20th March - Today's News: A Warm & Dry Start to Spring

It's the Spring Equinox today, so however you determine it, winter is well and truely over. Feels it to - already a warm, sunny day here in Evesham and a glorious start to the day in dry and barren Britain. By the looks of things it's going to remain mostly warm, dry and sunny through till Easter. Which also means we're certain to see our 17th consecutive month here with below average rainfall.

Across the Atlantic, 'March mildness' in Canada upstaging the winter that wasn't while in Ottawa, weekend heat wave spawns first smog day. And in parts of the US, heat wave sizzles on, toppling more than 2,000 records. And all this warm weather puts trees on fast forward.

But it's not hot everywhere, as, in stark contrast to the rest of the country, spring brings more cold, snow and rain to eastern Canada while in California winter storm saturates area ahead of arrival of spring and there are flooding fears after wet and windy weather socks south-central US.

In NZ, wild weather continues to pound North Island while in Australia, more than 20 poeple rescued in Cairns rain. And further down the coast a 'horrifying' storm smashes Townsville homes.

Not a herb I use, but there's a serious tarragon shortage as poor weather wipes out crop in Israel and Spain.

Much gnashing of teeth in certain circles as updates to HadCRUT global temperature dataset show that world warmed even more in last ten years than previously thought when Arctic data added.

Scotland to become a 'windfarm landscape' warn planners - but isn't that what Salmond wants? After all, what other use is there for all those silly, pointless, hills?

Meanwhile, fracking could pose health threat. Well there's a surprise!

NASA discovers that cosmic rays alter chemistry of lunar ice, may create building blocks of life. No god required.

The latest in the 'never-ending, always different, sea level saga' is that global sea level likely to rise as much as 70 feet for future generations. Or it may not. The only thing we can be absolutely sure of is that the next study will come up with a different figure ....

And finally, stunning footage of the northern lights filmed from International Space Station - well worth putting up with the advert to see. Though to me the sight of the Earth pockmarked with city lights is almost as remarkable.

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