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Mon, 20 Feb 2017
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Cloud Precipitation

California storm death toll increases to 5 as rain pummels Bay Area

© Getty
Firefighters prepare to transport a patient by ambulance at the scene of a car stuck in flooding as a powerful storm moves across Southern California on February 17, 2017 in Sun Valley, California.
The death toll in the recent powerful California rainstorms rose to five as the weather system moved to pummel the northern portion of the state.

In Thousands Oaks, rescuers discovered the body of a man in his 20s who was swept away by floodwaters, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said Saturday. On Friday, one person was found dead in Victorville in a flooded vehicle, a 55-year-old man was electrocuted in Sherman Oaks when a power line fell and two people died after a traffic accident in San Diego because of water on Interstate 15.

Meteorologists have called the storm "bombogenesis," an intense extra-tropical cyclonic low-pressure area, or "a weather bomb." They say the system is one of the strongest in years.

The storm flooded roadways in Los Angles and San Diego as power remained out and cars were underwater. At least 8 inches of rain fell on roads in San Diego.

On Friday, two cars plunged into a massive sinkhole in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Cloud Precipitation

Severe storm batters Sydney and parts of New South Wales: Three women struck by lightning, large hailstones cause property damage

Tennis ball sized hail fell in the northwestern Sydney suburb of Castle Hill.
Three women have been struck by lightning and widespread damage has been inflicted by a hailstorm that swept through Sydney and parts of NSW. The storm cell hit the city's northwest about 4pm on Saturday, depositing golf ball- and even cricket ball-sized hailstones accompanied by wild winds and heavy rain.

Rouse Hill, Kellyville and St Ives bore the brunt, with the hail damaging roofs, smashing car windows and bringing down trees.

A retirement village in Glenhaven, near Kellyville, copped some of the worst of the battering, with "significant damage" to the roof, the NSW State Emergency Service said.

Meanwhile three woman in their 60s were taken to hospital after they were struck by lightning in Bowral, in the state's southern highlands.

SES volunteers have been stretched thin, with more than 630 calls for help relating to leaking roofs, hail damage, broken skylights and downed trees. "We've got hundreds of volunteers out at the moment, they've been working hard since yesterday's storms," SES spokeswoman Sue Pritchard told AAP. The phones had been ringing off the hook, she said, with at least 100 calls still banked up by 7pm.

Cloud Precipitation

Heavy rain, flooding as ex- Cyclone Dineo sweeps over South Africa

As the tropical ex-cyclone Dineo dissipates over SA, heavy rainfall has hit the north-eastern parts of the country.

Flooding has occurred following heavy rainfall late on Thursday afternoon, 16 February in the Free State capital of Bloemfontein, as some cars appeared to be floating.

To the north-eastern side of Bloem, the expected areas over Limpopo also received heavy rain. In the Kruger National Park, specifically, gravel roads have been closed and select remote camps evacuated in the wake of the rains.

KwaZulu-Natal, on the other hand, where disaster management teams have been on standby since Wednesday, was not hit as hard by the effect of Dineo.

In Mozambique, Dineo has displaced thousands of people, while seven fatalities have already been reported, the country's government disaster centre said on Thursday. Heavy rains and fierce winds have destroyed about 20 000 homes, they say.

Comment: See also: Tropical Cyclone Dineo leaves 4 dead in Mozambique

Cloud Lightning

Sydney, Australia lashed by severe storms

© kmgolland/Instagram
While Sydney basked in sunshine and 30C temperatures in the morning, things quickly changed in the afternoon as a storm rolled in, with lightning striking near the Harbour Bridge.
Sydney has been hit by a severe storm with hail, thunder and lightning lashing the streets just minutes after residents basked in 30C temperatures.

More than 4,200 people were left without power in the city's west, north west and the Illawarra due to the storm, while passengers leaving Sydney Airport were told to check with airlines for delays.

People were warned not to stand near trees, to unplug delicate electrical appliances, secure outdoor furniture and avoid standing near trees as lighting and winds of up to 100km/h struck.

Homeowners and motorists were also warned of damage to properties and vehicles thanks to hailstones the size of 50 cent pieces which pelted the city.

Meanwhile heavy rainfall could cause flash-flooding in some areas with more to come on Saturday as the city is lashed by the same storm-system a second time.

Temperatures in Penrith, which topped out at 39C, fell by 10 degrees in just 30 minutes as the storm hit on Friday afternoon, Ms Westcott told Daily Mail Australia.

'Ten degrees in 30 minutes is quite a bit, quite quickly,' a Weatherzone meteorologist said.

Cloud Precipitation

Tropical Cyclone Dineo leaves 4 dead in Mozambique

© NASA Goddard
At 6:15 a.m. EST (1115 UTC) on Feb. 15, NASA’s Aqua satellite showed the center of Tropical Cyclone Dineo just off the coast of Mozambique.
Tropical Storm Dineo (TC 05S), which formed in the Mozambique Channel between southeast Africa and Madagascar earlier this week, was upgraded to Tropical Cyclone status just before it made landfall near Inhambane in southern Mozambique on Wednesday evening 15 February 2017.

The equivalent of a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, Dineo is the first tropical cyclone to hit the province of Inhambane since Favio in February 2007, according to WMO.

Its landfall was accompanied by winds of approximately 130km/h (70 knots), breaking and uprooting trees and ripping roofs off a number of buildings, as well as disrupting power supplies.

The UN in Mozambique reported that hundreds of thousands could be affected. In a report from earlier today the UN Resident Coordinator for Mozambique said "Although it is too premature to indicate the population to be affected, the estimations done by provincial authorities in Inhambane indicates that about 750,000 people might be affected by cyclone. These figure is based on the total population living in the risk area and will be updated in the next days."

Snowflake Cold

Disruptions from heavy snowfall continue to strike parts of Japan; over 6 feet for the town of Kami

© Mainichi
A traffic jam is seen in front of JR Tottori Station in Tottori, on Feb. 13, 2017.
Disruptions from heavy weekend snow continued in Tottori Prefecture and other areas along the Sea of Japan on Feb. 13, a day after a path was cleared for some 250 vehicles that had been stranded on an expressway and national route.

The Tottori Prefectural Board of Education cancelled classes at 131 public elementary, junior high and high schools.

It continued to snow on and off in many areas of western Japan along the Sea of Japan coast on Feb. 13 as a result of a wintry atmospheric pattern that has brought the coldest air of the season to the region.

As of 9 a.m. on Feb. 13, the Hyogo Prefecture town of Kami had recorded 194 centimeters of snow, followed by 134 centimeters in the Yogocho district of Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, 124 centimeters in Ono, Fukui Prefecture, 75 centimeters in the city of Tottori and 36 centimeters in the Kyoto Prefecture city of Maizuru, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

Cloud Precipitation

Western U.S. faces renewed flood threat as storm onslaught resumes

Oroville Dam
Potent storms will return to the western United States at midweek, bringing a renewed threat for travel disruptions and flooding.

The weather pattern that has promoted dry weather along the West Coast since the weekend will break down on Wednesday. This will allow the river of moisture to resume from Washington to California.

"After a few dry days across the West Coast, stormy weather will return, first across the Pacific Northwest and later across all of Caliifornia," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.

Pacific Northwest, Northern California to face drenching rain, ice and snow

Locally heavy rain will push inland along the Interstate-5 corridor from Seattle to Portland, Oregon, throughout Wednesday. During Wednesday night, soaking rain will sink southward into San Francisco and Sacramento, California.

Excessive runoff due to the saturated nature of the soil can cause flash flooding as well as mudslides. Rivers can rise above flood stage and overflow their banks.

Motorists will face hazards such as excess water on roadways and reduced visibility.

Cloud Lightning

Severe storms with more than 170,000 lightning strikes hit south-east Queensland

© Thomas Hinterdorfer
Severe storms snapped trees and damaged at least one house at Toogoolwah.
More than 170,000 lightning strikes were recorded during Monday's storms around south-east Queensland, as the clean-up gets into full swing this morning.

After a weekend of record temperatures, the rain set in on Monday afternoon.

Temperatures dropped 14 degrees Celsius in two hours at Gatton, west of Brisbane, as the storm rolled in.

Storm chaser Thomas Hinterdorfer was at Toogoolawah, west of Brisbane, when the storm hit.

"Complete whiteout, absolute carnage," he said.

The State Emergency Service (SES) was called out to nearly 50 jobs around the south-east.

The SES dealt with a number of tree falls and damaged roofs, while 22,000 properties lost power at the height of the storm.


Waterspout caught on camera off Nambucca Heads, Australia

File photo - Shane Chalker photographed water spouts off Forster in April 2015.
A Nambucca Heads man wasn't quite sure what he was seeing when a rare water spout formed off Main Beach this morning.

Rodney Thurtell, 50, was munching on a piece of barbecued chicken for breakfast and gazing out to sea from an elevated position near the surf life saving club when he noted a dark, thin line in the clouds, which stretched all the way to the surface of the ocean.

"I could see the water moving in the sea where it touched down," Rodney told the Guardian.

"I saw another bloke and he said 'what's that', and I said 'that's a water spout' and he agreed that's exactly what it was."

Snowflake Cold

Snow piles on across New England for second time in a week

© David Leaming
A Waterville Public Works department employee struggles to clear the sidewalk of snow along Elm Street in Waterville during the storm on Monday.
Heavy snow fell Monday across the Northeast, closing schools and government offices, snarling roads and cancelling flights with a forecast for 8 to 16 inches expected from New York to Maine.

By morning, some towns in Upstate New York already had a foot of snow on the ground.

The storm, called a nor'easter, will bring blizzard conditions across Maine with strong winds, which the weather service warned could bring heavy snow and reduced visibility.

Travel could be dangerous during the height of the storm as road crews have difficulty clearing roads, according to AccuWeather.com. Blizzard warnings are in effect for eastern Maine, according to the weather service.