18th April - Today's News: Tornadoes Kill Dozens Across US

Severe weather continued in the US over the weekend. US search for survivors after lethal storms kill dozens. The death toll currently stands at 45. For North Carolina, where Lowe's staff save dozens as storm hits NC store it was the biggest tornado outbreak since 1984 when 42 people died.

In NZ, the weekend also saw the first snowfall of 2011 for central North Island

As we continue to watch the Red River, Manitoba flood reaching 'unprecedented levels' while in Minnesota, Red's flow is second-highest on record.

Bubble wrap 'could boost' skiing says UHI professor

Amateur predicted 'inland tsunami' that hit Toowoomba back in January. Although I'm a member of the weatherzone forum I've not posted there for some time and therefore don't know of Neil. Of course, we see similar predictions made on UK weather forums too - no criticism of the professionals, but there's certainly an argument for them to take note of forum discussions during severe weather events.

And if floods and cyclones weren't enough, more aftershocks rattle north Queensland after 5.2 magntitude earthquake. No nuclear power stations were compromised, although a couple of wallabies were somewhat perturbed.

A new online calculator allows households to track carbon footprint - working out rough figures (the calculator is aimed only at US households) I come in at about 32% of the footprint of compatible households in the US, and not much above the global average. I think my main 'fault' is that I eat rather a lot of meat!

Sugarcane cools climate, study finds - it's grown extensively in Brazil for biofuels. However:
The researchers emphasize that the beneficial effects are contingent on the fact sugarcane is grown on areas previously occupied by crops or pastureland, and not in areas converted from natural vegetation. It is also important that other crops and pastureland do not move to natural vegetation areas, which would contribute to deforestation.
Astrobiologists discover strange benthic microbial mats in Antarctica - resembling very ancient stromatolites.

And I do hope the 'so-called sceptics' take note of this: death threats sent to weather chief.

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