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Super Typhoon Surigae to pass near Philippines at Category 5 strength on Sunday

Super Typhoon Surigae satellite image on Saturday. (NOAA)

Surigae has strengthened to the first super typhoon of 2021 as it edges closer to the Philippines. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu indicated its peak winds had risen to 180 mph, equivalent to a high-end Category 5 hurricane. It is the strongest super typhoon ever observed in the western Pacific during the month of April.

The storm is still projected to remain just offshore the Philippines but is predicted by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to spread moderate to heavy rains, rough surf and gusty winds, especially to the east coast of the central Philippines, on Sunday into Monday. It is expected to gradually weaken to a Category 4 equivalent storm by late Sunday and Category 3 Monday into Tuesday.

Courtesy of washingtonpost.com

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Queensland, Australia battered by wild weather as Tropical Cyclone Niran intensifies off Cairns coast

Severe Weather Alert

Wild weather has lashed Queensland overnight as severe storms hit the south-east and a cyclone rampages off the north-east coast.

More than 70 millimetres of rain has been dumped on Brisbane’s CBD and surrounding regions.

In the state’s far-north, Tropical Cyclone Niran has been upgraded to a Category 2 system as it continues to bring gale-force winds and heavy rainfall.

The slow-moving system is hovering about 280km north-east of Cairns.

There’s still a possibility conditions intensify before they ease.

“Tropical cyclone Niran is expected to remain off the north Queensland coast while intensifying over the next day or two,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.

“Although a coastal crossing is not expected, it may extend gales westward over coastal and island communities tonight or on Wednesday.

“In the longer term, tropical cyclone Niran is expected to meander off the north Queensland coast before moving southeastward away from the east coast from Thursday onward.”

The tropical cyclone brings with it gusts up to 100km/h and heavy rain.

Exposed coastal and island communities between Cape Melville and Innisfail, including Cooktown, Cairns and Port Douglas, are most at risk.

The BoM recommends residents listen to advice from the weather bureau and local emergency services over the next two days.

Courtesy of 7news.com.au

https://tinyurl.com/9ws28c4w

Russia’s Crimean Bridge closed for first-ever time due to heavy snow and state of emergency declared

Snow Emergency

For the first time since its completion in 2018, Europe’s longest bridge has been closed due to a heavy snowfall. The Black Sea region is currently going through an uncharacteristic cold spell.

On Thursday night, Crimea saw a snowstorm cover the peninsula, prompting warnings from local authorities to refrain from travel. The bridge itself was shut due to “lack of visibility, heavy snowfall, and strong side winds.”

Construction of the Crimean Bridge started in 2016 and was completed two years later. The multibillion-dollar infrastructure project connects Taman in Krasnodar Region, on the Russian mainland, to Kerch in Crimea. As well as cars, the structure allows for trains to cross. At 19km, it is the longest bridge in Europe.

As of Friday afternoon, around 280 vehicles were stuck on the crossing, with many more in a traffic jam on either side of the Kerch Strait, which separates Crimea from the neighbouring Krasnodar Region. Although it was initially shut in both directions, the traffic police have opened travel towards mainland Russia but won’t allow cars to pass over to the Black Sea peninsula.

According to Taman, the local highway management agency, traffic will be restored after the evacuation of vehicles damaged by the snowfall.

Southern Russia has seen uncharacteristically chilly temperatures in recent weeks. While Moscow is known for its cold winters, Crimea and other parts of the region are normally above zero in February. On Thursday, Kerch saw 27mm of snowfall overnight, almost reaching the month’s norm of 31mm in just one day. However, temperatures are expected to be positive next week.

On Friday afternoon, the peninsula’s authorities decided to declare a state of emergency in four areas.

Courtesy of rt.com

https://tinyurl.com/14yzcghk

Heavy snowfall, gales as winter storm hits Middle East

Winter Storm

Snow blanketed parts of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel on Wednesday, covering areas it has not reached in years, disrupting traffic and postponing vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 and even exams at some universities.

It snowed for the first time in years in Marjayoun in southern Lebanon, and in Bayda in northeast Libya.

Gale force winds knocked out electricity in vast parts of Lebanon, forcing many Lebanese, already used to power cuts, to rely on generators for longer hours. Rescuers pulled four motorists out of their snow-covered cars, the National News Agency said.

The first snow this winter in the Syrian capital, Damascus, did not prevent the Premier League soccer tournament from going ahead, as Army Sports Club and Al-Karamah faced off despite the snow that covered the pitch, the Syrian Al-Watan daily reported .

In the mountains of Syria’s Sweida province, snow was as high as 15 cm (6 inches), according to the official state news agency SANA. Roads in some provinces were blocked. In the central province of Hama, bulldozers shoveled snow to open roads while vehicles skidded on ice, causing traffic disruption.

The University of Damascus called off mid-term exams scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in all its branches around Syria because of the extreme weather conditions. The country’s ports remained open. Later, local authorities in the provinces of Sweida, Quneitra, Daraa and Tartous suspend school on Thursday due to the storm and heavy snowfall.

In the opposition-held northwestern Syria, civil defense teams have been building dirt mounds since Tuesday around camps for the displaced to prevent rain from flooding the crowded areas. Nearly 3 million displaced people live in northwestern Syria, mostly in tents and temporary shelters. Heavy rainfall last month damaged over 190 displacement sites, destroying and damaging over 10,000 tents.

In neighboring Lebanon, Storm Joyce hit late Tuesday with gale force winds registering between 85 km/h (52 miles/h) and 100 km/h (62 miles/h). The storm is expected to get stronger Thursday.

Breaking a warm spell, the storm brought heavy rainfall, a sharp drop in temperatures and the heaviest snow fall in Lebanon this year. Snow is expected to cover areas of altitudes as low as 400 meters, according to the meteorological department. Nearly a dozen roads in eastern and northern Lebanon were closed to traffic because of the snow. A beachside club and restaurant were submerged in water as waves nearly 4 meters (13 feet) high slammed onto the shore.

The Israeli Meteorological Service forecast heavy thunderstorms and cold temperatures across much of the country, with snowfall at higher altitudes expected later on Wednesday, including in Jerusalem. On Wednesday night, Israeli police closed the main road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem due to snow.

Heavy snowfall covered the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the border with Syria.

In Jordan, the COVID-19 vaccination drive was suspended due to severe weather conditions. Schools and universities also put off classes. Jordan’s Prime Minister Bishr al-Khasawneh announced that Thursday will be an official holiday for both the public and private sector due to the snow storm.

Osama al-Tarifi, director of the operating room of the Arabia Weather site, said snow has reached 20 cm (8 inches) in the mountains of Ajloun in northern Jordan, where snowfall has been non-stop since Tuesday night. Heavy snow is expected in the capital, Amman, on Wednesday.

Wind exceeded 100 km/hour (62 miles/h) in some areas in Jordan.

In Libya, snow blanketed the country’s northeast mountains as snowfall continued since Tuesday, covering forests and roads in some areas in the North African country.

Residents of the Jabal al-Akhdar area in the far northeast part of Libya took their children out for fun, some making snowmen and others starting snowball fights.

“I was surprised, actually, by the number of families who came here to take pictures to remember the snow,” said Ali al-Shairi, an amateur photographer from the eastern city of Bayda, which is known for recurrent snow in Libya but has not seen any for a couple of years.

In neighboring Egypt, heavy rain and windy weather prevailed on Wednesday and was expected to last into Thursday, the country’s meteorological agency said. Authorities in South Sinai province, which includes touristic hubs, canceled touristic activities, including safaris and cruises to weather the storm.

Courtesy of startribune.com

https://tinyurl.com/1nlfbl8b

Major Snow Storm Slams the Northeast, USA, Crippling Air Travel and Closing the Subway

A powerful winter storm pummeled much of the Northeastern United States on Monday, canceling flights, causing outdoor subway closures and disrupting travel for millions of people along the I-95 corridor.

In New York City, a forecast of up to two feet of snow by Tuesday could make the snowstorm one of the biggest in the city’s history. More than 13 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park by 1 p.m., including eight inches in the previous six hours, the National Weather Service said on Twitter.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said that heavy snow would give way to icy, dangerous conditions on Tuesday and that in-person learning at city schools would be canceled until Wednesday. The storm was also hampering the city’s ability to deal with pandemic and the city postponed coronavirus vaccination appointments scheduled for Monday and Tuesday to later in the week.

“At the most intense points, you’re going to see two to four inches of snow per hour,” Mr. de Blasio said. “That’s extremely intense snow. That’s blinding snow. You do not want to be out if there’s any way to avoid it.”

On Sunday, Mr. de Blasio issued a local emergency declaration, barring most travel in the city starting at 6 a.m. on Monday except in cases of emergencies. Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey declared a state of emergency beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday and said most of New Jersey Transit’s bus and rail operations would be temporarily suspended on Monday because of the storm.

As of 10:45 a.m. on Monday, a band of heavy snow was developing over parts of Pennsylvania and into the early afternoon with a mix of sleet and freezing rain that was expected to change back to snow soon, according to the National Weather Service, with accumulations of 12 to 24 inches forecast for the northeastern part of the state, as well as northern portions of New Jersey. Wind gusts could reach up to 35 m.p.h. Areas in central New Jersey could see snow totals around 15 inches, the service said, making travel extremely difficult.

In Philadelphia, about two inches of snow had fallen in the early hours of Monday, with about five inches in the suburbs. Conditions across the area were expected to dramatically worsen as the day progressed, local meteorologists said, an by day’s end Philadelphia may have eight to 12 inches of snow. Areas around the city were expected to get over a foot and more than 18 inches of snow was possible in the Lehigh Valley and Poconos. A combination of heavy snow and strong winds up to 60 m.p.h. in some areas could create power outages.

In New England, blizzard-like conditions were forecast on Monday, meteorologists said. At noon, a wall of snow moved over the coastal areas of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut with snow falling at a rate of one two inches an hour. A foot was expected by the evening. Wind gusts up to 70 m.p.h. and moderate coastal flooding could occur.

By Monday evening, the snow will shift into Northern New England, according to the National Weather Service. Areas of rain and freezing rain could occur along the I-95 corridor from Washington to Philadelphia.

On Sunday, as much as three inches of snow fell across the Washington area, and forecasters predicted another inch or so on Monday.

Outdoor subway service in New York City was suspended starting at 2 p.m. on Monday because of the snowstorm, officials said.

There were no immediate plans to pause underground service, but that could change, said Sarah E. Feinberg, the interim president of New York City Transit, which runs the city’s subway and buses.

“This is a dangerous, life-threatening situation,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at a news conference on Monday. “And expect major closures, so you’re not surprised. And we don’t want anyone to be stranded in a location where they can’t get home again.”

The shut down affected lines across the city and closed 204 of the system’s 472 stations, mostly n Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, according to a map shared by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Passengers were required to disembark at the last underground station before the train goes above ground.

Southbound service on the F line ended in Brooklyn at the Jay Street-MetroTech station, for example. In Queens, the 7 line ended northbound service at Hunters Point Avenue. In the Bronx, northbound service on the 6 line ended at Hunts Point Avenue.

Patrick J. Foye, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the subway, buses and two commuter lines, said the Long Island Railroad would stop running between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., while the last Metro-North Railroad trains would leave Grand Central Terminal around 3 p.m.

PATH trains, which link Manhattan with New Jersey, would also stop running at 3 p.m., according to Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Courtesy of nytimes.com

https://tinyurl.com/1cvh5ptr

UK weather: Storm Christoph brings ‘danger to life’ flood warnings – with snow also expected

Severe Weather Alert

The Met Office has warned of “danger to life” from floods, gales and snow as Storm Christoph heads to the UK.

An amber warning for rain has been issued for northern, central and eastern parts of England from Tuesday, with flooding expected, while a less severe yellow warning covers Northern Ireland, Wales, southern Scotland and the remainder of England.

Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield are expected to get plenty of rain, with up to 70mm between 6am on Tuesday and midday Thursday – and upwards of 200mm in the southern Pennines and northern Peak District.

It’s prompted the Met Office to issue a “danger to life” warning due to fast-flowing or deep floodwater and a “good chance some communities [could be] cut off by flooded roads”.

Melted snow from recent days, combined with the predicted rain, have led to the Environment Agency issuing 11 local flood warnings – all of them in eastern England and mainly in North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

That means flooding is expected in those areas, while there are an additional 61 flood alerts in place – meaning that flooding is possible.

Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Heavy and persistent rain falling on already saturated ground with snowmelt in parts of northern, central and eastern England is expected to bring significant river and surface water flooding, and could cause damage to buildings in some communities.

“Flooding could continue to affect parts of central, eastern and northern England into Friday, with localised flooding of land and roads a possibility elsewhere across much of country on Wednesday and Thursday.”

People are being urged to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water, as just 30cm (1ft) of flowing water can be enough to float a car.

And more snow could be on the way for some parts, as well as strong winds.

The Met Office’s chief meteorologist Dan Suri said: “As the system moves away into the North Sea on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, there will be strong winds along the east coast for a time.

“Meanwhile, colder air coming southwards into the weather system brings the risk of further snow on the back edge of this system.

“Temperatures will gradually fall across the UK through the end of the week and into the weekend bringing a return to widespread overnight frosts.”

Snow is most likely in Scotland and the North East, forecasters say, but there will be calmer conditions overall heading into the weekend.

Met Office spokesperson Nicola Maxey said: “It’s a very unsettled period as we go through the week until Friday where we see colder air from the north pushing away the low pressure, so we expect a fine cold day on Friday.”

It continues a period of unsettled weather for parts of the UK, with many seeing snow in recent weeks – some of it so severe that it has disrupted coronavirus testing and vaccination regimes.

And last month, many areas of the UK were hit by stormy conditions.

Caravans had to be evacuated and drivers rescued over the Christmas period, after parts of the country saw half a month of rainfall in one day.

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/1dknxo5h

Storms hit Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, Australia tearing down trees and power outages

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Alert

Residents on the Sunshine Coast are cleaning up this morning after a short but severe storm tore through some suburbs, bringing trees down onto homes and leaving hundreds without power.

A quick burst of heavy rain and strong winds caused dozens of trees to be uprooted in Little Mountain, with gusts of up to 57 kilometres an hour recorded at the Sunshine Coast airport.

The State Emergency Service said they received 58 calls for help overnight, mostly in response to the wild weather in this area.

At the peak of the storm, more than 350 homes and businesses were without power, with dozens still disconnected on Sunday morning as crews worked to restore the system.

The highest rainfall totals were recorded at nearby at Bells Creek, which saw 70 millimetres in the past 24 hours, while Black Mountain, inland from Noosa, received 79 millimetres.

In Caloundra West, a trampoline was lifted and blown across several houses, crashing through fences.

Earlier, in Brisbane, day two of the Gabba Test cricket match was called off early as a storm rolled through the city.

The weather bureau is closely monitoring cyclone Kimi that’s developed off the Cooktown coast.

Meteorologist Harry Clark said the system is expected to bring heavy rain around the already saturated region, which is still recovering from Tropical Cyclone Imogen earlier this month.

A flood watch remains in place for parts of the state’s north.

Some areas that are still recovering from Tropical Cyclone Imogen earlier this month could receive rainfall of up to 200mm in the coming days.

“The flood watch is out for those areas between Cape Flattery and Ingham,” he said.

“It’s really largely because those catchments are very saturated from recent rainfall.

“At this stage, we’re expecting minor to moderate flooding to be possible, and particularly in those areas where flooding has recently occurred.”

Courtesy of abc.net.au

https://tinyurl.com/cshewu6q

Madrid Paralysed’ by Heavy Snow Storms as Roads shut and Madrid Airport forced to Suspend Operations

Snow Emergency

Madrid Paralysed’ by Heavy Snow Storms as Roads shut and Madrid Airport forced to Suspend Operations.

The very heavy snow fall that was forecast by AEMET, the Spanish meteorological service, has tonight struck Spain’s capital Madrid.

Storm Filomena has kept all of Spain, except Melilla, on alert for intense cold, wind, rain and snow. The storm is affecting some 406 roads throughout Spain, 42 of them on the main network, according to an update by the General Directorate of Traffic. In addition, the secondary road network, 41, is on the black level, that means it is impassable and more than 200 roads are on the red level, with heavy vehicles now obligated to wear snow chains.

So far, up to 7:00 pm, there have been three flight diversions, one in Malaga, another in Córdoba and another in Tenerife North, and nine cancellations at Ceuta heliport.

In the capital, the M-30 ring road between the north junction and the Manoteras junction and the M-40 is cut into a small section. In this second route, snow chains are mandatory in the 60 kilometres of its journey.

The Community emergency service recommends not using private vehicles and reminds everyone of the obligation to use chains on their cars after ten at night. Also on the main network, the passage of traffic is completely interrupted in three kilometres in both directions of the CM-40 and another of the CM-42 as it passes through Toledo.

Courtesy of euroweeklynews.com

https://tinyurl.com/yxcuszln