Winter Storm Hits Areas Across Southeast US

On January 3rd, a powerful winter storm attacked Washington D.C and surrounding areas of the Southeast killing 3 people, leaving half a million people without electricity and causing many to be stranded on the I95 for over 24 hours. In and around Washington D.C schools and Federal Government offices had to be closed due to the snow reaching up to 15 inches which additionally meant that hundreds of flights had to be cancelled. States of emergencies were issued due to the dangerous roads as a result of the storm, where over 650 crashes and 600 stranded vehicles on Interstate 95 were reported in Virginia and in Maryland 3 people died in a vehicle collision. Pictures of the storm on the I95 and other areas can be seen on the link below.

Heavy Rain Brings Tremendous Flooding in Madagascar

Madagascar is being faced with tremendous flooding after heavy rain fall.  To make things worse, they are currently getting additive rainfall from a cyclone that was seen in the Indian Ocean.  This has left the area with with 10 deaths and over 12,000 homeless.  Due to buildings residing on steep hills, there has been a landslide warning in place.  Many homes have already fallen leaving several citizens trapped under this debris.  While this is a tragic disaster, farmer sprits are high since they are recovering from a drought. “This rain relieves a lot of farmers. Everyone is in the fields right now to work the land,” Mosa Tovontsoa, ​​46, a farmer on the outskirts of Ambovombe.”, US News.

Cliff Collapse in Brazil

A cliff in Minas, Brazil collapsed due to heavy rain and flood. The area had received heavy rains for several weeks causing flooding, so many residents had been evacuated. Several tourist groups were visiting the area in boats on the water when the cliff fell. There were 10 casualties and 32 others were injured and taken to the hospital. The entire situation was captured on video and can be viewed through the link.

Earthquake rattles parts of Greece

On January 16, 2022, Athens, Greece experienced A magnitude 5.4 earthquake. This earthquake rattled Northern Greece and was felt in the capital Sunday. There were no immediate reports of damage.

Destructive floods hit Eastern Cape, South Africa

On January 8 and 9, 2022 the area of Eastern Cape, South Africa was affected by a destructive flood. Due to the damages caused by the flood, about seven people are recorded dead. Also, the rapid and large quantity of rain left houses in and around the metro area severely damaged.


Aftermath of Tonga Volcano Erpution

On Saturday an underwater volcano erupted resulting in many South Pacific nations watching and waiting to see if a tsunami would be coming. According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology this eruption ended up causing a 1.2 meter tsunami. Many residents that were near coast lines were cautioned to move away and seek higher ground as to not have to face the lasting effects of the waves. Will the Bureau put in higher precautions as the waves intensifies and instead of cautioning the residents to move, instead enforce them to move away from shore lines?

2021 review of disasters

One of the good things about teaching this class starting in January is that I can refer to the annual summaries of disasters for the previous year. I usually look up “global disasters” for the year, and often refer to the “reinsurance” reports – these are the companies that insure insurance companies. Munich Re is a big one, as is Swiss Re. Both are mentioned in this Reuters article, which says that, globally, natural disasters in 2021 cost $120 billion in insurance… this is the second most expensive year ever.

Other articles review major disasters for the year.


DC Weather Forecast predicts the possible storms

While this is not really a weather hazard right now, DC forecasters have been watching the weather patterns and are predicting storms in the evening over the next couple days. Residents of Virginia already know that a hot a humid day typically turns into a stormy and wet night so this prediction is not out of the ordinary for the state. What is different is the fact that there is a chain of storms heading this way from the South (Texas).

The same storm that has spurred tornadoes in Texas and dumped endless rain in Missouri and Arkansas is heading this way. Forecasters in that region are expecting this chain of thunderstorms to make it to New York by Monday evening which puts the chance of thunderstorms for us somewhere between Monday evening and early Tuesday morning.


Out ahead of a storm system wrapping up over the central part of the country, we stay in the warm air going into Monday. Skies should start off with plenty of sun, but clouds increase during the afternoon as a front approaches from the west. There could be a line of showers and storms in the afternoon, although at this point, it looks as though that risk could hold off until the evening or overnight, which would diminish the intensity. Highs should reach at least 80 most spots, and perhaps as high as the mid-80s. Confidence:Medium

The main storm and front have passed for Tuesday, but cooler air lags a bit. With a west wind off the mountains, it’s still warm. Highs are near 80. Clouds may increase in the afternoon with cold air floating by aloft. Confidence: Medium

At the time this article was written (Saturday morning), the storm was passing through Kentucky and Tennessee. In Virginia (or DC, to be more specific), we experienced a very hot a humid day with overcast skies. An early morning shower added to the humidity in the air. By the end of the day, the sun came out strong to finish the day. Sunday morning was equally hot and humid but more sunny. Since the storms are expected to arrive Monday evening, the article mentioned that the cooler temperatures will lessen the intensity of our expected impact.