World weather news

World weather news, January 2020

Parts of eastern Newfoundland remain under a state of emergency as residents dig out from a storm unlike anything seen in decades or more. Environment Canada says 76 cm of snow was measured at St. John's International Airport on Friday the most for any day since records started being kept in 1942. All flights in and out of St. John's were cancelled, and the airport remains closed until at least Sunday night. Businesses in the capital city, as well as other municipalities in the Northeast Avalon Peninsula, were ordered to stay closed for a second day. Given the high levels of snowfall there are some cases of snow drifts as deep as 5 metres the extent of the damage is not known at this point.
Torrential rains and thunderstorms caused further misery for Australians in states already suffering from devastating bushfires. Several major highways were cut off, while theme parks closed in southeastern Queensland after some of the heaviest rain in months fell in the state. Local media showed video footage of dozens of vehicles being swept away in flash flooding. Standing water reached 30 cm in some areas and Australia's Bureau of Meteorology tweeted that over 100 mm of rain was expected to fall across the night and early Saturday morning in many other locations. Major highways were cut and residents flooded in as more than 300 mm of torrential rain bucketed down on south-east Queensland overnight. The deluge hit the Gold Coast the hardest with 325 mm of rain falling at Loders Creek and more than 200 mm in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Storms have brought heavy rain to fire-hit regions of eastern Australia - but authorities warn the nation's bushfire crisis is still "far from over". More than 80 blazes were still burning across New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, despite the downpours. Melbourne and Canberra have been hit by heavy storms, with hail as big as golf balls falling in some areas. Hundreds of emergency calls were made as hail smashed office windows and car windshields in the nation's capital.
Powerful storm Gloria has battered much of eastern Spain, with officials linking at least four deaths to it. The region around Valencia and the Balearic Islands were the worst-hit on Monday, with heavy flooding and strong winds causing havoc. More than 30 provinces in Spain were put on high alert. The storm later moved into southern France. Social media users in Spain have been publishing footage of flooded streets in Valencia and other cities and towns in Spain. Spanish forecasters on Monday reported winds of up to 115 km/h, and huge waves on the Mediterranean coast. Alicante airport was forced to close, resulting in the cancellations of many flights. Storm Gloria then moved to Pyrenees-Orientales, France's southernmost Mediterranean department, which was placed on high alert. Dozens of extra police and firefighters have been deployed in the region. The A9 motorway on the French side of the border was closed as a precautionary measure. Gloria was the worst storm to have hit the region in the winter period since January 1982, Meteo France forecaster Olivier Proust told Franceinfo.
A storm surge on the east coast of Spain has swept 3 km inland, devastating rice paddies in the Ebro river delta south of Barcelona. Storm Gloria began wreaking havoc on Monday and five people have died. The storm has wrecked beach facilities, blocked roads and caused power cuts. Seawater has caused major damage to beaches around Barcelona, Valencia and on the Balearic Islands. The mayor of the delta region, Lluis Soler, said "we've never had anything like this before". Seawater has flooded about 30 sq km of rice plants. The Barcelona port authorities say it is too dangerous for boats to venture out to sea.

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Last updated 22 January 2020.

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