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Old August 9th 19, 06:03 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default July 2019 Global Weather Highlights

GLOBAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
JULY 2019

JAPAN

More than one million people across the Japanese island of Kyushu have been ordered to evacuate, amid warnings of landslides and floods brought on by heavy rain (3rd). Authorities urged residents in parts of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures to move to safety immediately. One elderly woman in Kagoshima city died after a mudslide hit her home. Kagoshima prefecture has asked Japan's self-defense forces to help with the relief efforts, Governor Satoshi Mitazono reportedly said. The entire populations of Kagoshima city, Kirishima and Aira were ordered to leave. Another 930,000 people in the south of the island were also advised to move. But by 1600 local time (0700 GMT), the country's Fire and Disaster Management Agency reportedly said fewer than 4,000 people had been evacuated. Weather officials say 1,000 mm of rain has fallen on Kyushu island since Friday (28 June), and Japan's Meteorological Agency forecasts the rains will continue into next week.

All-time highest rainfall triggered deadly mudslides in southern parts of Japan's Kyushu Island the first few days of July 4th. Rainfall from Monday to Wednesday totaled 554.0 mm in Nichinan City in Miyazaki Prefecture, shattering the previous all-time three-day record of 457.5 mm from 30 October 2017. On Wednesday alone, several locations in Kagoshima Prefecture registered their wettest-ever day. This included Kanoya, where 472.5 mm exceeded the previous all-time wettest calendar day of 403 mm from 6 September 2005. Rainfall from Monday to Wednesday at Kanoya totaled 641.5 mm, shattering the July three-day record of 510 mm from 7 July 1993. Records were also broken in southern Kyushu and south-central Honshu Island for the most amount of rain to fall in an hour during the month of July. A total of 77 mm inundated Toshima village on Wednesday morning in one hour.

Japan is suffering from heatwave conditions (30th)after a historic lengthy rainy spell earlier this month, raising fresh concerns over Tokyo's preparedness to protect athletes and spectators from the heat at the Olympic Games this time next year. The government said that 11 people died and 5,664 people were taken to hospital with heat exhaustion symptoms in the week ending Sunday. Of those taken to hospital last week, one in two was a senior citizen aged 65 and above, while one in three was between the ages of 18 and 65. The number of victims nearly tripled from the 1,948 in the previous week.. On Monday the Japan Meteorological Agency officially announced the end of the tsuyu rainy season in the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo and the neighbouring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba. This was 30 days later than last year, and eight days later than in an average year. This came after central Tokyo experienced its cloudiest July in decades, with three hours or less of sunshine for 20 straight days ending on July 16, in what was the longest streak since 1961. Tokyo's highest temperature today was 35.4C, recorded in Nerima ward in the north-west.

South Asia

More than 100 people have been killed and millions more affected by devastating floods and landslides across parts of south Asia (16th). Heavy monsoon rains over the past week have left many dead in Nepal and Bangladesh, and submerged vast areas of north-east India. In the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, among the worst-hit areas, agencies were working on a to deal with the situation, the chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, said. About 4.3 million people in Assam have been affected by flooding, while 83,000 have been forced to seek shelter in relief camps on higher ground. In Bihar, east India, a further 2.56 million people were hit by flash floods, with many homes quickly submerged in brown water.

UNITED STATES

The state of Alaska, part of which lies inside the Arctic Circle, is sweltering under a heatwave, with record temperatures recorded in several areas, including its largest city (4th). Temperatures reached 90F in Anchorage, shattering the city's previous record of 85F. Several other places in southern Alaska also set all-time or daily records. Anchorage's record temperature of 90F was recorded at its airport at 17:00 on Thursday (01:00 Friday GMT), according to the National Weather Service. The previous all-time record for the city was set in 1969.

Commuters in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore area faced an extremely difficult and dangerous drive back to work on Monday morning as heavy downpours flooded local roadways (8th). Several water rescues were performed as high waters overflowed the roads. Numerous roads in downtown Washington, D.C., as well as surrounding areas, were closed on Monday morning due to deep floodwaters. Much of D.C., Arlington, Montgomery, Frederick, and Carroll counties received 2 to 4 inches of rain, with many areas picking up those amounts in only 1 or 2 hours. About 6.3 inches of rain fell near Frederick, Maryland. This heavy rainfall prompted street flooding, collapsed trees and water rescues. In Arlington, Virginia, 3.3 inches of rain fell over the course of an hour at Reagan National Airport early on Monday; the climatological July monthly total is 3.7 inches.

Lightning is being blamed for igniting a rapidly-spreading wildfire on Monday evening on the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site, near Idaho Falls, according to officials (22nd). Named the Sheep Fire for its proximity to a nearby dirt access road called Sheep Road, the blaze had seared more than 113,000 acres by Wednesday night. All non-essential personnel were evacuated from areas facing a potential risk, including the INL.

Hundreds of thousands of residents in the northeastern U.S. had to deal with dangerous flash flooding and power outages on Monday night as deadly severe thunderstorms spread through the region (22nd). At least two people died: an 89-year-old Maryland man who perished after storms knocked over a tree in his driveway and a 17-year-old boy who died in a house fire during the severe weather in New Jersey. In the Garden State, more than 300,000 customers were impacted by power outages at the storm's height, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. As storms ripped through the Northeast, officials warned people to stay off the roads to avoid closed roads, knocked-out traffic signals, trees scattered across roadways and downed utility lines. Many trees reportedly hit homes and vehicles. In Cape Cod, two tornadoes with wind speeds of 110 mph touched down, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The rare EF1 twisters triggered a state of emergency in Harwich, Massachusetts, as they damaged hotels and other structures in the area.

Cool air has descended on the southern United States and broken records more than a century old (22nd-25th). An unusually strong cold front, by late July standards, pushed through much of the Southern states and triggered severe weather on Tuesday. During Thursday morning, the temperature came within 1 degF of the record low of 64F in San Antonio. At Dallas the temperature came within 2 degF of the record low of 65F set in 1915. The existing record was set in 1911. However, a new record low for July 25 was established at Victoria, Texas, with a low of 62F, breaking the old record of 64F set in 1915. The record low of 70F set in 1976 at Corpus Christi, Texas, was eclipsed by 1 degF. Charlotte, North Carolina, also drifted below the record of 62F set in 1947 with a low of 61F on Thursday morning.

GREECE

Seven people, including six tourists, have been killed in a violent storm that swept across a region of northern Greece on Wednesday night (10th). Gale-force winds, heavy rain and hailstorms lashed Halkidiki, near the city of Thessaloniki. A Czech couple died when their caravan was blown away, and two Romanians and two Russians also died. A seventh body was later found in the sea. Officials say at least 100 others were injured, with 23 people hospitalized. A state of emergency has been declared, with dozens of rescue workers dispatched to help.

ARCTIC

The Arctic is suffering its worst wildfire season on record, with huge blazes in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska producing plumes of smoke that can be seen from space (26th). The Arctic region has recorded its hottest June ever.. Since the start of that month, more than 100 wildfires have burned in the Arctic circle. In Russia, 11 of 49 regions are experiencing wildfires. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations' weather and climate monitoring service, has called the Arctic fires "unprecedented". The largest blazes, believed to have been caused by lightning, are located in Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Buryatia. Winds carrying smoke have caused air quality to plummet in Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia.

EUROPE

Europe's second heat wave of the summer spread record high temperatures across the continent, making Paris surpass its hottest temperature ever recorded (26th). The city has never been hotter than it was on Thursday, as the heat wave pushed temperatures to soar near 43C. The grueling heat, that lasted from July 21-26, wreaked havoc in places such as Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. At least five deaths in France have been reported due to the heat, and people experienced widespread travel disruptions in France and Britain. All-time national high temperature records were set in England (Cambridge 38.7C), Belgium (Begijnendijk 41.8C), Luxembourg (Luxembourg 39.0C), Holland (Gilze-Rijen 40.7C) and Germany (Lingen 42.6C), according to Meteo France. Following a record-warm start to the day, Thursday brought the peak of the deadly heat wave in France as temperatures soared to 42.6C in Paris. That reading shattered the city's all-time high temperature record of 40..4C at Parc Montsouris, set more than 70 years ago.
26th-28th
Over the weekend of 27/28 July the heat focus moved north to the Nordic nations, where Helsinki saw its highest temperature since records began in 1844. Helsinki Kaisaniemi weather station recorded 33.2C on the 28th. The highest temperature ever recorded in Bergen (Norway) was 33.4C on the 26th.

INDIA

Indian navy helicopters and emergency service boats came to the rescue of more than 800 people stranded on a train in floods near Mumbai on Saturday (27th). Some reports have the number of people affected at over 1,000. The Mahalaxmi Express left Mumbai late on Friday for Kolhapur but travelled only 60 km before it became stranded after a river burst its banks in torrential rain, covering the tracks. The train was stuck for about 12 hours in Thane district before authorities called in the Indian navy and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) who deployed helicopters, boats, and divers.

Monsoon downpours have spread across much of India in recent weeks bringing the country vital rainfall for water supplies and agriculture (30th). However, India's southeast state of Tamil Nadu has been largely missed by any significant rainfall since the start of the yearly Southwest monsoon. Some downpours dampened northeast parts of the state, including Chennai, in late July. However, this has not been able to put more than a dent in the water shortages currently affecting the city of approximately 10 million people. Authorities have had to take extreme action to keep water flowing to the residents of the city, including a daily train delivery of 2.5 million litres, according to the Associated Press. The water is gathered from a dam on the Cauvery River, more than 200 km from Chennai, which is located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

TROPICAL

Tropical Storm Barry, which is currently moving over the Gulf of Mexico, is likely to develop into a hurricane )10th-12th). It is forecast to hit the US city of New Orleans, which has already seen thunderstorms and flash floods. A state of emergency is in effect and residents in some low-lying areas have been asked to evacuate. The Mississippi river could come dangerously close to overtopping banks shielding the city, officials warn. On Wednesday morning, the New Orleans metro area was hit by as much as eight inches of rain over a three-hour period. Swamped streets saw rubbish bins overturned and vehicles flooded. Some parts of the city saw streets turn into lakes as deep as four feet. Kayakers were seen paddling on roadways.

Tropical Storm Barry dumped rain as it slowly swept inland through Gulf coast states on Sunday (14th), sparing New Orleans a direct hit but stoking fears elsewhere of flooding, tornadoes and prolonged power outages. Though winds weakened steadily after the storm made landfall on Saturday in Louisiana, rain bands created a flooding and tornado threat from central Louisiana to eastern Mississippi and beyond. Several parishes or counties in both states were under flash flood warnings. Tornado warnings were issued on Sunday morning in both states, though no serious damage or injuries were reported.. Forecasters warned of a continued threat of heavy rains into Monday as the center of the storm trudged inland. The National Hurricane Center said parts of south-central Louisiana could still have rainfall totals of up to 12in, with isolated pockets of 15in. In Mississippi, forecasters said 200 mm of rain had fallen in parts of Jasper and Jones counties, with several more inches possible. With torrential rain pounding the Interstate 59 corridor, only the headlights of oncoming cars were visible on the highway and water flowed like a creek in the median.


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