Extensive damage has been reported in Fiji as Cyclone Harold’s trail of destruction through the Southern Pacific continues.
Aeroplanes provide important information about the current state of the atmosphere, and have done since the beginning of commercial flights. The more precisely the initial conditions of the atmosphere are known, the more accurate the forecast can be. With COVID-19 triggering such sudden and dramatic reduction in the number of flights, there is a chance that the weather forecast could become slightly less accurate over the coming months.
A large area of ozone depletion has taken place over the Arctic. Usually in early spring, as the sun climbs higher in the sky, the temperature in the stratosphere above the Arctic increases and this prevents the chemical reactions that break up ozone. However, this year a large area of ozone has been eroded and this loss has intensified over the past few weeks.
Ozone is a naturally occurring gas. Over 90% of it is found in the stratosphere, between 10 and 50 kilometres above the Earth, in what’s known as the ozone layer.
After the wettest February on record in the UK, which helped to drag the whole winter 2019-2020 to the fifth wettest winter on record, it would be nice if spring brought us some brighter and calmer conditions.
The spring forecast, which has recently been issued by the Met Office, indicates that spring 2020 may well be warmer than average, but unfortunately there is also the chance that it will be wetter than the average, particularly in the north.
An immediate evacuation is taking place in Ironbridge, Shropshire today, as concerns rise that the temporary barriers of the River Severn are buckling under the force of the water. This comes after an incredibly wet month, with double the month’s average rainfall being recorded in parts of West Yorkshire in the first half of the month and Hereford, Worcestershire and the West Midlands reporting more than 170% of their average monthly rainfall.
Even three days after Storm Ciara hit the UK, some people are still feeling the effects of the weather. Two people lost their lives in the storm, tens of thousands of homes lost power and despite new multi-million pound defences, flood water inundated several Yorkshire towns.
A new study published in 2020 in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, has highlighted just how serious dust storms can be for those living within the Earth’s dust belt.
The majority of the Earth’s dust originates in the desert zones of North Africa, the Middle East and China, with the Sahara desert producing about half of the global annual mineral dust.
The last few months have been strangely mild across the UK. Temperatures in December and January were well above average and people have been asking "what happened to winter?". Elsewhere in Europe, the mild weather is even more pronounced, with temperatures in Finland about 10°C higher than usual and new high temperature records being set in St. Petersburg and Norway respectively.
Despite the current quiet weather conditions, people have been complaining about their TV reception. The internet is awash with people grumbling that their Freeview picture is freezing, breaking up, or in some cases, not working at all. People can understand when a severe storm interrupts their viewing pleasure, but the recent benign weather is causing a little more confusion.
The waters in the Pacific Ocean have reached the temperature required by the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for an El Niño event, but an El Niño hasn’t been declared. What’s more, NOAA is saying the temperature will remain this high for the next few months, but confusingly it doesn’t expect an El Niño event to occur. El Nino is the warming of the surface water of the tropical Pacific Ocean, as detailed here.