30th April - Today's News: America's Deadliest Tornado Outbreak Since 1924

No update yesterday as I wasn't at work. Apparently some guy from RAF Valley SAR got married and The Queen said we all had to have the day off to celebrate. So I defrosted the freezer. Anyway, we need to catch up on the big news story of the week (which is not that it's been warm and sunny in Ireland!) - the devastation wrought by storms across parts of the USA this week - the 2nd deadliest outbreak of tornadoes in US history with latest reports saying at least 340 people lost their lives:

Death toll rises as more bodies found

Tuscaloosa tornado survivors pick through rubble

Storm system one of the most powerful in US history

Path of destruction: The photos that show the utter devastation caused by worst tornadoes to hit the South in 40 years

South reels in aftermath of tornado disaster

Scientists investigate twisters as crime-scene investigators

I don't usually post links to youtube videos, but this one from NOAA shows the storms system as captured by satellite whilst this one from TNews shows the tornado hitting Tuscaloosa.

The worst outbreak occurred on 18th March 1924 when 747 people died. Or course, in those days there were no warnings.

Other news:

Snow adds to Manitoba's flood woes

Several hurricane landfalls expected for US in 2011

It continues to be warm and dry in most parts of Britain, and a strong easterly wind does not help matters when there's a fire 'covering miles' of moors above Bolton.

And back in the winter, heavy snow hampered Scottish blue hare count

Drought hits parts of south, central China

Some chilling accounts of the Australia floods earlier this year, where stranded victims sent pilot away - to save neighbours in more dire straits.

300 flee as Ecuador volcano hurls out huge rocks

Small earthquake felt on Argyll island

Neglected current may warm Europe - although even if the NAD (not the Gulf Stream!) switched off, past experience (ie the 8.2ka event) shows a cooling across Europe of only between 1c and 2c. About enough to counter recent warming in fact and return us to the bitter cold of the ...... 1970s.

NASA mission seeks to uncover a rainfall mystery

Geologists solve mystery of the Colorado Plateau

Voyager probes set to enter interstellar space - boldly going where no man has gone before!

In Antarctica, the hunt is on for million year ice core

Massive ice island heads for Labrador Sea

According to one Indian 'expert': world edging towards ice age. Unsurprisingly I disagree! In any case, from the news story it;s impossible to determine on what basis this prediction is made: the fact it was the coldest April for 10 years in part of India is hardly relevant.

And finally, in the "it's so mad you could never make it up" section: puff and nonsense! Cafes to carry out 'wind assessments' for outdoor areas. I do hope Edinburgh Council are aware that buildings have a big effect on wind speeds which may not be taken into account by local weather forecasts? I'm sure they must do ...... But don't worry, there are still tickets for the 'B' Ark. All aboard .....


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