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Showing posts from April, 2011

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 o…

27th April - Today's News: Death Toll Rises in US Storms

Girl, 3, among ten dead in storm after tree crashes through roof of her family home as Arkansas flood death toll rises to nine (as usual, the Daily Mail, for all its faults, has the best pictures). And whilst powerful Texas tornadoes damage 100 homes, elsewhere fighters from 43 States battle far-flung Texas wildfires.

Forgot to mention yesterday that some of the thunderstorms we had in England on Saturday were accompanied by heavy hail - up to 3cm in diameter according to reliable reports. So thanks to Peter for reminding me and finding these: well stone me, it's hail on hottest day of the year in Leicestershire whilst in Yorkshire lightning, hail and heavy rain strike during mostly hot and sunny weekend.

Dozens rescued from wild weather in NZ.

Can Siberian hot springs reveal ancient ecology?

Effect of cloud-scattered sunlight on Earth's energy balance depends on wavelength of light

And like something out of a low budget horror movie, king crabs invade Antarctica. And no-one kn…

26th April - Today's News: 5 Dead, Many Missing After Arkansas Storms

Breaking news from the US: 'the town's gone': five dead as storm slams Ark, with many still unaccounted for. And levees ready to burst as rain pounds central US.

Meanwhile, in Canada, Manitoba couple sells car to pay for sand to protect doomed home as spring flooding continues.

No such problems here. It was 28.1c in my garden in Saturday, with an official UK max of 27.8c at Wisley, the second hottest April day since 1893, with April set to be warmest on record as Britain basks in the sun. And we even had a thunderstorm to boot! A good hour of constant thunder though sadly not much rain with it. Garden is looking very dry indeed....

The record heat and dry spell has meant a North York Moors fire week after alert while in Dorset, Wimbourne heathland destroyed by fire.

And somewhat earlier than last year, the Scottish ski season comes to an end

A little cooler this week though and maybe a spot of rain in London on Friday as forecasters predict thunder storms in London for …

23rd April - Today's News: Possible Record Warm Easter on the Cards

Smog alert stepped up: air pollution gets worse as the country basks in the hottest Easter weekend ever! - pollution haze very visible here in the morning, though it eased a bit yesterday as the breeze picked up. Very warm here with 27.1c in my garden yesterday afternoon (though that's about 2c above the local official maximum). There were some showers further west yesterday with quite a bit of thunder in places. More widespread showers expected this afternoon - and yes, the gardens really do need the rain atm. The hot dry weather means a barbeque and camp fire warning in Peak District while more that 60 firefighters tackle Antrim gorse fire

In the US, cooler, wet weather gives Texas firefighters a break. In Colorado, Vail breaks its single-season snow record and theres been fresh snow this weekend in places, with spring storms conspiring against Glacier Park plow crews. A contrast to here where we've not seen any snow at all this year!

St Louis airport closed indefinite…

22nd April - Today's News: Smog Warming Issued for England & Wales

First up, happy 18th to Nicole! Hope the weather's as warm and sunny in Brisbane today as it is here in Evesham. And that you don't have too bad a hangover tomorrow morning ...... !

Mind, it is a tad hazy here today - a lot of pollution in the lower atmosphere at the moment under this slack high pressure system. And as a result Defra have issued a smog alert for England and Wales - smog here meaning photochemical pollution rather than the 'pea-soupers' of Victorian London (and, indeed the 1950s). Jenny Jones of the Green Party thinks smog warnings should be a part of weather forecasts - although here main concern is simply that London is still so badly polluted. Indeed, London's air pollution levels hit eight year high. Smog warnings are not uncommon in the height of summer, but it's very usual to have one issued so early in the year. Mind, it's also unusual to have so a prolonged hot spell so early in the year. The actual Defra release is here.

20th April - Today's News: A Million Acres Destroyed by Texas Wildfires

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 seve…

16th April - Today's News: Death Toll 10 From US Storms

Storm swipes deep south, death toll rises to 10 and a spring blizzard strands travellers in Nebraska.

Jersey enters 'absolute drought' with supply concerns - we had rain here on the 3rd so it'll be Monday before Evesham is 'officially' experiencing a drought.

Good news for SE Asia: normal monsoon rain: summer prediction at SASCOF

An interesting twist in the nuclear power debate as uranium mining threatens America's natural heritage sites, report warns.

Just one of the many, many, tragic stories from last month's Japan tsunami telling of death and survival at school swimming club.

In stark contrast, some clever humour as one blogster claims global warming to blame for Fernando Torres goal drought.

And still on the humour note, though of a different kind, Wattsy and Co have been getting their knickers badly twisted again over claims 'the UN 'disappears' 50 million climate refugees'. What they were all too pained to notice was that the chart was to…

15th April - Today's News: After Dry March, a Record Warm April?

In Britain, summer drought looms following 'driest March for 60 years'. In some places (like Evesham) this month looks like it could be even drier. But in any case, record breaking April will be a warm month despite showers. And for those looking forward to a certain wedding at the end of this month, History hints at sunshine on big day. As indeed, does current model output. Rather warm and sunny although a risk of some thundery showers in the south.

And in the Caribbean, Cuba faces its worst drought for 50 years

2 people killed as storms tear through Oklahoma

Colombia mudslide engulfs bus after heavy rain - at least 14 killed

Alberta smacked by April snowstorm

India's much loved alphonso mango hit by poor weather - I bet that gets used somewhere as 'proof' of global cooling .... But in contrast, there's also an early asparagus crop in Cornwall 'due to weather'.

Loch fossils show life harnessed sun and sex early on - as much as a billion years ago.

Cli…

13th April - Today's News: More Concerns Over Shale Oil as Biofuels Deemed 'Unethical'

Natural gas from shale contributes to global warming more than other gas because it contains a higher methane concentration. It appears it's even worse than coal (though it probably doesn't cause quite so much cancer - see below). There are of course also other environmental concerns with the fracking controversy: using water sand and chemicals to extract natural gas from shale and here we meet the families whose live have been ruined by gas drilling.

On the subject of the dangerous of fossil fuels, Oklahoma town fears cancer, asthma may be linked to dump site

Meanwhile, radiation from Fukushima spreads, but threat to rest of the world is low - much, much, less than living near a coal ash dump. And how does Fukushima differ from Chernobyl?

And EU Biofuel targets are unethical, inquiry finds - I'm not sure about it violating human rights (except perhaps the right to live in a society that puts logical common sense and the good of all before personal greed and avarice) but…

11th April - Today's News: Mapleton Tornado Destroys 100 Homes

Small western Iowa town reeling after tornado destroys about 100 homes

Warning as tide traps 93 people in north-west England and the spell of warm (and dry) weather has led to a rash of fires: 40 firefighters tackle mountain fire near Barmouth in Wales (this was subsequently put out after 9 hours), a fire at Huddersfield's Marston Moor threatens animals and there was also a fire at Ramshaw Rocks in Staffordshire Peak District. All upland areas should get some rain this week though to reduce further risk.

Meanwhile, Isles of Scilly turn heat on Jersey over 'warmest place in Britain' claim - which is daft really because London and much of the SE is generally warmer than both in summer!

Japan rattled by another 7.1-magnitude aftershock but no tsunami; no new damage at nuke plant

In New Mexico, high winds sweep through state wreaking havoc

Medicine Hat braces for floods but Fargo escapes the worst of the annual Red River flood

Spring snow surprises parts of Bulgaria but in Switze…

9th April - Today's News: Sandstorm Causes Horrific Pile-Up on German Autobahn, Several Dead.

Freak sandstorm causes deadly motorway pile-up in Germany. Not what you expect whilst driving down the autobahn! Additional reports say 10 dead, 97 injured - some of the victims having burned alive. I've seen sand dunes run out halfway across the road in east Suffolk, an area known as the 'Sandlings' because the underlying red crag makes the soil extremely sandy. But they tended to be only a few inches high and being rural back roads, I never heard of any accidents there due to sandstorms.

It was even warmer in my garden yesterday with 22.5c under unbroken sunshine and just a slight breeze, and I'm expecting similar today. Rest of the month looks like being a little cooler though, and some recent model output has even been throwing up a (very unlikely) risk of snow over Easter! Glorious weekend for Britain with mercury to hit 21c .... but mini-heatwave sparks drought fears - the latter being tabloid nonsense. Though it has been a very dry year so far in some …

8th April - Today's News: Record Warm April Temperatures in Britain

'Mega-storm' slams parts of Alaska to show winter isn;t quite over up there yet. But in Britain, the warmest April 6 on record brings promise of weekend heatwave - the 7th wasn't quite so warm but at 22.5c was also a UK date record. Here in Evesham we hit 21.9c on Wednesday, not my warmest April temperature but certainly a record for the date and indeed first half of the month.

Flood fight ramps up in Winnipeg, province issues warnings on rising waters

There's a new warning on Arctic ice melt - with a prediction now that we may see most summer sea ice disappear with the decade. Reading between the lines, I think what Wieslaw Maslowski is really saying is that we shouldn't assume that it'll not be until at least 2040 before we see an ice free Arctic - it could happen sooner, perhaps as soon as 2019. Which is not the same as saying it will!

Thunderstorm numbers calculated - apparently across the planet there are 760 an hour. Or, in Evesham, about 0.00005 an ho…

6th April - Today's News: Severe Storms Sweep Southeast USA

In the US on Monday, high winds, storms blow through much of the south; at least 9 killed, thousands without power.

And it's not just been very dry in England (Scotland, especially the west, is getting hammered with rain again today, btw) as Oklahoma sees driest 4 months since Dust Bowl.

In NZ, one freed from debris after tornado rips roof (and congratulations to the Otago Times for not prefixing it with 'mini' - unlike most other media sources!)

Thailand flood death toll rises as rains ease

Apparently, Arctic Ocean freshwater will cause 'unpredictable changes on climate' - or, if your not a journalist, could possible cause some changes, but most probably will have little or no effect at all. You'll notice that despite the headline, no-one is quoted as saying anything will happen at all. The truth doesn't sell though. The booklet produced by CLAMER - on which this story is supposedly based - should eventually be available to download here.

Still, at leas…

4th April - Today's News - Driest March for 40 Years in UK

Weekend gave me my first overnight camping trip of the year; just a gentle wander around the Llangattock escarpment in South Wales to loosen up the muscles. Good to get away to some real peace and quiet! Fortunately I was back home in time to hear the first thunder of the year in Evesham yesterday afternoon. Only the one big crack, but nice to hear it - last time was August 2010. Also had the first heavy downpour of rain in ages. No doubt good for the weeds .....

And we certainly need the rain, with March driest month for 40 years (and though this is from the Mirror, the figure was confirmed on last night's BBC Countryfile weather forecast).

There were record high temperatures over weekend in Switzerland. And as a result of recent high temperatures, the snowpack is very unstable and a 'gigantic' avalanche kills three.

In northern Australia there's rain and wind, but it's all clear for the cyclone that wasn't

In Canada, Calgary walloped by heavy snow

Wildfires…

1st April - Today's News: Berkelely Group Climate Review: Provisional Results Confirm Global Warming

Berkeley team announces early results from global warming review - and as predicted, it's not going all the deniers' way ....
...there is very close agreement between the Berkeley analysis and the warming trends reported by the major three climate groups, that is a rise of around 0.7 degrees C since 1957. In notes prepared in advance of Thursday's hearings, Muller writes: "The Berkeley Earth agreement with the prior analysis surprised us..."

Anthony Watts, published a report claiming the problem with "poor stations" was serious enough to render the US temperature record unreliable. Based on preliminary work, Muller says this isn't true. "Over the past 50 years the poor stations in the US network do not show greater warming than do the good stations,"It will be interesting to see the full results. Meanwhile some folk ought start being careful crossing the road. Just in case.

As provisionally reported on Wednesday, Perth records hottest, sun…