• August 2021 Global Weather Highlights

    From James Munley@21:1/5 to All on Tue Sep 21 16:19:18 2021

    AUGUST 2021


    According to North Korea's state broadcaster, heavy rains affecting the country's NE provinces of North and South Hamgyong since the 1st caused rivers to overflow, damaging 1170 homes, washing away hundreds of hectares of farmlands, destroying roads and
    bridges, and forcing the evacuation of 5000 residents (3rd). From 1800 LT on the 1st to 1900 LT on the 2nd, the average rainfall in South Hamgyong reached 113 mm, while in some places it exceeded 300 mm. The town of Chongjin, Puryong county registered
    583 mm during 1-3 August while Sinhung county near Hamhung registered 308 mm. During the same period, the province of North Hamgyong registered more than 500 mm of rain. The average rainfall for the month of August in Hamhung, the capital of South
    Hamgyong and the second-largest city in North Korea, is 179.5 mm. August is its second-wettest month after July with 211.9 mm.

    Heavy rains continued to lash western Japan and other areas intermittently on due to a stationary front near the Tsushima Strait becoming active, prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders for parts of the Kyushu region (12th). The Japan
    Meteorological Agency (JMA) is calling for people to be on their guard against landslides, inundations and river flooding. According to the agency, the amount of rainfall from the onset of precipitation until 10 a.m. today reached 234.5 mm in Satsuma,
    Kagoshima Prefecture, 216.5 mm in Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture, 215.5 mm in Fukuoka's Sawara Ward, 210 mm in the city of Nagasaki, and 208.5 mm in Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture. As of 11 a.m. today, a landslide warning and evacuation orders had been
    issued for parts of Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita and Kagoshima prefectures in the Kyushu region.

    Nearly two million people have been urged to evacuate their homes amid heavy rainfall in parts of Japan (14th). Highest-level rain warnings have been issued in a number of prefectures, including Fukuoka and Hiroshima. One woman has died and her husband
    and daughter are missing after a landslide destroyed two homes in Nagasaki prefecture. More than 150 troops, police and firefighters have been sent to help with rescue operations in the area. The west of the country is worst affected but heavy downpours
    are expected across the country in coming days. In total, non-compulsory evacuation warnings are now in place for more than 1.8 million people across seven prefectures, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK. Local television footage showed submerged
    roads. Rivers in Saga and Fukuoka have overflowed with water levels still rising, local media reports said.


    The most intense European heatwave of summer 2021 peaked in the early days of August. Extremely hot air mass is now also over western Turkey (3rd). At the same time, an extreme wildfire danger has developed and the general model consensus hints are
    worsening conditions through this week. The worst heat during this intense heatwave has developed across Greece, North Macedonia, and western Turkey, but southern Italy, Albania, Kosovo, southern Serbia, and Bulgaria are not far behind. Temperatures are
    extremely high, reaching to the low to mid-40s in many regions. So far, the observed official maximum temperature was 46.3C in Makrakomi Ftiotida on 2 August. This is now the highest temperature in Greece for this heatwave, and 1.7 degC shy of an all-
    time European heat record.

    Record-breaking rain hit the Swedish city of Gavle in Gastrikland Region, leaving hundreds of homes and vehicles flooded and prompting authorities to close schools and issue stay-at-home warnings (17th-18th). According to the Swedish Meteorological and
    Hydrological Institute, Gavle received 161.6 mm from 2000 LT on the 17th to 1000 LT on the 18th, breaking the previous 24-hour record of 125.8 mm. Of the total amount, 140 mm fell between 2000 and 0400 LT, with 101 mm in just 2 hours between 0000 and
    0200 LT. The city's average monthly rainfall for the month of August is 70 mm. Roads across the city were flooded as well as hundreds of homes and vehicles, prompting authorities to issue stay-at-home warnings and to close schools on the 18th. Only
    preschools remained open with limited staffing.


    Power supply demand in New Zealand reached a nationwide all-time high today, after a rapidly deepening low-pressure system moved east across central parts of the country, bringing heavy snow, severe gale-force southerlies, and frigid temperatures (9th).
    As a result, the country's national grid operator, Transpower, declared a 'grid emergency at 1900 local time. "Tonight we have reached an all-time high in demand on the electricity system, but unfortunately we have not had enough generation in the system
    to maintain it," the company said.


    Wildfires are continuing to rip through the Greek island of Evia, prompting residents to flee to safety by sea (9th). More than 2,000 people have already been evacuated, with elderly residents carried on to ferries. Local officials said not enough help
    had been sent to fight the fires, adding that parts of the island had already been destroyed. Greece is experiencing its most severe heatwave in 30 years in which temperatures have reached 45C.
    The Italian island of Sicily may have registered the hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe - 48.8C (11th). Regional authorities reported the reading, which needs to be verified by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), near Syracuse today.
    According to the WMO, the current official record in Europe is 48C, registered in Athens, Greece, in 1977. The latest heatwave in Italy is being caused by an anticyclone - nicknamed Lucifer - moving up from Africa. Lucifer is forecast to head north
    across mainland Italy, further raising temperatures in cities including the capital, Rome. Italy's health ministry has issued "red" alerts for extreme heat in several regions and the number of cities that face the highest health risk is expected to rise
    from eight to 15 by Friday. The Mediterranean heatwave, which has seen some countries record their highest temperatures in decades, has led to the spread of wildfires across southern Italy, with Sicily, Calabria and Puglia the worst-hit regions here.


    A huge search and rescue operation is under way in northern Turkey after flash floods along the Black Sea coast killed at least 27 people. Kastamonu province is the worst-hit area, accounting for 25 of the deaths. Two others died in Sinop on the coast.
    The floods caused some buildings to collapse, smashed several bridges, clogged some streets with wrecked cars and cut power supplies. In the flooded area near the Black Sea, helicopters plucked some people from rooftops; others were rescued by boat. More
    than 1,700 people have been evacuated, and as many as 330 villages are now without electricity, after the floods damaged power lines. Mountainous areas along Turkey's Black Sea coast are prone to flooding in the summer.


    At least 22 people have been killed and dozens more are missing following flash floods in the US state of Tennessee (21st-23th). Rescue crews are searching for more than 50 people in rural Humphreys County, which is west of Nashville. The record-breaking
    flooding began on Saturday, submerging entire roads and taking out telephone and power lines. Emergency workers are searching door-to-door in the worst-hit areas, with rescuers also combing through the debris of homes that were washed away. Most of the
    missing are from the town of Waverly. At least 430 mm of rain fell in Humphreys County in less than 24 hours Saturday, breaking Tennessee's one-day record.

    Storm Henri gave heavy rain to the north-eastern US. More than 120,000 homes are without power in the region after the storm made landfall in Rhode Island late on Sunday (22nd-23rd). Millions of people across Long Island and southern New England have
    been told to prepare for coastal surges, flooding and downed trees and power lines.


    At least eight people are known to have died after Hurricane Grace tore through eastern Mexico, bringing torrential rain and high winds and causing power cuts and flooding (21st-22nd). The deaths and the worst damage occurred in the state of Veracruz,
    where the storm uprooted trees when it made landfall early on Saturday. In the state capital, Xalapa, many streets became rivers of mud. The hurricane later weakened to a tropical storm as it moved inland. However, high winds and downpours were reported
    to be causing more flooding as Grace travelled north of Mexico City. The storm brought wind speeds of up to 200 km/h when it reached the coast of mainland Mexico.


    Heavy rain has been affecting Venezuela over the past few days, causing severe floods and landslides and resulting in casualties and damage (25th). Government officials today confirmed 15 fatalities and 6 people missing. The worst affected states are
    Amazonas, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Delta Amacuro, Merida, Monagas, Tachira and Zulia, as well as some parts of the area of Caracas. More than 35500 people have been affected and at least 8100 homes have been destroyed.


    Severe thunderstorms swept through parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada, bringing torrential rainfall, intense winds, hail, localized flooding and tornado warnings in Saskatchewan 31st). A trough digging in across the western Prairies helped develop
    a low-pressure system, which is trekking through the region. The system produced severe thunderstorms in parts of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, while heavy rain fell on communities up north, The Weather Network reported. Golf ball-sized hail was
    reported in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, whose mayor ended up trapped in her car for about 20 minutes. Multiple tornado warnings were issued in parts of the province as a thunderstorm capable of producing a twister was detected.


    Tropical Storm Grace has lashed southern Haiti with drenching rains, piling on misery for survivors of a powerful earthquake as flash floods and landslides further complicate relief efforts (17th). Power was still out and communications spotty on Tuesday
    morning in parts of southern Haiti after inches of heavy rain and 35 mph winds bore down on the embattled region, just two days after it was hit by the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Rainwater turned the streets of Haiti's quake-struck Tiburon
    peninsula to rivers within a few minutes of tropical storm Grace making landfall on the island of Hispaniola, which Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic. Rain fell at a rate of 50 mm/hour across much of the region. As the rain continued to pelt down
    on Tuesday, Haitian officials raised the confirmed death toll from Saturday's 7.2 magnitude earthquake to 1,941, with more than 9,900 injured and 30,000 people left homeless. Rescue workers continue to search rubble for survivors.

    A million people are without power in Louisiana from Hurricane Ida. Ida brought 240 km/h winds when it made landfall, leaving a trail of destruction through the state before passing into Mississippi (30th). One person was killed when a tree fell on their
    home in Ascension Parish, in Louisiana's Baton Rouge area. However, the full scale of the destruction will only become clear as the day goes on, officials said. But it seemed that New Orleans' flood defences, strengthened after Hurricane Katrina killed 1,
    800 people in 2005, have so far done their job. Mr Biden said it could take weeks to restore electricity to the more than one million homes in Louisiana that are without power. Ida gathered strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico during the
    weekend. More than 90% of oil production there has been shut down as a result of the storm. On Sunday, Ida made landfall south of New Orleans as a category four hurricane, There are still fears of storm surges along the coast - which could be as high as
    16 feet, potentially submerging parts of the low-lying coastline. Normally, hospitals in the predicted path of the hurricane would be evacuated, but this time there are few beds available, even at facilities further inland. Ida came ashore on the 16th
    anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a category three storm when it made landfall. High winds tore part of the roof off a hospital in the town of Cut Off, Louisiana, just inland from the Gulf of Mexico. The hospital said it had suffered "significant damage"
    but that its patients were safe.

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