“Hundreds of Portuguese firefighters struggled on Wednesday to contain wildfires which erupted far earlier in the season than usual because of unexpectedly hot and windy weather.
“Ten fires were burning across the country, most in the north, several months before the late spring season when fire crews are normally in place. Meteorologists said global warming had made it difficult to predict where blazes would erupt.
““We are having significant fire outbreaks in areas where we didn’t know the risk was high,” Miguel Miranda, president of the Portuguese Institute of Meteorology (IPMA), told Portuguese radio station TSF. “We are in unexplored territory, we have never been through this.””
“In February, the Met Office reported an average temperature of 6°C in the UK, which is 2.4°C above the 1981-2010 long-term average.
“A southerly incursion from north Africa brought record-breaking temperatures and dry sunny weather throughout most parts of the country in the latter half of the month.”
“As many as ten Iraqi provinces in central and southern Iraq could announce a state of emergency after more than three days of torrential rains and unprecedented floods, a government official said. Mahdi Rashid, the director of the Public Authority for Dams and Reservoirs at the Ministry of Water Resources, said the rising water levels could force the ministry to announce a state of emergency in ten Iraqi cities.”
“Heavy flooding continued in Iran on Tuesday March, 26, 2019 as 30 provinces geared up for days of a sudden disaster… At least 30 of Iran’s 31 provinces witnessed flood conditions on Monday as reports indicate at least 120 dead in the city of Shiraz alone…
“Floods that began in northern parts of Iran earlier in the month are quickly propagating to other areas in Iran. At least 30 provinces have been affected by the floods. The worst-hit provinces include those on the shores of Caspian Sea, the skirts of the Zagros mountain range, central and southern Iran.”
“Afghanistan’s summer harvest will be one of the most critical in years, especially of wheat, its biggest cereal crop, as the country recovers from floods and the worst drought in decades, government and aid organization officials say…
“Floods in March complicated the recovery. Heavy rains killed at least 63 people and destroyed or damaged more than 12,000 homes, affecting 119,600 people, according to the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs “
“”Our results suggest that extreme dry and wet events will increasingly co-occur, such as the switch from extreme drought to severe flooding we saw in California in the recent past,” says lead author Gavin D. Madakumbura. “At least in terms of disaster mitigation and water security, there would be significant benefits to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C to dampen the intensification of event-to-event variability.””
“The southern hemisphere has been struck by some unusual storms recently… Southeast Africa is not often struck by big cyclones and Idai was particularly bad because it moved slowly, allowing huge amounts of rain to fall for a long time over a relatively small area, causing disastrous flooding in low-lying areas.
“The Indian Ocean has already experienced seven cyclones this year, compared with an average of three.”
“The island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean has been battered by Tropical Cyclone Joaninha.
“Strong winds and heavy rain slammed the tiny volcanic island located 650km to the east of Mauritius as the storm slid past.”
“A state of emergency entered a third day on Thursday after severe weather took its toll and killed one woman in West Coast, New Zealand.
“As the storm has moved towards North lsland, local authority hoped the state of emergency could be lifted by the end of Thursday, but nothing was guaranteed.”
“The past month is likely to be one of the warmest March months on record in New Zealand, following the country’s third warmest summer on record. It comes after 2018 was the equal-second warmest year recorded…
“Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll said there was a chance of another atmospheric river – similar to the one that deluged the West Coast this week – coming down from the tropics during April.”
“The famed island [Easter Island] is starting to feel the impact of climate change, from the cooler waters caused by fluctuating global temperatures to a record drought, which has drained the island’s wetlands and put its freshwater reserves at risk…
“Fiercer sea swells are eroding parts of the shore and the island is getting less rainfall, making 2017 the driest year on record. Last year was only slightly better.”
“We haven’t needed the umbrella that much over the past few weeks [in Vancouver], and this unseasonably dry weather is lowering the risk of flooding in B.C.
“This March is on pace to be one of the driest on record. Just 33 mm of precipitation has been recorded at YVR this month, which is less than a third of what we typically get.”
“The question is not if, but when, and how bad. Manitobans anxious about spring flooding learned a little more Wednesday. The province’s infrastructure minister, Ron Schuler shared the latest information from the Hydrologic Forecast Centre in Winnipeg. He said the province is mobilizing to deal with a flood “at or above 2009 levels,” with peak levels expected on the Red River at Emerson, Man. between April 12-23.”
“Record flooding in the Midwest is now threatening the safety of more than a million private water wells.
“The National Ground Water Association estimates that people living in more than 300 counties across 10 states have their groundwater threatened from bacterial and industrial contamination carried by flood waters.”
“This spring’s floods will shape this summer’s dead zone. The area of low oxygen is an annual occurrence driven in large part by nutrient-laden runoff that washes down the Mississippi River and its many tributaries, fueling algae blooms when it reaches the Gulf.
“The dead zone in 2017 was the largest that’s ever been recorded at nearly 9,000 square miles, and while it’s much too early to say exactly how big this summer’s dead zone will be, the flooding we’ve seen so far doesn’t bode well. “
“A storm will bring unwelcome rain and the threat of locally severe thunderstorms to portions of the central United States through the end of the week.
“…Rainfall can be steady across central and southern areas of the Plains and Mississippi Valley, aggravating the flooding situation…”
“The Pentagon has sent to Congress a letter containing a list of bases most at risk from climate change threats within the next 20 years.
“The bases include Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Naval Air Station Key West, Fla.; and the Army’s Fort Hood in Texas.”
“Brevard [Florida] residents were surprised when a powerful squall line brought an unwelcome hazard to their morning commute: hail. Wendesday’s storms formed ahead of an incoming cold front, packing heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds in addition to hail. Many residents and visitors took to Twitter to share images of falling hail, which was dime to golf ball-size in some places, and report damage.”
“Peruvian Amazon underwater. At least 51 people died after heavy rains hit the Peruvian Amazon.
“Lima declared a state of emergency due to the floods that have affected more than 13,000 people in 650 national districts.”
“When the Arctic warmed after the ice age 10,000 years ago, it created perfect conditions for drought.
“According to new research led by a University of Wyoming scientist, similar changes could be in store today because a warming Arctic weakens the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles. This, in turn, results in less precipitation, weaker cyclones and weaker mid-latitude westerly wind flow—a recipe for prolonged drought.”