World weather news, May 2019
- Namibia is facing a "natural disaster" because of poor rains, President Hage Geingob says.
He has declared a state of emergency - the second in three years - over the situation, mobilising all government agencies to respond to the drought.
The lack of rain has already left 500,000 people - one in five Namibians - without access to enough food, the government says.
The sparsely-populated country has seen a succession of droughts since 2013.
The government had set aside $40m to buy food and water tanks, and to transport livestock to and from grazing areas.
- The strongest cyclone to hit India in five years killed at least 36 people in the eastern state of Odisha, before swinging north-eastwards into Bangladesh on Saturday, where more than a million people have been moved to safety.
After hitting land on Friday, Cyclone Fani lost some of its power and was downgraded to a deep depression by the India Meteorological Department.
A storm surge still breached embankments to submerge dozens of villages on Bangladesh's low-lying coast, a disaster ministry official in Dhaka said.
About 1.2 million people living in the most vulnerable districts in Bangladesh had been moved to 4,000 shelters.
In India, authorities were assessing the casualties and damage caused by Fani, which had spent days building power over the northern reaches of the Bay of Bengal before tearing into Odisha.
Indian media reported that at least 12 people died across the state, most as a result of falling trees. A mass evacuation of more than a million people in the 24 hours before the tropical cyclone made landfall is likely to have averted a greater loss of life.
- Mississippi has experienced a historic start to the tornado season in 2019.
A state with an average of 21 tornadoes through April has seen roughly four times as many, with 83 through the first four months of the year, according to data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The tornado data is preliminary and subject to revision.
The state averages 45.1 tornadoes a year and has already been hit with more twisters this year than each of the last four full years. Mississippi suffered a worse start in 2011 when 131 tornadoes touched down through April, largely a result of the four-day 2011 Super Outbreak that struck the southeastern U.S., resulting in $11 billion in damages and leaving an estimated 321 people dead.
Other states have experienced an above-normal start, too; Alabama (71 tornadoes compared to an average of 22 through April), Georgia (53 compared to 14) and Missouri (44 compared to 16) also have been uncharacteristically hard hit early.
- A storm system led to snowfalls along a zone from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Duluth, Minnesota. While not accumulating, snowflakes even managed to fall in parts of Minneapolis.
Through Thursday morning, Duluth was blanketed with 10.6 inches of snow for this event and 10.9 inches total for the month, leading to a number of broken snowfall records, according to data from the National Weather Service. One spot just southwest of Duluth reported 12 inches of snow as of Thursday afternoon.
The 8.3 inches on Wednesday, May 8, set the all-time record for most snow on a single day in the month of May. The previous record was 5.5 inches, set on May 10, 1902. The burst of May snow also shattered the record for the snowiest month of May ever in Duluth, eclipsing the previous record of 8.1 total inches of snow set in May of 1954. It was also the snowiest May 8 in Duluth history as the more than 8 inches of snow surpassed the previous record for the day of 5 inches set way back in 1924. Record-keeping began in 1884.
- A severe weather event took place across southeastern Texas on Thursday night with large hail, gusty winds and flood-creating downpours.
Houston was hit hard with drenching showers on Tuesday as between 3 to as much as 10 inches of rain fell in and around the city.
Baseball-sized hail and even larger sizes were reported across the region on Thursday evening, damaging homes and vehicles in the area.
Houston Intercontinental Airport officials issued a ground stop through 1 a.m. CDT Friday as a result of the severe storms, causing all inbound flights to Houston to be held at their origins. All of the Houston Independent School District and offices were closed due to flooding on Friday.
- According to government officials in Paraguay, approximately 40,000 people have been displaced since March as a consequence of the recent floods in the South American nation.
Since March, intense rains have led to significant floods caused by increasing water levels in the Paraguay River.
- A potent thunderstorm hammered areas north and east of Raleigh, North Carolina, before midday. Hail as large as quarters and golf balls pelted these areas as downpours swept through. Multiple trees were downed by strong wind gusts, including some on homes near Knightdale, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Downed trees blocked traffic near Pilot as traffic lights were knocked down by gusts. Some structures were also reportedly damaged in the area. A tornado may have touched down near Zebulon, North Carolina, but the National Weather Service has not confirmed the tornado.
- The imminent impact on the health of Mexicans continues to increase as a result of the wildfires roaring out of control in and around the country's capital over the past four days.
The Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis reported that the level of Extraordinary Atmospheric Environmental Contingency is being maintained due to dangerously high levels of ash particles and ozone in the Metropolitan Zone of the Valley of Mexico.
Although the emergency declaration was not accompanied by customary driving restrictions, it was later ordered that most cars leave the road from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., under the "Do not Travel Today" traffic control system.
A high pressure system is preventing the dispersion of pollutants, and high temperatures are prolonging the drought that has affected the country in recent months.
- California and surrounding states are getting soaked by a major storm more typical of the winter months.
Rain began overspreading northern portions of the state at midweek. San Francisco picked up its average rainfall for all of May on Wednesday alone as 0.47 inches fell.
Venado, California, recorded 5 inches of rain as of early Thursday morning, which set a new rainfall record for any day in May. The previous record at Venado was 3.28 inches set on 18 May 2005.
- North Korea has said it is suffering its worst drought in 37 years and called on its citizens to "battle" against the crop damage caused by it.
It comes after the UN said that up to 10 million North Koreans were "in urgent need of food assistance".
North Koreans had been surviving on just 300g (10.5 oz) of food a day so far this year, the UN report said.
In the 1990s, a devastating famine is believed to have killed hundreds of thousands of North Koreans.
North Korea's state media outlet KCNA said 54.4mm of rain fell throughout the country in the first five months of the year. It said this was the lowest level recorded since 1982.
World weather news, April 2019
- A wintry weather event unfolded over a small area of North Carolina and South Carolina, making the second day of April feel more like the second day of January.
Snow fell along the western edge of a strengthening powerful spring storm that tracked up the East Coast on Tueday into Wednesday. This was not a major snowstorm, but it was very unusual for the region for this time of year, and the storm system that brought the rare snowfall became a bomb cyclone.
Charlotte, North Carolina, was one of the bigger cities to see some snow accumulate. Tuesday was only the second time since 1915 that the city saw measurable snowfall during the month of April; the other occurrence took place in 1982.
- April snow coated roads across Scotland and northern England from Tuesday night into Wednesday, causing numerous travel disruptions.
Multiple accidents resulted in the closure of the M55 near Blackpool and the A9 near Slochd.
A slow morning commute was reported throughout Scotland and northern England, and multiple schools were forced to close in the Highlands.
The snow fell as cold air from Iceland descended on the United Kingdom, sending emperatures several degrees below normal.
Over 40 cm of snow was reported to have has fallen on the Cairngorms.
- The death toll from major floods in Iran over the past 15 days has risen to 62, the head of the Iranian Legal Medicine Organisation has told local media.
The southern province of Fars had been hardest hit with 21 dead.
Flood-related deaths have been reported in 11 of Iran's 31 provinces.
The semi-official Isna news agency said the current toll was a tally of the victims whose bodies had been transferred to coroners across the country, indicating the count could still rise.
Most of the country has been affected by flooding since March. The north-east was swamped on 19 March before the west and south-west of the country were inundated on 25 March, killing 45 people.
Flooding in the west and south-west continued on 1 April, when heavy rains returned.
"Seventy-eight intercity roads have been blocked, as many as 2,199 rural roads and 84 bridges have been washed away," Behnam Saeedi, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Organisation, told state TV. "Across 15 provinces, 141 rivers burst their banks and around 400 landslides were reported."
- A state of emergency was declared in Rio de Janeiro after torrential downpours caused flooding and mudslides that killed at least 10 people on Monday and Tuesday.
Emergency personnel acted quickly to rescue people trapped in cars and on the streets.
Large parts of the city have been inundated, including Copacabana and the neighborhoods of Botafogo and Jardim Botanico. Major roads remain closed and impassable by flooding, fallen trees and broken pavement.
More than 380 mm of rain fell in the Copacabana neighbourhood within a 24-hour period causing roadways to turn into raging rivers.
"These rains are absolutely abnormal for this time of year; none of us expected so much rain at this time," Mayor Marcelo Crivella told an early morning news conference.
Although April is still one of the wetter months in Rio de Janeiro, normal rainfall for the entire month is only around 107 mm.
- Powerful storms swept across the southern US, after unleashing suspected tornadoes and flooding that killed at least six people, including three children, injured dozens and flattened much of a Texas town.
Nearly 90,000 customers were without power in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Georgia as of midday Sunday.
Two children were killed on a back road in east Texas when a pine tree fell on to the car in which they were riding in a severe thunderstorm on Saturday near Pollok, about 150 miles south-east of Dallas.
At least 25 people were taken to hospitals for treatment after a suspected tornado struck the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site in east Texas during a Native American cultural event in Alto, about 130 miles south-east of Dallas, said police chief Jeremy Jackson. At least eight were critically hurt.
- An outbreak of severe weather, including tornadoes, tore across the southern and eastern United States over the weekend, causing at least nine deaths, dozens of injuries and widespread destruction.
Tornado and severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were issued from Texas to as far north as Massachusetts from early Saturday into Monday.
There have been 42 tornadoes confirmed and surveyed by the National Weather Service, including 3 EF3, 10 EF2, 16 EF1, and 13 EF0 tornadoes in eight states from Texas to Pennsylvania.
- In parts of the USA, winter made an abrupt return bringing significant snowfall to Chicago as well as places in Missouri, Indiana and Michigan.
Chicago's O'Hare Airport reported 5.3 inches of snow on Sunday. That made April 14 one of the top-two snowiest days this late in the season. The snowiest day in the city's history from April 14 to early May is 5.4 inches of snow on April 16, 1961.
It was enough to bring Chicago O'Hare and Chicago Midway airports to a ground stop for arriving flights, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). O'Hare cancelled 436 flights on Sunday amid snow and ice, according to Flight Aware.
- A third day of severe weather brought further death and destruction to areas from northern India to Afghanistan.
The slow-moving storm system, which has triggered damaging thunderstorms, blinding dust storms and flooding downpours, has claimed at least 39 lives in Pakistan, 47 in India and 15 in Afghanistan, according to Anadolu Agency.
- The holiday hotspot of Alicante in eastern Spain has experienced some of the heaviest rainfall in its history, leading to the evacuation of more than 300 people during the Easter holidays.
In the nearby town of Xabia Sunday's downpour saw 250 mm of rainfall, flooding hundreds of homes and leaving cars floating in the streets.
- At least 28 people were killed in a landslide in the southwestern Colombian province of Cauca.
Five other people were injured by the mudslide, which also damaged or destroyed several homes in the village.
The landslide, which was caused by heavy rain, occurred early Sunday morning in Rosas, a municipality in the Cauca department.
- Melbourne residents haven't felt a day this warm this late in the season in 57 years.
Saturday's high in Melbourne was 30.2C. This is the fourth time the city temperature has exceeded 30C (9 degC abve the April average) this late in autumn.
Meanwhile, residents in Australia's Stirling Ranges woke up to a record snowfall for the first time in 49 years.
A frontal system pushed Antarctic air into Western Australia, giving Perth the coldest April day since 1939.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology there is only one instance before, in the last 100 years, of snow as early as this on top of the Stirling Ranges.
- More than 70 people have been killed in South Africa after torrential rains along the eastern coast, officials said on Thursday, and rescuers were still recovering bodies.
Most of the deaths were reported from KwaZulu-Natal province, after the downpours led to flooding and mudslides.
Some of the worst-hit areas were informal settlements in KwaZulu-Natal, where people live in flimsy houses without proper foundations or drainage systems.
Residents recounted how floodwaters and mudslides crashed through houses, many with people inside, and destroyed roads and other infrastructure.
The rains carved chunks out of hills and roads in the region, with cars, tin roofs and other rubble swept into the deep muddy trenches left behind.
Over 100 mm of rain was recorded as falling at numerous stations within the area between Monday morning and Tuesday.
- A state of emergency was declared in Louisiana after a tornado tore through a college town this week during the overnight hours, leaving the area in tatters and at least two people dead.
A weather system packing severe storms moved across the southern United States Wednesday night into Thursday, spawning a total of at least eight tornadoes across east Texas and Louisiana, according to a preliminary report by the National Weather Service (NWS). One powerful twister that hit the northern Louisiana town of Ruston is blamed for the deaths of a mother and her teen child.
- Five people have died and aid workers have reported scenes of destruction in the wake of Cyclone Kenneth, the second tropical cyclone to lay waste to swathes of Mozambique in five weeks.
Rescuers have moved in to help people trapped by rapidly rising flood water in the northern city of Pemba, home to 200,000 people, a United Nations spokesman said, as Kenneth dumped more rain on the region.
The storm slammed into the province of Cabo Delgado on Thursday, killing five people, and since then has pounded an area prone to floods and landslides with rain, fuelling fears rivers could burst their banks and leave vast areas underwater.
Homes were flattened, roofs blown off and palm trees toppled in images posted online by one UN agency.
(By Sunday, there was extensive flooding in the provincial capital of Pemba, with water pouring down roads in a number of neighbourhoods, and the authorities trying to evacuate at-risk communities with the help of the Red Cross. The death toll had risen to 38 by Monday 29th.)
- Thousands of homes lost power as Storm Hannah swept across the Ireland.
As a result of the strong winds, more than 33,000 homes lost power during the height of the storm in Ireland.
Rail, ferry and air travellers also faced disruptions.
- North-central United States residents witnessed an unusual sight as more than 2 inches of snow fell in Chicago this late in the year for the first time in more than a century.
Chicago O'Hare International Airport picked up 2.5 inches of snow on Saturday, which shattered the record for the date of 0.2 of an inch set in 1950.
The last time 2 inches of snow fell this late was back in 1910.
The latest date on record for any measurable snow is May 11, 1966, but snowflakes have been seen as late as May 22 in 1917.
The snow in Chicago led to more than 700 cancelled flights at the city's O'Hare International and Midway International airports on Saturday.
- More than 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in eastern Canada in recent days as spring floods broke record levels set in 2017, officials said Monday, warning that it could take weeks for the waters to recede.
Hardest hit was the town of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, west of Montreal, where more than 6,000 people were forced to flee rising waters over the weekend after a natural dike was breached.
Flooding in the town "is stabilizing," Quebec Public Safety Minister Genevieve Guilbault told a press conference.
"Water levels are falling and we hope that we can protect the area," she said, noting that construction of new gravel barriers was underway to keep waters at bay.
About 9,000 people have been displaced in Quebec province, or twice the number in 2017, which had seen the region's worst flooding in a half-century.
World weather news, March 2019
- Four tornadoes ripped through central Alabama (USA), according to the National Weather Service in Birmingham, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
Authorities in one Alabama county hit hardest by the tornadoes said on Monday morning the death toll was likely to rise from the confirmed 23, as search-and-rescue efforts continued in the south-eastern part of the state.
The Lee county sheriff, Jay Jones, said "several people" were still unaccounted for in Beauregard, a community south of the city of Opelika that took the brunt of the assault from a pair of powerful tornadoes that touched down with winds estimated at between 136 mph and 165 mph.
The tornado that ripped apart Beauregard was later reclassified as EF-4, meaning winds of 166200 mph, a higher classification that experts said was consistent with the devastation they saw: trailers overturned, homes torn from their foundations and trees uprooted.
- At least five properties and multiple other structures have been destroyed and more losses are expected as fires continue to rage across Victoria on Sunday with temperatures reaching almost 40C.
The largest fire was burning in Bunyip state park about 65 km east of Melbourne and fire crews reported assessment of the damage was being hindered by the difficult terrain and active fire. That fire, in the state's Gippsland area, had grown to 6,500 hectares. The fires burning throughout the state were sparked by lightning strikes.
- Poor air quality has become a rising concern throughout South Korea in recent months as below-normal rainfall and air stagnation have resulted in worsening air quality.
Air quality is often measured by the concentration of dangerous microscopic particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air at any given time.
From Tuesday into Wednesday, the PM2.5 measured between 162 and 237 in Seoul, falling into the unhealthy to very unhealthy categories.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced on Wednesday a proposed joint project with China to create artificial rain in an attempt to lower levels of air pollution both in China and South Korea, according to the Associated Press.
The South Korean government is hopeful that creating artificial rain over the Yellow Sea would help air quality in both countries.
Government officials were also instructed to end the use of coal-burning power plants that have been operating for more than 30 years as quickly as possible.
- Flash floods, heavy rains and snowfall have killed at least 59 people across Afghanistan during the past two weeks and left thousands homeless, with the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar the worst-hit, an Afghan official said.
Some 5,000 people were displaced in Kandahar alone, the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) said, though a U.N. relief agency reckoned at least 15,300 people in the province had been affected by the calamitous weather.
Hashmat Khan Bahaduri, spokesman for ANDMA, said the damage and casualty estimates could rise as some provinces had still to conduct assessments.
Afghanistan has also suffered a bad drought in recent years.
Kandahar province received 75mm of rainfall last year, much less than the required level of at least 400 a year.
- Severe turbulence led to dozens of passengers being injured on a Turkish Airlines flight Saturday evening shortly before it was due to land in New York.
Flight 001 was coming in from Istanbul, Turkey, about 45 minutes away from landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport when it encountered turbulent conditions, leaving dozens hurt, according to the Port Authority and the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).
The FDNY reported that 29 passengers were hurt during the bumpy flight aboard the Boeing 777, which carried 326 passengers and 21 crew.
- One man is dead after Storm Eberhard caused chaos for travellers and one football team across Germany on Sunday.
A 47-year-old man died when a tree fell on his car in Bestwig, Germany - about 100 km NE of Cologne, where winds gusted to 63 mph at the city's airport on Sunday.0
Two flights headed to the Cologne-Bonn Airport had to be diverted due to the strong winds. Dozens of flights were cancelled at the Frankfurt International Airport.
Disruptions extended to the railways as Deutsche Bahn canceled services in North Rhine-Westphalia on Sunday. Additional cancellations followed on Monday as crews worked to clear storm debris from tracks.
Downed trees blocked many roads in other areas of Germany hit by the storm. This included the road that connected the village of Thuringia with other areas, effectively cutting off residents from receiving storm aid and supplies. Worsening the situation, power in the village was cut during the storm.
- Damaging thunderstorms with powerful winds tore across parts of the south-central United States Tuesday night into Wednesday.
Tornado damage was reported in Chaves County, New Mexico, Tuesday night, according to the Chaves County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff's office said the rain-wrapped tornado moved into the town of Dexter and damaged several homes.
Another tornado was reported near Loving, New Mexico.
Winds approaching hurricane force were reported Wednesday morning, in Texas, including around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. A 78 mph wind gust was measured at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), while an 80 mph wind gust occurred at Grand Prairie Municipal Airport in Grand Prairie, Texas. A 71 mph gust was recorded at the airport in Addison, Texas.
The Dallas Morning News later reported that a wind gust of 109 mph was reported by the Grand Prairie Airport control tower.
Structural damage was reported at the Gran Prairie airport, according to local media.
Over 140,000 were listed without power in Texas on Wednesday morning, according to website Poweroutage.us.
Baseball-sized hail was observed north of Pecos, Texas.
Two warehouses were heavily damaged near O'Donnell, Texas, due to wind and a semi-trailer was blown over on Texas State Highway 87. The driver suffered a minor injury.
- A winter storm that slammed the Rockies and central Plains contributed to the death of a Colorado State Patrol corporal on Wednesday.
The 'bomb cyclone' packed blizzard conditions, tropical storm-force winds, and hazardous travel.
The National Weather Service deemed the storm a "cyclone of historic proportions."
As the blizzard developed, heavy snow lashed northern Colorado, including Denver, western Nebraska, eastern Wyoming, central South Dakota, and southeastern North Dakota.
The storm strengthened over the High Plains on Wednesday with the rate of intensification resulting in bombogenesis, which occurs when the barometric pressure rapidly plummets.
There were gusts close to 100 mph in the snow in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Airlines cancelled almost 2,000 flights and delayed another 2,700 due to the wind and severe weather.
- More than 1,000 people are feared dead in a devastating cyclone that hit Mozambique on Friday, the country's president has said.
Filipe Nyusi told Mozambican radio he had seen "many bodies floating in the overflowing Pungwe and Busi rivers. "It appears that we can register more than 1,000 deaths, he said, adding that more than 100,000 people were at risk because of severe flooding.
At least 215 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds are missing across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe from Tropical Cyclone Idai, according to government agencies and the Red Cross, which said 1.5 million people had been affected.
A more precise death toll and the true scale of the damage is not likely to be known soon, as many areas are cut off.
"I think this is the biggest natural disaster Mozambique has ever faced. Everything is destroyed, Celso Correia, the environment minister, said. "Our priority now is to save human lives.
Residents of the devastated port city of Beira, where the Pungwe and Busi rivers flow into the sea, have had no communications since Idai hit. Many families have been frantically trying to get information about their relatives, but with no phones or internet access, no electricity and great chunks of the main road into Beira washed away and blocked by flooding, all they can do is wait.
- At least 50 people have been killed by flash floods in Indonesia's eastern Papua province.
The floods in Sentani, near the provincial capital of Jayapura, were triggered by torrential rain and subsequent landslides on Saturday, and also left 59 people injured.
Dozens of homes were damaged by floodwaters, the national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
The waters had receded but officials were still trying to evacuate people.
- Authorities were using boats and large vehicles on Saturday to rescue and evacuate residents in parts of the US midwest where rainwater and snowmelt has poured over frozen ground, overwhelming creeks and rivers. At least one person was dead.
In eastern Nebraska, rescue efforts were hampered by reports of levee breaches and washouts of bridges and roads, including part of Nebraska Highway 92, leading in and out of south-west Omaha. Authorities confirmed that a bridge on that highway that crosses the Elkhorn river had been washed out.
In Fremont, west of Omaha, the Dodge County sheriff's office issued a mandatory evacuation order for some residents after floodwaters broke a levee along the Platte river. And in Mills county, Iowa, authorities ordered people in some rural areas to evacuate after the Missouri river overtopped levees.
The flooding followed days of snow and rain, record-setting in some places, that swept through the west and midwest. The deluge pushed some waterways to record levels in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. The flooding was the worst in nearly a decade in places.
Further east, the Mississippi river saw moderate flooding in Illinois from Rock Island south to Gladstone. Meteorologist Brian Pierce with the National Weather Service's Quad Cities office in Davenport, Iowa, said flooding on the Mississippi could get worse a few weeks as more snow melts in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
- Seattle is experiencing a string of rare weather following one of the snowiest Februarys on record that has led to record-breaking warmth in the Emerald City. Seattle experienced its warmest winter day on record on Tuesday when temperatures topped out at 79F at 3 p.m. local time, a mark that beat the previous record of 76F, which was set on Monday. Typically, mid-March temperatures in Seattle are 54F. Spring begins on Wednesday.
The 79-degree reading also made for the warmest March day on record, according to the National Weather Service, edging out the previous record for the month, 78F, set on March 29, 2004. Tuesday was the hottest March day in the city's history dating back to 1894, when officials began keeping records.
- The flooding disaster that continues to unfold over the central United States is likely to continue well into April, putting more communities and farmland at risk.
The disaster was set in motion during the second week of March, when a 'bomb cyclone' struck the region, dropping heavy rain and triggering massive snowmelt, which led to an excess of runoff into rivers and waterways.
The flooding has led to several deaths, the evacuation of an entire town in Missouri and over $1 billion in damage thus far.
Aerial photo shows flooding near the Platte River in in Plattsmouth, Neb., south of Omaha. The National Weather Service is warning that flooding in parts of South Dakota and northern Iowa could soon reach historic levels. A Weather Service hydrologist says "major and perhaps historic" flooding is possible later this month at some spots on the Big Sioux and James rivers. The worst of the flooding so far has been in Nebraska, southwestern Iowa and northwestern Missouri.
While rivers are receding across the hardest-hit areas of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, water draining downstream is causing the Missouri River to rise across northeastern Kansas and Missouri.
The Missouri River at Rulo, Nebraska, hit a record crest of 28.14 feet late Wednesday, which exceeded the previous high mark of 27.26 feet set on 27 June 2011.
- Twin cyclones approaching Western Australia and the Northern Territory (NT) have forced the largest evacuation since Cyclone Tracey in 1974 with remaining residents advised to seek shelter.
Air evacuations have now been suspended in the NT before Cyclone Trevor's crossing as a category four system.
Chief minister Michael Gunner this week announced a state of emergency as the top end embarked on its largest pre-cyclone evacuation in the territory's history.
Three Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft on Wednesday and Thursday were evacuating people from Groote Eylandt and McArthur River Mine near Borroloola. Tents were set up at sites in Darwin and Katherine for evacuees and public cyclone shelters prepared.
- A woman died in New Zealand following a severe downpour that washed away a bridge and prompted a state of emergency in the South Island.
Police said the elderly woman's body had washed up on a riverbank north of the town of Hokitika, in the West Coast region.
The once-in-a-century storm saw rainfall of more than 800 mm in some areas.
A storm battering the region saw the Waiho Bridge, near the town of Franz Josef, destroyed by a torrential river on Tuesday night.
About 50 tourists spent the night in a welfare centre set up in a town hall in the tiny, remote town of Haast.
- An abnormally hot summer in Australia ended with the warmest March on record, new data from the Bureau of Meteorology shows.
The latest monthly climate breakdown shows that despite two severe tropical cyclones in the northern states, temperatures across Australia were 2.13 degC above the average throughout last month in part due to an unusually dry summer in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
The record temperatures in March follow records in January, while February was in the top five on record. Last year was Australia's third-warmest year on record. It beat the previous third-place holder, 2017.
- Temperature records in Alaska were shattered in March, making it the warmest March to date for many locations in the state.
In Utqiagvik (formerly known as Barrow) this was the warmest March on record. March 2019 ended up averaging 10.3 degC above the 1981-2010 normal average and 3.6 degC above the previous warmest March on record, which happened to be 2018.
This past Saturday was only the third day in the past 99 years that the temperature in Utqiagvik was above freezing with a high of 0.6C.
- Severe thunderstorms ripped through parts of Nepal, causing widespread damage and killing at least 31 people, the Kathmandu Post reported.
More than 600 other people were injured by the violent storms.
Although infrequent, severe thunderstorms can occur in Nepal during March and April as heat builds northward from India and storm systems track into the region from the Middle East.
Just across the border in India, temperatures soared to 38C in Lucknow and Patna on Sunday, setting the stage for the storms to develop.
People were caught off guard as the storms quickly swept into Bara and Parsa districts on Sunday afternoon.
- A powerful dust devil blew away an inflatable bouncy in central China's Shangqiu City, killing at least two children. A dramatic video shows an inflatable bouncy castle being blown into the air by the dust devil and nearby people fleeing away quickly as the vortex lifts up various small objects.
The terrifying scene occurred at a tourist attraction that was packed with visitors.
World weather news, February 2019
- The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is warning communities in Queensland's north to prepare for further widespread heavy falls and flooding over the weekend and well into next week as the monsoon trough continues to influence weather across the tropics.
A number of sites including Upper Bluewater [1230mm], Paluma [1181mm], Upper Black River [1034mm] and Woolshed [1008mm] have recorded more than a metre of rainfall over the past seven days [to 9am this morning].
The Flood Watch area covers a huge stretch of the state including coastal catchments from Daintree to Mackay, which includes Cairns, Townsville, and also parts of western Cape York Peninsula and Gulf. We are now beginning to see flooding emerge across the Gulf.
Increasing monsoonal winds are forecast for the Gulf waters and Torres Strait Islands and are likely to cause tides to exceed the highest of the year, with coastal inundation possible during the weekend.
- At least eight people have died in one of the worst cold snaps to hit the US Midwest in decades.
Hospitals have been treating patients reporting frostbite as life across a swathe of the country grinds to a halt.
Ninety million people - a third of the US - have seen temperatures of -17C (0F) or below. Some 250 million Americans overall have experienced the "polar vortex" conditions.
The National Weather Service (NWS) announced Rockford, Illinois, west of Chicago, broke its all-time low record of -32C (-27F) when temperatures dipped to -34C (-30F) on Thursday morning.
Cotton, Minnesota, was the coldest place in the US on Thursday, however, with a low of -48C (-56F) based on preliminary data.
With wind chill factored in, the Midwest and Great Lakes have felt temperatures closer to -40C ( 40F) and -53C (-63F), which is enough to cause frostbite in under five minutes.
- Two men have died in floodwaters that have forced large-scale evacuations in the Australian city of Townsville.
The pair's bodies were found near a park on Tuesday, following what has been described as a "once in a century" flood in the northern Queensland city.
Thousands of houses may have been flooded, officials said on Tuesday.
Townsville has received more than a metre of rain in the past 10 days - the equivalent of the region's total annual rainfall.
On Sunday, authorities were forced to open the gates of the city's main dam after it swelled to double its capacity - releasing up to 1,900 cubic metres of water a second.
- A major storm sweeping through the Hawaiian Islands has left one person dead and tens of thousands without power.
The storm, known as a Kona low, brought widespread wind gusts of 40-60 mph across the islands, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
A wind gust of 67 mph was reported at Port Allen in Kauai County, while winds whipped to 191 mph at the top of Mauna Kea.
The winds stirred dangerously rough surf on the north- and west-facing beaches.
The Associated Press reported that one man died after getting stuck in rough seas in Napili Bay, off northwest Maui, this past Friday.
- Strong winds are expected to fan forest fires that have been burning for a week through New Zealand's South Island, forcing thousands of people from their homes.
Early on Sunday, 155 firefighters were battling the blaze on the ground with air support from 23 helicopters and three fixed wing planes, making it the largest aerial firefight on record in New Zealand.
Up to 3,000 people have been forced to leave the Wakefield and Pigeon Valley areas, the civil defence controller, Roger Ball, told a news conference on Saturday. More people were likely to be forced from their homes on Sunday.
Much of the affected area south of Nelson was used for forestry but it also has many small farms. Some livestock has also been moved to safety.
Fires started on Monday and Tuesday and quickly spread. On Wednesday, authorities declared a state of emergency.
- In north-west Queensland it hadn't rained to any great extent for more than five years.
When the downpour finally came last week, graziers were elated. Now it's feared up to 500,000 cattle, mostly from severely drought-stressed herds, have been killed in widespread flood waters.
The full extent of the losses won't be known for weeks; some properties remain underwater and the flood waters are moving south. But the agricultural industry's peak body says the situation has already become "a massive humanitarian crisis", affecting an area twice the size of Victoria.
After a prolonged drought, some rural parts of Queensland received three years' worth of average rainfall in a week.
- A storm unloaded feet of snow, brought blizzard conditions and shut down travel over the mountains of Arizona, New Mexico and southwestern Colorado.
The storm began on Wednesday when it spread disruptive snow over the northern Sierra Nevada, including Donner Summit, California, before shifting over the interior southwestern United States.
During Wednesday evening, parts of the valley around Las Vegas picked up over 4 inches of snow. Travel became slick and treacherous in the surrounding area as a result.
Thursday set the all-time daily record for snowfall in Flagstaff, Arizona, with 35.9 inches of snow. The previous record was 31 inches set over a century ago on 30 December 1915. This also shattered February's all-time daily snowfall record of 24 inches set on 2 February 1901.
The biggest single storm on record in Flagstaff brought 64 inches of snow and concluded on 17 January 1985.
The McCarran International Airport near Las Vegas picked up 0.5 inches of snow with this storm. The last time there was enough snow to measure at this location was on 17 December 2008, when 3.6 inches of snow fell.
- Waves of heavy rain pounded California, flooding streets, triggering a mudslide that destroyed homes and forcing residents to flee communities scorched by wildfires last year.
The powerful system swept in from the Pacific Ocean and unleashed damaging rain, snow and wind across the US west into Wyoming and Colorado after walloping northern California and southern Oregon a day earlier.
The National Weather Service reported staggering rainfall amounts across California, including more than 24 cm over 48 hours at one location in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles.
The deluge triggered a mudslide in Sausalito, north of San Francisco, that overturned cars, uprooted trees and sent a home sliding down a hill and smashing into another house.
- A plane bound for Atlanta was forced to make an emergency landing after it was struck by lightning.
The flight from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Atlanta, Georgia, made an emergency landing in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The plane was carrying a total of 164 passengers, all of whom were uninjured.
Airport spokesperson Albert Waterhouse confirmed the aircraft landed safely with no injuries just after 4 p.m. local time.
- About 3,000 homes north of New Caledonia's main island Grand Terre lost power in the last 24 hours after Tropical Cyclone Oma hit the French territory in the South Pacific.
According to local media, trees were brought down and with rainfall totals in excess of 100 mm so far and roads have been flooded.
In the town of Kone, on the west coast, the figure for rainfall for 24 hours of stormy downpours was 143 mm, with gusts of wind approaching 100 km/h, blowing from the east.
The eye of the cyclone remains out at sea where winds are blowing at about 150 km/h, but the strength of Oma is still increasing. It will likely reach a peak intensity of an equivalent Category 2 hurricane, on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This should be achieved on Wednesday morning.
The longevity and slow-moving nature of Cyclone Oma have generated waves more than 8-metres high, which in turn have generated a long-fetch swell heading for the Australian coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology in Australia has issued a "hazardous swell warning" for the Queensland coast.
- Aboyne has broken Scotland's February temperature record which had stood for more than 120 years. The highest temperature previously recorded for the month in Scotland was 17.9C in Aberdeen on 22 February 1897. However, Aboyne reached 18.3C today.
- A fierce storm whipped through Malta this past weekend, disrupting transportation, downing trees, cutting power and unleashing pounding waves along the coast.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the storm was the worst to hit the islands since October 1982, according to the Times of Malta.
The peak wind gust during the storm was 82 mph in Valletta. Other locations across the islands were battered by extreme winds as well.
A wind gust of 63 mph recorded at a weather station in Gharb set an all-time record for the site, according to the Times of Malta.
The strong winds littered roads with downed trees, power lines and other debris, turning them into an obstacle course for anyone who dared to venture out. Numerous road closures were reported
- Wutip, the strongest ever typhoon to churn in the western Pacific Ocean during February, is impacting Guam with flooding rain, strong winds and pounding seas.
Wutip strengthened into a super typhoon on Saturday night, local time. It again became a typhoon on Sunday.
Wutip surpassed Higos from 2015 as the strongest super typhoon on record during the month of February in the western Pacific Ocean.
- The UK is experiencing its warmest February day on record, with the Met Office reporting a temperature of 20.6C at Trawsgoed, Ceredigion. It breaks the UK's record for February, set when the temperature reached 19.7C in Greenwich in 1998.
A new English record has also been set with temperatures rising to 20.1C in Hampton Water Works, in south-west London.
- Emergency crews responded to a multi-vehicle pileup on Highway 400 near Barrie, Ontario in Canada as near whiteout conditions blinded motorists.
The multi-vehicle pileup involved over 70 vehicles, and several minor injuries were reported, according to Barrie Fire officials.
"Whiteout conditions right now, snow and blowing snow, zero visibility," Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police's Highway Safety Division said in a Twitter video. "You do not want to be in this area at this point."
- A statewide code red has been declared in South Australia with the state in the grip of a forecast seven-day heatwave.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast maximum temperatures in Adelaide and most regional centres to stay above 35C until at least Saturday.
The Bureau says it will be the longest stretch of hot days this summer.
The forecast has prompted the state government to declare the code red which triggers the release of extra funds to provide services for the homeless.
- The UK has broken the record for its warmest winter day for the second consecutive day, with a temperature of 21.2C in Kew Gardens, London.
Temperatures broke the previous day's record of 20.6C in two other places, the Met Office said.
Porthmadog in north-west Wales hit 20.8C while temperatures of 20.7C were reported in Teddington, south-west London.
In Northern Ireland, temperatures reached 15.6C in Castlederg, County Tyrone. The February record of 17.8C was recorded in 1998.
- Nearly 200 people finally arrived at Oregon Station after being stranded more than 36 hours on an Amtrak train in rural Oregon after the train struck a downed tree on Sunday.
The Los Angeles-bound train had left Seattle shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday with 183 passengers on board, but got stuck near the town of Oakridge, about 45 miles south of Eugene, an Amtrak spokesman told OregonLive. The tree was one of many that came down in a storm that has impacted the northwestern United States since Sunday with heavy snow causing downed power lines. A foot of snow was reported at Eugene Airport on Monday, breaking the previous daily record of 6.7 inches on 7 February 2014.
World weather news, January 2019
- Rainfall records were shattered across the eastern and southern United States during 2018.
Dozens of cities from the lower Mississippi Valley to the southern Atlantic Seaboard, mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley received 125-180 percent of their normal yearly rainfall in 2018.
Washington, D.C., received 66.28 inches of rain (the average is 39.74 inches).
In addition to Washington, D.C., Baltimore; State College, Lancaster and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Wheeling and Charleston, West Virginia; Jackson and Lexington, Kentucky; Lynchburg, Virginia; and Asheville, Raleigh and Wilmington, North Carolina; are among the other cities where 2018 became the wettest year on record.
0.75 inches of rain on the last day of 2018 at Pittsburgh pushed the city's yearly total to 57.83 inches, surpassing the previous record of 57.41 inches which was set in 2004.
In Atlanta, 2018 set its mark as the second wettest year on record, falling just shy of the 71.45 inches of rain that fell in 1948.
As the deluge persisted farther east, it was a different story on the West Coast, where drought and wildfires were rampant.
The Camp Fire in Northern California became the deadliest and most destructive fire in the state's history in November.
- Rain, wind and surging seawater from a tropical storm has buffeted coastal villages and tourist resorts on southern Thailand's east coast, knocking down trees and utility poles and flooding roads.
One person was reported dead and another missing after a fishing boat with a crew of six capsized in high waves, but by nightfall it appeared that Tropical Storm Pabuk had caused less damage than feared.
Airlines and boat operators suspended operations for safety reasons and some tourists were forced to change travel plans. Beaches were closed but some bars and restaurants on the popular island of Koh Samui remained open.
- An 8-year-old Syrian girl has died in Lebanon after she fell into a swollen river and drowned in the northern town of Minyeh, as refugee camps were battered by extreme winter weather.
Refugees have been struggling with dangerous conditions including flooding and heavy snow since Sunday when Storm Norma hit, bringing strong winds, rain and colder temperatures across the country.
Hundreds of refugee camps and settlements from the Akkar plain in northern Lebanon to the Bekaa Valley in the east were damaged.
- A rare January tornado touched down in northeastern Ohio as severe thunderstorms rumbled across the region.
It is very uncommon for tornadoes to occur in this part of the country during January. Only six tornadoes have been reported in January across Ohio between 1950 and 2018.
The tornado was reported near Mosquito Lake, Ohio, and was later confirmed by the National Weather Service to be an EF1 tornado. No one was injured - but winds up to 100 mph damaged a building and knocked down numerous trees.
- Heavy snowfalls brought chaos to parts of Germany and Sweden, leaving roads blocked, trains halted and schools shut.
The Red Cross helped drivers stuck on a motorway in the southern German state of Bavaria and a nine-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree.
The front of a Swiss hotel was hit by an avalanche and a winter storm made roads impassable in Sweden and Norway.
Austrian rescuers had to battle through chest-deep snow to reach a snowboarder.
There was some respite in Austria on Friday, after three metres of sno w fell in some parts in previous days. Seven people have died in the past week and two hikers have been missing since Saturday.
"Such quantities of snow above 800m altitude only happen once every 30 to 100 years," said Alexander Radlherr from Austria's Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics.
The Austrian military sent helicopters to blow snow off treetops to reduce the risk of trees falling on roads and rails.
In Sweden wintry storms ravaged parts of the north. One area recorded winds of 111 mph as Storm Jan ravaged Stekenjokk near the Norwegian border.
Some of the heaviest snow was in Bavaria where some villages were cut off
Rail services were worst hit in the south and east of the state and roads were cut off by drifts and falling trees.
The armed forces were sent in when hundreds of people were cut off near Berchtesgaden
Roads in the Berchtesgaden area close to the Austrian border were blocked and the army sent up to 200 soldiers to help hundreds of people caught up in the snow.
- Port Augusta in South Australia has reached 48.9C on Tuesday, an all-time high there since records began in 1962, as a heatwave sets in across much of Australia threatening more record hot days.
All-time highest minimum temperatures have also been broken in three places. Meekatharra in Western Australia (WA) and Fowlers Gap and White Cliffs in New South Wales (NSW) all registered an overnight minimum of 33C on Monday.
Severe to extreme heatwave conditions extending from the interior of WA across South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and NSW will bring maximum temperatures of 8C to 12C above average, and in some places up to 16C above average before the end of the week.
Port Augusta Hay in NSW had reached a high of 47.2C by Tuesday afternoon and several locations in Victoria reached temperatures in the mid-40s, with Walpeup in the state's north-west recording 45.6C.
- While India's air quality problems have become a common problem during this time of year, the issue has spread eastward across much of Indochina, affecting parts of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
Poor air quality reported in Bangkok in recent days has forced the government to take action in an attempt to limit the effects on millions of people in the region.
Air quality remained a concern in Bangkok on Wednesday as pollution levels climbed to between 150-200, registering on the unhealthy level of the Air Quality Index.
Earlier this week, the Tourism Authority of Thailand issued an advisory telling tourists to monitor the pollution levels in their area and take appropriate precautions.
The lack of rainfall during Indochina's dry season, which runs from January through April, allows pollutants to build up and create dangerously poor air quality.
- Visibility was low in Cairo as an orange cloud of dust blocked out the sky and pedestrians covered their faces from the wind gusts.
In Cairo, winds reached over 30 mph, bending palm trees along the River Nile, while in Libya rain, wind and cold weather was driving increased demand for electricity that overloaded the electricity grids and led to power cuts.
- A powerful storm has been wreaking havoc in California, further raising concerns of flooding, mudslides and avalanches. Previously, on Monday and Tuesday, Los Angeles received over 1.75 inches of rain, and San Diego picked up just over 0.55 of an inch of rain.
The series of storms prompted officials to put communities on alert for mudslides and flooding, as well as creating dangerous travel conditions.
Toppled trees, snarled roads and downed power lines could be found all around Northern California on Wednesday, sometimes with deadly consequences.
At least six deaths have been reported during this week, as storms pass through the region.
Over 20,000 people were without power Wednesday night, according to Pacific Gas & Electric.
Blizzard conditions blanketed the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada, prompting a blizzard warning for much of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe on Wednesday night.
Winds gusted up to 164 mph at the summit of Mammoth Mountain, California, on Thursday morning.
The heavy snowfall also prompted an avalanche warning in the Sierra Nevada on Wednesday.
- Snow and ice have been causing difficult driving conditions across the NE Scotland.
A woman was taken to hospital after an unoccupied car slid into her in Quarry Road in the Aberdeen suburb of Cults.
Collisions and breakdowns have also closed the A920 at Huntly and the A947 between Turriff and Oldmeldrum.
The road problems also led to transport issues at several schools.
- Severe thunderstorms rumbled across the Deep South (USA) on Saturday afternoon, with one storm producing a tornado that caused extensive damage in the town of Wetumpka, Alabama.
Photos on social media showed damage to buildings throughout the town. Injuries have also been reported.
A storm survey from the National Weather Service said that a tornado with a rating of EF2 caused the damage.
- A major winter storm continues to create travel nightmares and a risk of power outages in the northeastern United States with an ice storm across southern New England and feet of snow to the north.
At least two semi-trucks and a handful of other vehicles slid off roadways around Danforth, Ill., on Saturday, local officials reported.
Visibility was severely poor in parts of eastern Illinois on Saturday afternoon amid a massive snowstorm.
Thousands lost power in Connecticut.
After starting with snow, the storm transitioned to sleet and freezing rain from far northeastern Pennsylvania to southern and eastern New England.
- All-time Australian temperature records were set in South Australia with 49.5C being the highest temperature recorded (at Port Augusta) and Adelaide recording its highest temperature on record with 46.6C.
- A tornado and pounding rain have hit Havana, Cuba, toppling trees, bending electricity poles and throwing shards of metal roofing through the air as the storm cut across eastern Havana.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel said on Monday at least three people had been killed and 172 injured, as power was cut to many areas.
A government meteorologist said the tornado was category F3, with winds between 155 and 199 mph. Miguel Angel Hernandez of the Cuban Meteorology Institute said tornadoes were unusual around the capital and a strong one had not hit the city in decades. Sunday night's storm was produced when a cold front hit Cuba's northern coast.
- January was Australia's warmest month on record.
The mean temperature for January averaged across country exceeded 30 degrees, the first time this has occurred in any month.
The main contributor to this heat was a persistent high pressure system in the Tasman sea which was blocking any cold fronts and cooler air from impacting the south of the country.
Tasmania experienced one of its warmest Januarys on record for mean, minimum and maximum temperatures. It was also the state's driest January on record. Hobart experienced its warmest and driest month on record.
For the first time since 1957, the Bureau of Meteorology's Adelaide city site recorded zero rainfall for the month.
Western Australia had one of the warmest Januarys on record for the state as a whole, but temperatures were cooler than average in parts of the west coast and southwest. Rainfall for the state was below average and the driest since 2005. Perth had a cool month, recording its coolest January in more than a decade.
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Last updated 16 May 2019.