August was extraordinarily hot. It was, in fact, the hottest August that has ever been recorded. September has had its share of heat waves too. The UK has felt so much heat that power stations suffered unplanned blackouts due to unexpectedly high demands. Prices were astronomical, at 160£ ($200 USD) per megawatt. That is roughly quadruple the regular price. Heat records are being smashed in the Bay Area of California. Temperatures peaked at 101ºF (38ºC). This is just ahead of the first day of fall in the northern hemisphere where temperatures should be getting lower. With the beginning of fall, we should start to see a decline in wildfires with the decrease in heat. However, a few are burning with catastrophic results. There is one that is burning in California which has become the costliest fire is US history. A fire in Puerto Rico knocked out a power station causing an island-wide blackout. In Alberta, a recent report concludes that wildfires there are largely responsible for a 1.6% decline in Canadian GDP growth. Just to put that into perspective, Canada’s annual GDP is $1.8 trillion, so a quarterly decline of 1.6% is over $8 billion. That $8 billion effect on the economy doesn’t even include insurable losses (an insurable loss causes a demand for and therefore production of what was lost). At least $1 billion of that loss happened because of deferred capital expenditures in Alberta following the massive wildfires near the oil sands.
Rainy weather has been extreme, unleashing serious flooding in several Australian states. Some states in Australia are having their wettest spring since record-keeping began. Deluges struck Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario recently as well. The Detroit side experienced several crashes and submerged cars. The floods are not as bad as the historic ones of 2014. The flooding in Windsor resulted in traffic problems with flooded roads and inundated basements. Further, flooding in and around North Carolina is causing chaos, with the nearly the whole downtown of Fayetteville affected. There was no loss of life reported, but two dozen roads had to be closed, and a number of water rescues were required. There were 80 calls for service overall. North Korea could be in a lot of trouble, after deadly flooding hit there, leaving hundreds dead and thousands more homeless. The closest country that could provide aid, South Korea, naturally is quite reluctant to. This could not only contribute to ongoing flood-related issues in North Korea, but could be politically explosive. One man is dead in Java after a landslide obliterated his house. This is dwarfed by recent news of a landslide in China, in which up to 26 people were killed (though only five people are confirmed dead at the time of writing.) Excessive rain fuelled both the Java landslide and the Chinese landslide.