Monthly archives: August 2007

Aug

29
2007

Drought catastrophe stalks Australia’s farms

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MOULAMEIN, Australia -8.29.07- A thin winter green carpets Australia’s southeast hills and plains, camouflaging the onset of a drought catastrophe in the nation’s food bowl. Sheep and cattle farmer Ian Shippen stands in a dying ankle-high oat crop under a mobile irrigation boom stretching nearly half-a-kilometer, but now useless without water. “I honestly think we’re stuffed,” he says grimly. “It’s on a knife edge and if it doesn’t rain in the next couple of weeks it’s going to be very ugly. People will be walking off the land, going broke.” Read more


Aug

29
2007

Tropical rain increasing, NASA study finds

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-8.29.07- In a groundbreaking study that fits global warming models, NASA says that its scientists have detected the first signs that rainfall in the tropics is on the rise. “When we look at the whole planet over almost three decades, the total amount of rain falling has changed very little,” lead author Guojun Gu, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement released Tuesday. “But in the tropics, where nearly two-thirds of all rain falls, there has been an increase of 5 percent.” Read more


Aug

29
2007

Greek fire victims get some compensation

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ATHENS, Greece -8.29.07- Improved weather conditions on Wednesday helped thousands of firefighters, including hundreds from neighboring countries, bring under control dozens of massive fires that ravaged Greece over the past week and killed at least 64 people, authorities said. Read more


Aug

29
2007

Two twisters cause minor damage in central Iowa, officials say

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DES MOINES (AP) �8.29.07- Two tornadoes hit central Iowa on Tuesday night, causing only minor damage as the twisters avoided heavily populated areas, weather officials said. Authorities reported a tornado at 7 p.m. outside Coon Rapids in Carroll County, where telephone poles were downed and a barn blew over, said Mindy Albrecht, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. No major injuries were reported. Another twister was reported 20 minutes later east in Jefferson in Greene County, but no damage occurred, she said. “We lucked out,” said Derek White, Carroll County’s emergency management coordinator. Read more


Aug

29
2007

Heat wave will stress California electric grid

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SACRAMENTO �8.29.07 Electricity demand in California surged past forecasts Tuesday, setting a new peak for the summer and prompting calls for conservation as a heat wave was expected to push demand near all-time record highs on Wednesday and Thursday. “We set a new peak today and we’ll blow through that record pretty quick tomorrow,” said Gregg Fishman, spokesman for Cal-ISO, which manages most of the state’s electricity grid. “We know it’s going to be hot, the question is how hot and how much of the state’s coastal population centers will be hit.” Demand peaked on Tuesday afternoon at 45,888 megawatts � nearly 1,000 megawatts higher than expected. But state officials are hoping that, with calls for conservation, Wednesday’s predicted peak demand of 47,275 megawatts and Thursday’s forecast for 47,667 megawatts will not creep higher than anticipated. California’s all-time record energy demand is 50,270 megawatts. It was set last year during a two-week heat wave blamed for hundreds of deaths. Read more


Aug

28
2007

Storm causes power outages, downs trees in Twin Cities metro area

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MINNEAPOLIS -8.28.07- Power should be restored by Tuesday night to the about 81,000 Xcel Energy customers who lost their electricity after thunderstorms hit the metro area before down Tuesday, the company said. As of 11 a.m., 25,600 were still without power, most of them in the west metro area, Xcel said. Read more


Aug

28
2007

Flood stricken parts of China hit by more landslides

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-8.28.07- Heavy rainstorms in southwest China over the past few days has caused further flooding and triggered landslides. The Sichuan province in the south of the country was the hardest hit with 17 people being killed after the heavy rain triggered a landslide. In neighbouring Yunnan 14 people died and many more are still missing as storms raged through the city of Zhaotong. China�s climate has been split over the past few months, with torrential rain inundating southern and western provinces of China, while parts of the east have been reeling under prolonged drought. Minister of water resources Chen Lei said �the climate has been unusually abnormal this year causing these serious floods and drought across our country.� Read more


Aug

28
2007

Climate expert: Blistering summers ahead

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) �8.28.07- If global warming continues as expected, the blistering heat of this past July will be commonplace in less than 50 years, a University of Montana climate expert predicts. Steve Running, a forestry professor and one of the authors of an international paper on climate change released this spring, said forecasts predict an average July in 2050 will be like the parching, record-breaking July of 2007, with triple-digit temperatures common. Read more


Aug

28
2007

A deluged Wis. braces for more rain

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BURLINGTON, Wis. (AP) �8.27.07- Another round of thunderstorms brought more rain and flash-flood warnings to an already deluged southwestern Wisconsin on Monday, forcing residents below four dams to evacuate. Strong wind knocked out power to parts of Vilas and Oneida counties, and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Vernon County. President Bush had declared Vernon and four other counties federal disaster areas after last week’s flooding forced people out of their homes. Read more


Aug

28
2007

Hot year blamed on greenhouse gases

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WASHINGTON �8.28.07- “We have met the enemy, and he is us,” the comic-strip character Pogo said decades ago. A new analysis of last year’s near-record temperatures in the United States suggests he was right. Warming caused by human activity was the biggest factor in the high temperatures recorded in 2006, according to a report by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The analysis, released Tuesday, is being published in the September issue of Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union. In January, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center reported that 2006 was the warmest year on record over the 48 contiguous states with an average temperature 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal and 0.07 degree warmer than 1998, the previous warmest year on record. Read more