Austria closes river Danube for shipping as deadly floods spread across central Europe

River traffic on the Rhine has been badly affected
© ALEX KRAUS/BLOOMBERGRiver traffic on the Rhine has been badly affected
Flooding caused by torrential rain that killed five people in Germany over the weekend has spread across Austria and Hungary overnight Tuesday.

The entire Danube in Austria has been closed after its banks burst in Linz, the country's third-largest city.

The river, which flows over 350 kilometres of Austria, was shut down for shipping after heavy rainfall caused floods in both Austria and Germany.

The decision to close comes after flooding turned deadly in southern Germany on the weekend, where five people were killed.

Comment: See also: Flooding hits Germany (5 killed) and Italy following torrential rain


2 tornadoes filmed in South Africa

When large and intense weather systems affect the country, tornadoes can occur.

That was according to the South African Weather Service (Saws) after severe thunderstorms affected parts of KwaZulu-Natal resulting in at least two tornado sightings on Monday afternoon.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Saws said a large weather system, namely a cut-off low, affected large parts of the country since the weekend and was responsible for the heavy rainfall and significant flooding over parts of the Eastern Cape.

Saws said that on Monday, the system moved over the western and central interior of the country and resulted in cold air that invaded the central and western interior. The eastern parts of the country, particularly KZN, experienced warm and moist conditions.

Comment: Related: At least 22 dead in flooding on South Africa's eastern coast


Snowfall hits parts of the Northern Cape, South Africa for the first time in about 40 years

The Southern African Large Telescope in Sutherland in the Northern Cape covered in snow as a cold front sweeps over the country. Snowfall continued in parts of the country and resulted in the closure of several roads in the Eastern Cape.
© NICO VAN DER MERWEThe Southern African Large Telescope in Sutherland in the Northern Cape covered in snow as a cold front sweeps over the country. Snowfall continued in parts of the country and resulted in the closure of several roads in the Eastern Cape.
It has been a winter wonderland for some and a morning of chaos for others as snowfall continued in parts of the country on Tuesday.

TimesLIVE Premium on Monday reported snowfall had hit parts of the Northern Cape for the first time in about 40 years as a powerful weather system sweeps across South Africa.

The cold weather was preceded by deadly storms along much of the Cape coast, with people missing, according to rescue officials.

The SA Weather Service (SAWS) issued a disruptive snow warning for Tuesday across high-lying parts of the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Video clips and images emerged on social media on Tuesday showing homes and roads covered in a blanket of white. Others showed citizens braving the freezing weather to pose outside and take pictures in the snow.

Cloud Precipitation

Flooding hits Germany (5 killed) and Italy following torrential rain (UPDATE)

The Wertach in Göggingen near the Wellenburger Bridge
The Wertach in Göggingen near the Wellenburger Bridge has now become a raging river. On Saturday morning, warning level 2 was reached here.
Heavy rain and floods hit parts of Germany and Italy - with hundreds being advised to leave their homes and some missing.

Parts of Southern Germany are under flood warning, with the highest levels applying to western Swabia, the Upper Allgäu and Upper Bavaria.

A state of emergency has been declared in Augsburg due to the extreme rainfall and rising water levels. Water levels are expected to continue to rise sharply in the coming hours. The communities of Fischach and Langenneufnach will be particularly affected.

The Lake Constance region has also been affected and is under risk of flooding. Around 1,300 people in Meckenbeuren, Baden-Württemberg have been advised to evacuate.

Comment: Update June 4

DPA reports:
The number of known fatalities as a result of the flooding in Germany's south has risen to five, according to the police.

A woman died after her car slipped off a road on Monday amid flooding in the small Bavarian town of Markt Rettenbach, police said. The 57-year-old's body was later recovered from the scene.

According to initial investigations, she was on a flooded road near Markt Rettenbach after driving past a warning barrier. In the closed-off section, the car slid sideways off the road into a meadow, where the water level was very high.

The woman made an emergency call on her mobile phone but by the time emergency crews arrived the car was "almost completely submerged," the police said.

Authorities had previously reported four deaths as a result of the flooding, in Bavaria and the neighbouring state of Baden-Württemberg. One of the dead was a firefighter on his way to help people trapped by the flooding.

The search for another firefighter who went missing overnight continued on Tuesday.

Police said however that the water current was so strong in the area near the town of Offingen where his boat capsized that the search could only take place from the air and where there was dry land.

The flooding situation in Bavaria is still considered critical, while the situation has significantly improved in Baden-Württemberg.


Rare twin waterspouts spotted off Dumaran coast in the Philippines

© Kimpoy Villanoche
A video clip captured by a local shows twin waterspouts, commonly known as "ipo-ipo," off the coast of Dumaran town early Sunday afternoon, June 2.

Kimpoy Villanoche said they saw the waterspouts occurring simultaneously in close proximity to each other around 2 p.m. while they were at the Palawan State University Dumaran Campus in Barangay Sta. Teresita.

Enduring for about 15 to 20 minutes before fading away, Villanoche described how the surrounding darkened as thunder echoed and lightning flickered, signaling the locals to the phenomenon.

Fireball 3

Lightning strike at Czech castle park injures 18

A lightning bolt that hit a tree in a castle park in the northern Czech Republic on Sunday injured eighteen people who were sheltering underneath it, rescuers said.

The strike occurred in the Liberec-Vratislavice castle park about 90 kilometres (55 miles) northeast of the capital Prague on Sunday afternoon.

"There were 18 injured people on the site, including seven serious injuries," local emergency spokesman Michal Georgiev told AFP, adding that the injured had been taken to hospitals.

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Liberec regional hospital spokesman Vaclav Ricar told AFP that five adult patients had to undergo resuscitation and that one child was transported to a Prague hospital by helicopter.

"They were all conscious and their condition was stable," he said, adding the patients did not suffer any burns.

Cloud Precipitation

More than a month's worth of rain (6.7 inches) pummels Sydney, Australia in less than 24 hours

While the rain had mostly cleared in Sydney on Sunday morning, Mr Narramore said there could be a few more 'light and isolated' coastal showers
While the rain had mostly cleared in Sydney on Sunday morning, Mr Narramore said there could be a few more 'light and isolated' coastal showers
After receiving more than a month's worth of rain in less than one day, Sydneysiders can finally put their umbrellas away and enjoy some sunshine.

However, flood warnings remain in place around the Hunter area, with minor flooding on the Williams River and moderate flooding on the Wollombi Brook River, BOM senior meteorologist Dean Narramore said on Sunday.

Mr Narramore said hazardous surf and beach conditions would also continue until Monday for southern and central coastal areas of NSW.

This comes after rain lashed the state on Saturday, with persistent moderate to heavy rainfall seen over the Sydney and Hunter areas.

Mr Narramore said the heaviest rainfall on Saturday was around Sydney, with 171mm of rainfall in Rose Bay, 159mm in Little Bay and 143mm in the city itself.


29 stranded hikers rescued from Germany's highest mountain Zugspitze, after over 6 feet of unexpected June snowfall

29 hikers had to be rescued after becoming stranded on the Zugspitze.
29 hikers had to be rescued after becoming stranded on the Zugspitze.
A rescue operation was launched on Saturday, June 1, to evacuate dozens of hikers who found themselves stranded on Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze, due to treacherous weather conditions.

According to the Bavarian Mountain Rescue Service, 29 hikers attempted to scale the 2,962-meter (9,718-foot) peak despite heavy snowfall and poor visibility. At around 2,500 meters (8,202 feet), the hikers could not continue their ascent due to the accumulation of fresh snow, which reached depths of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) in some areas.

The Mountain Rescue Service, in collaboration with staff from the Zugspitze mountain railway company, mobilized to locate and extract the stranded hikers. The rescue efforts were further complicated by the freezing temperatures, which caused partial icing of the cable car equipment, rendering it inoperable at times.

Cloud Precipitation

Denver metro hit by largest hail in 35 years as baseball-sized stones pummel area

Large hailstones fall in Denver on May 30,2024.
© @Quidnunciac / XLarge hailstones fall in Denver on May 30,2024.
The Denver metropolitan area experienced an intense hailstorm Thursday, which led to the largest hailstones recorded in the county in the last 35 years, resulting in widespread damage.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a 'destructive' Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the Denver area late Thursday evening, emphasizing the life-threatening situation with baseball-sized hail and wind gusts up to 50 mph.

The largest hail report in Denver County measured 2.75 inches in Commerce City on Thursday. It's the largest hail report in the county since 1989, the FOX Forecast Center said.

"The hail was just pounding many of these areas for almost an hour," said Jim Hooley with FOX 31 Denver.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strike kills man during thunderstorm near Moscow

Lightning struck a man with an umbrella in the town of Balashikha near Moscow. The incident happened as the man was walking to a shopping mall.

The man died on the spot.

The last day of spring became the hottest day in the last 17 years in Moscow. On May 31, 2007, temperatures hit +31.7°C. On May 31, 2024, afternoon heat of 29.8°C was replaced with strong thunderstorm in the evening.

The heat is to subside next week.