World weather news, March 2014
- A thunderstorm that brought sorely needed rain to California is winding down after sending mudslides down foothill communities, flooding roadways and opening up sinkholes. Evacuation orders remained in effect for hundreds of homes in Los Angeles County foothill communities where fires have burned away vegetation that holds soil in place, and bursts of rain caused the mountains to belch occasional debris flows. The heavy band of rain drenched parts of the state throughout Saturday before tapering off by nighttime. While the danger of mudslides was subsiding, officials urged residents who left their homes as much as three days earlier to stay away until Sunday morning. The stormís eastward move on Saturday finally broke a 70-day streak without precipitation in the Phoenix area. An 85-day spell of no measurable rainfall in Las Vegas ended on Friday. Rain and snow also finally came to drought-stricken New Mexico. In Denver, a highway pileup involving more than 100 vehicles killed one person and injured 30 others as heavy snow fell on Saturday. Downtown Los Angeles tallied 4.34 inches from the second storm by 5 p.m. Saturday, said NWS meteorologist Joe Sirard in Oxnard. That raised the rainfall total to 5.54 inches since 1 July, still 6.19 inches below normal. The storm was so volatile that a tornado warning was issued early on Saturday for suburbs east of Los Angeles.
- The Isle of Man has had its wettest winter for almost 50 years and the second wettest since records began in 1947, the island's Met Office has said. The total rainfall from December to February was 374.3 mm, just 5 mm below the Isle of Man record from the winter of 1965/66.
- A heavy snowstorm has once again created travel havoc on the US East Coast with as much as a 30 cm expected to fall in some areas. Schools were closed across the region, and Washington DC offices of the federal government were shut. And more than 2,600 flights were cancelled, mostly in New York and Washington DC. It is the fifth winter snowstorm to hit the eastern US since the beginning of 2014. Fast-falling snow clogged up motorways and local roads in the US mid-Atlantic region during the morning and early afternoon on Monday. It had already brought a mix of freezing rain and snow to the Mid-Western states. About 30,000 homes and businesses in Memphis, Tennessee, were without power after heavy sleet covered the area. The storm and frigid temperatures have already been blamed for several deaths, including a 13-year-old girl who died when a vehicle overturned on a slick Missouri motorway on Sunday, state police said.
- An extended period of dry weather across Malaysia and southern Thailand has led to water shortages, agricultural problems and an increase in wildfires. The last measurable rainfall of more than 1 mm in Singapore was Jan. 12, when the city reported 18 mm. It has now been 50 days since the city recorded more than 1 mm of an inch), making it one of the longest stretches for dry weather in the recorded history of the city.
- Rain is finally starting to ease following the once-in-a-century storm that forced the evacuation of homes, caused slips and cut power to thousands of people across Canterbury (New Zealand). The squall is blazing up the country, bringing gale force winds to the lower North Island. Residents are being urged to avoid travel if possible while the Christchurch City Council scrambles to clear debris-strewn roads and help with stormwater drainage. KiwiRail said they were also clearing a backlog after ferry crossings were suspended yesterday because of high waves through the Cook Strait. Meanwhile, the storm has bustled north and Wellington was buffeted with gusts in exposed areas reaching 119 km/h. 160 mm of rain fell in Lyttelton.
- Sydney was battered by a brief but spectacular storm that shook buildings. More than 12 mm of rain was recorded at Sydney Airport between 4.30pm and 5pm, while severe thunder and lightning rocked the city. More than 22 mm of rain was recorded in the Illawarra. Wind gusts exceeding 50 km/h were also recorded along the NSW south coast. Sydney Airport received wind gusts approaching 60 km/h. The storm proved a nightmare for peak-hour commuters, with a number of roads and train lines suffering minor flooding.
- This season, ice coverage on the Great Lakes has exceeded all other measurements since 1979. "By a long shot, this is the most ice we've had on Lake Superior in 20 years," Associate Professor at the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, Minn., Jay Austin said. During a typical winter, 30 to 40 percent of the Great Lakes are covered by ice. Usually arctic air swept over the Great Lakes creates lake-effect snow but modifies the air, making it warmer. This typically makes regions from Ohio through the Northeast a little warmer than it otherwise would be. However, this winter 80 to 90 percent of the Great Lakes are covered in ice. As of Wednesday, March 5, 2014, the total Great Lakes basin was 91 percent covered, ranking the Great Lakes ice coverage this winter second in the overall rankings. The last time in recent history the ice coverage was even close to this winter's percentage was the winter of 1993-1994. That winter ice coverage was measured at 90.7 percent.
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Last updated 7 March 2014.