Extreme Temperatures


South Florida corals dying from 'unprecedented' bleaching and disease

Florida coral bleaching
© Sun Sentinel
South Florida's corals are turning white and contracting fatal diseases in what's being called an unprecedented die-off across the region's reefs.

Off Hollywood, scientists witnessed the collapse of a minivan-sized coral colony that had started growing more than three centuries ago, when the Spanish ruled the peninsula. As recently as September, live coral tissue covered 90 percent of the colony's surface, making it among the oldest living things in the state. By December it was almost completely dead, said Brian Walker, a Nova Southeastern University research scientist, who found widespread mortality in corals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

"We saw a variety of diseases across the different corals," he said. "Some of the disease was recently active and had killed off a significant portion of the colony. It's wiped out entire species from parts of the reef. They're usually bleached white. You can see areas of just bare skeleton."

Comment: 93% of Australia's Great Barrier Reef suffering from coral bleaching

Cloud Precipitation

One massive storm, extreme weather in the U.S.

One massive storm system. Several different extreme weather results.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration water vapor loop
© Via College of DupageNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration water vapor loop.
A massive low-pressure center swirls over Denver. The effects of the giant comma-shaped storm stretch from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Welcome light rains in Minnesota. Record April heat in Seattle. Prolific snow totals in Colorado's high country. Torrential downpours and flash floods along the tail end of the troubled front in Houston.
More than 1000 water rescues today as torrential rains of 8"-16" inundated the Houston area https://t.co/WhVfcD9O7opic.twitter.com/hzh8lETrRd
— Weather Underground (@wunderground) April 18, 2016
When you get 15 inches of rain, there's just nowhere for the water to go. Cue the weather drones.
An #eyewitness news viewer sent us this drone video of flooding in Morton Ranch https://t.co/x6CS4vdJ54https://t.co/ThNOco3IRJ
— Houston News (@abc13houston) April 19, 2016
Houston flooding
© Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP
Rainfall totals between 10 and 17 inches are common across the Houston area with this storm. The heaviest totals of 15 inches-plus focused in the western suburbs.
17.6" of rain in parts of Houston metro today. More totals across SE Texas here: https://t.co/h0N3JXLFsI#houwx pic.twitter.com/7jK2XOKTuI
— NWSHouston (@NWSHouston) April 18, 2016

Comment: See also:


Death toll rises to 79 in Odisha, India as scorching heat wave continues

Heat wave in India
Death toll due to sunstroke and heatwave rises to 79 as Odisha continued to reel under scorching heat wave with temperature above 46 degree Celsius reported in several places.

Western Odisha town Titilagarh sizzled at highest 48 degree Celsius, country's highest temperature in 20 years in month of April, while Talcher was the second hottest at 46.8 degree Celsius.

Titlagarh, which recorded 47.5 degree Celsius on Friday, witnessed the mercury rising further on Saturday in the western Odisha town.

With 18 towns in the state recorded temperature above 40 degree Celsius, the suspected death toll due to sunstroke rises to 79.

As an unwavering heat wave sweeping, the government on Saturday announced ex-gratia compensation of 50 thousand rupees for each death caused by sun stroke.

The special relief commissioner's office on Saturday said to meet the drinking water scarcity need, more than one thousand tankers have been pressed into water supply service while 745 teams were engaged in repair of tube wells.

The regional Met department said the heat wave condition would prevail in several parts of the state till tomorrow and also warned interior and western parts will continue to face crippling heat conditions in next two days

Comment: Recent data indicates an increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves in India in recent years. Last year alone, heat wave killed at least 2,500 people - a 50 per cent increase compared to 2014.


Brutal heat wave kills over 100 in India with temperatures over 115 degrees (46°C)

India heatwave
© Sipa via AP ImagesA man drinks water to cool off during a hot day as temperatures soared above 110 degrees on April 10, 2016 in Allahabad, India.
Dozens of deaths have been reported in India as temperatures soared to 115 degrees (46°C) in recent days.

The intense heat has come earlier and is more widespread than normal, according to BBC.com. Triple-digit temperatures have been reported all over the country's southern states as west winds prevail in areas like Bhubaneswar and Kolkata, preventing sea breezes from relieving coastal cities from stifling heat along the Bay of Bengal, the report added.

The heat wave was responsible for at least 111 deaths through Saturday in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Xinhua reported. A year ago, a heat wave killed some 2,300 people in those two states, Time.com said.


Bhubaneswar, India shatters all time heat records at 45.8°C, unprecedented heatwave continues

record heat in Bhubaneswar, India
© biswanath swain A stretch of National Highway near ISKCON temple wears a deserted look as Bhubaneswar registered a record temperature on Monday
The capital city of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, is under the grip of severe heat wave this summer season. While the city recorded its highest day temperature at 43.2°C on 5th April, the mercury has been settling several notches above than the normal. Due to an unprecedented heatwave, the Naveen Patnaik government has ordered the closure of all the schools till April 20.

The city recorded the maximum temperature on Sunday which was the highest in Odisha and second highest in India. But beating its own record, city witnessed the highest ever maximum temperature on Monday evening at 45.8°C.

The all-time highest maximum temperature for Bhubaneswar stands at 45.0°C.

Heatwave is experienced when the maximum temperature over a place is above 40°C and five to six degrees above normal average temperatures.

While April is just half way through and temperatures are setting new records every other day, peak summer months may bring more harsh weather to several cities of East India.

Bhubaneswar has been witnessing a long dry spell since March 21, which has led to sharp rise in the mercury. Due to absence of any rain or cool winds, the temperatures has been on a higher side.

According to Skymet weather, the heat wave conditions in East India including Odisha and Jharkhand is likely to continue for another week.

Comment: Unusually harsh summer heat kills 66 in India's Telangana state

Snowflake Cold

From warmest December on record to blizzards, wild winter sets records across the northeastern U.S.

Comment: For more recent wild and crazy weather, see our latest SOTT Earth Changes Summary - March 2016: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs.

From the warmest December on record to the "Blizzard of 2016" and snow in April, the winter of 2015-2016 put itself in the record books across the northeastern United States.

The transition to a strong El Niño brought a much different weather pattern to the region compared to the winter of 2014-2015 which brought copious amounts of cold and snow.

The winter of 2015-2016 impacted the northeastern United States differently based on location, causing some locations to end with below-normal snowfall and above-normal snowfall in others.
2015-2016 Snowfall
Warmest December on record hinders lake-effect snow season

The AccuWeather winter forecast for the Northeast and Great Lakes highlighted a mild start to the winter season as El Niño strengthened in the equatorial Pacific. The milder pattern would also lead to a weak lake-effect snow season across the Great Lakes.

"We were certain that the winter cold would be less persistent and less frequent compared to last year," AccuWeather Long Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

The mild start to the season failed to produce many days of air cold enough to produce significant bands of lake-effect snow prior to 2016.

"The mild pattern during November and December took over across the eastern United States and allowed very few lake-effect events to occur at the beginning of the season," Pastelok said.

While November ended as one of the warmest months on record for portions of the Northeast, December not only became the warmest month on record across the Northeast, but shattered the previous record.


Movement of water around the world contributes to Earth's rotational wobbles says NASA

Earth's Spin Axis
© NASA/JPL-CaltechEarth does not always spin on an axis running through its poles. Instead, it wobbles irregularly over time, drifting toward North America throughout most of the 20th Century (green arrow). That direction has changed drastically due to changes in water mass on Earth.
Using satellite data on how water moves around Earth, NASA scientists have solved two mysteries about wobbles in the planet's rotation -- one new and one more than a century old. The research may help improve our knowledge of past and future climate.

Although a desktop globe always spins smoothly around the axis running through its north and south poles, a real planet wobbles. Earth's spin axis drifts slowly around the poles; the farthest away it has wobbled since observations began is 37 feet (12 meters). These wobbles don't affect our daily life, but they must be taken into account to get accurate results from GPS, Earth-observing satellites and observatories on the ground.

In a paper published today in Science Advances, Surendra Adhikari and Erik Ivins of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, researched how the movement of water around the world contributes to Earth's rotational wobbles. Earlier studies have pinpointed many connections between processes on Earth's surface or interior and our planet's wandering ways. For example, Earth's mantle is still readjusting to the loss of ice on North America after the last ice age, and the reduced mass beneath that continent pulls the spin axis toward Canada at the rate of a few inches each year. But some motions are still puzzling.

Snowflake Cold

Ontario, Canada breaks cold temperature records for Spring

Ontario ice storm
© Dustin O'Donnell/FlickerIce Storm 2013
After a mild winter where temperatures in Ontario more typical of April often appeared, a large arctic high-pressure area sent temperatures plummeting to values more typical of mid-winter on April 5.

As a result of unseasonable cold, new record low minimums were set in a number of localities across Southern and Northeastern Ontario. "We used up some of our spring-like weather too early, and now we're paying for it," Environment Canada Meteorologist Geoff Coulson said. Coulson added that cold temperatures can be blamed on a combination of a weakening El Niño and polar vortex coming down south.

"The vortex brought with it some colder air, not just for Ontario but also for Quebec, Atlantic Canada, and a good chunk of the midwestern US and northeastern US as well. And with this pattern being fairly stubborn at this point, this cold air is expected to linger at least through mid-month, giving us temperatures more like single digit highs anywhere between 2, 3 °C (35.6, 37.4 °F) when we'd normally be seeing daytime highs of around 10 °C (50 °F)."

The following is a summary of weather event information received by Environment Canada on April 5:

London Airport -12.0 °C (10.4 °F) breaks previous record -10.5 °C (13.1 °F) set in 1995
Delhi -12.2 °C (10.04 °F) breaks previous record -10.5 °C set in 1995
Kitchener -15.5 °C (4.1 °F) breaks previous record -11.5 °C (11.3 °F) set in 1982
Guelph -16.7 °C (1.94 °F) breaks previous record -12.8 °C (8.96 °F) set in 1903
Hamilton -10.9 °C (12.38 °F) breaks previous record -10.8 °C (12.56 °F) set in 1995
Barrie -15.0 °C (5 °F) breaks previous record -14.0 °C (6.8 °F) set in 1982
Timmins -24.5 °C (-12.1 °F) breaks previous record -22.9 °C (-9.22 °F) set in 1995
Kirkland Lake -26.5 °C (-15.7 °F) breaks previous record -22.8 °C (-9.04 °F) set in 1970

Snowflake Cold

Large, anomalous area of colder-than-normal sea-surface temperatures to be wild card in 2016 Atlantic hurricane season

Potential ocean cooling
The potential movement of a 'cold blob' of water in the North Atlantic Ocean may be the wild card in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, experts say.

The cold blob refers to a large, anomalous area of colder-than-normal sea-surface temperatures, located east of Newfoundland and south of Greenland.

"This area of colder water started to show up a few years ago and has become larger and more persistent during the past couple of years," AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

Whether or not ocean currents draw cold water from this blob southward into tropical regions of the Atlantic could determine how active the season becomes. With all potential factors in mind, forecasters are predicting that tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic will total 14 this season, two more than what is considered normal.

If the cooler water migrates southward across the eastern Atlantic, then westward into tropical breeding grounds, it will lower sea-surface temperatures over the region where 85 percent of Atlantic tropical systems develop.Another possibility is that the water from the cold blob could alter the makeup of deep ocean currents and affect the salinity of the water. If this happens, the pattern of warming waters that has been occurring since 1995 will reverse, leading to a period of cooling.

Comment: See also:


Unusually harsh summer heat kills 66 in India's Telangana state

Heatwave in India
© India Today
The unusually harsh summer heat in Telangana has already started taking a huge toll of human life.

With heatwave conditions prevailing across the state, 66 people have died due to sun stroke and other related problems, officials said.

The highest number of deaths — 28 — were reported from Mahbubnagar, followed by 11 in Medak and five each from Karimnagar and Khammam.

Other deaths were reported in Adilabad, Nizamabad, Warangal and Nalgonda.

According to the Meteorological Department Nizamabad, north Telangana continues to be the hottest area in the state with maximum temperatures of 43.4C followed by Medak and Karimnagar with 43C. Hyderabad recorded 41C.

In an indication of the unbearable hot conditions in the state nowhere was the temperature below 40C.

The severe heatwave was forcing the people to stay indoors during the peak hours of the day and the roads and bazaars in Hyderabad and other major cities were wearing deserted look.

The state administration has advised the people to avoid going out into the open from 12 noon.

Telangana normally witnesses heatwave condition only in the month of May but this year the temperatures have been unusually high and harsh right from the beginning of summer.

Last year more than 2,000 people lost their lives in heatwave in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Officials were fearing worst this year as the Meteorological department has warned of even worse days ahead. Officials have warned that the highest temperature this year may reach 46 to 47 degrees at some places.