24th August - Today's News: Many Feared Dead in Italian Earthquake

At least 22 dead - including two children - and many more feared buried under rubble as 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocks central Italy in dead of night (the headline has already changed this morning from 10 dead, and sadly is likely to change further as the day goes on.  It looks like this could be quite a major disaster).

Whilst TS Gaston looks likely to become a hurricane, but not threaten land (although it could impact on Britain's weather later next week) another tropical system eyes Florida, Southeast U.S., may develop into hurricane

So that's why we've had so much rain this summer: Miserable weather is blamed on the Atlantic jet stream - a headline which rather ignores the fact that not only does the jet stream's position determine our weather all year round, every year, but moreoever, some parts of England especially have had considerably less rain than normal over the past two months!   Less than half of avergae here, for example.   And even June was wet only because of a series of thunderstorms and downpours over just one week.  The real story here is new research into the various factors that affect the positioning of the jet stream, better understanding of which may improve future long term forecasts.

And finally, OMG we're all going to be killed by a camera lens flare ....!  Conspiracy theorists claim 'Planet X' is on a collision course for Earth.  Yet again .....


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