World weather news

World weather news, August 2017

Catastrophic flooding is hitting Houston as tropical storm Harvey continues to stall over land. It has dumped as much as 66 cm of rain in some counties in the past 72 hours. Thousands of people have fled to their rooftops or higher ground as rescuers struggled to keep up with calls for help. Houston emergency services have received nearly 6,000 appeals for rescues. The coast guard said it had rescued 1,200 people, of which 200 were from the air. The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, has predicted that the aftermath of the storm would require the agency's involvement for years. 'This disaster's going to be a landmark event,' Long said. The US military has released water from two major reservoirs to protect central Houston earlier than planned, a move that could itself flood several thousands homes. Water is being released from the Addicks reservoir. Nearby residents have been advised to monitor water levels and evacuate if in danger but to wait until daylight to do so. The release will push up the Buffalo Bayou - one of Houston's major waterways - by up to 15 cm per hour. The bayou is already suffering catastrophic flooding in the west of the city, at more than 7ft above flooding point. The tropical storm has strengthened slightly and there are fears it could return to the coast, where it would gather more power, before coming back to land. The damage bill is already drawing comparisons to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which caused $108bn of losses (including $80bn of insured losses). About 3,000 national and state guard member have been activated in Texas, and disaster relief crews have arrived from as far away as New York and South Colorado. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) has deployed more than 1,800 staff.
At least 12 people are dead and up to 25 more feared trapped after monsoon downpours that have brought death and destruction to south Asia caused a building to collapse in Mumbai. The four-storey residential building gave way on Thursday morning in the densely populated area of Bhendi Bazaar, after roads were turned into rivers in India's financial capital, which has been struggling to cope with some of the heaviest rainfall in more than 15 years. Thousands more buildings that are more than 100 years old are at risk of collapse due in part to foundations weakened by flood waters. Across the region more than 1,200 people are feared to have died and 40 million are estimated to have been affected by flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Vast swaths of land are under water in the eastern part of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where about 104 people have died, 3,097 villages are submerged and almost 3 million villagers have been affected by flooding, according to local officials. Army personnel have joined local rescuers to evacuate people from the area. One third of Bangladesh was believed to be under water and the UN described the situation in Nepal, where 150 people have died, as the worst flooding in a decade. The floods have also destroyed or damaged 18,000 schools in the south Asia region, meaning that about 1.8 million children cannot go to their classes, Save the Children said on Thursday.
Tropical depression Harvey advisory number 44 contained these statistics:
Selected storm rainfall totals:
Alabama: Gasque 8.00 in
Florida: Milton 6.92 in
Louisiana: Bayou Conway 22.25 in
Mississippi: Gautier 8.27 in
Texas: Cedar Bayou at FM 1942 51.88 in
Selected peak wind gusts (mph)
Port Aransas 132
Copano Village 125
24.83 in of rain fell in Houston during the 25th-27th, which makes this the city's wettest month on record. 16.07 in of rain fell there on the 27th, the wettest day on record in the city. 19 tornadoes were reported on the Gulf Coast on the 25th and 26th. The large rainfall totals were a result of the system being slow-moving; after making landfall it then moved offshore and was then slow-moving there until the 30th, pushing rainbands onshore from the warm Gulf of Mexico.

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Last updated 31 August 2017.

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