Best of the Web: US: Storm looking like giant tidal wave sparks sideways lightning bolts

© Mike Hollingshead/SolentThis extraordinary photograph captures the incredible moments a 'supercell' storm reared up against a backdrop of lightning
A huge storm rears up like a giant tidal wave, sparking horizontal bolts of lightning.

Mike Hollingshead took this snap in Nebraska, USA.

The storm chaser, 35, said: "I've seen some cool storms but this one takes the cake."

Cloud Lightning

Czech Republic: Possible multiple tornadoes in the Pardubice region

Pardubice tornado
© Nikola Burkoňová Windstorm in Staré Čivice destroyed the roof of ten to fifteen houses.
Translation by

Pardubice - Tuesday's tornado not only struck Staré Čívice in Pardubice, but also other communities in the vicinity of Pardubice.

People reported damaged roofs in Staré Jesenčany, Mikulovice, and Blata a Hroubovice said the deputy of county firefighters.

Possibly multiple tornadoes rampaged through Pardubice, but meteorologists are still investigating whether in some cases these were so-called 'landspouts'.

The tornado caused most damage in an industrial zone in Staré Čívice, where it damaged the buildings of two businesses, leaving costs in damages running into tens of millions of crowns.

Cloud Lightning

Ireland: Funnel Cloud Spotted Over County Galway

Funnel cloud spotted over Galway on Tuesday. Image Kit O Sullivan
An eagle-eyed Irish Weather Online follower in County Galway has captured what appears to be a funnel cloud forming near her home.

Kit O'Sullivan from Ardrahan in the south of the county emailed with her shot of the weather feature forming from a storm cell on Tuesday evening (5.15-5.20P.M.)

Kit said the funnel cloud was located between Kilcolgan and Kinvara. She decribed the feature "growing quite long", but could not determine if it touched the ground, and consequently becoming a confirmed tornado.

Cloud Lightning

US: Rains, floods engulf St. Cloud roads

For a while late Tuesday afternoon, it seemed as though Central Minnesota was either going to sink or float away.

A line of storms dumped more than 2 inches of water on St. Cloud in a couple of hours before the drops finally stopped about 6 p.m.

And your umbrella might not dry out for the next couple of days.

Forecasts call for 1-3 inches of rain through Thursday, according to Bob Weisman, St. Cloud State University meteorologist.

That could bring about a repeat of flash flooding that occurred Tuesday, bringing cars to a halt on some streets and washing out the St. Cloud River Bats' game.

According to Weisman, a St. Cloud State rain gauge recorded 2.33 inches of precipitation between 4 and 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Low-lying areas, including several intersections in St. Cloud, filled with several feet of water. That caused St. Cloud police to divert traffic and, at least along Veterans Drive just west of 33rd Avenue North, assist drivers whose cars stalled in water that was over the wheel wells.

Other problem areas included Ninth Avenue South and Minnesota Highway 23, 25th Avenue North and Fourth Street, and a section of 18th Street South in the 10th-12th Street area, according to St. Cloud Fire Capt. Pat Ellering.

"We had several intersections closed and several cars stranded," Ellering said. "It was a lot of rain in a short amount of time and the system wasn't able to handle it."

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US: ComEd says it may take until Thursday to restore power

© Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesUtility Workers
Commonwealth Edison says nearly all of its customers in the Chicago area who had power knocked out by Tuesday night's storm, including 239,000 still without power, "could" have their electricity restored by late Thursday.

The storm, which hit after 7 p.m. and prompted numerous tornado warnings throughout the area, according to the National Weather Service. By 9:30 p.m., the most severe portion of the storms passed to the northeast.

The downed trees and power lines have Commonwealth Edison crews scrambling to restore power and Metra working to removed downed trees and branches from the tracks.

As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 239,000 ComEd customers across the area were without power, according to spokesman Derrick Clifton. Since the storms hit, 175,000 ComEd customers have had power restored.

ComEd has had approximately 400 crews out since the storm blew through the area, working to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers who were left in the dark.

Cloud Lightning

Tropical storm Haima hits southern China, forcing ships to stop service

© China NewsFishing vessels anchor at Xingang Port to take shelter from the approaching tropical storm in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, June 22, 2011. A new tropical storm, the fourth this year, formed early Tuesday morning and is expected to land in Guangdong from Wednesday night to Thursday morning. The National Meteorological Center has issued a typhoon alarm. (Xinhua/Pan Qinghua)
Haikou, -- All passenger ships have been forced to cease operations in the south Qiongzhou Strait as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, due to the gusty winds brought by the fourth tropical storm of the year, "Haima", which formed early Tuesday morning, the local marine bureau of southern Hainan Province said.

Qiongzhou Strait is located between the southern provinces of Guangdong and Hainan.

Wu Qiang, deputy manager of Xiuying Passenger Ferry Company under the port affairs administration of Haikou, capital city of Hainan Province, said the temporarily suspended service has stranded about 100 travelers and vehicles.

"The port of Haikou has opened two spare parking lots and is ready to offer relevant services," Wu said.

Cloud Lightning

US: Chicago Area Cleans Up Storm Damage

© Chase McNulty
Chicago, Illinois -- Schools and at least one courthouse in the Chicago area were closed Wednesday after violent summer thunderstorms knocked out power to thousands.

At Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., 42 buildings were reported to be without electricity, the Chicago Tribune said. There was no word on when the lights would be back on.

In the north and west suburbs, crews armed with chainsaws worked to remove downed trees and branches from the streets. Delays were reported for suburban commuter trains and the city's mass transit system.

The storms moved through northern Illinois Tuesday night. Hundreds of flights were canceled at Chicago airports, subway passengers were stranded and at least 300,000 homes and businesses lost power. Commonwealth Edison said repairing the damage could take days.


US: South Carolina Man Killed, Others Hurt in Overnight Storm

© aburrissBob Bickford , a resident of the Country Club neighborhood, works on clearing a tree Wednesday morning that fell on an SUV Tuesday night and blocked Country Club Drive in Rock Hill.
Strong thunderstorms that rumbled across the Carolinas late Tuesday night left downed trees, power outages and one Rock Hill man trapped in his SUV.

The storms moved into York and surrounding counties around 9:30 p.m. Thunderstorms persisted for much of the night before finally subsiding shortly before daybreak.

A Rock Hill man was driving home on Country Club Drive when several trees fell on his SUV, said his wife, Lauren Mclean. The trees trapped the 55-year-old man inside his Ford Explorer.

She said a neighbor broke a window on the SUV to pull her husband to safety. He was treated for scrapes, cuts and bruises at the hospital, she said.

In nearby Chesterfield County, investigators say Michael Gulledge was killed by lightening during the storm. Gulledge was outside playing with several people in his Ruby neighborhood when the lightning bolt struck around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities say three others were injured by the same lightning bolt, but were treated and released at the hospital.

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China prepares for more flooding

© Gallo/GettyThe rainy season's start has brought deadly floods to such places as Nanchang, in Jiangxi province
Rainy season has already brought misery, but new problems are expected, including typhoons and further inundation.

China's rainy season started off as last year's finished. The rains are usually heavy and they often bring flooding to some areas, but not this much.

Last year, more than 230 million people were affected by the rainfall, which not only triggered widespread flooding, but also a number of landslides.

In all, 4,200 people are thought to have lost their lives in the annual rains. It was China's worst floods in more than a decade.

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US: Rivers rising with heavy rains

© Unknown
La Crosse, Wisconsin - Rivers in the Coulee Region are running high after 4"-5" of rain fell in some areas on the evening of June 18th. Minor flooding occurred on the Kickapoo River, with spikes in the river levels on nearby rivers as the excess water surged into the watershed.

Mike Welvaert, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service in La Crosse, says that these quick rises in river levels will be brief, lasting only a couple days as the excess water is absorbed, then moved downstream into the Mississippi or other large rivers. Those with interests along high-running rivers or streams should be aware of their surroundings, especially if the forecast includes heavy showers or thunderstorms.

The Mississippi River will start rising over the next few weeks as well as rain water from the smaller tributaries flows into the large river itself. Depending on the amount of additional rain over the coming days, the river could rise to near the flood stage by the July 4th weekend.