Global Weather HIGHLIGHTS
The UK's November temperature record was broken on the 1st, with 22.4C being reached in mid Wales 1st and 3rd. The temperature was recorded in Trawsgoed, Ceredigion. The previous record was also in Wales, where temperatures reached 21.7C at Prestatyn in 1946. On the 2nd Trawsgoed reached 22.3C. The Eskdalemuir observatory in Dumfries and Galloway had its warmest November temperature on record at 16.3C. The previous record for Eskdalemuir stood at 15.7C which was set on 7 November 2003.
Thousands of people are without power in the Republic of Ireland as the effects of Storm Barney take hold (17th). RTª± reports that a number of flights have been cancelled at Cork airport and weather warnings are in place. A number of power outages have also been reported with about 25,000 customers affected. Aer Lingus regional flights to and from Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol have been cancelled. This is also the case with some City Jet flights to and from London City Airport.
Up to 150 homes which had electricity cut off after winds of up to 85mph battered Wales have had power restored (17-18th). At its height, ScottishPower said 6,000 customers were off supply in north Wales while Western Power Distribution said 1,600 properties were affected. But on Wednesday evening, ScottishPower said power had been restored, as did Western Power Distribution. There were reports of roofs being damaged and trees blocking some roads. Wrexham council said there were more than 20 incidents in the county, mainly trees blown over, in Gresford, Rossett, Ruabon, Erddig and Overton. Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service received about 20 calls from people across Pembrokeshire and four calls from Swansea about trees down and parts of roofs being blown away. Irish Ferries reports disruption between Pembroke and Rosslare due to adverse weather conditions. There were peak gusts of 85 mph in Aberdaron, 84 mph in Capel Curig, 83 mph in Lake Vyrnwy and 80 mph in Pembrey.
A cyclone with hurricane-force winds made landfall on Yemen's Arabian Sea coast, flooding the country's fifth-largest city, Mukalla, and sending thousands of people fleeing for shelter on the 3rd. Officials and meteorologists say the cyclone is the most intense in decades in the arid country, whose storm response is hampered by poverty and a raging civil war. In Mukalla, the provincial capital, whose 300,000 people have been largely ruled by al-Qaida fighters since the army withdrew in April, water submerged cars on city streets and caused dozens of families to flee to a hospital for fear of rock slides. Residents said the seafront promenade and many homes had been destroyed by the cyclone, called Chapala, and officials in the dry hinterland province of Shabwa said about 6,000 people had moved to higher ground. The cyclone first hit the remote Yemeni island of Socotra on Monday, killing three people and displacing thousands. Meteorological agencies predicted cyclone Chapala would hit land around Balhaf, the site of Yemen's liquefied natural gas terminal, and then weaken as it advanced towards the capital, Sana'a, in the north. The storm produced rainfall amounts over 600 mm of rain in the hardest hit areas. In some areas, this amount was seven years' worth of rain in just 48 hours. Estimated precipitation amounts from NASA satellites indicate that 250 mm of rain fell over parts of central Yemen in a 24-hour period from Monday to Tuesday. Chapala became the second strongest cyclone on record in the Arabian Sea. The pressure of Chapala was 922 mb, close to the lowest pressure of Gonu, 920 mb, in 2007.
Denpasar airport (Bali) reopened earlier than planned this afternoon of the 5th after authorities had earlier announced it would remain closed until at least Friday morning. Ash from Mt Barujari on neighbouring Lombok island is now being blown in a more southerly direction, and no longer towards Bali's airport. Volcanologists have warned that the eruption may last for some time with the last one in 2009 lasting 18 months. Bali airport handles 300 international and domestic flights a day and 40,000 passengers. Indonesian authorities closed the airport at 11pm Tuesday night and the ban applies until 8.45am tomorrow Perth time.
At least 31 people were killed in the past two days in rain related incidents, including flooding in Tamil Nadu as the North East Monsoon continued to be active in several parts of the state on the 12th. The worst affected Cuddalore District accounted for 27 deaths due to drowning amid serious disruption in the basic infrastructure, including power supplies. Tamil Nadu usually receives 440 mm of rains during the North East monsoon season between October and December. However in the past three days alone 300 mm rainfall has been recorded due to a deep depression. "On average Cuddalore district gets 697 mm rain. So far the district has got 500 mm rains," the Chief Minister said.
Another powerful tropical low has renewed flooding and caused widespread disruption across southern India 17th). The slow movement of this storm will result in several days of tropical downpours for parts of India, further elevating the risk for flooding. Areas from Nagapattinam northward to Nellore have already received 100-200 mm with localized amounts over 300 mm (12 inches) causing widespread flooding. In Chennai, rainfall for the month of November has already reached more than 635 mm, which is more than double the normal rainfall of the entire month. The flooding has closed schools and roadways and cancelled train service across Chennai, according to the Times of India.
A rare November snowstorm blanketed Beijing and surrounding areas with snow on Sunday (22nd). While snowflakes began to fly around Beijing on Thursday and Friday, the heaviest snow fell on Sunday. The snow resulted in travel delays across Beijing and surrounding areas with many flights being cancelled.
Rainfall has been relentless across southern India this month resulting in multiple events of flooding from Chennai to Kochi (24th). Up to the 24th, Chennai has reported more than 970 mm of rain, roughly 314 percent of the normal rainfall for the entire month of November. There have only been three days so far this month with no rainfall reported in the city.
The authorities in the Chinese capital, Beijing, have issued their highest smog warning so far this year (29th). The "orange level" alert declared on Sunday is the second highest possible, requiring factories to cut production. On Sunday, some pollution readings in parts of the city reached about 17 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organisation. Air pollution is a chronic health-risk for those living and working in the capital and other major Chinese cities. China's state media says the declaration of this orange level alert requires industrial plants to reduce or shut down production. Building sites are not allowed to transport materials or waste and heavy-duty trucks are banned from the city's roads. Some reports suggest that visibility has fallen to a few hundred meters in some places.
A rare tornado has touched down east of Adelaide (Australia) as severe storms swept across the state causing isolated flooding and other damage on the 4th. The State Emergency Service said the category F1 or F2 twister had likely brought down trees in the Monarto area but there were no reports of any injuries or property damage.
Melbourne and many parts of country Victoria (Australia) were cleaning up after a huge storm brought tornadoes, heavy rain and strong winds to the state today on the 5th. Thunderstorms affected the CBD, Melbourne airport, St Albans, Sydenham and illiamstown by 2.20pm and northern Port Phillip Bay, waters off Brighton beach, waters off Point Cook and waters off Sandringham by 2.50pm. It also brought havoc to the Spring racing carnival at Flemington racecourse where punters out in their thousands for Oaks Day were forced to shelter from the afternoon downpour. In a two-hour period from 2pm, the state emergency service (SES) responded to about 200 calls for assistance, with the bulk of the calls coming from the CBD, the west and north-western suburbs of Footscray and Essendon, and the south-eastern bayside suburbs. A tram was also derailed. People were advised to stay indoors and to avoid driving and fallen power lines. Most of the calls to the SES were to report minor building damage. In the early afternoon a pilot reported a funnel cloud coming into Melbourne airport, indicating the preliminary stages of a tornado forming. Three reports of tornadoes also came from Craigieburn, Tullamarine and Campbellfield.
Four people have died in bushfires burning out of control near the West Australian town of Esperance 17-18th. The fires were started by lightning strikes. There are also severe and extreme fire danger warnings for South Australia over coming days. Temperatures were expected to exceed 40C in parts of the state on Wednesday, with a total fire ban in place across 12 districts. A total fire ban is in place for the second straight day in the Mallee region in north-western Victoria, with severe fire risk and temperatures into the low 40s expected on Wednesday.
Highs of more than 30C have been forecast across most of Australia for Thursday (19th), bringing an extreme risk of fire. Many states were experiencing a heatwave on Thursday, with severe to extreme conditions continuing in the Top End of Australia and low intensity in much of New South Wales, the northern parts of Western Australia, northern Victoria and southern Queensland. Sydney was forecast to reach 32C, with temperatures expected to reach 41C in the city's west on Friday. Brisbane and Canberra were expecting peaks of 33C and 34C on Thursday, while Darwin and Adelaide were forecast to reach 35C. With the hot weather expected to continue into the weekend, the Bureau of Meteorology has issued fire danger warnings for several states in a bid to prevent bushfires.
At least three people have died and hundreds of thousands were without power on Tuesday (17) as a severe storm packing high winds unleashed across the north-west USA. Police said a woman in her 50s was killed when a tree toppled taking down power lines as it fell in Spokane on Tuesday afternoon. Fire crews were unable to resuscitate the woman. Puget Sound Energy reported nearly 178,000 customers without power in its western Washington region Tuesday night as trees toppled onto roadways and power lines.
A slow-moving wintry storm system that has been blamed for more than a dozen deaths began moving eastward out of Texas on Saturday but kept coating some states to the north in ice, making driving dangerous 28th). The band of storms that has been moving through parts of the plains and the Midwest since Thursday has been blamed for at least 14 deaths, eight in Texas and six in Kansas. A 70-year-old woman whose car was swept away by flash flooding Friday in Fort Worth remained missing on Saturday. On Saturday, authorities in Kansas blamed icy roads for four traffic deaths near Wichita on Friday, adding to two others in the state on Thursday. In central and south-western Oklahoma, broken and ice-covered tree limbs downed power lines and cut electricity to more than 60,000 customers.
Tropical Cyclone Megh penetrated deep into the Arabian Sea's narrow Gulf of Aden to make an improbable landfall in western Yemen near Aden at approximately 6 pm EDT Monday evening (9th). At landfall, Megh was a rapidly weakening tropical storm with top winds of 40 mph. Megh rapidly dissipated after landfall, spreading only a few heavy rain showers over western Yemen. Satellite data suggests that Megh dumped very little rain over western Yemen, and only minor flooding and damage resulted. That's not the case on Yemen's Socotra Island, where Megh made a direct hit as a major Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds on Sunday, bringing a second round of devastation to an island hard-hit the previous week by the passage of Tropical Cyclone Chapala.
Gusts of up to 84mph and lightning strikes left 12,000 properties without power at the height of Storm Abigail 12-13th. About 1,300 customers remain without electricity after 30 faults affected the Western Isles, Shetland, Skye, Colonsay, Argyll and Angus. Every school on the Western Isles and Shetland is closed for safety reasons. The high winds and rain have been followed by wintry showers which have affected driving conditions on the A9 at the Slochd in the Highlands. Hills, including mountain tops in the Cairngorms and Lochaber, have had fresh falls of snow. SSE Power Distribution said engineers had restored power to most of the 12,000 customers affected by power cuts and its engineers were working to reconnect 1,300 still without power. Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne said 23 of its 26 services on the Clyde and Hebrides network have been disrupted. A number of Northlink's Northern Isles ferry services have also been affected. Early morning sailings between Stromness and Scrabster were cancelled. Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team have rescued a hillwalker who attempted to climb Ben Nevis via Observatory Gully as the weather closed in. After the operation on Thursday evening, the team posted on social media that "on the scale of difficulty this route is certain death". Forecasters warned of winds gusting to up to 90mph, heavy rain, and lightning and large waves may affect coastal areas. By early evening, the strongest gust recorded by the Met Office was 75mph, on South Uist. Police have reported a number of trees down across Dumfries and Galloway and there has been disruption to some west coast rail services.
Hurricane Sandra is steadily intensifying, and became the latest major (category 4) hurricane on record early Wednesday evening (25th). Sandra is the strongest hurricane so late in the season. Only three other eastern Pacific storms have formed later in the calendar than Sandra in records dating to 1949. Hurricane Sandra became the second latest forming hurricane on record, behind Hurricane Winnie in 1983. There is no record of an intact depression or named storm making a landfall on either Baja California or Mexico's Pacific coast so late in the season. If Sandra makes landfall as a tropical storm, it would be the latest landfall on record in the eastern Pacific. The previous latest major hurricane in either the central-eastern Pacific or Atlantic was an unnamed storm in 1934, that remained a major hurricane into 23 November. Sandra is the 30th Category 3+ tropical cyclone of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, far exceeded the previous record of 23 such storms in 1997 and 2004.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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