JULY 2015




Continental Europe has had blistering heat over the past week, with Spain and Portugal becoming particularly hot. Of Spain's 50 provinces 43 were put on alert for exceptionally high temperatures, with the mercury widely topping 40C, and some places experiencing temperatures as high as 44C by the 1st. The intense heat has also increased the potential for forest fires; woodlands, within a large area, are considered at extreme risk of catching alight. The heat-wave is expected to spread and persist for much of Europe over the coming days. Meanwhile, in the US mid-west heavy rains have exacerbated already serious floods. Numerous states have been affected, and are expecting further rain. The city of St Louis, in Missouri, had more than 33 cm of rain in June, 22 cm more than the monthly average. Indiana, in the Great Lakes region, has also been hit hard, with $300m worth of crop damage having already occurred before another deluge of rain happened over the weekend. Finally, the province of Manitoba had severe thunderstorms developing during the afternoon, with a particularly potent cell striking the town of Roseisle, about 70 miles south-west of Winnipeg. Hailstones in Roseisle were reported to be measuring up to the size of tennis balls, and they damaged cars and destroyed crops. These hailstones were driven in on a 60 mph wind, worsening the potential for damage.


Storms have swept across northern England in the wake of what for many places was the hottest July day on record in the UK the 1st). Up to 40,000 properties in the north-east were left without power after the violent storms struck. Some properties have been damaged by lightning and vehicles were hit by golf ball-sized hailstones. 36.7C at Heathrow was, according to the Met Office, the highest UK temperature on record. Delays were mounting for commuters on National Rail lines as soaring temperatures threatened to buckle the rails. "Extremely high temperatures are forecast for today and because of this Network Rail will be introducing speed restrictions on various parts of the network, throughout the day," the organization said on its website.


In the Netherlands, Maastricht set a new national record for July of 38.2C, previously 37.1C in 2006 in Westdorpe on the 2nd.


Germany's all-time highest temperature record was broken today with 40.3C in Bavaria on the 5th.


Thousands of teenage scouts and guides were evacuated from a camp in eastern France after a violent storm overnight (18th). The storm hit the camp organized by the Scouts and Guides France in the city of Strasbourg. About 15,000 people were evacuated as authorities issued a warning of heavy winds. Rescue workers said 35 people suffered "sprains, fractures or dislocations", but added there were no serious injuries. Organizers received a warning from authorities half an hour before the storm hit at 02:00 (00:00 GMT), giving them time to move the scouts and guides to shelter in a nearby arena. Images published by the newspaper L'Alsace showed extensive damage to the site and young people walking in thermal blankets. The teenagers, from scout and guide associations around Europe, were allowed to return to the site on Saturday morning. There were no reports of significant damage elsewhere in the Alsace region after the storm.



In a state plagued by drought, California residents are advised to play it safe with fireworks this Fourth of July. In some areas, legal fireworks are banned as local officials work to prevent accidental fires caused by the dazzling pyrotechnics. While cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego will continue their annual fireworks as planned, Cupertino, California, canceled their Independence Day display due to drought concerns. A suburb of San Jose, California, Cupertino sits in an area of extreme drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Due to the volume of water needed to treat the fields at Cupertino High School, the home for the fireworks, the school declined to host this year's event. The city said more than 100,000 gallons of water are needed to treat the fields to prevent damage to the facility.


Ice caves popular with hikers north-east of Seattle partially collapsed on the 6th, killing one person and leaving at least four others injured, officials said. The collapse came after authorities warned that the caves were especially dangerous because of warming temperatures. The person who died remained buried under the debris at the Big Four Ice Caves east of Verlot, Snohomish County sheriff's spokeswoman Shari Ireton said late on Monday night. The recovery effort was suspended at nightfall. The ice caves have been closed until further notice. The US forest service warned hikers in May that the ice caves were in their 'most dangerous state' due to unseasonably warm weather. The caves about 70 miles north-east of Seattle are a popular hiking destination. Temperatures in the area on Monday reportedly were in the 80s (F).


Torrential rain has caused severe flooding in Aberdeen on the 7th. Many streets were left under deep water after the downpour - accompanied by thunder - struck in the afternoon. Areas affected included Polmuir Road, Market Street, the Hardgate, Portree Avenue, Froghall Road and Golf Road. The council was delivering sandbags. Fire crews dealt with incidents including a nursery basement flooding as more than half Aberdeen's expected July rain fell in just a few hours. A yellow "be aware" weather warning for heavy showers had been issued earlier by the Met Office. Heavy rain has also caused flooding in parts of County Londonderry. The Bogside, Creggan, Foyle Road and Strand Road areas were among the worst affected parts of Derry, according to Transport NI.


Storms and heavy downpours inundated areas from the southern Plains to the Ohio Valley (7th-8th) on Tuesday and Wednesday, resulting in flash flooding, impassable roadways and numerous water rescues. Flash flood emergencies were declared in three countries in Missouri as creeks and streams overflowed their banks. The Missouri Department of Transportation temporarily closed Highway 165 amid the heavy rain. Flooding was so widespread in Cassville, Missouri, that the Barry County Sheriff sent out an alert Tuesday that the entire town was closed. Many roads were covered with water throughout the town. By Wednesday morning, most roadways were back open and businesses resumed operation. Abilene, Texas, broke their all-time record for the highest daily rainfall total with 8.26 inches of on Tuesday. A total of 9.13 inches of rain fell across Brady, Texas, causing travel problems throughout the area. Local law enforcement reported several cars were swept away on Highway 377 early Wednesday morning.


Strong storms produced damaging winds, downpours and possibly isolated tornadoes in portions of the Northeast USA on Thursday (9th). An elementary school in Berks County, Pennsylvania, was heavily damaged as the result of one storm that moved through the region early Thursday evening. Thousands of people were without power as a result of the storms that plowed into the Mid-Atlantic states Thursday afternoon and evening. Before trekking off the East Coast, storms created lengthy flight delays at Philadelphia and New York area airports.



Airports were closed across parts of Indonesia due to a volcanic ash cloud from the eruption of Mount Ruang leaving thousands of international travelers stranded. Bali holidaymakers were among the worst affected, with Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Garuda Indonesia cancelling flights to and from Denpasar airport. The cancellations, now in the third consecutive day, follow on from cancellations across the first few days of July after Mount Raung erupted on 2 July.




Typhoon Chan-Hom made landfall early in the day in Zhujiajian Township in the island city of Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, as a category 1 typhoon before being downgraded to a tropical storm on 12 Jul. Chan-Hom is decreasing intensity as it moves northeast. Some 1.9 million people in nine cities were affected by the storm, including more than 1.1 million evacuated as a precaution. No casualties are reported.



Recent snowfall across parts of southeast Queensland has been called the most significant snowfall across the region in 30 years (16th). While Australia's Bureau of Meteorology has yet to confirm any records from the recent snowfall, local residents of Stanthorpe, Queensland have claimed it to be the biggest snowfall since 1984. While is not uncommon for their to be snowflakes or a very minor accumulation of snowfall in this area, the amount of snow has not been seen for quite some time. The last significant snowfall in this area was 5 cm in 2007, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.




A lightning strike has killed seven people, including four children, in a rural part of central Mexico, authorities have said (24th). The Guanajuato state Department of Public Safety reported two others were injured by the strike on Friday afternoon, though their lives were not in danger. The incident took place in farming country near the towns of Mesa Cuata and El Terrero, about 40 km from the city of Queretaro.




During July 22-28, Karachi, Pakistan, received 48 mm of rain. That's more rain than the city saw during the entire monsoon seasons of 2012, 2013 and 2014. In Bhuj, India, more than 432 mm of rain were measured from Monday into Tuesday. The average yearly total is 374. In Badin, Pakistan, rainfall from Monday into Tuesday totalled 135 mm which is equal to the normal rainfall for the entire month of July.


Jim G. Munley, jr.

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