From Climate Central:
Extreme heat was also felt across the interior of Alaska, where hot temperatures are expected to continue this week until the large high pressure area, or ridge in the jet stream, weakens and moves away. The heat, combined with low relative humidity and the chance for thunderstorms, is raising the risk of wildfires across parts of Alaska.
Alaska is one of the fastest-warming states in the U.S., largely because the nearby Arctic region is warming rapidly in response to manmade global warming and natural variability. In recent years, Alaska has had to content with large wildfires, melting permafrost, and reduced sea ice, among other climate-related challenges.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Thursday, June 06, 2013
An aerial view of the flooding in Passau, Germany, 03 June 2013. The floodings in Bavaria continue to worsen. (Peter Kneffel – AP)
From the Washington Post:
The village of Aschau, Bavaria recorded an impressive 405.1 mm of rainfall (15.9 inches) in just four days, of which 6.71” fell in 24 hours
Large areas of central Europe are experiencing their worst flooding in decades after heavy rainfall last week pushed rivers beyond their banks.
At least 21 people have died across Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, and thousands have been forced to evacuate their inundated homes. Preliminary estimates suggest the flooding has caused several billion dollars in damage.
In Passau, Germany – along the confluence of the Danube and Inn rivers – floodwaters rose to their highest levels in over 500 years. The city declared a state of emergency after swollen rivers cut off outside road access. Soldiers from the German army are being sent to flooded areas in southeastern Germany to provide disaster relief.
An aerial view of flood water in the city of Melk, Lower Austria, Austria, 03 June 2013. (Roland Schlager – EPA)
A expansive area of low pressure parked over eastern Europe is to blame for the excessive rainfall. Warm, moist Mediterranean air colliding with colder Atlantic air was lifted over the north side of the Alps. A stationary front then formed, bringing an extended period of unsettled weather.
While this pattern setup is not unusual in the central Alps, the amount of precipitation measured in some locations was historically significant.
Rainfall totals (in millimeters) recorded across Austria and southeastern Germany, May 30 – June 3. (Austrian Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics)
Monday, June 03, 2013
A woman carries a child through a tornado-ravaged neighborhood in Moore, Okla., May 20, 2013. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)
A devastating, mile-wide tornado touched down near Oklahoma City on Monday, killing dozens of people—including children—decimating homes, businesses and a pair of elementary schools in the suburb of Moore.
The tornado left a debris field 20 miles long and several miles wide. According to the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla., the tornado was on the ground for approximately 40 minutes, and a tornado warning was in effect for 16 minutes before the twister developed.
Weather officials estimated the strength of the storm to be an F4 or F5 on the Fujita Scale—the highest rating a tornado can achieve. The National Weather Service said the tornado's preliminary classification was an F4, with winds up to 200 mph.
The devastated area was an estimated 30 square miles.
24 people killed, 377 injured.