Monday, February 3, 2014

More And More Weather Extremes Batter The Globe

The other day I wrote about how here in Vermont, the weather in January, though certainly very changeable and windy, didn't turn out to be far from normal in the end.
Huge waves smash against
the British shoreline last week. Believe
it or not, this is not
 a photoshopped image.  

Not so in much of the rest of the world, where big storms and extremes continue apace.  While the active weather across the planet has affected us here in Vermont and surrounding states, we have certainly escaped the real big problems and drama.

Here's some examples of some wild, often unprecedented weather events to prove things continue to get really strange out there.

California:  In drought stricken California, Sacremento had its longest winter dry spell in the record books, which date back to 1850. The winter drought was accompanied by unprecedented January warmth. 

Sacramento got up to 79 degrees during the month, exceeding its all time January high by five degrees. In the rare times when a city breaks a monthly record high, it's almost always by a degree or two. Virtually never by five degrees.

California is now getting a bit of rain for the first time in months, but the precipitation is relatively light and not really making a dent in the drought.

Alaska: While much of the eastern half of the United States endured a pretty cold January, much of Alaska had its hottest January temperatures on record. According to climate historian Christopher Burt, the statewide record high for January of 62 degrees was tied in Port Alsworth, Alaska. 

Numerous Alaskan towns and cities had their warmest January temperatures on record, including 50 at Nome and 40 at Kotzebue, which is way far north in Alaska.

The Alaskan heat was blamed on a massive avalanche that cut off the town of Valdez for several days.

Great Britain: Britain endured its wettest January in at least 250 years, and severe flooding has repeated hit the region since December. The storms coming in off the Atlantic have battered the coast with gigantic waves and storm surges, causing more huge property losses.

The parade of storms in Britain has already continued into February, and is expected to continue for the next couple of weeks at least.

The storminess has extended into much of the rest of Europe, with severe, damaging floods in Italy and France, and epic snowstorms in Austria and Serbia.

Brazil: Much of Brazil had its hottest, driest January on record. Sao Paulo broke the record for the hottest January maximums by a full degree. Its water reservoirs are now down to only 25 percent capacity, according to Reuters. 

Australia: After enduring the hottest year on record in 2013, the year 2014 began with a huge, record breaking heatwave that killed several dozen people, set off big wildfires and interfered with the Australian Open tennis match.

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