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Mon, 18 Feb 2019
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EF2 tornado rips through Alabama town causing major damage

Alabama tornado
© AP
Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin is seen here talking with first responders after the tornado
Homes, businesses, government offices and churches were among the buildings badly damaged or demolished when tornadoes struck central Alabama over the weekend.

The severe weather hit Saturday and another tornado was reported later that evening at an air base in the Florida Panhandle.

On Sunday, the National Weather Service says its initial surveys indicated there was an EF 1 tornado in Autauga County, and a stronger EF2 twister in Wetumpka, Alabama.

'We suffered a tremendous amount of damage,' Mayor Jerry Willis said at a morning news conference with city and Elmore County officials. 'Something that we've never had here before.'

The familiar steeple of the First Baptist Church of Wetumpka was missing after the storm. And much of a historic Presbyterian church was reduced to rubble.

Officials said at a news conference Sunday morning that at least 25 homes were seriously damaged or destroyed. Also severely damaged were the Wetumpka police station, senior citizens center and recreation center, according to WSFA-TV.

'Thus far we've seen damage indicating wind speeds of 120 to 130 mph,' John DeBlock, of the National Weather Service in Birmingham, said during the news conference.

No deaths or life-threatening injuries were reported.

Snowflake Cold

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Moscow winter thunderstorms - Etna erupts - Middle East snows

Heavy snowfall created traffic problems in areas of the Kingdom on Wednesday night
© Amjad Ghsoun
Heavy snowfall created traffic problems in areas of the Kingdom on Wednesday night.
Unusual fog, thunderstorms, blizzard and lightning in Moscow and parts of Russia, the front is heading to Kazakhstan. More mixed up jet streams with electrical storms over Malta as Etna on Sicily erupts and a second major snow storm blankets Jordan and Lebanon.


Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes have killed at least 25 people since the start of the rainy season in Zambezia, Mozambique

© Johannes Plenio
At least 25 people have died since the start of the rainy season, being victims of lightning strikes in Zambezia province, central Mozambique.

According to the spokesperson of Mozambique's National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) in the province, Maria Luciano, "so far at least 25 people have been killed by lightning in the province since the rainy season began on October 1, and in the same period the bad weather also destroyed 450 houses, affecting about 2,500 people", Luciano was quoted as saying by state-controlled Radio Mozambique on Friday.

The official said that some affected families have already begun to rebuild their homes and others are waiting for INGC support.

Snowflake Cold

'This is hell like': Rare winter thunderstorm & blizzard conditions hits Moscow

Winter storm
© Twitter / @Telemaster68
Thunder and lightning amid heavy snowfall stunned people in the Russian capital on Saturday night. Videos show surreal combinations of light, darkness, and blizzard.

Videos shared by Moscow residents show heavy snowstorm coupled with occasional streaks of lightning, while growls of thunder are also heard.


At least four dead in Lebanon as severe weather sweeps through region

An aerial view shows an informal tent settlement housing Syrian refugees in the area of Delhamiyeh, in the central Bekaa Valley.
An aerial view shows an informal tent settlement housing Syrian refugees in the area of Delhamiyeh, in the central Bekaa Valley.
At least four people have been killed in Lebanon, including a Syrian girl and her brother, after heavy rain and snow battered the country.

Storm Miriam - also referred to by some Lebanese officials as Storm Tracy - is the second to hit the Eastern Mediterranean country this month after Norma, which struck on January 6.

One person was killed and 10 injured on Tuesday in a vehicle collision caused by poor visibility, the Daily Star said.

The first storm had a devastating effect on more than 20,000 refugees living in tents in eastern Lebanon's Bekaa Valley and areas in the country's north, displacing many whose shelters were either flooded or destroyed by snow.

Comment: Details of the earlier storm referred to above: Storm packing snow and rain paralyzes parts of Lebanon

Cloud Precipitation

At least six dead as intense storms slam California

California storms
© AP Photo/Richard Vogel
Department of Water and Power employees work in the pouring rain to clear a fallen tree from a road in the Hollywood hills in Los Angeles, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019.
Amid a relentless series of storms, a powerful storm has been wreaking havoc in California from Wednesday into Thursday, further raising concerns of flooding, mudslides and avalanches.

On Monday and Tuesday, Los Angeles received over 1.75 inches of rain, and San Diego picked up just over 0.55 of an inch of rain. On Wednesday, they received two-thirds of an inch and 0.11 of an inch, respectively, AccuWeather meteorologists reported.

The series of storms prompted officials to put communities on alert for mudslides and flooding, as well as creating dangerous travel conditions.

Toppled trees, snarled roads and downed power lines could be found all around Northern California on Wednesday, sometimes with deadly consequences, Associated Press (AP) News reports.

At least six deaths have been reported during this week, as storms pass through the region.

Over 20,000 people were without power Wednesday night, according to Pacific Gas & Electric.


Severe sandstorm in Egypt leaves at least five people dead

Egypt sandstorm
A man covers his face as the sandstorm hits near the River Nile in Cairo
At least five people were killed in Egypt by a severe sandstorm that struck several parts of the country on Wednesday.

According to local media reports, one person was killed and two others injured when a building partially collapsed in the northeastern Port Said province.

Another four people reportedly lost their lives when a bus overturned in the northern Kafr al-Sheikh province.

The Egyptian authorities have suspended activity at four of the country's seaports due to inclement weather, while several roads in capital Cairo have been shut until further notice.

Egypt's official meteorological agency has predicted "several days" of heavy winds, which, it warned, may disrupt maritime navigation in the Mediterranean and Red Sea.

Snowflake Cold

Storms bring 4 feet of snow in 48 hours to Sierra Nevada resorts

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
Snowpack up to 103 percent of normal after slow winter start

A wave of steady storms this week, capped off Wednesday night by a powerful atmospheric river event that caused the National Weather Service to issue a rare blizzard warning, brought more than four feet of snow to some Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts.

The huge snowfall boosted the statewide Sierra snowpack to 103 percent of normal on Thursday, up from just 69 percent on Jan. 1.

It also comes ahead of one of the biggest California ski weekends of the year, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Holiday weekend.


Snow covers Amman as winter storm sweeps across Jordan

Heavy snowfall created traffic problems in areas of the Kingdom on Wednesday night
© Amjad Ghsoun
Heavy snowfall created traffic problems in areas of the Kingdom on Wednesday night.
Authorities evacuated, between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, 131 snowbound people, after a deep, fast-moving polar front brought heavy snow to the northern and central parts of the Kingdom, according to authorities.

Snow started falling over the mountainous areas of the northern region on Wednesday afternoon, and by evening, the central parts, including the capital, also received heavy snow that quickly blocked streets in areas located 900 metres above sea level.

By Thursday noon, all of the country's roads were open to traffic, according to the Public Security Department.

Ras Munif in Ajloun Governorate, 76 kilometres northwest of Amman, recorded the highest snow accumulation at 15cm, according to Raed Rafid Al Khattab, head of the weather forecast section at the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD).

Cloud Precipitation

California mountain blizzard may bring up to 100 inches of snow

sierra nevada snow
A large storm is coming ashore on the California coast and it's bringing flooding rains and heavy mountain snow. Above 5,000 feet, the snow is being measured in feet. Multiple feet.

Blizzard and Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for those areas expected to receive 80-100" of snow from the time the snow started yesterday through Thursday evening. That's more than 8 feet of snow in just a days of days. To put that in perspective, that is more snow than Roanoke has seen in 5 years.