California might be in for severe floods in the coming year because of El Niño, according to a recent report. NOAA’s models predict severe flash flooding across California. They recommend that Californians have three days of food and water in their homes and cars in addition to buying up flood insurance . Meanwhile, last week’s heat wave may have just been the tip of the iceberg, with another heat wave shaping up this week. “Valley and foothill locations will see an increased risk of heat- related illnesses, especially for the homeless, the elderly, infants, outdoor workers and those participating in outdoor activities” said a representative of the National Weather Service. While temperatures will be 10 – 15ºF (5.5 – 8.3ºC) above normal, they are not expected to exceed 100ºF (37.8ºC). The heat is caused by the Santa Ana winds, which usually comes with increased wildfire risks, but in this case there is no elevated risk.
Hurricane Patricia was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the eastern Pacific and Atlantic basins. On Friday, it slammed into Mexico. Fortunately, it caused very little damage or loss of life, as it made landfall over an unpopulated area. The storm could have been completely devastating. Patricia packed sustained wind speeds of 200mph (321kmh), high enough “to get a plane in the air and keep it flying,” according to Charlie Nullis of the National Weather Service. The worst might be yet to come, however, as the remnants of Patricia might hit Texas, where flooding is so severe that it has already derailed a train and caused other extensive damage. Meanwhile, in Greece, severe flash flooding has claimed the life of a 41 year old man, who was swept away in her car. The deluge has also wrought havoc on greenhouses and crops in the region. The weather was so inclement that it caused a three story building to collapse.
In other news, 2015 has been the most intense year in 136 years of record keeping. Not only did we have the hottest start to the year, the hottest consecutive twelve months, and the hottest summer ever recorded, but we also had the hottest September since record keeping began, and the highest deviation from normal temperatures in that month.
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 headlines from the past week, please click here.