Category: Extreme Weather

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Floating cars, people in boats: Havoc as Qatar, Saudi Arabia ravaged by heavy rains (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

© carolyn_redaelli
Cars floating in rivers that were once streets, water gushing through ceilings and people sailing to work on boats – that’s the current picture in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, both desert countries, which should be dry and sunny for the whole year.

Qatar’s capital Doha was apparently unprepared for the deluge and flooding that damaged many buildings in the city. The area near the capital’s Hamad International Airport was hammered with around 66mm of rain in just a few days, according to the Qatar Meteorology Department. For the record, Doha has 75mm of rain on average a year.

 Many buildings at the multibillion-dollar airport failed to hold up to the torrent: pictures and videos on social media show water flooding into the passenger terminal.

Cascades of water fell from a ceiling inside Ezdan Mall in Doha, Doha News reported.

“Inclement weather” prompted the closure of schools across the country as well as the US Embassy in Qatar on Wednesday.


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Maldives Independent

Addu City suffers worst floods in 40 years

Photos shared by the MRC show a foot of water inside some households.

Addu City floods

Addu City floods


November 25 14:56 2015

Southern Addu City has suffered the worst storm damage in 40 years after 12 continuous hours of torrential rain left streets inundated and flooded some 200 households.

“This is the worst flooding I’ve seen in decades. The water is knee-deep in most areas, and a majority of houses are under a foot of water,” saud Abdulla Thoyyib, the deputy mayor.

The Feydhoo and Maradhoo-Feydhoo wards suffered the most damage. According to the Maldives Red Crescent, some 32 houses in Feydhoo and 11 houses in Maradhoo-Feydhoo suffered major damage. A majority of household appliances were destroyed, a spokesperson said.

Residents are now worried of water contamination as sewers are full and overflowing. The city, home to some 20,000 people, and the second most populous region, is out of chlorine, according to Thoyyib.

The Maldives National Defence Forces have set up water pumps in the three worst affected wards. Sand bags have been piled up to stop water entering into 17 houses in the Feydhoo ward.


The rain, which started at 3pm on Tuesday, continued for 12 hours. The department of meteorology recorded 228mm of rain, the worst in 40 years in the Maldives.

“This kind of rain is not common and it has damaged houses that are normally safe,” Thoyyib said.


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  • By Slma Shelbayah and Kimberly Hutcherson CNN

    10 dead as wintry storm hits Plains

    Millions under winter weather, flood warnings

    UPDATED 4:59 PM CST Nov 29, 2015
    OK ice storm 11.29.15


    (CNN) —The governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, has declared a state of emergency for her state, according to KOCO.

This follows an ice storm and flooding that has knocked out power for thousands of people throughout the state.

Meanhwhile, flooding and wintry precipitation have led to at least 10 deaths in Texas and Kansas as a storm system moves across the central Plains, authorities reported.

Five people died in single-vehicle accidents in Kansas, according to Lt. Adam Winters with the state’s Highway Patrol. He said all of the accidents could be attributed to black ice or hazardous road conditions.

Flooding claimed at least three lives in the Dallas area. The victims include a man in Garland, northeast of Dallas. Benjamin Floyd, 29, was on his way to work when raging floodwaters swept his car off the road, according to CNN affiliate KTVT. He was unable to get out of his vehicle before it was submerged Friday, Garland city officials said.

The two other flooding deaths came in Johnson County, south of Fort Worth, county emergency management officials said.

The National Weather Service reported ice storms in the Texas Panhandle. Three people died in a road accident on Interstate 40 about 45 miles west of Amarillo, the weather service reported.



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Total Croatia News

First Snow of the Winter Season Causing Problems in Croatia

By , 22 Nov 2015, 15:50 PM News

Keep those summer beach memories close to hand – the first winter snow is here.

Almost the entire Lika region was caught in snowy weather last night. In Gospić, more than 30 centimetres of snow has fallen, while in mountainous areas the snow cover is even higher. Snow has caused the falling down of many trees which have damaged electrical lines, so the wider area of ​​Gospić was without power this morning. Director of Elektrolika Ernest Petri said that two transmission lines that supply electricity to Gospić have broken down. There are problems with the local phone lines as well, reports and Vecernji List on November 22, 2015.

Snow and strong winds are causing traffic problems in the Primorje region. The Lika-Senj Police Department has announced that the Adriatic highway from Karlobag to Sveta Marija Magdalena is completely closed down, and on all the roads in Lika winter tyres are mandatory.


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Eyewitness News

Major increase in weather disasters over last 2 decades

Since 1995, weather disasters have killed millions of people & left billions injured & homeless.

A flood-affected resident swims through floodwaters in Kalay, upper Myanmar’s Sagaing region on August 3, 2015. Relentless monsoon rains have triggered flash floods and landslides, destroying thousands of houses, farmland, bridges and roads with fast-flowing waters hampering relief efforts. Picture: AFP.


GENEVA – Weather-related disasters such as floods and heatwaves have occurred almost daily in the past decade, almost twice as often as two decades ago, with Asia being the hardest hit region, a UN report said on Monday.

While the report authors could not pin the increase wholly on climate change, they did say that the upward trend was likely to continue as extreme weather events increased.

Since 1995, weather disasters have killed millions of people, left billions injured, homeless or in need of aid, and accounted for 90 percent of all disasters, it said.

A recent peak year was 2002, when drought in India hit 200 million and a sandstorm in China affected 100 million.

But the standout mega-disaster was Cyclone Nargis, which killed 138,000 in Myanmar in 2008.



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citizen digital logo

Fear of cholera, floods as Burundi refugees pack Tanzania camps

By Agencies, Citizen Digital


Fear of cholera, floods as Burundi refugees pack Tanzania camps

Heavy rains, flooding and a spike in new arrivals could threaten the lives of over 110,000 Burundian refugees in overcrowded camps in Tanzania, six aid agencies said on Monday, amid warnings of rising political tension in Burundi.

Life-threatening malaria and diarrhoea have been spreading in Nyarugusu, the world’s third largest refugee camp, since the rainy season began, and damage caused by a powerful El Nino has left aid agencies short of funds throughout east Africa.

Also Read: Armed vigilantes in Burundi’s capital expose deepening crisis

“Refugees are arriving in the hundreds every day,” the agencies, which include Oxfam, Save the Children and HelpAge International, said in a statement.

“Many people are still living in overcrowded mass shelters months after their arrival, where wet floors and cramped conditions mean that the risk of respiratory infections and waterborne diseases is high.”

The agencies also fear a fresh outbreak of cholera, which killed 33 Burundian refugees in western Tanzania in May, as heavy rain sometimes makes toilets overflow and flood shelters.



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Published Nov 22 2015 09:45 PM EST

Snow totals from Winter Storm Bella.

Winter Storm Bella not only brought the first, not to mention locally heavy, accumulating snow of the season for some in the Great Lakes and Midwest, but also was one of the heaviest November snowstorms of record for some.

(MORE: Science Behind Naming Winter Storms)

Parts of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, metro area picked up over a foot of snow in an intense snowband Friday. A similar setup impacted parts of northern Illinois on Saturday, including some of Chicagoland. Saturday afternoon, a band of heavier snow enhanced by Lake Michigan impacted Chicago, resulting in very low visibility as it pivoted through the area.

Despite lacking strong surface low pressure, these systems are notorious heavy snow generators in the Midwest. Below is a recap of the snow totals from Winter Storm Bella.

Snowfall Totals

Numerous locations from southeastern South Dakota to southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and lower Michigan have reported a foot or more of snow from the storm.

Here is a sampling of official snowfall totals around the area, by state:

  • South Dakota: Tea (18 inches), Sioux Falls Regional Airport (7.2 inches)  
  • Iowa: George (17 inches), Waterloo (12.7 inches), Dubuque (11.7 inches), Des Moines (6.9 inches)
  • Nebraska: Near Bloomfield (16 inches), South Sioux City (6.5 inches), Valentine (4 inches)
  • Minnesota: Worthington (8 inches)
  • Illinois: Grayslake (16 inches), Chicago O’Hare (11.1 inches), Moline (9.9 inches), Rockford (8.6 inches),
  • Wisconsin: Near Footville (17 inches), Janesville (11.5 inches), Milwaukee (6.7 inches), Madison (4.1 inches)
  • Michigan: Howell (16.5 inches), Kalamazoo (9 inches), Flint (8 inches), Detroit (6 inches)
  • Indiana: Crown Point (5 inches), Lafayette (3.5 inches), near South Bend (3 inches), Tipton (2 inches)

Bella also produced the season’s first flakes as far south as northwest Arkansas Saturday morning, and left a dusting of snow in Springfield, Missouri, as well.


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North East braced for cold snap as Met Office warns of snow


Snow falls on the Millennium Bridge. Photo Dave Charlton February 2009
Snow falls on the Millennium Bridge in 2009

A cold snap will grip much of the North East throughout this weekend, with forecasters warning of gale-force winds, snow and hazardous driving conditions.

The Met Office has said a band of rain, sleet and snow will move south across Northern and Eastern Scotland on Friday afternoon, reaching North East England at night.

The snow will mainly affect higher ground at first, but by Friday night up to four centimetres could fall at lower levels.

Forecasters warned: “Wintry showers will spread to many Northern areas in particular and night frosts will become much more widespread.”

Chris Hogan, from MeteoGroup, said Friday will deliver blustery showers, but the conditions will deteriorate into Saturday morning.


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Iceland in grips of cold snap

Frost and snow in parts of Iceland today.

Frost and snow in parts of Iceland today. Photo: Rax

Anybody venturing outside in Iceland yesterday evening will have found that predictions of bitterly cold weather were not exaggerated.

Even the most extreme forecast minimum temperature was reached – it was exactly -20°C at the Icelandic Met Office weather station at Sandbúðir in inland South-East Iceland early this morning.

It is currently -9°C in the capital Reykjavik and temperatures will struggle to exceed -4°C at their very warmest today.


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Mongabay Environmental News

There have been more than 11,000 fires in just one region of the Brazilian Amazon this year

5th November 2015 / Mike Gaworecki

While climate change can certainly exacerbate drought conditions, leading to more frequent wildfires, this year’s ferocious fire season might also have been heavily influenced by the El Niño event developing in the Pacific Ocean.

  • Satellite images revealed that on October 4, 2015 there were over 900 fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon at once.
  • The region most affected by the fires was the northern state of Amazonas, where some 11,114 forest fires were recorded this year.
  • If the Pacific El Niño continues to strengthen, researchers expect fire risk in the Amazon to increase, as well.
On October 4, 2015, satellite images revealed that there were over 900 fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon.That figure was reported by Brazil’s Institute for Space Research, known as INPE, which said that the region most affected by the fires was the northern state of Amazonas. Some 11,114 forest fires have already been observed in Amazonas this year, a 47 percent increase over the same period last year, according to INPE.

Amazonas is not alone in dealing with increased incidence of forest fires. More than a quarter of the fires so far this year have occurred in the Cerrado agricultural region, which encompasses parts of the central states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Tocantins and Minas Gerais, for instance.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s southeastern states have been suffering from extreme drought, and a study by researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University determined that the area of the Amazon affected by mild to severe drought is likely to double in the eastern part of Amazonia and triple in the west by 2100, due largely to the impacts of deforestation.

The Carnegie Institution researchers did not factor rising global temperatures into their calculations, however, meaning drought conditions are likely to be even worse than they projected. That does not bode well for future fire seasons being tamer than 2015.


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the guardian

El Niño: food shortages, floods, disease and droughts set to put millions at risk

Agencies warn of unchartered territory as strongest-ever El Niño threatens to batter vulnerable countries with extreme weather for months

Indonesian workers load rice on a truck at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 14 November. Indonesia will import about 1.5m tonnes of rice from Vietnam due to the impact of El Niño.
Indonesian workers load rice on a truck at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 14 November. Indonesia will import about 1.5m tonnes of rice from Vietnam due to the impact of El Niño. Photograph: Bagus Indahono/EPA

The UN has warned of months of extreme weather in many of the world’s most vulnerable countries with intense storms, droughts and floods triggered by one of the strongest El Niño weather events recorded in 50 years, which is expected to continue until spring 2016.

El Niño is a natural climatic phenomenon that sees equatorial waters in the eastern Pacific ocean warm every few years. This disrupts regular weather patterns such as monsoons and trade winds, and increases the risk of food shortages, floods, disease and forest fires.

This year, a strong El Niño has been building since March and its effects are already being seen in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Malawi, Indonesia and across Central America, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. The phenomenon is also being held responsible for uncontrolled fires in forests in Indonesia and in the Amazon rainforest.

The UN’s World Meteorological Organization warned in a report on Monday that the current strong El Niño is expected to strengthen further and peak around the end of the 2015. “Severe droughts and devastating flooding being experienced throughout the tropics and sub-tropical zones bear the hallmarks of this El Niño, which is the strongest in more than 15 years,” said WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud.

Jarraud said the impact of the naturally occurring El Niño event was being exacerbated by global warming, which had already led to record temperatures this year. “This event is playing out in uncharted territory. Our planet has altered dramatically because of climate change,” he said. “So this El Niño event and human-induced climate change may interact and modify each other in ways which we have never before experienced. El Niño is turning up the heat even further.”


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