Showing posts from June, 2009

30th June - Today's News

At 30.5c in my garden, yesterday was the warmest day since 20th July 2006 and the overnight minima of 17.8c was not only the highest since the same date but also the highest I've ever recorded in June. Fortunately weather models are currently in good agreement for a big change starting this coming weekend with next week being much cooler and fresher - good news for me, not so good perhaps for those on holiday. I wonder how long before this past week is forgotten and folk are moaning about another miserable summer and whatever happened to the Met Office's forecast 'BBQ weather'? My guess is around mid July .....

Anyway, on to the news and yet another lightning casualty in Britain - in this case a man struck by lightning whilst standing next to a washing machine. ( btw I've yet to see any lightning since this current warm and stormy spell started, though I did see a few flashes earlier in the month. Not seen a ground strike in years! ) Deaths from lightning …

29th June - Today's News

Back from Peebles with a million midge bites and a slight hangover ...... Loads of weather stories to bring you up to date with as well so not much comment from me today - except to say well done BBC for broadcasting half of Springsteen's superb Glastonbury concert, now why the h*ll couldn't you have shown the rest of it? Us licence payers paid a of money for you to send hundreds of people to film the concert, least you could do is show it!

Anyway, rant over, here's the weather news:

Australian senator rejects climate change evidence

Tornado confirmed to have hit southern Ontario

Tropical storm hits southern China

Czech floods widen, death toll rises to 13

Fewer sunspots mean a cooler sun

In New Zealand, storm hits bringing lightning and floods

Foggy Times

Also in New Zealand, the PM is among passengers stranded by fog, whilst across in Australia rare fog blankets top end towns and Fog shuts down Brisbane. Sadly, it also causes problems in NE England and E Scotland with one mo…

25th June - Today's News

I'm off on my summer holidays tomorrow ........ for 2 nights in the hills near Peebles. So the next news update won't be until Monday (or possibly Tuesday).

Looks like I'll miss most of the storms expected over the SW quarter of Britain as well. Glastonbury however does not look like being so lucky. What's the odds of Springsteen opening up with Who'll stop the rain?

Dry autumns and winters may lead to fewer tornadoes in spring

In Austria, flood worries rising , and in the Czech Republic police confirm six victims of flooding in North Moravia.

Heatwave devastates remote Nepal regions and in India authorities ask schools to close indefinitely due to heatwave.

And in the Philippines it's been reported that there are eight dead from tropical storm Nangka.

24th June - Today's News

Well the heatwave's arrived in Britain and I can't wait for it to end. Silly hot weather keeping my customers away and me indoors ....... roll on winter! Warmest place yesterday in the British Isles was Glasgow - not often that happens - with 26.3c. But that's way below temperatures in parts of the USA at the moment where it hit 100 degrees in Fort Lauderdale - the joint highest temperature ever recorded there - and across the State folk saw the hottest temperatures ever recorded. And it's not just Florida wilting in the heat; there's dry, hot weather taking toll in Louisiana while in Kansas, Wichita broils.

Back in South Florida though, the heat gave way to storms . As indeed it did in Britain yesterday afternoon, with some heavy thunderstorms the resulting the Yorkshire village of Askwith devastated by flash flood - and later on in Ireland further flash flooding in Donegal with a Mum and daughter rescued after flash flooding in Bunbeg.

Meanwhile, down…

23rd June - Today's News

Getting weather news stories from Europe is not easy as usually they're all in the local language and not easy to find for a monoglot like me. But stories do sometimes pop up from news agencies elsewhere in the world, like this from Atlanta, Georgia reporting that freak weather batters Southern Italy. Whoever is speculating it's caused by global warming though obviously has yet to learn the basic difference between weather and climate!

Ice sheets can retreat in 'a geologic instant' says a new study of a glacier which once existed in the Canadian Arctic and may have disappeared in just a few hundred years - relevant not just to predictions of sea level rises should current warming trends in the Arctic continue, but also our understanding of how and why Glacials end so abruptly. Basically, once a glacier extents out over deep ocean it becomes susceptible to sudden, rapid melting. And the suggestion seems to be that after this rpaid melt period, it will slow down once…

22nd June - Today's News

20th June - Today's News

We are a nation of total weather geeks! No, not us in Britain (we're more like uber weather geeks!) but our cousins out in Australia.

Today's entry in the "tell us something we didn't already know" category is carbon dioxide not to blame in ice age mystery. It's well established that the shift into the current 'ice age' mode that began around 3 million years ago was primarily due to tectonic movements, in particular the closing of the Panama gap and the rise of the Himalaya. These conspired to further reduce the efficiency of ocean currents and weather systems to spread the heat recieved around the equator to more northern latitudes, allowing for the gradual build up of the Greenland Ice Sheet. These conditions persist today with just the occasional brief interglacial - such as that we are currently in - during which the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets temporarily retreats. I'd never even heard before that a reduction in CO2 had even been con…

19th June - Today's News

Well I guess the big news story today is the release yesterday of the long awaited UKCIP09 report which details possible changes to climate in the UK over the next 100 years.

The full report can be assessed at and I would suggest anyone wishing to comment on it reads the report thoroughly beforehand - though I'm sure a great many media commentators will fail to do so, jump to erroneous conclusions about it and make a big fool of themselves in public. As they are wont to do. Are you listening Mr Booker?

Anyway, naturally the newspapers are full of it today so we may as well see what they are saying, but bear in mind what they say may not necessarily be what the report really says.

The Daily Telegraph highlights flooding risk to millions as climate warms - but omits to mention it's not climate chnage that has built millions of homes on floodpains, water meadows, over winter bournes or has channelled streams into culverts. They also repo…

Noctilucent Clouds

Something a little different today. Last night many of us across England and Wales were lucky to see a splendid display of noctilucent clouds and these are some of the images I took between 11pm and 12pm BST

'Nocties' seem to appear more widely when there is low solar activity and this may be why they've been seen so much in the past couple of years - and according to New Scientist, these mysterious night-shining clouds may peak this year. Look out to the NW an hour or so after sunset, or more to the NE just as dawn starts to first lighting the horizon. June and July tend to be the best months.

17th June - Today's News

Cockle deaths blamed on weather sounds serious. Global warming perhaps? Well it is a BBC news story ...... In fact, if you ignore the headline and read the actual story it turns out
The EAW said the heat-related deaths were a natural occurrence, not uncommon, which started in Mid May.So barely a story at at! Always worth checking stories out (and confirming sources where possible) as headlines can be deceiving.

Sediment yields climate record for past half million years - and interestingly reveal that the Laurentide Ice Sheet was likely to have reached it's largest ever extent during the last Glacial.

Asia set to become biggest climate change driver though it all likelihood it already is thanks to the massive deforestation programme of the past few decades. But of course, this story looks only at industrial carbon emissions - just one (disputed) facet of anthropogenic climate change. No doubt this will be used by some to argue the USA shouldn't cut its carbon emissions - s…

16th June - Today's News

Got my first thunderstorm of the year yesterday evening - just: it really passed just south of me but gave a little rain, a couple of bright flashes of lightning and a good half an hour or more of rumbling thunder.

Elsewhere in Britain there was rather more rain, thunder and lightning though. East Anglia was worst affected as a "biblical storm" hit Suffolk, with flood chaos in Norfolk, thousands of homes left without power and Ipswich Railway station evacuated after a lightning strike - causing plenty of addition problems for commuters. I used to live in Ipswich. And it was there I last experienced a really good thunderstorm. In 1994! Hmmm, I think I live in the wrong place! In Essex three homes were struck by lightning and one of my old schools, Mayflower, was flooded. Rail travel was also disrupted due to flooded lines in Scotland whilst in Wales lightning brought down power cables. Problems also from lightning strikes and flash floods in Yorkshire, Northumberl…

15th June - Today's News

My brother and his family were over here from Brisbane at Christmas and Courtney & Nicole loved the cold frosty weather we had, so no doubt they're also enjoying the cool weather at home now as a big frost chills southern Queensland - though it's not quite as cold as it was when they were in England.

Another month, another report on the Greenland ice sheet and sea level rises. I don't think any 2 have ever entirely agreed with one another! Anyway, these time we're told Greenland ice sheet melting faster than expected; larger contributor to sea level rise than thought - expect a new paper in July showing the ice sheet isn't melting at all ...... It doesn't help the public when so much (apparently) conflicting information is out there. And more confusion likely now that it's been found that Carbon emissions linked to global warming in simple linear relationship - which on the face of it seems to contradict the general understanding of a non-linear 1c …

12th June - Today's News

NOAA's May assessment is now out and for the contiguous USA it was another warmer than average month - and for the year to date, only North Dakota has, overall, seen temperatures below average. This despite all those stories about cold and snow and "whatever happened to global warming". Fact is, a few cold spells in a few places does not impact all that much when looking at climate over a much greater area - and a good part of the USA had quite a warm winter.

Heavy rain and a lightning strike to a pumping station have caused problems in Dallas overnight and a storm in St Louis sent Aerosmith fans running for cover. Me? I'd have stayed put. Well, I don't want to miss a thing!

As if the Yellowstone Supervolcano wasn't enough, it's now being suggested there may be another supervolcano under Mount St Helens - that's another end-of-civilisation-as-we-know- it to add to the list!

Meanwhile, out in space, National Geographic provide impressive photographic…
Apologies to anyone getting a message about this being a potential spam site - it's because this blog has so many links to current stories (which is the whole point of it!) and the issue should be sorted out before long. Also, I'm still playing around with formet. So its appearance may change a bit over the next few days! H*ll, it's something to do when I'm bored!

11th June - Today's News

Another wet day in parts of Britain yesterday. I recorded a total of 20.5mm of rain - which compares with an average for the whole of June of around 55mm. I'd already had over 55mm last weekend ..... so looking like a wet month round these parts!

The rain resulted in some problems with flash floods in Sheffield - thankfully not anything like so bad as June 2007 though - and in Wales. I doubt we've seen the end of the rain either.

So why is it always so wet this time of year? Well partly it's down to what some call the European Monsoon - though recent years have been somewhat worse across Britain than usual due to the jet stream maintaining a more southerly track though much of the summer. Whether it finally shifts north to give us a heatwave later in July or August remains to be seen, though my inkling is that August will be a bit warmer, drier and sunnier than last year.

Still, not as bad as in China which has been lashed by a deadly flood season that's left at lea…

10th June - Today's News

Water problems continue in the Middle East: Syria declares emergency for drought-hit northeast ; but in New York it's too much water that was the problem as
Thunderstorms bring flooding rains to Long Island, whilst storms also produced flooding in Kansas City.

For anyone despairing of the current cool weather in England, cheer up - the Betfair Contrarian reckons it'll hit 100f in July. Personally, I wouldn't bet on it! In fact I don't think we'll see anywhere come close this year. Maybe 90f if you're really lucky.

Apparently smoke from forest fires produced a stunning sunset in Seattle. Just a shame no-one thought to take a photo!

The oceans subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee has been told that Global Warming has already changed the Oceans. Basically, the problem is increased acidification. Even if human CO2 emissions are not causing global warming they do seem to be having a detrimental effect on the oceans. There simply hasn't been so much…

9th June - Today's News

Over in China, the Beijing Met Office is predicting a hotter than usual summer with more days exceeding 35c than normal,

In India, the monsoon, briefly held up by Cyclone Aila, has now returned to Kerala and Konkan region (including Goa) and has finally hit Hyderabad as well. But in South Africa, they're bracing themselves for the cold as winter starts to set in.

Unusually for the area, 5 tornadoes touched down in Denver on Sunday and whilst it may be nearly midsummer, up in Wyoming they're still getting snow. Not quite that cold in Britain - though temperatures are well down on usual. Indeed the past 3 days have been the coldest spell I've recorded in June since I started keeping records in 2003. Mind, if you want temperatures up in the high 20s in June - that's around 7 or 8c above average - you have to expect some days at 14c or 15c to balance out. It can't be warmer than average every day!

And finally, some good news about global warming - it's good for…

8th June - Today's News

Torrential rain brought flood chaos to parts of Britain over the weekend. Especially on Saturday where in Wales a number of homes were evacuated in estate flood whilst patients were evacuated from Ystrad Mynach hospital There were also floods and power cuts after storm in Devon and in Snowdonia a big MRT operation saw 33 fell runners rescued. Whilst in Dorset lightning causes a campsite blaze and fishermen rescued in thunderstorm.

But think it's bad in Britain? Try living in the Sunderbans in India - still reeling from Cyclone Aila

Wet too in Florida where on Friday storms produced over 9 inches of rain And out in the Plains, Vortex2 finally caught it's first tornado

Down in Australia there was snow right on cue for ski season opening party. Which is good news, even if it wasn't enough snow to ski on.

And finally today, for those in England finding the weather a bit cold at the moment, fear not! Because Global warming to push London temperatures up to 105f Which j…

6th June - Today's News

The relief effort after Cyclone Aila has hit a bit of a snag - a plastic bag snag to be precise. The Sundabans, where much of the aid is needed is a 'plastic free zone' - but what does all the food, clothes and other supplies arrive in .... plastic bags. I guess the answer is to ensure all the plastic bags are collected up afterwards and removed. But is that just too simple? Still, it's refreshing to hear of 'plastic free zones' - anything to help curb what is arguably the biggest pollution issue to hit planet Earth since those nasty algae thingies polluted the atmosphere with deadly oxygen. Did you know that you probably eat plastic every time you eat a fish? All that hard plastic on the beach gets pounded by the surf, smaller and smaller and smaller, and finally gets eaten by plankton who get eaten by little fish who get eaten by bigger fish ...... and that's besides all the bigger bits of plastic consumed by the big fish in the first place, and indeed…

5th June - Today's News

Firstly, my apologies as I hadn't realised that not everyone could leave comments - hopefully that's now fixed!

You don't get headlines like storm leaves 20 dead, 117 injured very often in Europe or N America - but sadly it's almost a daily occurrence somewhere or other in Asia. In this case the story is from China and it's worth quoting:

"As of 6 p.m, about 3.47 million people had been affected by power and water supply stoppages or damage to their homes, 1,546 were evacuated, 9,856 houses collapsed, and more than 40,000 houses damaged, according to the report."

And that's not a hurricane or tornado or ice storm, just normal gales, hail and heavy rain. It's a whole different world .....

Not much else to report on today, but in the "well they blame it for everything else" section I found: Did global warming help bring down Air France Flight 447? Will you scream or shall I?

Down Under, I see that New Zealanders moan about the weather jus…

4th June - Today's News

Some say global warming will increase the number/intensity of tropical cyclones, others say it won;t. Some say such storms are already increasing whilst other produce evidence to the contrary. Who to beleive? Well now a team from Harvard University say they've discovered a 'possible' link between tropical cyclones and global warming. And it seems regardless of whether global warming causes cyclones, cyclones could perhaps themselves be adding to global warming .... !

Also on the global warming front, another new study suggests climate change theatens African farmland. Whilst the World Bank claims that Poland and Hungary may become more like Sicily. Don't ask me why a bank should know so much about future climate trends, let alone why a central European region will get a mediterranean island climate! Perhaps they're expecting a big, big sea level rise?

Meanwhile Australia's Bureau of Meteorology are predicting an above even chance of an El Nino developing t…

18th Century Anthropogenic Climate Change

More evidence of human impact on climate with not a CO2 molecule to be seen. In this case the effect of cultivation on the monsoon in Asia during the 18th and 19th centuries when the Indians and Chinese were busy doing what the Indonesians are today - burning down their rain forests for cultivation and causing reduced precipitation - and an increased risk said cultivation would fail - as a result. Oh well, we humans never learn by past mistakes do we .....

There's a good summarisation on Science News: Cultivation changed monsoon in Asia whilst the full paper can be accessed here - us mortals have to settle for just the abstract I'm afraid but Roger Pielke Sr does quote the following extract from the paper on his excellent website:

“Changing the land cover/use from forest to croplands can affect the global and regional climate through changes in the energy and water balance at the earth’s surface…. Among the various effects of vegetation change, 2 factors have been shown to …

3rd June - Today's News

Well the heatwave's coming to an end as cold air pushes down from the north. Looks like autumn will be here by the weekend! And I have a cold (or is it swine 'flu?) to boot. So if you hear me sneezing away, that's why.

I guess the big weather news story - or possible weather news story - of the week so far is the tragic loss of Air France Flight 447. Was lightning responsible? We never know for sure, but the best assessment of such a posibility being the proximate cause of the crash that I've found is here: What Happened to Flight 447

Coincidentally, at the Florida Institute of Technology researchers have been trying to find out just how do thunderstorms create lightning?

After a very warm May, they finally had some cold weather in Perth, Western Australia, last week. But it didn't last, as this month kicked off with the warmest June day in 25 years, whilst thunderstorms sound the start of winter

Here in the UK we're used to problems with our railways due to …