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Apr

13
2014

The Two Extremes: Thunderstorms and droughts

Jodde     Blog     0

This week has seen several deadly and damaging weather events.  On Monday, flash floods engulfed parts of central Alabama.  More than two dozen people had to be rescued there, and the floods in Mississippi from the same thunderstorm system have possibly claimed the life of a nine year old girl in Jackson.  In Santiago, Chile, thunderstorms resulted in the deaths of 60 dairy cows, costing ranchers thousands of dollars.  Meanwhile, in Griffin, Georgia, USA, an EF1 tornado has damaged several homes, one severely, and is blamed for a crash that landed three people in the hospital.  Another thunderstorm caused a fatal plane crash in West Virginia.

California is still experiencing drought conditions, but it may benefit from this year’s El Nino.  Meanwhile, war torn Syria is also dangerously dry.  Up to 6.5 million Syrians may require emergency food rations.  Back to Chile, which was also recently hit by a major earthquake, they are now facing an out of control fire that has forced more than thousand evacuations and killed upwards of 12 people.

To see all articles mentioned and more, click here.


Mar

25
2014

March Weather Madness

Jodde     Blog     0

The Washington State mudslide that killed 14, up from eight initially reported, was not the only deadly slide today.  This week, the bodies of a father and son were discovered buried in an avalanche.  They inadvertently triggered the avalanche while tobogganing (sledding) in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.  A further two people were killed in an avalanche on a Sochi ski slope that was recently a venue for the Olympic Games.

In other news, one man is dead after flooding in Sydney, Australia.

 


Jan

22
2014

Dramatic Varied Weather

Jodde     Blog, Uncategorized     0

The way January is shaping up, people might just remember 2013 as a calm year in weather.  That is a phenomenon called creeping normalcy, which at The Global Warming Foundation, we aim to fight.  It is basically a trick of memory, as we remember sharply demarcated changes better than gradual ones.  In the news this week, floodwaters have inundated the Philippines and Indonesia, while in North America the polar vortex, the “hole” in the jet stream letting through tons of freezing arctic air, is causing temperatures as low as -40ºC (ºF).  Meanwhile, unprecedented drought spawned fires in California are raging out of control.  The drought threatens to cause “explosive fires” for at least the next few months.

Click here for all the articles used this week.


Dec

23
2013

Wind Woes

Jodde     Blog     0

Strong winds, sometimes hurricane force winds hammered Scotland early in the week, packing speeds as high as 70mph (110 km/h.)  In most of the country the sustained speeds were between 50 and 60 mph (90-100km/h.)  This storm is blamed for the death of one truck driver and numerous air and ground traffic delays.  Meanwhile, in Palm Coast, Florida, an EF1 tornado touched down, with winds measured at 110mph (160 km/h, damaging about 170 homes, six or seven severely.

For more articles from the past week, click here.


Dec

16
2013

Early Winter and other chaos

Jodde     Blog     0

Winter officially starts at the winter solstice, which is usually on December 21.  However, violent winter weather struck two weeks early, starting off the week. The storm.  Brutally cold weather with temperatures bottoming out at around claimed the lives of four people in the San Francisco Bay Area, where temperatures dropped to -1ºF (-18ºC).  Highway and air travellers in Texas were left stranded for hours, with one couple being forced to sleep in their pickup truck.  Luckily they had enough fuel to keep it heated.  It is a good idea to keep your gas tank full in the winter.  Experts also recommend having a blanket for each passenger, food and water.  The storm moved to the Mid-Atlantic region, dumping up to a foot (30 cm) or snow there.

In Australia people are feeling blazing summer heat, with temperatures as high as 100º F (38ºC).  Forecasters are projecting even hotter temperatures into the middle of next week.  Heat waves of this duration are rare in Australia.


Nov

14
2013

Haiyan Havoc

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Typhoon Haiyan, a bona fide superstorm slammed into the Phillipines, decimating Tacloban, where an estimated 10,000 people were killed, Samar Islands, and Leyte, affecting approximately 11 million people; many being left homeless.  The storm, which packed sustained winds of up to 315km/h (195 mph), is possibly the strongest the Phillipines have ever recorded.  Maritess Tayag, a Tacloban survivor said her home town “looked like a World War II city,” alluding to the chaos of thousands of people trying to flee at once.  She reported that there was a chaotic exodus at the airport, calling it “really really terrible.”  Tragically her mother and brother are both missing and presumed dead.

Haiyan was unusually strong because anomalously high temperatures fed the system as is tracked from Kayangel to the central Phillipines.  Meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters notes that cyclonic storms often weaken themselves before they make landfall by churning up cold water, about 100 ft. (30m) below the surface.  The water over the Pacific where Haiyan formed was unusually warm, around 5ºC (9ºF) warmer than usual.


Oct

03
2013

Floods And Early Storms

Jodde     Blog     0

This week started out with Russia receiving heavy rains, causing flooding and mudslides. The affected city of Sochi is the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, mere months away. No injuries or fatalities have been reported, but having seen first hand the potential devastation of floods, it looks like Sochi will be cleaning up for a long time, and the damage could exceed several million or even billions of dollars. Unfortunately, several provinces in Thailand were not so lucky. The flooding there has claimed the lives of nine people across 29 provinces in Thailand and damaged numerous bridges, roads, and farmers’ fields. Typhoon Wutip has left at least three people dead in Vietnam, and killed at least two fishermen in China. The Chinese navy is still searching for another 58 fishermen.  The same storm killed six people, all swept away in their car, in Cambodia.

In Namibia, the population is suffering from an extended drought, decimating citizens and livestock.  The drought there is raising fears about more widespread desertification. President Hifikepunye Pohamba fingers climate change as the cause for the drought and the famine that may follow on its heels

In other news, a storm usually encountered in late fall or early winter dumped record rainfall on the Pacific Northwest and even spawned an EF1 tornado near Seattle.  The tornado had sustained wind speeds of over 86 mph (138 km/h), peaking at 110 mph (177 km/h).

To see all of last week’s events in detail, click here.


Sep

12
2013

In heat and water

Jodde     Blog     0

A number of cities in North America are suffering through an end of summer heat wave.  Seattle broke a record with 93ºF (33.8ºC,) which is 20ºF (11ºC) hotter than usual.  In Detroit, temperatures were as high as a record breaking 96ºF (36ºC). Midwestern crop production is threatened by the record temperatures found throughout the midwest, in particular corn and soybean may yield less than usual.  Ontario has seen extreme temperatures this week as well, and has like Detroit opened a number of respite centers.  Even Death Valley, California is expected to break its record high of 105ºF (40ºC) with a scorching 109ºF (43ºC).

Meanwhile, Chennai, India is experiencing flooding after heavy rainfall there.  Residents in low lying areas have been evacuated as the flooding is expected to get worse.  Some roads and schools have already been closed.  Three people have died in Boulder, Colorado, due to an unprecedented deluge there.  The National Wether Service reported collapsed houses near Jamestown.  In Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, flooding is being blamed for at least one person’s death.  They and other municipalities in northern Ontario have declared states of emergency.  Roads have washed out all over the region.

In other news, the first hurricane of the season is Hurricane Humberto, which misses the record for the earliest hurricane by a mere nine hours.  That record was set by Hurricane Gustave in 2002.

To see all of our articles for this week, click here.


Aug

29
2013

Summer of floods continues

Jodde     Blog     0

If 2012 was the other year the world caught fire, (the first being 1968,) 2013 may be known as the year the world flooded.  The majority of floods occur because rivers overflow their banks in the spring due to melting snow, at least where it is cold enough for snow to accumulate.  The snow and rain enter the mouth of the river This is normal, and they are referred to as freshets.  Floods in the summer, particularly riverine floods, (those caused by a river,) are rarer, and there have been a number of historic floods this year already, most of which took place in the summer.  Mexico has been hammered with rain, killing 14 people, after tropical depression Fernand slammed into Veracruz and Oaxaca.  At least 20 people have died due to flooding in Laos after a typhoon hit their shores, and more rain is on the way.  Russia, in particular the Far East, is having record flooding problems.  Residents there are imperilled not only by raging torrents, but also by starving bears, that are moving closer to the cities to find food, as they cannot find their usual dietary staples, namely salmon and berries.

In other news, a massive wildfire has been scorching Yosemite National Park.  At its worst it was 165 square miles (427 square km) and only 2% contained.

For a full list of the week’s articles, click here.


Aug

22
2013

Fire and water

Jodde     Blog     0

There are 44 wildfires blazing the US, and more are expected to start, according to officials.  Should more start, they will likely exhibit “extreme fire behaviour,” according to a spokesperson at the National Weather Center.  So far, 3,00,000 acres (1,214,000 sq. km) have been burned, about half as much as last year.  One of this year’s fires in Idaho saw nearly half of Ketchum’s population forced to evacuate.

A different extreme is happening on the other side of the dateline.  China continues its struggles with the devastating floods earlier this month, and the drought in more southern province.  Adding to their troubles, typhoon Trami has made landfall, killing between 575 and 940 people,  The heavy rain it brought might have exacerbated flood conditions there.  Economic losses are immense, totalling more than $26 billion USD.  Acting Governor Vyacheslav Shrot noted ”There’ve never been any water rises of this kind throughout the 120 years of hydrometeorology observations in the Amur area.”  Trami also killed 17 in the Philippines and injured 10 in Taiwan.  Earlier this week, typhoon Utor hit southern China killing eight people there.  In other news, Alberta, Canada has finished assessing the damages from their recent deluge at $5 billion.


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