• December 2021 Global Weather Highlights

    From James Munley@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jan 17 09:15:09 2022

    DECEMBER 2021


    At least 18 people have died or are missing after heavy rains affecting Vietnam since 26 November, caused severe floods and damage (1st). The death toll was confirmed by Vietnam Disaster Management Agency. The worst affected was Phu Yen with 10
    fatalities. Nearly 60000 homes were flooded.

    Strong winter pressure pattern continued today to bring strong winds and heavy snowfall along the coast of the Sea of Japan for the seventh day in a row, disrupting traffic and stranding many vehicles (28th). At least 10 people were injured over the past
    weekend due to blizzard conditions, two of them seriously. Residents in the affected regions are urged to refrain from all non-essential outings. In a 24-hour period through early Monday, 27 December, Hikone in Shiga Prefecture saw 68 cm of snow while
    Asago in Hyogo Prefecture received 71 cm - both the most ever since such statistics started being compiled, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said. During the same period, Minakami in Gunma Prefecture received 70 cm and Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima
    Prefecture 55 cm. The deepest snowfall was recorded in Aomori with 200 cm, while snow also accumulated in the cities of Kyoto, Nagoya, and Hiroshima.


    A powerful deep low-pressure area moving in from the Atlantic Ocean hit Ireland, bringing severe winds and heavy rain (7th-8th). At the height of the storm, more than 60000 customers were without power. Storm Barra was named by Met Eireann, the second
    named storm of the 2021/22 season. Sherkin Island recorded a wind gust of 135 km/h and a mean wind speed of 111 km/h on Tuesday, just shy of its all-time station record of 113 km/h on 12 February 2014. Impacts were felt across the country, with fallen
    trees nationwide and reports of spot flooding in areas, power outages for tens of thousands of customers, and travel disruption with several road closures and delays and cancellations to bus, rail, air, and ferry services.

    Severe flooding in Spain's Navarre region has submerged cars and houses and killed at least one person as heavy rains from Storm Barra caused rivers to burst their banks (10th). Police said one person in the small village of Sunbilla died this afternoon
    after a landslide caved in the roof of an outbuilding at their farmhouse. In the regional capital of Pamplona, people kayaked down a street, gliding past a bank as rescue workers waded into the waist-deep waters with pumps. In the centre of Villava, a
    small town just outside the city, houses were submerged up to their roofs. After a cold snap sent temperatures plunging across Spain, Storm Barra has brought torrential rains and thawed snow and ice at higher altitudes, causing rivers to rise rapidly.
    Storm Barra has thawed snow that fell in Roncesvalles, northeast of Pamplona last weekend In France, rivers overflowed their banks across a large area of the southwest of the country after heavy rains lashed the region overnight, leading to evacuations
    of dozens of residents. Warm southern winds that have melted snowbanks in the Pyrenees mountains in recent days also contributed to the flooding, which could persist for several days. Several schools and some roads were closed, while train services were
    disrupted and electricity cuts were reported at hundreds of homes across the region.

    Exceptional early-December snowfall was reported across the Alps this week, with parts of eastern Austria receiving the heaviest snowfall in 9 years (11th). In Burgenland, up to 30 cm of snow fell overnight on Wednesday, and power outages impacted
    several hundred homes in Carinthia in the districts of St. Veit an der Glan, Spittal an der Drau, and Villach-Land after nearly 40 cm of snow fell. 20 to 40 cm of snow are reported to have fallen in the Austrian mountains and 50 to 60 cm in Vorarlberg,
    East Tyrol, and Carinthia. Austria's Centre for Severe Weather has issued its highest alerts for Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Carinthia and snow clearing vehicles have been out in force to keep roads in operation. An avalanche in the Salzburg region, on the
    border with Germany, killed 3 people and injured two while they were skiing off-piste, Austria's Red Cross said on 4 December. The snow buried a group of 8 people up to 4.5 m deep, local emergency response official Christoph Wiedl told local media.


    The governor of the US state of Kentucky has said that more than 70 people were killed by tornadoes on Friday night (10th-11th). Andy Beshear said the figure could rise to more than 100 in what he called the worst tornadoes in the state's history. Dozens
    are feared dead inside a candle factory in the town of Mayfield. At least five people died as tornadoes wreaked havoc in other states, including one in an Amazon warehouse in Illinois. Mr Beshear has declared a state of emergency in Kentucky. He said the
    tornado system was the deadliest to ever run through the state. Deaths had been reported in several counties, but the loss of life in the Mayfield factory could exceed that of any tornado event in a single location in state history, the governor added.
    More than 100 people were inside when it hit. Police said the tornado caused "significant damage" across the western parts of the state. A train was derailed during extreme winds in Hopkins County, Sheriff Matt Sanderson told WKYT-TV. In north-eastern
    Arkansas, one person died, five were seriously injured and 20 people were trapped inside in a nursing home after it partly collapsed, local official Marvin Day said.

    Alaska has recorded its hottest-ever December day, amid an unusual winter warm spell (25th-26th). Temperatures soared to a record 19.4C on the island of Kodiak on the 26th - almost 7C warmer than the state's previous high. But elsewhere in Alaska
    temperatures have been plunging to record lows. In the south-eastern town of Ketchikan, temperatures dropped to -18C on the 25th - one of the town's coldest Christmas Days in the past century. The fiercest mid-winter storm since 1937 struck the central
    city of Fairbanks over Christmas, dumping more than 10 inches of snow. So much snow fell on Sunday it caved in the roof of the only grocery shop in the town of Delta Junction, 95 miles south-east of Fairbanks.

    Heavy storms have battered western states, leaving thousands without power (26th-27th). Almost 75 cm of snow fell in parts of northern California in 24 hours, causing blackouts and road closures, including a 100 km stretch of Interstate 80 into Nevada.
    Avalanche warnings were in effect across six states. Over the weekend, southern California was hit by rainstorms, which saw power lines snap and streets flooded. More than 1.8 inches of rain fell over 24 hours in San Marcos pass in Santa Barbara county,
    while Rocky Butte in San Luis Obispo county recorded 1.61 in. Avalanche warnings were put into effect on Sunday for parts of Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and California, as the storms created widespread areas of unstable snow. Authorities near
    Reno said three people were injured in a 20-car weekend pileup on Interstate 395, amid limited visibility. Power cuts affected residents in Washington, Oregon and other areas, although northern California was the worst hit. Power Outage US reported 28,
    000 power cuts there in the early hours of Monday local time, mostly in northern coastal counties and those on the Nevada border.

    A prolonged period of heavy snow falling over the Sierra Nevada mountain range since 10 December increased its snowpack, and by today piled up to 455 cm at the UC Berkeley's Central Sierra Snow Laboratory (27th). This broke the existing December record
    of 454.6 cm set in 1970, lab officials said, adding that snowfall rates are still heavy.


    Much of western Serbia was left without electricity after heavy snowfall hit the country (12th). Authorities warned residents to postpone unnecessary travel and to conserve power. Heavy wet snow was reported in the capital Belgrade, where several trees
    fell under the weight of heavy snow, damaging cars and buildings.1 Several people had to be rescued after being trapped in their damaged vehicles. Several flights from and to the capital's main airport were cancelled because of the weather conditions and
    a brief power cut to the main terminal. In addition, a highway leading to the airport was closed for several hours because of a traffic jam caused by the snowfall.


    Severe thunderstorms hit the province of Eastern Cape, South Africa over the past couple of days, claiming the lives of at least 6 people (14th-15th). The latest areas to be hit by the storms include the municipalities of Amathole, Raymond Mhlaba,
    Amahlathi and Buffalo City. The storms hit just as residents of the OR Tambo district were picking up the pieces after last week's severe thunderstorms in the region, which left six people dead and 142 others homeless. With the latest storms on Monday,
    which brought hail, excessive lighting and strong damaging winds, the number of damaged homes surpassed 1000.


    Winter storm "Carmel" made landfall over Israel on the 20th, bringing record rains, snow, and strong winds (20th-21st). This is the third named winter storm named by the newly formed East Mediterranean Storm Naming Group, composed of Greece, Cyprus, and
    Israel. Mikve Israel weather station near Holon saw 175 mm of rain since landfall. Of that, 147 mm fell on the 21st. This station has been in operation for over 100 years and is one of Israel's oldest facilities. In its entire history, it recorded
    similar falls on only two occasions - 199 mm in November 1938 and 148 mm in December 1954. Ben-Gurion International Airport registered 153 mm, Moshav Amikam 151 mm and HaKfar HaYarok youth village 145 mm.
    Weeks of heavy rainfall over the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia (population 15 million) caused massive floods and damage, leaving at least 18 people dead, nearly 500,000 affected, and 35,000 displaced. Parts of the state, including capital
    Salvador, have already received six times their normal December rainfall. Heavy rains started affecting the state in early November but the situation worsened in recent days, when two dams collapsed, flooding already heavily affected areas.


    Super typhoon Rai is battering the southern Philippines, forcing thousands of people to take shelter amid warnings of widespread flooding and destruction (16th). The storm made landfall in Siargao, a popular tourist island, packing winds of about 175 km/
    h. Power and communication lines are currently down on parts of Siargao, and the UN says 13 million people could be affected by the typhoon. Flights were cancelled and ports closed because of possible storm surges. Rai is one of the strongest typhoons to
    hit the South-East Asian country this year. As of the 20th at least 375 people were known to have died as a result of the storm-induced conditions.

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