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Old May 16th 18, 11:31 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default April 2018 Global Weather Highlights

GLOBAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

APRIL 2018

UNITED STATES

Residents from the Ohio Valley to the lower Mississippi Valley saw the year's most extensive severe weather outbreak Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night (3rd). A line of powerful thunderstorms containing damaging winds, large hail and flooding downpours ignited from central Illinois to eastern Texas early Tuesday afternoon and pushed eastward into Tuesday night. Some of the worst storms focused on a zone from central Arkansas through southern Illinois with multiple storms producing funnel clouds and tornadoes. Over 70,000 electric customers were without power in areas impacted by severe thunderstorms, including over 22,000 in Ohio and over 19,000 in Mississippi. Damage was also reported in Raleigh, Illinois, on Tuesday afternoon after a tornado-warned thunderstorm moved through the area. At Houston's Hobby Airport, strong winds from the storms caused a hangar to collapse, trapping several pilots underneath.

One person was killed and four others were injured by a lightning strike in northern Florida on Saturday, according to a report from WJAX-TV in Jacksonville, Florida (7th). According to the report, which cited a storm report from the National Weather Service, the victims were struck at Woodpecker Mud Bog in White Springs, Florida, which is about an hour west of Jacksonville. This was the second lightning fatality of 2018 in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

On 2 April, a cooperative weather observer in Paxton, Illinois, about 100 miles south-southwest of downtown Chicago, measured a morning low of -2F . According to the National Weather Service, this tied the state's all-time April record low set almost 36 years ago. The, today, Stambaugh, in the state's western upper peninsula, plunged to -24F. The state's current April monthly record low is -17F set in 2003 and also in 1982. NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee will evaluate these temperature readings to make sure the data is As meteorologist Chris Dolce noted, a number of Midwest cities had their record coldest first seven days of April. In some of these locations, temperatures over that seven-day period were over 20F colder than average..

Minneapolis and Green Bay were two of the many communities significantly impacted by the heavy snow and blizzard conditions that blasted the north-central United States Friday into Sunday night 13-15th). Thundersnow and sleet were reported on Friday evening near Minneapolis as the storm ramped up in the area. Heavier snow ensued on Saturday afternoon and evening with visibility reduced to a quarter mile or less for six-consecutive hours. Thundersnow also occurred during the height of the storm. Saturday became the second-snowiest April day on record for Minneapolis. A total of 11.1 inches was measured, second only to the 13.6 inches that fell on April 14, 1983. The snow from this storm makes this month the city's snowiest April on record. April 1983 previously held the record with 21.8 inches. The snowstorm forced the Minnesota Twins to postpone the entire three-day series against the Chicago White Sox that was originally scheduled from Friday to Sunday. As of 1 a.m. CDT Monday, a storm total of 23.7 inches of snow was recorded in Green Bay, making this the second largest snowstorm in April history. The largest April snowstorm dumped 29 inches of snow on the city in 1888.

In Hawaii, torrential rains triggered severe flooding and landslides across Kauai over the weekend (14-15th). Numerous water rescues were initiated due to the flooding. The U.S. Coast Guard said it assisted local authorities to rescue hikers in the vicinity of Hanalei Bay on Sunday. Emergency workers rescued people by using jet skis as waters rose between 5 and 8 feet above average along the North Shore. It rained so much in Hanalei that the National Weather Service rain gauge stopped working. The gauge recorded 28.15 inches of rain before failing, meaning a daily record was likely to have been broken.

The northeastern United States is facing severe weather, including flooding downpours and strong winds (16th). In New York City, travel disruptions are mounting as streets and subway stations fill with rain. Hundreds of flights were canceled and delayed at airports across the region, including John F. Kennedy International Airport and Logan International Airport. Central Park had some of the heaviest rainfall in the area with 3.28 inches by noon. Many areas in and around New York City experienced thunder and at least 3 inches of rain over a six- to eight-hour period, which created prime conditions for flooding and morning commute travel delays. Pictures and videos of rain leaking into underground subway stations flooded social media as people headed to work Monday morning.

AUSTRAILIA

Record-breaking temperatures and fierce winds have left fire services struggling to contain a bushfire south of Adelaide, and residents are being urged to flee their homes or enact their bushfire survival plans. Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Peter Webb said the temperature had already hit 34C in Adelaide before midday on Sunday, with a forecast of 35C and 33C over the next two days. "That has never ever happened before in April," he said.

Australian states in the heavily populated south-east are experiencing record high temperatures during an unseasonably hot autumn, prompting fire bans and warnings from authorities 9-10th). This week has already broken state records in South Australia, as well as New South Wales and Victoria, where they could be reset again on Wednesday. The north of Western Australia had record high temperatures for late March, said Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Blair Trewin. That hot air is now hitting the south-east. "On Monday we had the highest April temperature ever recorded in South Australia - 42.2C at Nullarbor Roadhouse, and yesterday [Tuesday] we had state records for both Victoria and NSW," he said. In Victoria it reached 39.3C in Mildura on Tuesday and 40.5C at Pooncarie, NSW. The previous records for each state were 42.1C at Oodnadatta in 2005, 37.8C at Mildura in 1986 and 40C at Collarenebri in 1922. In South Australia the Country Fire Service warned the continuing high temperatures and gusty winds would be among the worst conditions experienced in April.

ASIA

A storm has damaged two minarets located at different entry gates of the iconic Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra (12th). Winds blowing at 130 km/h caused the 4 m tall pillars to collapse. The four longer minarets that surround the main structure remain intact. The 17th Century mausoleum attracts about 12,000 visitors a day and is one of the world's most popular tourist attractions. One of the destroyed minarets was located at the royal gate where tourists often get their first glimpse of the monument. The other was located at the southern gate. Authorities said that work had begun to restore the damaged structures.

RUSSIA

During the last 200 years Europe has suffered three tornadoes with death tolls of over 50 people: Ivanovo in Russia in June 1984 (69 fatalities), Oria in Italy in September 1897 (55 fatalities) and Montville in France in August 1845 (at least 70 fatalities) (13th). Meanwhile, in June 1967, six tornadoes spun their way across France, Belgium and the Netherlands, resulting in 232 injuries, 15 deaths and serious damage or destruction of just under 1,000 houses. New research published in the journal Weather, Climate and Society, reveals that we could expect as many as 170 fatalities, up to 2,500 injuries, and serious damage to 25,000 buildings. Although not common, scientists warn that an outbreak like this should be expected somewhere in Europe within the next 50 years.

EUROPE

Temperatures have soared to over 29C in parts of London, making it the warmest April day for nearly 70 years (19th). The unusually warm weather across the UK is the result of low pressure over the Atlantic and high pressure over western Europe drawing in warm air. Thursday's high of 29.1C was recorded at St James's Park in central London during the afternoon, making it the hottest UK day in April since 1949. The highest recorded temperature for this month was 29.4C back in 1949 in London.

TROPICAL

Tropical Storm Fakir has caused at least two deaths after it unleashed a direct hit on La Reunion on Tuesday (24th). The island nation of Mauritius also took a direct hit, but there have been no reports of fatalities at this time. A tropical low northeast of Madagascar quickly intensified into Tropical Storm Fakir late on Monday. Traveling through a zone of favorable conditions, the storm spiked to a severe tropical cyclone before hitting La Reunion head on. Wind gusts of 70 mph were reported in Saint Pierre, on the southern end of La Reunion Island on Tuesday morning. Fakir dumped nearly 400 mm of rain across parts of Reunion Island.


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