9th July - Today's News

When I started monitoring world weather news back in 2007, I got the impression that that year was exceptional with so many floods occurring all over the globe. Since then I've come to realise that that was not the case - floods are actually rather commonplace and to go a week without a flood news story is the exception.

So, this week, for example, in addition to the flash floods in England I reported yesterday, we've got:

Benin declares state of emergency over floods

Assam flooding strands 500,000

Floods cause 144 deaths in China so far this year

Dramatic flood stories from places where dramatic floods occur ......... every single year. And we can probably expect more 'dramatic' flood news later this month as Mumbai braces for floods from highest Monsoon tide since 1982.

There has also been heavy rain and flooding in Italy and Austria this week, but I've not yet found an English language news source. In Milan it's reported by the Italian press that around 85mm of rain fell in the space of 45 minutes.

Over in Ireland earlier this week there was a house struck by mini tornado
A Co Wexford couple said they are lucky to be alive after what they believe was a mini-tornado wreaked havoc on their newly-built home, causing extensive damage.
Sounds like it may indeed have been a tornado. Unlikely to be a mini tornado though. You can get a mini clubman a mini convertible and even a mini graphite. But they've never built a mini tornado!

Giant Iraq dust storm seen from space

A giant dust storm that has raged through Iraq and other Middle East countries for more than a week has been imaged by satellite.

Many Iraqis considered the storm to be the worst in living memory

Miss Cole, 26, was in the control tower watching the runway at Newcastle Airport during an electrical storm on Monday when a crackle ripped through the room and shot up her arm.

Remarkably, after a check-up she was able to return to work a couple of hours later and completed her shift.

Aircraft being struck by lightning is a common occurrence, air traffic controllers being struck - whilst at work - is a different matter, and not something I've ever heard happen before.

The idea of putting a little wind turbine on your house and generate publicity has attracted a fair bit fo scorn over the years, not least because in many places there's rarely enough wind to generate much electrity and you'll just never recoup your costs ...... But obviously there must be some palce where such an idea would work and world well. And now a new study pinpoints UK wind hotspots.

The most comprehensive report of its kind has identified the UK's best locations for households to install micro-wind turbines, say its authors.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) said some households could generate in excess of £2,800 worth of electricity a year.

However, it also concluded that other locations would actually lose money if a small-scale turbine was installed.

The EST is advising homeowners to visit its website, which will show whether a turbine will help them cut their bills.

The EST's website is: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/ But I don't think I need look at it to know a turbine would be a waste of money here in Evesham, but could generate all the electricity I need up in Lochailort .....

Finally, an interesting story from Alaska where uplift baffles scientists, transforms area beach
Like a giant fist punching through the earth, a 1,000-foot long section of the beach below Bluff Point rose up 20 feet from the tidelands sometime last Friday or late Thursday, pushing boulders up from the ocean bottom, cracking sandstone slabs and toppling rocks upside down.
I think the answer is actually fairly straight forward and this is really just a landslip - though I can understand how that may sound confusing. The clue is given in the news report:
Below Bluff Point, a new fissure opened up at the base of the 800-foot high cliff. The uplift could be a re-activation of a landslide that happened perhaps 12,000 years ago
The land beneath the cliff has slipped down and forward, pushing part of the foreshore further out from the cliff upwards. Of course, only a field visit can show if that's the case. Why it should happen now is another question - but without visiting the site it's really impossible to speculate. But oddly I don't think it's due to Nibiru, the Sun, an expanding Earth or even a mutant space goat. I doubt it has anything to do with climate change either, though it would be useful to know if there is underlying permafrost in the area (I'm guessing not).




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