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Showing posts from May, 2011

31st May - Today's News: Storm Brings Flooding, Waterspouts to Sydney

Rather a cold, damp bank holiday Monday for many in Britain (including in Evesham - my coldest day of the month) and no better in parts of Australia where they had dark days indeed as Sydney weathers the storm, but clear skies on the way. A nice waterspout too.

Tropical storm Songda hits Japan region reeling from earthquake and tsunami

Residents return to flood-ravaged Miss. communities covered in putrid mud, lined with debris meanwhile it's not over yet as snowmelt, rain worsen flooding in northern plains

Wild bird breeding hit by Scotland's storm last week.

Boy, 7, seriously injured 'after bouncy castle blew away in 40mph gust'

Global warming may increase the capacity of trees to store carbon - until we chop them down and burn them!

Climate played big role in Vikings' disappearance from Greenland - though the fact they'd chopped down all the trees didn't exactly help.

World must face 'inconvenient truth' of emissions rise, says UN chief

And I find myself…

30 May - Today's News: Typhoon Songda Approaches Japan

There are concerns that Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan 'unready for typhoon' Songda which is expected to hit the south of the country today, before bring wind and rain up the east coast, though current indications are that weather conditions around the stricken plant should not be too bad. The main risk if of further radioactive materials being washed into the sea by heavy rain.

A week after the Joplin tornado, city falls silent to remember victims. Latest death toll is 142.

In Australia there's been storm damage in south-west after heavy rain

Record snow makes Yosemite waterfalls spectacular

Melting of Arctic 'will accelerate climate change within 20 years'. Allegedly. Meanwhile, record gas emissions 'puts drive to halt temperature rise at risk' Carbon emissions reached a record leve in 2010 - so much for drives to cut them!

And, er, Britain is 'running out of wind' - it's getting calmer....

28th May - Today's News: Chinese Concede Enviromental Problems Caused by 3 Gorges DamC

27th May - Today's News: Joplin Tornado Death Toll at least 125

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25th May - Today's News: Joplin Tornado - At Least 122 Dead

It all happens when I'm away! A lot of catching up to do ....

The US has again been badly hit again by tornadoes. Joplin was devastated at the weekend, with so far 122 confirmed dead. Now, Joplin rescuers race to find tornado survivors before time runs out, more storms arrive. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City struck as tornadoes sweep US Mid-west and the biggest storm system in years hits Dallas-Fort Worth.

But, are tornadoes more common because of climate change? No. It's just 'weather'. Hence why some recent years have seen far fewer.

Closer to home, Grimsvotn erupted on Iceland leading to Scottish flights disrupted by volcano ash cloud. However, experts downplay travel risks as volcanic ash confirmed over UK. Today, Iceland volcano ash closes airspace in northern Germany

And very close to home - because I was out in it, at a bothy some 1500ft up in the Perthshire hills - there were power cuts and storm damage after winds batter Scotland on Monday, as gales batter nort…

19th May - Today's News: Drought Fears for Northern Europe

Last update for a week as I'm away tomorrow to Perthshire - MBA meetings followed by a day watching the wind and rain through a bothy window - the weather up there is looking pretty wild this weekend and into next week. All of which is somewhat ironic given that at the moment northern Europe's farmers fear drought as bad as 1976. Though of course, that year too, Scotland missed out on most of the heat and sun.

And perhaps more irony, unless you wear a tinfoil hat, West 'causing drought' in Iran, says Ahmadinejad. So in that case, who's causing the droughts in the USA, Europe and China right now? Surely not the Australians?!!! But a more serious take on the issue of water shortages in the Arab world:* the Middle East is running dry - and into the 'perfect storm'.

* yes, I know Iran is not an Arabic country

And there's a hot dry summer in store, say forecasters - except I beg to differ with my friends at Netweather and whilst I doubt we'll see th…

17th May - Today's News: Wildfires Decimate Slave Lake, Alberta

Recent rain has ended the heath fire season in Britain (at least for now), and despite the area being reported as looking like Mordor, I'm pleased to say Peanmeanach bothy was unaffected by the big fire on Ardnish earlier this month. But elsewhere things have been much more serious as wildfires decimate Slave Lake in Alberta

In Louisiana, thousands flee as floodgates open while in Canada, Assiniboine River flood crest in sight.

In Australia, La Nina is dead, here comes La Winta: BOM says get out your stockings

Lack of rain already causing crop failures, DEFRA warns - especially in East Anglia, where most of our grain is grown, which has been exceptionally dry. Bad news for beer? Incidentally I recall after the droughts of the early 1990s a proposal to build a big pipeline down the country to bring water from the NW to the SE. Never got built .... But it's not just us with France in crisis as drought worsens.

This follows the warmest April on record in Britain. Globally, it …

16th May - Today's News: Cajun Towns Destroyed to Save New Orleans From Floods

There is record water for a Mississippi River city as Mississippi floods threaten New Orleans and the Louisiana gates have been opened

The mild weather continues in Britain with, apparently, another heatwave on its way for hottest May in 350 years. Well, it does look like the southeast will be quite warm next weekend, though not unusually so - low 20s - and after that current indications are that the month could end fairly unsettled. So I very, very, much doubt we'll see anywhere reach anywhere near 29c in the next 2 weeks, let alone such temps persisting ...... Meanwhile, there are warnings that this dry spell 'sees birds short of mud' for building nests.

In Washington state, weekend storm dumps record breaking rain over Puget Sound

And more wild weather in NZ as Nelson tornadoes wreck havoc

In Kuala Lumpur, storm wreaks havoc in city

Cars swept away by floods in Barranquilla, Colombia

Drought leaves nearly 1,400 reservoirs dead in central China province

Temperatures rise to…

14th May - Today's News: 9 Killed in Spanish Earthquake

11th May - Today's News: Fire and Rain Meant Wild April in USA

They saw fire and rain: Feds point to wild April with the NOAA's monthly assessment here.

There's more flooding in Canada as Assinboine's assault surprises experts, whilst in the US, historic flooding threatens delta, as the Mississippi River reaches peak.

Lightning strike injures Erin Moran, 10, in Merthyr on Monday. But good to hear she was back to school the next day.

Togo: '36 dead' after boats capsize east of Lome in a storm

In Australia, Victoria shivers as snow blankets Alps - proof, no doubt, that there's no such thing as global warming.

According to the IPCC, renewables could meet 75% of world energy needs by 2050. Note: could, not will.

More evidence that shale gas drilling 'contaminates drinking water'

Anthropocene: have humans created a new geological age?

And Rome braces for 'prophet-predicted quake' - since the guy died in 1979 I guess there'll be no apology tomorrow. Meanwhile, Taiwan 'prophet' unfazed by apocalypse no sh…

9th May - Today's News: Memphis Braces For Record Flood

As the Mississippi slowly swells to its destructive crest, Memphis residents brace themselves for worst flooding in 84 years whilst Army Corps battle the Mississippi.

With 21.5mm of rain in less than 48 hours, the weekend was my wettest period so far this year, and produced 50% more rain than March and April combined. Hmmm, and now the grass and weeds are shooting up ...... But, initially at least, rain fails to douse heath blazes, although today Swinley Forest fire crews set to leave

Still, good news for British soft fruit fans as warm weather set to boost strawberry crop

In China, rain falls on areas hit by drought

Philippine storm threatens more after killing 11

It's snowing in Australia as early flurries blanket Alps

Pembrokeshire tidal power impact studied

7th May - Today's News: A Thundery Weekend for Britain

After the heatwave and the drought comes the deluge! First heavy rain in a long while for Evesham work me in the early hours, accompanied by thunder and some very vivid flashes of lightning. More rain and hopefully more thunderstorms expected today and tonight. Interesting that after our coldest, snowiest winter (albeit one that came to a rather premature end) we seem to be heading for one of our thunderiest years in a long while. And the weekend's going to be very warm, very wet say forecasters.

The rain arrived too late though as fire wipes out wildlife habitat in the Brecon Beacons and also for some farmers too as drought hits west Norfolk

Rain stops but floods still rising in Quebec

Memphis braces for mighty Mississippi's wrath while fears grow as flooding worsens in multiple US states.

In China, prolonged drought season threatens navigation on Yangtze River, warns officals whilst Shanghai encounters worst dusty pollution ever.

Climate shifts 'hit global wheat yields…

6th May - Today's News: Quebec Floods Worst on Record

Soldiers lend a hand to flood-weary Quebec residents as they deal with the region's worst flooding on record.

And in the US, Mississippi floods force evacuations near Memphis with record flood being predicted here as well.

On the other hand, it's welcome relief in Britain with the arrival or much needed rain to aid heathland wildfires fight. Before it arrived, NASA's MODIS Terra satellite took this image showing the many blazes across Ireland as well as the big plume of smoke from the Inverkirkaig fire in Assynt. Smoke from the Ardnish fire near Lochailort can also be seen. Apparently, the wild fire land in north and isles covers '10 Hampdens' - which doesn't actually sound very much to me. It was also the Brecon Beacons 'worst' grass fires in 30 years. But it's still dry in southern England where Swinley Forest fire crews step up battle. Rain is expected here too this weekend though.

European drought forecast to end late May

Effects of climate c…

4th May - British Wildfire Update

Overnight, as crews continue to battle wild fires across Scotland and wildfire burns swathes of Balmoral Estate, it was confirmed that the fire on Ardnish, near Lochailort, is close to Peanmeanach bothy and that firefighters were taken over by boat yesterday to try and control it and prevent it reaching a property - it's not clear whether that property is the bothy or nearby Laggan cottage. A good indication of the extent of the fire can be seen in an image posted to the BBC website (picture no. 8). There are concerns these wildfires 'a threat' to ecology and soil quality.

Elsewhere:

Record breaking dry spell fuels huge moorland blazes across UK

Brecon Beacons and Treherbert fires spread by high wind and there are prosecution plans after 300 Welsh holiday grass fires

Arsonists flee from forest fire in Berkshire

Lancashire moorland fires still smouldering

NI gorse fires damage environment 'for up to 10 years'

In the Republic, high winds hamper gorse fire operation

And th…

3rd May - Today's News: Britain Burns After Warmest Ever April

A spate of wildfires around the country over the bank holiday weekend, including some rather too close to home! Six people airlifted away from Torridon wild fire with some spectacular pictures here from Andrew Doggett on the Walkhighlands forum. I'm not sure where the BBC got their first pisture from but it's definitely not Torridon! I'm still trying to find more details on the fire on Ardnish from which someone had to be rescued by lifeboat - it may have been in the vicinty of Peanmeanach bothy. And a few miles away, Fire crews nead boat to tackle glen blaze at Glenaladale on Loch Shiel, just behind Essan. This morning, crews continue battle with Highland wild fires.

Elsewhere, walkers warned of Lancashire moor fires, In Yorkshire, Wainstalls moorland fires burn for fourth day and in Berkshire, four fires in Swinley Forest shut roads.

Fires sweep Northern Ireland countryside - most of which have been started deliberately - and show up clearly on the latest NASA Modi…