MARCH 2014



Christchurch communities are once again rallying to support residents struggling with the damage caused by a "one in a 100 year" storm. Extensive flooding and severe winds have battered the Garden City, leaving thousands without power, closing schools and damaging property.




Spring has finally sprung for sun-starved Britons with dry and fine weather signaling an end to the miserable winter floods. On the 8th, beaches and parks were packed as crowds enjoyed the hottest day of the year so far. And there is more to come as forecasters say the next two weeks are set to be filled with long spells of sunshine. Rising mercury recorded balmy highs of 19C - warmer than Mediterranean holiday hotspots such as Greece and more than double the season average for March The south east experienced the best of yesterday’s heat wave, with Gravesend, Kent, basking in highs of 19.4C, while Kew Gardens hit 18C.

Unseasonably warm weather prevailed, while late-week rain provided much-moisture to eastern growing areas. Temperatures averaged up to 8C above normal, with daytime highs topping 20C over all but the northern-most portions of the region. By week’s end, a cold front generated showers (2-15 mm) from France and the United Kingdom into Germany and the Low Countries. As the front stalled over eastern Europe, a beneficial soaking (10-24 mm) improved soil moisture in Poland and the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, dry weather lingered across Spain, Italy, and the Balkans.


Four people have died after being hit by lightning and drowning following a freak weather in the Jammu region in the last 48 hours, authorities said on the 12th. Traffic on the 300-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained suspended for the second consecutive day. Road in the region were also blocked at many places because of heavy landslides. Vehicular traffic was hit in many parts of Kathua, Rajouri, Doda, Poonch and Kishtwar districts of the Jammu region as well. Flights have not taken off from the Jammu airport and airport authorities say flights may land late in the afternoon if the weather improves.


Rains created havoc in some parts of Muscat including Ruwi, Seeb, Ghubra and other heavily populated residential and commercial areas in the city. Speed of the vehicles on main roads came down drastically, as there was intermittent moderate and light rains in the city. Thick clouds gathered on the skies affecting the visibility level, drivers switched on lights of their cars and are using flash lights to alert. In the meantime, Public Authority of Civil Defence and Ambulances (PACDA) has warned people against venturing into sea due to weather conditions. It has also asked the owners of shipping services and boats to take precautionary measures and tie their boats properly on the shores. PACDA has also has said that in the case of emergency people could contact  on phone number 9999. The PACDA has issued fresh instructions to the people urging them to leave a safe distance between their cars and the cars in front of them, try not to overtake cars, use wipers, and make sure they work properly. As road becomes slippery, this is why the PACDA urged the people to slow down speed while driving and avoid driving through water puddles. According to Oman's meteorological department, there was 13.4 mm rains in Sohar and 13 mm in Buraimi by 11:30 on Wednesday. At the same time, there was 12.2 mm rains in Madha, 10.6 in Qamra and 9.4 mm in Sanina.




Airports in the Washington region are being affected by the winter weather, and officials are asking travelers to check with their airlines about cancellations and delays. Officials said the main runway at Reagan National Airport outside Washington re-opened at 9 a.m. Monday after being closed for several hours. Residual delays and cancelations are expected to continue throughout the day.

Dulles International Airport in Virginia, three runways are open. Airlines canceled some morning flights due to the storm and additional cancelations and delays are expected.

Officials with the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport say snow has affected some flights, and flight delays or cancelations are expected. The National Weather Service reports 10 inches of snow at Dulles, nearly 8 inches at BWI and more than 7 at Reagan.


Another pulse of wet weather approaching the California coast, northern Californians were recovering Thursday from a day of wild weather that triggered hailstorms in San Francisco and several rare spring twisters. The National Weather Service said a funnel cloud touched down near Roseville shortly after 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. Fire Department Division Chief Kathy Finney told the Merced Sun-Star that the twister damaged 12 homes and ripped up a fence. No injuries were reported.




Unseasonably warm, mostly dry weather continued in southern Queensland. Temperatures averaged about 1 to 2C above normal, with maximum temperatures in the lower to middle

30s degrees C. Farther south, scattered showers (2-15 mm) were observed in New South Wales, but any delays were likely temporary. Temperatures were generally seasonable in New South Wales, with maximum temperatures in the upper 20s to lower 30s degrees C.




Unseasonably warm conditions persisted across weather areas while showers expanded across the region. Temperatures averaged up to 7°C above normal from the Ukraine into central portions of Russia’s Southern District. The region’s snowpack likewise continued to melt much earlier than normal, with snow confined to southern and eastern sections of Russia’s Volga District at week’s end. Daytime highs topped 15°C (locally above 20°C) in western and southern regions. Meanwhile, widespread showers (10-20 mm) improved soil moisture across Belarus, northern Ukraine, and western Russia. However, rain was lighter (less than 10 mm) in southern Ukraine.


Jim G. Munley, jr.

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