Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Two months of rain in just one day - Worst in living memory

· Met Office: deluge in south is worst in living memory
· Battered north braced for more as front advances

Some of the heaviest rainfall in living memory deluged southern Britain yesterday, inundating places with up to one sixth of their entire annual rainfall in less than 24 hours.

Cloud Lightning

Torrential rain causes chaos in Britain

Torrential rain and thunderstorms struck Britain on Friday, causing travel chaos, forcing television stations off the air and delaying a cricket match between England and India.

At London's Heathrow airport, 141 flights were cancelled, 25 stations on the London Underground were closed because of flooding and rail company First Great Western advised travellers against taking the train.

"Even if the flooding subsides, all our trains will be in the wrong places and there will still be severe delays," said a spokesman for the operator, whose services in the west of England were badly hit.

Homes around England and Wales faced flash flooding and police reported a slew of weather-related car and truck crashes.


Sweeping in from the south-west, the rain struck first in southern and central England and Wales.


Utah wildfire threatens 2 dozen homes

Firefighters battled to keep a wildfire that already burned thousands of acres from reaching a small town as residents of at least two dozen homes were told to be ready to evacuate quickly.

The 24-square-mile fire raced toward the town of Indianola on Friday, a day after burning through a campground and motel and forcing rescues. Officials said the blaze may have been started by sparks from a flat tire.

With a highly skilled team on its way from Florida, 150 area firefighters were fighting the flames amid extraordinary heat and drought, with no immediate relief predicted.

"It only takes a cigarette or a match and this stuff will explode," said Fred Burns, owner of Burns Brothers Ranch RV Resort in nearby Fountain Green, which was not affected.


Fox attacks restaurant worker in Md.

A bizarre fox attack at a Salisbury steak house had patrons and employees jumping and scrambling for cover.

The attack happened near closing time Thursday, when customers encountered a wild fox in the parking lot. Feeling threatened, they ran inside the slow-release door at Chef Fred's Chesapeake Steakhouse, Bar & Grill. The fox followed them inside.

"It was a bizarre thing," said Sara Hall, a manager at Chef Fred's Chesapeake Steakhouse, Bar & Grill. "I've never been so scared in my life."

Once inside the building, the fox scampered into the dining room area, into the bar area and back to the dining area, causing employees and patrons to take cover. Several jumped onto tables or chairs.

Cloud Lightning

At least 50 feared dead in 2 Pakistan villages

Peshawar - Lightning and heavy rain destroyed homes in two remote villages in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing at least 50 people, police said.

Seven houses were destroyed and several more damaged in villages in Dirbala district, 250 kilometres north of Peshawar, said local official Nisar Khan Wardak.

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Europe experiencing freak weather

A heat wave sweeping central and southeastern Europe killed at least 13 people this week, with soaring temperatures sparking forest fires, damaging crops and prompting calls to ban horse-drawn tourist carriages.

©Sang Tan/AP
Two cars are left stranded after torrential rain caused flash flooding on a road in Wallington, South London, on Friday.

Cloud Lightning

Texas Summer '07 Coolest, Wettest On Record

Central Texas has had 31 consecutive days of below-average temperatures in June and July, not even reaching 100 degrees.

The highest temperature recorded this year was 94 degrees.

Climatologists at the National Weather Service called this pattern "wacky weather."

Cloud Lightning

Storms Batter Britain Again

Heavy rain and flash flooding have caused havoc across the country as more storms swept through the UK.

©Daily Express
A car drives through a flooded street in Newbury, Berkshire.

An eerie darkness descended during the height of the monsoon-like outburst, with some areas getting as much as four to five inches of rain in one day - twice the average for the whole of July.


An answer to the mystery of wanton queen honeybees: Promiscuity produces more productive colonies

Why do queen honeybees mate with dozens of males? Does their extreme promiscuity, perhaps, serve a purpose?

An answer to this age-old mystery is proposed in the July 20 issue of Science magazine by Cornell scientists: Promiscuous queens, they suggest, produce genetically diverse colonies that are far more productive and hardy than genetically uniform colonies produced by monogamous queens.

"An intriguing trait of honeybee species worldwide is that each honeybee queen mates with an extraordinarily high number of males," said Heather R. Mattila, a Cornell postdoctoral fellow in neurobiology and behavior and co-author of the article with Thomas D. Seeley, Cornell professor of neurobiology and behavior.


Researchers plumb mysteries of Antarctic Mountains

The 3,000-kilometer-long Transantarctic Mountains are a dominant feature of the Antarctic continent, yet up to now scientists have been unable to adequately explain how they formed. In a new study, geologists report that the mountains appear to be the remnant edge of a gigantic high plateau that began stretching and thinning some 105 million years ago, leaving the peaks curving along the edge of a great plain.