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Drought, Extreme Heat Cripple China, Japan, S. Korea

Posted by feww on August 11, 2013

Drought and extreme heat plague many parts of  China, as heat dome hovers over east Asia

Record temperatures, many of them above 40ºC, are seriously affecting people, killing poultry and livestock and destroying crops across east Asia.

china drought disaster aug 2013 -01
Original caption: A farmer shows the dried-up rice fields in Hejia Village of Yongxin County, east China’s Jiangxi Province, Aug. 9, 2013. Lingering drought has caused severe damage to agricultural products, leaving millions of people short of drinking water in many parts of China. (Xinhua/Zhou Ke). More images…

Up to a staggering 10 percent of the population, an estimated 130 million people, have been affected by drought in the south, southwest, central, east and southeast, and by extreme heat in central and eastern China.

Mining for water
Original caption: An excavator is used for seeking water on a riverbed in Shuangfeng County of Loudi City, central China’s Hunan Province, Aug. 8, 2013. Regions in Hunan Province were hit by a severe drought this summer due to lingering high temperatures and lack of rainfall, leaving about 1.5 million people short of drinking water. (Xinhua/Bai Yu). More images …

More than 10 million people and at least as many livestock are short of drinking water, in the worst affected regions including Jiangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan and Zhejiang Provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

mining every last drop of water 3
A villager prepares to pump water from a deep cave in Motou Village of Quanzhou County, Guilin City, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Aug. 9, 2013. (Xinhua/Lu Bo’an. More images…

drought in Zhejiang Province -  Original caption: Soldiers carry water for local residents in Zhoushan City, east China’s Zhejiang Province, Aug. 11, 2013. A lingering drought has left 417,000 people short of drinking water in the province. The Zhejiang provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters raised the drought emergency response system to level-3 on Sunday. (Xinhua/Xu Yu). More images…


In western Japan the mercury rose to 40.7ºC causing more heatstroke and heat related illnesses. More than 30,000 people have been hospitalized since May this year, a rise of 10 percent compared with last year.

Weather authorities have issued several alerts, advising people to reduce exposure to the sun and remain well-hydrated.

South Korea

“The entire Korean Peninsula is sweltering with average daily temperature reaching just under 33 degrees in Seoul. The heat has killed tens thousands of chickens and fish, a serious blow to the poultry and fish farming industry,” said a report.

Meantime, the country faces serious power shortages this week as temperatures are forecast to rise pushing up demand for power, while six of the SK’s nuclear plants r4emain off-line.

“If one nuclear reactor stops its operation all of a sudden, we may have to start rolling power blackouts like we did on September 15, 2011,” Energy Minister Yoon Sang-jick told reporters.

SK’s power demand is forecast to peak at about “80,500 megawatts (MW) in the next three days while its power supply capacity is seen at 77,440 MW the energy ministry said in a statement. With all the possible power-saving and supplying measures, the supply surplus could be raised to 1,800 MW but that would still not be enough,” said a report.

The heatwave is forecast to linger in East Asia until at least next week.

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Flooding Destroys Town of Caopo in SW China

Posted by feww on July 16, 2013

Extreme floods destroy Caopo, leave entire population homeless

The town of Caopo in SW China’s Sichuan province has been completely destroyed by extreme flooding, which has also triggered large scale landslide, blocking the roads and leaving the town solated.

“Officials say Caopo’s five thousand residents have been given temporary shelters, after flooding destroyed their homes,” said a report.on July 16, 2013

road to Caopo blocked by major landslides
An aerial photo taken from a helicopter shows a road to Caopo Township blocked by several major landslides and mudslide in Wenchuan County, southwest China’s Sichuan Province. (Xinhua/Wu Yongbin).
More images …

Landslide in Dujiangyan City kills at least 58, leaves 175 missing

At least 43 people were left dead after a landslide in the village of Sanxi, Dujiangyan City, in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. “Some 118 people across the city were missing or can not immediately be reached. Local authorities are continuing to verify the exact number of those missing,” said a report.

Hundreds Stranded in Sichuan Storms

Heavy rain triggered floods in Shimian county, Sichuan province, early on Saturday, stranding about 400 villagers.

In the wee hours of Saturday, the storm lashed six townships in Shimian, flooding six rivers.

“Roads as well as power and communication were cut off in the townships. More than 1,100 people including two foreign tourists were evacuated,” said deputy county magistrate Hu Jijun.

As floods inundated roads to Shimian’s Caoke township, some 400 residents in the township’s Keping village lost contact with the outside world in the morning.

Meantime, the water supply was cut off in many parts of Chengdu because the city’s drinking water source was polluted by the rising floodwaters, and vegetable prices soared as extreme rains destroyed crops and disrupted supplies.

Cost to the People and Sichuan Economy

The recent storm, which have been pounding Sichuan beginning since July 7, have affected about 2.5 million people, leaving tens of thousands homeless. Direct economic losses is so far estimated at more than 12 billion yuan ($2 billion) have been pounding, said the Sichuan provincial department of civil affairs.

Disaster Hits Also Shaanxi Province

Rainstorms continued to buffet much of northern China, killing scores of people and causing severe damage to property and infrastructure.

“In northwest Shaanxi province, rain has caused the death of 27 people, and affected over 800,000. The resulting economic losses add up to 1.8 billion yuan or around 300 million US dollars,” said a report.

“In the city of Yan’an, nearly one hundred historic sites have been damaged by landslides and other rain-related accidents. Many other sites have been closed.

“Northern Shanxi province has also been hard hit by downpours, seeing the most rain since 1961. Experts say soil moisture in some areas has reached critical levels, and could trigger more disasters.”

Extreme floods destroy bridge in NE China, killing 4

Original Caption: A road bridge that formed part of the No. 101 national expressway is seen collapsed in Fuxin, northeast China’s Liaoning Province, July 16, 2013. Heavy overnight rain toppled the bridge early Tuesday, leaving four people dead. (Xinhua/Pan Yulong)

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Massachusetts Tornadoes Kill at least 4

Posted by feww on June 2, 2011

Deadly tornadoes spawned by extreme weather in western Massachusetts kill at least 4

Massachusetts Governor said one person was killed in Springfield (about 40 others were injured), two in Westfield and one in Brimfield, as he declared a state of emergency Wednesday evening and called for 1,000 National Guard to assist with cleanup.

The rare tornadoes left a trail of devastation across 24 towns, destroying roofs, damaging structure, uprooting trees and power lines.

At least 18 tornadoes were reported on Wednesday in Massachusetts, Kansas, Nebraska and California.

Tornado, Hail and Severe Weather Map for June 1 (Preliminary reports)

Some 364 severe weather reports received by SPC on June 1 included 17 tornado sightings in 4 states, as of posting.

A tornado watch is in effect in the Boston area until 11:00pm EDT June 1, with heavy showers and thunderstorms expected, NWS said, adding that the region was also under “threat of large hail and damaging wind.”

A child runs for cover  following a tornado touchdown in Springfield, Mass., Wednesday, June 1, 2011 (Photo Credit: Don Treeger/ via Springfield Republican)

GOES Eastern US SECTOR Infrared Image

Eastern Conus Sector (Infrared Channel)
Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge. Animate this image (download size: about 3.5 MB). Source: SSEC.

Flooding News

North Dakota, Nebraska rivers reaching long-standing record stage levels

US Flood Map. Source: NWS

The Lower Mississippi River was still swollen on June 1, 2011, when MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this false-color image. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge. Download largest image (11 MB, JPEG)  

Weather Forecast Maps May 31 – June 2

Political Manipulation of Joplin Tornado Deaths Continue

Meanwhile, the Missouri Department of Public Safety, which has taken over the Joplin tornado deaths investigation, has once again diluted the fatality figures. The Department said on Wednesday that it had counted only 134 sets of human remains. “On Tuesday, the department reported that 146 sets of human remains, some from dismembered bodies, had been recovered.”

FIRE-EARTH believes that such heavy-handed political manipulation of the statistics by the government is a clear and desperate attempt to deny the human factor in the exponentially increasing impact of climate change by way of associating the worst disasters with the past.

However, looming Mega Disasters (forecasts are based on FIRE-EARTH and EDRO dynamic models) will shatter ALL historical records by such massive margins that the politicians could no longer fabricate or fiddle the stats.

Joplin Tornado Track. False-color Satellite image of the deadly EF-5 tornado track taken by ASTER on NASA’s Terra satellite on May 30, 2011. Click image to enlarge. Download largest image (2 MB, JPEG) 

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Update at 12:35UTC on June 2, 2011

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More Severe Thunderstorms, Rain and Flash Flooding

Posted by feww on May 11, 2011


Weather Forecast Map

Click images to enlarge.

GOES Eastern US SECTOR Infrared Image

Fire Weather Outlook

From:   2011 Disaster Calendar – MAY 

  • Day 496 [May 11, 2011]
    • Tennessee, USA. The White House has declared Shelby and  14 other Tennessee counties disaster areas following the damage caused by rising Mississippi River and extreme weather events that have buffeted the region since mid April, reports say.
    •  Minnesota , USA. The White House has declared 20 counties in both the Red River Valley and southern Minnesota federal disaster areas because of widespread flooding and severe  storms in March that wreaked havoc in the state, a report said.
    • Missouri, USA. The White House has declared five Missouri counties major disaster areas, following devastation from tornadoes, storms and flooding. “Property owners who’ve gone into the Mississippi River Floodway say the situation is bad.” Said a report.

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Global Mega Disasters

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US Weather Forecast: The Worst So Far!

Posted by feww on April 25, 2011

WARNINGS: Severe T-Storm, Tornadoes,  Flash Flooding and Red Flags

Click images to enlarge.

Tornado Warning


Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

The NATIONAL WEATHER   SERVICE in Springfield  has extended the  FLASH FLOOD WARNING for



Quad State Outlook

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US Severe Weather Forecast: Missouri in Crosshairs

Posted by feww on April 22, 2011

Present significant severe weather danger for the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio River valleys: NWS

Many rivers in the Plains and Midwest already at flood levels could receive up to 5 inches of rain by early next week, forecasters say. Flooding is forecast for  parts of the northern Plains, the Midwest, the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley.
Today’s forecast:

  • Possible severe weather in the southern Plains
  • Rain and thunderstorms in the Mountain West, the Four Corners area, the Southeast and the southern Atlantic Coast
  • Heavy snow in western Montana, north-central Idaho and western Wyoming

“Most of Missouri is at the center of a double weather whammy, sitting in the center of severe weather forecasts for tonight and Friday and at the core of heavy rains forecast into next week.” NWS reported.

Weather Forecast Map. Click images to enlarge.

Weather Outlook (Probabilistic)

 Rainfall Forecast:The 5-day total  

Texas Wildfires

Report: Wednesday Close, April 21, 2011

  • National Preparedness Level: 1
  • Southern Area Preparedness Level: 3
  • TFS Preparedness Level: 5

Texas Fires YTD Totals

  • Fires: 6,061 [4 new fires]
  • Acres Burned: 1,821,086
  • Structures Destroyed: 859
  • Source: Texas Forest Service (TFS)

Drought and Heat: Recipe for Deadly Fire Conditions in Texas

Image shows ground temperatures differentials for April 7 to April 14 compared to long-term average for that week.  Data for the image gathered by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite. Drought and high temperatures are clearly contributing to the deadly fire conditions in Texas. Source: NASA-EO
Two firefighters have lost their lives, including one near Lubbock who was killed yesterday
Two sightseers were killed as their plance  circled over fires Tuesday.

NO official figures have been released so far. However,  FIRE-EARTH estimates that up to 20,000 heads of cattle may have been killed or injured as a result of the deadly fires since beginning of the year.

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Tornadoes, Severe Thunderstorms, Heavy Snow

Posted by feww on April 15, 2011

“A very active weather day,” NWS forecast


The NWS Storm Prediction Center in Norman OK has forecast the development of

  • Strong Tornadoes
  • Very Large Hail
  • Damaging Winds

Areas most likely to experience this activity include

  • W Arkansas
  • SE  Kansas
  • Extreme SW Missouri
  • E  Oklahoma
  • Extreme NE Texas

Severe storms also possible from the central Plains to the Mid-South.

Click image to enter NWS portal.

“A disturbance will emerge from the Four Corners region to the southern and central High Plains this afternoon, where it will begin a rapid intensification as it is fed by a strong surge of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected in the south-central Plains today with a strong possibility of tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds. Heavy rainfall is also possible.” NWS said.

Little Rock, AR,  Base Reflectivity Radar. Click image to enlarge. Click here to update.

Click image to enlarge.

TEXAS Wildfires

Meanwhile, large wildfires continue to burn across portions of Texas. As of posting, 33 states are helping Texas to fight some 21 large to major wildfires.

Picture of the Swenson fire in Stonewall County taken on April 7, 2011.  Photo is courtesy of the Texas Forest Service.

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Extreme Weather Conditions in the US

Posted by feww on April 9, 2011

Severe Thunder Storms, Tornadoes, Wildfires, Heavy Snow, Torrential Rain and Flooding

The United States is experiencing numerous “extreme conditions” throughout the country, NWS forecasts.

Click image to enlarge.

Severe Storms

“A 13-state slice of the central United States from northern Michigan to southern Texas could see severe storms Sunday. The most likely area of severe weather then is an area of Moderate Risk that includes southeast Minnesota, the eastern half of Iowa, extreme northeast Missouri, west-central and southwest Wisconsin and northwest Illinois. A much larger area at Slight Risk for severe weather includes parts of South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana.” NWS reported.

Click Hazard Map to enter NWS portal.


More flooding  reported in northern Plains and Upper Midwest, with

  • 19 Major Flood sites
  • 29  sites at Moderate Flooding
  • 75 sites at Minor Flooding
  • 135 sites are Near Flood Stage

U.S. Flood Map. Source: NWS


“Critical fire weather conditions and Red Flag Warnings are in effect for today and Saturday in a 5-state portion of the southern Plains. Areas in which all outdoor burning is discourage include the eastern third of Colorado, the western third of Kansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and western Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle along with northwest and southwest Texas and most of new Mexico but the northwest and west-central parts of the state.” NWS reported.

In Colorado, meanwhile, wildfires have forced the evacuations of about 300 homes in the foothills west of Denver , a report said.

Weather Story: Colorado

Severe thunderstorms are expected in north central Oklahoma tonight. This area is in a tornado watch until 1 A.M. Hot, dry and windy weather is expected in western Oklahoma Saturday afternoon. The dry airmass is expected to include the western two-thirds of Oklahoma Sunday when wildfire potential will be extreme. Windy weather and relatively little rainfall will remain through next week. NWS


Tornado watches 108 and 109 issued by NWS cover 16 counties Kansas and 24 counties in Oklahoma. See report.

“Temperatures will surge into the upper 80s on Saturday afternoon along with strong southerly winds. Severe thunderstorms may develop along the dryline in central Kansas later Saturday afternoon and early evening. The main threat will be hail and winds… but a tornado or two cannot be ruled out.” NWS reported.

Related News

  • Tornado severely damages homes at Pulaski: Severe damage to homes has been reported in the Pulaski and Draper areas of Pulaski County after a tornado earlier this evening, local officials and the National Weather Service said. More than 4,500 customers in Pulaski County are without power.

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Weather Chaos Across the U-S

Posted by feww on February 20, 2011

The Day Before Washington’s Birthday

Blizzard, Winter Storm, Gale Warning, Critical Fire Weather and other Red Flag Warnings

Click image to enter NWS portal.

Real-Time U.S. Composite Satellite Image

Click image to enlarge.
(24-Hr FE ED).

A Winter Storm is expected to affect Upper Midwest during the long Washington Birthday weekend. A surface low pressure system will take shape near the Four Corners region tonight and trek into central Nebraska and Kansas by Sunday morning, bringing heavy snowfall across much of the region Saturday night through Monday morning. Strong winds will also bring blowing and drifting snow across the region Sunday afternoon into early Monday. Near blizzard conditions are expected in open areas from west central to south central Minnesota. (Source: NWS)

A major winter storm is taking aim on the Northern Plains. Snow will move into the western and central part of South Dakota tonight, then spread across the rest of the area tomorrow morning. Northerly winds will increase and become quite gusty, creating widespread blowing and drifting snow. 6 to 12 inches will be common, with a more heavier band setting up over portions of central and eastern South Dakota, into Minnesota where amounts will be closer to a foot or perhaps more. (Source: NWS)

The next in a series of winter storms will bring significant snow accumulations to most mountains of eastern Utah and western Colorado this weekend. An associated cold front will pass this evening changing valley rain and snow to all snow tonight. Isolated thunderstorms are possible ahead and along the cold front this afternoon and evening. Snow accumulations of at least a foot of snow are likely in most mountain locales, with up to 2 feet in the southwest San Juan Mountains. The storm exits to the east Sunday night with quieter weather conditions expected Monday and Tuesday. (Source: NWS)

A winter storm will move across the region Sunday and Sunday night. Snow is expected to develop across central Wisconsin Sunday morning, then spread into northeast and north central Wisconsin Sunday morning into Sunday afternoon. The snow may be heavy at times Sunday afternoon. A heavy band of snow with accumulations of 8 to 13 inches is expected along and south of Highway 29. Along with the heavy snow, northeast winds are expected to increase Sunday afternoon and then continue Sunday night. Areas of blowing and drifting snow are expected across central and north central Wisconsin. Along and east of Highway 41, strong northeast winds gusting up to around 45 mph will create significant blowing and drifting of the snow and create near blizzard conditions late Sunday afternoon and into Sunday night. The snow will taper off early Monday morning, but considerable blowing and drifting snow will continue across northeast Wisconsin Monday morning. (Source: NWS)

Cloudy skies this afternoon as conditions deteriorate across Wyoming. Snow will develop by mid-afternoon over central portions, becoming more widespread during the evening hours. This activity will continue throughout the nighttime hours toward daybreak. Snow will begin to decrease by late Sunday morning before finally ending by the afternoon. Winter storm Warnings and Advisories have been issued for much of the state. Please refer to individual areas for specific details as well as the Top News Story on the Homepage. …IMPACTS OUTLOOK… TONIGHT… Lows tonight will drop into the single digits and teens across most locations with areas to the south in the 20s. These cold readings, coupled with winds of 20 to 30 mph, will drag wind chill values into the -0s to -20s. Blowing and drifting snow will be a concern as well, as snowfall rates approach 1 inch per hour, greatly reducing visiblities. TOMORROW… Snow activity will be winding down by noon on Sunday. Any remaining snow will be reduced to flurries. Highs will be in the teens across north-central and eastern Wyoming, while the rest of the state slowly climbs into the 20s. A few locations to the south may reach the lower 30s. Breezy conditions will remain across the western mountains as well as the Lower Green River Basin. MONDAY…Minimal Impact Expected. (Source: NWS)

Warm and windy weather will develop once again across the Panhandles on Sunday. With dry conditions continuing, fire weather concerns will increase across the area. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for all of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles on Sunday. Southwest winds of 25-35 mph with gusts approaching 45 mph are expected. In addition, unseasonably warm afternoon highs are also anticipated with temperatures ranging from near 60 across the northwestern Panhandles to the mid 70s in the far southeast Texas Panhandle. (Source: NWS)

Click images to enlarge. For additional Weather Stories go to SOURCE.

Click image to update.

Snow and Rain

Click image to update.

Current NWS Weather Hazard Warnings (U.S.)

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Posted in Climate Change Midterm Dividends, extreme climate, extreme climatic events, extreme weather, Extreme weather events | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

FLOODING: Kentucky governor declares a state of emergency

Posted by feww on May 4, 2010

Southern U.S. struck by deadly thunderstorms, tornados and flash floods since weekend, 25 dead

Kentucky  Governor Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency afetr  four people died in weather-related accidents on Monday.

“I urge individuals who encounter high waters to use extreme caution and avoid unnecessary contact with flood waters if at all possible,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile President Obama signed a disaster declaration for Alabama on Monday, in response to the damage caused by tornados and flooding in two counties, the White House said.

Parts of downtown Nashville had to be evacuated Monday as Cumberland River overflowed after 2 days of violent thunderstorms, which triggered an extreme rain event.

At least 25 people have been killed in storm and flooding-related incidents throughout Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi.

The flooding Cumberland River that snakes through Nashville forced schools, offices, bars and clubs to shut down. About 1,500 tourists had to be evacuated from the famed Opryland hotel, where the floodwater reached the second in several wings of the building. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

At least 33cm (13 inches) of of rain fell in Nashville over the weekend, almost double the previous record of 17cm that fell in 1979 when Hurricane Fredrick struck.

One of Nashville’s two water treatment plants was submerged in floodwater, and Mayor Karl Dean urged  residents to cut their water use by 50 percent “using it only for drinking and cooking, or risk contamination of the city’s drinking water.” A report said.

The storm cut power lines leaving thousands of residents without electricity.

Meanwhile, about 13cm (5 inches) of rain fell over parts of Alabama overnight, causing extensive flooding As much as 5 inches of rain fell over some parts of Alabama overnight, causing flooding of roads in the Alexander City area in east central Alabama.

Roger McNeil of the National Weather Service in Mobile said Monday the worst flooding was , where there were reports of police having to rescue people from cars in flooded roads. There were no reports of any some areas.

Police reported many people caught in their cars on flooded roads, which had to be rescued. There was no report of fatality or injury.

2010 could prove to be one of the deadliest and costliest years on record for storms, flooding, landslide and other human-enhanced disasters. —Fire-Earth

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Serial No 1,668. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in Climate Change, climate change fallout, extreme rain, extreme weather, storm | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Deadly storms kill at least 7 in Tenn., 5 in Miss.

Posted by feww on May 3, 2010

Deadly line of thunderstorms strikes Tennessee and northern Mississippi, killing at least 12 people, damaging homes and closing most of highways

The storms were accompanied by an extreme rain event forcing thousands of people to evacuate, while hundreds of others had to be plucked from rooftops, as flood waters from overflowing rivers and creeks submerged neighborhoods throughout the region.

At least 33cm (13 inches) of of rain fell in Nashville over the weekend, almost double the previous record of 17cm that fell in 1979 when Hurricane Fredrick. struck.

“That is an astonishing amount of rain in a 24- or 36-hour period,” Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said, adding that it was an “unprecedented rain event.”

Schools, hospitals and government buildings also were flooded, forcing many schools in middle Tennessee to close for Monday.

According to one emergency official and long term resident of Nashville,  it was the worst flooding in living memory. “I’ve never seen it this high,” said  Donnie Smith. “I’m sure that it’s rained this hard at one time, but never for this much of an extended period.”

Meanwhile, tornadoes obliterated homes, “overturned vehicles and uprooted trees were scattered across central Arkansas on Saturday after several tornadoes ripped through the state, killing a woman and injuring two dozen others,” AP quoted authorities as saying.

Video footage show the extent of deluge, and a large building being washed away.

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Serial No 1,662. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

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On the Lookout for Atmospheric Blocking

Posted by feww on February 19, 2010

Climate Info Public release  by University of Missouri-Columbia

Warmer planet temperatures could cause longer-lasting weather patterns

MU researchers are studying whether high levels of carbon dioxide and higher global temperatures could lead to more frequent atmospheric blocking

Whether it’s never-ending heat waves or winter storms, atmospheric blocking can have a significant impact on local agriculture, business and the environment. Although these stagnant weather patterns are often difficult to predict, University of Missouri researchers are now studying whether increasing planet temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could lead to atmospheric blocking and when this blocking might occur, leading to more accurate forecasts.

Tony Lupo, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Missouri, is studying atmospheric blocking and how this weather pattern could be increasing due to global warming.

“In this research, we’re trying to see if increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the resulting atmospheric warming will affect the onset and duration of future blocking events,” said Tony Lupo, professor and chair of the atmospheric science department at the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “We’re hoping that the research will add cues that could help fellow forecasters better predict blocking and warn people in cases of long-lasting, severe weather.”

Atmospheric blocking occurs between 20-40 times each year and usually lasts between 8-11 days, Lupo said. Although they are one of the rarest weather events, blocking can trigger dangerous conditions, such as a 2003 European heat wave that caused 40,000 deaths. Blocking usually results when a powerful, high-pressure area gets stuck in one place and, because they cover a large area, fronts behind them are blocked. Lupo believes that heat sources, such as radiation, condensation, and surface heating and cooling, have a significant role in a blocking’s onset and duration. Therefore, planetary warming could increase the frequency and impact of atmospheric blocking.

“It is anticipated that in a warmer world, blocking events will be more numerous, weaker and longer-lived,” Lupo said. “This could result in an environment with more storms. We also anticipate the variability of weather patterns will change dramatically over some parts of the world, such as North America, Europe and Asia, but not in others.”

Lupo, in collaboration with Russian researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences, will simulate atmospheric blocking using computer models that mirror known blocking events, then introduce differing carbon dioxide environments into the models to study how the dynamics of blocking events are changed by increased atmospheric temperatures. The project is funded by the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation – one of only 16 grants awarded by the group this year. He is partnering with Russian meteorologists whose research is being supported by the Russian Federation for Basic Research.

Lupo’s research has been published in several journals, including the Journal of Climate and Climate Dynamics. He anticipates that final results of the current study will be available in 2011.

Contact: Christian Basi
University of Missouri-Columbia

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