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Showing posts from July, 2009

31st July - Today's News

Mild season in tornado alley frustrates scientists

Californians global warming fervor cools

Aircraft hit by lightning strike

It's not just a wet summer in the UK. Over in Japan a stationary front fuels downpours which, as previously reported, have led to a number of deaths from floods and landslides.

All time temperature record set in Vancouver
"BBQ Summer" - where did it go wrong?

Another rather wet day here yesterday with 40.5mm of rain - almost a month's worth - falling during the course of the day. So much for our barbeque summer.
Most British summers are unsettled. Most are wet. Most are not particularly warm. The public infatuation and media obsession with long, hot summers are bound to end in tears more often than not.

It is against this background that in April the Met Office issued its summer forecast – the infamous "odds on for a barbecue summer" forecast. The "barbecue" tag was a public relations rhetorical flourish unsupported by the content of the forecast itself. Along with many other meteorologists, I groaned when I first heard it. It was bound to come back and bite them.
Philip wasn't the only one who groaned, believe me! His article is one of the best I've seen and should be read by everyone in the country, but especially all journalists. And everyone at the Met Off…

29th July - Today's News

Hail, wind storm second most costly in Colorado history

Texas scorched by worst drought in 50 years
In Texas, rainfall levels started declining in the south and central parts of the state in late 2007. The dry weather has been exacerbated this summer by a spell of unusually high temperatures.The state's worst drought made the record books for its longevity, spanning a seven-year period during the 1950s. This drought, state weather officials say, is more notable for its intensity.
In Spain, heatwave will see mercury rise to 40c in the shade but here in Britain we're expecting the soggy summer to continue into August. There remains no sign of a return to the sunny heatwave continues of late May and late June on the horizon and I think here in Evesham we will probably find that the first days of July were the hottest of the year. Not that I'm complaining in the least! Rain is fun (except when it floods) and there's been lost of clouds to look. Mind, it's still been …

28th July - Today's News

This almost slipped under the weather radar, but as predicted earlier this month, last Friday saw the century's tallest waves lash Mumbai
Huge tidal waves measuring 5.5 metres high hit the Mumbai coastline from the Gateway of India to Juhu on Friday afternoon but they caused little or no damage during the ''no-showers'' day(they weren't actually tidal waves, by the way)

Those (like Christopher Booker) who continue to question where global warming got to because parts of N America have been colder than usual just lately might care to note that there are sizzling temperatures in Washington State this week and in Seattle they're saying the heatwave could break record.

Elsewhere, 'polar frost' leaves 40 dead in Argentina - but stories of extreme cold or snow seem to come out of Argentina most winters so I'm not sure how unusual this really is. Certainly not unusual is the news from China where heavy rains hits SW Sichuan, 22 dead, 7 missing. Such ev…

25th July - Today's News

Tibet reports record high temperature in over 58 years

Humans emulate volcanoes in the stratosphere
By the 1970s, people were spewing so much soot, ash, and other tiny particles into the lower atmosphere that climate researchers called the effect the "human volcano." Now it looks like humans are imitating volcanoes in yet another part of the atmosphere. New research blames this decade's thickening of the haze in the stratosphere on the burst of coal burning around the world. The chief offender appears to be China.Another possible cause for the increase in noctilucent clouds perhaps?

Somerset twister whirls across the southwest as strange summer weather continues - although a funnel cloud in summer is no more strange that a hot sunny day. But this is the Daily Mail! By the way, I recorded 0.8mm of rain yesterday - all of it falling before daybreak. As usual the storms bypassed the Vale, though I did hear one solitary rumble of distant thunder - the first since 15th Jun…

24th July - Today's News

Heavy storms kill 7 in Poland

Cyprus heatwave warning to holidaymakers

The British tabloids have been having an August temperature prediction competition. First up is the the Daily Express with:
the chance of a heatwave by the second week of August is a distinct possibility with the mercury topping 90F (32C).For once though they've been totally outdone by the Daily Mail who manged to invent the idea that:
Forecasters are predicting that temperatures will steadily rise over the next few weeks with the possibility of reaching 101F (38.5C) in mid-August.But even they've been pipped to the ridiculous post by the Daily Star:
And temperatures could hit record highs next month, with forecasters predicting up to 104F (40C).For the record, whilst it's quite possible we may see some high temperatures in August, current indications are that it'll remain mostly unsettled at least for the start of the month and there is most definitely nothing to indicate we may get anything close to…

23rd July - Today's News

22nd July - Today's News

It happened in 2007, but still interesting to read the results of a newly published study showing that a massive dust-storm in China circled the world in 13 days. Rather quicker than Phileas Fogg!

Today's solar eclipse has now passed (it occurred in the early hours of the morning UK time) but here's a few of some of the stories relating to it:

Crowds flock to Bangladeshi town for solar eclipse

Clouds play foul at Taregna

"I'll remember it for the rest of my life"

Longest solar eclipse of the century envelopes Asia in darkness


In Tasmania, the weather is wild, wet and a little bit balmy

Drought threat for Bangladesh as monsoon fails

24 killed, jundreds homeless in Mongolia floods

Following the shrinking Soay sheep, we find, in the "well they blame it on everything else" file that fish are shrinking in response to global warming.
Fish have lost half their average body mass and smaller species are making up a larger proportion of European fish stocks as a result of…

21st July - Today's news

And it's raining again - yesterday having been one of the few entirely dry days all month. Still, a way to go to match 2007's total!

Anyway, a break from the weather today as we catch up on other science news from Science Daily:

Risk of huge Pacific Ocean tsunami on west coast of America greater than previously thought
The new research suggests that future tsunamis could reach a scale far beyond that suffered in the tsunami generated by the great 1964 Alaskan earthquake. Official figures put the number of deaths caused by the earthquake at around 130: 114 in Alaska and 16 in Oregon and California. The tsunami killed 35 people directly and caused extensive damage in Alaska, British Columbia, and the US Pacific region*.The 1964 Alaskan earthquake – the second biggest recorded in history with a magnitude of 9.2 – triggered a series of massive waves with run up heights of as much as 12.7 metres in the Alaskan Gulf region and 52 metres in the Shoup Bay submarine slide in Valdez Arm.

20th July - Today's News

Black goop afloat off Arctic coast identifies as algae - which is what we thought all along.

Near record global warmth recorded in June
June 2009 was the planet's second-warmest June ever recorded, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported Friday. Only 2005 was warmer. When just ocean areas are included, it was the warmest June ever. Global records began in 1880.Though this doesn't stop some in the USA asking what happened to global warming because in their little neck of the backwoods it's been colder than usual (for example, in Chicago it's a near record cold July) ..... Meanwhile, those expecting a cold period caused by low solar activity now argue that there's several years delay before the onset of this, hence why it's not turning cold yet. Although that didn't stop them attributing last winter's slightly colder and snowier weather to reduced solar activity. When it comes to excuses, I guess they've been learn…

18th July - Today's News

Less flooding in the UK than I expected from the last 2 days rain, but still a few stories to bring you:

Northumberland: Fourteen evacuated in Rothbury

Clean up continues after Highlands hit by flash floods

Wales: Flooding affects homes and trains

And from the Daily Mail, a typically sober headline:

Flash floods and heavy rain put and end to the summer - and forecasters are predicting more to come

(which is at least true insofar as more rain is expected through the next couple of weeks with unsettled conditions persisting at least until August - how heavy it might be remains to be seen)

Not to be out done, in Ireland the Herald claims that experts say we've seen the last of the sun this summer. And who are these experts? Top forecasters from Met Eireann? Er, no ....
Mr Gallagher, a postman who uses clues in nature to predict the weather, warned that August 22 would be the end of the warm weather.His predictions are backed up by a New Zealand forecaster who specialises in predict…

17th July - Today's News

It's raining again ....... And as predicted back on the 30th June, all the earlier hot and sunny weather has been long forgotten as folk complain about what a miserable cold and wet summer it is (actually I've only had a couple of days and nights this month where the temperature was below average - though admittedly some areas have been cooler).

Anyway, the current rain (over 3 inches in some places with more falling) has already started causing problems with some breaking news in from East Yorkshire that in Langtoft, just north of Driffield:
"...the village pond is absolutely full."Seriously though, I expect to be reporting a lot of flood news tomorrow.

Now this I find rather interesting: sea ice formed in the Arctic before it did in Antarctica - because we're talking 47.5 million years ago and I understood the general consensus was that only much more recent tectonic movements led to the Arctic turning cold. Was this a short lived event perhaps? How does se…

16th July - Today's News

2nd Ashes test gets underway today and it looks like the weather could make it another draw with tomorrow looking a washout and further showers through the weekend. Some folk have already been accusing the Met Office of getting their experimental long range forecast for the summer completely wrong, particularly hitting on the 'headline' of a BBQ summer. Whilst the actual forecast may indeed prove wrong, we won't know that until the 1st September (and June was pretty much spot on). As I said earlier this month: folk have already forgotten the late June/early July heatwave (and indeed the one a month earlier) which gave us the warmest weather for nearly 3 years. Mind, if you ask me it was too hot for BBQs then ....... so maybe the disingenous jealous detractors have a point? hehehe!

And so to the latest news, and just to show not all are expecting the Met Office forecast to fail, The Time warn that El Nino effect could herald if heatwave in barbeque Britain.
“The patter…

14th July - Today's News

Father and son survive being sucked up by a tornado (this was the same tornado in Ontario that killed 2 other fishermen, with a third still missing)

Bill Gates wants to control hurricanes.

Climate scientists warn of wild weather in the year ahead as El Nino begins - oh my god! A whole newspaper report mentioning climate, scientists and extreme weather - and not a single mention of global warming or CO2 to be seen. The deniers* won't like that!

* who seem to think everyone else thinks all weather is caused by carbon emissions!

Carlos strengthens agin over the Pacific

Heavens turn crimson over Britain as Russian volcano erupts - which is actually rather old news as we've been watching and photographing the eerie dust clouds at sunset for the past couple of weeks. But there's a nice picture by my friend Mark Humpage. Sadly, there's not been any sunsets here for a few days now due to cloud - which has also been obscuring some good noctilucent cloud displays.

Mystery mecha…

13th July - Today's News

Well the fireworks did go off in the end in Evesham on Saturday evening, but I stayed in in the dry so didn't see them. It was also wet across in Dublin where Springsteen kicked off his set with - what else? - Who'll stop the rain?. The song I'd predicted he'd play at Glastonbury before it dried out. There's a review of the concert here.

And so on the the weather ...

Down at Cape Canaveral, lightning postpones Shuttle launch.

In Adelaide, a tornado terrifies footy players and fans.

12 killed, 13 missing in SW China flood

Hurricane Carlos weakens off Mexico's Pacific Coast

And India prays for rain as water wars break out

11th July - Today's News

The good folk of Evesham look like missing out on their 2nd free firework extravaganza of the year due to rain. We lost the Balloon Festival in June because the weekend coincided with a month's rainfall and this weekend's River Festival also looks set to be a wash-out with heavy rain expected this evening. So no firework photos for me. Mind, by the time the fireworks go off I've usually drunk too much to take any decent photos anyway!

Anyway, on to today's news.

Texas' hot dry days expected to last awhile

US temperature and precipitation near average for June

Tornado kills 2 at Ontario resort

Climate events let ice age mammoths pass far below the 40N latitude - that's way down in Spain. There were Neanderthals in Spain at the same time. I wonder if they hunted them?

One of the most noticeable and dramatic examples of human activity changing the environment is the Aral Sea. Or Aral Pond as it probably should now be called. New satelite images highlight the …

10th July - Today's News

US Weather Round-up

Here in Britain it's back to normal summer weather for the foreseeable future, with temperatures little more than average and plenty of cloud and rain around. After a scorching start, July could end up quite a cool month.

But what's the weather doing in the USA at the moment?

Well, much of Texas is suffering a 'once in a century drought'
People are comparing the conditions to the epic drought of the 1950s, he said. "It’s been so dry it’s even killing cedar trees, so you know it’s dry."

"The last good rain we had was two years ago around Labor Day, and then the faucet shut off," he said. According to the National Weather Service, the last 22 months have been the driest on record in San Antonio.There are 70 forest fires burning in Alaska with temperatures pushing 90f in Fairbanks - the hottest it's been for 15 years.But if it's real heat you want, head for Oklahoma, where in Buffalo it hit a record breaking 115f !
In Massachus…

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 …

8th July - Today's News

More flash flooding in the UK

There was even one decent downpour in Evesham - no thunder of lightning as usual though. The SE was worst hit yesterday:

Storms drench royal garden party and flood stations
Flash floods disrupted the evening rush hour and had guests at the Queen's garden party running for cover yesterday as thunderstorms struck across the UK.The Met Office said London and the south-east were the worst affected, with Kent recording almost two inches of rainfall. Central and eastern England were also badly affectedWettest day since records began as Hastings is drenched
Today is officially the wettest day ever in Hastings - with three months rain falling in just over three hours.

According to local meteorologist David Powell parts of St Leonards have been drenched by 91 millimetres of rain already today.Roads flooded in heavy downpours
Several roads in an East Sussex town were left under water after heavy rain fell in the early hours.Emergency services said they responded to …

7th July - Today's News

China builds $17.6 billion wind project
China will begin construction of a 120-billion yuan ($17.6 billion) wind power project in about two weeks in Gansu province as part of a major push to boost renewable energy and cut the nation's reliance on coal, the official Xinhua news agency reported.Now surely the question is: why would China spend all this money when they could as easily build a load of new, cheap, coal powered stations? Unless they genuinely believe that increasing carbon emissions are not such a good idea? Do the Chinese pay 'green' taxes I wonder?

Tropical zone expanding due to climate change
Researchers at James Cook University concluded the tropics had widened by up to 500 kilometres (310 miles) in the past 25 years after examining 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles.They looked at findings from long-term satellite measurements, weather balloon data, climate models and sea temperature studies to determine how global warming was impacting on the tropical z…

6th July - Today's News

In New Zealand, a tornado causes extensive damage in Kaitaia whilst snow blankets South Island.

1 dead, several hurt in Florida lightning strike

Deadly floods in China, Vietnam

Good news for UK shark watchers as the heatwave prompts surge in massive basking sharks off British shores - coming in to feed on the plankton bloom the hot weather helped create.

And as for the effect the British heatwave (which thankfully has finally ended - we can now look forward to nice weather and with luck a few thunderstorms!) had on us humans, I think this sums it up: Phew! What a scorcher! - it's supposedly a spoof story but it looks pretty close to the mark to me. And the warning of floods in Wales may yet prove prescient!

4th July - Today's News

Sea ice at lowest level in 800 years near Greenland - and that's based on human observations, the same ones that are used by some to suggest 800 years ago it was much warmer than today. Not a dodgy computer model in sight! Of course, it's only one little part of the Arctic and in any case, we all know there was much less ice up there than today around 8,000 years ago. So really it doesn't actually mean a lot. Certainly it does not imply any human cause for current sea ice decline.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water .... along comes a new type of El Nino, deadlier than the old one! Well, sort of. Apparently this new type of El Nino could mean more hurricanes make landfall. It's all down to where it forms - and the question on everyone's lips: why's it suddenly forming somewhere different? Answer: we don't know! But I'm sure someone will blame it on humans and someone claim it's down to the sun....

Meanwhile back in B…

3rd July - Today's News

It's been confirmed - June was the hottest on record in Houston, by tw0-tenths of a degree. Although in contrast, up in Milwaukee, July opens with near record cold. I wonder which of those 2 stories will be used to support climate change theories? Hoepfully neither since they have ne bearing on long term climate in both cases are just examples of this thing we call weather - which is always different. Now, if either represent tends over a multi-decadal period, that'd be different!

It does amaze me that some are still trying to use a cold winter in parts of the USA to 'prove' AGW isn't happening and/or that low solar activity is sending us into a mini ice age. To be honest, the record high temperatures during the winter elsewhere in the USA are probably more significant since they may be said to be part of an on-going trend. One winter doeth not a climate trend make any more than one brick makes a house.

Anyway, back to the news ...

It's also been the hottes…

2nd July - Today's News

1st July - Today's News

Sad news to start with today: the teenager struck by lightning in Birmingham on Saturday has died. Further heatwave related tragedy in the Midlands where a Vicar's son drowns in river.
These stories do highlight two important things always drummed into us as children: don't shelter under trees in a thunderstorm and be very very careful if you go swimming on a hot day - the water will be colder than you think and currents can be surprisingly strong.

Meanwhile, in The Guardian, George Monbiot asks "have the climate change deniers abandoned us during the heatwave?" A good question because they were all full of it when predicting another cool summer ...... Or maybe they're busy studying the difference between weather and climate? In The Times we find out who and what benefits from the heatwave? (clue: it's not me!) while the BBC ask why do we succumb to hot weather? (err, because we've evolved for a nice cool ice age climate perhaps?)

In Scotland some seem …