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Anome_Offline
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PostPosted: 14-02-2014 07:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that was a hot topic (no pun intended) of conversation at work. Adelaide's record temperatures followed by 7cm of rain.

We got about 1mm, and a much cooler day than originally predicted, but it still felt like a sauna. Just not as hot a sauna as Brisbane or Sydney in mid-Summer.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 15-02-2014 11:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new Dust Bowl: 'epochal' drought hits California's Central Valley
Washington is finally waking up to California's worst drought since the 16th century, but is it too little too late? Nick Allen reports
By Nick Allen, Mendota, California
4:37PM GMT 14 Feb 2014

On the road into the small California farming community of Mendota the signs read “Stop – dust bowl!” and “Save Water” as farmers in orchards are busy bulldozing withered almond trees.

It didn’t used to be like this here. Until recently this town of 11,000 people was proudly known as the “Cantaloupe Capital of the World”. Of all the many local crops its melons were most prized. Mendota’s farmers have been growing them since the 1920s, when Greek immigrants arrived and found the soil was perfect. The lush fields used to provide 70 per cent of America’s cantaloupes.

But today Mendota is becoming known for another reason. It sits at ground zero in an unfolding, slow motion billion dollar disaster, what climatologists are calling an “epochal” drought. Analysis of the rings in ancient sequoia trees suggests the region is experiencing a lack of rain not seen since 1580, around the time Sir Francis Drake reached the California coast and claimed it for Elizabeth I.

In a neat and modern town hall, built in the good times, Mendota Mayor Robert Silva shakes his head ruefully as he looks at the latest unemployment figures. It stands at 34 per cent and is likely to top 50 per cent as farmers leave more fields fallow in the next few months.

“We will soon have the highest unemployment in the nation. Things are really not good,” Mr Silva says understatedly. “There’s going to be a lot of dust flying around all over the place here.” On the streets outside workers in cowboy hats loll on benches under a baking sun, not a cloud or a job in sight. Times are so bad the 99 Cents store has competition from a 98 Cents store, and people are queuing for donated clothes at the youth centre.

Similar scenes are evident in towns up and down California’s Central Valley. The scale of the drought is staggering. The Central Valley is known as the “breadbasket of America” and covers a vast area half the size of England. It produces 50 per cent of the fruit and vegetables in the United Sates. For several years the resolute Mr Silva has been writing to the White House pleading for help. In December he wrote: “Dear President Obama. Our cities, businesses and residents desperately seek immediate relief.”

It now appears someone finally read one of his missives. Mr Obama was due to helicopter in on Marine One to a farm near Mendota yesterday. At the customary photo opportunity he was due to propose a major new $1 billion (£600m) fund to mitigate the impact of climate change, including $100 million aid for stricken livestock farmers, $60 million for food banks to supply hungry families, and 600 sites that will give out free meals this summer in drought-hit areas.

For farmers there was relief that their plight has been noticed, and gratitude that Mr Obama was prepared to stand in a field on Valentine’s Day. But there was also, among some, a feeling that the president has been slow to address this crisis. He has visited Los Angeles countless times to glad-hand movie stars and political donors, but it was his first ever trip to California’s farming heartland. Mendota is four hours’ drive, and a world apart, from Hollywood.

Unlike recent hurricanes and floods in the US there have been few startling images of this attritional disaster. It is taking place over such a huge area that it is impossible to capture in the frame of a television screen.

Getting the public, and politicians, to notice has been tough.
“We have been asking him [Mr Obama] to give us some attention since 2009 and he has never responded up until now. This is a big economic disaster, it just happens to be slow moving,” said Joe Del Bosque, 64, a cowboy-hat wearing cantaloupe farmer near Mendota. “But it’s a non-partisan issue.”

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10638983/The-new-Dust-Bowl-epochal-drought-hits-Californias-Central-Valley.html

I don't know about 'epochal' - the world seems to be collapsing into an apocalyptic state now. Drought in California; blizzards in the eastern US, now moving into Canada; storms in western Europe; a volcano forces evacuation of thousands in Indonesia....
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skinnyOffline
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PostPosted: 15-02-2014 11:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anome_ wrote:
Yes, that was a hot topic (no pun intended) of conversation at work. Adelaide's record temperatures followed by 7cm of rain.

We got about 1mm, and a much cooler day than originally predicted, but it still felt like a sauna. Just not as hot a sauna as Brisbane or Sydney in mid-Summer.
Sultry is the word of the day here currently. I'm back in tracky dacks with the chiminea roaring, and it feels good.

Where are you located, faceless old one?
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 07-03-2014 07:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

UK storms caused 'greatest tree loss in a generation'
[Video: Mark Squire, Custard Duck Photography, filmed uprooted trees in Cornwall]

The winter storms that battered the UK caused the greatest loss of trees since the Great Storm of 1987 in some areas, the National Trust has said.
More than 50 of the trust's sites were surveyed, with some losing hundreds of trees including valued ancient specimens.
Many trees were uprooted and blown over rather than snapped, due to the saturated ground.
The trust said that despite the damage, the losses could have been worse.

The National Trust's nature and wildlife specialist, Matthew Oates, said: "Increased storminess, and increased extreme weather events generally, are likely to stress trees further, especially veteran trees.
"We will have to think carefully about where we establish trees and what species we plant."

Gardeners, rangers and foresters told the trust that the losses of trees had been the greatest in more than two decades on some sites, while others suffered little damage.

Killerton Estate in Devon suffered some of the biggest losses, with more than 500 trees blown over, the trust said, including 20 that were significant to the estate's landscaping.

Specimen trees were badly damaged or blown over in gardens and parks, particularly in south-west England and Wales, but gardens outside the west also suffered, with Tatton Park near Manchester, Nymans in Sussex and Scotney Castle in Kent all affected.

Mottisfont Abbey and the New Forest, both in Hampshire, lost hundreds of trees across three areas.

Stourhead in Wiltshire, meanwhile, suffered the loss of 400 trees across the wider estate, including an oak which could have been between 200 and 250 years old and planted by the man who created the landscape garden.

Other trees lost included a rare black walnut at Hatfield Forest, which was the largest in Essex.

Mr Oates said: "People love and need trees, and the loss of specimen trees in gardens and parks, and of ancient beeches and oaks in the woods and wider countryside, hurts us all and damages much wildlife.
"We value and venerate these old sentinels and need to become increasingly aware of the power of the weather."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26478323
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Tunn11Offline
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PostPosted: 07-03-2014 12:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

After the '87 "hurricane" one of the gardeners at Wisley (The name Bertie Doe, springs to mind but I'm not sure that is right) Hauled many of the fruit trees upright again with a tractor, packed soil round the roots and staked them. He apparently managed to save quite high percentage.

They were probably smallish trees, I think in an orchard, but no one seems to have tried it since. Tried as very quick search but can't find anything, I think it was originally on one of the early "reality" programmes about Wisley that happened to be being filmed at that time.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 08-03-2014 23:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look at what was unearthed.

Quote:
Roots of Irish history exposed by winter storms
By Barra Best
BBC News NI
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-26485729

Exposed roots

Remnants of the drowned forest have been exposed by winter storms
Part of a drowned forest that once spanned a vast swathe of the west coast of Ireland has been exposed by recent storms.

The forest dates back thousands of years and was lost to the sea as water levels rose over the centuries.

The Irish Times reported that strong winds and big waves had moved sand, rocks, and other debris from the north Galway coast to unearth what is left.

"We always knew it was there but it took the storms to expose it" said geologist, Prof Mike Williams.

"Folktales, passed down through thousands of generations, spoke of disappearing land and islands. It's extraordinary to see".

The sight, however, will be short-lived.

"It will all disappear again as the sand is pushed back over it by the sea during the summer months," added Prof Williams.

The storms that resurrected some of the island's wooded history also killed large parts of living forests.

Up to 7.5 million trees were felled by one of the strongest storms to batter Ireland during the winter season.

Storm Darwin, as it became known, struck on 12 February knocking more than a quarter of a million homes and businesses into darkness as the electricity network dealt with thousands of faults.

Gusts of wind reached almost 100mph (160km/h) at Shannon airport in County Clare, while gusts of 93mph (150km/h) were recorded at Waterford airport.

The south and west of the country was worst affected with police declaring a major emergency in County Kilkenny.

Following the storm the Windblow taskforce was set up by the Republic of Ireland's Department of Agriculture to assess the damage caused by the storm.

Early indications from the taskforce show that between 5,000 and 7,000 hectares of forest have been blown down, mainly in Munster.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 15-03-2014 13:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Eritrea: Hail storm dumps metre of ice on capital
News from Elsewhere...
...as found by BBC Monitoring
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-26576613

Aftermath of the hail storm in Eritrea's capital Asmara

A freak rain storm has dumped as much as 1m (3ft) of hail on Asmara, capital of Eritrea, in what appears to be the heaviest rainfall ever recorded there.

This week's storm lasted just 90 minutes, but afterwards parts of the city were completely blocked by ice, government-run newspaper Hadas Eritrea reports. Footage on local television shows streets running with water, and vehicles buried under the hail.

It is by far the heaviest rain ever recorded in the Eritrean capital, the newspaper says. A BBC Monitoring journalist in Nairobi adds that while hail is not unknown in Asmara at this time of year, this week's storm has surprised residents with its intensity.

Eritrea, situated on the Horn of Africa, experiences a short rainy season between February and April, known locally as the "belg" or little rains, followed by a main rainy season between June and September. Average annual rainfall is 61cm (24 inches).

Emergency vehicle in Asmara

Footage on Eritrean state TV showed roads deep with ice

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.
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kamalktkOffline
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PostPosted: 22-03-2014 18:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Controlled burn in Colorado, US, creates a fiery dust devil with whirling tumbleweeds.
http://www.9news.com/video/3373941217001/50629282001/Massive-dust-devil-forms-during-controlled-burn

Longer video of same thing can be seen here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKfpp3EFLK4
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 22-03-2014 19:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's something you don't see every day. Shocked
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 31-03-2014 10:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pietro_Mercurios wrote:
That's something you don't see every day. Shocked

This too:

Devon cars covered in Sahara dust after 'odd' weather
By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: March 31, 2014

Cars in Devon and Cornwall were left coated in a thin film of Sahara dust this weekend thanks to a wind from the South East and light rain.
The yellow-red mineral powder is generally scooped up as winds cross the Sahara Desert in North Africa then carried across the sea.
It mixes with rain clouds and, as this weekend, is brought down in light rain showers leaving cars coated in a thin grime.

The odd shower appears to have hit south and west Devon, Cornwall and Ireland this weekend.
Experts say a sandstorm over Algeria last week saw the sand launched high into the atmosphere.
Emma Sharples, duty meteorologist at the Met Office in Exeter, said: “This does happen, it has happened before, but you need the combination of elements.
“The sandstorm in the Saharan region, the wind from the south/south-east, and the right sort of rain.
“You need a light rain, not too much – just enough to bring it down and then when it dries out it leaves that residue on cars.
“It’s probably because the rain is not that heavy that it does not get brought down and washed off straight away.
“Of course it isn’t dangerous. The most it’s going to be is an inconvenience to people who have it on their clean cars.”

Read more: http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Devon-cars-covered-Sahara-dust-odd-weather/story-20883881-detail/story.html#ixzz2xXGEfYjz

Not seen in this part of Cornwall this time, although I have seen it once or twice before.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 31-03-2014 11:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some parts of Cornwall did catch the sand:

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/11113770.A_liitle_bit_of_the_Sahara__Cornish_cars_covered_in_fine_dust/?ref=mr
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 31-03-2014 14:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

So did Ireland.

Quote:
Wet Sahara dust may explain appearance of mud - Met Éireann
Red dust from upper atmosphere falling with rain overnight ‘most plausible explanation’
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/wet-sahara-dust-may-explain-appearance-of-mud-met-%C3%A9ireann-1.1743589

A fine film of dust covers cars in Dublin city today. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Tim O'Brien
:
Sun, Mar 30, 2014, 16:18

The “most plausible explanation” for widespread spots of reddish brown mud which have appeared across the east and southern coasts today, is wet dust from the Sahara, according to Met Éireann.

However the national forecaster has said there is little point in rushing to wash the family saloon as southerly or southeasterly winds are likely to remain in place for the coming days - as is the chance of rainfall - meaning there is a high risk of more dust washing down as spots of mud on us once again.

According to Met Éireann’s Joan Blackburn dust in the upper atmosphere is not an unusual phenomenon - it is usually light and well dispersed, but in certain conditions, particularly when it rains, the dust it is literally washed out of the sky and falls as a fine spattering of mud. Sometimes when it comes from the Sahara it can be red tinged, she said.

The weather pattern affecting Ireland at the moment was not an unusual one and the conditions, a southerly wind and precipitation overnight, “would be the most plausible explanation” she added.
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 31-03-2014 17:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found fine sand on my windscreen this morning...I wonder if it reached East Anglia?
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 01-04-2014 21:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air pollution: High levels 'to spread across England and Wales'

High levels of air pollution which have been affecting parts of England are set to get worse and spread, experts say.
Environment department Defra says "high" or "very high" levels have been recorded in the past 24 hours mainly in the East of England and the Midlands.
It expects the pollution - linked to sandstorms in the Sahara - to spread across England and Wales on Wednesday.
Defra says air pollution can cause respiratory problems and people with heart or lung disease are most at risk.

Andrew Sibley, specialist forecaster for the Met Office, said: "Conditions are going to get worse again as we go through Wednesday and the rest of the week."
He said that a south-easterly wind would bring with it yet more pollution from Europe, and further compound the situation in the UK.
Mr Sibley said that dust and sand particles from the Saharan desert could easily get swept up by high winds and carried thousands of miles across the globe.
"The dust gets caught by rain particles and that's how it ends up being visible on the ground," he said.

A Defra spokeswoman said: "The high level of air pollution this week is due to a combination of local emissions, light winds, pollution from the continent and dust blown over from the Sahara.
"We want to keep improving air quality and have introduced a new five-day forecast service in addition to investing heavily in local and transport initiatives to tackle this issue head-on."

It is warning of "high" or "very high" air pollution levels across much of England and Wales.
And the high levels of pollution are expected to continue across East Anglia and the Midlands on Thursday.

But the pollution is expected to ebb away by Friday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26844425
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Ronson8Offline
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PostPosted: 01-04-2014 22:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

No wonder I've been feeling like shite. Crying or Very sad
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