Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
There are no current tropical storms.
Malaysia – Flash floods brought by heavy rain and overflowing rivers have inundated several parts of Santubong and Bako housing areas near Kuching. Several kampung are under about two feet of water as of Saturday (Jan 19) morning.
California, USA – At least six people are now reported dead after torrential rains flooded roadways, downed trees and sent massive boulders tumbling down hillsides in California. A boulder severely injured a hiker in Malibu and emergency workers found their vehicles pummeled by rocks. Neighborhoods scorched by recent wildfires were evacuated and some streets looked more like rivers in Malibu. Further east, debris from one of the burn areas rushed through a community, but caused only minor damage.
Collapsing Polar Vortex
The blast of Arctic weather headed for the United States this weekend could be a first sign of still worse things to come this winter, with signs that a circular low-pressure system of swirling winds that normally keeps frigid air locked up at the North Pole has been disrupted and split into smaller parts.
The disruption in this counterclockwise-spinning beast, called the polar vortex, is thought to be caused in part by a warm summer over the Arctic and a relatively cold fall over Siberia. The result for the United States and northern Europe? A severe winter lasting throughout February and possibly into March.