Monthly archives: March 2016

Mar

29
2016

Deadly spring weather

Jodde     Blog     0

Bad weather is anathema to planes.  Several planes had trouble landing at Rostov-on-Don airport, Russia, including the ill-fated flight FZ981, operated by FlyDubai.  That plane crashed, killing all 62 passengers and crew on board.  The pilots missed their approach when trying to land.  Then they executed a holding pattern and tried again, but it crashed 250 meters (820 ft) away from the runway.  While it is not certain how, it is believed that intense winds of over 80km/h (50mph) caused the disaster.  Of course, a detailed picture of what happened will not be available until authorities can analyze the black boxes, a process which will take several weeks, but storm wind is the prime suspect.*

Scorching temperatures as high as 40ºC(104ºF) hit several cities in India, particularly in the state of Tamil Nadu.  The heat is a result of patterns called westerlies, which are unusual for India this time of year.  Long range predictions suggest this is only the beginning.  While some respite is expected, the temperature in May is expectedo to top 42ºC(`107.6ºF).  Temperatures were three to five degrees above normal, so this was not a heat wave across the state, but it was in some cities, and vulnerable people such as the poor and elderly could face serious trouble as the temperatures soar.

Meanwhile, a brush fire near Douglas, Arizona scorched 150 acres last Monday.  The fire is not a threat to any homes, but it is likely the harbinger of a tremendous fire season.  Arizona’s winter was particularly dry toward the end.  This fire pales in comparison to the serious wildfire is burning out of control in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, where over 400,000 acres have burned (161,874 hectares).  One house has been completely gutted.  The affected family barely had time to evacuate.  They tragically lost everything, including their beloved dog.  The fire has claimed the livelihoods of a number of farmers.  The number of cattle killed is inestimable, but farmlands that were once verdant are now char. 

Vero Beach, Florida experienced a bizarre cold spell.  Temperatures bottomed out at 62ºF(16.6ºC), which is an extraordinary 16ºF ( 8.8ºC) below the average.  That is one degree lower than the record low of 63ºF (17.2ºC).  Possibly the most pressing concern with the situation is not the relative cold, but rather the increased fire risk.  The cold snap has brought along strong winds which make fires difficult to control.  Fortunately, at the time of writing that threat has not been realized.

A spring storm left snow and freezing rain in southern Quebec and parts of Ontario.  Ice storms are more common in the spring than in the winter, because of the way freezing rain forms.  Brantford, Ontario and Ottawa were quite possibly the hardest hit.  Over 50cm of snow accumulated in Ottawa and power outages affecting around 3,500 customers in Brantford, a town with a population of less than 100,000.** Numerous trees fell under the weight of the ice, smashing houses, cars and power lines as they fell.  Some roads were impassable as they were blocked by fallen power lines and trees, but where they were passable, the police were dealing with accidents “all day, nonstop.”  Fortunately, none of those accidents caused severe injuries.

Unfortunately, the tragic events we reported on are in no way a full reflection of what has been going on in the world. If you would like to see all of our recent headlines, please click here.

 

*Tragedies of this sort usually do not come down to one action or event, and this one is no exception.  Unofficially, a cockpit voice recorder leak suggests human error during an attempt to land manually, after automatic landing failed twice due to intense wind.  Mechanical failure also likely played a significant role in the tragedy, but none of it would have happened were it not for the inclement weather.

**The last census, taken in 2011, reports a population was 93,650.


Mar

29
2016

Ice storm damage extensive in city, county | Brantford Expositor

Jodde     Weather Events, yellow     0

Brantfordexpositor.ca reports that...

A large tree branch that took down utility lines on Dunsdon Street Thursday morning was one of many such scenes across Brantford and Brant County as a result of an overnight ice storm. Heather Ibbotson/Brantford Expositor

Read more at www.brantfordexpositor.ca


Mar

29
2016

Record Wildfire Comes to Kansas, as Do Lifesaving Neighbors

Jodde     red, Severe Events     0

Nytimes.com reports that...

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. — The towering fire approached Don Gerstner’s house last week with such fury that there was no time to pack. All he and his wife, Carol, could do was scurry to their Toyota pickup and speed past a row of flaming trees toward the relative safety of a nearby road.

Read more at www.nytimes.com


Mar

22
2016

Temperature hits 40 degrees in parts of Tamil Nadu

Natalie     Data, Records, Reports & Findings, Severe Events, Weather Events     0

Thehindu.com reports that...

In many interior parts of the State, including Vellore, Salem and Tiruchi, the day temperature scaled to 40 degree Celsius for the second consecutive day on Monday.

The mercury climbed four or five degrees above normal in many places, including Coimbatore, Tiruttani and Madurai.

The presence of westerlies, which bring hot, dry winds from the land — something unusual for this time of the year — has contributed to the blazing heat, Met officials say.

Read more at www.thehindu.com


Mar

21
2016

Flydubai plane crash: Data retrieved from black boxes – World – CBC News

Jodde     Damage over $1M, Weather Events, yellow     0

Cbc.ca reports that...

Emergency workers at the crash site of Flight FZ981, operated by Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, at the airport of Rostov-On-Don, Russia. Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Read more at www.cbc.ca


Mar

21
2016

Unusual cold spell chills Treasure Coast on Monday

Natalie     Data, green, Records, Reports & Findings, Weather Events     0

Tcpalm.com reports that...

Monday’s cold was uncharacteristic for the date, according to National Weather Service records.

The temperature reached 66 degrees early Monday morning in Vero Beach, but the cold spell moved in at daybreak, lowering the temperature from 61 at 6 a.m. to 55 at sunrise. Meteorologists said the temperature topped out at 62 degrees in the afternoon. Strong winds, gusting to 25 mph, kept blowing in cold air from the north.

Read more at www.tcpalm.com


Mar

21
2016

Wildfire burns 150 acres near Douglas

Natalie     green, Reports & Findings, Weather Events     0

12news.com reports that...

Fire crews are working to contain the Baker Canyon Fire northeast of Douglas. The fire had burned 150 acres of grass and brush by early Monday afternoon.

Read more at www.12news.com


Mar

15
2016

Massive landslide closes highway northwest of Eugene | Local | Eugene, Oregon

Jodde     Weather Events, yellow     0

Registerguard.com reports that...

Shortly before noon Sunday, between 100 and 300 cubic yards of saturated earth and rocks and 100-foot-tall trees fell on the road, blocking the two-lane highway, said Angela Beers Seydel, spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation.

Read more at registerguard.com


Mar

15
2016

Powerful storms, floods, and fire

Jodde     Blog     0

A powerful storm slammed into Vancouver, Washington, leaving 250,000 in the dark.  The storm also claimed the life of one man, who was in his car with his toddler when a tree fell on it.  North of the border, in Vancouver, British Columbia, the powerful storm ground ferry traffic to a halt.  The Vancouver ferry virtually the only way to travel between   An earlier storm this week killed one woman in Vancouver, British Columbia.  There were numerous power outages in Vancouver, BC due to the storm as well.  Meanwhile, punishing storms have hit Arkansas, US, wreaking havoc on infrastructure.  Two prisons ended up with broken windows, which presumably lead a guard to sprain his ankle.* A tornado tore the roof off a church, and another one blew two mobile homes off their foundation.  The system has spawned at least two tornadoes, responsible for much of the damage.  There was also the associated traffic chaos with huge storms.  There were six accidents directly linked to the severe weather.  Torrential rains in Winnipeg, Manitoba caused flooding which damaged homeowners’ basements and washed out streets.   South of the border, Mississippi was inundated, causing widespread problems with infrastructure and putting 18 people in severe peril.  Additionally, the flooding has killed four people.  The extent of the damage is not yet fully known, but at least 5,000 homes were damaged.

In Meelon, a town in Western Australia near Perth, a brush fire is raging out of control, and while at the time of writing we are unaware of any homes having been damaged, that is certainly a very real threat.  A nearby town lost its water supply after the fire damaged power infrastructure.**  While police believe the cause of the fire is arson, the dry conditions in Western Australia favor a massive fire like the one described.  Arson or negligence does cause most fires, but drought conditions can make them dramatically worse.    More than 1,000 hectares have burned so far.

The rain-soaked ground in Eugene, Oregon has triggered a massive landslide.  The debris along Highway 36 near Triangle Lake will take up to five days to clean up.  There may be longer delays as crews stabilize the slope as well.  There were no injuries associated with the landslide.  NOAA had warned about the possibility of landslides in southern Oregon due to heavy rainfall.

Unfortunately, the tragic events we reported on are in no way a full reflection of what has been going on in the world. If you would like to see all of our recent headlines, please click here.

 

 

* The source article does not make it explicitly clear that there is a causal relationship but implies it strongly.

**The source article does not make clear why this is so.


Mar

15
2016

Heavy rain in SW Oregon could cause landslides & debris flows, officials say | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KCBY

Jodde     Weather Events, yellow     0

Kcby.com reports that...

The watch includes the Curry County coast and south central Oregon coast, central Douglas County, and eastern Curry County and Josephine County. Cities included are Coos Bay, North Bend, Bandon, Port Orford, Coquille, Brookings, Harbor, Gold Beach and Cave Junction. The Coquille River at Coquille in Coos County has a flood watch in effect through next Thursday.

Read more at kcby.com