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Old September 13th 19, 12:04 AM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default August 2019 Global Weather Highlights



A heatwave helped push Alaska to its warmest month ever recorded in July, with the state's vast coastline left completely barren of sea ice (1st). Alaska's average temperature in July was a record 14.5C, about 0.5 degC above the previous monthly high set in July 2004, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Cities and towns across the vast US state, such as Anchorage, Utqiagvik and Kodiak all had their warmest month in 125 years of record-keeping. This heat, 3 degC warmer than the long-term average for July, helped spur wildfires that shrouded much of Alaska in a pall of smoke and has now resulted in a remarkable melting away of shoreline ice. There is now no sea ice within 150 miles of Alaskan shores, according to an analysis by the National Weather Service. The pace of ice loss is 'unprecedented' in 40 years of satellite records, scientists said, with the Bering Sea, which separates Alaska from Russia, left completely ice-free.

Dangerous heat gripped the western United States on Monday and Tuesday, toppling several longstanding high temperature records (5tth-6th). Daily record highs were set on Monday at a number of locations over the interior West. Those records were shattered in places such as Palm Springs, California, as well as Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Palm Springs hit an all-time high of 121F on Monday, breaking the previous record of 120F for that day. Phoenix rose to 115F which shattered the old record of 114F on Monday. Monday's high of 115 was just 2 degF off the all-time August record in Phoenix.

Friday and Saturday (9th-10th) were active days in the north-west U.S. as an unusually potent storm swept through the region. In several cities, Saturday entered record books in terms of daily rainfall. The 0.80 of an inch officially recorded in Portland, Oregon, was the wettest August day since 29 August 2005 when 1.05 inches fell.

Large hail fell in areas of the central United States, shattering a state record (13th). A hailstone with an unofficial measurement of a maximum diameter of 4.83 inches fell in Bethune, Colorado, on Tuesday afternoon. The record was confirmed on Wednesday evening by the Colorado Climate Center and the National Weather Service office in Goodland, Kansas. The previous state record in Colorado was 4.5 inches.

A powerful thunderstorm unleashed significant amounts of hail in Michigan (14th). In some places, as much as 45 cm of hail accumulated across southern portions of Kalamazoo County, Michigan. The severe thunderstorm dumped dime- to ping-pong-ball-sized hail across southern portions of Kalamazoo County; the slow speed at which the storm moved through the area - just 15 mph - is what caused the unusually large hail accumulation.

Iowa's strongest tornado since October 2013 wreaked havoc over Lacona but miraculously, no one was reportedly hurt (20th). The EF3 twister knocked down trees and power lines as it inflicted significant damage on homes. Surveyors examined the path of the tornado and found debris scattered over a quarter of a mile into nearby fields. They determined the path length of the tornado to be 5.5 miles and the maximum width of the tornado to be 700 yards..


Footage has emerged of kangaroos bounding through a field in Australia that has been blanketed in snow (10th). After strong winds and freezing winter conditions swept across three south-eastern states, parts of the country experienced rare snowfall. Twitter user Stephen Grenfell filmed the kangaroos as he drove past their paddock in New South Wales on Saturday. Meteorologists have said this is one of the coldest outbreaks to hit Australia in recent years. In the capital Canberra local media reported that an Australian rules football match was played in the snow for the first time. The cold front also caused flights cancellations and power cuts in about 10,000 homes in the south of the country.


A powerful typhoon has left at least 44 people dead in China, after a landslide backed up a river that broke through debris and inundated homes, state media reported (10th-14th). More than a million people were evacuated from their homes after Typhoon Lekima hit the eastern province of Zhejiang on Saturday with maximum winds of 187 km/h, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The landslide occurred in Yongjia county on the outskirts of Wenzhou, a major port city. Heavy rain caused a natural dam to collapse and the resulting landslide blocked a river which rose to a level of 10 meters within 10 minutes, trapping 120 villagers. Thousands of flights were cancelled in eastern China with most flights into and out of Shanghai's two main airports called off on Saturday afternoon. China's weather bureau on Saturday issued an orange alert - its second highest - after posting a red alert on Friday, when the storm forced flight cancellations in Taiwan and shut markets and businesses on the island. Nearly 200 hundred trains through the city of Jinan in Shandong province had been suspended until Monday. More than 250,000 residents in Shanghai and 800,000 in Zhejiang province had been evacuated due to the typhoon, and 2.72m households in Zhejiang had power blackouts as strong wind and rain downed electricity transmission lines.


Britain is in the grip of a cauliflower crisis, with supermarket shelves emptying after heavy rain destroyed this year's crop in Lincolnshire, while alternative European supplies are drying up after the continental heatwave (13th). Tesco only has organic cauliflowers left for sale on its online site, telling buyers that standard single cauliflowers and large cauliflowers are not available. Wholesalers said there was a huge shortage of cauliflowers, with one leading supplier telling restaurants to take cauliflower-related meals off their menus. The wholesale price for cauliflowers has soared by 400%, with the few remaining suppliers in Holland, Italy and France demanding a cauliflower, compared with the normal price of about 60p.


India has issued a fresh flood alert for parts of the southern state of Kerala as the nationwide death toll from the annual monsoon rose to at least 244 (14th). On Wednesday authorities warned Kerala residents of heavy rainfall over the next 24-48 hours in some of the worst-affected regions of the state. Heavy rain in parts of four Indian states - Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat - has forced more than 1.2 million people to leave their homes, mostly for government-run relief camps. Kerala was hit by its worst floods in almost a century last year, when 450 people died, and the state is still recovering from the damage to public infrastructure including railways and roads.


At least 50 people have been injured and hundreds of flights canceled as Krosa slammed Japan with more than 800 mm of rain and wind gusts of nearly 90 mph (15th). Around 3 p.m., local time, Krosa moved ashore near Kure City in Hiroshima as a severe tropical storm, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. This makes Krosa the third tropical cyclone to make landfall across mainland Japan in as many weeks following Typhoon Francisco and Tropical Storm Nari. Three people have been killed, according to The Japan Times. An 11-year-old girl is among the dead. She was swept away by rough seas along the coast of Shimoda. Her older sister was also caught up in the waves but managed to return to the beach. An 82-year-old man was killed after falling when tying up a ship amid strong winds and rough seas in Onomichi on Thursday morning. Another man, age 71, was found dead in the Chikusa River on Friday. He was reportedly fishing and got swept away by the rising river. Those injured during the storm span 13 prefectures.

Over 800,000 people were ordered to evacuate as downpours brought flooding and mudslides to Japan (28th). The downpours began on Tuesday, and the hardest-hit areas from Tuesday into Wednesday night were across northwestern Kyushu where more than 500 mm was reported in Hirado. Rainfall in excess of 300 mm was also reported in Sasebo and Saga, leading to significant flooding.. More than 100 mm fell in an hour during the heaviest rainfall on Tuesday, and mudslide warnings have been issued for parts of Nagasaki, Saga and Fukuoka prefectures. Mudslides were reported in Takeo, and the Ogi and Imari rivers overflowed their banks on Wednesday, according to the Japan Times. At least two deaths were reported due to the flooding, and another person was still missing after multiple automobiles were swept away in flood waters.


A torrential downpour inundated Istanbul, Turkey, and other northwestern cities of the country, resulting in the death of at least one person (17th). The torrential downpour produced 110 mm. The downpour came just a few days after a heat wave that brought temperatures about 4 degC above normal. There had been previous flash flood warnings over the past few days, according to the Turkish news outlet Daily Sabah. Lower and seafront areas of the city reported flash floods, according to the news source. It also reports that the pedestrian underpass in Eminonu Square was filled with flood waters, severely damaging the shops inside.


At least five people, including two children, have died and more than 100 have been injured during a sudden thunderstorm in Poland and Slovakia's Tatra mountains, according to rescuers (22nd). Most of the victims were in Poland, where lightning struck a metal cross atop Mount Giewont as well as a metal chain near the summit, according to local media. The four dead in Poland included two children, a spokeswoman for the Polish air ambulance service, Kinga Czerwinska, told the news broadcaster TVN24. One person died in Slovakia. Rescuers believe many hikers were present when lightning struck the cross on Giewont's summit. They had set out to climb Poland's highest mountains when the skies were clear earlier in the day.


Madrid and the surrounding area were battered by violent storms, torrential hail (26th), and flash flooding. Roads around the Spanish capital were flooded, flights diverted from Barajas airport and underground services affected on Monday night as an isolated depression at high levels moved across the center of the Iberian peninsula. The skies over Madrid were lit up by more than 9,300 bolts of lightning, according to Spain's state meteorological office, Aemet. One of the worst-hit areas was the satellite town of Arganda del Rey, where cars and rubbish bins were carried away by the torrents and residents used shovels to clear roads and pavements of drifts of hail. Aemet said the town had experienced 46.4 mm of rainfall as the storms rolled in. Arganda's underground station remained closed on Tuesday morning and the council set up a Centre to help those affected by the floods.


Hurricane Dorian became a major hurricane today, as government officials and residents in the United States and Bahamas continued to prepare for the potentially devastating storm that is forecast to unleash a three-pronged assault of extreme winds, devastating storm surge and severe flooding.

At least two people died and 49 have been injured after a tropical storm moved through parts of Japan, state broadcaster NHK reported (15th). Storm Krosa made landfall near Hiroshima in southern Japan on Thursday and is now moving north, according to Japan's Meteorological Agency. More than 400,000 people were advised to evacuate. Around 800 flights and train services have been cancelled, sabotaging travel during the summer holiday season.

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