“It’s already been a rough start to 2019 along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in places like Nebraska and Iowa, where lots of “bomb cyclone” snow and rain has led to record flooding, but the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that things are going to get worse and more widespread as spring continues.
“The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream,” said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities.”
“North America’s apple producers are bracing for new losses, and scientists are probing possible causes. Apples are one of the continent’s most valuable fruit crops, worth some $4 billion last year in the United States alone.
“Growers are eager to understand whether rapid or sudden apple decline, as it is known, poses a serious new threat to the industry.”
“Temperatures soared to record-breaking heights on Wednesday, making for a memorable first day of spring. A whopping 79 new records were set across the country, with majority being in Western Canada…
“The warmth was even felt all way up north, where Yoho Lake in the Northwest Territories hit 21.8 C — an all-time March record for the community.”
“High temperatures are setting records in Southeast Alaska this week…
““We’ve hit just numerous record high temperatures for the day but also we’re breaking a lot of the monthly March records,” said Kimberly Vaughan, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Juneau.
““So it’s the warmest March temperature we’ve ever seen.””
“As the impacts of climate change march on, peak volumes of sea ice continue their downward spiral. According to NASA, this past year was no exception to the rule.
“This winter, the peak volume of Arctic sea ice receded enough to tie the seventh lowest level of all time [volume worse, I would imagine]… ‘While this year wasn’t a record low, the maximum extent still points to there being a sustained decline in winter sea ice,’ continued Webster. For the Arctic, steady melting has stretched beyond the seasonal ice ebb and flow of ice and into trends once considered static.”
“According to Met office statistics Northern Ireland had recorded its wettest March on record by the 18th of the month. And the rainfall has been playing havoc with roads, sports and farmers.
“A number of country lanes have become all but impassable while fields have become flooded right across the county.”
“There were hundreds of corpses washed up on the side of the road; others bobbed past his stranded car, carried by the torrents of floodwater towards the sea. But what will forever haunt Graham Taylor were the screams and sounds of sobbing that echoed through the dark night from those clinging to life in the upper branches of nearby trees…
“He speculated the government’s early estimate of 1,000 dead would prove to be woefully short. “I’m guessing, but it is well into the thousands – four, five, six thousand”, he said.”
“Massive hailstones destroyed houses and cars in KwaZulu-Natal [South Africa]. The recent hailstorm which hit many parts of Newcastle on Thursday has caused destruction, with reports indicating Lennoxton and Fernwood are the areas worst hit, reports Newcastle Advertiser.
“Residents awoke to damaged cars and houses, caused by hailstones believed to be the size of golf balls and bigger, which broke through car windscreens and windows, causing extensive damage.”
“Barmer district in Rajasthan is evidence of alarming changes in ecological indicators across the Thar desert [India]. While total rainfall received in the region has registered an increase, its uneven distribution during monsoon season has affected crops putting farmers in distress…
“This strange phenomenon where the district has registered an increase in average rainfall over the years but also had to face drought almost every year in the last decade has posed a challenge in this largely rainfed agricultural region.”
“A teenager in Malaysia had a rude awakening on Wednesday morning (20 March), when she woke up to find a 3-metre-long python coiled around her neck, The Star has reported…
“It is not uncommon for snakes to leave their natural habitats during hot weather to look for cooler areas. In January this year, a heatwave in Australia also caused a spike in sightings of snakes in residential toilets.”
“Last year, 11 high-temperature records were broken, including the highest average mark for the month of May at 28.3 degrees. The earliest ever hot weather warning in a year was also issued that month.
“This winter was the hottest on record for Hong Kong… Between December and last month, there were only three “cold days” for Hong Kong, marking a winter with the least number of such periods since records began in 1884.”
“Heavy rain from Trevor is anticipated to sweep across more of the Northern Territory and into northeastern South Australia and southern Queensland Sunday and into Tuesday. Rainfall along this swath can total 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 300 mm (12 inches).
“In the desert locations such as Birdsville, these totals would mean that a nearly a year’s worth of rain can pour down in one to two days. With the soil unable to absorb that much rain, the rapid runoff can lead to major flooding.”
“Severe thunderstorms thrashed parts of Melbourne on Friday night, causing building damage and flash flooding with the outer east the hardest hit.”
“The problem of families affected by the floods is becoming more acute. The problem of the communities affected by the floods [in Paraguay] becomes more acute as the days go by.
“In Paso Barreto and Puentesiño (Concepción), Coronel Martínez (Guairá) and Presidente Hayes families clamor for assistance with food.”
“Insurers have warned that climate change could make cover for ordinary people unaffordable after the world’s largest reinsurance firm blamed global warming for $24bn (£18bn) of losses in the Californian wildfires.
“Ernst Rauch, Munich Re’s chief climatologist, told the Guardian that the costs could soon be widely felt, with premium rises already under discussion with clients holding asset concentrations in vulnerable parts of the state.”