Thursday 16 July 2020

Crazy weather continues: Death Valley in California records a temperature of 128 deg F, (53 deg C). Unprecedented rainfall contributing to growth of unprecedented locust swarms: Untold millions affected as 2020 could be hottest ever

Dawn breaks in the Southern States, Earthwindmap showing blood-churning heatwave in recent days.

Are we about to witness the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth as Death Valley reached the second-highest temperature ever in the US on Monday?

Four days ago Death Valley in California recorded a temperature of 128 deg F, (53 deg C).
According to the Weather and Climate Extremes archive, the hottest temperature ever recorded was in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California at 134.06 deg F, (56.7 deg C) on 10 July 1913, however, some weather historians have questioned the accuracy of old temperature records. Many other states in the US broke heat records too in the recent heatwave with Borger in Texas, Springs, California and  Tucson, Arizona all recording temperatures in the high 40s C or 115 F plus.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has officially evaluated temperature record extremes of 54.0 °C at two locations, one in Mitribah, Kuwait, on 21 July 2016 and a second in Turbat, Pakistan, on 28 May 2017. In its most intensive evaluation ever undertaken, the WMO Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes has verified the Mitribah observation as 129 deg F, 53.9 °C (± 0.1 °C margin of uncertainty) and the Turbat one as 128.6 deg F, 53.7 °C (± 0.4 °C). The Mitribah, Kuwait temperature is now accepted by the WMO as the highest temperature ever recorded for the continental region of Asia and the two observations are the third (tied within uncertainty limits) and fourth-highest WMO-recognized temperature extremes. Significantly, they are the highest, officially-recognized temperatures to have been recorded in the last 76 years.

June 2020 tied as Earth’s 3rd hottest on record. The first half of this year saw near-record warmth for the globe. Earth’s persistent warming trend last month vaulted June 2020 to the third-hottest June on record — a tie with 2015. Warm temperatures from January-through-June pushed the year to date to second highest in the 141-year climate record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

Climate by the numbers June 2020 The average global temperature in June was 1.66 degrees F (0.92 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 59.9 degrees F (15.5 degrees C), tying with 2015 as the third-highest June temperature in the 141-year record. Only June 2016 and June 2019 were hotter. Last month was also the 44th-consecutive June and the 426th-consecutive month with temperatures above average. Nine of the 10 warmest Junes have occurred since 2010. The year to date (YTD): January through June 2020 The year-to-date average global temperature was 1.93 degrees F (1.07 degrees C) above the 20th-century average. This is just 0.09 of a degree F (0.05 of a degree C) behind the record high set in 2016 for the same YTD. Arctic sea ice was scant, again: Average Arctic sea ice coverage (extent) for June ranked third smallest on record, 10% below the 1981–2010 average. A scorching first six months for some continents and regions: Record-warm YTD temperatures have covered many parts of the globe so far in 2020, including South America, Europe, Asia and the Gulf of Mexico. No land or ocean areas had record-cold YTD temperatures.

But the crazy weather we are witnessing in 2020 is not just about heat, unprecedented rainfall has been causing industrial-scale destruction in many parts of the world. Incredible amounts of rainfall have affected untold millions of people, displaced hundreds of thousands and killed hundreds after torrential rainfall around the world in June and early July. NOAA

Torrential rains contributing to a serious and widespread Desert locust outbreak.

Torrential rains in the Yangtze river basin coupled with the release billions of tons of floodwater from the massive Three Gorges hydroelectric dam upstream have left major cities along the river submerged after record rainfall. Heavy rains in the Yangtze region have left at least a 150 people dead since May with more than 25 million people affected by the floods and decimating Chinese agriculture. Meanwhile, At least 3 people have died in flash flooding in Yunnan Province, southwest China. Heavy rain from 29 June caused flash flooding in the city of Zhaotong and the counties of Zhenxiong, Yiliang, Weixin and Yanjin. Rainfall of over 225 mm in 24 hours was reported in the area. According to local news reports, 33,380 people were affected and 8 homes damaged or destroyed. The damage was also caused to the power supply, transport and telecommunications, along with over 3,500 hectares of crops.

The flood situation continues in the state of Assam, northeast India, where disaster authorities say more than 1.4 million people are now affected. Rivers have been overflowing in the state since 20 June in the current spate of flooding. Since then 1.49 million people in 2,235 villages across 23 districts have been affected. Barpeta is still the worst-hit district, with 486,709 now people affected, an increase from 135,415 on 2 days earlier. Areas of South Salmara district have recently flooded, with 195,312 people affected. Other hard-hit areas include Dhemaji, Nalbari, Morigaon and Goalpara districts, all with between 70,000 and 100,000 residents affected.

The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) in Bangladesh reports that rivers are above danger levels in 14 locations across the country, as of 30 June 2020. Seven locations are at warning level. Local media report thousands of people in Jamalpur, Kurigram and Gaibandha districts are marooned or displaced, with their homes and land submerged. According to the Dhaka Tribune, over 100,000 people in Jamalpur district have been marooned after floodwaters surrounded their homes. Over 150,000 of people in Kurigram have been affected by flooding, with wide areas of crops underwater. As of 30 June, FFWC reports that that the Brahmaputra river at Noonkhawa in Kurigram stood at 27.14 metres, above the danger mark of 26.5 metres and the Dharla in Kurigram stood at 27.46 metres, where danger levels are 26.5 metres. 

A landslide caused by monsoon rains in Myanmar has killed no less than 113 people, the country's emergency services said on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the Xinhua news agency reported a death toll of 96. The landslide came at about 8 a.m. local time (1:30 GMT) at a jade mine near the Hpakant township, located in the Kachin state. The actual number of casualties is likely to be much larger, as the incident occurred during working hours, meaning that hundreds of people could be buried at the mining site. "The latest information on the landslide in Hpakant:113 dead. The rescue works continue," the country's fire department wrote on Facebook. Myanmar's landscape is known for being prone to landslides, especially during rainy seasons. 

At least nine people died after a cyclone swept through parts of southern Brazil on 30 June. Winds of over 120 km/h were reported in the state of Santa Catarina. The states of Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná were also badly affected. The wild weather has also brought the threat of flooding. Storm surge has prompted warnings for coastal flooding in Santa Catarina. In the Rio Grande do Sul, river levels are above flood stage in some areas of after the storm brought rainfall of over 140mm in 24 hours. 

It's the same story in Japan too as late last week as Nagasaki suffered a once in 50-year rainfall event which devastated the area. It is estimated more than 60 people have died with more missing after landslides triggered by incredible amounts of rain have devasted Southwestern Japan this week. A further 250,000 have been ordered to evacuate their homes as torrential rains continued to hit Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu, with river banks at risk of bursting and more rain forecast for today with new evacuation orders put in place. Evacuation centres are under pressure maintaining social distancing preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In South America, heavy rain fell between 22 and 24 June, with dozens of locations recording more than 65mm of rainfall in a 24 hour period. According to Uruguayan Institute of Meteorology (Inumet), in 24 hours to 23 June, the town of José Batlle y Ordóñez in Lavalleja Department recorded 105 mm of rain and San José de Carrasco in Canelones 88 mm. The following day Coronilla in Maldonado recorded 82.3 mm of rain and Minas in Lavalleja 75.0 mm, according to Floodlist.

Unusual weather and climate conditions, including widespread and heavy rains since October 2019, have contributed to a serious and widespread Desert locust outbreak, which is threatening rural food security and livelihoods across South America, Africa, the Middle East, Arabia, Indo Pakistan Bangladesh, Myanmar and Western China. All of the above countries apart from Japan are suffering unprecedented locust swarms covering three continents.

Climate Change 2020

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