Sunday, 19 June 2016

Extreme weather worldwide

Southern California wildfire spreads as blazes hit parched states

A wildfire fed by parched land and high winds spread in Southern California on Saturday, prompting hundreds of people to evacuate their homes as the blaze formed destructive columns of flames known as fire tornadoes.

The so-called Sherpa Fire in Santa Barbara County, about 90 miles (145 km) northwest of Los Angeles, had burned through about 7,650 acres (3,100 hectares) by midday Saturday, officials said. Firefighters increased containment after early evening "sundowner winds" that can whip through the area's coastal canyons did not emerge overnight on Friday.

"We had a very good night last night," Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Peterson told a news conference, adding "we've had no life loss, no major injuries and no major structural loss."

More than 1,200 firefighters have been dispatched to battle the flames being fueled by dry chaparral and grass in coastal canyons about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of the affluent city of Santa Barbara.

"Now is the time to gather your family members, pets and important documents in case you need to leave quickly," the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office warned people living in areas threatened by the fire.

The fire broke out on Wednesday and has been expanding since then. Possible sundowner winds are on tap for Saturday that could fan the flames and temperatures were set to top 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) over the weekend.

The fire is one of a series of blazes in western and southwestern states brought about by high temperatures and a prolonged dry spell. One of the largest has been southeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico, that has destroyed about two dozen homes and forced evacuations.

More than 700 personnel were fighting the so-called Dog Head Fire that has burned through about 17,600 acres (7,125 hectares) of timber and logging zones in four days. Governor Susana Martinez this week declared a state of emergency to free up resources to fight the blaze.

For an area stretching from Southern California to southern Nevada and into Arizona, the National Weather service has put out "red flag warnings," indicating conditions that could lead to dangerous fires.

It has also issued a heat advisory for large parts of New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma.

Heat Emergency Plan imposed as Houston heat hits 108F (42C)

The City of Houston is urging residents to take precaution in the intense heat expected Friday and Saturday.

The city early Friday activated its Heat Emergency Plan.

Houston activates the plan when the heat index, a computation of air temperature and humidity, reaches 108F (42C) on two consecutive days.

Anyone without access to air-conditioning can seek shelter during business hours at city multi-service centers, libraries or recreation center.

A map of open cooling centers is available online at
KHOU 11 Meteorologist Chita Craft says a heat advisory will be in effect for all of Southeast Texas both Friday and Saturday.

Slightly cooler temps are expected Sunday as a rain chance moves in.

Health officials recommend people take precautions against high heat and humidity to prevent illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Make sure you drink plenty of water and stay in the shade as much as possible if you must work outdoors.

India burning! Unbearable heat due to the 90% humidity factor as temperatures hit 43.2 degrees Celsius (110F)

Normal life across Odisha, particularly in western districts, was disrupted on Monday as the mercury touched 43.2 degrees Celsius at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district.

According to the Meteorological office here, almost all the towns in western region recorded temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.

Bhawanipatna was followed by Bolangir (43 degrees), Jharsuguda (42.6 degrees), Hirakud (42.5 degrees) and Sambalpur and Sundargarh (42 degrees).

Bhawanipatna and Titlagarh had yesterday recorded a high of 43 degrees Celsius.

Other regions also experienced temperatures above 39 degrees Celsius. State capital of Bhubaneswar recorded a high of 38.7 degrees Celsius, with the humidity ratio standing at 90 per cent.

As the intense heat wave moved across the state, Malkangiri recorded a high of 41 degrees while Keonjhrar recorded a high of 40.1 degrees.

The heat wave was unbearable due to the high humidity factor, said Sarat Sahu, the director of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Bhubaneswar. An IMD release said rain and thunder showers may occur in interior parts of the state in the next 24 hours.

Snow storm hits Hawaii just days before official summer time begins!

Photo    Sent in by William Neu

Meteorologist Ari Sarsalari takes a look at some photos of snow in Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Observatory taken on June 15, 2016.

We are less than a week away from the longest day and official summer time and it's still snowing in the US. 

Could that be possible?

Well yes, in tropical Hawaii no less.

If it's not crazy enough to have snow in the US this time of the year, well it's totally mind bending to happening in Hawaii!

OK, so the observatory is 13,000 feet high but it's still unbelievable to see that this time of the year

Nuuk warmer than New York as Greenland records it's warmest temperature in June ever!

Earth wind map...Click on image

  • Nuuk warmer than New York last Thursday Maximum ever temperature reached by Greenland during the month of June
  • Warmest April temperature on record Warmest winter on record across the Arctic
  • The monthly average ice extent for May 2016 is more than 386,000 square miles below that observed in May 2012." 
A temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) was recorded on June 9, 2016 in the capital of Greenland, Nuuk.

This is the maximum ever temperature reached by Greenland during the month of June.

Nuuk is located on the southwestern periphery of the Arctic country and usually witnesses the warmest temperatures as compared to other regions of the country.

The temperature of the capital exceeded that of New York City, which experienced a temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

It has been established by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) that the Thursday temperature of Nuuk will assume the position of highest temperature record, which was earlier held by Kangerlussuaq, where the temperature soared to 73.8 degrees Fahrenheit (23.2 degrees Celsius) on June 15, 2014.

Kangerlussuaq is also located on the southwest flank of Greenland at a distance of approximately 200 miles (320 km) from Nuuk towards north.

The reason behind the high temperature in Nuuk has been explained by a Senior Climatologist at the DMI, John Cappelen, as the result of winds coming from the eastern direction.

These winds are formed between high pressure over northeast Greenland and low pressure south of Greenland.

Winds blow downhill, when they reach Nuuk from east, resulting in rise in temperature.

This occurs due to a phenomenon known as adiabatic warming, during which air gets compressed from low to high pressure.

The Thursday's highest temperature measurement was the second unusually high temperature day in southwest Greenlands starting from April, which marked the premature onset of ice melting season a month before the usual commencement.

Kangerlussuaq experienced a temperature of 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit (17.8 degrees Celsius) on April 11, 2016.

"This was the warmest April temperature on record at that location, and it nearly set an all-time warm temperature record for Greenland as a whole," said Mashable's Andrew Freeman.

A report published in Washington Post" revealed, "Nuuk, Greenland's capital, soared to 75 degrees (24 Celsius) Thursday, marking the warmest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic country during June.

Nuuk sits on Greenland's southwest coast, where the country's warmest weather typically occurs." "This is the sixth earliest onset of ice loss in our 27-year record, although there isn't really a large difference from one year to the next in the top-ranking 17 years," said climate scientist Peter Langen. Greenland's exceptional warmth in 2016 piles on to other record-warm milestones established in recent years.

In 2012, the temperature in Narsarsuaq, on the southern coast, soared to 76.6 degrees in May - a new monthly record, according to Jeff Masters at Weather Underground.

It was also the warmest winter on record across the Arctic, says the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which reported that large areas recorded their "warmest conditions in 67 years of weather model data, including the northern half of the Greenland ice sheet."

"Satellite observations published by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center on Tuesday reveal that Arctic sea ice covered an area of just 4.63 million square miles (12 million square kilometers). That's about 5 percent lower than the previous record low, set in May 2004, and more than 10 percent lower than the average sea ice extent from 1981 to 2010," according to a news report published by National Geographic.

The study, authored by a team led by Marco Tedesco of Columbia University's Earth Institute, analyzed weather data to show that Greenland's record melting in the summer of 2015 was caused by unusual wobbles in the jet stream, the undulating, riverlike current of air that circles the Northern Hemisphere.

It's thought that by lessening the temperature difference between polar latitudes and more temperate regions, climate change can slow down the jet stream, and this slowdown could give the jet stream enough wiggle room to let it bend far more northward than it usually does.

In fact, the study reveals the northernmost record of the jet stream ever observed.
According to a report in Post Gazette by Chris Mooney,
"The average area of sea ice atop the Arctic Ocean last month was just 4.63 million square miles, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
That beats the prior May record (from 2004) by more than 200,000 square miles, and is well over 500,000 square miles below the average for the month."

"Daily extents in May were also two to four weeks ahead of levels seen in 2012, which had the lowest September extent in the satellite record.

The monthly average extent for May 2016 is more than 386,000 square miles below that observed in May 2012."

"We've never seen anything like this before," said Mark Serreze, who directs the center.

"It's way below the previous record, very far below it, and we're something like almost a month ahead of where we were in 2012."

Flooded Canadian towns in gas heartland declare state of emergency

Intense flooding has prompted two northern communities in the Canadian province of British Columbia to declare states of emergency, just a month after forest fires prompted evacuations in the region.
The city of Dawson Creek, which sits atop the gas rich Montney formation, declared a state of emergency on Friday due to heavy rain that washed out bridges, flooded sewers and forced some 60 people from their homes, the mayor said.
"It was a crazy, crazy couple of days," Mayor Dale Bumstead said, adding that the rain had stopped and the town's focus was now on assessing the damage and rebuilding.
The town of Chetwynd, some 100 km (62 miles) west of Dawson Creek, declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.
Both communities are south of Fort St. John, the hub city for British Columbia's energy industry. Pembina Pipeline shut its crude-carrying Western Pipeline on Thursday, after rain and erosion exposed a portion of the line.
On Friday the company said there was currently no timeline for when operations would restart.
"We are assessing the situation and working with the provincial government, regulator and industry partners to safely access the area for an inspection," Pembina spokesman Jason Fydirchuk said.
It was not immediately clear if other energy companies had been affected by the flooding. Bumstead said that while major highways around the city were damaged by the rain, workers could still access nearby energy projects using back roads.
Pipeline company TransCanada Corp said there was a fair distance between where the flooding was taking place and its assets in northern British Columbia, and it did not expect operations to be affected.
In May, a handful of small communities north of Fort St. John were evacuated as intense wildfires tore through northeast British Columbia. A separate wildfire in Northern Alberta forced the evacuation of 90,000 people and shut in more than a million barrels per day of oil output.

Clouds over Mt Etna, Italy

China sees heaviest rain in 43 years: at least 14 dead,13 missing, 65,600 evacuated

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