Severe thunderstorms hit the UK this week.  While there were, fortunately, no fatalities, there was significant damage that shut down two train lines indefinitely.  This is fairly unsurprising when there were over 40,000 lightning strikes produced by that storm.  The thunderstorms which may yet cause flooding as they are expected to drop 50mm (2 inches) of rain.  This comes on the heels of a heat wave throughout the UK, with temperatures almost as high as 36ºC (97ºF).  Several people were killed in an outbreak of violence believed to have been caused by the extremely high temperatures.Meanwhile, a phenomenon called a microburst dropped hail and damaging winds of 120km/h (75 mph) in Quebec.  This was powerful enough to rip the roofs off of some buildings.  Flash floods have hit St. John’s, Newfoundland earlier on Tuesday.  The intense rain dislodged two newly installed sewer pipes from a $3 million storm sewer an industrial company is installing.  The project is ahead of schedule which is likely the only reason it is not causing a significant economic setback.

Saskatchewan suffered a serious thunderstorm last week, receiving baseball sized hail.  Hail that size can weigh more than actual baseballs!   Hail rarely gets to be that size though, around 2.75 inches (6.89cm), although the largest ever recorded was 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter.  Damage reports have been pouring in, and there will likely be millions of dollars of insurable and uninsured losses. In Guzheng, China, torrential downpours created a river of mud that left homes destroyed in its wake.  Luckily there were no fatalities, but the cleanup effort could be a lengthy process and cost millions.   In Darjeeling, a family of three people was seriously injured when a landslide took place there.  Meanwhile, in Guwahati, India, six people have been killed in separate incidents from rain-fueled landslides. In Peterborough, Ontario, heat has topped 37ºC (98ºF).  The humidex may make it even more dangerous, especially for the elderly, who along with those who work outside are most vulnerable to heat-related incidents.  Officials are warning residents to drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as these often contribute to dehydration.  The humidex has been as high as a sweltering 41ºC (105ºF).  The temperatures in many areas of the US, like Chicago and much of the northeast will experience temperatures that feel as high as 46ºC (115ºF).  In many Texas cities, like Fort Worth and Waco, temperatures are still in excess of 40ºC (100ºF).  While New York has avoided much of the extreme temperatures, they have certainly experienced a great degree of drought.  Nearly a quarter of the state is in extreme drought.

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