Tuesday 25 December 2012

Weather chaos

This was a comment attached to this article:

Attention EVERYONE:

A very sad and unfortunate event is about to occur. A nasty tornado outbreak is about to hit the Gulf Coast states right on Christmas Day. Millions of americans are in the path of deadly storms, and we all need to come together and say a prayer for everyone down there in it's path. We know there will be destruction... some families Christmas will turn into a total nightmare... and there will be loss of lives, that is logic with an outbreak of this magnitude, but we all need to keep these people in our thoughts and prayers at all times. This is an unbelievably heart-breaking situation, and I can not even imagine the agony and sadness that some may face. Please, if you have any kind of sympathy... share this status and pass it along. These families NEED your support and NEED to be aware of the danger that looms. 
Merry Christmas to EVERYONE, and God Bless us all

Christmas chaos: turbulent system to send tornadoes, storms, and snow careening across much of U.S.
An outbreak of severe weather, including tornadoes, threatens to ruin Christmas Day for families and communities across the Gulf Coast states.

24 December, 2012

The area at greatest risk for damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes on Christmas Day stretches from southeastern Texas to the Florida Panhandle and southwestern Georgia.
That zone is home to College Station and Houston, Texas, Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La., Jackson and Gulfport, Miss., Montgomery and Mobile, Ala., Pensacola, Fla., and Albany, Ga.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists are especially concerned for the potential for loss of life with this outbreak since people may be busy with holiday activity and miss vital warnings.

Strong thunderstorms will actually begin to erupt late tonight around southeastern Texas, including Houston. A tornado cannot be ruled out with this activity, but the tornado danger will be greater during the daylight hours.

More numerous violent thunderstorms, including tornadoes, will erupt on Christmas Day from central and southern Louisiana, the southern half of Mississippi and Alabama and southwestern Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.

In addition to tornadoes causing destruction, severe thunderstorms capable of unleashing damaging winds and flooding rain are a serious concern.

Damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes will persist through Tuesday evening across central and southern Mississippi and eastern Louisiana.

The violent thunderstorms should organize into a solid line by late Tuesday night and march across Alabama, northern Florida and Georgia with damaging winds.
The severe weather danger should reach the Southeast coast, from eastern North Carolina to northeastern Florida, on Wednesday.

Wilmington, N.C., Charleston, S.C., Savannah, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla., are among the communities at risk this day.

The same storm set to trigger the impending severe weather outbreak will also spread a swath of significant snow from the southern Plains to the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast from Christmas Day to Thursday.

Ahead of this storm, another system is triggering showers and thunderstorms across the South today. Thunderstorms causing damage this Christmas Eve would be extremely isolated occurrences, but the danger of lightning striking anyone spending the day outdoors still exists.

UK: Heavy rain raises threat of Christmas Day flooding
Rail chiefs urge people not to travel in south-west and steer clear of floodwater after several stranded motorists are rescued

24 December

Heavy rain late on Monday could bring more flooding on Christmas Day as the bad weather continues to threaten homes, businesses, roads and railways.

Rail bosses urged people not to travel in the south-west of England with the main rail route into Devon and Cornwall blocked until Friday at least by floodwaters from the River Exe between Tiverton and Exeter.

Emergency services also warned people not to walk or drive near floodwater. A disabled woman had to be rescued when her car stalled at Saul, near Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire, on Monday, while Devon and Cornwall police released video footage of a rescue of a woman at Umberleigh, near Barnstaple, Devon.

The woman had been swept away after calling 999 for help from a stranded 4x4 early on Sunday morning. The woman had to cling on to a tree branch until a helicopter crew found her by using a heat-seeking device. They then guided firefighters in a rigid inflatable boat to save her.

A man and his son were also rescued from the top of a 4x4 by a local farmer using a tractor.

Coastguards warned walkers to stay away from rivers and coastal paths which could be unstable and, on beaches, to keep their distance from cliffs. On the railways, a landslip at Teignmouth and flooding hit other services in the south-west with rail companies warning that replacement bus services may be limited and themselves affected by flooding of local roads. First Great Western was operating buses between Tiverton Parkway and Exeter St David's stations while CrossCountry was stopping at Taunton for road transfers. Flooding also caused disruption in south Wales where buses had to replace trains between Bridgend and Barry.

Other delays, between Birmingham New Street and Rugby, and between Hove and Chichester in Sussex, were caused by people being hit by trains. Electrical supply problems affected services between Seaford and Newhaven, also in Sussex.

On Britain's roads, spray was a problem for many drivers, while flooding closed the A27 eastbound near Chichester and an overturned lorry blocked the A30 eastbound between the turnings for Redruth and Truro. In the Scottish borders, three people died early on Monday in a crash that closed the A68 about 1.5 miles south of Pathhead, Midlothian. Three passengers in one car died, a man was cut free from the same overturned vehicle and the female driver got out before emergency services arrived. No one in a second car involved in the crash was hurt. Other accidents led to lane closures on the M6 in Cumbria and Staffordshire and the M54 in Staffordshire.

While people tried to clean up homes and businesses hit by the floods, some for the second time in months, 154 flood warnings and 258 flood alerts remained in place in England and Wales, mainly in the south and Midlands, with similar warnings still covering swaths of Scotland from the Borders to Aberdeenshire.

Nearly 250 properties including 30 businesses were flooded in Devon and Cornwall over the weekend but most people who were evacuated have now returned.

Although the rain is expected to ease on Christmas Day and into Boxing Day, with sunshine and showers on the two holiday days, the Met Office and Environment Agency urged people to remain prepared for trouble.

Tim Hewson, Met Office chief forecaster, said: "Following a very wet and windy few days, we expect brighter skies for many on Christmas Day – although there will be some heavy showers around. We will continue to see spells of heavy rain through the rest of the week and this will fall onto already waterlogged ground in many areas, bringing the continuing risk of localised flooding. We will be monitoring the situation and keeping everyone up-to-date with the latest picture through our forecasts and warnings. By thinking ahead the public can be more weather aware and better prepared for severe weather."

John Curtin, head of incident management at the Environment Agency, said: "Flooding is devastating at any time of year, but it is particularly hard at Christmas time, and our thoughts are with those who will be out of their homes over the festive period.

"Although the rain is set to ease a little in the coming days, the ground is still very wet and river levels remain high, so we would ask people to keep up to date with the latest warnings and stay prepared for flooding. We also remind people not to walk or drive through floodwater – which can be extremely dangerous."

The unsettled weather looks set to continue throughout this week and into the weekend when strong to gale force southwesterly winds will bring spells of heavy rain across the UK at times, according to the Met Office.

It said the wettest place in the UK since rain started on Wednesday 19 December to 6am on Monday was Tyndrum in Perthshire, with 155mm (6.1in) of rain, while Cardinham, near Bodmin Cirnwall, was the wettest in England at 128.8mm (5.1in). Some areas have exceeded their full-month December average in those five days – such as Plymouth, which had seen 128.8mm (5.1in), compared with a 118.8m (4.7in) average.

Despite the troubles in the south-west and Wales, 91% of rail services were operating within 10 minutes of timetables for long-distance trains and five minutes for commuter trains, according to Network Rail. As for the problems in Devon, where the River Exe has burst its banks, a spokeswoman said "many dozens" of its staff and contractors were trying to keep water out of electrical circuits which would cause major problems if damaged.

Weather Swings between Extremes in Russia
The harsh cold, which occupies most of Russia's territory in recent days and has claimed 90 lives, is going to persist in several regions, the Emergency Situations Ministry warned Monday.

25 December, 2012

According to the ministry's website, the temperature in Southern Siberia will fall below 40 degrees Celsius on Tuesday morning, while stormy winds can be expected in the Far Eastern and westernmost Kaliningrad regions.

In North Caucasus, local authorities have closed the principal highway and a tunnel in the mountainous regions due to heavy snowfalls and avalanche warning.

Snowfalls and winds caused power disruptions in several areas of Altai region affecting 2,600 people.

The emergencies ministry on Monday sent 60 portable ovens to Tuva Republic. In Southern Siberia, local residents were left without heat and water over the weekend as pipes broke due to freezing weather.

In many Russian towns in Amur, Maritime, Moscow, Kaluga and other regions, emergency workers also undertook repair works in the 30-degree frost Monday as the aging water pipes in those areas were also torn from inside by ice.

According to the Russian weather service Rosgidromet, the cold is to stop torturing the European part of the country Tuesday, when the temperatures will leap by as much as 20 degrees, sometimes to above-zero level, within less than two days.

But Siberia is forecast to remain under the influence of the frosty weather. In some parts of Saha-Yakutia republic the temperature will drop to minus 54 degrees.

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