HD Weather News #59

July 1, 2023
3-5 minutes

Heatwave in India

Between June 15 and 20, parts of northern India, notably the regions of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, were hit by a devastating heat wave. The affected areas recorded an average temperature of 45 degrees Celsius.

A total of 96 people lost their lives across the region, mainly in the Ballia district. The deaths mainly affected people over 60 or those suffering from pre-existing illnesses.

Heatwaves are common in India in June, but this time deaths and temperatures reached unprecedented levels. On June 20, India's Health Minister announced that the government had initiated measures to prevent heat-related deaths and mitigate other associated damage.

ⓒ Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP

Tropical cyclone in Brazil

On June 16, the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul was violently hit by a tropical cyclone, accompanied by powerful winds and torrential rain of around one meter. The storm caused widespread damage, destroying rural properties and homes and injuring civilians.

The current death toll from the storm is at least 13, while 20 others are still missing. At the same time, almost 5,000 homes have been damaged and around 84,000 people are without electricity. In addition, the region's agriculture suffered considerable damage, threatening the backbone of Rio Grande do Sul's economy.

On June 17, Governor Eduardo Leite announced that military firefighters had already carried out almost 2,400 rescue operations, while continuing their efforts to rescue those affected.

ⓒ Diego Vara / Reuters

Storms in the Atlantic Ocean

Up to June 30, three tropical storms were identified in the Atlantic Ocean, marking a deviation from the region's usual weather patterns, where the third storm doesn't usually form until early August.

The first Atlantic storm of the year, named Tropical Storm Arlene, developed in late May and early June. The second and third storms, named Tropical Storms Bret and Cindy, both emerged towards the end of June.

Tropical Storm Bret began as a tropical depression over the Atlantic on June 19. It gradually strengthened as it moved westwards towards the Lesser Antilles. On June 20, the storm intensified, bringing several days of high winds of up to 60 mph, heavy rainfall, flooding and storm surges across the Caribbean Sea. The storm dissipated on June 24 near northern Colombia.

Tropical Storm Cindy formed on June 22 in the Atlantic. Satellite images detected winds of around 45 mph as the storm moved northwest towards the Florida coast. On June 26 and 27, the storm encountered an area of dry air, putting an end to its development.

Heatwave in Spain

Towards the end of April, the Iberian Peninsula experienced unusually high temperatures for the spring season, reaching up to 40°C in southern Spain.

Since June 26, the country has been facing a new heat wave that threatens to push temperatures to over 44 degrees in the southern region, according to the National Meteorological Agency (AEMET).

These episodes of intense heat increase the risk of forest fires, prompting many regions of the country to prepare for this threat. In Catalonia, for example, water reservoirs are only 29% full, posing a considerable challenge in terms of our ability to extinguish forest fires and support those affected by the heat.

As a country on the front line of global warming in Europe, Spain is used to extreme temperatures, particularly in the south. However, scientists are noting an increase in the number and intensity of heat waves in recent years.

Flood in Chile

On June 23, Santiago, Chile's capital, was hit by heavy rains that caused major flooding of the Maule and Mapocho rivers. Authorities described the rainfall as the worst ever recorded in the country. Thousands of people were evacuated and some localities were isolated due to road closures, affecting more than 10,000 people.

Some 2,700 houses were damaged and 54 were completely destroyed, displacing almost 5,000 people in the Santiago metropolitan area. The floods also threaten the capital's drinking water supply, as the Maule and Mapocho rivers are an important source of water for the city.

On June 25, Interior Minister Carolina Toha reported two deaths and six people still missing following the floods.

A state of disaster was officially declared due to this exceptional weather situation, considered to be the worst in Chile in the last ten years.

ⓒ Jorge Loyola / AFP

Flood in Mexico

The capital of Mexico's Chiapas state, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, recorded almost 150 mm of rain in the 24 hours to Sunday. In addition, the city of Ostuacán, in the north of the same state, recorded over 100 mm of rain in 24 hours the previous day.

The heavy rains flooded roads in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, with water levels reaching almost a meter in height. Dozens of homes were submerged and many vehicles were stranded.

According to local media, at least fifteen people had to be rescued, some of them taking refuge on the roof of their cars for safety. The latest reports are of one death and one missing person.

Civil protection authorities in Tuxtla Gutiérrez said the body of a man was found in a drainage canal. He had apparently been swept away by the waters while trying to move a car trapped by the floods.