Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Southern Hemisphere: Tropical cyclone (tc) 07s (Claudia), located approximately 270 nm northwest of Port Hedland, Australia, is tracking west-southwestward at 18 knots.

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Afghanistan – Heavy snowfall has claimed lives of at least 16 people in Herat and Kandahar regions of Afghanistan. The death toll from the snowfall is expected to further rise in the coming days.

Dubai – The National UAE reports that rain fell throughout Friday and the early hours of Saturday. As a result, many roads were heavily waterlogged. Readings show that Dubai received 150mm of rain every hour for two-and-a-half hours. This is extremely out of the ordinary for Dubai as an average January experiences only 10mm of rain over the full month. Since Saturday, the third busiest airport in the world has had to deal with delayed, diverted and canceled flights as heavy rains have led to intense flooding. Dubai International Airport is scrambling to cope with the extreme weather, working to get its operations back to normal.

Venice, Italy – Just weeks after serious flooding caused widespread damage, the famous canals of Venice have been left almost completely dry due to exceptionally low tides. Two months ago the high tide in Venice peaked at 187cm (6.14ft), leaving around 70% of the lagoon city centre under salt water. But at high tide on Saturday the city was a very different sight, with its famous gondolas and boats almost beached at the bottom of canals.

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Global Warming

Venice Floods and Local Government

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Venice regional council’s offices on the city’s Grand Canal were flooded for the first time in history just minutes after officials rejected a plan to combat climate change.

Greenland airport becomes victim of climate change

Greenland’s main airport is set to end civilian flights within five years due to climate change, as the melting of permafrost is cracking the runway. Kangerlussuaq Airport, the country’s main hub, had 11,000 planes landing or departing last year. Permafrost, the layer of soil usually frozen solid, is shrinking as temperatures rise.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical depression 26w (Fengshen), located approximately 620 nm east-northeast of WFO, Guam, is tracking westward at 12 knots.

Tropical depression 27w (Kalmaegi), located approximately 447 nm east of Manila, Philippines, is tracking west-northwestward at 08 knots.

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South Africa – The extent of severe storms and a tornado that hit parts of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) between Richmond and Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday is yet to be determined, but two human casualties and 20 injuries had been reported by Wednesday morning. Many animals were reported to have been injured or killed in the area and power lines are also down. Numerous houses and public infrastructure were also damaged.

Italy – Heavy rain, hail, thunderstorms, and winds of more than 100 kilometres per hour hit many parts of southern Italy on Tuesday. Schools across many parts of the southern regions announced closures for Tuesday, and the Civil Protection Department warned drivers of the risk of falling trees and swollen rivers. While no injuries have been reported so far, there are widespread reports of damage to homes, businesses, electricity supplies and farmers’ crops across all four regions. A tornado was reported off the coast of Siracuse, Sicily. In Basilicata, the coastal town of Metaponto was also reportedly hit by a tornado while nearby Matera suffered serious flooding.

Venice, Italy – Venice, Italy’s famous city of canals, is as much on the front line of climate change as anywhere else, and now that line is under water. On Tuesday, rains helped bring the seasonal high tides known as acqua alta to near record levels, just seven centimeters short of what was seen during the historic floods of 1966. Flooding in Venice during the northern autumn season is a normal and expected occurrence, but high tide data from recent years shows the fingerprints of rising sea levels. St. Mark’s Square at the city center has gone from flooding four times a year in 1900 to over 60 times annually in recent years. The famous Basilica of the same name also flooded Tuesday for just the sixth time in twelve centuries – the fifth time was in 2018.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Indian Ocean: Tropical cyclone 07b (Gaja), located approximately 623 nm south-southwest of Calcutta, India, is tracking west-southwestward at 06 knots.

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Kuwait – State-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) has suspended work at all of its companies on Wednesday due to the extreme weather which has hit the Gulf state in recent days bringing heavy rains and floods.

Venice – Flooding Will Continue

The spectacular centerpiece of Venice, St Mark’s Square, now floods more than 60 times a year, up from four times a year in 1900. Recent storms reportedly helped cover over 70% of the city in water, which rose by up to 156cm above its normal level.

Upcoming research conducted with our colleagues at the National Research Center of Venice (CNR) shows that, without intervention, within 50 years this kind of flooding could occur with nearly every high tide. In fact, some experts have argued that Venice will be gone by the year 2100.

The increase in flooding in Venice is due to the combined effects of land subsidence causing the city to sink, and climate change causing the global sea level to rise. But the city’s chosen solution to the problem, an unfinished scheme of 78 storm gates known as MOSE, is likely to cause damage to the ecological health of the surrounding lagoon and, in the long run, could have no effect on Venice’s preservation.

Venetians have been managing Venice lagoon with engineering since the 12th century. The city is built on 118 small islands drained by a network of canals and located within a tidal lagoon sat between the Italian coast and several barrier islands known as the Murazzi. Interventions have included diverting six major rivers away from the lagoon to stop its waterways filling with silt, rebuilding and extending the Murazzi and reducing the inlets between them from the original nine to three.

Venetians have also combated flooding by periodically raising pavements and walkways and building embankments, but this is no longer possible without damaging the city’s architecture. So in 2003, the MOSE project was launched as a way of protecting Venice from the worsening floods.

Records held in the city show the Venice sea level has consistently risen by a total of 26cm since 1870. Around 12cm of that comes from the fact that Venice’s islands are subsiding because of the amount of water removed from the aquifer beneath Venice lagoon. Further measurements show that sea level is still rising 2.4mm a year.

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Global Warming

Climate change challenges sinking city of Venice

The Italian city of Venice is prone to frequent flooding because it has sunk five inches over the last century, but it is also grappling with a new challenge: sea-level rise, caused by climate change, which increases the severity.

“Acqua Alta,” meaning high water, has always been a fact of life here. Several times a year, high tides and storm surges flood the city, especially the famous Piazza San Marco. The worst flood occurred in November 1966, when the Venice lagoon rose more than six feet above sea level.

Acqua Alta events are usually less than boot high, last just a few hours, and the city cleans up and goes back to normal. But floods also eat away at the soft, permeable bricks that sit above the foundations of the buildings. Over time, Venetians have raised their doorways and in some cases abandoned their ground floors. But the flooding is getting worse as the water level in the Adriatic Sea and Venice Lagoon rises due to climate change. The sea level alone has risen five and half inches since 1900, according to city officials.

The Italian government does have a plan to protect Venice. It’s called the MOSE project. Conceived in the 1970s, it’s a series of 78 underwater gates secured to the floor of the Venice lagoon. During especially high tides, they will be pumped with air and rise to the surface to block rising water from reaching the city. Four giant barriers across three inlets are scheduled to be operational by 2019.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the East Pacific: Post-Tropical Cyclone Tina is located about 360 mi…580 km W of Manzanillo Mexico and about 275 mi…445 km S of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…30 mph…45 km/h. Present movement…W or 270 degrees at 7 mph…11 km/h.

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Supermoon – With the much-anticipated arrival of the November “Beaver” Supermoon comes a darker side — higher tides and possible coastal flooding around the world. The moon will be closer to the Earth in the next few days than it has been in nearly 70 years. The gravitational pull of the moon will produce similar king tides that left many neighbourhoods inundated last month from South Florida to Boston. The king tide occurs when the earth, moon, and sun align. Gravity pulls the oceans to their highest tides, often “afflicting coastal communities with minor or nuisance flooding that can close roads, inundate local businesses, erode beaches and cause sewage overflows,” according to a report by Climate Central. The National Weather Service has issued warnings all along the East Coast of higher than normal tides through at least mid-week. Other areas of the world are experiencing similar coastal flooding associated with the supermoon, including Venice, Italy. Plazas were flooded Saturday in the Italian city after high tides, known locally as acqua alta, flooded neighbourhoods.

Wellington, New Zealand – Heavy rain led to road closures, flooding and slips on Tuesday, but Wellington Civil Defence says the rain has stopped and flooding appears to be subsiding.

Indonesia – Over 6,000 people were displaced due to major floods that hit parts of Indonesia’s West Java province, an official said on Tuesday. The floods have submerged over 5,000 houses, 12 mosques, four school buildings and more than 100 hectares of paddy fields.

Environment

Venice’s Gradual Sinking Charted by Satellites

Venice, the “floating city” of romance and gondolas, is slowly sinking into its watery foundations.

A new study using modern satellite data has shown the amount that Venice is sinking with an unprecedented level of resolution, allowing scientists to tease apart the influence of natural causes of the sinking, due to compaction of the sediments on which the city is built, versus man-made ones, such as building restoration.

Understanding how the land is sinking is particularly important in the face of rising sea levels. “Venice is in a situation so critical with respect to the sea that continuous monitoring of the city’s movement is of paramount importance,” said study researcher Pietro Teatini, a hydraulic engineer at the University of Padua in Italy.

Scientists first recognized the problem decades ago when they noticed that pumping of groundwater from beneath Venice was causing the city to settle into the earth. The pumping and its effects have long since stopped, but the city continues to sink.

The results revealed the city is naturally subsiding at a rate of about 0.03 to 0.04 inches (0.8 to 1 millimetre) per year, while human activities contribute sinking of about 0.08 to 0.39 inches (2 to 10 mm) per year. However, human activities, such as conservation and reconstruction of buildings, cause sinking only on a localized, short-term scale, the researchers said.

The sinking threatens to increase flooding in Venice, which already occurs due to high tides about four times per year. And the problems are compounded by rising sea levels resulting from climate change. The Northern Adriatic Sea is rising at about 0.04 inches (1 mm) per year, Teatini said. To buffer this rise, the MOSE (Experimental Electromechanical Module) project, planned to begin in 2016, will install a system of movable gates that would block the inlets to the Venetian lagoon during high tides.

Venice isn’t the only city that’s sinking – parts of New Orleans are dropping at a rate of 1 inch, or 2.5 cm, per year, possibly due to the removal of oil, gas and water from underground reservoirs, studies suggest.

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Storms and Floods

Snow and Floods Batter Venice

Rain, snow and 40mph gusts have pummeled Venice in the runup to Valentine’s Day. The Italian city, a popular destination for lovestruck couples, has also been hit by the 15th highest tide, or Acqua Alta, in its history.

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Tugela Floods Sweep Away Homes And Families – South Africa

Two bodies have been recovered and at least four people are still missing after the Tugela River and its tributaries burst their banks, flooding homes after heavy rain in the Msinga area of northern KwaZulu-Natal this week.

Storms and Floods

Flooding in North Queensland, Australia

-Heavy rainfall caused flooding in north Queensland, mainly in Ingham, Halifax and Tully and parts of Townsville.

-Ex-cyclone Oswald also caused heavy rainfall on the Central Queensland coast and Capricornia region. In Rockhampton many streets in the city are now under water, and “very destructive winds” are also being felt.

-Water levels in southeast Queensland dams will be reduced to protect urban areas from any flooding associated with ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

-The Bruce Highway, a major highway in Queensland has been cut in several places.

-A rail link between Cairns and Townsville has been closed by Queensland Rail due to flash flood.

-Gale warning is issued for Bowen to Burnett Heads.

-Rainfall between 100 mm to 300 mm is predicted in the southeast over the next four days.

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Landslide in Skardu, Pakistan

-Landslide blocked Baltoro river flow in Skardu, the main town of the region Baltistan of Pakistan.

-A 300 x 800 mountain landslide has changed the course of water. River water has also flooded adjacent areas in Skardu.

Landslide has destroyed about 80m of road in Matang, Malaysia.

Nearly 50 flood warnings have been issued across Britain. A combination of heavy downpour and a rapid thaw of snow and ice cold may cause problem.

Venice, Italy Floods Again

Tourists arriving for Venice Carnival are wading through water in St Mark’s square on Thursday after unusually high levels cause flooding. Water is spilling over canal walls in the city in the run up to festivities, for which hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come.

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Storms and Floods

Seventy per cent of central Venice was under water yesterday after rainfall and seas whipped up by strong winds brought the Italian city’s high tide mark to its sixth-highest level since records began in 1872. Floods also occurred throughout Tuscany.

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Heavy rainfall caused flash flooding in Epworth on the Burin Peninsula, Canada. A bridge and the main road were washed away.

Two weak tornadoes touched down in Minnesota, USA, late Saturday. It is extremely rare for tornadoes to develop in Minnesota in November.

Storms and Floods

The US death toll from Sandy stands at 98 as swathes of the East Coast battle to recover, three days after being battered by the massive storm. The death toll from Sandy is continuing to rise, as swathes of the US East Coast battle to recover from the massive storm that hit three days ago. At least 38 people are now known to have died in New York City alone, and others are missing. About 4.5 million people in 12 states are still without power, and chronic fuel shortages persist. The National Guard is to deliver a million meals and bottled water to New Yorkers affected by the storm.

High tides have again flooded Venice, Italy, leading Venetians and tourists to don high boots and use wooden walkways to cross St. Mark’s Square and other areas under water.

Torrential rains from Tropical Cyclone Nilam have left vast stretches of croplands in Chittoor, Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur and East Godavari districts, Southern India under water and claimed the lives of six people.

Environment

Venice, Italy sees its first ‘acqua alta’ of the season on October 15, 2012. The ‘acqua alta’ is a convergence of high tides and a strong sirocco. Tourists walk with plastic bags to protect their shoes on a flooded St Mark’s square. Venice is particularly vulnerable to rising ocean levels due to climate change.

 

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September’s average temperature was 60.2 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 degrees Celsius) worldwide, which is 1.2 degrees above normal. This year matched the hottest September on record which was 2005, with the heat most intense in South America, Japan, Russia, Canada and the Atlantic Ocean. It was the third time since 2000 that the world set or tied a heat record for September. In addition to 2012 and 2005, previous hot September records were set in 2003. These records go back to 1880.