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Old March 17th 21, 02:28 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default February 2021 Global Weather Highlights




A powerful winter storm blasted the U.S. Northeast, bringing heavy snow and high winds that led to power outages for more than 22000 customers throughout the region (1st). This major Nor'easter prompted advisories and warnings from Tennessee to Maine, with a snow emergency issued for Philadelphia and a state of emergency declared for New York City and New Jersey on Sunday night. "It`s the storm of the century," said New Jersey snowplough operator James Carew, who has been in the field of work for 30 years. Power outages driven by heavy wind and snow cut power to more than 14000 customers in Massachusetts solely, 4000 in New Jersey, 3000 in New York, and 1200 in Connecticut More than 1600 flights have been cancelled at major airports in the Nor'easter's path, including Newark Liberty International Airport, John F Kennedy Airport, and Philadelphia International Airport. In New York, Central Park received more than 38 cm on late Monday, placing the storm in the top 20 snowstorms in the city's recorded history. The highest snowfall total recorded on the East Coast was in Newton, New Jersey, with up to 81 cm of snow.

Parts of Texas are blanketed in a thick layer of ice(1th-15th). The state is seeing some of its coldest temperatures in more than 30 years, with some areas breaking records that are more than a century old. Parts of Texas hit -18C today. According to the US National Weather Service (NWS), this is down to an "Arctic outbreak" that originated just above the US-Canada border, bringing a winter snow storm as well as plummeting temperatures. For the first time in the US state, all 254 counties are under a winter storm warning, US media report. The temperature in Dallas is already colder than in Anchorage, Alaska, CBS News reports. Rotating power outages have been initiated by the state's power grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot), early on Monday, to reduce demand on the electricity system. Nearly 120 car accidents were reported on Sunday. Hundreds of flights in and out of the state have also been cancelled.

A winter storm in the US has brought deadly freezing winds, ice and snow to many regions that rarely see such frigid conditions (1th-16th). At least 11 deaths have been blamed on the widespread storm. Deaths have been reported in Tennessee, Texas, Kentucky and Louisiana. In North Carolina, a tornado spawned by the same storm left three dead and 10 injured early on Tuesday morning. The freezing storm even reached northern parts of Mexico where more than four million homes and businesses lost power early on Monday. A pile-up on a major highway near Oklahoma City during a snowstorm on Sunday left several lorries on fire. The George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and the city's Hobby Airport were both closed until at least Tuesday afternoon. The city of Abilene, home to about 125,000 residents, shut off water services after all of the city's treatment plants lost power. Temperatures in the city of Dallas have been colder than in Anchorage, Alaska, CBS News reported. In Louisiana, some local authorities have imposed curfews to keep people off the icy roads. The state is also suffering power cuts and traffic disruption. Oregon, which was hit by an ice storm, saw nearly 250,000 people and businesses without power on Tuesday.


A broad band of rain and storms hit New South Wales, Australia 1st-2nd). The Bathurst region was drenched by nearly a month's worth of rain in about eight hours - up to 43.4 mm fell from 0830 UTC on the 1st to 1700 UTC, close to the long-term February average of 57.8 mm. There has been 54.2 mm of rain recorded for the month so far.

At least 5 people have died in a massive pileup crash on Interstate 35-West near downtown Fort Worth, Texas that took place at about 06:00 CST, February 11, 2021. A Mass Casualty Incident has been declared. According to Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman, Michael Drivdahl, about 100 vehicles were involved in the pile-up, likely caused by ice.


At least 10 people have died in central and southern Paraguay after heavy rainfall over the past few days triggered severe floods and landslides (5th).. According to the Directorate of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMP), several areas in the central region recorded 500 mm (20 inches) more rainfall than the January average. Heavy rains intensified during storms that began on 31 January. The DMH reported 144 mm of rain in a 24 hour period to February 1 in Luque City. About 173.8 mm fell in the following 24 hour period in Paraguari, and another 100.2 mm in Oviedo. Strong winds reached up to 140 km/h in other areas, particularly in Canindeyu Department. The National Emergency Secretariat said they assisted flood victims in Yaguaron, Paraguari Department, and Caacupe in Cordillera Departments. Severe flooding was also reported in Tobati and Pribebuy.

Torrential rains lashed Belo Horizonte in Brazil over the weekend, causing damaging floods that prompted the Civil Defense to issue alerts for the West, Pampulha, and Venda Nova regions (7th). In the south-central region, about 234.6 mm of rain fell in a 72 hour period, which exceeded the February average of 181.4 mm. Persistent heavy rains caused severe flooding in Belo Horizonte, affecting many houses and buildings. Locals said as streams overflowed, floodwaters dragged away vehicles on roads. In the Vila Suzana I neighborhood, at least 47 people were stranded and rescued by firefighters, including families. In Santa Luzia, Rio das Velhas overflowed, forcing about 300 people to flee their homes.

Heavy rainfall since mid-February has triggered widespread, severe flooding in Madre de Dios, Peru, leaving at least 15000 people affected and thousands of property damage (23rd). This has prompted the government to declare a state of emergency for the region for 60 days. According to environment minister Gabriel Quijandria, floodwaters damaged about 4000 homes, several schools and health facilities, and around 3000 ha of crops. The affected areas include Pueblo Viejo, Las Piedras, Laberinto, and Boca Colorado. Puerto Maldonado registered 150.8 mm of rain in a 24-hour period to February 19. The Madre de Dios River was also at a red alert level, according to the National Meteorology and Hydrology Service.


The Netherlands has been hit by its first major snowstorm in a decade, forecasters say, as cold weather pushes through much of northern Europe (7th). Dutch authorities have closed all coronavirus testing centers because of the extreme weather. Transport has been disrupted and rail connections with Germany, where northern areas have also been blanketed by snow, have been suspended. The cold snap is a result of Storm Darcy, which has also affected parts of the UK. A "Code Red" weather warning was declared in the Netherlands for all of Sunday, meaning winds of up to 90 km/h and "bitter cold" were forecast. Heavy snow fell throughout much of the day, leading to long delays on the roads. People were advised to avoid travelling and there were reports of dozens of cars skidding off streets. Eindhoven airport closed and incoming flights were diverted to Germany, while Schiphol airport in Amsterdam warned that travelers could face delays.

An air mass boundary that separated cold air in the north from very mild air in the south lay over northern Germany at the beginning of February. By the 10th the cold air covered all of Germany. A deep blanket of fresh snow and a cloudless sky led to icy nights with very severe frost, especially in central Germany (10th-25th). It was coldest nationwide on the 10th in Muhlhausen-Gormar, to the north-west of Erfurt, with -26.7C. A significant change to a southerly flow then brought spring-like warmth within a few days. There was a huge increase in temperature of over 40 degC locally. In some areas the temperature rose to over 20C for several days in a row. Ohlsbach, south-east of Offenburg, registered the highest value in Germany on the 25th with 22.0C.


A violent storm produced damaging hail and a powerful tornado in Izmir, Turkey, leaving at least 18 people injured and dozens of homes damaged (11th). Hailstorms also inflicted damage to nearly 700 greenhouses in the Urla area. A powerful waterspout formed in Cesme District, overturning a crane, knocking over some vehicles, and leaving about 18 people injured when it hit land. Many of the injured victims were workers staying in prefabricated housing units at a construction site in Alcati when the crane collapsed on the units. Izmir governor Yavuz Selim Kosger described the event as unprecedented.

Heavy snow over parts of the Middle East, including Syria, Lebanon, and Israel led to the blocking of roads and disruption to normal life (16th-17). According to local media reports, the snow has already blocked some of the roads in Syria, including in capital Damascus, disrupted traffic, and postponed exams at some universities. Syrian Arab News Agency reported snow as deep as 15 cm in Um Houran area in Dahir al-Jabal, indicating that many roads in the mountainous regions are barely passable.


Unusually heavy snowfall in parts of Greece has blanketed ancient monuments, disrupted transport and halted some coronavirus vaccinations (16th). Temperatures as low as -19C have been recorded in the north-western city of Florina. At least three deaths have been blamed on the freezing conditions and extra supplies have been sent to refugee camps hit by low temperatures. Police said there had been almost 250 calls for help from people trapped in cars and homes, according to Reuters. Covid-19 vaccinations were postponed in the capital, Athens, where roads were closed and public transport disrupted by the storm. Ferry travel has also been interrupted by the wintery weather conditions and high winds.


Extreme monsoon rains brought massive flooding to the Indonesian capital Jakarta, with parts of the city (population 30 million) under 1.2 to 2.7 m of water (20th). The floods forced the evacuation of some 1380 residents to temporary shelters. The waters are now receding, but more heavy rain is expected in the week ahead, and Jakarta remains on alert for the next 4 days.

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