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Posts Tagged ‘La Niña’

Sri Lanka Flooding; nearly 900,000 Displaced

February 5, 2011 Comments off

At least 13 people have been killed and more than 800,000 affected by fresh floods across Sri Lanka that have swept away homes, roads and vast swathes of agricultural land. Renewed heavy rainfall across several districts in Sri Lanka have forced army and navy personnel to fan out in teams to reach relief to the affected.
The incessant rains in several parts of the country have called for more humanitarian assistance for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
The prevailing weather conditions in most parts of the country have once again left thousands homeless for the second time in two months.

This time, however, the number of people that have been affected is somewhat lesser than last time. The people in the North Central and Eastern Provinces have been warned of the situation and have been advised to be on alert.
The situation has forced many schools to once again temporarily halt their activities for the safety of the children and the teachers. Some of them have been converted into temporary shelters for those who have been displaced.
While priority has been given for the well being of the affected people, the focus has also been on unprecedented effects of climate change.

The Meteorological Department admits that this was the worst weather condition experienced by Read more…

Map shows most of Northern Hemisphere is covered in snow and ice

February 4, 2011 Comments off



At first glance it looks like a graphic from a Discovery Channel program about a distant ice age. But this astonishing picture shows the world as it is today – with half the Northern Hemisphere covered with snow and ice.

The image was released by the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Association (NOAA) on the day half of North America was in the grip of a severe winter storm.

The map was created using multiple satellites from government agencies and the US Air Force.

That Antarctica, the Arctic, Greenland and the frozen wastes of Siberia are covered in white comes as no surprise. But it is the extent to which the line dips down over the Northern Hemisphere that is so remarkable about the image.

A new satellite map by the government agency NOAA shows the extent of the snow blanketing a vast area from the west coast of Canada to eastern China

The shroud of white stretches down from Alaska and sweeps through the Midwest and along to the Eastern seaboard. The bitter cold has reached as far as Texas and northern Mexico where in Ciudad Juarez temperatures today were expected to dip to minus 15C.

In the U.S. tens of millions of people chose to stay at home rather than venture out. In Chicago, 20in of snow fell leading to authorities closing schools for the first time in 12 years. The newspaper for Tulsa, Okalahoma, was unable to publish its print edition for the first time in Read more…

Three of Next Five Winters Could be as Cold or Colder

February 3, 2011 2 comments

This winter is on track to become the coldest for the nation as a whole since the 1980s or possibly even the late 1970s. According to AccuWeather.com Chief Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi, three or four out of the next five winters could be just as cold, if not colder.

He is worried that next winter, for example, will be colder than this one.

Bastardi adds that with the U.S. in the middle of one of its worst recessions in its history and the price of oil in question, he is extremely concerned about the prospect for more persistent cold weather in the coming years putting increased financial hardship on Americans.

“Cold is a lot worse than warm,” Bastardi said, “and that’s why your energy bill goes up during the winter time: because of the fact that it takes a lot to heat a house.” Read more…

South Africa: Floods kill 120 and destroy crops

January 29, 2011 Comments off

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — South Africa is reeling from unusually heavy rainfall that has caused flooding in many parts of the country, wiping out crops in what is the continent’s main breadbasket.

More than 120 people have been killed in the thunderstorms and flooding since mid-December, and some 20,000 people are in need of assistance. The South African government has declared disaster areas in eight of its nine provinces.

And it’s not over yet. Above-average rainfall is forecast for South Africa and neighboring countries for the next few months.

Much of southern Africa is now on flood alert, including Mozambique, where at least 13 people have died from floods and thousands have fled their homes for higher ground. Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia are also on alert for flooding.

While this is the annual rainy season in southern Africa, the heavier than usual rainfall has been blamed on La Nina, the weather pattern behind the severe flooding in other southern hemisphere countries including Australia, Brazil and the Philippines.

In South Africa, the government has put the flood damage at $211 million, but this is an early estimate and expected to rise. At least Read more…

Australian ‘inland sea’ flood threatens towns

January 24, 2011 Comments off

MELBOURNE — Australia’s flood crisis deepened Saturday with a giant “inland sea” threatening more communities in the southeast, as officials continued the grim search for bodies in worst-hit Queensland.

Sandbagging was underway in some villages in Victoria, where weeks of floods have affected as much as one-third of the state, with swollen rivers overflowing in 75 towns and flooding some 1,770 properties.

“We know that this is the most significant flooding in the north west of Victoria since records began… about 130 years ago,” a spokeswoman for the State Emergency Service told AFP.

“We are still on alert for towns in the north of the state.”

Floodwaters which national broadcaster ABC described as a moving “inland sea” covering an area 90 kilometres (56 miles) long and 40 kilometres wide, were threatening towns around Swan Hill, some 300 kilometres northwest of Melbourne.

“In the actual Swan Hill township itself, we are very confident that the levee system around the town is built to a very high grade and will protect the township,” Mayor Greg Cruickshank told ABC radio.

But rural and outlying areas “will have significant amount of inundation through them,” he said.

While thousands of people around the state have been urged to evacuate, emergency services warned that those people who choose to remain on their properties in the rural areas could be stranded by the floods.

“A number of these communities will be isolated for days as this huge amount of floodwater comes through,” SES spokesman Kevin Monk said. Read more…

Year of Extremes, Strongest La Nina: What It Means for Coming Months

January 17, 2011 Comments off

2010 was a year of extreme weather events with epic flooding, snowstorms, drought, heat waves and severe cold unfolding across the U.S. and the globe. It tied 2005 as the warmest year on record, and was also a year in which one of the strongest December La Niñas in recorded history was observed.

La Niñas, which occur when sea surface temperatures across the equatorial central and eastern Pacific Ocean are below normal, play a significant role in the overall weather pattern across the globe. The current La Niña has been influential in 2010’s extreme events. Details on those events and their connection to La Niña can be found in this AccuWeather.com news story.

While some of the extremes have fallen in line with overall weather conditions typically expected during a La Niña, other events have been the complete opposite. Disastrous flooding in Southern California during December and recent extreme cold, snow and ice in the Southeast are examples of events in contrast with what is typically expected during Read more…