GLOBAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
A Highland Games in a north-east village in Scotland had to be abandoned after a "mini tornado" swept through the site (4th). Villagers in Cornhill, near Banff, had been enjoying the annual event at the playing fields on Saturday afternoon. After a spell of "beautiful" sunshine, the storm blew in, wreaking havoc on the park and lifting the first aid tent over a marquee and into the arena. No-one was seriously hurt, but the games secretary Shona Hay said the noise was terrifying.
A 42-year-old driver died after a tree hit his car as high winds and rain swept across parts of Scotland (6th-7th). The accident happened on the A85, two miles east of Gilmerton, Perthshire, at about 20:00 h.. Heavy rain overnight has led to flooding across Aberdeenshire and Moray, with people rescued and homes evacuated in the village of Portsoy.
The UK basked in its hottest June day in 41 years, with a temperature of 34.5C (94F) recorded at Heathrow (21). The Met Office reading at the London airport is the highest in June since the mercury hit 35.6 (96F) in 1976 - the all-time high since records began. The heatwave has seen five days in a row during which temperatures in parts of the UK have topped 30C. But weather warnings have also been issued for rain, with thunderstorms expected in some areas.
A Violent thunderstorms hit Germany, producing gale-force winds, heavy rain and large hail. The storms caused widespread damage and traffic chaos, killed two people and severely injured at least one person (22nd). The first set of storms marched through the country during the early morning hours, damaging power lines and rail tracks, thus forcing trains to be halted between Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Kiel, and Hanover. Regional train provider Metronom said its services in the northwest were also affected after storms downed trees onto the tracks in several places. The storms also affected and temporarily closed some of the busiest road routes connecting Hamburg with Berlin, Hanover and Wolfsburg. Deutsche Welle reported that some planes departing overnight from Berlin were grounded at both of the capital's airports amid heavy rain. Those stranded at Tegel and Schönefeld airport were given blankets and water, while camper beds were also set up. At Schönefeld Airport normal service was expected to resume at around 09:00 local time. However, a speaker for the airport warned of potential further delays and urged travelers to check the status of their flight before departing for the airport. The fire department was called to help in 250 different incidents in and around the major port city of Hamburg, while the eastern city of Magdeburg lost power in some areas after it was hit by a severe downburst. A severe downburst also hit Harburg County, near the city of Hamburg, at around 1130 CET, causing considerable damage. "A 50-year-old man was killed when his car was struck by a tree in the town of Uelzen in Lower Saxony. Meanwhile, an 83-year-old woman died at Gifhorn, also in Lower Saxony, after her car hit a tree that had been blown across the street in strong gales. A cyclist was also severely injured by another tree nearby as the atypical weather pattern hit the region," Deutsche Welle reported.
Wildfires that killed 64 people in Portugal have been brought under control, firefighters have said, as the government insisted it was still too early to say whether the disaster could have been handled better (22nd). Portugal's worst forest fire broke out on Saturday in the central municipality of Pedrogao Grande before spreading to neighboring areas including Gois, Pampilhosa da Serra and Arganil. Many of those who died were killed in their cars as they tried to flee the flames, which also injured more than 250 people. The fire in Pedrogao Grande, which ravaged 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of forest, was only doused late on Wednesday after firefighters contended with searing heat and rapidly shifting winds. "Higher humidity levels and lower temperatures allowed the firefighters to contain the fire and extinguish the remaining hotspots which had briefly broken out," Antonio Ribeiro, who led the Pedrogao operations, said on Thursday.
Almost 3,500 people in Uruguay have had to leave their homes after heavy rains caused flooding in large parts of the South American country (6th). The worst affected area is the north-western province of Salto, on the border with Argentina, where almost 2,000 people were evacuated. The provinces of Paysandú and Artigas have also been hit. Uruguay's defense minister said the army, navy and air force were helping with the evacuation. More heavy rains have been forecast for the coming days and the authorities fear the Uruguay River could rise further, putting more towns at risk. Some residents who had to flee their homes have been sheltering in temporary accommodation, while others are staying with relatives or friends in drier areas.
Intense rains and snowstorms affecting central and southern Chile left at least 4 people dead, 3 000 homeless, more than 45 000 customers without power and nearly 10 000 without drinking water *15th-19th). Most of those displaced live in the southern region of Biobio, where rivers overflowed and 34 000 lost power. A number of residents in the city of Curanilahue have lost their homes, cars and businesses to flooding. According to Chile's emergency service Onemi, the storms left 4 people dead. In Valparaiso, 15 people were affected and 3 houses sustained major damage. In Juan Fernandez, 4 houses suffered heavy roof damage. In Santiago Metropolitan Region, 1 person died, 21 were affected and 4 houses suffered major damage.
Eight people were killed when a storm lashed the South African city of Cape Town following months of drought (7th). Among the dead is a family of four killed in a fire started by lightning, officials say. Thousands of people have been left homeless. The storm comes two weeks after the region declared a drought disaster. It is the worst winter storm for 30 years, according to the South African Weather Service, while local media have dubbed it "the mother of all storms". Schools and universities have shut, roofs were blown off and shelters have been opened for those left destitute. Fallen trees have caused roads to close across Cape Town Many people have been injured by flying debris. Residents of the city's many shanty towns have been worst hit as their fragile homes have been unable to resist the strong winds and heavy rain. In May, the Western Cape Province declared a drought disaster after two reservoirs had completely dried up. It was said to have been the region's worst drought in more than a century. Several other southern African nations were also affected by the two-year drought, which was caused by the El Nino phenomenon. However, many parts of the region are now experiencing bumper maize harvests.
Nearly 10,000 residents have been displaced in South Africa by the deadly blazes fanned by the strongest winter storm in recent years to strike the region continue to rage (8th). While Cape Town endured the brunt of flooding rain, the storm's strong winds fanned fires in the Eden District of South Africa's Southern Cape. Western Cape Government reported that nearly 10,000 residents of the Eden district have been displaced as fires swept through roughly 20 suburbs of Knysna and the surrounding area Wednesday into Thursday. "At least 300 structures have been totally destroyed, with many more still in danger," a press release from the government stated.
At least 14 people have died after heavy rains caused severe damage and flooding in several parts of West African country of Niger (13th-14th). The country's rainy season lasts from June to September and peaks in July and August. Heavy rains that started affecting parts of Niger on 13 June caused severe damage and flooding, mainly in the capital Niamey, and the region of Tillabéri. Flooding was also reported in the Maradi and Zinder regions. According to government sources, at least 14 people have died, 456 households have been affected and as many as 395 homes have collapsed as a result of heavy rain and floods.
An unusually strong and cold low pressure system caused several daily low temperatures and precipitation records to be set on Monday, June 12, 2017 across central and northern Nevada. On the same day, state's mountainous regions received an estimated 6 - 12 inches of snow. The rare, winter-like storm brought sharp temperature drops, heavy rain, hail, frequent lightning, and even snow. Measurable snow was recorded at Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, on the border of California and Nevada. According to NWS Reno, this is something that happens in June about every 5 to 10 years.
Authorities have warned that an intensifying heatwave in south-western US states could put lives in jeopardy among the elderly, the infirm and the homeless, and among migrants seeking to enter the country. (18th) Temperatures in Phoenix, Arizona, are likely to peak at 120F (48.8C) on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), which issued an excessive heat warning that will remain in effect until Thursday. As temperatures rose this week, US border patrol said it was stepping up warnings to migrants attempting to cross into the US via the Sonoran Desert. The agency's Yuma Sector said its search, trauma and rescue team was on high alert. "It is physically impossible for the average person to carry enough water to survive several days of walking through the desert," an agency statement said. In Tucson on Saturday, daytime highs topped 105F (40.5C) for a third straight day, with 110F (43.3C) expected on Sunday and 115F (46.1C) from Monday through to Wednesday. That five-day stretch of intense heat would narrowly miss a record set in June 1994, when at least 110F was recorded on six straight days.
The first day of summer brought some of the worst heat the south-west US has seen in years, forcing flights to be cancelled, straining the power grid and making life miserable for workers toiling in temperatures that reached 120F or higher in some desert cities. Arizona, Nevada and California saw dramatic temperatures Tuesday as researchers say deadly heat waves like this one were going to grow more frequent (21st). Meteorologists in Phoenix said Tuesday evening the temperature topped out at 119F, which has only been matched or surpassed four other times. The forecast called for a high of 120F - nearly 49C - in Phoenix, which the city hasn't seen in more than two decades. Death Valley, California, reached 125F and Palm Springs hit 121F, still a degree lower than the same day last year. With the cooling and hydration stations in full swing across the region, hundreds flocked to Grace Lutheran Church in Phoenix for water, meals, snacks and refuge. "We have homeless people come from a long way to sit here," said longtime volunteer Moses Elder. "There are other spots where you can go get cold water and sit down and cool off, but there are few places you can lay down and get something to eat." Phoenix has hit 120 only three times in recorded history - the last time 22 years ago. The record high was 122 degrees on 26 June 1990. The weather comes as new research found that nearly one in three people now experience 20 days a year when the heat reaches deadly levels. The study of almost 2,000 deadly heat waves worldwide since 1980 was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. In addition to grounding more than 40 flights of smaller planes, airlines have been taking other measures on larger jets to reduce their weight. An American Airlines spokesman, Ross Feinstein, said the carrier began limiting sales on some flights to prevent the planes from exceeding maximum weight for safe takeoff in the hot conditions.
At least two people were injured and dozens of homes damaged as severe storms accompanied by tornadoes and large hail swept through Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, and Wisconsin on Wednesday afternoon, June 28, 2017. The NWS Storm Prediction Center received reports of 27 tornadoes, most of them in Iowa. In the Des Moines area, a severe thunderstorm marched into the metro during the evening rush hour, dumping rain and hail, The Des Moines Register reports. Particularly in Clive, West Des Moines, Waukee and Van Meter, residents reported seeing golf ball-sized hail and larger.
A powerful multi-vortex tornado hit the small Russian village of Pesyanoye, just south of the city of Kurgan in the Mokrousovsky District of Kurgan Oblast (18th). The event was accompanied by heavy rain, strong winds and large hail. According to available information, the tornado hit around 1800 h local time, almost completely destroying the village. Several people were injured but there are no reports of casualties.
More than 100 people were feared dead after a landslide buried more than 100 villagers in south-west China's Sichuan province. Chinese state media said more than 60 homes were covered in rock and mud in Xinmo, a remote village in north Sichuan. The debris slid half a mile down a steep slope to block a stretch of river and of road, according to Xinhua. A rescue effort was launched involving more than 1,000 workers. Xinhua, quoting rescue headquarters, said 15 bodies were retrieved on Saturday, with 120 more people believed to have been buried. The state broadcaster, CCTV, reported three people were pulled alive from the rubble: a couple and their two-month-old baby. Another child from the same family remained buried. Photos from the official People's Daily showed rescuers working into the night using torches and trying to hear anyone trapped beneath the rubble. Water thick with mud flowed over the site, submerging a car pushed from the road, while police and residents pulled on ropes to try to dislodge large boulders.
Two people are dead after moisture from former-Tropical Cyclone Mora led to quick-hitting torrential rainfall and major flooding in northern Taiwan on Friday 1st-2nd). Out of the 163 mm of rain that inundated Taipei on Friday, 120 mm fell in just two hours, according to data from Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. Flooding quickly swamped the area and turned streets into rivers, including in Taipei. Flooded tracks disrupted rail traffic. Torrential rainfall continued through Saturday as portions of the country received additional rainfall of over 600 mm. Two-day rainfall totals neared 1200 mm at Nantianchi in Taoyuan District. Schools and universities were forced to close. More than 300 flights were delayed at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport on Friday.
Tropical Storm Dora continued strengthening near the southwestern coast of Mexico after forming early on the 25th and by 0900 GMT on the 26th became a hurricane, the first of the 2017 Pacific hurricane season.
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