping records.
The flooding disaster that continues to unfold over the central United States is likely to continue well into April, putting more communities and farmland at risk. The disaster was set in motion during the second week of March, when a 'bomb cyclone' struck the region, dropping heavy rain and triggering massive snowmelt, which led to an excess of runoff into rivers and waterways. The flooding has led to several deaths, the evacuation of an entire town in Missouri and over $1 billion in damage thus far. Aerial photo shows flooding near the Platte River in in Plattsmouth, Neb., south of Omaha. The National Weather Service is warning that flooding in parts of South Dakota and northern Iowa could soon reach historic levels. A Weather Service hydrologist says "major and perhaps historic" flooding is possible later this month at some spots on the Big Sioux and James rivers. The worst of the flooding so far has been in Nebraska, southwestern Iowa and northwestern Missouri. While rivers are receding across the hardest-hit areas of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, water draining downstream is causing the Missouri River to rise across northeastern Kansas and Missouri. The Missouri River at Rulo, Nebraska, hit a record crest of 28.14 feet late Wednesday, which exceeded the previous high mark of 27.26 feet set on June 27, 2011.

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Last updated 21 March 2019.

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