Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Tropical Depression Thirteen is located About 905 mi…1455 km e of the northern Leeward islands with maximum sustained winds…35 mph…55 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 295 degrees at 21 mph…33 km/h.

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Hurricane 12e (Genevieve), located approximately 729 nm south-southeast of San Diego, is tracking north-northwestward at 06 knots.

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NewsBytes:

Cameroon – Heavy rainfall at the end of July caused widespread flooding in seven districts of Mayo-Danay division, Far North (Extrême-Nord) region. According to the Cameroonian Red Cross, 5,553 people, including 1,260 children under five years old and 407 individuals with special needs have lost their shelter, personal belongings, livestock and field crops.

Uganda – Red Cross in Uganda reported that flash flooding caused severe damaged in Kasitu Sub County, Bundibugyo district early on 19 August, 2020. Heavy rainfall during the early hours of 19 August caused several local rivers to break their banks. Local officials said at least 800 homes were damaged, along with crops, roads and bridges. One person was missing, later found dead, after floods in Ntandi trading centre, Kasitu Sub County, Bundibugyo district.

Nepal – Authorities in Nepal report that at least 6 people have died and more are missing after flooding western parts of the country. A small stream broke its banks in Ramaroshan Rural Municipality, Achham district in Sudurpashchim Province, late on 18 August, 2020. Flash flooding swept away 22 houses. The bodies of 6 people have been found, while 11 more are thought to be missing. Three people were injured in the incident.

Australia – Damaging winds, dust storms and small bushfires have broken out across New South Wales and one person has been injured after scaffolding collapsed in Gosford during high winds.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Nine small bushfires broke out across New South Wales marking the first fires of the season. The largest fire, at Duranbah in the Tweed Council, was 164 hectares in size and out of control at 4.30pm.

Similarly in Queensland, bushfire season has been sparked by strong winds and dry conditions, with three blazes burning across the state today.

Wildfires – California, USA

Crews were battling wildfires in the San Francisco Bay Area and thousands of people were under orders to evacuate Wednesday as hundreds of wildfires blazed across the state amid a blistering heat wave now in its second week.

Gov. Gavin Newsom blamed “this extraordinary weather we’re experiencing and all of these lightning strikes” for 367 known fires, including 23 major fires or groups of fires. He said the state has recorded nearly 11,000 lightning strikes in 72 hours.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Douglas is locatedabout 460 mi…735 km wnw of Honolulu Hawaii and about 105 mi…170 km ese of French Frigate shoals with maximum sustained winds…60 mph…95 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 285 degrees at 14 mph…22 km/h.

NewsBytes:

Australia Severe weather including strong winds, heavy rainfall and damaging surf has been affecting parts of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia over the last 2 days. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said a coastal low that has spent the last few days tracking down from the north. “After hammering the Far North, then Central Coast, the Hunter and Sydney, now it’s Illawarra and far south feeling the impacts. This afternoon has seen rain and wind gusts of 113 km/h at Ulladulla and 96 at Kiama km/h.”

Pakistan – Heavy rainfall in Pakistan has caused severe flash flooding in the city of Karachi and triggered a deadly landslide in Punjab. Drainage systems were overwhelmed and several parts of the city and surrounding areas were flooded. Power lines were downed and buildings damaged or destroyed. Local media reported that at least 10 people had lost their lives as a result of either electrocution or structural collapse. Meanwhile in the province of Punjab, 3 young people died and one was injured after heavy rain triggered a landslide in Orakzai District on 27 July, according to NDMA.

India (Bihar) – Authorities in India report that major rivers are at severe flood stage in 19 locations in the state of Bihar in the north east of the country. Wide areas of the state are under water and Indian Air Force helicopters have been deployed to drop flood relief materials including food and fresh water to remote and cut off locations. According to reports of 25 July from Bihar’s Disaster Management Department, 960,000 people have now been affected by floods across 10 districts. The Department reported 10 fatalities as a result of flooding.

India (Assam) – Over 2.4 million people are currently affected by monsoon flooding in the state of Assam, north eastern India. Assam State Disaster Management Agency (ASDMA) reported flooding in 2,265 villages and localities in 23 of the state’s 33 districts.

Thailand – Monsoon rain has caused flooding and landslides in northern, central and eastern areas of the country over the last 10 days. Dozens of homes have been damaged, along with roads, bridges and dams. However, no injuries or fatalities were reported. The worst hit areas are Lampang Province and Pathum Thani province.

USA, Mexico – Hurricane Hanna made landfall in southern Texas as a Category 1 system on 25 July 2020. The storm weakened as it moved west but brought torrential rainfall to parts of northern Mexico where 2 people have died and 6 are missing. Mexico’s disaster management authority, Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres (CENAPRED) reported on 27 July that Hanna had caused considerable material damage, mainly in the states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Nuevo León.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

More than 100 firefighters have battled for hours to contain a raging bushfire that burnt out of control and threatened residents and their homes in the small town of Lake Clifton in Perth’s south.

Wildlife

Further Effects of Australian Wildfires

Many waterways in Australia that have been inundated with ash and debris following the devastating bush fires this spring and summer, killing fish and other aquatic life and fouling drinking water supplies. The thick dark mud flowing into creeks and streams is killing insect larvae, tadpoles, freshwater shrine, crayfish oysters along with many protected species of fish. One of the primary impacts of the large pulse of ash was a rapid decline in dissolved oxygen levels in the water.

Environment

Wildfires – Australia

Smoke pollution that blanketed Australia for months during the bushfire crisis caused 416 deaths and thousands of hospitalisations, according to research published in the Medical Journal of Australia.Smoke was responsible for 1,124 cardiovascular-related hospital admissions, 2,027 respiratory-related hospital admissions, and 1,305 asthma-related emergency room admissions, according to the study. Most cases were in New South Wales, where thousands of residents were forced to flee their homes.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Confirming what had been widely suspected, researchers have found that human-caused climate change had an impact on Australia’s recent devastating wildfires, making the extremely high-risk conditions that led to widespread burning at least 30 percent more likely than in a world without global warming.

The research is the latest in a growing subfield of climate science: attribution studies that look for links, or the lack of them, between climate change and specific weather-related events, often within weeks of an event. The studies usually compare models of current conditions to those of the world around 1900, before large-scale emissions of carbon dioxide and other planet-warming gases began.

Record warmth and dryness last year led to a severe wildfire outbreak in Australia, with an estimated 50 million acres burned, including more than 16 million acres in the southeastern part of the country, which was most affected. All told, at least 34 people were killed and nearly 6,000 homes and other structures were destroyed.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

Australia’s state hardest-hit by the massive wildfires that raged for months is now blaze-free for the first time in more than 240 days.

Wildfires – California

A quickly moving wildfire burned 175 acres in Norco Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of 1,500 residents and threatening an estimated 500 homes, according to Cal Fire.

Global Warming

Australian summers grow longer due to climate change

Australian summers are lengthening by a month or more while winters are getting shorter due to climate change, according to an analysis by a leading think tank released Monday.

The Australia Institute said large swathes of the country were experiencing an additional 31 days of summer temperatures each year compared to the 1950s.

While Sydney was just under the average with an extra 28 hot days a year, Melbourne added 38 warmer days since the middle of the 20th century.

In some regional areas ravaged by bushfires in recent months, such as the New South Wales town of Port Macquarie, residents are now experiencing seven more weeks of typical summer temperatures.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

In a post-mortem of the Australian bushfires, which raged for five months, scientists have concluded that their intensity and duration far surpassed what climate models had predicted, according to a study published yesterday in Nature Climate Change.

The bushfires were far more catastrophic than any climate crisis models out there, leading the scientists to call the devastation, “a fiery wake-up call for climate science,” as the BBC reported.

The study said that the bushfires were “unprecedented” after they burned more than one-fifth of the country’s forests.

In fact, the models were so far off target that not only did they say that fires of such magnitude could not happen this year, but they predicted that fires of this magnitude would not happen before the year 2100.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

After months of bushfires raging across the Australian coast, elated firefighters have just announced that they have managed to contain all of the fires. The news comes after a week of historic rainfall in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Although there are still 24 active fires burning in the region, they are small enough for firefighters to manage accordingly.

Wildlife

Australia’s Bushfires Brought 113 Species Closer to Extinction

On Tuesday, the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment released a list of 113 species with the highest urgent need for conservation action due to the damage they’ve suffered from this tragic situation. The list includes species such as the Kangaroo Island dunnart and Pugh’s frog, both of which are “at imminent risk of extinction,” per the report, because of how much habitat the fires destroyed.

These species were endangered before this year’s bushfire season kicked off. Now, things have gotten worse when they need to be getting better. Most have lost at least 30 percent of their range, but many have lost even more. The endemic red browed treecreeper, for instance, saw almost half of its range burn. This priority list features animals such as the golden-tipped bat, which likes to dwell in the forests and caves of the fire-stricken eastern coast of Australia, is among those included. This list is focusing on species with key functions in the ecosystem.

Many of the other species on the list—13 birds, 19 mammals, 20 reptiles, 17 frogs, five invertebrae, 22 crayfish, and 17 freshwater fish—also face severe habitat disruption.

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Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

At least one home was lost in a bushfire which descended on the Western Australian town of Katanning on Saturday. The bushfire has burned through about 4,500 hectares after being sparked by lightning on Friday. The fire tore through farmland as it approached the town of more than 3,500 people in WA’s Great Southern region in the afternoon. There were also reports farming machinery, sheds and infrastructure were lost in the blaze.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 14s (Damien), located approximately 160 nm northwest of Port Hedland, Australia, is tracking southwestward at 04 knots

NewsBytes:

Australia – Much of Australia’s wildfire-ravaged east coast was drenched on Friday by the biggest rainfall in almost 20 years, dousing some of the most dangerous blazes and providing welcome relief to farmers battling an extended drought. The downpour came with its own risks – officials warned of flash floods and landslides across New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state – but was generally greeted jubilantly after months of devastating bushfires.

Southeast USA – A powerful winter storm raked the Southeast on Thursday with high winds, rain and floods that killed at least four people and injured several more across a dozen states. Rescue crews repeatedly pulled people from cars that got stuck in high water, but couldn’t reach a person whose vehicle disappeared into a rain-swollen creek. The storm front destroyed mobile homes in Mississippi and Alabama, caused mudslides in Tennessee and Kentucky and flooded communities that shoulder waterways across the Appalachian region. In Florida, high winds prompted the closure of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge spanning Tampa Bay, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Tornado watches were in effect Thursday night from northern Florida up through North Carolina.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Australia

More homes are believed to have been destroyed by bushfires in southeastern NSW where hundreds of properties have already been lost in blazes this summer.

Strong winds and high temperatures on Saturday night pushed the massive 177,000-hectare Border fire north towards Bega Valley while three separate blazes burning southwest of the region merged into one.

There were 70 fires burning in NSW as of Sunday evening with 30 not yet contained. There are 2,200 firefighters in the field.