HD Weather News #53

April 1, 2023
3-5 minutes

Landslide in Brazil

On March 16, 2023, heavy rains caused a devastating landslide that destroyed a family's home in Aratuba, killing three people. A total of 15 other homes were damaged or deemed unsafe, forcing about 50 people to evacuate.

On March 17, more than 30 families were preemptively evacuated from their homes in neighborhoods in the city of Itapipoca due to threats of flooding and landslides. Local authorities declared a state of emergency in several municipalities, including Guaramiranga, Itapipoca, Missão Velha, Aratuba and Uruburetama.

In the neighboring state of Maranhão, heavy rains also caused significant damage, leading the government to declare a state of emergency for 20 municipalities.

IPCC report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its summary report on global warming this Monday, March 20, summarizing the last six reports published since 2015.

Here are the key points to remember:

First, it is important to note that the planet is currently experiencing warming unprecedented in at least the past 2,000 years, with a temperature increase of +1.1°C compared to the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900.

There is no doubt that humans are responsible for the current global warming. This warming is largely due to human activities that produce greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, trapping heat in the atmosphere. Indeed, greenhouse gases produced by human activities are responsible for 1.07°C of the 1.1°C temperature increase observed since the end of the 19th century.

The probability that the average annual temperature will exceed the critical threshold of +1.5°C as early as 2030 is 40 to 60%. We are therefore facing a climate emergency.

An insufficiency of the current commitments made by the States to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Even if all these commitments are met, this would lead to a global warming of about +2.8°C for the next decades. It is therefore imperative that more ambitious measures are taken to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The choices we make today will condition the world of tomorrow.

Ship overturned due to high winds in Scotland

On Wednesday March 22, a research vessel called The Petrel, partially overturned in a dry dock in the port of Edinburgh in Scotland due to high winds. The major incident left 25 people injured, according to local authorities.

According to city councillor Adam Mc Vey, the 76-meter long ship, "was dislodged from its support by high winds ".

Images broadcast by the British media show the 3,000-ton ship tilted at 45 degrees. According to The Sun, there are also people missing. Emergency services, including five ambulances, an air ambulance and three trauma teams, were sent to the scene at around 8:30 a.m. The fire department and police were also mobilized.


Sandstorm in North China

On March 22, 2023, Beijing was hit by a sandstorm that caused heavy air pollution. Pollution levels reached alarming levels, with the official air quality index stuck at 500, the maximum level recorded. Authorities issued weather warnings and advised people to reduce outdoor activities, as visibility dropped to less than a kilometer in some places.

In other parts of China, such as the semi-desert region of Inner Mongolia, strong winds and dust turned the sky orange. Visibility was sometimes reduced to a few hundred meters due to airborne PM 10 particles.

Authorities called on residents to protect themselves well from the wind and sand by closing doors and windows, and to wear a mask when outside.

The sandstorm in video here.


Storm in Mississippi

The southern United States has suffered a series of severe storms since Friday, causing significant damage and loss of life. According to Mississippi authorities, at least 26 people have lost their lives and thousands more have been affected. The tornadoes traveled more than 100 miles from west to east, ripping off roofs, smashing cars and leveling entire neighborhoods.

The small Mississippi town of Rolling Fork was hit hard by a tornado Friday night. According to Jonny B Gabel, a tornado chaser on the scene, the tornado caused a real catastrophe, everything exploded. He observed the huge black hole formed by the tornado, which moved dozens of miles in the direction of Alabama.  Witnesses report seeing lightning, rain and extremely strong wind ravaging neighborhoods, uprooting roofs of homes and leaving some neighborhoods almost completely leveled, according to CNN.

The President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Mississippi Sunday morning, allowing federal funding for disaster relief, including temporary housing and rebuilding efforts.

Ⓒ Julio Cortez Associated Press

Record temperature in France

Southwestern France recorded record temperatures on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, with the 30°C mark crossed for the first time this year in the country.

Maximum temperatures reached 30.8°C in Lagor in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 30.4°C in Orthez also in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 30.1°C in Dax and Mont-de-Marsan in the Landes. It is rare for the 30°C threshold to be exceeded in March, and more than thirty weather stations broke their monthly heat records in the Landes, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Gers and Gironde. At an altitude of 2800 meters at the Pic du Midi, it was 6°C.

In March, France only experienced two previous exceedances of the 30°C threshold: in Pau with 31°C on March 25, 1955 and in Figari in Corsica with 30.3°C on March 24, 2001.