Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

Climate 28 Feb 2019 February Weather Records Fall Across the US

“Records have been broken for snow, rain and heat from Oregon all the way to Florida for the month of February…

“California’s Sierra Nevada saw more than 16 feet of snow!

“…Heavy rainfall in February that impacted the mid-South and Ohio Valley set numerous records as the wettest February recorded.

“While the cold and snow continues for Northern Michigan places like Florida have been enjoying 90 degrees in the middle of winter.”


“Rivers swollen by days of heavy rain inundated portions of northern California on Wednesday, forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes. However, about half of the 4,000 people ordered to leave have refused to do so.

“”We want you to leave now,” Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick urged. “The roads may become impassable and you may not be able to get out.””


“Sure enough, Chiquito’s suspicions were correct: It was a tornado.

“At first, he was a little frightened, but surprisingly not shocked. He had seen twisters in Tinian before but never following a snow squall…”


“Today, the Barnes Ice Cap, a glacier about the size of Delaware on Baffin Island in Canada, is the last remnant of the mighty Laurentide Ice Sheet.”


“The Government of Bolivia declared a national emergency…

“…as a result of floods, roadblocks and other disasters caused by heavy rains that have already left at least 25 dead and 27 missing throughout the country, said the Minister of Defense , Javier Zavaleta.”


“Record-breaking temperatures [in the UK] have put the current month on course to be the warmest February since records began, the Met Office said…

“Forecaster Becky Mitchell said it would be “exceptional” to beat the 1998 record given the chilly start to the month.”


“Sand blown from the Sahara Desert will fall on parts of United Kingdom tomorrow creating a phenomenon known as ‘blood rain’ – just one day after the dust cloud sparked a pollution alert for large parts of the country.

“The intriguing spectacle is caused when dust mixes with rain and causes the downpour to be slightly different in colour, ranging from a light orange haze to a full-blooded red.”


“Parts of Switzerland experienced the second mildest winter since records began, according to the meteorological office.

“Temperatures were one degree Celsius higher across the country compared to the 1981-2010 average, but areas south of the Alps were even more abnormal.”


“The island of Crete is today trying to recover from several days of severe flooding, which has washed away at least half a dozen road bridges in the west of the island, as well as scores of acres of farmland…

“The heavy downpours in Crete were part of an icy weather system descending on Greece, which saw record snowfalls in many inland areas and even some Aegean islands.”


“The year has brought an unusually harsh winter in Israel, with ample precipitation, strong winds, and relatively cool temperatures.At the start of the year, powerful storms hit Israel that led to extensive flooding in coastal and low-lying regions.

“Last month a dust storm swept across the country, raising an air pollution warning that recommended people avoid outdoor activity.”


“The United Nations on Thursday launched an international appeal for aid for Zimbabwe following a drought that it expects to affect around a third of the population as crop yields plummet. Seasonal rains have been patchy at best, hitting the harvest of the staple maize crop and deepening an economic crisis marked by an acute dollar crunch that has already led to shortages of medicines, fuel and food.”


“Another major winter storm will strike areas from Afghanistan to Pakistan and northern India later this week following weeks of unsettled weather. One of the strongest storms of the season caused at least 26 fatalities due to flooding in Pakistan last week.

“Flooding will once again be a concern as a storm brings heavy rain, thunderstorms and heavy mountain snowfall to the region from Thursday night into Saturday.”


“Continuing drought will further burden the already depleting groundwater resources of the country [India], according to associate professor Vimal Mishra. Nearly 50% of the country is currently facing drought with at least 16% falling in the “exceptional” or “extreme” category, according to IIT Gandhinagar scientists managing India’s real time drought prediction system.”


“Kalgoorlie [Western Australia] has smashed its February temperature record with a sweltering 45.3C on the last day of summer.

“The Goldfields city reached the top at 1.55pm, beating its previous record of 44.9C on 17 February in 2013. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a catastrophic fire danger warning for the Goldfields and Eucla and an extreme fire warning for the Esperance Shire.”


“Extreme temperatures are expected to hit the nation’s south with a record breaking heatwave to grip South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.

“The weather bureau has declared an extreme heatwave emergency for South Australia with authorities warning vulnerable people to stay vigilant. Tasmania firefighters will also remain on high alert with a total fire ban in place for the weekend.”


“The decrease in fish species diversity likely occurred because the cyclones and bleaching events destroyed coral tissues, causing some fish to perish while driving others to unaffected reefs. This dispersal of fishes to other reefs can have cascading effects on the recovery of damaged reefs.”


Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

Climate 27 Feb 2019 Australia’s Summer Smashes Heat Records

“Australia has posted its hottest summer and the first season in which temperatures exceeded two degrees above the long-term averages, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

“With one more day to round out the season, it is clear Australia has eclipsed the previous hottest summer set in 2012-13, David Jones, manager of the bureau’s climate monitoring, told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“”It’s been extreme and certainly something we haven’t seen before,” Dr Jones said. “It’s been dry and intensely hot right through summer.””


“Temperatures are ramping up towards 40C in southern states, as code red warning weather kicks in. Parts of South Australia will hit 38C today – while on Friday and Saturday the mercury will peak at 40C.”


“Forest fires which have been raging in Riau province, Sumatra since January are worsening due to the current heatwave plaguing the region.

“The current blaze has spread to over 1,136 hectares and is growing, and smoke is beginning to blanket the area, data from the Riau District Disaster Management Agency revealed today. Indonesian authorities are currently struggling to douse the fires through methods such as water bombing, Bernama reported.”


“Two more people have been killed in a landslide in Peru, bringing to at least 50 the number of people who have died since the rainy season started in September, according to the Centre for National Emergency Operations.

“The landslide was triggered by torrential rain in the city of Huancavelica, where hospitals and schools have been inundated…”


“Sonoma County, California, officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for the Russian River area, following a massive mudslide near Monte Rio on Tuesday.

“Following relentless rainfall, the Russian River is quickly rising toward its banks and forecast to reach nearly 14 feet above flood stage by late Wednesday.”


“Santa Rosa saw the wettest day on record Tuesday after two straight days of rain.”


“A federal utility says the Tennessee River Valley on average has endured a record amount of rain for February. “


“With more potholes piling up across the District [Washington DC], and about a third of local roads already in poor condition, the city is struggling to keep up with fixes due in large part to last year’s record rainfall.

““We lost 45 full days during our paving season due to the rain,” District Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian told the D.C. Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment earlier this week.”


“This may go down as the coldest February on record in Metro Vancouver.

“Despite the recent sunshine, the unofficial average temperature has been 0.3 degrees Celsius, and we’re days away from beating the last record set in 1989.”


“Greece’s Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis will travel to Crete to assess the damage after the Aegean island was hit by torrential rain and gales causing extensive damage to roads, buildings and infrastructure, the government said Tuesday.”


“In the Netherlands, three days in a row of unusual warmth have beaten the previous record by a remarkable 3C. In Belgium, the warmest February day on record has just happened with 18.8C on the thermometer.

“This is a mere 0.1C above the last record set in 1960 but records go back to 1901 and give the average February temperature of 7C.”


“The UK has broken the record for its warmest winter day for the second consecutive day, with a temperature of 21.2°C in Kew Gardens, London.

“Monday was the first time temperatures of over 20C had been reported in winter, breaking a record that had stood since 1998. It means parts of Britain have been hotter than destinations such as Ibiza.”


“Fire crews have extinguished a huge blaze on moorland in West Yorkshire. The fire, described by one witness as “apocalyptic”, started at about 19:30 GMT on Tuesday and covered about 1.5 sq km of land near Marsden.

“West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said it was “one of the biggest moorland fires we’ve ever had to deal with”. It came as the UK broke the record for the warmest winter day for a second time and on the same day as a gorse fire on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.”


“A crack along part of the Brunt ice shelf in Antarctica first appeared in October 2016, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa). The crack is spreading to the east. This rift, known as a Halloween crack, is set to intersect with another fissure that was apparently stable for the past 35 years but is now accelerating north at a rate of around 2.5 miles a year.

“Once these two rifts meet, which could happen within weeks, an iceberg of at least 660sq miles is set to be loosened.”


Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

Climate 26 Feb 2019 Hottest Ever February Day in Sweden

“A weekend of unseasonable warmth brought record high temperatures for February to various locations across Sweden.

“The hottest spot in the country was Karlshamn on the southeast coast, with a temperature of 15.2C on Sunday. This was comfortably higher than the previous February record of 13C, which was reached in 1934 according to SMHI.

“Other parts of the Blekinge county also reached record highs, with temperatures of 14.8C in Ronneby and 11.6C in Hanö.”


“Monday February 25th is going down in the record books as both the warmest February day ever measured in the Netherlands, as well as the highest measured temperature in the meteorological winter.

“Monday therefore broke a monthly record as well as a seasonal record, Weerplaza reports… Gilze-Rijen was the warmest place in the Netherlands on Monday with a maximum of 19.1 degrees.”


“The unseasonably warm weather in Britain is expected to continue as forecasters predict temperatures could exceed Monday’s record-breaking high. The mercury topped 20C (68F) in several parts of the country on Monday – the warmest winter day since records began. Trawsgoed in Ceredigion, west Wales, experienced the highest temperature of 20.6C…”


“Bob Ward, a director at the centre for climate change economics and policy at the London School of Economics, explained that if we have another cold snap following the mild weather, “there is a danger it will kill a lot of wildlife that has emerged early due to the spring-like temperatures.”

“With daffodils reacting earlier than normal this year, because of the weather, and animals such as ladybirds, swallows and rooks all being spotted a month too soon, it shows that the change in climate is greater than ever before.”


“Euronews Belle Donati spoke to Joseph Dutton, from the E3G climate think tank in London, who warned we should be concern about the atypical temperatures. “This is not normal, this is a sign the climate is changing,” he said. Dutton explained that the warm February spell is due to the warming of the Arctic.”


“The weekend storm saw wind gusts reach a record 72 knots or 133km/h, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told Parliament on Monday.

“He said the storm was the worst to hit Malta since October 1982 although, luckily, no one was injured. In that 1982 storm, which was “characterised by rain,” Dr Muscat said, four people had lost their life.”


“Greek authorities on Tuesday found the body of a 61-year-old farmer missing on the Aegean island of Crete after days of cold, torrential rain and gales, state television said. Crete, Greece’s southernmost island and one of its top tourism destinations, has been hit hardest by storms battering the country over the past few days, with roads, buildings and infrastructure damaged across the island and rivers flooding.”


“Monday’s unseasonably warm temperatures [Israel] will be replaced by another storm system that’s expected to hit the country in the late hours of the evening. 

Rainfalls will spread from northern Israel all the way to center of the country while Mount Hermon will be hit by snowstorms.”


“South Africa is likely to harvest 20 percent less maize in 2019 compared with the previous season after drought conditions delayed plantings in some corn growing areas, a Reuters poll of five traders and market analysts showed on Tuesday.”


“Does it seem like it’s been unusually cold the last few weeks? Well, that’s because it has. With just a few days to go, this ranks as the coldest February in downtown Los Angeles since 1962.”


“Mother Nature delivered some snowy poetic justice for those of us with friends and/or family living in Arizona (you know, the ones who constantly remind us of how warm and nice it is out there in the desert).”


“This winter could be one for the record books in Marquette, Michigan. Sunday’s storm dropped 16 inches of the stuff, marking a new daily snowfall record for Feb. 24, according to the National Weather Service, and so far this season, the area has gotten over 200 inches of snowfall… The Marquette area even has seen more snow this season than the airport in Anchorage, Alaska, which has gotten 55.9 inches so far.”


“Ferocious winds from a potent “bomb cyclone” roared across the eastern United States, and 550,000 homes and businesses were still without power Monday.

“At midday, nearly 80 million people were under high-wind warnings or advisories across parts of 14 states, according to the National Weather Service. At least 1,200 flights were canceled Monday, according to FlightAware.”


“Video shared by the Niagara Parks Police in Canada shows heavy winds blowing ice over the retaining wall along the Niagara River near Lake Erie:”


“More than 50 record highs have been set in Florida this month, but that will come to an end this week thanks to a shift in the upper-level winds and increasing chances of rain.”


“Researchers, led by Frances Moore, professor of environmental science and policy at University of California-Davis, analyzed 2 billion tweets published between March 2014 and November 2016, to determine when people turn to Twitter to talk about the weather. Unsurprisingly, they found that there are far more weather-related tweets during unusual conditions, such as an exceptionally hot day in March or one in September that’s far colder than normal.

“But, they found that there was significantly less Twitter chatter when historically unusual weather conditions repeated within a few years. If a country experiences exceptionally cold weather for more than five years in a row, these conditions were no longer considered remarkable. And, overall, people’s perceptions of normal weather are based on by experiences from the past two to eight years.”


Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

Special Update – Warmest Winter Day on Record for the UK

“The UK has enjoyed the highest February temperature ever making it the warmest winter day on record.

“The thermometer reached 20.3°C at Trawsgoed in Wales.

“The Met Office say it is the first time a temperature has risen above 20°C in the winter months of December, January and February since records began.

“The previous record temperature was 19.7°C which was set in London in 1998.”


Climate 25 Feb 2019 Hottest Ever Feb Temp for Wales

“Wales has experienced the warmest February day on record. [Scotland broke its February temperature record last Thursday].

“Gogerddan near Aberystwyth topped the charts with temperatures hitting 19.1 degrees celsius (66 fahrenheit). It beat the previous record of 18.6 degrees celsius set in in Powys in 1990.

“Temperatures are more than double the average for the time of year.”


“Monday could be the warmest February day ever in Ireland breaking a record that stretches back almost 130 years.

“The highest February temperature recorded in Ireland was 18.1 degrees on February 23rd, 1891 at what is now Casement Aerodrome outside Dublin.”


Temperatures briefly over 28c (82.5f) in Murcia in Spain:


“Strong winds whipping through central Italy killed four people on Saturday, including a teenager who died when his father fell off the roof and crushed him, media reports said…

“A Turkish cargo vessel which had sought shelter near the coast was driven aground by gale force winds in the southern port of Bari, the Italian coast guard said.”


“A massive storm in Malta has locals picking dinner up off the streets. Gale-force winds sent seawater spraying across coastal roads on the Mediterranean island, along with helpless fish…

“The storm has been labelled a “high threat to life and property” by Malta’s Civil Protection Department.”


“Flooding in parts of Tennessee has left one person dead and sparked a state of emergency this weekend.

“One person died in Knoxville after driving his car into water on a flooded road early Sunday morning, according to Knox County Sheriff’s Office… Nashville broke a rainfall record on Saturday making this the city’s wettest February in over 100 years.”


“Weekend storms raked parts of the Southeast, leaving two dead and more injured as a tornado smashed into a commercial district in a small Mississippi city and drenching rains fed a rising flood threat.

“A woman was killed when a tornado hit Columbus, Mississippi on Saturday and a man died when he drove into floodwaters in Tennessee.”


“Alberta is set to get another blast of winter this weekend… Environment Canada says another “extreme cold” event will descend over the province Sunday, bringing with it wind chill values near -40. The freeze is expected to start in the morning.”


“The emergency agencies indicated that at least five thousand inhabitants of the municipalities of Condoto, Tadó, Cértegui, Medio San Juan, Rio Iró and Istmina in Chocó , were affected after heavy rains and the overflow of the San Juan River.

“Affected families are waiting for help, because after having lost everything they need clothes, blankets and dry mattresses.” [Colombia]


“Wutip, the strongest ever typhoon to churn in the western Pacific Ocean during February, is impacting Guam with flooding rain, strong winds and pounding seas. Wutip strengthened into a super typhoon on Saturday night, local time.

“It again became a typhoon on Sunday. Wutip surpassed Higos from 2015 as the strongest super typhoon on record during the month of February in the western Pacific Ocean.”


“Beaches along Queensland’s south coast have seen the worst erosion in 40 years after strong winds and king tides smashed against the shore over the weekend.

“Huge swells battered beaches along the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast beginning on Friday as ex-Cyclone Oma travelled offshore. Main Beach at Noosa and Marcoola Beach both experienced extreme erosion, with councils along the coast now inspecting the aftermath.”


“Numbers of unique Australian moths that migrate in their billions to alpine areas have crashed, ecologists say, putting extra pressure on the endangered mountain pygmy possum.

“Scientists believe the “astonishing” drop in bogong moth numbers is linked to climate change and recent droughts in areas where the moths breed.”


“Summer may be coming to a close but some areas of Australia are expected to sizzle through yet another unrelenting heatwave. Southern states and Victoria will get scorching weather in the coming days, while the northern part of the country sweats through ‘oppressive humidity’. Both Adelaide and Melbourne are forecast to hit up to 40C by the end of the week, and the weather bureau said the heat would stay for ‘day after day’.”


“The Australian dairy industry was already in crisis when drought struck key production regions in Victoria and New South Wales in 2018. Now farmers like Hickey say they are barely hanging on…

“It’s a situation repeated across the country. You can’t run a dairy farm without water — it takes 1,000 litres of water to make one litre of milk — and there is little to be had.”


“South Korea’s household electricity use hit an all-time high in 2018 as the country experienced record high temperatures that caused people to turn on their air conditioners for longer periods of time, official data showed Sunday.”


“Shanghai basked in only one-third of the normal amount of sunshine this winter on average, with 19 more gray, rainy days than general, the local weather bureau announced Monday.

“According to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, by Sunday, the city had recorded 46 rainy days since December.”


“Aid agencies have warned that a severe lack of rainfall in parts of Somalia has worsened the drought situation, affecting close to a million people mainly in northern Somalia.

“Climate change has been attributed as the main cause of harsh weather patterns in the Horn of Africa nation that has suffered from repeated droughts, floods and devastating cyclones in recent years.”


“This may be the largest iceberg to break from the Brunt Ice Shelf since observations began in 1915, and researchers are closely monitoring it find out whether such a loss, which is proportionate to two New York Cities in terms of area, will result in the shelf becoming unstable.

“NASA released a new image of Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf this week as they are thoroughly monitoring a series of cracks in it and preparing for the break-off of an iceberg approximately 30 times the size of Manhattan – the area is estimated to be 1,700 sq. km.”


Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.