Cyclone Alfred Heads for Queensland and Northern Territory, Australia

Tropical cyclone Alfred has recently formed in the Gulf of Carpentaria; it is now headed towards Australia. The storm is due to hit on Tuesday between Borroloola and the Northern Territory and Queensland border. Meteorologists expect winds of up to 100 km/hr and heavy precipitation, which will likely cause flooding in low-lying coastal areas as well as around the Carpentaria coastal rivers and the MacArthur river.  This has caused some concern since several areas were already flooded due to the monsoon season; several communities are already isolated due to flooded roads. However, while many are prepared to evacuate, it is believed this won’t be necessary for the majority of citizens; only one community has deemed it necessary to evacuate so far. According to the manager of McArthur River Caravan Park, Annita Pohlman: “We’re just going to enjoy it and go with the flow, there’s not much we can do… On a positive note, fishing will be good once it’s all settled down.”


Damage, Injuries Reported After Possible Tornado Hits San Antonio

After severe storms hit San Antonio, Texas late Sunday night, more than 100 structures were damaged. In what meteorologists are calling a possible tornado, more than 40,000 people were left without power and nearly 20 homes were severely damaged.

Later today the National Weather Service will survey the area and decide whether this was the work of one large tornado or multiple tornadoes hitting San Antonio. 

Bush Fires in New South Wales , Australia.

On friday, hot and windy conditions came to New South Wales Australia and a quick blaze started. The RFS (rural fire service) sent out a notice to residents in the vulnerable area to find safe shelter. So far, 15 homes have been lost to the fires and officials expect the number to rise. Officials say that they have trouble controlling these fires because they are unpredictable, and when it’s dry, start with very little warning. The RFS uses a variety of tactics to keep the fires under control and eventually put them out. They use firetrucks, firemen on the ground and aircraft .Fires are not uncommon in this area of Australia. The flat ground, low lying shrubs and dry, hot climate makes it the ideal place for a forest fire. So far, the only injury from the fires so far is a fireman.

California storms: rains drench the north as south braces for huge hit

There are currently heavy rains in California, with meteorologists predicting the strongest storms in years to hit the south. The current rains in California are just the beginning of a dangerous atmospheric river which will hit the state. The storm is massive, stretching out over the Pacific. the forecast is that it will arrive Friday and last into Saturday. Flood warnings are in place for streams and creeks and there is a high wind warning for gusts up to 70 mph. Rainfall predictions range from 2-6 inches of rain. With the soil already being saturated from a particularly wet season, there are concerns that there will be flash flooding as well as debris flows. Furthermore, heavy snows are expected in the mountains and officials are keeping a nervous eye on the Oroville dam which already had its fair share of issues earlier this week.


Michael Mumenthaler

Severe Weather in Texas

Several tornadoes hit southeast Texas, damaging homes and injuring seven people. This occurred on Tuesday morning, February 14. Vehicles and mobile homes were flipped over due to the wind and while some people were injured, reports say they have seen no serious injuries. The tornado was given a rating of at least EF1. Five other tornadoes occurred in Texas the same day, but the report did not give the ratings for all of them; however, it included that two were EF0 and one was EF2. Almost 21,000 customers of Centerpoint energy lost power in Houston due to the tornadoes. Severe weather was expected to follow on Wednesday.

Tornado 2 Tornado

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NSW Bushfires: Village of Uarbry Claimed

Uarby, a tiny community north of Mudgee, New South Wales,  has reportedly been almost totally wiped out by this past weekend’s series of bush fires. Nine of its twelve homes were claimed, as well as its surrounding farmland, which has taken substantial damage. A total of nineteen homes across the state were also confirmed as almost totally wiped out in Warrumbungle, Port Macquarie, Kempsey and Narrabri, and more damage is expected to occur. The fire also claimed the historic Tongy Station, which was built in the early nineteenth century. Flame heights in one area of the state were reported as standing taller than many of the region’s buildings. As of Monday, the threat level was downgraded to an “alert;” however, communication with the impacted areas has remained sparse as a result of failed phone and power lines. Although a relatively small disaster, reports state that the weekend’s events have shattered records for the number of warnings issued by phone in New South Wales: 1.5 million across the state.

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Houston Tornadoes Injures 7

Early Tuesday morning a series of severe storms spawned at least 6 tornadoes in southeastern Texas near the Houston Metro. One city majorly affected by these tornadoes was Van Vleck, Texas. The Associated Press reported at least 7 people being transported to the hospital for injuries sustained as a result of the tornadoes.  One injury came to a mother who shielded her child from the tornado as it flipped their mobile home. The mother is still in the hospital with a possible spine injury. The structural damage the city sustained from the tornadoes was approximately a mile long. Recreational vehicles were flipped, tops of trees were twisted off, and homes were completely uprooted among other incidents.

Avalanche Accidents

imageAn avalanche struck in the French Alps at 6,900 feet in elevation off the ski runs killing four at a popular resort. Another avalanche occurred in Garfield County, Colorado killing a skier and injuring others. The natural disaster took place a few miles south of Vaughn Lake in a wilderness area in the remote back country.


Here are articles with details on the avalanche in France:

And an article about the avalanche in Colorado:


Descending Tropical Cyclone Dineo to hit Mozambique first, then SA

I did not realize a lot of Tropical Cyclones occurred in Western Africa until i did a little further research. They most often occur during the rainy season from November to April.

JOHANNESBURG – Dineo has continued to deepen overnight and is now packing wind speeds of 120km/h around its eye with wind gusts exceeding 160km/h. Winds of this strength mean Dineo is now classified as a tropical cyclone.

The predicted path still indicates Dineo heading in a westerly direction on Wednesday, making a beeline for the Mozambican coast and will make landfall this evening just to the north of Inhambane, near Massinga. By the time the eye of the storm reaches the coast it is expected to be have obtained ‘intense tropical cyclone’ status with winds estimated to reach 160km/h, gusting over 200km/h. The hurricane force winds will be accompanied by extremely heavy rainfall that will push further inland overnight and into Thursday.Another major threat to life and property is the storm surge that will accompany this tropical cyclone. A storm surge is a tsunami-like rise of the sea level as the cyclone moves ashore. The low central atmospheric pressure literally heightens the sea level underneath the cyclone, while extreme wave heights exceeding 10m aggravate the effect of the storm surge. The storm surge, together with natural tides, will allow ocean water to push in much further inland than usual and can have devastating effects for coastal communities.READ: Tropical Storm Dineo gaining strength, likely to impact SA

The storm will move westwards on Thursday into the interior of southern Mozambique, severely affecting the provinces of Inhambane and Gaza, which borders on South Africa. Although winds speeds will begin to abate, gales will still batter these areas with driving rain continuing for much of the day.

Very strong, gusty winds and heavier showers will gradually start reaching the lowveld and escarpment areas of Limpopo and Mpumalanga on Thursday evening and persist well into Friday. Continuous heavy downpours along with the strong winds may make travel through those areas difficult and in addition, swollen rivers could make crossings dangerous and travellers should avoid low-lying bridges in such conditions.

The remnant low of Dineo will move across northern Limpopo on Friday, bringing gusty easterly winds to the province as well as Mpumalanga and Gauteng where wind speeds could exceed 50km/h. Winds over these areas could be strong at times and there will still be heavy downpours affecting Limpopo and eastern Mpumalanga.

Thereafter the low is expected to move into Botswana, although showers will continue in the north of South Africa and gusty conditions will spread to North West on Saturday, while calming elsewhere.Tropical weather systems of this nature are notorious for changing direction and movement suddenly and the South African public are urged to closely monitor weather forecasts and updates issued for Tropical Cyclone Dineo.

For more updates watch eNCA, channel 403 on DSTV, and follow us on twitter @eNCAWeather

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6.7 Earthquake hits the Philippines

On February 10, a 6.7 earthquake hit the Philippines, killing 8 people. 200 more people were injured and 1,000 homes in Surigao were destroyed. Damage was also extensive to other structures, such as schools, bridges, stores, some water pipes and other infrastructure. Surigao City was placed under a state of emergency to provide for the most efficient distribution of assistance including medical aid and food.

137 aftershocks had been experienced as of Sunday, February 12. Even the President of the Philippines was delayed in making it to the city because of damage to the airport. He has pledged financial assistance to those hurt by the earthquake.

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