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Default March 2021 Global Weather Highlights

GLOBAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

MARCH 2021

UNITED STATES

Severe weather produced a deadly and damaging start to meteorological spring in the Atlanta area on the 1st). From Sunday afternoon through early Monday, downpours and strong thunderstorms erupted across parts of the Tennessee Valley and the Southeast. More than two dozen wind damage reports came in across the states of Arkansas, Tennessee, northern Mississippi and Alabama, and Georgia. On Monday, a severe storm moving through northern Georgia spawned a tornado around 6 a.m. EST. The damage was surveyed by the National Weather Service on Monday afternoon, which confirmed the tornado as an EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Despite the damage, no injuries or fatalities were reported from the tornado. However, strong wind gusts caused tree branches to crash down nearby, which led to one fatality in the metro Atlanta area.

Emergency evacuations have been ordered for residents in the Haiku area in Maui, Hawaii, after heavy rainfall has caused a breach on the Kaupakalua Dam on the 8th. Authorities also warned people that flooding in the area is "life-threatening". Heavy rainfall in Maui has resulted in flooding and dam breach, leaving many residents trapped in their homes. The Maui Fire Department said it received more than a dozen calls for assistance. Mayor Michael Victorino surveyed the flooding and reported that Kaupakalua Road was impassable in some areas. At least six homes were heavily damaged or destroyed. After a breach was confirmed on the Kaupakalua Dam on Monday afternoon, Victorino urged people to evacuate from the Haiku area.

On 14 February, temperatures dipped all the way down to -19F at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, just missing a record low temperature for the date originally set in 1875 (9th). But now just three weeks later, city residents are dressing for a very different record. Today, the city reached a high temperature of 62F, shattering the previous high-temperature record of 61F for the date in the city last reached in 1879.

A major winter storm described by the National Weather Service as "historic and crippling" lashed parts of the U.S., bringing up to 1.2 m (4 feet) of snow over the weekend (13th-14th). More than 2000 flights were cancelled and over 54000 customers were left without power on Sunday. The NWS initially warned of a "historic and crippling" winter storm that will significantly impact all of southeast Wyoming and western Nebraska panhandle, adding that "widespread blizzard conditions" would make travel "dangerous or impossible." The storm rolled into parts of the Rocky Mountains late Saturday, March 13, dropping heavy snow and rain. Up to 61 cm of snow was registered in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, making it the city's fourth-largest snowstorm since 1881. The previous fourth strongest snowfall record was 60.4 cm set in December 1982. This was also Denver's largest snowstorm since 2006.

A severe weather outbreak lashed the South, unleashing tornadoes that led to serious damage to homes and businesses (17th), particularly in Alabama and Mississippi. NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC) received a total of 25 tornado reports, 17 in Alabama, 3 in Mississippi, 2 in Montana, and 1 each in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri.

At least 23 tornadoes touched down in Alabama and Georgia, leaving extensive damage, at least 5 people dead outside of Birmingham, Alabama, and multiple injuries (25th). This is the second tornado outbreak in the region since March 17. Severe storms started affecting the region mid-afternoon and continued in several waves through the early evening and into the night. About 50 million people were in the path of severe weather, NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) said, with portions of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee at most risk. The SPC issued a high risk of severe weather risk in the South for the second time this month. This was the first time the center has issued 2 high risks for severe weather in the month of March since 1991.

Four people have been killed and 130 rescued after near-record levels of rainfall hit Nashville, Tennessee over 48 hours, causing significant flooding across the region (27th-28th). Repeated rounds of very heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding issues in many areas across Middle Tennessee from Saturday morning, March 27, through Sunday morning, March 28. Through Sunday morning, Franklin recorded 219.7 mm of rain, while Clarkrange had 213.6 mm.

SOUTH AMERICA

A severe storm struck Espirito Santo in southeastern Brazil, causing flooding and landslides that left many homes damaged or destroyed on the 7th). More than 11 000 lightning strikes were reported across the state, resulting in one fatality in Corrego Sao Jose de Pancas. Up to 149 mm of rain was recorded in the municipality of Marechal Floriano in a 24-hour period to Monday, March 8. Vila Velha saw 113.7 mm and Cariacica 90.4 mm.

Heavy rains have caused flooding and landslides in northern Peru over the past few days, affecting as many as 3000 homes (20th). Around 160 mm of rain fell in a 24-hour period in Yurimaguas, capital of Alto Amazonas Province in Loreto Region, which is more than half the city's March average rainfall of 257 mm.

As many as 45 people have died while more than 2000 homes have been damaged as a result of severe weather in Colombia since 1 March, according to a statement by the country's National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) (23rd). Recently, heavy rains have caused major flooding in the municipality of Dabeiba in Antioquia on the 22nd. A total of 318 severe weather events were reported in 193 municipalities and 20 departments, leaving around 451 families affected, UNGRD said. The disaster risk management added that there were 175 landslides and 89 floods, including flash floods, during this period, as well as storms, hail, and strong winds.

ASIA

The Chinese capital of Beijing was covered in thick dust on Monday (15th)as it experienced what its weather bureau has called the worst sandstorm in a decade. The storm caused an unprecedented spike in air pollution measurements - with pollution levels in some districts at 160 times the recommended limit. Hundreds of flights were cancelled or grounded as the sky was covered by an apocalyptic-looking orange haze. The sand is being brought in by strong winds from Inner Mongolia. In Mongolia the severe sandstorms have reportedly caused six deaths and left dozens missing.

AUSTRAILIA

About 18000 people have evacuated their homes after torrential rains hit New South Wales (NSW), Australia, causing severe flooding in many parts of the state. More evacuations are expected as the severe weather is forecast to continue mid-week (20th-21st). The deluge has inundated coastal areas of NSW, including parts of Sydney, prompting authorities to warn eight million residents to avoid unnecessary travel. Several hard-hit areas recorded 250 mm of rain in a 24-hour period, while most of the coast has seen March rainfall records broken. The government has signed 34 natural disaster declarations, as of March 21. Heavy downpours began Friday, March 19, causing severe flooding which as described by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) as "potentially life-threatening". Parts of the state experienced the worst flooding in 50 years, authorities said Sunday. Floodwaters raged from Bellingen to Port Macquarie, Mount Seaview, Wauchope and Gloucester, and Wingham. The Kindee Bridge peaked at 12.1 m on the 20th, breaking the 2013 major flood record. By Saturday afternoon, officials had issued nine evacuation orders for 15 areas. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian stated that the region was experiencing a "one-in-100-year" event, and 34 areas have been declared natural disaster areas.

CANADA

A powerful storm brought heavy snow, damaging winds, and frozen precipitation across some E areas of Canada, resulting in travel disruptions, suspension of classes, and damaged homes (29th). Wind gusts of up to 164 km/h were recorded in Nova Scotia, while multiple power outages were reported in Newfoundland and parts of the Prairies. In Newfoundland, many roofs were blown away from homes as the storm brought damaging winds and heavy snow. The intense, low-pressure system also delivered a blast of heavy rain and snow to New Brunswick and strong winds in Nova Scotia. St. Joseph du Moine, Grand Etang, and Plateau on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia saw violent wind gusts of 164 km/h, 159 km/h and 151 km/h, respectively.


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