The winter months are coming in the northern hemisphere. While November temperatures in New York, New York are on average 41-54ºF (5-12ºC), this month so far has seen highs of 75ºF(24ºC). While that may be welcome news to New Yorkers, it is dramatically higher than average. Paul Walker, a meteorologist for AccuWeather, stated that there is a good possibility New York, NY will not see any snow until December. The uncharacteristic warmth could last through November 26. Meanwhile, a heat wave in Florida has caused record breaking temperatures as high as a muggy 92ºF (33.3ºC). In Wisconsin, temperatures are around 60ºF (15ºC), 20ºF (11ºC) higher than normal. Meanwhile many cities in Africa are facing unusually hot conditions. South Africa reached temperatures of 33ºC (91.4ºF). The average temperature for this week is only 21ºC (69ºF.). South Africa is also experiencing its worst drought in over 20 years. Another heat wave in Botswana is blamed for killing 40 goats, although those goats did have foot and mouth disease, and it has been raising input prices for farmers. Farmers must buy more water and manure for growing vegetables when temperatures are high. Yesterday’s temperature in Botswana peaked at a blazing 41ºC (105ºF). Meanwhile, Cape Town has declared an emergency due to their extreme level of drought. Western Australia recently suffered from a punishing heat wave with temperatures as high as 39ºC (102ºF), as well as fatal wildfires sparked by lightning. So far the fires have killed four people.
In the US, rain is making a dent in the longstanding California drought, and it has also alleviated drought in Oklahoma. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, heavy rain triggered a landslide. The slide trapped four vehicles, but remarkably, their occupants all escaped unharmed. In Vancouver, BC, Canada, the iconic seawall in Stanley Park has closed indefinitely. The 28km (17.3 mile) unbroken waterfront path, (the longest such path in the world,) that offers picturesque views of English Bay was battered by high winds and heavy rain, causing a 9m (30 ft) section of it to collapse. An analysis concluded that it could not stand up to strong storms and it will have to be repaired and the whole path will have to be reinforced before it opens again. Not far south, in Washington, water has inundated homes and roads. So far, there have been no reports of casualties in either incident, although in Washington, 160,000 people are without power. People in Chennai, India were not as fortunate. Floodwaters there killed at least 87 people on Wednesday. Floods also caused serious damage to farms in North Carolina. The historic rains in October has caused more than $300 million in crop losses. The cotton harvest is particularly hard hit. According to one local farmer, it is the worst cotton season in over 20 years.
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 recent headlines, please click here.