Golf ball sized hail has been pelting Alberta lately. One storm south of Calgary destroyed a number of farms. One such farm had just been certified organic. The damage could have been substantially worse. The storms were seeded to break up more massive hailstones. Alberta is known to meteorologists as hailstone alley. Flash floods are more rare, but that happened in in Edmonton. There was no major damage from the flooding reported.
In France, the Beaujolais wine-growing region has been decimated by hail as well. As though the hail weren’t bad enough, vintners in the region also had to deal with 80mm (3.5 in) of rain. Officials are calling for the region to be declared a disaster area, as many vintners lost as much as 80% of their crops. The region, along with Cognac and Chablis were also hit hard at the end of May.
In China, even more flooding, as much of the mainland was lashed by heavy rains. In 1998, China lost 4,000 people to horrendous deluges, to say nothing of the crushing $30.17 billion in economic losses. All in all, 240 million people were affected. To put that in perspective, that’s nearly 85% of America’s population. So far, this year is shaping up to be worse than 1998. There has been more rain and more rainfall events. This is blamed on record El Niño conditions. The Yangtze is already dangerously high, but they are not yet as high as they were in 1998. Mainland China has already seen some devastating landslides and floods this year, however. That said, many of them are at their highest levels since 1998, and the flooding season in China is just beginning.
Severe weather bringing hurricane force winds in Texas caused part of a parking structure to crumble, splitting a truck in half. Fortunately, the vehicle was unoccupied at the time. In West Virginia, at least 20 people were killed in the torrential downpour. and thousands of people are now homeless. In North Carolina’s Triangle, the region bounded by Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill, hail as large as half-dollars (30.61 mm (1.205 in)). In Durham, winds uprooted massive trees and slammed them into homes, causing immense damage. Cars were also crushed under trees, but fortunately there were no fatalities reported in the Triangle.