“Bushfires reached within miles of Sydney’s city centre Tuesday prompting firefighting planes to spray red retardant over trees and houses in a northern suburb…
“A ‘catastrophic’ fire warning was issued for the Sydney, Illawarra and Hunter areas, which includes the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast.
“There are 85 fires in New South Wales, 46 are thought to be out of control and 14 are at an “emergency level”.”
“The Victorian government is planning for a “very extreme” heatwave, worse than the Black Saturday weather event of 2009…
“As authorities brace for what could be the worst fire season in many years and with deadly blazes still burning out of control in NSW and Queensland, the state government says it is preparing for weather more terrifying than anything Victoria has experienced.”
“This catastrophe is the result of a rare phenomenon called sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) that took place in Antarctica.
“In September winds circling the South Pole about 30km high in the stratosphere went into reverse (Weather Eye, September 9) causing the temperature of the stratosphere to rocket by 40C.”
“…new research is highlighting another threat:
“Since 2000, moist and warm tendrils of air known as atmospheric rivers have been swirling toward the coast more frequently, bringing more rain and surface melting.
“Antarctica has been losing about 250 billion tons of ice annually in recent years, and research shows the rate has increased sixfold since 1979.”
“People in Japan mourned the victims of Typhoon Hagibis on Tuesday, a month after the powerful typhoon left at least 90 people dead and flooded tens of thousands of homes.
“The typhoon made landfall on Japan’s main island of Honshu on Oct 12, bringing record-breaking rainfall in wide areas and causing embankments to collapse.”
“CNN’s Ivan Watson reports from Borneo where wildfires are threatening one of Asia’s last great rainforests and putting the endangered orangutan under threat.”
“A group of mourners were attending a funeral ceremony in Uganda when the procession was struck by a deadly lightning bolt.
“The funeral took place in the village of Tobi in Pader, Northern Uganda on Thursday morning, when the village, which had experienced dense rain in the past week was struck by the fatal lightning bolt.”
“Botswana said Monday that it is on a state of high alert as wildfires continue to raze the drought stricken nation amid high temperatures and strong winds.
“While no deaths have been recorded yet, an official at the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism Lesedi Ndolo said recently fire destroyed private property and range resourced in the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana.”
“Zimbabwe’s wildlife agency said Monday it would move hundreds of elephants and other animals in a dramatic bid to save them from a lethal drought.
“At least 120 elephants have already died over the past two months as the country grapples with one of the worst droughts in its history.”
“Severe storms and heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal and worsening drought in the Eastern Cape have taken their toll on people and livestock…
“…the situation remains dire in the Eastern Cape where farmers battle to keep their livestock alive.”
“Namibian farmers panicking from the worsening drought conditions have escalated their appetite to sell their livestock to avert loses, the Meat Board of Namibia (MBN) said Thursday…
“…severe drought and loss of pastures has affected both communal and commercial farmers in Namibia.”
“While extreme wet weather has caused havoc in the UK over the past few days as the country was hit by floods caused by heavy rain, Cyprus is witnessing one of the hottest Novembers ever… as things stand, precipitation for November will be much lower than the month’s average with just 10% of the average rainfall so far.”
“Pam Webb, owner of Truffle Lodge luxury spa in Fishlake, near Doncaster, broke down in tears as she spoke about how she discovered on Monday morning that her insurance provider had excluded flooding from her policy – with the recent floods the first to have hit the village in 100 years.”
“A loss of snow and ice cover are the main reasons for a reduction in the Arctic’s ability to reflect heat, not soot as had been previously thought…
“Scientists say soot is not the major contributor, as levels have dropped recently, while warming has continued.”
“Roughly 70% of the US will experience freezing temperatures this week as an Arctic blast hits two thirds of the country…
“By Tuesday night, record-breaking low temperatures are expected across the country as the cold front moves off the eastern seaboard. As many as 300 records could be broken with temperatures more typical for January than November.”
“Every day this month, Anchorage has seen temperatures at least 10 degrees warmer than average. Because of the warmth, the KTVA weather team says Anchorage is in a snow drought.
“Like many others in Alaska’s largest city, Patricia O’Gorman would like to see a change.”
“The biggest and most damaging hurricanes are now three times more frequent than they were 100 years ago, say researchers.
“Using a new method of calculating the destruction, the scientists say the increase in frequency is “unequivocal”.”