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Fri, 24 Mar 2017
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Another tornado record's in sight for U.S. as thunderstorms set to rip across the Great Plains and South

© Bloomberg
Another wave of tornado-spawning thunderstorms is set to rip across the Great Plains and South this week, putting the U.S. within reach of a record year for life-threatening twisters.

Severe storms will drench a swath of the country from Texas to Mississippi over the next five days, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center. Through Thursday, 369 tornadoes have been reported across the country, the most in five years and more than double the normal number of sightings.

An active jet stream and unusually balmy weather are to blame for the burst of deadly tornado activity, the storm prediction center said. Strong winds have dragged storms into the warm, humid air that's blanketed the eastern half of the nation, creating conditions ripe for a weather phenomenon that leads to at least $400 million in damage a year in the U.S.

"We have a severe threat starting today and continuing for each of the next five days through at least Monday," said Patrick Marsh, warning coordination meteorologist at the storm prediction center in Norman, Oklahoma. "Through mid-March, we are on a record or near-record pace."

The atmospheric moisture across the southern U.S. in January was more typical of April, Marsh said. A confirmed tornado touched down in central Massachusetts in February, a first, while there was still snow on the ground.

Comment: A tornado outbreak in January this year was the deadliest since 1969 and exceeded the entire 2016 death toll in two days.


Northern Manitoba town desperate for groceries after series of blizzards

© Keith McDougal/YouTube
Churchill has been under a local state of emergency since March 10, after the area was hit with 60 cm of snow over three days.

Comment: According to the Canadian Press, after three weeks of blizzards, the first food arrived in Churchill, Manitoba on Tuesday.

Another winter blizzard is hitting the remote northern Manitoba community of Churchill, where people are already desperate for groceries that have been delayed since the last blizzard two weeks ago.

But there could be relief as soon as Monday afternoon, if the train can get all the way through to the town of about 900 residents.

OmniTrax, the Denver-based company that owns the rail line that brings supplies into Churchill, cleared the tracks and is trying to get supplies delivered as soon as possible. A train with supplies departed from the northern Manitoba town of Gillam, about 270 kilometres southeast of Churchill, at around noon Monday.

"A lot of families are suffering because they have young children and they need milk," said local resident Lana Bilenduke. No bread or vegetables are for sale at the local store and meat is scarce, she said. "Everyone's in a crisis until we get our groceries in."

© Lana Bilenduke
Locals say there is hardly any meat left at the one store in Churchill.


Blizzard of '17 dumped 23.6 inches in 2 days on Northeast Pennsylvania, most ever in single storm

© Times-Tribune
The Blizzard of 2017 dumped 23.6 inches of snow on Northeast Pennsylvania over two days, the most ever from a single storm, the National Weather Service reported Tuesday in releasing the final snowfall totals.

The snowfall from March 14 into March 15 at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport beat the old record of 21.4 inches on March 13-14, 1993, during the Blizzard of 1993.

The total included 22.1 inches of snow on March 14, the most for any calendar day since record-keeping began locally in 1901. The previous record was 18.7 inches on the first day of the 1993 blizzard.

This month now stands as the third snowiest March on record with 30.6 inches, which also makes its the sixth snowiest month ever, the weather service said. The record for March is 38 inches in 1916. The snowiest month on record is January 1994 with 42.3 inches.

Cloud Precipitation

Up to baseball sized hailstones reported in the Carolinas

The southern Piedmont of North Carolina and the upstate of South Carolina took a pounding from hail storms Tuesday evening. In some locations, the hail looked more like snow covering the ground.

Hail up to the size of golf balls was reported near UNC-Charlotte. However, the hail was even larger in South Carolina. Locations near Greenville, South Carolina reported baseball sized hail that shattered car windows in some neighborhoods.
@NWSGSP Brother sent me this picture of hail from Travelers Rest around 6pm. More hail on Wade Hampton moments ago #scwx #severewx #hail pic.twitter.com/U6ml8uqk7z

— Melissa Griffin (@mlgriffinWX1) March 21, 2017


Two waterspouts filmed near Carmila, Australia

Two waterspouts were spotted near Carmila in Queensland on March 20. Severe thunderstorm warnings were in place for the area, according to local reports. Rain rates of up to 2.3 inches were also recorded in Queensland.

This video shows the waterspouts from a distance. The uploader told Storyful that the waterspouts "only lasted for a couple of minutes."

Source: Storyful News

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills farmer in Cambodia; third such death within a week

Lightning struck and killed a woman on Saturday afternoon as she was farming in heavy rain in Battambang province's Phnom Prek district.

Thoy Sok, 34, was struck at about 2:30pm during an unseasonal dry-season storm, the National Police website said yesterday.

"She died in her rice field instantly," it said.

On Friday, two separate lightning strikes killed a woman and injured three, one critically, in Battambang province.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills man in Garo Hills, India

Hailstorm lashed a large part of Garo Hills killing one person and damaging houses

In West Garo Hills, Rajabala constituency is the worst-affected with early reports indicating 14 villages being affected by the storm.

A village elder from Nikikona Jhalupara village in Selsella block, identified as Gobindo Seal, was killed when lightning struck him while attempting to herd his cattle to the cowshed.

Local MLA and parliamentary secretary for water resources Ashahel D. Shira visited the area. He asked district officials to visit the affected parts, assess the damages and ensure compensation.

Comment: See also: Lightning not commonly seen in India during March kills 6

Cloud Lightning

Family mourns death of boy struck by lightning bolt in Kenya

© Charles Lwanga
A resident of Gongoni in Kilifi County displays the clothes Musa Kenga Karisa was wearing when he was struck and killed by lightning on March 18, 2017.
A family in Magarini in Kilifi County is in agony after lightning struck and killed a 12-year boy during a heavy down pour this morning.

Musa Kenga Karisa, a Standard Six pupil at Mapimo Primary School, was struck at around 9am while he was walking from his home in Gongoni Township to Kokotoni, with a friend.

He was taken to Mjanaheri dispensary where he was pronounced dead. But his friend survived.

Karisa's elder brother Sammy Kenga is the one who rushed him to the facility.

"He was lying by the road near a pool of water groaning with pain," Kenga said at the Malindi Sub County hospital mortuary.

Malindi police boss Matawa Muchangi confirmed the incident.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning not commonly seen in India during March kills 6

Lightning strikes on March 15 over Marathwada followed by similar incident over Vidarbha, claimed lives of at least six people and damaged standing crops over this region.
The instances of lightning and thunderstorm activity, reported over parts of Marathwada and Vidarbha earlier this week, is not a common occurring event in March, said officials at India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, on Friday. Lightning strikes along with hailstorm reported on March 15 over Marathwada followed by similar incident over Vidarbha, claimed lives of at least six people and damaged standing crops over this region. Though weather experts hesitated from terming it as an unusual event, experts, however, said that records of past instances show that such activity rarely occurred in March, which is when there is seasonal transition.

Snowflake Cold

Record cold in Bermuda, blizzards in China & increased ice growth across Greenland

© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Iditarod race coldest start ever, Bermuda record cold, rare deep snows in Tibet and Japan increases the snow total amounts from 500 to 800cm on the charts to adjust for higher snowfall totals across the country. Greenland continues to have record increases in ice growth and Iceland has record snow a week before.