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Old November 8th 18, 05:23 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default October 2018 Global Weather Highlights

GLOBAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

OCTOBER 2018

CANADA

A blast of unseasonably cold air led to an early-October snowstorm across southern Alberta, including Calgary (1st-3rd). Steady snow began to fall late Monday and continued heavy at times Monday night into Tuesday across Calgary. Snow totaled 15-23 cm through mid-morning on Tuesday, and additional accumulations piled up through Tuesday night, resulting in widespread total snowfall of 25-30 cm with locally higher amounts in the mountains west of Calgary.

6th-7th
Ex-typhoon Kong-Rey became the ninth tropical system to hit Japan this year.. Despite its category 5 status downgrading to tropical storm intensity before landfall, it produced damaging winds, storm surges, torrential rain and flooding across many parts of Japan and South Korea. Tracking across Japan's southern islands, it reached South Korea on Saturday, before moving north-eastwards over northern Japan on Sunday. Sustained winds of 185 km/h and wind gusts reaching 143 mph were recorded, while dumping up to 75 mm of rain an hour. The warm air associated with it exceeded Japan's highest October temperature record, reaching 36C (96.8F) in Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture.

EUROPE

A flash flood on the Spanish island of Majorca has killed at least 10 people, including at least three foreigners (9th). A wave of muddy water engulfed the town of Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, in the east of the island, after heavy rain caused a river to burst its banks. Vehicles were swept away as water gushed through narrow streets. Hundreds of emergency workers and sniffer dogs are involved in the search-and-rescue effort. A five-year-old child is missing. The area was hit with more than 20 cm of rainfall in just a few hours on Tuesday, according to Spanish meteorological agency Aemet.

Communities are surveying the damage as the clean-up continues following the worst flooding for 30 years in parts of Wales (12-15). Many rivers burst their banks during Storm Callum, prompting Natural Resources Wales to pledge a review of flood defenses. Some people have been left counting the cost from damage in their communities. And roads and rail services remain affected on Monday and there are several flood warnings in place. A 21-year-old man was killed after a landslip and many homes and businesses were flooded as Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and south Powys bore the brunt of the storm on Friday and over the weekend. A man was killed in a Cwmduad landslide. Nine boats sank at Aberaeron harbor due to the "tide and river fighting against each other", according to local man Stuart Evans. In the Towy Valley, 93-year-old Dilys Pugh had to be carried from her flooded home at Pontargothi after she woke to find the floodwater around her first floor bed as high as the mattress, according to her son, Clive. About 70 sheep are thought to have died after being "washed away" due to flooding at Pontargothi on Saturday. Carmarthen was a no-go area on Saturday night as the River Towy reached critical levels after breaching its flood defenses, while the River Teifi reached record levels - more than 15 fton Saturday - which flooded towns like Newcastle Emlyn and Lampeter. The A4042 between Abergavenny and Pontypool is shut in both directions at Llanellen in Monmouthshire after the River Usk flooded. The A484 between Carmarthen and Cardigan is also blocked in several places - at Cenarth, Llechryd, Cynwyl Elfed and Newcastle Emlyn - after the River Teifi burst its banks. Bus services are replacing trains services between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno Junction and Craven Arms and Llanelli. Valley Line services into Cardiff and trains on the Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury Cambrian Line are expected to run as usual after the tracks were cleared of floodwater. But buses will replace trains on the Heart of Wales line between Swansea and Shrewsbury until Tuesday due to flooding in the Llandeilo area.

Hurricane-force winds have struck central and northern Portugal, leaving 300,000 homes without power (13th-14th). The remnants of Hurricane Leslie swept in overnight on Saturday, with winds gusting up to 176 km/h. Civil defence officials said 27 people suffered minor injuries, with localised flooding, hundreds of trees uprooted and a number of flights cancelled. The storm, one of the most powerful to ever hit the country, is now passing over northern Spain. The worst-affected areas in Portugal were around the capital, Lisbon, and in the districts of Coimbra and Leiria. Aveiro, Viseu and Porto in the north also suffered damage. About 1,000 trees have been uprooted, officials say. The main A1 motorway was among the roads temporarily blocked. The storm wreaked havoc throughout Portuguese towns and cities Some 1,900 incidents were reported to emergency services, although civil defense commander Luis Belo Costa said "the greatest danger has passed".

At least 13 people have been killed by flash floods in the Aude region of south-western France (14th-15th). Local authorities say several months' worth of rain fell in just a few hours overnight, leaving roads blocked in some areas. Alain Thirion, the prefect of Aude, said people were stranded on rooftops and would have to be evacuated by air because it was too dangerous by boat. The floods are the worst the Aude river has seen in more than 100 years, according to the weather monitoring service Vigicrues. In Trebes, floodwater is as high as seven metres, local authorities say. Footage from the early hours of Monday shows the rising waters. All roads are inaccessible to the north of Carcassonne municipality and schools are shut, authorities say.

A wave of extreme weather bringing hail, floods and strong winds has brought parts of Italy to a standstill (22nd). After a long spell of hot weather, Rome suffered damage from a major hailstorm and torrential rains overnight.. Firefighters were called out nationwide, from Milan in the north to Sicily in the south. Local authorities issued an orange alert - one below the highest - for the region of Calabria, where cities and towns ordered schools to stay closed. Parts of Molise, Basilicata and Puglia are also on orange alert - while a lesser, yellow warning was issued for Abruzzo, Calabria, Sicily and Lazio. Police and firefighters responded to weather-related incidents across the country, including in Rome. Strong winds in Milan toppled several trees, while in Bologna, the airport experienced delays due to difficult flying conditions. Florence and Pisa were also affected by the severe weather.

Heavy snowfall across south-central France, with up to 40 cm falling in some towns and villages, caused chaos on the roads and knocked out electricity to nearly 200,000 homes (29th-30th). In France, more than 1,000 drivers were trapped in their cars for the night in the mountains of the Massif Central region as snowstorms engulfed the roads. Another 400 had to spend the night in train carriages at the main station in the eastern city of Lyon after heavy snow blocked the tracks. About 195,000 homes were without power across mainland France, most of them in eastern and central regions. Another 21,000 homes lost power on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, which was placed on red alert on Monday for powerful winds, shutting its airports and ports.

Violent storms battered Italy for a third consecutive day on Tuesday, killing at least 11 people, and flooding much of Venice (30th). The lagoon city's St Mark's Square remained under water for a second day while the adjacent St Mark's Basilica was inundated, its baptistery totally flooded and its mosaic floors covered by 90 cm of water. Italian media said it was the second time this century that the basilica had been flooded, and just the fifth time there had been such high water within the body of the cathedral in the structure's 1,000- year history. Widespread damage was also reported in towns and cities in the north, south and center of Italy. Many of the 11 deaths were caused by falling trees as winds as strong as 90mph whipped the country. One of the hardest hit regions was Liguria in the north-west. The breakwater walls in the chic seaside resort of Rapallo were destroyed by pounding waves, letting in a surge of water that toppled dozens of luxury yachts and inflicted heavy damage on the port area. The nearby resort town of Portofino was cut off by a landslide while video showed seawater pouring through the picturesque fishing village of Vernazza further to the south.

The ongoing drought across Germany has caused rivers to plunge to unusually low levels, creating issues from shipping traffic being halted to unexploded World War II military weapons being unearthed (30th). Low water levels are being reported on the Rhine, Danube, Weser, Main and Elbe rivers in Germany. The Rhine has hit its lowest water levels on record at several points, according to the Associated Press. The Elbe River at Magdeburg has dropped to a depth of 50 cm. At least double that level is needed for normal shipping traffic, Hartmut Rhein of the city's waterways and shipping department told the AP. No ships carrying goods are allowed to navigate the Elbe River from south of Leipzig to the Czech Republic.

Croatia's Adriatic coast has also been battered by gales and heavy rains that have flooded streets, cut off power and ensnared road and maritime traffic (30th) Storms have also swept into Switzerland, buffeting the Ticino region near the Italian border overnight. Roads were blocked by fallen trees and flooding, while strong winds ripped roof sections off buildings, including in Giubiasco where police said part of a roof had smashed into a moving train and a house. Authorities in southern Austria have deployed hundreds of mobile anti-flooding dams as rivers burst their banks, and in the city of Salzburg a roof section from the medieval ramparts flew off in high winds.

UNITED STATES

The strongest storm to hit the US in more than 25 years, and the most powerful on record in the Florida Panhandle, has headed inland after a furious onslaught that killed six people and tore apart buildings (1th-12). Hurricane Michael's 250 km/h winds at landfall were only just short of category five status, making it the US's strongest storm since Hurricane Andrew ravaged southern Florida in 1992. Michael sprang quickly from a weekend tropical depression, going from a category two on Tuesday to a category four storm by the time it came ashore. Landfall happened just north of Mexico Beach, Florida, a small coastal town 25 miles (40km) east of Panama City with a population of 1,000, at about 1.30pm local time on Wednesday. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm blew in with sustained winds of 155 mph and travelling at 14 mph. Television pictures showed broken and uprooted trees and downed power lines. Roofs were peeled away and swept into the air, and homes were split open by fallen trees. Twisted road signs lay on the ground. Palm trees whipped wildly in the winds. Louis Uccellini, the director of the National Weather Service, told CNN: "When people ... start making their assessments, they're going to realized just how powerful a category four storm can be. You're going to see a very extensive area of damaging winds all the way into central Georgia." Michael weakened to a tropical storm as it moved inland, but is on course to hit parts of Georgia, and North and South Carolina, still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month. The NHC in Miami said the eye of Michael was about 30 miles south-west of Macon in central Georgia at midnight on Thursday. The storm had sustained winds of up to 70 mph. No recorded category four storm had ever made landfall in the Panhandle, and Michael's vast size meant the effects would be felt along the coast from New Orleans to Tampa Bay, and inland as far as the Carolinas. The fast-moving tropical cyclone's outer bands were already causing torrential rain and flooding in Panama City Beach and Apalachicola by mid-morning on Wednesday. Florida authorities had warned anybody who chose not to evacuate they would be on their own, with conditions already too hazardous for emergency workers. By Friday morning, with reduced winds of 50 mph, according to the NHC, Michael had moved north-east crossing Georgia and was bringing heavy rain to North Carolina and Virginia.

Severe thunderstorms moved across the southern Plains and into the Southeast, producing heavy rain, damaging winds and even a few tornadoes (31st). Several tornadoes were reported an at least two fatalities have been attributed to the storms, with one death reported in Texas and another in Mississippi. Warm and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico moved in over east Texas and Louisiana ahead of the cold front, providing ample moisture and energy for thunderstorm development.

Austrailia

Tornadoes and a thunderstorm supercell have swept across Queensland in Australia, injuring four people and causing widespread damage (11th). The dangerous weather system hit the state's south-east on Thursday. One tornado struck Tansey, a town 250 km north of Brisbane, snapping trees and ripping roofs from houses. Elsewhere, four people were injured when tennis ball-sized hail shattered car windscreens, authorities said. On Thursday, large hailstones and winds gusting up to 60 mph caused extensive damage to buildings and crops. Social media users also reported injuries to animals. Almost 10,000 properties remained without power on Friday, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

SOUTH PACIFIC

Landslides and flash flooding following heavy rainfall on the Indonesian island of Sumatra have left at least 21 people dead, officials say (12th). Eleven of the dead were children buried when mud and water engulfed their classroom in the village of Muara Saladi in North Sumatra province. Another 10 people are missing at the site. More than 500 homes in the provinces of North and West Sumatra have been damaged. The deadliest incident was at the Islamic village school in Muara Saladi in Mandailing Natal district, which borders West Sumatra province. Children were studying on Friday afternoon when a nearby river overflowed and brought down their classroom wall. "The victims were buried in a torrent of mud and wall debris," said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for disaster mitigation agency BNPB.


TROPICAL

Tropical cyclone Titli made landfall north of Mandasa (Andhra Pradesh, India 11th) in the early morning (UTC) with maximum sustained winds of 165 km/h.. Heavy rainfall has affected Odisha, with Digha recording 142 mm, Balasore 109 mm, Bhubaneswar 69 mm, Puri 79 mm, and Gopalpur 75 mm over a 21-hour period.

Hurricane Willa has swept onto Mexico's Pacific mainland with 120 mph winds, hitting beach towns, fishing villages and farms after passing over an offshore penal colony (23rd). The US National Hurricane Center said the category 3 storm hit near Isla del Bosque in Sinaloa state on Tuesday night, and federal officials said there were early reports of power blackouts and damage to tin-roofed structures. Damage assessments were limited by darkness and disrupted communications, and no extensive information was expected until first light on Wednesday. Forecasters said the hurricane could bring 150-300 mm of rain - with up to 45 cm in some places - to parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states, with flash flooding and landslides possible in mountainous areas.

Super Typhoon Yutu crossed over the US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands early on Thursday (35th) as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, making it the strongest storm to hit any part of the US this year, the National Weather Service said. Yutu produced damaging winds, flooding and high surf and there were reports of injuries, though the extent of these is unclear. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands' delegate to US Congress, said the territory will need significant help to recover from the storm. Maximum sustained winds of 180 mph were recorded around the eye of the storm, which passed over Tinian and Saipan early Thursday local time, said Brandon Aydlett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

At least 15 people have been killed and dozens more are missing after Typhoon Yutu hit the Philippines (30th). The deaths were mostly due to landslides caused by heavy rains in the mountainous region of Cordillera in the northern part of the country, said the national disaster risk reduction management council. The worst hit area was Natonin, a municipality in Mountain Province, where six people died after a massive landslide that buried government buildings hit the village of Banawel. A dozen survivors were rescued after the landslide and the military are continuing to search for 20 people who are still missing. The landslides have rendered many roads leading to Natonin impassable, making it difficult for more rescue teams to go to the area. A local reporter spoke of walking 14km to reach ground zero. The Philippines suffers around 20 typhoons yearly. Yutu is the 18th to hit the country in 2018.


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