World weather news, October 2017

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The Queensland city of Bundaberg has endured its biggest one-day downpour in more than half a century, causing flash flooding and leaving thousands without power. A Bureau of Meteorology spokeswoman said the Wide Bay city had received more than 340 mm rain on Monday, breaking a 64-year record by more than 60 mm. Residents described cyclonic-like winds which downed trees and power lines and sent debris flying. The State Emergency Service responded to about 177 calls in the area on Monday and overnight, mostly due to roof damage and flooding, and more than 4,000 homes lost power at the height of the wild weather. Flash flooding closed main roads into the town of Agnes Waters, including Rosedale Road into Bundaberg.
5th
Extreme weather, including heavy hailstorms, hard frosts and drought, has pushed the EU wine grape harvest to an historical low in 2017, the EU department for Agriculture and Rural Development has revealed. As a result of the adverse weather conditions experienced across Europe this year, the EU Commission states that "most of the wine-growing regions in Europe are expecting a very low harvest in 2017". Spain predicts volumes to be 16% lower compared to 2016 and in France and Italy, winemakers are expecting a 17% and 21% reduction respectively. The report stresses that these figures are an average, with some regions believed to have an even greater reduction than the national average, while others have escaped relatively unscathed.
5th-6th
Tropical Storm Nate has killed at least 22 people in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras. A state of emergency has been declared in the Central American nations, where more than 20 people are missing. It has caused heavy rains, landslides and floods which are blocking roads, destroying bridges and damaging houses. In Costa Rica, nearly 400,000 people are without running water and thousands are sleeping in shelters. At least eight people have died in the storm there, while another 11 were killed when it moved north and reached Nicaragua, where as much as 15 inches of rain had been predicted to fall by the US's National Hurricane Center. Three people have been killed in Honduras, including two youths who drowned in a river, and several are reported missing. On Thursday morning, Tropical Depression 16 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Nate, just as it made landfall on Nicaragua.
5th
At least seven people died, five of them in their vehicles, and the public was warned to stay indoors as gale force winds and rain swept across northern Germany. Public transport was also severely disrupted. Category 3 storm warnings, on a scale that goes up to 4, were issued for much of northern and eastern Germany due to storm Xavier. Storm Xavier, which reached speeds of up to 115 km/h, killed at least seven people. Bus services began to run again in Berlin on Thursday evening but a spokesman for BVG Berlin transport said the service may not be fully restored until after Friday morning and checks on the network had been made. Hundreds of people were stranded as their trains were cancelled in the capital. Deutsche Bahn canceled long-distance trains to and from Berlin as well as services in Lower Saxony, Schleswig Holstein and Bremen and commuter trains in Hamburg. Bremen and Hanover airports cancelled some international flights. Passengers arriving in Berlin remained on board their aircraft as the storm swept over Tegel and Schoenefeld airports and authorities temporarily suspended operations.
7th-8th
Hurricane Nate brought a burst of flooding and power outages to the US Gulf coast before weakening rapidly on Sunday. Nate was the first hurricane to make landfall in Mississippi since Katrina in 2005. It quickly lost power, diminishing to a tropical depression as it pushed north into Alabama and towards Georgia with heavy rain. It was a category 1 hurricane when it came ashore outside Biloxi early on Sunday, its second landfall after initially hitting south-eastern Louisiana on Saturday evening. The storm surge from the Mississippi Sound littered Biloxi’s main beachfront highway with debris and flooded a casino lobby and parking structure overnight. By dawn, however, receding floodwaters did not reveal any obvious signs of widespread damage in a city where Katrina had leveled thousands of beachfront homes and businesses. No storm-related deaths or injuries were immediately reported. More than 100,000 residents in Mississippi and Alabama were without power on Sunday morning, although some were starting to get electricity restored. About 6,800 customers lost power in Florida, Governor Rick Scott said.
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At least nine people are dead after dangerous conditions unfolded from Durban to Johannesburg, South Africa, stranding vehicles and toppling trees. One police officer of Durban was pronounced dead, when a container fell on his car on Tuesday morning, according to Times LIVE of Johannesburg. Two other people died when a wall collapsed at the Umlazi hospital, while eThekiwini officials report that another man died when attempting to cross a flooded river. Others travelling in and around the Durban area found themselves trapped by rising floodwaters and blown-over trees. As of Tuesday afternoon, local time, areas south of Durban, including Paddock, had more than 140 mm of rainfall from the storm. Rising water levels nearby rivers flooded both of the roadways and homes, prompting the closure of some local schools. Garrith Jamieson, a Rescue Care spokesperson for the area, said there were dozens of water rescues in the cities of Pietermaritzburg, Isipingo and Umlazi.
11th
Some parts of Cumbria (UK) saw more than 206 mm of rain fall in less than 24 hours, according to provisional figures from the Environment Agency. Honister, Seathwaite and Ennerdale were the worst hit areas as torrential downpours closed schools and disrupted road and rail travel. The agency issued 18 flood alerts and eight flood warnings, while a Met Office yellow warning for rain was in place for much of Wednesday. No serious injuries were reported.
9th-12th
Vietnamese authorities say 37 people have died from floods and landslides caused by heavy rain. Another 40 are missing, and thousands have been evacuated from their homes, as a tropical depression sweeps across northern and central Vietnam. The South East Asian country often experiences severe storms, and sees several deaths every year from floods. The latest bout began on Monday, and weather officials have warned that the tropical depression may intensify into a more powerful storm in coming days. The death toll was one of the highest ever recorded in the country that was caused by flooding, Reuters reported Vietnam's disaster prevention agency as saying. Officials say at least 16,000 homes have been submerged. The northern Yen Bai and Hoa Binh provinces have been particularly hard hit, with reports of widespread inundation and deadly landslides, and homes washed away.
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As many as 16 active fires have charred over 214,000 acres in California, according to Cal Fire. Fire crews have been called upon from other states to help battle the blazes. The wildfires have taken the lives of at least 40 people and have forced approximately 100,000 people to evacuate, according to the Associated Press. It is estimated that 5,700 homes and other structures have been destroyed. Early on Saturday morning, additional mandatory evacuation orders were issued for Sonoma Valley and the Santa Rosa area. Even when the winds lessened, low humidity and dry vegetation provided ample fuel for the fires to burn. Firefighters and residents also had to deal with persistent warmth and poor air quality. This has been the deadliest outbreak of wildfires across Northern California, surpassing the 29 fatalities caused by the 1933 Griffith Park Fire. The wildfire complex alone near Santa Rosa killed at least 21 people.
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Ireland experienced the worst of the weather associated with ex-hurricane Ophelia on Monday, with winds of almost 100 mph damaging electricity networks and causing widespread disruption. The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, described Ophelia’s impact as a “national emergency” that forced the closure of schools and colleges and brought the transport network to a standstill on Monday. He said it was the worst storm in Ireland in 50 years and appealed to people to stay indoors. The chairman of Ireland’s national emergency coordination group, Sean Hogan, said: “These gusts are life-threatening. Do not be out there.” Referring to Hurricane Debbie in 1961, Varadkar said: “The last time we had a storm this severe, 11 lives were lost, so safety is our number one priority.” The storm also prevented Bill Clinton from visiting Belfast for a crucial round of talks with local politicians. As Ophelia struck land at about 10 am, there were outages due to felled power lines in the south and south-west of the country. Power cuts continued throughout the day and by mid-afternoon, 360,000 customers were without electricity. The Irish Republic’s Electricity Supply Board warned of further outages throughout the night. More than 140 flights from Irish airports were cancelled and by 10am, all Dublin Bus routes in the capital were shut down. The city’s Luas tram system was also closed over safety fears. Every creche, school, third-level college and university in Ireland was closed. An "unusual" reddish sky and red-looking sun were reported across many parts of England. The phenomenon was initially seen in the west of England and Wales before spreading to other areas, and was due to the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia dragging in tropical air and dust from the Sahara – along with debris from forest fires in Portugal and Spain. The particles in the air cause blue light to scatter, leaving longer-wavelength red light to shine through. A number of flights to UK airports have been forced to land or divert following reports of "smoke smells" - much of the polluted air seemed to be confined to a small vertical depth in places, thus helping to concentrate the side-effects. Precautionary landings were reported from flights travelling to and from Dublin, Manchester, Liverpool and Jersey.
16th
Six people were reported missing after their fishing trawler capsized in bad weather off the central Queensland coast on Monday evening. One of their crewmates survived for 12 hours in heavy seas before raising the alarm. Torrential rain in the state also led to the death of a man caught in floodwater near Gympie and an incident in Brisbane in which a jogger was flung into a creek after being hit by a car that skidded off the road. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said it had offered two helicopters and a plane to help with the search. The area received almost 140 mm of rain in the previous 24 hours and a severe weather warning remained in place on Tuesday afternoon. The Bureau of Meteorology predicted six-hourly rainfall totals of up to 180 mm on Tuesday, with possible thunderstorms.
18th
More than 40 people have been killed in wildfires scorching Portugal and Spain, according to government officials. The death toll in Portugal has reached 42 according to the Associated Press, following deadly fires over the weekend. Portugal's Interior Minister Constanca Urbano de Sousa submitted her resignation on Wednesday amid public outcry against the government response to the deadly fires. A state of emergency has been declared across Portugal for all areas north of the Tagus River. Further north, five deaths have been reported in the Galicia region of northwest Spain following several new wildfires over the weekend. Firefighters continue to battle 27 blazes across the region including seven near residential areas. The combination of months of dry weather and gusty winds related to former Hurricane Ophelia resulted in dangerous fire conditions. Rainfall since 1 July in Porto, Portugal, totalled only 39 mm, just 29 percent of normal for that time period.

World weather news, September 2017

1st-3rd
A heatwave shattered records and exacerbated wildfires across the western United States. The latest burst of heat brought the hottest conditions ever recorded in downtown San Francisco as the temperature to 106F on the 1st. The previous record of 103F was set on 14 June 2000. Dozens more all-time and daily record highs were set from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon, and Missoula, Montana, over the weekend. The hot, dry conditions fanned the La Tuna Fire north of Los Angeles, which charred over 7,000 acres and burned three homes since Friday, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The fire is now 80 percent contained, the Los Angeles Times reported. California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency declaration for Los Angeles County on Sunday due to the severity of the blaze. The intense heat is over along the California coast, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, with more seasonable air taking control for the remainder of the week. One-hundred-degree Fahrenheit readings will dwindle over California's Central Valley. A state of emergency remains in effect across all counties in Washington due to extensive wildfires and heat. Many of the large blazes burning out West are clustered over Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Unhealthy air quality levels will persist across a large portion of the West as wildfire smoke shrouds the sky.
5th-7th
Hurricane Irma strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph on Tuesday, becoming the strongest storm in the Atlantic Basin since Wilma in 2005. Irma has already proved destructive across the northern Leeward Islands. The eye of Irma passed over the British Virgin Islands on Wednesday afternoon, devastating the islands and parts of Puerto Rico. Widespread power cuts and significant damage to trees and structures are likely in many areas along the track of the system. The storm made a direct hit on Barbuda early Wednesday morning as a Category 5 hurricane before later making a direct hit on the islands of St. Martin, Anguilla, St. Barts and the British Virgin Islands. The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda described Barbuda as "barely habitable" on Wednesday afternoon due to the catastrophic damage left behind by Irma.
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Hurricane Irma made landfall on the Camaguey Archipelago of Cuba Friday evening, close to Playa Santa Lucia. This was the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in Cuba since 1924. The center of Irma then continued moving northwest along the northern coast of Cuba through early Saturday afternoon. A wind gust to 159 mph was reported at a weather station in Ciego de Avila, Cuba, early on Sunday. The Turks and Caicos Islands experienced some of the worst conditions from Irma Thursday night into Friday since the eye passed so close to the south. Extreme winds in excess of 150 mph battered the islands. The strong winds also drove a very high and dangerous storm surge into the islands.
9th
In total, 7 million people were urged to evacuate Florida as major Hurricane Irma approached the state. Irma has prompted the largest evacuation in U.S. history. A state of emergency has been declared in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
10th
At least six people have been killed after heavy rainstorms and flooding in the Italian city of Livorno. Four members of a family were killed when their basement apartment flooded. Italian newspaper Il Tirreno reports that two parents and their son died. One girl was rescued by her grandfather, but he died when he returned to attempt for his other family members, the newspaper said. Pictures from the city showed large areas underwater and extensive damage. One resident, Piero Caturelli, said he had never seen such bad weather. "It's incredible, incredible. It started around 10pm and continued until this morning. In my living memory, there's never been anything like this," he said. The flooding caused extensive damage to property in Livorno
10th
Irma, currently a Category 2 hurricane, is racing over southern Florida with dangerous wind gusts and storm surge. Hurricane Irma made a second Florida landfall at Marco Island, Florida, on Sunday as a cateogory 3 hurricane. The hurricane tore across the Florida Keys early Sunday morning, making landfall here as a category 4 storm. At least 2 million people were without power across the state on Sunday. Winds with gusts up to 160 mph knocked out power and led to catastrophic damage. This is the first year that two Atlantic Basin hurricanes have made landfall at Category 4 strength in the U.S. in one season since records began in 1851.
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Irma has left over 6 million without power in Florida as the storm continues to bring life-threatening storm surge and powerful winds. At least ten people have died in the storm in the United States, including two law enforcement officers involved in a fatal car accident on Sunday. President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for Florida. Disney World says its suffered limited damage in the wake of Irma. There were downed trees knocked down in the Animal Kingdom and the Polynesian Resort. The storm also caused flooding in Epcot and at the Grand Floridian Resort. 20,000 are still without power in Alabama, according to Alabama Power. By 11:45 p.m. EDT, Irma was continuing to move N'wards along the Eastern Seaboard. Trees are reportedly blocking roadways in the Carolinas. Since Sunday, parts of Charleston, South Carolina, have received as much as 8.03 inches of rain. Flood waters are beginning to recede in Jacksonville, Florida, after climbing well above record level. However, many rivers around the city are still in moderate to major flood stage.
12th
Recent figures suggest that the US is heading for a record low figure for lightning casualties, with only 13 deaths so far this year. While severe thunderstorms may be increasing the number of deaths attributed to lightning in developed countries keeps falling. In the 1940s, lightning killed several hundred people each year in the US. Better emergency medicine means more people survive a strike, but the drop is largely because of increased awareness of the hazard: people know to take cover when a storm threatens. This is aided by increasing numbers of lightning warning systems at golf courses - a prime site for casualties - as well as in parks and on sports grounds. Some warning systems work by detecting the radio emissions from nearby lightning strikes. An alternative approach detects the build-up of static charge on the ground which precedes lightning. People often describe their hair standing on end minutes before lightning strikes; instruments can provide more timely warning.
12th
The insured damage caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma is expected to be $50bn to $70bn, according to the boss of a Lloyd's of London insurer. Bronek Masojada, chief executive of Hiscox, said insured losses for Harvey, which resulted in widespread flood damage, were running at $20-$30bn while the cost of Irma was expected to be $30bn-$40bn. Masojada was using estimates from the risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide. A rival risk analysis firm, RMS, estimated insured losses from Harvey could be up to $35bn, which would take the total to $75bn. The insurer said the claims would make 2017 one of the worst years for natural disasters with the hurricane season not yet over.
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Ten-of-thousands of people were evacuated from Vietnam's coast as a typhoon expected to the "most powerful storm in a decade" approached the country. Almost 80,000 people left their homes while local authorities tore down trees and cut power in some areas as Typhoon Doksuri made its way towards land. Offshore, wind speeds hit 102 mph, according to the Hong Kong Observatory. The winds had slowed to 80 miles an hour when the storm made landfall, according to the country's meteorological agency, but the storm had blown roofs off at least 206 houses in the city of Hue, according to the state news agency.
17th
A powerful storm in western Romania has killed eight people and injured at least 67, officials say. Most of the victims were in and around the city of Timisoara, where winds of up to 60 mph brought down trees and tore off roofs. Some water and electricity supplies have been cut.
17th
A powerful typhoon has ripped through southern Japan giving torrential rain, grounding hundreds of flights and stopping train services. Typhoon Talim hit Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands with winds of up to 105 mph, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. At least 644 domestic flights were cancelled due to strong winds and regional railway services have been suspended. Earlier, the typhoon battered the southern Okinawan island chain bringing the most rain seen over a 24-hour period in 50 years on the city of Miyako, before it hit Kyushu.
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Snow has fallen in California on what was officially classed as the last day of summer, with the unexpectedly early turn in the weather causing dangerous travel conditions. Drivers have been advised to take care in the icy conditions and one man has already been killed due to a car crash on the Interstate 80 motorway. Residents in the Sierra Nevada mountain range were shocked to wake up to heavy snowfall on Thursday morning with one village in Mammoth Lakes reporting 3 inches of snow.
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Dominica - the first island hit by the full category-five force of Hurricane Maria - is "in a daze", officials have said, cut off from its Caribbean neighbours in the wake of a storm that destroyed properties, silenced communications and cut power and running water. Seven people have so far been confirmed dead in Dominica but that toll is expected to rise as rescue teams make their way to inaccessible parts of the island. A CNN crew who flew over Dominica on Wednesday reported: "Nearly every tree was touched - thousands snapped and strewn across the landscape - and the island was stripped of vegetation. The rainforests appear to have vanished." The airport and sea ports are closed. The official death toll from Hurricane Maria is 10, with two deaths confirmed on the French island of Guadeloupe, and one so far in Puerto Rico. There has not yet been word of casualties from St Croix, in the US Virgin Islands, which the storm swept past in the early hours of Wednesday, and the number of fatalities could rise in Puerto Rico, which took a direct hit. The capital, San Juan, has suffered catastrophic flash flooding and the entire island has lost electricity. Puerto Rico's governor, Ricardo Rosselló - who called the hurricane 'nothing short of a major disaster' - said one man had been killed when he was struck by a piece of debris in high winds. It was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico for almost a century. In 1928, the San Felipe Segundo hurricane killed more than 300 people. Maria dipped to category-two strength as it moved away from Puerto Rico towards the Dominican Republic, but the US National Hurricane Center warned it could yet regain strength. The Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the south-eastern Bahamas remain under hurricane warnings.
21st
More than a month's worth of rain fell across parts of Mumbai in just 24 hours from Tuesday into Wednesday. Rainfall totalling 303.7 mm was reported in the city from Tuesday to Wednesday morning, the second highest 24-hour September rainfall total on record. The all-time wettest 24-hour period in September was 318.2 mm from 12 September 1981. Mumbai averages 301 mm of rain during the entire month of September. An additional 63 mm followed from midday Wednesday to Thursday morning.
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Hurricane Maria has added to the extensive damage on the British overseas territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Foreign Office has said, after the region was pummelled by a second major storm in two weeks. The hurricane barrelled across the Caribbean over the past few days, claiming the lives of at least 19 people, with many others missing. A British man is among the dead, with his body yet to be recovered, after a boat capsized off Puerto Rico, near Vieques, as Maria unleashed devastation. The US coastguard in Miami said a Royal Navy helicopter hoisted a woman and two children from the overturned vessel on Thursday after a distress call was sent from the boat. Maria battered the Turks and Caicos Islands with winds of up to 125 mph on Friday. The Foreign Office has advised: 'Hurricane Maria has now passed TCI, but it added to the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Irma.' Also hitting Puerto Rico, it was the strongest storm in more than 80 years to sweep across the country - flattening homes and plunging the island into darkness after taking down power lines.
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Emergency officials in Puerto Rico evacuated tens of thousands of people on Friday afternoon due to an imminent dam failure in the nearby areas of Isabela and Quebradillas, following Hurricane Maria's devastating blow. The Guajataca Dam is on the verge of collapse under the weight of flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Maria unleashed more than 600 mm of rain on parts of the island, leading to record flooding. Wind gusts in excess of 110 mph also struck Puerto Rico as the storm plowed across the island. The entire island lost power, and it could take months before the power is fully restored.
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From the Midwest to the northeastern United States, the first week of autumn has not only produced higher temperatures than those seen during astronomical summer, but also some of the latest 90F temperatures on record in many locations. A large, sprawling area of high pressure centered over the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley has been the culprit of the unusual heat and humidity. In many locations, record highs that have stood since the late 1800s and early 1900s have been shattered this past week. Chicago is in the midst of its second latest streak of three or more consecutive 90F days on record. The stretch that spanned 30 September to 2 October 1971 sits at the top spot. Saturday's high of 95F in Chicago also tied with 12 June as the hottest day of 2017 and marks the latest day in recorded history that the mercury reached that number. The previous record for temperatures reaching or exceeding 95 was on 15 September 1939, when the mercury reached 99F. As of today temperatures in Traverse City, Michigan, reached or exceeded 93F for four straight days. Previously, 23 September had been the latest 90F day on record in Traverse City, so that record was broken for two consecutive days.
27th
The hottest September day for a Queensland town has been recorded at Birdsville but while locals are sweltering, the national record maximum temperature for spring is set to remain unbroken. The mercury rose to 42.5C on Wednesday afternoon, surpassing the previous state record by 0.1 degC and it's expected to stay there before a cool change brings relief to the area on Wednesday afternoon, a Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said.
30th
Australian temperature records tumbled again in September this year, with the country experiencing the hottest day since records began, and New South Wales breaking that record twice within a few days. As always, particular weather events caused the records to be broken. But in a special climate statement, the Bureau of Meteorology said climate change also played a role, and earlier research has shown global warming has massively increased the chance of these records being broken. On 22 September 2017 Australia experienced its hottest September day since records began more than a century ago, reaching an average maximum temperature across the continent of 33.47C - breaking the previous record set nine years ago. NSW reached a record September temperature of 35.81C on 23 September - almost 15 degC above the average September temperature and more than 1.6 degC above the record set in 2003. But in some locations, records tumbled multiple times in September. NSW recorded a September temperature above 40C for the first time in Wilcannia, setting a record measurement of 40.5C on 23 September. That record lasted just four days, with Wanaaring breaking it on 27 September, reaching 41.4C. Queensland also experienced its hottest day over the whole state on 27 September, reaching 42.5C in Birdsville, and Victoria recorded a new September temperature record, measuring 37.7C for the first time at Mildura. The average temperature for the month was not a record temperature, with that record being set by a highly unusual spring in 2013.

World weather news, August 2017

4th
A heatwave called 'Lucifer' is causing havoc in Europe with 11 countries being issued 'danger' warnings over rocketing temperatures. Across Italy, Spain, Croatia, Hungary and Southern Europe temperatures are higher than 40C which has led to forest fires, evacuations and safety fears for the vulnerable. Many holiday destinations popular with British tourists are now warning both residents and visitors to stay in the shade and carry water at all times. The Italians have dubbed the heatwave 'Lucifer' and it comes on the back of one of the longest drought's in history. The heatwave has caused a 15 per cent increase in hospital emergency admissions in Italy with 26 major towns and cities on the health ministry's maximum heat alert. Farmers are counting the cost after a prolonged drought and weather forecasters predict the hot weather is here to stay for at least another week. In Florence the 'perceived temperature' which is determined by temperature, humidity and wind and has been reported at more than 50C. In Abruzzo a 79-year-old woman was found dead in a field next to her home overcome by flames that engulfed two hectares of surrounding farmland. A section of the Via Aurelia coastal motorway that runs northwards from Rome to the Riviera had to be closed for several hours because of a major fire near Grosseto in Tuscany. And in Romania 'red alerts' have been issued after meteorologists have forecast 42C in western parts of the The heatwave has also caused wildfires in Italy, Spain and Croatia this week. In Greece, the seaside town of Kalyvia, south of Athens, had to be evacuated as a wildfires threatened homes in high winds. And in Romania, authorities told people not to go outside during the heatwave, and urged adults not to leave children in cars due to the fierce sunshine. Romanian police said there would be restrictions for heavy traffic on major roads during the heatwave. Europe is hot as hell thanks to a heatwave called 'Lucifer' In Greece local authorities yesterday issued an evacuation order for residents near a seaside town south of Athens as a wildfire threatens homes in high winds.
6th
Three tornadoes around the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area injured dozens on Sunday. An EF2 tornado triggered extensive damage around the area and was later followed by two EF1 tornadoes. Roofs were damaged and trees were uprooted in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The tornadoes were part of a major storm system that also delivered flooding rain across Kansas City, Missouri. Up to 5 inches of rain fell in a matter of hours. Interstate 35 was shut down in both directions due to high water. Numerous rescues were performed as vehicles became stranded in the rapidly rising waters.
7th
Typhoon Noru was the third-longest-lasting tropical cyclone of the Northwest Pacific Ocean on record -ranked only behind 1972's Rita and 1986's Wayne - and the most intense tropical cyclone worldwide in 2017. Noru also marked the latest occurrence of the first typhoon since 1998, reaching that intensity on July 23. Forming as the fifth named storm of the annual typhoon season, Noru formed over in the Northwest Pacific as a tropical depression on July 19. It intensified into a tropical storm two days later, and further to the first typhoon of the year on July 23. However, Noru weakened slightly on July 25 as it began to interact with nearby Tropical Storm Kulap, executing a counterclockwise loop southeast of Japan. Despite weakening to a severe tropical storm on July 29, Noru soon began to restrengthen as it turned sharply to the west. Amid favorable conditions, Noru explosively intensified to become the season's first super typhoon on July 30. However, Noru began a gradual weakening trend over the next few days while curving northwestwards and then northwards. After stalling off the Satsunan Islands on August 5, Noru began to accelerate northeastwards towards central Japan, making landfall in Wakayama Prefecture today, killing two people. The quickly weakening storm soon became extratropical over the Sea of Japan, and eventually dissipated on August 9.
8th
Hot and hazy conditions persisted in the northwestern United States this week. Smoke from wildfires sprawled across Canada and the Northwest has continued to drift, creating dusky scenes in Seattle. Heat only exacerbated the issue, with temperatures rising up to 10 degC above average in some areas. A large high pressure system trapped smoke near the ground in the region. By today, Seattle had yet to record any rain for 52 straight days, breaking a six-decade-old record. The last time the Rainy City went without more than a trace of precipitation for that long was in 1951 at 51 days.
10th
While Europe battles with a heatwave named Lucifer, the Middle East is enduring a summer so brutal that even those accustomed to Baghdad's searing August weather are labelling it 'ungodly'. As temperatures rose towards 51C on Thursday, Iraq's government declared a mandatory holiday, allowing civil servants to shelter at home. So far this month in the Iraqi capital, every day but one has reached 48C or higher, and the forecast is for the high temperatures to continue for the next week. July was little different, in Iraq and in Syria, where the capital, Damascus, has also been several degrees hotter than usual nearly every day since late June. In Kuwait, where birds have reportedly dropped from the skies, and Riyadh, where building work has ceased this week, locals have called for mercy from a hotter-than-normal air mass that has remained nearly stationary over central Arabia for more than three weeks, stretching the capacity of electricity networks beyond limits. While the centre of the region is being scorched, on the Mediterranean coast Beirut and Istanbul have also been blighted by a cruel summer - in their cases, extreme humidity that has made comparatively modest daytime temperatures seem far higher. In Baghdad, the perennially underfunded state power network has again failed to cope with the annual onslaught, as demand for power for air conditioners and water coolers far exceeds the capacity to supply it. In Lebanon, Faysal al-Banna, the chief of ground observation for Beirut's meteorological department said: 'We definitely do not have it as bad as Iraq and other places. Today it is 30 degrees but we feel it's much hotter because of the humidity. It's the humidity from hell, it's on fire this year. I guarantee you the next few days will be worse.'
10th
Tropical storm Franklin formed over the western Caribbean Sea on Sunday and made its first landfall near Pulticub, Mexico, with 60 mph winds. The system made its second landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in the Mexican state of Veracruz early Thursday morning. Franklin was the first hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season. Campeche, Mexico, received 159 mm of rain in a 24-hour period spanning Monday night to Tuesday night.
11th
Five people, including two teenage girl scouts, died and more than 30 were injured as a result of falling trees in a series of severe storms that hit Poland. The girls, 13 and 14, were crushed by falling trees while sleeping in a tent when a storm hit their campground late on Friday in the Tuchola Forest in northern Poland, according to the Regional Crisis Management Team office in Gdansk. Some 20 scouts were injured and taken to local hospitals. Three other victims also died as a result of falling trees and 10 people were injured in separate incidents in Poland's north. More than 170,000 people were left without power and 800 buildings were damaged in storms that hit mostly Poland's north and west, according to the Regional Crisis Management Team in Gdansk. More storms were expected on Saturday and warnings of severe weather conditions were issued for a number of regions amid unusually high temperatures for Poland that on Friday reached 35C to 38C.
16th
Nearly 250 people have died in the last few days as a result of flooding and landslides that have devastated parts of northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Millions of people have been displaced across the region, and 245 people are recorded to have been killed by collapsed buildings or by drowning. In Nepal, incessant rain has flooded hundreds of villages leaving 110 people dead. The government has come under fire for not responding fast enough to the disaster. As security forces scrambled to rescue those marooned on rooftops and helicopters distributed food and water to the worst-hit districts yesterday, the home ministry spokesman Ram Krishna Subedi said relief supplies were being mobilised as soon as possible. Elephants were deployed to help rescue those stranded following three days of torrential rain, including 700 tourists in the popular town of Chitwan. Across Nepal's southern border, 13 districts have been hit by severe flooding in the Indian state of Bihar, leaving 41 people dead.
17th
Mass burials are being held on the outskirts of the Sierra Leone capital Freetown for the 400 people known to have died in a mudslide and flooding. The search continues for an estimated 600 people still missing since Monday. Some 3,000 people are homeless in what is being described as a humanitarian emergency. Mortuaries have been overwhelmed by the number of bodies they have received - more than 100 of them are children. With concern mounting about an outbreak of disease, the chief pathologist of Freetown, Dr Simeon Owizz Koroma, said the burials had already begun for those who had been identified or whose bodies were badly decomposed. Homes in the hilltop community of Regent were covered after part of Sugar Loaf mountain collapsed following heavy rain early on Monday. Many victims were asleep in bed when disaster struck. Flooding is not unusual in Sierra Leone, where unsafe housing in makeshift settlements can be swept away by heavy rains. The rains often hit areas in and around Freetown, an overcrowded coastal city of more than one million people.
18th
A local festival turned deadly after severe thunderstorms tore through northwestern Austria on Friday night. High winds toppled a large tent at a festival in St. Johann am Walde, killing two people and injuring dozens more. At least 10 of the injuries were serious. Tables, chairs and concessions were strewn about by the sudden winds. Around 700 people were underneath the tent when the storm hit. A 130 km/h wind gust was reported at Salzburg, which lies about 55 km to the southwest of the festival, around the time that the tent collapsed.
25th
Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi late on Friday as a category 4 hurricane with maximum winds of 130 mph. It was the first category 4 storm in the US since 2004 when Charley affected Florida; Texas had not endured such a powerful hurricane since Carla in 1961.Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm after battering Rockport and another seaside town, Port Aransas. Reports indicated severe damage to infrastructure and buildings including a high school, a hotel and a senior living complex where a roof collapsed.
27th
Tropical storm Pakhar brought strong winds and heavy rain to Hong Kong and Macau, just four days after one of the strongest typhoons on record, Hato, caused serious flooding and damage in the territories and killed at least 10 people. The two cities lowered their typhoon signal to No.3 in the early afternoon, after Pakhar brushed passed and landed in the southern Chinese city of Taishan in the morning. Hong Kong's weather observatory said in the early hours that winds occasionally reached storm force in the southern part of the territory and hurricane force on high ground on Lantau Island to the west of the city where the airport is situated. Pakhar's arrival comes as the cities are still reeling from Hato. While Hong Kong escaped major damage, Hato devastated Macau, the world's largest gambling hub, killing at least 10 people, injuring 244 and exposing critical infrastructure flaws after it left the city without water and power for days.
28th
Catastrophic flooding is hitting Houston as tropical storm Harvey continues to stall over land. It has dumped as much as 66 cm of rain in some counties in the past 72 hours. Thousands of people have fled to their rooftops or higher ground as rescuers struggled to keep up with calls for help. Houston emergency services have received nearly 6,000 appeals for rescues. The coast guard said it had rescued 1,200 people, of which 200 were from the air. The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, has predicted that the aftermath of the storm would require the agency's involvement for years. 'This disaster's going to be a landmark event,' Long said. The US military has released water from two major reservoirs to protect central Houston earlier than planned, a move that could itself flood several thousands homes. Water is being released from the Addicks reservoir. Nearby residents have been advised to monitor water levels and evacuate if in danger but to wait until daylight to do so. The release will push up the Buffalo Bayou - one of Houston's major waterways - by up to 15 cm per hour. The bayou is already suffering catastrophic flooding in the west of the city, at more than 7ft above flooding point. The tropical storm has strengthened slightly and there are fears it could return to the coast, where it would gather more power, before coming back to land. The damage bill is already drawing comparisons to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which caused $108bn of losses (including $80bn of insured losses). About 3,000 national and state guard member have been activated in Texas, and disaster relief crews have arrived from as far away as New York and South Colorado. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) has deployed more than 1,800 staff.
29th
A plane has manoeuvred its way through three tornadoes hovering over the Black Sea, as it came in to land at a Russian airport. Reports suggest the pilot wasn't properly informed about the presence of the tornadoes, all of which were at an alarmingly close distance to one another. Up to 12 twisters were spotted in the area earlier that day. See here for images of the events.
31st
At least 12 people are dead and up to 25 more feared trapped after monsoon downpours that have brought death and destruction to south Asia caused a building to collapse in Mumbai. The four-storey residential building gave way on Thursday morning in the densely populated area of Bhendi Bazaar, after roads were turned into rivers in India's financial capital, which has been struggling to cope with some of the heaviest rainfall in more than 15 years. Thousands more buildings that are more than 100 years old are at risk of collapse due in part to foundations weakened by flood waters. Across the region more than 1,200 people are feared to have died and 40 million are estimated to have been affected by flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Vast swaths of land are under water in the eastern part of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where about 104 people have died, 3,097 villages are submerged and almost 3 million villagers have been affected by flooding, according to local officials. Army personnel have joined local rescuers to evacuate people from the area. One third of Bangladesh was believed to be under water and the UN described the situation in Nepal, where 150 people have died, as the worst flooding in a decade. The floods have also destroyed or damaged 18,000 schools in the south Asia region, meaning that about 1.8 million children cannot go to their classes, Save the Children said on Thursday.
31st
Tropical depression Harvey advisory number 44 contained these statistics:
Selected storm rainfall totals:
Alabama: Gasque 8.00 in
Florida: Milton 6.92 in
Louisiana: Bayou Conway 22.25 in
Mississippi: Gautier 8.27 in
Texas: Cedar Bayou at FM 1942 51.88 in
Selected peak wind gusts (mph)
Port Aransas 132
Copano Village 125
24.83 in of rain fell in Houston during the 25th-27th, which makes this the city's wettest month on record. 16.07 in of rain fell there on the 27th, the wettest day on record in the city. 19 tornadoes were reported on the Gulf Coast on the 25th and 26th. The large rainfall totals were a result of the system being slow-moving; after making landfall it then moved offshore and was then slow-moving there until the 30th, pushing rainbands onshore from the warm Gulf of Mexico.

World weather news, July 2017

7th
Frequent rounds of rainfall and heavy storms in southern China have resulted in widespread, deadly flooding this week, mainly from Guangxi to Zheijiang provinces. Since 26 June, 558 mm of rain has fallen in the resort city of Guilin, in Guangxi Province. Overall, 56 people have reportedly been killed and 22 remain missing across central and southern China. According to China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, hailstorms, landslides and urban flooding have also wrought havoc on over 11 million people throughout southern China.
8th
JP Nadeau was determined not to let anything get in the way of his daughter’s wedding – not even a lightning bolt that surged through his hand partway through his toast to the newlyweds. The Canadian couple had just been married an hour earlier at an outdoor ceremony in his family’s apple orchard in Woodstock, New Brunswick. A few clouds had started to roll in on the hot, sunny day as the father of the bride took the microphone to make his speech. “I said: ‘Adam, you are some lucky guy,’” Nadeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “As soon as I said that, my daughter’s eyes – she was looking at me – just popped right out. Because all of a sudden there was this lightning flash that hit right behind me.” Nadeau looked down just in time to see his right hand light up. “It was like I was holding a lightning bolt in my hand, it was amazing,” he said. “I’m sure I jumped, because I felt a major shock. But after that I was kind of okay and I even continued speaking.” An avid piano player, Nadeau checked his hands for any signs of damage. When nothing turned up, the wedding continued. The lightning strike had felt like sudden shock that ran through him, he said, leaving just a scorch mark on his thumb where the electricity had likely entered his body.
8th
Persistent torrential rain triggered a building collapse in Jomda county, Qamdo Prefecture in south-west China's Tibet Autonomous Region. All residents of the building had been evacuated before the collapse and no casualties have been reported.The collapse happened in the wake of the sharply increased water level of Ziqu river in the county. The water washed away the foundation of the building and eventually caused it to collapse and be carried away by the flood. According to local government, the rain that started to fall in June stopped on 10 July. But the long-period of rainfall had already destroyed 24 bridges and damaged 57.8 km of roads in total across 67 rural highways.
9th
A two-hour storm unleashed 54 mm of rain on Sunday night in Paris, the equivalent of 27 days of rainfall. Weather services say 49.2 mm fell in one hour, the French capital's heaviest July deluge on record. Flooding closed 20 metro stations and three were still shut as commuters made their way to work on Monday morning. Parts of Switzerland were hit by violent winds and hail storms that also caused flooding at the weekend. Heavy rain began in Paris at 1900 GMT on Sunday night and Méteo France said the amount that fell was higher than the previous record of 47.4 mm set on 2 July 1995. Rain continued to fall heavily on Monday in Paris. Some areas of the west and around Paris had seen more than a month's average rainfall between Sunday afternoon and 0800 h on Monday, it said. While Montsouris park on the southern edge of central Paris recorded 68 mm in 24 hours, the western French village of Civray saw 86 mm.
11th-12th
Hundreds of tourists have been evacuated by boat from a beach resort in Sicily due to wildfires that are blazing across a huge swath of southern Italy. More than 700 people were rescued last night as a precaution as additional military troops were being called in to help control the blazes. Tourists at the Calampiso resort in San Vito Lo Capo, near Trapani, were taken to a primary school for safety and were told it was not safe to return to their rooms. Temperatures have soared above 40 degrees Celsius in arid southern regions. On Tuesday, 23 fires were raging, prime minister Paolo Gentiloni said in a speech, adding the government was "actively following this difficult situation". Blazes on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius have sent vast clouds of smoke into the air near the port city of Naples, and environment minister Gian Luca Galletti said a man had been arrested on suspicion of arson.
12th
A giant iceberg twice the size of Luxembourg has broken off an ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula and is now adrift in the Weddell Sea. Reported to be “hanging by a thread” last month, the trillion-tonne iceberg was found to have split off from the Larsen C segment of the Larsen ice shelf on Wednesday morning after scientists examined the latest satellite data from the area. The Larsen C ice shelf is more than 12% smaller in area than before the iceberg broke off – or “calved” – an event that researchers say has changed the landscape of the Antarctic peninsula and left the Larsen C ice shelf at its lowest extent ever recorded.
14th-15th
Flooding in Wisconsin ruined every dollar in a vault of the Fox River State Bank, bank president Keith Polleck said. The Federal Reserve will have to replace every bill from the vault, which was water resistant, but not waterproof. The Fox River near Burlington, Wisconsin, rose above its flood stage, sending up to 21 inches of water in the bank.
15th
An Arizona sheriff’s office said on Sunday at least nine people had died in flash flooding and others were missing after a wall of water swept through a popular swimming hole inside Tonto National Forest on Saturday. Gila County sheriff J Adam Shepherd said crews were still searching the missing people. Earlier, Water Wheel fire and medical district fire chief Ron Sattelmaier fire chief said at least four people were dead and about a dozen more missing. More than a hundred people were in the Cold Springs swimming hole on Saturday afternoon when a severe thunderstorm pounded down on a nearby remote area that had been burned over by a recent wildfire. Thunderstorm hit about eight miles upstream of the swimming hole along Ellison Creek. That quickly flooded the narrow canyon where the swimmers were enjoying a cool dip a on a hot summer day.
15th
When Santiago residents awoke on Saturday morning, they were greeted by an unusual sight. The Chilean capital was blanketed in a layer of snow measuring up to two inches, reportedly the heaviest snowfall the city has experienced since 2007. The frosty conditions wreaked havoc in the city where snow rarely falls. More than 250,000 residents were left without power as falling trees and branches downed power lines. That left thousands of people in the dark and without heat on a day when temperatures dipped below freezing. One worker died while clearing ice and two people were injured after being electrocuted by a fallen power lines. The weather also caused some traffic troubles and several sporting events, including a number of Copa Chile soccer games, were postponed.
18th
Heavy rain in Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul, caused substantial flooding on its roads and Metro network. Commuters attempting to get to work captured the scenes as rainwater invaded the city’s underground transport system, submerging rail tracks and rushing down flights of stairs.
18th
Dazed residents in a Cornish (UK) fishing village have begun a huge clean-up operation following a flash flood that saw a torrent of water more than a metre deep rip up roads and damage 50 properties. As forecasters warned of more potential flooding in parts of England and Wales on Wednesday, the scene at Coverack on the Lizard peninsula was described as devastating. Several people had to be rescued on Tuesday, including a couple in their seventies who were winched to safety as floodwater coursed through narrow lanes after torrential rain and thunderstorms. The cost of repairs and insurance in Coverack is already estimated at more than £1m, with structural damage to roads and buildings in the area. Cornwall’s council leader, Adam Paynter, said there were financial reserves to deal with the emergency. “It’s been absolutely unbelievable to see. I think it’s going to take a little while to get this sorted out and tidied up but obviously the main thing is that nobody’s been injured and everybody is OK in the village.” Witnesses described the torrent of water turning the harbour front into a waterfall and the main road into a river.
18th
A 1950s tractor described as "a devil" to run was twice started by lightning strikes, according to its owner. The strikes occurred in Guernsey during a severe thunderstorm on Tuesday, which saw 9mm of rain fall in a few hours. Owner Horace Camp said two strikes hit the lawn the tractor had been parked on creating an electrical field that had charged his farm vehicle. He said the tractor was "happily" running by itself and the current must have "given her a good old go".
18th-19th
Flash flooding trapped people in their homes as storms and lightning streaked across the south of England. Violent thunderstorms hit much of the South East and in Sussex a lightning strike sent a workshop up in flames. At the height of the storms - between 02:30 and 03:30 BST - fire crews in Tunbridge Wells were called out 60 times in 60 minutes. Residents reported up to a metre of water in some properties although no rescues were needed. In the worst-hit areas firefighters called on the Red Cross and local housing providers for extra assistance. Water pumps from other crews in the county were also used. The fire service was still being called out on Wednesday morning to flooding, one restaurant owner in Tunbridge Wells arrived at their business in Mount Pleasant Road to find it partially under water. The storms come as flash floods also hit parts of the South West with heavy rain sending a 4ft torrent of water through a Cornish village. In Herne Bay a house was struck by lightning, damaging the roof, and at 03:00 East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was called out to the Three Ponds Industrial Estate, on the outskirts of Newhaven, following another lightning strike which developed into a fire. There were no reports of anyone being hurt.
20th
North Korea is facing severe food shortages after being hit by its worst drought since 2001, a report from the United Nations says. Crop production in the country has been hampered by a prolonged dry period and food imports are now urgently required to fill the gap, the UN has warned. The most vulnerable, such as children and the elderly, will be worst hit. In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are believed to have died during a widespread famine. The latest drought is serious, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday, because bilateral food aid to the country has dramatically fallen in recent years.
22nd
A ferocious storm has buffeted the lower South Island of New Zealand overnight, with three states of emergency declared in Christchurch, Timaru and Otago and the city of Dunedin accessible only by air. The southern city of 120,000 people was cut off by road after major landslips blocked access. Small coastal communities on the Otago Penninsula are also cut off. More than 200 troops from the New Zealand army were deployed to assist with civil emergency efforts as the rain continued to hammer down. Livestock in Canterbury and Otago were urgently being moved to higher ground with numerous rivers rising to near historic levels and threatening to burst their banks. It is the second largest flood of the Taieri River in Otago on record. Overnight and on Saturday morning hundreds of people were evacuated from low-lying homes in Dunedin, Timaru and the wider Otago and Clutha region, with civil defence in Otago improvising ways to close roads after they ran out of flood warning signs. Nine people were rescued by the army overnight in Mosgiel after their cars became stuck in rapidly rising flood waters and hypothermia was beginning to set in when they were located. The Heathcote River in Christchurch burst its banks and Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel declared a state of emergency just before midday, with the army sending more than 100 troops north from Oamaru to assist with possible evacuations. In Christchurch and Dunedin several wastewater pumping stations were unable to keep up with the deluge and contaminated wastewater flowed onto city streets. In the last 24 hours the Metservice recorded more than 220 mm of rain on the hills north of Dunedin, 162 mm in Oamaru and 104 mm in Ashburton.
24th
More than a million residents of Rome are facing water rationing for up to eight hours a day as the prolonged heatwave that has ravaged southern Europe takes its toll on the Italian capital. Some businesses are already reporting sporadic disruption to their supply, while last month mayor Virginia Raggi turned off thousands of the city’s public drinking fountains in an effort to save water as the drought set in. Officials from the Italian utility Acea, the Lazio region that contains Rome, and the environment ministry will meet this week to discuss the possibility of rationing the water supply to about half of the city’s 3 million residents. Lazio’s governor, Nicola Zingaretti, has ordered that a ban on drawing water from drought-hit Lake Bracciano, which lies about 40 km from the capital and supplies some of its water, will come into force on 28 July. Consequences of the drought in Italy include
26th
Incessant rain continued to lash Gujarat on Wednesday, worsening a grim situation in the state’s northern region where tens of thousands of people were marooned by one of the worst floods in recent times. Several flights were diverted from Ahmedabad on Wednesday with floods damaging parts of the runway, officials said. Gujarat and Rajasthan are reeling under massive floods, the latest states in the country to face monsoon fury in India where such natural disasters are common through the rainy season. At least 90 people have been killed in the two states, 82 of them in Gujarat alone, since the monsoon moved into western India in the early part of this month. Officials in Ahmedbad said rescue workers of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and army personnel struggled to reach people in the worst-affected Banaskantha and Patan districts where more than 5000 houses in 800-odd villages are under water. So far, more than 50,000 people in the two districts have been rescued in the two districts.
26th
Summer wildfires are once again blazing across southern Europe, forcing the evacuation of 12,000 people on France’s Mediterranean cost and devouring swaths of forests as far afield as Corsica, Portugal, Italy and Albania. Authorities in the CÃŽte d’Azur region decided to move people out of tents, campsites and holiday homes around the hilltop town of Bormes-les-Mimosas after a fire broke out in the surrounding forests on Tuesday. Some of the 12,000 people displaced by the flames sheltered in gymnasiums, village halls and schools while others huddled on local beaches. On Tuesday, more than 4,000 firefighters and troops backed by 19 water-bombers had already been mobilised to extinguish the flames. At least 12 firefighters have been injured and 15 police officers affected by smoke inhalation since the fires broke out on Monday, according to the authorities. With strong winds and dry brush creating a dangerous mix, the government asked its European partners to send two extra firefighting planes – a request immediately fulfilled by Italy, according to the EU. The airport in Toulon, a city 40 km from Bormes-les-Mimosas, was briefly closed on Wednesday, as well the Fort de Brégançon, which sits on a rock off the coast of Bormes. The wildfires began raging along France’s Mediterranean coast two days ago, forcing smaller, scattered evacuations, with flames reaching a corner of Saint-Tropez. Further south, flames ate through 2,000 hectares of forest on the northern end of Corsica. In Portugal, more than 2,000 firefighters were battling nine major wildfires on Wednesday, with drought conditions, high temperatures and strong winds fuelling the flames. Another 1,000 firefighters were conducting mopping-up operations at 37 different Portuguese woodland blazes. Ash floated in the air and vast plumes of smoke covered areas of central Portugal, in the area around Serta, about 200 km north-east of Lisbon. The Civil Protection Agency said 24 water-dropping aircraft were in action. Serta is close to Pedrógão Grande, where 64 people died in a wildfire last month. No injuries have been reported in recent days as the blazes raced through thick eucalyptus and pine forests. Large wildfires are a common occurrence in summer in Portugal, where thousands of firefighters are on duty in the hottest months. In Italy, where fires have raged for weeks, firefighters responded to 26 requests for water and fire retardant air drops on Tuesday, throughout central and southern Italy, including Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia, Lazio and Puglia. The Coldiretti agriculture lobby said 50 billion bees were destroyed along with their hives in fires on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Coldiretti said another 20% of the bee population is estimated to have become disoriented and died as a result. Albania’s interior ministry said 130 firefighters were battling 18 fire spots around the country on Wednesday.
27th
Typhoon Nesat has affected the Philippines, leaving at least 16 people dead, with the capital Manila enduring waist-deep floods, blackouts and dramatic storm surges. The Philippines is hit by about 20 major storms annually, many of them deadly, but the government said Nesat was one of the strongest the country had faced this year, with its rain and wind path twice as big as average. "This storm is very intense, the rain is strong and winds are powerful ... we are hearing of rivers about to burst their banks, and there are evacuations ongoing in different areas," civil defence chief Benito Ramos told the AFP news agency on Tuesday. More than 100 other people were rescued, including fishermen whose boats capsized in rough seas after ignoring warnings not to set sail, he said. Nesat slammed into the main island of Luzon before dawn, bringing maximum sustained winds of up to 140 km/h and gusts of 170 km/h. It later weakened while slicing through Luzon, but dumped heavy rains throughout the day across the whole island that is home to about 48 million people.
27th
A severe summer storm in Istanbul has left at least three people injured, with heavy rain, hail and strong winds knocking down trees and a stone wall and flooding streets in the Turkish city. The NTV television channel said part of a stone wall surrounding a cemetery for the Christian Armenian community had been demolished in Thursday’s storm, hurting two people. Winds also toppled a large crane that landed on oil barrels at a port, causing an explosion and a fire, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. At least one person was injured in the fire, which was later brought under control. A small depot also caught fire after being hit by lightning. Heavy rainfall disrupted the evening rush hour traffic, stranding vehicles in flooded streets. Delays were reported at Istanbul’s main airport and some planes were diverted to other airports. Huge hailstones (the size of golfballs) damaged windows and car windshields. It is the second time in 10 days that the metropolis has been hit by weather-related disruption.
28th-29th
A rare summer rainstorm triggered significant flooding from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to New Jersey spanning Friday to Saturday. As early as late Friday morning, some suburbs around Washington, D.C., started experiencing flash flooding. Heavy and slow-moving storms caused flooded roadways in Montgomery County, Maryland. According to emergency managers, water rescues were needed for trapped vehicles in floodwaters. Several roads were also closed in Baltimore due to high water on Friday evening after a band of heavy rain moved over the city, a 911 call centre reported. The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore's Inner Harbor received over 100 mm of rain in 24 hours, with most of the rain falling during Friday evening and overnight.
29th
Taiwan suffered flooding, widespread power outages and winds of over a hundred miles and hour as it was battered by its first typhoon of the year on Saturday. Much of the island came to a standstill, with most train services suspended and as many as 249,230 households without electricity as Typhoon Nesat - packing gusts of up to 180 km/h - blasted across the country. The storm made landfall at 1110 GMT in the eastern Yilan county, whipping up massive waves of over 15 m. Taiwan's weather bureau warned of torrential rain in the eastern and southern counties, with the tropical storm expected to dump as much as 900 mm of rain.

World weather news, June 2017

1st-2nd
Two people are dead after moisture from former-Tropical Cyclone Mora led to quick-hitting torrential rainfall and major flooding in northern Taiwan on Friday. Out of the 163 mm of rain that inundated Taipei on Friday, 120 mm fell in just two hours, according to data from Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. Flooding quickly swamped the area and turned streets into rivers, including in Taipei. Flooded tracks disrupted rail traffic. Torrential rainfall continued through Saturday as portions of the country received additional rainfall of over 600 mm. Two-day rainfall totals neared 1200 mm at Nantianchi in Taoyuan District. Schools and universities were forced to close. More than 300 flights were delayed at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport on Friday.
4th
A Highland Games in a north-east village in Scotland had to be abandoned after a "mini tornado" swept through the site. Villagers in Cornhill, near Banff, had been enjoying the annual event at the playing fields on Saturday afternoon. After a spell of "beautiful" sunshine, the storm blew in, wreaking havoc on the park and lifting the first aid tent over a marquee and into the arena. No-one was seriously hurt, but the games secretary Shona Hay said the noise was terrifying.
6th
Power has been restored to some properties in south Wales after hundreds were affected by cuts caused by strong winds and rain. Western Power Distribution said Monmouthshire had been worst hit, with more than 450 customers affected at the height of the problem. Rhondda Cynon Taff, Carmarthenshire, Caerphilly, Newport, Blaenau Gwent and Powys are also affected. ScottishPower has restored power to about 200 homes in Porthmadog, Gwynedd. The properties had been without power since 10:00 BST on Tuesday. They lost power due to an overhead line fault which engineers are working to fix. Meanwhile, firefighters rescued a man and a woman stranded in the middle of a swollen river near Waunfawr, Gwynedd, at 06:00 on Tuesday. The two campers had to be rescued after their tent washed away and they were left stranded on a small patch of land. The A482 Aberaeron to Ciliau Aeron in Ceredigion was shut due to a fallen tree but has since reopened Elsewhere, high winds and fallen trees caused problems on some roads. One lane was closed on the Severn Bridge to protect vehicles from being blown into adjacent lanes. In Vale of Glamorgan, part of the A4050 was closed after a tree fell on an ambulance near Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School in Barry. A section of the A483 in Carmarthenshire was also closed in both directions due to a fallen tree near Sugar Loaf Mountain, between Llandovery and Llanwrtyd Wells. A driver was killed after a tree fell and landed on his car following high winds. The man was driving through Odiham, Hampshire, on the A287 when the tree collapsed at 07:17 BST.
6th-7th
A 42-year-old driver died after a tree hit his car as high winds and rain swept across parts of Scotland. The accident happened on the A85, two miles east of Gilmerton, Perthshire, at about 20:00 h.. Heavy rain overnight has led to flooding across Aberdeenshire and Moray, with people rescued and homes evacuated in the village of Portsoy.
6th
Almost 3,500 people in Uruguay have had to leave their homes after heavy rains caused flooding in large parts of the South American country. The worst affected area is the north-western province of Salto, on the border with Argentina, where almost 2,000 people were evacuated. The provinces of Paysandú and Artigas have also been hit. Uruguay's defence minister said the army, navy and air force were helping with the evacuation. More heavy rains have been forecast for the coming days and the authorities fear the Uruguay river could rise further, putting more towns at risk. Some residents who had to flee their homes have been sheltering in temporary accommodation, while others are staying with relatives or friends in drier areas.
7th
Eight people were killed when a storm lashed the South African city of Cape Town following months of drought. Among the dead is a family of four killed in a fire started by lightning, officials say. Thousands of people have been left homeless. The storm comes two weeks after the region declared a drought disaster. It is the worst winter storm for 30 years, according to the South African Weather Service, while local media have dubbed it "the mother of all storms". Schools and universities have shut, roofs were blown off and shelters have been opened for those left destitute. Fallen trees have caused roads to close across Cape Town Many people have been injured by flying debris. Residents of the city's many shanty towns have been worst hit as their fragile homes have been unable to resist the strong winds and heavy rain. In May, the Western Cape province declared a drought disaster after two reservoirs had completely dried up. It was said to have been the region's worst drought in more than a century. Several other southern African nations were also affected by the two-year drought, which was caused by the El Nino phenomenon. However, many parts of the region are now experiencing bumper maize harvests.
8th
Nearly 10,000 residents have been displaced in South Africa by the deadly blazes fanned by the strongest winter storm in recent years to strike the region continue to rage. While Cape Town endured the brunt of flooding rain, the storm's strong winds fanned fires in the Eden District of South Africa's Southern Cape. Western Cape Government reported that nearly 10,000 residents of the Eden district have been displaced as fires swept through roughly 20 suburbs of Knysna and the surrounding area Wednesday into Thursday. "At least 300 structures have been totally destroyed, with many more still in danger," a press release from the government stated.
12th
An unusually strong and cold low pressure system caused several daily low temperatures and precipitation records to be set on Monday, June 12, 2017 across central and northern Nevada. On the same day, state's mountainous regions received an estimated 6 - 12 inches of snow. The rare, winter-like storm brought sharp temperature drops, heavy rain, hail, frequent lightning, and even snow. Measurable snow was recorded at Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, on the border of California and Nevada. According to NWS Reno, this is something that happens in June about every 5 to 10 years.
13th-14th
At least 14 people have died after heavy rains caused severe damage and flooding in several parts of West African country of Niger. The country's rainy season lasts from June to September and peaks in July and August. Heavy rains that started affecting parts of Niger on 13 June caused severe damage and flooding, mainly in the capital Niamey, and the region of Tillabéri. Flooding was also reported in the Maradi and Zinder regions. According to government sources, at least 14 people have died, 456 households have been affected and as many as 395 homes have collapsed as a result of heavy rain and floods.
15th-19th
Intense rains and snowstorms affecting central and southern Chile left at least 4 people dead, 3 000 homeless, more than 45 000 customers without power and nearly 10 000 without drinking water. Most of those displaced live in the southern region of Biobio, where rivers overflowed and 34 000 lost power. A number of residents in the city of Curanilahue have lost their homes, cars and businesses to flooding. According to Chile's emergency service Onemi, the storms left 4 people dead. In Valparaiso, 15 people were affected and 3 houses sustained major damage. In Juan Fernandez, 4 houses suffered heavy roof damage. In Santiago Metropolitan Region, 1 person died, 21 were affected and 4 houses suffered major damage.
18th
Authorities have warned that an intensifying heatwave in south-western US states could put lives in jeopardy among the elderly, the infirm and the homeless, and among migrants seeking to enter the country. Temperatures in Phoenix, Arizona, are likely to peak at 120F (48.8C) on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), which issued an excessive heat warning that will remain in effect until Thursday. As temperatures rose this week, US border patrol said it was stepping up warnings to migrants attempting to cross into the US via the Sonoran Desert. The agency's Yuma Sector said its search, trauma and rescue team was on high alert. "It is physically impossible for the average person to carry enough water to survive several days of walking through the desert," an agency statement said. In Tucson on Saturday, daytime highs topped 105F (40.5C) for a third straight day, with 110F (43.3C) expected on Sunday and 115F (46.1C) from Monday through to Wednesday. That five-day stretch of intense heat would narrowly miss a record set in June 1994, when at least 110F was recorded on six straight days.
18th
A powerful multi-vortex tornado hit the small Russian village of Pesyanoye, just south of the city of Kurgan in the Mokrousovsky District of Kurgan Oblast. The event was accompanied by heavy rain, strong winds and large hail. According to available information, the tornado hit around 1800 h local time, almost completely destroying the village. Several people were injured but there are no reports of casualties.
19th
A multi-vehicle pile-up on the Interstate-10 West in Lordsburg, near the Arizona - New Mexico border, late in the day, resulted in deaths of at least 6 people. The chain-reaction crash happened near milepost 11 and is being attributed to high winds and a dust storm, the New Mexico State Police said. Preliminary information from the investigation indicates that 18 commercial motor vehicles and seven passenger cars were involved. At least 6 people were killed and several injured.
21st
The UK is basking in its hottest June day in 41 years, with a temperature of 34.5C (94F) recorded at Heathrow. The Met Office reading at the London airport is the highest in June since the mercury hit 35.6 (96F) in 1976 - the all-time high since records began. The heatwave has seen five days in a row during which temperatures in parts of the UK have topped 30C. But weather warnings have also been issued for rain, with thunderstorms expected in some areas.
21st
The first day of summer brought some of the worst heat the south-west US has seen in years, forcing flights to be cancelled, straining the power grid and making life miserable for workers toiling in temperatures that reached 120F or higher in some desert cities. Arizona, Nevada and California saw dramatic temperatures Tuesday as researchers say deadly heat waves like this one were going to grow more frequent. Meteorologists in Phoenix said Tuesday evening the temperature topped out at 119F, which has only been matched or surpassed four other times. The forecast called for a high of 120F - nearly 49C - in Phoenix, which the city hasn't seen in more than two decades. Death Valley, California, reached 125F and Palm Springs hit 121F, still a degree lower than the same day last year. With the cooling and hydration stations in full swing across the region, hundreds flocked to Grace Lutheran Church in Phoenix for water, meals, snacks and refuge. "We have homeless people come from a long way to sit here," said longtime volunteer Moses Elder. "There are other spots where you can go get cold water and sit down and cool off, but there are few places you can lay down and get something to eat." Phoenix has hit 120 only three times in recorded history - the last time 22 years ago. The record high was 122 degrees on 26 June 1990. The weather comes as new research found that nearly one in three people now experience 20 days a year when the heat reaches deadly levels. The study of almost 2,000 deadly heat waves worldwide since 1980 was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. In addition to grounding more than 40 flights of smaller planes, airlines have been taking other measures on larger jets to reduce their weight. An American Airlines spokesman, Ross Feinstein, said the carrier began limiting sales on some flights to prevent the planes from exceeding maximum weight for safe takeoff in the hot conditions.
22nd
iolent thunderstorms hit Germany, producing gale-force winds, heavy rain and large hail. The storms caused widespread damage and traffic chaos, killed two people and severely injured at least one person. The first set of storms marched through the country during the early morning hours, damaging power lines and rail tracks, thus forcing trains to be halted between Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Kiel, and Hanover. Regional train provider Metronom said its services in the northwest were also affected after storms downed trees onto the tracks in several places. The storms also affected and temporarily closed some of the busiest road routes connecting Hamburg with Berlin, Hanover and Wolfsburg. Deutsche Welle reported that some planes departing overnight from Berlin were grounded at both of the capital's airports amid heavy rain. Those stranded at Tegel and Schönefeld airport were given blankets and water, while camper beds were also set up. At Schönefeld Airport normal service was expected to resume at around 09:00 local time. However, a speaker for the airport warned of potential further delays and urged travelers to check the status of their flight before departing for the airport. The fire department was called to help in 250 different incidents in and around the major port city of Hamburg, while the eastern city of Magdeburg lost power in some areas after it was hit by a severe downburst. A severe downburst also hit Harburg County, near the city of Hamburg, at around 1130 CET, causing considerable damage. "A 50-year-old man was killed when his car was struck by a tree in the town of Uelzen in Lower Saxony. Meanwhile, an 83-year-old woman died at Gifhorn, also in Lower Saxony, after her car hit a tree that had been blown across the street in strong gales. A cyclist was also severely injured by another tree nearby as the atypical weather pattern hit the region," Deutsche Welle reported.
22nd
Wildfires that killed 64 people in Portugal have been brought under control, firefighters have said, as the government insisted it was still too early to say whether the disaster could have been handled better. Portugal's worst forest fire broke out on Saturday in the central municipality of Pedrógão Grande before spreading to neighbouring areas including Góis, Pampilhosa da Serra and Arganil. Many of those who died were killed in their cars as they tried to flee the flames, which also injured more than 250 people. The fire in Pedrógão Grande, which ravaged 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of forest, was only doused late on Wednesday after firefighters contended with searing heat and rapidly shifting winds. "Higher humidity levels and lower temperatures allowed the firefighters to contain the fire and extinguish the remaining hotspots which had briefly broken out," Antonio Ribeiro, who led the Pedrógão operations, said on Thursday.
25th
More than 100 people were feared dead after a landslide buried more than 100 villagers in south-west China's Sichuan province. Chinese state media said more than 60 homes were covered in rock and mud in Xinmo, a remote village in north Sichuan. The debris slid half a mile down a steep slope to block a stretch of river and of road, according to Xinhua. A rescue effort was launched involving more than 1,000 workers. Xinhua, quoting rescue headquarters, said 15 bodies were retrieved on Saturday, with 120 more people believed to have been buried. The state broadcaster, CCTV, reported three people were pulled alive from the rubble: a couple and their two-month-old baby. Another child from the same family remained buried. Photos from the official People's Daily showed rescuers working into the night using using torches and trying to hear anyone trapped beneath the rubble. Water thick with mud flowed over the site, submerging a car pushed from the road, while police and residents pulled on ropes to try to dislodge large boulders.
25th-26th
Tropical Storm Dora continued strengthening near the southwestern coast of Mexico after forming early on the 25th and by 0900 GMT on the 26th became a hurricane, the first of the 2017 Pacific hurricane season.
28th
At least two people were injured and dozens of homes damaged as severe storms accompanied by tornadoes and large hail swept through the US states of Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, and Wisconsin on Wednesday afternoon, June 28, 2017. The NWS Storm Prediction Center received reports of 27 tornadoes, most of them in Iowa. In the Des Moines area, a severe thunderstorm marched into the metro during the evening rush hour, dumping rain and hail, The Des Moines Register reports. Particularly in Clive, West Des Moines, Waukee and Van Meter, residents reported seeing golf ball-sized hail and larger. June 29th The temperature reached 53.7C in Ahvaz, Iran, according to Etienne Kapikian from Meteo France. If verified it is the highest temperature on record in Iran. Iran’s previous hottest temperature was 53.0.

World weather news, May 2017

8th
Four people are missing after some of the worst flooding in decades in parts of Canada. In the eastern province of Quebec, police are searching for a man and a toddler who were swept away after their car swerved into a river. In British Columbia (BC), on the other side of the country, rescue crews are searching for two men, including a fire chief who went missing late on Friday. Flooding has also affected the provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick. With heavy rains persisting and waters still rising over much of waterlogged eastern Canada, the nation's military tripled the number of troops urgently working to evacuate thousands of residents Quebec's deluge has been caused by a combination of melting snow and much heavier than average spring rainfall in April and May. Federal civil servants were told to stay home on Monday to help keep roads clear for emergency vehicles. Federal government offices located in Gatineau, on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, were closed on Monday. Flood levels in the Ottawa River are stabilising in the region though it will take several days for the water to recede to normal levels, despite light snowfall on Monday morning. David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, said the spring rainfall in the flooded regions is historic. "We've had anywhere in eastern Canada of two to three times the (normal) amount of rain, and breaking records by a long shot," he said. Since 1 April, Montreal alone received 232 mm of rain. Mr Phillips said the average for the city is 86 mm. The previous record was 162 mm.
8th
A severe thunderstorm hit Denver (Colorado) with large hail, causing damage and travel delays across the city. Roads looked as if they were covered in snow due to the amount of hail that fell. Hail as large as tennis balls was reported around Denver, smashing car windows, stripping trees of leaves and damaging some houses. Travellers taking to the air were also impacted by the hailstorm with over 150 flight delays reported at Denver International Airport, according to FlightStats.
9th
Three people were killed after an avalanche struck near the French ski resort of Bonneval-sur-Arc. The avalanche struck around noon, local time, engulfing two men and one woman in deep snow. The victims were traversing the Vallonet glacier. The area had been placed under a yellow alert for avalanches due to mild weather which can destabilize the snowpack.
11th
The official start of the eastern Pacific hurricane season is 15 May, but the first tropical system of the year has already formed. An area of showers and thunderstorms rapidly organized on Tuesday, becoming the earliest tropical depression and tropical storm on record in the eastern Pacific Ocean since reliable data began in 1966. The previous record for the earliest tropical depression was on May 12, 1990. This depression strengthened to Tropical Storm Alma on May 14. Strong winds high in the atmosphere have caused Adrian to since weaken back down to a tropical depression. A hostile environment may cause the storm to weaken further into the weekend.
18th
https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/wmo-determines-highest-death-tolls-from-tropical-cyclones-tornadoes-lightning: WMO news item on deadliest weather events in history. Some details:
18th
Late-season snow fell across parts of Colorado and Wyoming this week, burying some communities with several feet of snow. Several road closures are in effect in southeast Wyoming. On Thursday night, Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 30 from Laramie to Cheyenne, Wyoming, were closed in both directions due to the heavy snow. One of the highest snowfall totals reported was in Ward, Colorado, were 38.2 inches was measured early Friday morning.
27th
Severe thunderstorms caused significant damage from the central Plains through the mid-Mississippi and Tennessee River valleys during the start of Memorial Day weekend. The majority of damage occurred from very large hail which smashed windows and dented vehicles. In some locations, the size of the hail was as large as softballs. Two people were reported dead and another missing after their car was found in Branson, Missouri, on Sunday following severe flooding. Officials believe the car drove into rushing water the day before. High wind gusts up to 70 mph further damaged communities by snapping large trees and triggering widespread power outages. More than 760 wind and hail reports poured in during Saturday and Saturday night, with the worst of the thunderstorms occurring over Oklahoma, Missouri and Tennessee, according to the National Weather Service. A total of eight tornadoes touched down in Missouri and Oklahoma. Only one tornado was confirmed on Saturday, but storm survey teams assessing damage on Sunday confirmed another seven tornadoes touched down. Fortunately, most of the tornadoes were only briefly on the ground and no injuries have been reported. Over 75,000 were still without power across Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee early on Sunday morning.
28th
Landslides and floods in Sri Lanka have killed at least 151 people and the country faces the risk of more mudslides as torrential rains continue. More than 100 people are still missing after the worst rains in the Indian Ocean island since 2003. The state-run National Building Research Organization warned people in seven out of the country's 25 districts on Sunday to evacuate from unstable slopes if rains continued for the next 24 hours. People in the town of Agalawatte said they were losing hope of water levels falling soon. 'All access to our village is cut off. A landslide took place inside the village and several houses are buried. But nobody could go to that place,' resident Mohomed Abdulla told Reuters. Agalawatte, a town in western coastal district of Kalutara, 74km from the capital, Colombo, has recorded 47 deaths and 62 people are missing. Rescue efforts are hampered by lack of drinking water, lack of electricity and continued rain. Reuters witnessed some people stranded on the upper floors of their homes and some houses were flooded up to roof level. Civilians and relief officials, sailing in boats, distributed food, water and other essentials. Sri Lanka has already appealed for international assistance from the United Nations and neighbouring countries. Some areas in the southern coastal district of Galle, popular with foreign tourists, have not received relief materials because of a lack of access.
29th
At least 14 people were injured in Sampson County, North Carolina, on Monday night after severe storms caused widespread damage. At least 10-15 homes were damaged or destroyed, and several barns were also significantly damaged, according to emergency management officials. 'Considerable damage' was reported north of the town of Salemburg through the Kitty Fork and Keener area of the county, according to Samson County officials. Salemburg is located about 30 minutes east of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Officials said there were numerous reports of trees down and power outages. They also cautioned that transportation could be limited in the area. A National Weather Service storm survey found winds to be in excess of 70 mph, throughout the damage path, which extended five miles wide. There were also some localized wind gusts around 80-90 mph.
29th
Sixteen people were killed when a severe thunderstorm hit Moscow and the region around the Russian capital on Monday. Hundreds of trees were toppled, and about 150 people needed medical help. It was the deadliest storm in the city for more than 100 years, Russia's Interfax news agency reported. The winds of up to 110 km/h were described by meteorologists as extremely rare for the city, and caused structural damage to buildings. Electrical cables were reportedly damaged as Moscow was lashed with high winds, hail and torrential rain. The city's investigative committee said that "hurricane winds" had blown down trees across the city, killing five pedestrians. The roof of the Kremlin Senate was damaged by the storm. On Tuesday, the authorities raised the death toll to 16, saying that 11 people were killed in the capital and five in the Moscow region.
30th
The Bangladeshi navy says it is searching for dozens of fishermen still missing after a powerful storm. Cyclone Mora, which brought high winds and torrential rain, killed seven people and destroyed thousands of homes when it hit on Tuesday. The areas around Cox's Bazar and Chittagong, along the border with Myanmar, bore the brunt of the storm. Camps on the border housing thousands of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were badly damaged. Fishing vessels were ordered back to port as the storm approached, but a local fishing industry representative said about 150 people were missing.

World weather news, April 2017

1st
In Colombia the southern city of Mocoa was engulfed on Saturday by a huge landslide of mud, rocks and gushing waters that swept away homes and cars and killed more than 250 people (the known total as of late n the 2nd). A spokesman for the local power utility said it could take two weeks to restore energy in the area. Without power, gas or telephone service and with little clean water, about 600 survivors spent Sunday in makeshift shelters, on high alert for any further rainfall that could trigger another mudslide. The disaster struck in the early hours of Saturday when the rushing waters of the Mocoa river and its tributaries converged on the capital of Putumayo province, catching many people by surprise as they slept. The tragedy was due to excessive rainfall; the accumulated rainfall in one night was almost half the amount Mocoa normally receives in the entire month of March.
1st
Authorities are concerned four missing people may have fallen victim to floodwaters brought on by ex-cyclone Debbie in Queensland, Australia. Landslides have made it difficult for police, who have had to bring in bobcats to clear roads before searching on foot. The Logan river peaked at 10 metres at Waterford, Logan about 1.40pm on Saturday, matching levels last seen 43 years ago. But it still fell short of a predicted 10.5-metre peak. While the 1974 levels remain unsurpassed, Logan mayor Luke Smith says the area has still experienced the biggest river peaks the city has seen since those devastating floods. Eagleby and Beenleigh - where the Albert and Logan rivers meet - are the most vulnerable areas and people have been forced to evacuate since Friday.
1st-2nd
Severe storms plagued much of the southern United States this weekend, killing two. Violent storms swept from Texas into the Mississippi Valley over the weekend. Several tornadoes were confirmed in Louisiana and Mississippi. In Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, one storm produced a tornado that flipped a mobile home, killing a mother and her 3-year-old daughter on Sunday. The tornado was classified as an EF1 with peak winds at 110 mph and traveling for nearly a mile. Heavy rain inundated much of the region, resulting in flooding and slow travel. More than 9 inches of rain fell in Fullerton, Louisiana, throughout Sunday, more than twice the average precipitation for all of April (4.17 inches). Through Sunday morning, at least 22,000 Oncor customers lost power in Texas as storms swept through the area. Fallen power lines and downed trees were also reported. Strong winds tore off roofs in some areas. Out of the 11 tornado reports on Sunday, most were in Louisiana. There were about 100 wind damage reports and dozens of hail reports across the south-central region.
5th
The remnants of former Cyclone Debbie caused chaos across New Zealand on Wednesday, with floods, landslides, blackouts and more. Areas were forced to evacuate and roads were closed as the deluge battered the country, and Kaikoura was even cut off overnight. More than 100 mm of rain fell in the Kaikoura district over the 36 hours to Wednesday evening, causing a mudslide on State Highway 1, south of Kaikoura. The area would remain closed until at least 7am on Thursday after rock-filled containers were pushed over the edge of the road. SH56 at Opiki, near Palmerston North, was closed by flooding, while a stretch of SH25 north of Thames was closed because of multiple slips. A section of SH15, between Whangarei and Kaikohe, was closed because of flooding. SH30 was closed northeast of Rotorua by a large slip, while flooding closed SH34 between Edgecumbe and Te Teko. More than a hundred schools, as well as 92 early childhood education centres, closed their doors on Wednesday due to the weather. All schools in the Whanganui and Rangitikei districts shut their doors, after states of emergency were declared. More than 13,000 students were affected by the closures.
6th
A 'once in 500-year' flood is swallowing up large parts of the east coast of New Zealand, as the tail-end of ex-cyclone Debbie sweeps east after devastating large parts of Australia. States of emergency have been declared in numerous regions in the North Island, after rivers burst their banks following two days of heavy rain and gale-force winds. Thousands of people have been evacuated in the Bay of Plenty, on the east coast of the North Island, and welfare centres established to feed and house those whose homes are now under water. The town of Edgecumbe appears to be the worst affected, with brown water up to two metres high engulfing the town, after the Rangitaiki river burst its banks on Thursday morning. The New Zealand Defence Force and Red Cross has arrived to provide relief and assistance to local authorities, who have been working non-stop for days, sandbagging properties and key infrastructure, and clearing debris from roads to make way for emergency vehicles. Power outages, major landslides and roads are closed right across the North Island, including in Auckland, which received a month's worth of rain in 24 hours, and where many roads remain closed due to surface flooding. Numerous flights out of Wellington, Auckland and regional North Island centres have also been delayed or diverted due to the conditions, with passengers bunking down in the airport after being unable to find accommodation in the city.
8th-10th
Cyclone Cook formed in the south-western Pacific Ocean on the 8th, close to the island of Vanuatu. In a favourable environment of warm sea surface temperatures and low environmental wind shear, the cyclone intensified into a Category 3 storm as it made landfall in New Caledonia on the 10th. Both islands were severely impacted by the storm, which brought strong winds of up to 180 km/h and flooding rains of up to 400 mm to parts of New Caledonia. The heavy rains increased the risk of landslides in the island's mountainous interior. New Caledonia had not experienced a direct hit from a tropical cyclone since Cyclone Erica in 2003.
13th
Cyclone Cook has struck New Zealand with power cuts, fallen trees and landslides reported around much of the central and eastern North Island, which bore the brunt of the storm. Cook, which forecasters feared could be the worst storm to strike New Zealand in decades, made landfall just after 6pm local time but by then many coastal villages were abandoned as five-metre swells combined with high tide and smashed against the deserted shoreline. Schools and offices closed in Auckland at about lunchtime as civil defence staff urged residents to leave the city immediately and remain at home. Extra public transport was laid on for the thousands of people escaping the city. By late afternoon, however, the MetService said Cook had just bypassed New Zealand's largest and most populated city, and the weather warning was dropped. Further south in the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty regions, power remains out in tens of thousands of homes, and gale-force winds have been reported. Although flooding on Thursday was less severe than anticipated, hundreds of trees have fallen, and police said many roads had been closed in the North Island. Many rural communities on the east coast have prepared to be cut off for up to three days, and have laid in supplies of emergency food and survival gear to wait out the cyclone. Helicopters and emergency teams would set out at first light to check on isolated farms and communities, civil defence said.
19th
A cold spell sweeping across central Europe has brought snow back to some countries including Germany, Poland and Slovakia. Most of Romania is shivering under sub-zero temperatures and winds exceeding 70 km/h, and the mountainous regions have been blanketed in snow. In eastern Ukraine, a white coat, 30 cm thick in some areas, has covered the early spring blossoms. In Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, the weight of the snow pulled down trees and electric supply lines, leaving over a thousand homes without any power. In Switzerland too, more than 20 cm of snow has fallen in two days, and the freezing temperatures are starting to worry farmers and winegrowers alike.
19th-20th
The first subtropical depression of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season formed on Wednesday and became fully tropical Thursday. The system is running out of time to become Tropical Storm Arlene. A depression has a cyclonic circular motion with surface winds under 39 mph. A subtropical depression or storm has both tropical and non-tropical characteristics. Tropical storm formation over the Atlantic basin is very rare during the months of January, February, March and April. There has been only one tropical storm on record during April from 1851 to 2016, according to the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory.
20th
Today marked the hottest April day for New Delhi since 2010. Temperatures soared to 43.2C at Safdarjung Airport and 44.9C at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Safdarjung, which is located closer to downtown New Delhi, has not recorded a temperature that high since the middle of April 2010.
25th
Intense rainfall led to flooding in parts of the Carolinas this week. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the rain was "like we haven't seen since Hurricane Matthew." Road closures and water rescues were reported in eastern portions of the state on Tuesday. Raleigh recorded 4.51 inches of rain on Monday alone, making it the wettest April day in the city's history. In Elkin, North Carolina, the Yadkin River approached moderate flood stage after rising from nearly 5 feet to 20 feet from Sunday night into Monday. Moderate to major flooding were forecast to persist along area rivers for a week.
26th
Record rain fell in parts of northeastern India and Bangladesh. Silchar recorded more than 100 mm within a 24-hour period on Tuesday, marking the highest April 24-hour rainfall in decades. Locations in Bangladesh have received 250-500 mm of rain over the past week alone.
26th
An unusual snowfall occurred in Munich and parts of southern Germany this week. Snow coated Munich and surrounding areas, when temperatrures are normally around 15C at this time of year. The German Weather Service recorded temperatures as low as 0C and heavy snowfall around Munich and southern Allgau.
29th
At least 13 people have been killed by tornadoes and flooding in the south and midwest of the USA, including a two-year-old girl who died after being hit by a falling soccer goalpost in Tennessee. Tornadoes hit several small towns in east Texas, killing four people. Three people were killed by flooding and winds in Arkansas, with officials saying two small children were missing. In Missouri two people were killed by flood waters and two fatalities were reported in Mississippi, one of whom was a seven-year-old boy electrocuted after unplugging a golf cart. Flooding closed part of Interstate 44 near Hazelgreen, Missouri, and officials expected it would be at least a day before the highway reopened. Interstate 70 in western Kansas was closed because crews were waiting for snow falling at three to four inches an hour being blown by 35mph winds to subside. Rescuers in north-west Arkansas continued on Sunday to look for an 18-month-old girl and a four-year-old boy who were in a vehicle swept off a bridge by floodwaters in Hindsville, the Madison county sheriff's office said. Fifty-six people were treated at three hospitals and six remained hospitalized on Sunday morning, two in critical condition, ETMC Regional Health Care Systems spokeswoman Rebecca Berkley said. The National Weather Service confirmed at least three tornadoes swept through parts of three counties, with two of the twisters tracking nearly the entire south-to-north length of Van Zandt county. The first reports of tornadoes came about 4.45pm on Saturday but emergency crews were hampered by continuing severe weather, Kirkpatrick said. "We'd be out there working and get a report of another tornado on the ground," he said.
29th
Beijing had the hottest April day in at least 19 years with the temperature soaring up to 33.1C. This was the hottest day in April in Beijing since 1951, Sina News, a popular news portal in Mandarin, reported. According to the weather observatory, it was only the hottest since 27 April 1998, when 33C was reached.

World weather news, March 2017

1st
Three skiers were killed and another five were injured after an avalanche struck the northern Italian Alps. The incident occurred near the Italian ski resort of Courmayeur around midday local time. An official with the national alpine rescue corps said the group had been back-country skiing. Around 8 inches of snow reportedly fell on Tuesday at Courmayeur but no additional snow was reported on Wednesday.
1st
Tornadoes ripped through the midwestern United States causing destruction in many communities late on Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday night. A preliminary rating of EF3 or greater is expected with the storm damage just to the south of Crossville, Illinois, according to NWS Paducah. An EF3 tornado has wind speeds between 136 to 165 mph and produces extensive damage, as seen below. One person died in Perryville, Missouri, while two people were killed in Illinois. Near the town of Crossville, Illinois, a 71-year-old man was killed when a tornado struck a building near his home. In Ottawa, Illinois, one person was killed after a tree was uprooted. Severe thunderstorms moved through the Washington, D.C. area on Wednesday afternoon producing wind gusts as high as 78 mph. These strong gusts brought down trees and power lines, leaving more than 40,000 without electricity across the region for a time after the storms moved through.
3rd
The 45th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will have its ceremonial start in Anchorage on March 4. From there, the teams will travel about 350 miles north to Fairbanks where the official race will begin on March 6 at 11 a.m. local time. The Board of Directors of the Iditarod Trail Committee voted on Feb. 10 to move the restart location from Willow to Fairbanks, according to the Iditarod Trail Committee. This is only the third time in history that the restart has been moved to Fairbanks due to poor conditions in the Alaska Range. As in 2003 and 2015, this year's official start was moved north to Fairbanks due to insufficient snow in the mountain passes.
3rd
Moose calves across northern New England (USA) are dying at alarming rates, and scientists believe that deadly parasites benefiting from shorter winters are the primary culprits. Winter ticks have taken a toll on moose across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, killing about 70 percent of moose calves. Winter ticks attach themselves to a single moose by the tens of thousands. The ticks may be thriving in part due to the New England ecosystem being disrupted by global climate change. The average winter temperature in Maine has climbed 4 degF between 1895 and 2015. According to Michael Bentley, a staff entomologist for the National Pest Management Association, the winter tick benefits from a warming climate. 'In the past, snowfall and freezing temperatures in early/mid spring have curbed winter tick populations by killing a percentage of those ticks that dropped off their host,' Bentley said. Rising air temperatures have led to shorter winters and less snowcover in the spring, allowing tick populations to climb, he added.
7th
Tropical Cyclone Enawo made landfall between Farahalana and Antalaha late on Tuesday morning local time as an intense tropical cyclone. Enawo packed winds over 225 km/h. At least five people have been killed and seven injured; about 22,000 have either been left homeless or suffered property damage. There are fears that the cyclone has destroyed vanilla crops in northeastern Madagascar, where much of the world's vanilla comes from, the Associated Press reports. The cyclone also destroyed roads and cut off communication to the Antalaha district, which is home to 230,000 people in northeastern Madagascar. Around 500 people of the nation's capital, Antananarivo, reportedly had to take shelter in a local sports hall as a major waste canal overflowed. The city of Sambava was pounded by strong winds and heavy rainfall on Tuesday as Enawo made landfall. Rainfall totaled more than 300 mm, leading to flooding. The cyclone is the strongest to strike Madagascar in 13 years. Tropical Cyclone Gafilo struck similar areas in 2004 and resulted in the deaths of 363 people.
8th
Powerful winds knocked out power lines and caused widespread damage across much of the Great Lakes and the Northeast USA. By Wednesday evening, nearly 1,200,000 utility customers lost power from the Great Lakes to the central Appalachians. Crews worked through the night in several states to restore power. DTE Energy in Detroit said it was the largest storm in the history of the utility company as thousands of power lines were knocked down. Hundreds of thousands remained without power in metropolitan Detroit on Thursday morning A plane taking of from Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan slid off the runway on Wednesday afternoon amid high winds, causing extensive damage, the Associated Press reported. All plane passengers and staff were safe, including the Michigan men's basketball team, which was on its way to the Big Ten Tournament in Washington, D.C. In Batavia, New York, a cargo train derailed Wednesday afternoon. According to WIVB, 15-20 train cars went off the tracks around 2 p.m. EST due to the high winds. No injuries were reported. The winds forced the closure of the skydeck at the Willis Tower in Chicago on Wednesday morning.
10th
Late season snow has cut off parts of northern India around the foothills of the Himalayas. The winter storms have lingered across the states of Himachal Pradesh along with Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir for much of this week. Jammu And Kashmir State was badly hit on Friday after heavy snow blocked the arterial Mughal Road, disrupting traffic movement and leaving commuters stranded.
10th-12th
A further wave of torrential rain drenched areas around Auckland, Northland and Waikato Peninsula (New Zealand) over the weekend. The heavy rain was brought by a storm system dubbed 'The Tasman Tempest' that has affected northern areas for the last week. Last week many of the same areas of the North Island recorded high levels of rainfall - some as much as 250 mm in 24 hours. Over the six day period, Whangamata recorded 475 mm of rain, which is around the same amount it would normally see for the whole of autumn. Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) said on Sunday 12 March that Titirangi recorded 65 mm of rain in just 1 hour. New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said that some areas saw over a month's worth of rain fall in a 24 hour period 10 to 11 March. Coromandel recorded 130 mm, Rotorua 97 mm and Auckland 91 mm. An average March rainfall ranges between 75 to 110 mm in Auckland. According to latest reports from emergency responders, 321 homes in Auckland have suffered flood damage. Power was cut to almost 4,000 homes, and nearly 600 emergency calls were made. According to local media around 50 people have been forced to leave their homes and are currently staying in temporary accommodation. Ten people had to be rescued from flood water by emergency crews.
13th
The worst drought in over half a century has hit parts of East Africa affecting more than 10 million people. Thousands of families have travelled for days across scorched scrubland from Somalia to Kenya, including barefoot children with no food or water after their crops and livestock were destroyed by drought. More than 10 million people have been affected across the Horn of Africa. Acute malnutrition has reached 37% in some parts of north east Kenya and child refugees from Somalia are dying of causes related to malnutrition either during the journey or very shortly after arrival at aid camps. The drought has been partly caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon which has affected east and southern Africa.
14th
The north-eastern US states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia have declared states of emergency as a huge winter storm sweeps in, bringing heavy snow. The US National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings from eastern Pennsylvania to south-west Maine. Schools are closed and thousands of flights have been cancelled. The conditions caused German Chancellor Angela Merkel to postpone a trip to Washington to meet President Trump. With winds of up to 60 mph, the storm is causing severe disruption for commuters across many parts of the north-east, and authorities in several states are advising residents to stay off the roads. In all, about 50 million people across the country have been warned about the severe weather. Less snow than originally anticipated is now expected to fall in New York City, with the forecast downgraded to between 10 and 20 cm by the US National Weather Service. More than 6,800 flights have been cancelled, tracking service FlightAware reported, with airports in New York, Washington, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia worst hit. Declaring a state of emergency, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said commuters should expect road closures, delays and cancellations. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also declared a state of emergency and ordered all state employees not involved in the response to stay at home. The winter storm follows a spell of unusually mild weather in the north-eastern US, with last month being the second warmest February since record-keeping began in 1895.
15th
Four people were killed when a large avalanche swept away a ski group in the Austrian Alps, police say. The avalanche hit the remote Jochgrubenkopf peak in the Tyrol region at about 12:30 local time. It engulfed a group of eight foreign tourists, but four managed to free themselves and seek help, according to Austrian reports. Rudi Mair from the Tyrol avalanche warning service said "tonnes of snow" had come down the 2,400 m mountain. The avalanche was said to have been about 700 m long.
16th
Four people have been rescued from rising waters overnight as torrential thunderstorms continue to soak northern New South Wales and parts of south-east Queensland, causing flash flooding. Emergency crews in NSW received more than 80 calls for help on Wednesday night, mainly for leaky roofs, as heavy rain drenched the north and mid-north coast regions, from Taree to Lismore. The week started with intense thunderstorms when an upper-level low-pressure system interacted with warm, moist air flowing in from the Tasman Sea. Severe storms produced damaging winds, flooding rain and large hail in parts of Queensland and NSW. The town of Sawtell, 500km north of Sydney, received 250 mm in the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday. Smokey Cape, 450 km north of Sydney, had its heaviest March rainfall in 43 years, recording 180 mm in the 24 hours to 9am. Port Macquarie received 166mm of rain, the heaviest in 10 years for any month.
17th
Sixty-seven people have been killed and thousands more forced to evacuate by intense rains which damaged 115,000 homes and destroyed more than 100 bridges in Peru's worst floods in recent memory. 'We are confronting a serious climatic problem,' said Peru's president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, in a broadcast to the nation on Friday afternoon. 'There hasn't been an incident of this strength along the coast of Peru since 1998.' The disaster - which came after a period of severe drought - has been blamed on abnormally high temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, and fuelled criticism that the country is ill-prepared for the growing challenges of climate change.
18th
Emergency services received more than 550 calls for help on Saturday and responded to 2,748 requests after another drenching on the mid north coast of New South Wales, Australia. There were also more than 70 flood rescues, most on the mid north coast and in the Hunter. A lingering low pressure system extending through the region and across parts of the Hunter, northern rivers and northern tablelands was threatening to cause flash flooding, the Bureau of Meteorology said. Forecasters on Saturday afternoon issued a severe weather warning, noting that areas inland of Evans head in the northern rivers region had received 70 mm of rain in just one hour. Areas of the mid north coast that had already experienced a drenching in the 24 hours to Saturday morning included Careys Peak in the Williams Range (179 mm), Bellingen (142 mm) and Red Hill in Coffs Harbour (135 mm).
21st
A line of severe thunderstorms ripped through parts of the US state of Georgia. There were powerful winds, gusting to around 60mph, which brought down trees across northern Georgia and the Atlanta area, with one man reported to have been killed when a tree fell on his home. Around 170,000 people were left without power at the height of the storm on Tuesday night, which also brought heavy rain and large hail.
22nd
In Australia, Sydney was battered by a severe thunderstorm which left tens of thousands of homes without power. The storm brought heavy rainfall and damaging winds, especially to western Sydney, felling trees, bringing down power lines and causing localised flooding. The clean-up operation was hindered on Thursday by further heavy rain.
27th
Seven high school students and a teacher have died and more than 40 people have been injured after an avalanche hit ski slopes in Japan. A total of 52 students and 11 teachers from seven high schools were taking part in a three-day mountaineering expedition near the Nasu Onsen resort, 150 km north of Tokyo, when the incident occurred at about 0020 GMT on Monday.
28th-29th
An outbreak of severe weather unfolded across the south-central United States on Tuesday and continued to impact parts of Oklahoma and Texas into Wednesday morning. The powerful thunderstorms left behind damage across North Texas and caused power outages to more than 200,000 in the state. Thousands were also without power in Oklahoma early Wednesday. There were at least 14 reports of tornadoes on Tuesday, with all of them in Texas, as well as dozens of wind damage and hail reports. A 74-mph wind gust and tennis ball-sized hail were reported in Seymour, Texas, while a 95-mph wind gust was observed in El Reno, Oklahoma. Two young boys died on Wednesday in East Forth Worth, Texas, after they were electrocuted by downed power lines knocked over during the storms. Three storm chasers were killed in a two-car accident near Spur, Texas, on Tuesday afternoon. Two of the victims, Kelley Williamson, 57, and Randy Yarnall, 55, both of Cassville, Missouri, were contractors for The Weather Channel. The third, Corbin Jaeger, 25, was a storm chaser for MadWx. Investigators told the Associated Press that a black Chevrolet Suburban driven by Williamson ran through a stop sign at an intersection and collided with a Jeep carrying Yarnall and Jaeger. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
28th-29th
Queenslanders woke up on Wednesday to a huge cleanup following the cyclone Debbie, as the now ex-tropical cyclone brought yet more heavy rain as it worked its way through the state. At 3am on Wednesday morning the Bureau of Meteorology downgraded Debbie out of the cyclone category to a tropical low, bringing sustained winds of 55km/h with gusts of up to 85km/h. Heavy rains were still expected as it moved south-west, with a severe weather warning in place. On Tuesday night the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, predicted 'shock and awe' in the state when the full extent of the devastation wrought by the cyclone was revealed. At its most ferocious the cyclone downed trees, stripped buildings and left shorelines swamped after making landfall as a category four storm at midday on Tuesday near Airlie Beach. The storm was downgraded to a category three cyclone just after 3pm, but strong winds continued to lash Airlie Beach, Proserpine and Bowen late in the afternoon. The Australian defence force mobilised soldiers, vehicles, aircraft and other resources to respond to Debbie, which the Insurance Council of Australia declared a 'catastrophe'. The storm earlier pounded the Whitsunday Islands, with gusts of 263km/h recorded at Hamilton Island while the jetty at Daydream Island was virtually washed away. More than 48,000 homes were without power across the Bowen, Mackay and Whitsunday regions and more than 400 schools and childcare centres closed. In Bowen, where much of the local housing was built before cyclone safety standards were introduced in the 1980s, the cyclone wrecked homes and caused 'major environmental damage', Whitsunday regional councillor Mike Brunker said. Early on Wednesday the Bureau of Meteorology said the tropical low system had moved over inland central Queensland, bringing the risk of flash flooding with up to 250mm of rainfall in a day possible.
31st
Two people have died and others are feared drowned in flooding in New South Wales in the wake of Cyclone Debbie. Police found one woman's body on a flood-affected property in the north of the state, where five natural disaster zones have been declared. She had disappeared on Thursday night in floodwaters at a rural property at Upper Burringbar, 20km south of Murwillumbah, and her body was found by a family member at about 8am on Friday, police said in a statement. A second victim died after the car she was in was swept away About 20,000 people were ordered to evacuate northern NSW as flooding continued to hit the area. On Friday, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Tweed, Lismore, Byron, Richmond Valley, and Kyogle and Ballina local government areas were natural disaster areas, meaning residents can access disaster assistance funding.

World weather news, February 2017

3rd
In the UK Supermarket giant Tesco has rationed customers to three iceberg lettuces per visit - blaming poor growing conditions in Europe for a shortage in UK stores. It said bad weather in Spain had caused "availability issues" but suppliers were working to resolve the problem. Morrisons has also limited shoppers purchasing iceberg lettuces and broccoli to prevent "bulk buying". It follows a UK courgette shortage last month, after wet and cold weather in southern Europe devastated crops.
5th
A series of avalanches was sparked by heavy snowfall in Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing at least 119 people, officials say. "At least 89 people have been injured and 190 homes destroyed by avalanches in multiple provinces," said Wais Ahmad Barmak, the Afghanistan minister for disaster management and humanitarian affairs. According to Reuters, dozens more were missing after an avalanche buried a village in eastern Afghanistan, provincial governor Hafiz Abdul Qayum said. An avalanche in neighboring Pakistan killed at least 14 people and buried five homes, Nizamud Shah, a local official in the northern town of Chitralv told the Associated Press. He added that several other people are missing.
7th
Seven New Orleans parishes and the Baton Rouge area were hit by tornadoes in an afternoon of tumultuous weather across south-eastern Louisiana. The tornadoes that struck parts of south-eastern Louisiana destroyed homes and businesses, flipped cars and trucks, and left thousands without power, but no deaths were reported, said Louisiana's governor, John Bel Edwards. The governor took an aerial tour and made a disaster declaration before meeting with officials in New Orleans. The worst damage was in the same Ninth Ward that was so heavily flooded in 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
8th
Treacherous travel was reported in Massachusetts early Wednesday after freezing rain slicked roadways. Multiple crashes involving dozens of vehicles were reported near the town of Wakefield, Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts State Police. Approximately 55 vehicles were involved in a crash which shut down Route 128 northbound. Several injuries were reported but none were believed to be serious, according to law enforcement officials.
8th
Heavy rain has lashed parts of Fiji the past several days as a tropical low passed through the region. Rainfall has totalled more than 450 mm in Nadi causing widespread flooding and cutting off some people from their homes for several days as the Nadi and Ba Rivers overflowed their banks.
9th
Intense heat building back across Sydney, Australia, late this week should cause a 121-year-old record to fall. Temperatures are set to soar to around 38C on Friday and Saturday in Sydney with a strong area of high pressure overhead. For a city where a high of 26.5C is more common in February, this latest blast of heat will not only put a strain on residents but will also enter history books. Friday and Saturday could make for the 10th and 11th days this summer of highs exceeding 35C at Sydney's Observatory Hill (the city's official weather station). Never before have so many such days been registered in a summer since record-keeping began in 1859. The current record for the most days is nine, which was originally set during the summer of 1895-96, according to data from the Bureau of Meteorology. The record was tied this summer on 31 January as the city's hottest month on record came to a close.
13th
Following the worst drought Bolivia has seen in more than 25 years, severe thunderstorms plagued parts of central South America last week. Whilst rainfall helped alleviate drought conditions, more than 75mm of rain fell in just a few hours across parts of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, triggering severe flash floods as water inundated the dehydrated and impermeable ground. Other regions were hammered by crippling hailstorms, leaving at least two fatalities.
13th
Thousands of dead bats are dropping from trees after temperatures topped 45 degrees in parts of New South Wales (Australia). The area worst affected was Casino in the Richmond Valley region of northern New South Wales, where more than 2,000 dead flying foxes have been found. Richmond Valley Council general manager Vaughan Macdonald said many of the dead bats were difficult to access because they were scattered along riverbanks. He said the council was working as fast as it could to dispose of the animals, but residents should brace themselves for the stench of decay.
13th
As a blizzard unloads feet of snow in eastern New England, authorities have reported numerous car crashes, school closings and flight cancellations. Slick and hazardous travel will continue to unfold across New England into Monday night as blowing and drifting snow occurs in the wake of the storm. The Maine State Police are urging people to stay off the roads as conditions are extremely treacherous on major roadways across the state. Some locations have already totalled more than 2 feet of snow in the central part of the state. Visibilities are only a couple hundred yards at best. Conditions are too severe for snow plough trucks to continue operation in Waldoboro, Maine, according to the Waldoboro Police.
14th
Severe thunderstorms erupted across southeastern Texas in the morning, leaving thousands without power around Houston and causing significant damage to homes and businesses. Wind damage, downed fences and tree branches on roadways was reported in the town of Stafford, Texas, according to the Stafford Police Department. In addition, several buildings and homes had their roofs blown off. There were also several reports of a funnel cloud. Another tornado touchdown was reported southwest of the town of Rosenburg, Texas, according to a National Weather Service trained spotter. The Houston Chronicle reported that the storms may have been a factor in one fatal crash.
15th
Storm Orson has made an impact on parts of the north-east US, leaving more than a metre of snow over the past week as it underwent explosive cyclogenesis, dropping 24 mb in just 15 hours. Prior to the birth of Storm Orson cold continental air spilled southward from Canada and collided with the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream, creating a sharp temperature gradient and fuelling the rotation of a cyclone. These events most commonly occur during winter when there is a stark temperature contrast between high and mid latitudes.
16th
The heatwave that engulfed southeastern Australia at the end of last week has seen heat records continue to tumble like. On Saturday February 11, as New South Wales suffered through the heatwave's peak, temperatures soared to 47C in Richmond, 50km northwest of Sydney, while 87 fires raged across the state amid catastrophic fire conditions. On that day, most of NSW experienced temperatures at least 12 degC above normal for this time of year. In White Cliffs, the overnight minimum was 34.2C, a new record for the state's highest observed minimum temperature. On Friday, the average maximum temperature right across NSW hit 42.4C, beating the previous February record of 42.0C. The new record stood for all of 24 hours before it was smashed again on Saturday, as the whole state averaged 44.0C at its peak. At this time, NSW was the hottest place on Earth. And still the records continue to fall. Mungindi, on the border of NSW and Queensland, broke the Australian record of 50 days in a row above 35C, set just four years ago at Bourke Airport, with the new record now at 52 days. Meanwhile, two days after that sweltering Saturday we woke to find the fires ignited during the heatwave still cutting a swathe of destruction, with the small town of Uarbry, east of Dunedoo, all but burned to the ground.
16th
California ski resorts are experiencing a significant snowfall season, with some areas breaking records for snowfall amounts. In the first month of the year, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in Olympic Valley, California, had snow totals that were 405 percent of their usual average for January. While the average January snowfall for the past 45 years sits at 70 inches, January 2017 capped out at a total of 282 inches of snow. Resorts have had improved ski conditions and have been able to offer guests access to more terrain. "There are areas that just haven't been skiable like they are now," said Sam Kiekhefer, a public relations coordinator for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. The January 2017 record surpassed the previous record, 175 inches in January 1982, by 107 inches. The season total by the end of January was 387 inches of snow. Less than halfway through their usual 175-day season, the resort had already received 86 percent of the average for seasonal snowfall.
19th
At least three people have died after one of California's strongest storms in years brought torrential rain and flash floods to the state. More than 100 homes have been evacuated over fears of mud slides near Los Angeles after the Pacific storm parked itself over southern California, opening sinkholes and cutting power to thousands of people. More than 300 flights at Los Angeles international airport have also been cancelled or delayed. The storm stretched far out into the ocean and was at its strongest late on Friday afternoon. One man was found dead in a submerged vehicle in the desert town of Victorville after several cars were washed down a flooded street, San Bernardino county fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said. A second man was electrocuted in the Sherman Oaks area of LA when a tree falling in heavy rain downed power lines that hit a car. Later in the same neighbourhood, a sinkhole swallowed two cars, the second on live TV as viewers watched it teeter on the edge before plunging in. Firefighters rescued one person from the first car, and the driver escaped from the second vehicle before it fell into the hole. Amtrak cancelled services for much of California's southern and central coast, and several stretches of road were closed by flooding. "The storm looks to be the strongest storm to hit south-west California this season," the National Weather Service said. "It is likely the strongest within the last six years and possibly even as far back as December 2004 or January 1995." By Friday evening, Ventura county and northern Los Angeles county had recorded 24-hour rain totals of up to 7.5 in, with the San Marcos mountain pass in Santa Barbara county receiving nearly 8.5 in.
23rd
A woman was killed and at least two people were seriously injured as Storm Doris brought winds gusting to 94 mph, snow and rain to the UK. West Midlands Ambulance Service said the woman had suffered head injuries when a piece of debris fell on to a street in Wolverhampton. Strong winds led to flight cancellations and road and rail disruption across much of the country. About 1,500 homes and businesses were without electricity in Northern Ireland after trees fell on overhead lines. More than 21,500 customers had their power restored earlier. Northern Powergrid says nearly 900 homes were left without power in Sheffield at one point. UK Power Networks said 12,030 properties lost power in Suffolk and about 40,000 homes in total were without power across East Anglia at one time. Energy company SSE said about 700 customers had experienced power cuts in Scotland, mainly in rural Perthshire, Kinross, Dunblane and Milnathort, as a result of heavy snow damaging its overhead network. Highways England later re-opened the Dartford Crossing linking Kent and Essex, the Orwell Bridge on the A14 in Suffolk and the M48 Severn Bridge, which were all closed due to high winds. The M80 reopened after earlier closures in both directions due to snow. Heathrow has flagged at least 77 flights as cancelled on its website and says its schedule was reduced by 10% because of the weather. Aer Lingus cancelled 19 of its 111 flights between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Gale-force winds led to the cancellation of ferries and flights between the Isle of Man and the UK Speed limits of 50mph were imposed on several train lines affecting Arrival Trains Wales, Chiltern Railways, East Midlands Trains, Grand Central, Great Northern, South West, and Southeastern services.
26th
Millions of people are without water after heavy rains struck Chile over the weekend during the country's usually dry summer months, leaving three people dead and at least 19 missing. The rains, which caused rivers to overflow their banks in mountain valleys near Chile's capital, Santiago, had isolated 373 people, the Onemi emergency service said late on Sunday. The drinking-water supply for over a million households in Santiago had been affected, and Aguas Andinas, the company that provides water to the capital, said rains were making repairs difficult. Agence France-Presse estimated four million people were affected.
26th
51 cm of snow fell in Reykjavik, Iceland this week, the most snow to cover the city in more than 80 years.
28th
Snow caused disruption in Manchester, England. Airline and train delays were reported as snow covered the city during the Tuesday morning commute.

World weather news, January 2017

2nd-3rd
At least five people were killed across the Southeast USA following an outbreak of severe weather that affected the region from Monday into early Tuesday. Four people died in the southeastern Alabama town of Rehobeth after a suspected tornado swept through the area Monday night and blew a tree onto a home, authorities said. A fifth fatality was reported in Florida after a man was found dead of an accidental drowning following flooding near Shoal River in Walton County, Florida. Sheriff's deputies found the victim, 70-year-old William Patrick Corley of DeFuniak Springs, floating face down near his trailer and his car partially submerged shortly after noon on Monday. The potent storms caused widespread damage due to powerful winds that caused trees to topple onto cars and homes and heavy rains that triggered the flooding. The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center listed 12 tornado reports from Monday among other storm reports.
2nd
The first week of 2017 brought a deadly severe weather outbreak in the Southeast USA. At least six people were killed across the Southeast on Monday as severe storms spawned strong winds, heavy rain and tornadoes. Four women in southeastern Alabama were killed when a tornado swept through the town of Rehobeth and blew a tree onto their home. A fifth fatality occurred in Florida when a 70-year-old man died as the result of an accidental drowning. In Georgia, a woman was killed when storms moved through the town of Albany and damaged about 1,000 homes, the Associated Press reported.
3rd
New Year's Eve fireworks contributed to dangerously high levels of pollution in several German cities, official figures suggest. In Munich, particulate levels briefly reached 26 times the EU-recommended daily limit of 50 micrograms of particulates per cubic metre of air. National figures suggest that firework displays ejected some 4,000 tonnes of particulates into the atmosphere. That reportedly equates to 15% of yearly vehicle particulate emissions. Airborne sooty particulates are mostly emitted during the burning of fossil fuels and contribute to deaths from respiratory illnesses. The German figures have prompted environmentalists to call for restrictions on the sale of private fireworks.
4th
A thick fog settled over large parts of China, including the capital of Beijing, early in the week prompting hundreds of flight cancellations across the country. The dense fog also forced highways to be shut down with visibility being reduced to just a few hundred feet. Officials in Beijing issued a red smog alert on Wednesday, the highest possible warning level for smog, Reuters reported.
8th
Flooding from heavy rains hammering Thailand's south has left at least 18 people dead and thousands of villages partially submerged. The flooding, which was roof-high in some areas, has affected nearly one million people in 10 southern provinces since it started a week ago, according to the country's interior ministry. At least 18 people had died and one was missing, the government said, with the rains turning roads into rivers, inundating farmland and damaging more than 1,500 schools in the region. The downpour was expected to persist for at least two more days, according to Thailand's meteorological department, which warned of flash floods.
8th
The famed Pioneer Cabin tree, known for its hollow centre that allowed cars to pass through, collapsed during the intense storm that blasted California with heavy rain. The giant sequoia was located in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Calaveras County, about 80 miles southeast of Sacramento. The tree was a popular tourist site since the 1880s when a group of pioneers carved out the centre. It became an iconic part of the state park. Until recently, cars were allowed to drive through. Jim Allday, a park volunteer, found the collapsed tree on Sunday as a major storm affected central and northern California.
9th
More than 20 people are now known to have died as icy temperatures continue to grip much of Europe. Ten people died of cold in Poland on Sunday. The bodies of three migrants, two Iraqi and one Somali, were found near the Turkish-Bulgarian border. Deaths have been reported in Italy, the Czech Republic, Russia and Ukraine. Dozens of flights have been halted. In Turkey, the Bosphorus is closed to shipping after a snowstorm. Even Greece's islands are covered in snow. In Serbia, all river transport is suspended on the Danube. The Medecins Sans Frontieres aid organisation said it was "very concerned about the thousands of vulnerable people across the continent in danger and stuck in undignified conditions". It said "of particular concern are the 2,000 people living in informal settlements in Belgrade where temperatures are currently reaching -20C". In Russia, temperatures in some regions have plunged below -40C. Normally milder Greece has witnessed temperatures of -15C in the north, where an Afghan migrant died of cold last week and roads were closed. In Athens, the temperature failed to rise above 0C over the weekend and many of the islands were covered in snow. Some of the Greek islands are home to thousands of migrants and many are being moved to temporary housing and heated tents. Some of Rome's famous fountains are now covered in ice. Children had a rare opportunity to play on the frozen Esca River in Burgui, northern Spain. Homeless hostels in Italy are opening their doors day and night as the weather has been blamed for the deaths of seven people, five of them living out in the open. Airports in Sicily, Bari and Brindisi closed over the weekend. Rome, too, saw freezing temperatures. In Russia, Moscow experienced its coldest Orthodox Christmas in 120 years on 7 January.
11th
2016 ranked as the United States' second warmest year in 122 years of record keeping, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 54.9F - 2.9 degF above the 20th century average and not far behind the warmest record of 55.3F set in 2012. Virtually all states had annual average temperatures in the top 10 percent on record, according to the data. Additionally, the average low temperature was 43.1F, the highest on record, exceeding the previous value of 42.9F set in 2012.
13th
The drought was declared over in northern California this week as storms continued to dump rain and massive amounts of snow across the state. The storms caused flash flooding, power outages, mudslides and a high avalanche risk across the Sierra Nevada. As many as 15 rivers were reported to be above flood stage at one point, while state officials opened the Sacramento Weir for the first time in a decade to lessen the flood risk. A stretch of Interstate 80 along Donner Pass was closed for several days as crews worked to clear the heavy snow from the roads. Blizzard warnings were issued as well.
14th-16th
A long-duration ice storm in the Great Plains and Midwest (USA) claimed the lives of six people, caused treacherous travel conditions, prompted the delay of an NFL football game and left thousands without power. Freezing rain, ice and winter storm warnings were in effect from the Texas panhandle north into Iowa and east through central Indiana. Multiple crashes occurred due to drivers losing control of their vehicles on the ice-covered roadways, including at least four fatalities, according to Missouri and Oklahoma State Highway Patrol. Two fatal accidents also occurred in Kansas on Saturday, the Kansas Highway Patrol reported. Missouri and Oklahoma declared states of emergency. The same storm also produced some severe weather in parts of Oklahoma and Texas on Sunday.
17th
Days of heavy rain have caused flooding and several deaths across the Philippines. At least seven deaths were reported and 6,800 people were displaced from their homes by the flooding. A combination of a frontal boundary and ample tropical moisture have resulted in several days of heavy rainfall across the central an southern Philippines. Rainfall totalled 311 mm in Borongan, Visayas, since Saturday. This is around 50% of the normal rainfall for the entire month of January. Farther southwest, 7.32 inches of rain fell in Dipolog City in only six hours with a total of 8.26 inches falling on Monday. Normal rainfall is close to 5 inches for the entire month of January.
18th
Low elevations of southeastern Spain received a rare coating of snow this week. With cold, dry air in place ahead of a storm, the stage was set for snow to fall outside of the mountains of southeastern Spain at midweek. While only lasting a few hours before changing to a chilly rain, the most snow since 1983 whitened Murcia. The city averages a high of 16.6C and a low of 4.7 in January.
18th
Provisional full-year figures for global average near-surface temperatures confirm that last year, 2016, was one of the warmest two years on record, nominally exceeding the record temperature of 2015. When viewed alongside 2015, the two years are the warmest in an annual series of figures that starts in 1850. Scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit produce the HadCRUT4 dataset, which is used to estimate global temperature. The global temperature series shows that 2016 was 0.77+/-0.1 degC above the long-term (1961-1990) average, nominally a record since at least 1850. When compared with the 1850 to 1900 baseline - which is indicative of pre-industrial temperatures - the 2016 average global temperature anomaly was around 1.1 degC. For comparison, 2015 was 0.76+/-0.1 degC above the long-term (1961-1990) average.
19th
The number of devastating floods that trigger insurance payouts has more than doubled in Europe since 1980, according to new research by Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurance company. The firm's latest data shows there were 30 flood events requiring insurance payouts in Europe last year - up from just 12 in 1980. Globally, 2016 saw 384 flood disasters, compared with 58 in 1980, although the greater proportional increase probably reflects poorer flood protections and lower building standards in the developing world Ernst Rauch, the head of Munich Re's corporate climate centre, said: "Flood events together with wind storm events are the two perils where we have the biggest increase in frequency worldwide."
19th
A powerful 'weather bomb' has hit New Zealand, cutting off rural towns, flooding major roads and dumping snow on to bare alpine ski fields at what should be the height of the southern hemisphere summer. The significant low edged over the South Island late on Thursday afternoon, causing landslips and snow, and went on to lash the country throughout the weekend. Auckland in the North Island suffered major power outages, while rivers on the west coast of the South Island rose rapidly in a matter of hours, lapping at road-sides and carrying large debris, including trees washed down from the Southern Alps. A landslip also buried the famous Sylvia Flats hot pools, and residents of Dunedin reported having to burn their fences to stay warm after being caught off guard by the unseasonal weather. 'This weather bomb was caused by a burst of really hot air coming out of Australia and forming a low when it moved into the Tasman Sea, and then picking up moisture and increasing in intensity,' said Mads Naeraa-Spiers, a forecaster for the MetService.
22nd-23rd
Deadly weather in the south-eastern US has left at least 18 people dead and injured dozens more as residents along the Georgia-Florida line braced for more intense, fast-moving storms including unusually strong -long track tornadoes. On Sunday, a tornado blew through a mobile home park in rural Cook County in southern Georgia, sheering off siding, upending homes and killing seven people, officials said. Coroner Tim Purvis said an apparent tornado 'leveled' the park before dawn and that emergency responders searched for survivors for hours. Purvis said the park had about 40 mobile homes and roughly half were destroyed. Four people were killed in adjoining counties on Sunday and another three were confirmed on Sunday evening in Dougherty county where Albany is located, said Catherine Howden, spokeswoman for the Georgia Emergency Management. A further four were killed in Mississippi by a tornado on Saturday making a total of 18 fatalities. The weather service's Storm Prediction Center warned on its website of a 'dangerous outbreak of tornadoes' on Sunday afternoon and pressed for residents to prepare. There were 4.8 million people under the high risk area; the total in the area of bad weather in the south east, who came under the slight risk category or worse, was about 38 million people. While the central part of the US has a fairly defined tornado season - the spring - the risk of tornadoes 'never really goes to zero' for most of the year in the south east, said Patrick Marsh, warning coordination meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
25th
Northern Territory aircraft are struggling to deliver food to flood-affected remote communities as torrential rains are luring swarms of insects into central Australian outback towns. Several Indigenous communities west of Alice Springs, including Kintore, Kiwirrkurra, Willowra and Nyirripi, have been cut off by heavy rainfall and need food supplies to be flown in. But some dirt airstrips in the region have become too wet to land safely and conditions in Alice Springs are too dismal for takeoff. "We can't see the mountain ranges at all today, we're going to have to delay flights out of here," Chartair's Robyn Lelliott said. "Kiwirrkurra is one of the most isolated communities in the world - they are so reliant on our services. The next couple of days are not looking good for flying." Katherine has been cut off and the deluge has caused a goldmine north of the town to release contaminated water, with the nearby Edith river flowing at a high enough rate to dilute it. A minor flood warning is now in place for the Katherine Gorge. Several Arnhem Land communities are now islands. Meanwhile, thousands of grasshoppers have descended on Alice Springs and the surrounding desert region after the recent storms.
26th
Dramatic TV footage has captured the moment a three-storey hotel collapsed into a swollen river in Peru. Dating from colonial times, La Hacienda was located near the bank of the river Sicra in the town of Lircay. Heavy rains began in the area on Wednesday and continued for 10 hours, eroding the river edge and then the building's foundations. The 50-room hotel was evacuated as the situation worsened and nobody was injured when the hotel finally crashed into the fast-flowing torrent. Other buildings in the town in Peru's Huancavelica region were also destroyed or damaged as a result of the constant heavy rain. Roads have also been blocked by landslides.
30th
There are fire bans across the Australia's south-east, with Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT all heading for sweltering temperatures in the high 30s and even 40s (Celsius). In NSW, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a fire warning for much of the state's south and the far western region, with the Rural Fire Service declaring a total fire ban for those areas. The town of Moree in northern NSW was set for its 33rd day in a row over 35C. The city broke the previous state record for the most days in a row over 35C - 17 - about two weeks ago, and is expected to continue to break its own record for at least the rest of the week.

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Last updated 19 October 2017.