World weather news, May 2018

1st-3rd
Two days of heavy rain has caused flooding and landslides in Sardinia, Italy. Around 100 people have been evacuated from their homes. In the space of 48 hours some areas have recorded over 150 mm of rain - more than four times the average monthly total for May. Schools have been closed in several areas of the island due to the bad weather. Flooding and landslides have closed roads in the Municipality of Villacidro and near Cagliari. The Tirso river broke its banks in several places in Oristano province and the Flumini Mannu flooded fields in San Nicolo d'Arcidano, also in Oristano. In Siniscola, Nuoro Province, as much as 164 mm of rain fell in 48 hours to early on 3 May, which is considerably more than the May monthly average (36 mm) and already a good proportion of the typical annual rainfall (around 660 mm). A red level weather alert remains in place in Sardinia and Civil Protection have warned of further heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms in Sardinia and across the country, in particular Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Basilicata and Puglia.
2nd
Severe dust storms across northern India have killed more than 100 people, destroyed homes and left hundreds without electricity. Billowing clouds of thick dust and sand frequently blow across the region during the dry season, but the death toll from this week's storms has been unusually high. There were 73 confirmed deaths in Uttar Pradesh state, most in Agra district where the Taj Mahal is located. Another 36 died in Rajasthan and two each in Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh. The death toll in all four states could still rise. The destruction has extended to Punjab, where two died, and Haryana, where trees were uprooted and power supplies cut by the squall. Less intense storms in Delhi caused traffic jams and flight diversions. Most of the deaths occurred when houses people were sleeping in collapsed overnight, disaster management officials said. Falling pylons and trees also contributed to the death toll. The dust storms are created by a rapid ascent of warm air, which creates a vacuum that air closer to the ground rushes to fill, taking sand and dust with it. Meteorologists said abnormally high temperatures in past weeks had contributed to the disaster. Another 14 people were killed in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, which was hammered by more than 41,000 lightning strikes on Wednesday, disaster officials said.
5th
A torrential flood has swept through a district in the Turkish capital of Ankara, sending vehicles downstream and damaging local businesses. The rain was expected to last for three hours on Saturday afternoon (local time), but instead came down in nine minutes, causing flooding in Ankara's Mamak district. Ankara's Mayor, Mustafa Tuna, told local media it was a "natural disaster like never before". Four people were injured in the floods, which damaged more than 160 cars and 25 businesses, Turkish Social Security Minister Julide Sarieroglu said.
7th
A massive dust storm with winds gusting up to 70 km/h has battered northern India. The storm was caught on camera over Bikaner in the northern state of Rajasthan. This type of dust storm, triggered by a collapsing thunderstorm, is known as a "haboob". Haboobs can be highly dangerous, as the visibility drops dramatically in a matter of seconds. Within the cloud of dust, the winds can be gusting over 150kph and the temperature usually drops by a couple of degrees. The storm ripped down trees and power lines, as it tore across the northern cities of New Delhi, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Meerut and Ghaziabad.
9th
At least 41 people have died after heavy rains caused a dam to burst in Kenya, sweeping away homes across a vast area of farmland. The breach happened near the town of Solai, 190 km north-west of the capital, Nairobi. The dead are thought to include children and women trapped in mud. The Kenyan Red Cross says it has rescued about 40 people so far. More than 2,000 people are said to have been left homeless. Local officials say the full extent of the damage is not yet clear. There are fears the death toll could rise as the search-and-rescue operation continues. The heavy rains in Kenya and other regional states come after a severe drought which left millions of people in need of food aid.
10th
The number of people being infected by diseases from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas has tripled in the United States from 2004 to 2016, according to a new report by the Center for Disease Control. There were more than 640,000 cases of these diseases reported during the 13 years analyzed. In addition to increases in number of infections, there were also nine new germs spread by mosquitoes and ticks that were discovered. The report listed increased world travel among one of the major factors in the increase in disease. Infected travelers have the potential to introduce and spread germs from country to country.
13th
Less than two weeks after 134 people were killed in severe weather, another round of deadly thunderstorms lashed several Indian states on Sunday. In total, at least 80 people have been killed and more than 100 injured throughout Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and the National Capital Region from severe weather on Sunday. The death toll had risen above 50 in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh as of Monday afternoon, with more than 80 others being injured, according to the Times of India.
15th
An outbreak of strong thunderstorms caused an estimated five deaths in NE USA, during the first occurrence of severe spring storms for that region this year. Strong winds, hail and heavy downpours caused most of the damage, although there were also reports of tornadoes in New York state. Many places were struck during the busy evening commute, which enhanced the disruption.
15th
Over 80 passengers became stranded on a passenger train in the evening near the town of Brunswick, Colorado, which was also pummelled by severe weather early this week. Enough hail fell to make it look like lying snow.
16th
A tornado swept through the Lower Rhine region of North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday evening, and at least two people were injured and property badly damaged. Shortly before 6 pm, dark clouds filled the sky in a region just west of Dusseldorf and suddenly tree branches were breaking off and homes were being unroofed. Initial police reports state that the tornado had come and gone within ten to fifteen minutes; but in that short span of time a lot of property was damaged and two people were injured. The tornado also hit the districts of Nettetal-Schaag, Schwalmtal-Dilkrath, Schwalmtal and Niederkruchten, the local authorities reported. The motorway 61 near the Dutch border was also partially closed down. Police moreover reported that the rail route between Venlo and Monchengladbach had to be shut down.
16th
Tens of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate their homes in western Colombia after heavy floods at Colombia's largest hydroelectric dam project, which had already displaced hundreds over the weekend. The Hidroituango dam on the river Cauca was in the final stages of construction when a blocked tunnel was cleared on Saturday night (12th), causing flooding downstream that swept through a riverside hamlet. Six hundred people were left homeless and two bridges, two schools and a health centre were destroyed.
17th
Eastern Russia has been experiencing widespread and intense spring wildfires, thanks to a drier than normal autumn and winter, leading to parched vegetation. As of today, nearly 700 fires had been recorded, according to the Russian Federal Forest Agency.
19th-20th
At least 16 people died as Tropical Cyclone Sagar pounded the Middle East and eastern Africa over the weekend, making history as the strongest tropical storm ever recorded in Somalia. The deadly storm destroyed the homes of at least 80 families and left nearly 1,800 displaced, director general of Somalia's Ministry of Planning and National Development Abdirashed Ibrahim reported. An elderly woman was killed near Aden, Yemen, when her house caught fire due to Sagar, according to the Associated Press. The emergency center of Yemen's Health Ministry reported that flash flooding caused sewage to pour into the streets of the city of Aden. In western Somalia, an undisclosed number of people were reported missing in Bulaxaar, according to ReliefWeb. Communication was disrupted in the Lughaya district after the storm destroyed a telecommunication tower and at least 15 shelters were destroyed in the Ceel Sheekh village. Sagar struck at around noon local time Saturday about 100 miles southeast of the city of Djibouti, along the flat, arid coastal plain of far western Somalia. As Sagar tracked inland, satellite imagery indicated widespread rains across western Somalia, the nation of Djibouti, and far northeast Ethiopia as Sagar tracked inland.

World weather news, April 2018

3rd
Residents from the Ohio Valley to the lower Mississippi Valley saw the year's most extensive severe weather outbreak Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. A line of powerful thunderstorms containing damaging winds, large hail and flooding downpours ignited from central Illinois to eastern Texas early Tuesday afternoon and pushed eastward into Tuesday night. Some of the worst storms focused on a zone from central Arkansas through southern Illinois with multiple storms producing funnel clouds and tornadoes. Over 70,000 electric customers were without power in areas impacted by severe thunderstorms, including over 22,000 in Ohio and over 19,000 in Mississippi. Damage was also reported in Raleigh, Illinois, on Tuesday afternoon after a tornado-warned thunderstorm moved through the area. At Houston's Hobby Airport, strong winds from the storms caused a hangar to collapse, trapping several pilots underneath.
7th
One person was killed and four others were injured by a lightning strike in northern Florida on Saturday, according to a report from WJAX-TV in Jacksonville, Florida. According to the report, which cited a storm report from the National Weather Service, the victims were struck at Woodpecker Mud Bog in White Springs, Florida, which is about an hour west of Jacksonville. This was the second lightning fatality of 2018 in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
8th
On 2 April, a cooperative weather observer in Paxton, Illinois, about 100 miles south-southwest of downtown Chicago, measured a morning low of -2F. According to the National Weather Service, this tied the state's all-time April record low set almost 36 years ago. The, today, Stambaugh, in the state's western upper peninsula, plunged to -24F. The state's current April monthly record low is -17F set in 2003 and also in 1982. NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee will evaluate these temperature readings to make sure the data is As meteorologist Chris Dolce noted, a number of Midwest cities had their record coldest first seven days of April. In some of these locations, temperatures over that seven-day period were over 20 degF colder than average.
8th
Record-breaking temperatures and fierce winds have left fire services struggling to contain a bushfire south of Adelaide, and residents are being urged to flee their homes or enact their bushfire survival plans. Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Peter Webb said the temperature had already hit 34C in Adelaide before midday on Sunday, with a forecast of 35C and 33C over the next two days. "That has never ever happened before in April," he said.
9th-10th
Australian states in the heavily populated south-east are experiencing record high temperatures during an unseasonably hot autumn, prompting fire bans and warnings from authorities. This week has already broken state records in South Australia, as well as New South Wales and Victoria, where they could be reset again on Wednesday. The north of Western Australia had record high temperatures for late March, said Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Blair Trewin. That hot air is now hitting the south-east. "On Monday we had the highest April temperature ever recorded in South Australia - 42.2C at Nullarbor Roadhouse, and yesterday [Tuesday] we had state records for both Victoria and NSW," he said. In Victoria it reached 39.3C in Mildura on Tuesday and 40.5C at Pooncarie, NSW. The previous records for each state were 42.1C at Oodnadatta in 2005, 37.8C at Mildura in 1986 and 40C at Collarenebri in 1922. In South Australia the Country Fire Service warned the continuing high temperatures and gusty winds would be among the worst conditions experienced in April.
12th
A storm has damaged two minarets located at different entry gates of the iconic Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra. Winds blowing at 130 km/h caused the 4 m tall pillars to collapse. The four longer minarets that surround the main structure remain intact. The 17th Century mausoleum attracts about 12,000 visitors a day and is one of the world's most popular tourist attractions. One of the destroyed minarets was located at the royal gate where tourists often get their first glimpse of the monument. The other was located at the southern gate. Authorities said that work had begun to restore the damaged structures.
13th
During the last 200 years Europe has suffered three tornadoes with death tolls of over 50 people: Ivanovo in Russia in June 1984 (69 fatalities), Oria in Italy in September 1897 (55 fatalities) and Montville in France in August 1845 (at least 70 fatalities). Meanwhile, in June 1967, six tornadoes spun their way across France, Belgium and the Netherlands, resulting in 232 injuries, 15 deaths and serious damage or destruction of just under 1,000 houses. New research published in the journal Weather, Climate and Society, reveals that we could expect as many as 170 fatalities, up to 2,500 injuries, and serious damage to 25,000 buildings. Although not common, scientists warn that an outbreak like this should be expected somewhere in Europe within the next 50 years.
13th-15th
Minneapolis and Green Bay were two of the many communities significantly impacted by the heavy snow and blizzard conditions that blasted the north-central United States Friday into Sunday night. Thundersnow and sleet were reported on Friday evening near Minneapolis as the storm ramped up in the area. Heavier snow ensued on Saturday afternoon and evening with visibility reduced to a quarter mile or less for six-consecutive hours. Thundersnow also occurred during the height of the storm. Saturday became the second-snowiest April day on record for Minneapolis. A total of 11.1 inches was measured, second only to the 13.6 inches that fell on April 14, 1983. The snow from this storm makes this month the city's snowiest April on record. April 1983 previously held the record with 21.8 inches. The snowstorm forced the Minnesota Twins to postpone the entire three-day series against the Chicago White Sox that was originally scheduled from Friday to Sunday. As of 1 a.m. CDT Monday, a storm total of 23.7 inches of snow was recorded in Green Bay, making this the second largest snowstorm in April history. The largest April snowstorm dumped 29 inches of snow on the city in 1888.
14th-15th
In Hawaii, torrential rains triggered severe flooding and landslides across Kauai over the weekend. Numerous water rescues were initiated due to the flooding. The U.S. Coast Guard said it assisted local authorities to rescue hikers in the vicinity of Hanalei Bay on Sunday. Emergency workers rescued people by using jet skis as waters rose between 5 and 8 feet above average along the North Shore. It rained so much in Hanalei that the National Weather Service rain gauge stopped working. The gauge recorded 28.15 inches of rain before failing, meaning a daily record was likely to have been broken.
16th
The northeastern United States is facing severe weather, including flooding downpours and strong winds. In New York City, travel disruptions are mounting as streets and subway stations fill with rain. Hundreds of flights were canceled and delayed at airports across the region, including John F. Kennedy International Airport and Logan International Airport. Central Park had some of the heaviest rainfall in the area with 3.28 inches by noon. Many areas in and around New York City experienced thunder and at least 3 inches of rain over a six- to eight-hour period, which created prime conditions for flooding and morning commute travel delays. Pictures and videos of rain leaking into underground subway stations flooded social media as people headed to work Monday morning.
19th
Temperatures have soared to over 29C in parts of London, making it the warmest April day for nearly 70 years. The unusually warm weather across the UK is the result of low pressure over the Atlantic and high pressure over western Europe drawing in warm air. Thursday's high of 29.1C was recorded at St James's Park in central London during the afternoon, making it the hottest UK day in April since 1949. The highest recorded temperature for this month was 29.4C back in 1949 in London.
24th
Tropical Storm Fakir has caused at least two deaths after it unleashed a direct hit on La Reunion on Tuesday. The island nation of Mauritius also took a direct hit, but there have been no reports of fatalities at this time. A tropical low northeast of Madagascar quickly intensified into Tropical Storm Fakir late on Monday. Traveling through a zone of favorable conditions, the storm spiked to a severe tropical cyclone before hitting La Reunion head on. Wind gusts of 70 mph were reported in Saint Pierre, on the southern end of La Reunion Island on Tuesday morning. Fakir dumped nearly 400 mm of rain across parts of Reunion Island.
26th
Ten teenagers died on an organized trip after flash floods swept across Israel and the West Bank in the afternoon. The Israeli teenagers were on a group hike in the Tzafit Valley near the southern Dead Sea when severe storms hit the area, causing flash floods. Heavy rain lead to flooding in other areas of Israel earlier in the week. Two other teenagers died in other areas of Israel on Wednesday due to flash flooding,
30th
Pakistan has been sweltering in record-breaking heat recently as temperatures reportedly hit 50.2C today, narrowly beating the previous year's record of 50C - the highest temperature ever recorded across the country.

World weather news, March 2018

1st
Fresh heavy snowfalls lashing Europe have caused transport delays, with the deep freeze expected to continue. The blizzard forced the cancellation of all flights at Dublin airport on Thursday and the temporary closure of Geneva airport in Switzerland. Large parts of the Continent continue to shiver in the grip of a Siberian weather system that has brought the coldest temperatures for several years. The cold snap has been given various nicknames in different countries. In Britain it is "the Beast from the East" - with Storm Emma close behind - while the Dutch are calling it the "Siberian bear" and Swedes the "snow cannon". The airport in the Swiss city of Geneva was forced to shut down on Thursday morning but was later reopened after the runway was cleared using snow ploughs. Icy blizzards across Europe have also seen trains cancelled and roads come to a standstill. About 2,000 drivers were stranded on a motorway near the French city of Montpellier, with some complaining of being stuck for as long 24 as hours.
2nd
The death toll from severe weather has risen across Europe, with at least 23 casualties in Poland alone amid sub-zero temperatures, officials say. Shelters have been opened as the plight of rough sleepers is a major concern. More than 60 people have died across the continent, AFP news agency reports. Several countries continued to face disruption caused by snow and ice. The unusually cold spell brought by a Siberian weather system was being felt as far south as the Mediterranean. Flights in and out of Dublin and Cork airports in Ireland were suspended until Saturday at the earliest. All schools in the country were shut and people were urged not to drive. Trains stations were also closed until at least midday on Saturday, and all non-urgent surgeries were cancelled by the country's health authority. In parts of central Italy, ice forced the closure of several roads and railways. At least four people were killed in an avalanche near the ski resort of Entraunes in the French Alps today. In Ukraine, all schools and higher education institutions were told to close in an effort to save gas, after its Russian supplier refused to deliver more fuel. Over the past week, the cold weather has killed seven in Slovakia, six in the Czech Republic, five each in Lithuania and France (excluding the avalanche victims) and at least three in Spain, according to AFP.
2nd-3rd
Severe storms battered the US eastern seaboard, causing coastal flooding and power outages and bringing travel services to a halt. More than a million residences were without power in the Northeast and Midwest while rail operator Amtrak suspended its Northeast service. Heavy rains and damaging winds also led to the cancellation of more than 2,600 US flights. At least six people have been killed, US media report. They died when strong winds brought branches or entire trees down on streets, cars, and homes. Seawater flooded Boston's coastal streets for the second time this year caused by an extreme high tide. 30 cm of snow fell on northern and western areas of New York state. The National Weather Service was forecasting continued coastal flooding on Saturday as the storm slowly moves away from the east coast. Gusts of up to 70 mph have downed trees and power lines in the Washington, DC region. New York's LaGuardia airport suspended all arrivals and departures and rail operator Amtrak temporarily halted service between New York, Boston and Washington. Amtrak tweeted on Friday that its Northeast Corridor service was "temporarily suspended due to multiple weather related issues".
7th
Thousands of people were left without power as a storm brought more than 60 cm of snow to the US east coast. More than 800,000 customers were without electricity, including some who have been without power since last Friday's powerful winter storm. Heavy snow and icy roads prompted officials to close schools and cancel or delay thousands of flights across the region. It is the second storm to hit the US East Coast in less than a week. At least one death has been blamed on the storm. An 88-year-old woman died after she was struck by a falling tree in Suffern, New York, according to the Journal News newspaper. More than 2,000 flights were cancelled as of Wednesday night, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware. The governors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania declared states of emergency, allowing for release of government funds for recovery and redevelopment operations if necessary.
10th
A lightning strike killed at least 16 people and injured dozens more at a Seventh-Day Adventist church in Rwanda. Most of the victims died instantly when lightning hit the church in the southern district of Nyaruguru, local mayor Habitegeko Francois told AFP. Two people died from their injuries, and 140 people were rushed to hospital and health centres. Lightning also killed a student in the area on Friday, the mayor said. The incident in the mountainous region near the border with Burundi took place around midday on Saturday while parishioners of the town of Gihemvu were at a church service.
10th
Two people died in East Texas after severe storms rampaged the area.. Strong winds and hail tore through a campground near Jefferson, Texas, about 130 miles east of Dallas. One woman was killed at the campground and another person was killed 25 miles away after a tree fell on a mobile home.
11th
Cyclone Hola continued its path south-eastwards across the South Pacific this week, brushing along the northern-most fringes of New Zealand's North Island. The cyclone, which intensified to category 4, brought with it heavy rain and strong winds in excess of 70 mph to communities along the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne as well as to the country's capital, Auckland. It was the third big storm to strike the country this year.
12th-13th
A damaging tornado hit the vicinity of Caserta in Campania, southern Italy last night. Significant damage has been reported, as well as at least 15 injuries. Affected areas include San Nicola la Strada, Marcianise, Capodrise, Recale, Portico and Macerata. Reported damage includes damaged roofs on buildings, uprooted trees and overturned cars and larger vehicles. While it is still early in the season, Italy is no stranger to tornadoes. In the past several years it has experienced wedge tornadoes and tornadoes as strong as F4.
13th
The third nor'easter in two weeks has hit the northeastern United States. The region has endured a relentless stream of wintry weather since the start of March, disrupting travel for millions. The most recent storm produced blizzard conditions in New England, dropping more than 2 feet of snow in some areas. Winds gusted past 70 mph. The blizzard brought travel to a halt in Boston as fierce winds and heavy snow limited visibility to just several hundred feet during the height of the storm. Hundreds of flights were cancelled at Boston's Logan International Airport. On Tuesday evening, over 200,000 electric customers were without power across Massachusetts.
15th
Rumblings of volcanic thunder have been recorded for the first time by geophysicists who monitored a series of violent eruptions on an island in the northern Pacific Ocean last year. The thunderclaps were created by lightning in the towering plumes of ash that rose from the Bogoslof volcano in the Aleutian islands. The booms were picked up by microphones on another island some 40 miles away. The sound of volcanic thunder has never been captured before, chiefly because it is so hard to disentangle from the bangs and rumbles that already accompany volcanic eruptions. In the audio recording, the thunder sounds like pops and clicks over the lower-pitched rumble of the eruption. "It's something that people who've been at eruptions have certainly seen and heard before, but this is the first time we've definitively caught it and identified it in scientific data," said Matt Haney, a seismologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory in Anchorage. The Bogoslof volcano erupted more than 60 times between December 2016 and August 2017, handing researchers the ideal opportunity to record the blasts from the neighbouring island of Umnak. In March and June, microphones picked up the distinctive sounds of volcanic thunder, which arrived at Umnak three minutes after a global network of lightning sensors detected flashes in the Bogoslof ash plume.
17th-18th
Darwin residents are in clean-up mode and tens of thousands are without power or drinkable water after the strongest cyclone to hit the city in 30 years caused widespread destruction. Emergency services said the strength of the storm was "a real wake-up call" for the city. Tropical Cyclone Marcus passed directly through Darwin about midday Saturday as a category two storm, bringing 130 km/h wind gusts and rain, and felling hundreds of large trees and powerlines throughout the city and suburbs. Multiple streets, including the arterial Stuart Highway, were blocked by fallen trees. The cyclone warning was cancelled for Darwin on Saturday afternoon and residents began clearing debris from gardens and streets, using chainsaws to clear trees from blocked roads. Up to 23,000 homes remained without power on Sunday morning and the Greater Darwin area, including Palmerston, was warned to boil water and let it cool before drinking or using it to brush teeth. The region had been on high alert for days, with people preparing cyclone kits, stocking up on food and water, and clearing debris from yards and homes. About 130 people, including homeless people and clinic patients took cover in city shelters on Saturday, including courthouse carparks. The cyclone led to the cancellation of flights in and out of Darwin from Friday night, as well as the postponement of sporting events including the Tiwi Islands footy final and the NTFL grand final.
18th
Tropical Cyclone Eliakim has battered Madagascar with strong winds and torrential rain. The storm made landfall on the peninsula of Masoala in northeastern Madagascar and tracked southwards along the coast. Strong winds battered the island and torrential rain fell on already-saturated land, triggering landslides and flooding. The cyclone comes less than two weeks after Dumazile grazed the east coast of the island nation. Both storms hit Toamasina, Madagascar's second largest city. Images on social media showed widespread flooding with roads and homes inundated. According to local media, at least 17 people were killed by Eliakim and many more have been injured.
19th-20th
One of the largest severe weather outbreaks of the year unfolded from Monday night into Tuesday morning, as damaging thunderstorms spawned tornadoes, hail the size of tennis balls and damaging winds across the Southeast USA. The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center listed nine tornado reports from Monday, all of them in Alabama. Damaging tornadoes ripped through the town of Jacksonville, Alabama, located about 76 miles northeast of Birmingham. As the damage survey continues, and based on an assessment of structures in the vicinity of Jacksonville State University the tornado intensity has been upgraded to an EF-3 with winds around 140mph. "Considerable" damage was reported at Jacksonville State University as campus officials warned students and faculty against traveling to the school as trees and power lines were down throughout campus. The university remains closed on Tuesday due to the extensive damage. Despite the reports of damaged structures, there have not been any reports of injuries or fatalities.
21st
Spring kicked off with another major snowstorm in the northeastern United States. Washington, D.C., and New York City were slammed by the fourth nor'easter of the month, bringing travel to a halt and leading to widespread school cancellations across the region. Hundreds of accidents were reported across the region. More than 8 inches of snow fell in Central Park, breaking a daily record. That amount of snow occurs once every 20 years during this time of year in New York City. Washington, D.C., received 4 inches of snow before the snow tapered off on Wednesday afternoon.
23rd
Dust from a sandstorm in the Sahara desert is causing snow in eastern Europe to turn orange, transforming mountainous regions of Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania into Mars-like landscapes. The unusual scenes are believed to be created by a mix of sand, dust and pollen particles stirred up and swept across from storms in northern Africa. According the meteorologists, the phenomenon occurs roughly every five years. Steven Keates, a weather forecaster at the UK's Met Office, told the Independent: "As the sand gets lifted to the upper levels of the atmosphere, it gets distributed elsewhere. "Looking at satellite imagery from Nasa, it shows a lot of sand and dust in the atmosphere drifting across the
26th
More than 40 people have been rescued from floodwaters at two Cairns (Australia) caravan parks after deluges from ex-cyclone Nora overwhelmed emergency services. Desperate residents and visitors called state emergency services workers for help on Monday night as flash flooding swamped the parks on the city's outskirts. Lance Duncan from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) said authorities had been expecting the rain, but the strength of the downpour had been unexpected. "We weren't prepared for 100 mm of rain in a minute," Duncan said. The region is bracing for major flooding with the Barron River expected to reach its highest level in a decade, while Townsville has also been told to prepare for heavy falls as the weather system moves south. Port Douglas was hit with nearly 600 mm of rain in the 24 hours to Monday morning, while Kuranda, just north of Cairns, had more than 400 mm with nearby Barron Falls raging with water. Port Douglas residents have also been told the town's water supply is at critical levels because the local water treatment plan is struggling to cope with the continued rain.
31st
March 2018, goes on record as the hottest March ever experienced in Bahrain since 1902. The mean temperature of the month was 24.6C which is 3.6 degC above the long-term normal and goes on record as the highest mean temperatures for the month of March since 1902. The old record was 24.2C in March 1969.

World weather news, February 2018

1st
Cyclone Fehi sparked evacuations and a state of emergency along New Zealand's west coast as the storm affected the North Island on route to the nation's South Island. A state of emergency was declared for South Island's cities Dunedin and Buller. Cyclone Fehi was downgraded to a severe storm as it moved past New Caledonia, according to the Fiji Meteorological Service. Earlier New Zealand's Civil Defence announced the Nelson Tasman Group Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated, with a number of evacuations throughout the region in coastal areas. The majority of flights in and out of Wellington on the North Island were delayed, diverted or cancelled. The nation's Civil Defence was urging people who reside on the Otago Peninsula and West Harbour to go home early for safety reasons as a king tide is due at around 5pm local time (0400 GMT). A king tide comes just after a new or full moon, when there is the greatest difference between high and low water.
3rd
Moscow has seen its heaviest snowfall in a day since records began, with more than 2,000 trees brought down and air travel disrupted, officials say. More than half the monthly average snow - 38 cm - fell on Saturday, beating the previous record from 1957. A falling tree and collapsing power line killed one person and five others were injured. Dozens of flights have been delayed at the Russian capital's airports.
6th-7th
The heaviest snowfall since December 2010 caused travel chaos across northern France, including Paris, into Wednesday. As of 6 a.m. Wednesday local time, 12-15 cm of snow had fallen in Paris and caused significant travel disruptions. Snowfall of this magnitude occurs in Paris every 10 to 20 years according to Meteo France. The snowfall forced restrictions on vehicles over 7.5 tonnes and caused travel traffic jams totalling more than 700 km across the city and surrounding areas Tuesday evening, according to France 24. The snow forced the closure of the Eiffel Tower from Tuesday into Wednesday; however, the snowy scene caused travellers and locals to flock to the iconic structure for a snow-covered picture.
7th
A winter storm is leading to widespread disruptions across the northeastern United States. The heaviest snow fell along a zone stretching from central Ohio to the coast of Maine with many locations across interior New England measuring over 6 inches of accumulation. Thes storm stretches about 2,000 miles from the storms in the South to the snow impacting New England. Some airlines began cancelling flights scheduled for Wednesday on Tuesday afternoon in anticipation for the inclement weather.
8th
A winter storm moved across the eastern United States on Wednesday, unleashing rain across the southeastern U.S. while snow and ice fell from the lower Midwest to the shores of New England. More than 200 flights were cancelled at Newark Liberty International Airport, where the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was also reporting delays up to 1 hour and 40 minutes on arriving flights. In total, over 1,000 flights were cancelled across the northeastern on Wednesday. Major travel disruptions unfolded as the storm delivered heavy snow and a slippery, icy mix in the Northeast. A Southwest Airlines plane skidded sideways off a runway at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport while preparing for takeoff, according to the FAA. There were no injuries reported among the 149 passengers onboard Flight 906, which was due to depart for Montego Bay, Jamaica. Erie, Pennsylvania, received enough snow to take this season's total to 152.1 inches, making it the snowiest winter in the city's history. The previous record was 149.1 inches, set in the 2000-2001 season.
9th-13th
Powerful Cyclone Gita caused widespread damage to parts of Samoa and American Samoa last week before targeting Tonga Monday night into Tuesday. An emergency declaration was made by the governor of American Samoa which was approved by President Donald Trump allowing aid to be distributed to the island territory. Flooding and power cuts were widespread across Tutuila, including the capital of Pago Pago where rainfall in excess of 150 mm was reported. In Samoa, there were no immediate reports of injury or death from the cyclone, according to Radio New Zealand. More than 350 mm of rain fell in the capital city of Apia from Friday into Saturday. Widespread flooding was reported along with damage to buildings from strong winds. Niue was next in the path of Gita; however, the island was largely spared as Gita passed east and south of the island nation Sunday into Monday. Gita continued to strengthen as it turned westward and approached Tonga Monday night into Tuesday. The centre of the storm passed just south of Tonga unleashing damaging winds, flooding rain and inundating storm surge on Tongatapu and Eua. At its closest approach to Tonga, Gita was equal to a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic and east Pacific oceans with sustained winds of 232 km/h. Tonga's Parliament House was completely destroyed in the storm's fury, according to the Associated Press. The Tonga Met office was also damaged, forcing forecasters to take shelter and shift warning responsibilities to the Fiji Met Service.
11th
South-east Queenslanders experienced severe storms in the evening, which dumped huge hail and wreaked havoc on the power network. By Monday morning repair crews were scrambling to restore power to about 57,000 properties that remained without power after destructive winds, gusting beyond 100 km/h in some places, downed hundreds of power lines across the region. The severe weather also caused delays to train services on the Gold Coast and Beenleigh lines. The wild weather, after a day of baking heat across much of Queensland, generated more than 265,000 lightning strikes.
18th
Tropical Cyclone Kelvin crossed the Western Australian coast on Sunday morning near Anna Plains station, about 250km south of Broome, as a category 2 storm. Cattle producer David Stoate said the property, which includes 20,000 cattle, copped a "belting" with roaring wind, roofs knocked off, windows smashed and trees uprooted. He estimated the damage to be about $150,000. Elsewhere in the region, lives and homes remained in danger on Sunday afternoon, with a red alert in place for people between the Bidyadanga Aboriginal community and Sandfire in the Kimberley region. People were warned to remain inside and shelter in the strongest part of their homes or at the evacuation centre, away from doors and windows, and to keep emergency kits with them.
19th
At least 17 people were killed after being buried by debris when heavy rain caused a large mound of garbage to collapse in Mozambique's capital. The disaster took place at the Hulene garbage dump, the largest such facility in Mozambique's capital of Maputo. The garbage dump rose up to the height of a three-story building and collapsed onto homes as heavy rain poured down, the AP reported. A weather station in Maputo recorded nearly 90 mm of rain in 24 hours, ending on Monday morning, local time.
20th
After leaving destruction from Samoa to Tonga, Cyclone Gita brought more damage as it hit New Zealand, unleashing powerful winds and heavy rainfall. Despite losing its tropical characteristics, the powerful storm still caused travel disruptions, power outages and significant flooding. A state of emergency has been declared in Taranaki, Selywn, Buller, Grey, Westland, Nelson/Tasman and Christchurch regions, according to the New Zealand MetService. A peak wind gust of 130 km/h was reported in Hawera. Up to 14,000 homes were left without power during the peak of the storm in Taranaki region as a result of the high winds. The heaviest rain has fallen over northern South Island and southern North Island where 25-75 mm has been common. The February rainfall in Wellington has surpassed 75 mm as of Tuesday night. Normal rainfall for the entire month of February is around 89 mm. Similarly, rainfall has surpassed 50 mm in Christchurch which averages only 45 mm for the entire month. The storm has also disrupted travel with numerous road closures and cancelled flights.
20th
An Australian town has been hit by a dust storm that covered the outback community in orange dust. The storm swept through Charleville in south-west Queensland on Tuesday, knocking down trees and causing minor damage. Authorities said recent weather conditions had allowed strong winds to pick and spread dirt from the region. "We do see a fair few dust events through the western parts of Queensland because it is such a dry and hot place, but it's definitely one of the more impressive events of the last few years," said Harry Clark, from Australia's Bureau of Meteorology. He estimated the dust storm was about 200 km wide. It gave winds of up to 60 mph, while visibility at the local airport was reduced to about 200 m.
24th-25th
At least five people have been killed as a strong storm system caused flooding, hail and high winds in central and southern US states over the weekend. Three people died in Kentucky as tornadoes ripped through the state. Emergencies were declared in several states as heavy rainfall continued to cause widespread flooding on Sunday. The governor of Indiana issued disaster declarations for 11 counties due to flooding. Tornadoes were also recorded in Tennessee, with sustained winds recorded of up to 125mph (200km/h). No deaths were reported there, but a teenage girl was injured by falling debris at a basketball game on Saturday night after a reported lightning strike. The Ohio River was measured at 18 m deep - its highest level for 21 years.
26th
Homeless people in parts of Brussels will be detained overnight if they refuse shelter to protect them from sub-zero temperatures this week. The mayor of Etterbeek, a Brussels neighbourhood that is home to many European Union offices, said he had asked police to take all homeless people to shelters even if they were unwilling. The mayor of Brussels City, one of 19 councils that make up the greater Brussels region, said he had given similar orders to police and asked them to prioritise children sleeping outside. Officials in Lithuania say this winter's record low temperatures claimed the lives of at least three people over the weekend in Vilnius. Seven people have received treatment for substantial frostbite to their hands and feet in the past few days. The impact of the cold weather has been felt across the continent, although not as severely as in the Baltic states. Schools have been disrupted across Italy and Romans woke to the rare sight of the capital city covered in snow on Monday. It was the heaviest snowfall in Rome in six years and the largest for the end of February in decades. The city, which is not well equipped to deal with snow emergencies, asked other areas to send in snowploughs to help clear roads. Only one runway was operating at Rome's main airport, Fiumicino. Its second airport, Ciampino, was closed overnight allowing workers to clear a runway so it could reopen on Monday morning. On Sunday night, temperatures in Moscow dropped to nearly -20C, the coldest night of the Russian winter so far. Roman Vilfand, the chief of the Russian meteorological office, said Muscovites should brace themselves for frosty weather in early March and could only "count on the warmth of the soul", not higher temperatures outside. In Germany, meteorologists reported a record cold for this winter of -27C on Zugspitze, the country's highest peak. In the UK, the bookmaker Coral slashed the odds on March being recorded as the country's coldest ever month. In Romania, where temperatures plunged to -8C on Monday, the mayor of Bucharest, Gabriela Firea, announced schools would be closed in the capital for at least two days. Schools were also closed elsewhere in Romania. In Croatia, about 1,000 soldiers joined efforts to clear the snow in the worst-affected areas where more than 1.5 metres of snowfall has been reported. Schools have been closed in the north-west and heavy vehicles have been banned from all roads leading toward the coast.

World weather news, January 2018

3rd
Winter storm Eleanor has swept into most of northern Europe, including France and Germany after battering the UK, cutting power to tens of thousands of homes and affecting transport. A skier died in the French Alps and 15 others were injured elsewhere in the country, four of them seriously. Two people were killed when they were swept away by a huge wave on Spain's northern Basque coast. A train was blown off its tracks in Switzerland, leaving several people with minor injuries. One person was hit by a falling tree in the Netherlands. In northern France, the storm cut power to more than 200,000 households and Eleanor is set to move to other regions throughout the day, including Corsica. Air travel was also disrupted in the capital, Paris, and in the east of the country. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was closed because of the strong winds. The city's parks have also been closed until the storm dies down because of worries over falling tree branches. A skier was killed by a falling tree in Morillon, in the Haute-Savoie region of eastern France. In Germany, the storm - named Burglind there - has swept over much of the country. It packed gusts of more than 120km/h in the west of the country and led to transport disruption, reports say. Switzerland has also been badly hit, with some 14,000 homes without power. The high winds left several people stranded in a ski lift in St Gallen canton, overturned a light airplane in Stans and snapped the 13m (42ft) high Christmas tree in the capital Bern, Reuters news agency reports. Meanwhile, record wind gusts of 195 km/h were recorded on Pilatus Peak near the Swiss city of Lucerne, broadcaster SRF reported. In the Netherlands, more than 200 flights were cancelled at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. Several main roads and train lines were also closed.
5th
In the Australian state of Victoria, peoples are being told to get ready for extreme temperatures this weekend. A total fire ban was issued across the entire state for Saturday, with Melbourne tipped to experience its hottest day in almost two years. There was an all-day ban on lighting open-air fires and the Country Fire Authority was advising residents living in fire-prone areas to activate their bushfire plans. Melbourne was expected to swelter through 41C in the city on Saturday, with northerly winds reaching up to 40km/h. That would be the hottest day the city had experienced since 13 January 2016, when temperatures soared to 42.2C.
5th
Heavy snow has cut off the Alpine ski resorts of Cervinia in Italy and Adelboden in Switzerland, as stormy weather continues to batter Europe. Italian media report that Cervinia, in the Aosta Valley, is half-buried under 2 m of fresh snow. About 10,000 tourists are stuck there. A similar emergency has gripped Adelboden, where the army was mobilised to clear debris from a landslide. In many resorts the avalanche risk is at level four, out of five in total. The weather jeopardised a World Cup ski race that is scheduled to take place this weekend in Adelboden. The landslide cut the resort's road to Frutigen. But reports in Swiss media say the race will go ahead and the authorities are working to repair the road. In Austria's Tyrol region, the avalanche risk is high too and many roads are blocked. In Vorarlberg it is at level four. In the French Alps, ski pistes have been closed at Val d'Isere - one of the biggest resorts - and Chamonix has stopped most of its ski lifts. Three people died due to storm Eleanor in the French Alps: a 93-year-old woman whose home was flooded in Isere, a farmer buried by snow in Savoie and a skier killed when a tree toppled in Morillon.
6th
North America's East Coast is shivering in a record-breaking freeze in the wake of a deadly "bomb cyclone" that dumped snow as far south as Florida. In Canada, high winds have knocked out power for tens of thousands of residents in Nova Scotia. On Wednesday, snow fell in Tallahassee, Florida, for the first time in more than 30 years, causing travel chaos in the region. Five inches of snow fell in Charleston, South Carolina, making it the third snowiest day since the city began keeping records in 1938. On Friday, the National Weather Service (NWS) predicted dangerously low temperatures moving into the weekend as frigid air lingering over the North Pole prowls towards the US mid-Atlantic region. "An arctic outbreak will keep temperatures 20F to 30F degrees below average across the north-eastern US," the NWS said. In Massachusetts, residents of Boston, which received over 30 cm of snowfall, were clearing the streets with shovels. Giant waves caused by the storm saw freezing floodwaters inundate parts of the New England coast. The extreme weather has so far been linked to up to 19 deaths in the US and two more in Canada. Four deaths were reported in traffic accidents in North and South Carolina. Further fatalities occurred in Wisconsin, Kentucky and Texas. In Philadelphia, a car was unable to stop at a railway line at the bottom of a steep hill and was hit by a commuter train, killing a passenger in the vehicle. In Virginia, a girl was fatally struck by a car while sledging, and a 75-year-old man was killed after being hit by a snow plough. A 13-year-old girl died and 35 others suffered carbon-monoxide poisoning in an apartment building in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, where the temperature averaged 20F on Thursday night. Seven of those treated were first responders. The extreme weather caused travel chaos and led to the cancellation of thousands of flights on Thursday and Friday. Most flights have since resumed at airports in New York and Boston. Experts say the so-called bomb cyclone storm drew moisture and strength from as far south as the Caribbean Sea. In Canada, the provinces of New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador are both under winter storm and blizzard warnings. On Friday morning, Nova Scotia Power said some 125,000 customers were still without power after 140 km/h wind gusts hit parts of the maritime province. Power cuts have also been also reported in New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Ontario is under an extreme cold warning, while Quebec faces heavy snowfall, strong winds and storm surges. Boston harbour's tide gauge matched its record at 15.1ft - previously set during the great blizzard of 1978. Flooding affected the city's newly renovated seaport district and deluged a downtown subway station. The storm has so far forced hundreds of schools and businesses to close in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, the Carolinas, Maryland and Virginia. The weather pattern has already brought snow to the US South as far down as Florida, where the cold snap has caused iguanas to lose their grip and fall from trees. Natural gas prices in the US north-east have risen to an all-time high, driven by demand for heating fuel.
7th
The Australian city of Sydney has experienced its hottest weather in 79 years with temperatures in the region hitting as high as 47.3C in Penrith, west of Sydney. Severe fire warnings were issued for the greater Sydney area and total fire bans were put in place across the city. Sunday's temperatures fell short of the scorching heat to hit the area in 1939, when the mercury reached 47.8C.
7th
Snow started falling on the Algerian town of Ain Sefra in the early hours of Sunday morning, giving children an opportunity to race each other down the slopes. Rising temperatures meant it began to melt later in the day. It is the third time in nearly 40 years the town, known as "The Gateway to the Desert", has seen snowfall. In 1979, a snowstorm lasting half an hour stopped traffic. Two years ago, snow settled for around a day, and the town saw snowfall again last year.
8th-9th
Thousands of tourists are stranded in Swiss ski resorts after heavy snow in the Alps cut off towns and villages. Skiing is not possible as slopes are closed because of the danger of avalanches. More than a metre of snow fell in parts on Monday alone. On Tuesday, a metre more is forecast. The avalanche risk is set at the rarely used maximum on a five-point scale. This is the highest it has been for almost ten years. Many schools have been closed and some houses evacuated. Snow has blocked road and rail links to many ski resorts In the resort of Zermatt, home to the famous Matterhorn mountain, more than 13,000 tourists cannot leave.
10th
Rescue workers in southern California are searching for survivors after mudslides and flooding in which at least 13 people have died. More than 30 miles of the main coastal road have been closed and police said the scene "looked like a World War One battlefield". A group of 300 people are reportedly trapped in Romero Canyon neighbourhood east of Santa Barbara, with rescue efforts due to resume at daybreak. The death toll is expected to rise. Some 163 people have been taken to hospital. Twenty had "storm-related injuries" and four were critically hurt. The first rain in months caused mudslides when it hit ground that had been scorched by December's huge wildfires. In some places mud was waist-deep, officials said. Thousands had to leave their homes, many for the second time in two months. The emergency services declared an exclusion zone, saying anyone moving around the area would be in the way of rescuers and would be subject to arrest. Boulders the size of small cars were rolling down hillsides and blocking roads.
16th
Motorists were warned to drive with caution as snow and ice affected large parts of Scotland. Dozens of schools were closed in the Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway, after overnight snowfall. Police reported dealing with jackknifed lorries on the A9 at Dalwhinnie, and on the M74 between Lockerbie and Moffat. Wintry conditions forced Inverness airport to close for a time. Flights in and out of Aberdeen Airport were also affected and Glasgow Airport was closed for a while as the runway, taxi and passenger routes were cleared.
16th
People living in some of the coldest places on earth are hunkering down as temperatures fall to near-record lows that are even defeating thermometers. Temperatures in the remote, diamond-rich Russian region of Yakutia on Tuesday plunged to -67C in some areas. In Yakutia - 5,300 km east of Moscow - where students routinely go to school in -40C, school was cancelled throughout the region. Local police also ordered parents to keep their children at home. Over the weekend, two men froze to death when they tried to walk to a nearby farm after their car broke down. Three other men who were with them survived because they were wearing warmer clothes, local investigators reported on Monday. The press office of Yakutia's governor said Tuesday all households and businesses in the region have working central heating and access to backup power generators. In the village of Oimyakon, one of the coldest inhabited places on earth, state-owned television showed mercury falling to the bottom of a thermometer that was only set up to measure down to -50C. In 2013, Oymyakon recorded an all-time low of minus -71C.
16th-17th
Snow swept across the southeastern United States on Tuesday and Wednesday, chilling the region and causing widespread road closures and flight delays from southern Texas through North Carolina. The winter storm unfolded across the Gulf Coast states on Tuesday with snow, sleet and ice making some roads impassable from Houston through Birmingham, Alabama. Stretches of Interstate 10 were closed from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday due to snow and ice. By Wednesday, the focus of the snow shifted from the Gulf Coast to the Carolinas. Areas near the coast saw little to no accumulation, but accumulations of 4 to 8 inches were common farther inland. The heaviest snow occurred in an area just to the northwest of Durham, North Carolina, where there was 8 to 12 inches. Wintry weather was blamed for a slew of road closures and accidents across areas from Texas to Kentucky. The snow and ice also forced school and government offices to close and numerous flight delays out of major hubs like Houston and Atlanta.
16th-17th
Hundreds of drivers spent the night in their cars after becoming stranded due to heavy snow. Mountain rescue teams were sent to help those stuck on the M74 in Dumfries and Galloway after severe weather led to closures at Millbank and Beattock. Public transport has been disrupted and schools remain closed in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Disruption was also reported on the M62 trans-Pennine motorway, although by Wednesday morning traffic was able to move. Scottish Borders Council has said no schools will open in its area.
18th
Severe gales caused disruption to much of the UK - with gusts of up to 70 mph. Police in several areas, including Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Gloucestershire, reported fallen trees on or near roads. Damage to overhead electric wires caused problems for train services in the Midlands, and drivers are being warned to take extra care on the roads. In Scotland, police urged motorists to drive with "extreme caution" in the wintry conditions. Drivers in Scotland and northern England were being warned not to travel at all until after 0500 GMT, the first such warning issued since high winds in January 2013. Rail commuters faced delays in London, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. In Sydenham, south east London, a train hit a tree. Scottish Borders Council said no schools would open today, affecting 15,000 pupils.
18th
Dutch authorities have suspended all flights to and from Amsterdam Schiphol airport as a severe storm causes transport chaos in the Netherlands. Most rail traffic has also stopped as winds gust at up to 140 km/h. Police have closed the centre of Almere, a city with about 200,000 residents lying just east of Amsterdam. They tweeted an alert warning people to stay at home because of risk from the storm. The Dutch Railways (NS) and operator ProRail said overhead power lines had been damaged by the wind, as well as some railway tracks. High winds have also toppled trees and caused structural damage in western regions of Germany, where the storm is called "Friederike". The national train operator, Deutsche Bahn, has suspended rail traffic in North Rhine-Westphalia and parts of neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state. Dozens of flights are also being cancelled in Germany - at Cologne/Bonn airport every fourth flight has been scrapped. An emergency siren wailed in the city of Duisburg, warning residents that they should stay indoors, German news website WDR reported. Eight people were killed in storm-related accidents; three people died after being hit by falling trees and debris in the Netherlands and one in Germany. Those killed in Germany also included two firefighters and two lorry drivers whose vehicles were blown over. The storm later moved east into Poland. It was the most powerful storm to hit Germany for 11 years.
21st-22nd
A powerful storm unleashed blizzard conditions and over a 30 cm of snow across the midwestern United States this week. The snowstorm began over the Rockies on Sunday, forcing nearly 200 flights to be cancelled at Denver International Airport. The heaviest snow fell along a narrow swath from northwestern Kansas through Nebraska, northwestern Iowa and south-central Minnesota, with widespread totals of 8-14 inches. Visibility became so poor that the Platte County Highway Department in Nebraska pulled snow removal crews off the roads on Monday morning. The Minnesota State Patrol reported over 600 crashes and vehicle spin-outs as well as dozens of jackknifed semi-trailers from midnight to 8:45 p.m. CST Monday.
22nd
Heavy snow affected the Tokyo metro area. Tokyo picked up 23 cm of snowfall, making it the heaviest snowfall there since February 2014, when 27 cm fell. There were more than 600 traffic accidents due to the slippery road conditions in Tokyo, and hundreds of flights were cancelled. Reuters reported that about 50 cars got stuck on the Rainbow Bridge along Tokyo's waterfront. Traffic jams trapped cars inside a tunnel for up to 10 hours. Travel by train was also affected when a train failed to make it up a slope due to the snow, causing the Yurikamome Line to come to a halt, the Japan Times reported.
22nd
Thousands of people have been stranded by heavy snowfall at ski resorts in the Alps, with many unable to return home following skiing holidays. Train lines and roads to Zermatt in Switzerland and St Anton in Austria have been blocked off, and authorities are asking people to remain in their accommodation for safety reasons. While some tourists were airlifted out of Zermatt by helicopter, flights were stopped following a deterioration in weather conditions. Authorities in Zermatt have been attempting to clear the snow using helicopters. At St Anton in Austria, police have restricted travel in and out of the town to cars with snow chains, while firefighter escorts transported some people to a nearby valley. This is the second time visitors to Zermatt have been snowed in this month.
23rd
A member of Japan's self-defence forces died and about a dozen skiers were injured after a volcano erupted near a ski resort, triggering an avalanche and sending rocks raining down on the slopes. The skiers were injured when they became trapped by the avalanche or were hit by falling volcanic rocks from Mount Kusatsu-Shirane, according to local media. Five were seriously injured, but none was in a critical condition, rescuers said. Five other members of Japan's ground self-defence force who were taking part in training manoeuvres in the area were rescued, some with injuries including fractures.
24th
As drought continues and water levels plummet in Cape Town's (Soth Africa) dams, residents are facing a slew of new emergency measures. Messages of conservation have fallen on deaf ears, the city said, necessitating a crackdown on usage. "We have reached a point of no return. Despite our urging for months, 60 percent of Capetonians are callously using more than 87 litres per day," Mayor Patricia de Lille said. This week, the government is set to vote on the introduction of a punitive tariff, which will charge residents using above 6,000 liters per month exponentially higher rates for their water. As of February 1, usage will be restricted to 50 litres per person per day to make up for months of overuse. Though desalination plants are set to go online in February and drilling into the aquifer will also take place, officials say the additional resources are too little too late. The city has announced water collection points, which will become the only way to obtain water for personal use if dam levels continue to drop. Taps will be shut off and residents will be able to retrieve 25 liters per person each day from one of 200 collection points across the city.
28th
Authorities in Victoria and South Australia are urging people to behave sensibly and watch out for vulnerable friends and family as the southern states swelter through another extremely hot and humid day. Melbourne and Geelong were forecast to reach 39C on Sunday, with overnight conditions not expected to fall below 27C. Parts of the state's north-west, such as Mildura, were expected to hit 44C following at least a week of temperatures into the 40s. The lack of winds meant there was only "very high" fire danger for around Melbourne, and central north and western parts of the state, and a "high" fire danger in the east. In South Australia, total fire bans were declared for parts of the state. On Sunday afternoon, lives and homes were at risk from an out-of-control bushfire south-east of Adelaide, authorities warned. It was Adelaide's second heatwave this month, following similar conditions the week before which led to the hospitalisation of 40 people.
29th
The swollen River Seine has peaked at more than four metres above its normal level, leaving a lengthy mop-up job for Parisians after days of rising waters. The river rose to 5.84 metres early on Monday morning, causing problems for commuters as well as people living near its overflowing banks. Around 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes, according to police, while a similar number of properties remain without electricity. The capital's famous Bateaux Mouches rivercraft service was suspended and only emergency services were authorised to use the river. The Seine did not quite reach its 2016 high of 6.1 metres, when priceless artworks had to be evacuated from the Louvre. The December-January period is now the third wettest on record since data collection began in 1900, according to France's meteorological service. A main commuter line, the RER C, will not stop in the city until at least 5 February, and some expressways that run alongside the Seine have been closed. However, fears of flooding like that seen in 1910, which saw the Seine rise to 8.62 metres and shut down much of Paris's basic infrastructure, appeared unfounded. But several areas on the city's outskirts were underwater, including the southern suburb of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, where some residents were getting around by boat and dozens have been evacuated from their homes.
30th
A week-long heatwave has floored New Zealand, breaking temperature records across the country and causing a nationwide shortage of fans. Temperatures have soared above 37C in parts of the South Island, with records broken in Dunedin, Wanaka, Christchurch and many other cities and towns. Temperatures are expected to peak on Tuesday or Wednesday around the high 30s or 40C mark - highs that are proving particularly challenging for school children as many New Zealand classrooms are equipped with heaters but not air conditioners. Ben Noll, a meteorologist from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), said unusually warm sea temperatures were the major factor contributing to the heatwave, as the mainland experienced a dramatic rise in land temperatures as soon as the sea rose above average. NIWA has recorded seas of 24C to 26C around Auckland, compared with 18C to 22C at the same time last year. New Zealand was tracking towards its warmest January on record, Noll said, with high temperatures expected to continue into February. New Zealand's current hottest temperature on record was 42.4C, recorded in Rangiora in the South Island in February 1973, according to NIWA.

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Last updated 24 May 2018.