India: December may be second coldest for Delhi in 100 years

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

December may be second coldest for Delhi in 100 years

The mean maximum temperature this month till Thursday is 19.84°C. The lowest mean maximum temperature in the city was recorded in 1997 at 17.3°C.

DELHI Updated: Dec 27, 2019 08:15 IST

Jayashree Nandi
Jayashree Nandi

Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Women seen wrapped in shwals and woollens as the national capital witnesses intense cold conditions, in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, December 26, 2019.
Women seen wrapped in shwals and woollens as the national capital witnesses intense cold conditions, in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, December 26, 2019.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

The national capital is likely to record the second coldest December in a century because of significantly low day temperatures, according to an analysis by the regional weather forecasting centre.

The mean maximum temperature this month till Thursday is 19.84°C. The lowest mean maximum temperature in the city was recorded in 1997 at 17.3°C.

The second lowest mean maximum temperature for December was recorded in 1919 at 19.8°C and again in 1929 at 19.8°C. In 1961, the mean maximum for the month was 20 degrees Celsius. Until December 26 this year, the mean maximum is almost the same as recorded in 1919 and 1929, but the weather office is expecting the mean for the entire month to be lower as Delhi since likely to see at least two to three more “severe” cold days.

Also Watch l North India continues to reel under severe cold, temperature may dip further

North India continues to reel under severe cold, temperature may dip further
Cold wave intensifies in North India as states witness dip in mercury on Wednesday. People in Gorakhpur, Punjab face severe cold conditions. Cold intensified in the national capital too. Minimum temperature was 6 degrees Celsius.
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“We are expecting the mean maximum temperature this year to be in the range of 19.5 to 19.6 degrees Celsius. But we have to wait and see until December 31,” said Kuldeep Shrivastava, head of regional weather forecasting centre (RWFC).

There has been a cold spell in Delhi for the past 13 days, if data from all weather stations except Safdarjung is considered. In 1997, there was a cold spell for 13 days in December, but data from Safdarjung station was considered for it.

On Thursday, another “severe” cold day was registered again in Delhi with the maximum temperature 13.4°C, seven degrees below normal, and minimum of 5.8°C, two degrees below normal.

A severe cold day is defined as one in which the maximum temperature is at least 6.4 degrees below normal and the minimum temperature is under 10ºC.

IMD’s Friday bulletin said that cold day to severe cold day conditions would continue in many pockets of north India due to the persistence of cold northwesterly winds in the lower levels over north-west India, and other localised meteorological conditions. Cold day conditions are likely to abate from December 31, the IMD bulletin said.

A fresh western disturbance is likely to affect the western Himalayan region from December 30, bringing widespread rain and hailstorm in many parts of northwest and central India on December 31 and January 1, according to IMD.

“We are expecting light rain to begin in Delhi and NCR (National Capital Region) from December 31. Wind speeds will also pick up significantly. Rains may continue till January 3, and a cold wave is likely to set in again as wind direction changes to northwesterly. We are not sure yet if there will be a cold spell also,” said Shrivastava.

A press release by IMD on Thursday said: “The most severity [of cold/severe cold day conditions] was observed on December 25 when majority of stations in the region were recorded seven to 12 degrees C below normal with actual maximum temperature of the day varying between nine to 15 degrees Celsius.” The lowest day maximum temperature in the northern plains, 9°C, was reported from Ganganagar and Chandigarh.

The main difference between a cold spell and a cold wave is that the former involves lower-than-normal maximum or day temperatures for 2-3 days in a row while the latter involves lower-than-expected minimum or night temperatures for more than one day. On December 29, we could see both in Delhi according to RWFC.

Air quality inches towards ‘severe’

Air quality in the national capital continued to remain in the ‘very poor’ zone on Thursday, as winds slowed down and a moderate fog layer did not allow pollutants to disperse. The air quality is likely to plunge to ‘severe’ on December 28-29 after wind speed slows down and as there is an increase in dense fog.

The overall air quality index on Thursday, as recorded by the Central Pollution Control Board’s 4 pm bulletin, was 349 in the ‘very poor’ zone.

Scientists at the India Meteorological Department said the average wind speed was 8-10 kmph, which is not
favorable for dispersion of pollutants.

4 Things You Never Knew About the Winter Solstice

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

4 Things You Never Knew About the Winter Solstice

The winter solstice marks the longest night of the year. This event has influenced holidays and traditions around the world, and you can find plenty to see as you travel during this part of the year. Here are four festive facts we bet you never knew about the winter solstice.

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Stonehenge Is Designed to Align With the Sunset on the Winter Solstice

Stonehenge Is Designed to Align With the Sunset on the Winter Solstice

Credit: nicolamargaret/ iStock

Sunlight has been important to cultures throughout time. Stories, traditions, and even monuments centering around the sun can be found all over the globe. In fact, sunlight was so important to the Neolithic people that historians believe the winter solstice is what inspired them to build Stonehenge.

This enormous rock structure looks almost haphazardly designed at first glance, but the placement of the stones is anything but random. The Neolithic community at Stonehenge specifically set the structures up to frame the sunset during the winter solstice, as well as the sunrise during the summer solstice.

Archaeological evidence also suggests that large feasts were traditionally held at Stonehenge during the winter solstice. Recent excavations have uncovered the bones of cattle and pigs that were slaughtered approximately nine months after they were born in spring. All of this evidence adds up to indicate that, as far back as 3000 B.C., the winter solstice was a time when communities came together to celebrate with ceremonies and feasts.

Although the largest stone frame isn’t standing anymore, the winter solstice sun would once have aligned perfectly between these stones as it was setting. To this day, people still gather at Stonehenge on the winter solstice. Entry is free, and the site opens at sunrise so that revelers can witness the first glimpse of sunlight over this historic monument on the shortest day of the year.

Traditionally, Many Cultures Believed Evil Spirits Roamed the Earth During This Long Night

Traditionally, Many Cultures Believed Evil Spirits Roamed the Earth During This Long Night

Credit: Sepidehmaleki/ iStock

Since the winter solstice marks the longest night of the year, it’s no surprise that cultures around the world have developed folklore about it. More specifically, many stories center around spirits roaming through the December darkness. In Austria, for instance, the character of Krampus was built around Germanic solstice folklore. This half-demon, half-goat creature is the evil counterpart to Santa Claus — he roams the streets at night, punishing naughty children. Krampus has become a popular figure in pop culture, even inspiring a holiday-themed horror film in 2015.

However, Krampus’s popularity reigns supreme in Austria, where an annual Krampus Run is held in December. During this event, volunteers dress in fur suits, nightmarish masks, and horns. Then they run through the gathered crowds in full costume, jumping over gates and charging at festival-goers. This event is incredibly popular, and it is traditionally believed to ward off other evil spirits that may emerge during the solstice.

Europe is far from the only place with this sort of folklore. In Iran, the ancient celebration of Yalda falls on the winter solstice and celebrates the triumph of light over dark. While the festival itself is a celebration, it contains certain customs — known as Shab-e Chelleh — which are designed to protect people from evil. Revelers were traditionally advised to stay awake all night, so they’d gather with loved ones and eat summer fruits such as pomegranates and watermelons.

It Is the Inspiration for Religious and Secular Traditions in Cultures All Around the World

It Is the Inspiration for Religious and Secular Traditions in Cultures All Around the World

Credit: SylvainB/ Shutterstock

You probably know that the winter solstice inspired many familiar holiday traditions — but you may be surprised to learn the amount of influence this event has held over customs around the world. In China, for example, the winter solstice marks the beginning of the Dong Zhi festival. Dong Zhi celebrates the end of the harvest season and the return of sunlight. Families gather to feast. Traditional meals include tang yuan, or rice balls.

Known locally as Toji, the winter solstice in Japan comes with a particularly cute tradition: hot citrus baths with capybaras. These adorable rodents love the hot springs, which are traditionally infused with yuzu fruit to boost bathers’ immune systems and reduce itchy dry skin. People celebrating the solstice also eat kabocha, a winter squash that would have traditionally been available during the winter months.

In the U.S., the Hopi people celebrate an annual solstice ceremony called Soyal. This ceremony celebrates the sun’s return to summer. The festivities include prayers, ritual dances, storytelling, singing, and gift exchanges. In advance of the solstice, members of the community will often make prayer sticks and kachina dolls to represent nature spirits.

In Chichicastenango, Guatemala, the Santo Tomás festival is held every year during the week leading up to the winter solstice. This is a distinct shift from the traditional Catholic calendar, which holds the St. Thomas feast in July. In fact, Chichicastenango has blended Catholic beliefs into the indigenous Mayan calendar, which holds solstice celebrations during December. The Santo Tomás festival features a large feast, brightly colored clothing, a parade, fireworks, and music. People also perform a “flying pole” dance, in which participants bungee jump off the top of a 100 foot pole.

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It’s Actually a Time, Not a Day

It's Actually a Time, Not a Day

Credit: Yevhenii Chulovskyi/ Shutterstock

Although the winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night, the term itself refers to a specific astronomical moment. In fact, the word “solstice” comes from two Latin words: sol, meaning “sun,” and sistere, meaning “to stand still.” The winter solstice occurs at the exact moment when the sun enters the Tropic of Capricorn. Because of the angle of the earth’s tilt, the sun appears to stand completely still during this moment.

The exact time of the winter solstice changes every year, but it always marks the official beginning of winter — just as, in June, the summer solstice marks the official beginning of summer. After the summer solstice, the sun gets steadily lower and lower in the sky as the earth tilts away from the sun. Once the winter solstice has taken place, the sun remains low in the sky for several days. Then, as the earth begins to tilt again, the sun gradually rises higher in the sky. Also, the days get longer before finally peaking at the summer solstice once again.

5 Cities Most at Risk With Rising Sea Levels

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

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5 Cities Most at Risk With Rising Sea Levels

There are 570 coastal cities that could be impacted by rising sea levels by the 2050’s, affecting some 800 million people, according to C40 Cities. Cities along the Atlantic coast in the U.S. and various parts of Asia are under the greatest threat. Here’s a look at the cities most at risk if sea levels rise significantly.

Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

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Located on the southeastern tip of Florida, this low-lying city will be completely inundated with flood waters if sea levels rise as some predict. With a population of over 2.7 million, the entire Miami-Dade county is only an average of six feet above sea level, making it an easy target for flooding.

The city is trying to address the problem with $500 million worth of infrastructure changes and the installation of pumps and floodgates, according to NPR.

Alexandria, Egypt

Credit: efesenko/iStock

Located on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, the city of Alexandria is already feeling the effects of climate change. If sea levels continue to rise at the current rate, an estimated 3 million people would be directly affected, and millions more would eventually be displaced, according to The Guardian.

The drastic impact from rising sea levels is worsened by the Nile, the longest river in the world, which empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria. The low-lying river delta in this area continues to flood, causing the loss of much-needed crops in this heavily populated city, according to NPR. Climate change is also causing hotter temperatures and beach erosion. This is hampering tourism in the area, which is a very important aspect of the city’s economic livelihood, according to NPR. Making matters worse, the average elevation of the area is only 16 feet above sea level.

Osaka, Japan

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This large port city on the Japanese island of Honshu has been aware of the threat of climate change for a while. There has been massive coastal flooding in areas of the city, including its airport. According to The Guardian, an estimated 5 million people will be directly impacted by the rising sea levels, and an additional 6 million could be displaced in the city’s surrounding region.

Like other major coastal cities, Osaka has been updating its infrastructure in an attempt to combat the rising waters. Unfortunately, in a study by the Institute for Global Change Adaptation Science in Japan, it was found that the current designs for these walls may be insufficient against a prospective higher sea level.

Hong Kong, China

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The fate of this global financial hub depends on how high temperatures rise. A rise of just 2 degrees Celsius puts Hong Kong’s entire population of 7.4 million people at risk, along with many more in the surrounding coastal areas, according to The Guardian. A warm-up of more than 2 degrees could be catastrophic. The average elevation of Hong Kong varies, but it is typically only about 4 feet above sea level, worsening the situation.

Shanghai, China

Credit: chuyu/iStock

All of China’s coastal cities are at risk, according to GBTIMES. Its largest city, Shanghai, with a population of 24.2 million, is unfortunately at the forefront. Scientists have been warning the city for many years that it is already a major flood risk due to its dense population on the low-lying coast and its abundance of rivers, canals and other waterways, according to The New York Times.

According to The Guardian, 17.5 million people will be affected if sea levels rise to the current expectation. At just 13 feet above sea level, the city has been installing massive flood prevention walls in an attempt to prevent future problems. Only time will tell if these efforts help.

Breathtaking Photos of the Coldest City in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WEATHER CHANNEL)

 

Breathtaking Photos of the Coldest City in the World

By Nicole Bonaccorso

January 31 2014 10:15 AM EST

weather.com

This communist-era monument marks the record-breaking temperature of -71.2 recorded in the village in 1924. The monument reads "Oymyakon, the Pole of Cold." (Amos Chapple)
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This communist-era monument marks the record-breaking temperature of -71.2 recorded in the village in 1924. The monument reads “Oymyakon, the Pole of Cold.” (Amos Chapple)

Next time we’re having a brutal cold snap, think of the poor souls in the coldest city on Earth. Winter temperatures in Oymyakon, Russia, average minus 50 C ( minus 58 F). The remote village is generally considered the coldest inhabited area on Earth. Oymyakon is a two-day drive from Yakutsk, the regional capital which has the lowest winter temperatures of any city in the world.

How do the locals deal with the cold? “Russki chai, literally Russian tea, which is their word for vodka,” photographer Amos Chapple told weather.com after his visit to the coldest city.

Oymyakon ironically means “unfrozen water.” This is due to the thermal spring located nearby. Originally the location was used by reindeer herders who would water their flock in the warm springs.

Oymyakon’s lowest recorded temperature was a frigid minus 71.2  C (minus 96.16 F) back in 1924. According to The Independent, wearing glasses outdoors can cause them to stick to the wearer’s face. This is just one of the more menial problems of the extremely cold weather.

Other adaptations locals have to make in their daily lives are more extreme than a short time of nearsightedness or farsightedness when stepping outside. The frozen ground makes it difficult for working indoor plumbing, so most toilets are outhouses. The bitter cold also makes it difficult to dig graves. The ground  has to be warmed with a bonfire before a funeral. Locals use heated garages for their cars. Cars left outside need to be kept running, otherwise they will not restart. Planes cannot fly into the area in the winter. And of course the risk of frostbite is great after only a few minutes in the cold.

“I was wearing thin trousers when I first stepped outside into minus 47 C,” Chapple said. “I remember feeling like the cold was physically gripping my legs, the other surprise was that occasionally my saliva would freeze into needles that would prick my lips.”

Due to the frozen ground, crops cannot be grown in Oymyakon. The population survives on mostly meats. “Yakutians love the cold food, the frozen raw Arctic fish, white salmon, whitefish, frozen raw horse liver, but they are considered to be delicacy,” local Bolot Bochkarev told weather.com. “In daily life, we like eating the soup with meat. The meat is a must. It helps our health much.”

Chapple traveled through Oymyakon and Yaktusk on a journey for interesting pictures about life in the brutally cold environment. As a photojournalist, he searches for uplifting stories around the globe. He said that the cold posed some difficulties for his photography. He said that focusing the lens would sometimes be as challenging as opening a pickle jar.

Summers, however, in Oymyakon and Yakutsk, are relatively warm, and average around the mid-60’s and 70’s, and have reached as high as 94 degrees F, according to meteorologist Jon Erdman. But the winters are long and the summers, short, and according to Bochkarev, many locals actually complain about the warmer weather.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

6 States That Get the Least Snow

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

6 States That Get the Least Snow

If you love the sun and warmth, you are probably looking to avoid snow on your vacations at all costs. To secure the best odds of avoiding a chilly snowfall, consider planning a trip to one of the states below. These states receive the least amount of snow each year.

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Georgia

Georgia

Credit: Sean Pavone/ iStock

How much snow Georgia sees depends on what area you visit. Some locations in northern Georgia can see up to as much as three inches of snow each year. If avoiding snow is your goal, you are better off sticking to central and southern Georgia, where less than an inch of snow a year is the norm. The higher snow totals in northern Georgia are due to the Northeastern mountain region.

Mississippi

Mississippi

Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock

If avoiding snow is your goal, many areas of Mississippi are bound to deliver. The Gulf Coast and southern regions of Mississippi all see an average of half an inch of snow or less each year. Central Mississippi is most likely to get less than an inch of snow, but northern Mississippi can occasionally get up to two inches.

The Gulf Coast of Mississippi is a popular vacation destination. The winter months offer high temperatures in the 60s. Cities throughout the Gulf Coast, such as Biloxi and Gulfport, offer a variety of holiday events throughout the winter months. Are you a country music fan? Consider checking out Martina McBride’s The Joy of Christmas tour that kicks off in Coastal Mississippi each year.

Another great winter event in coastal Mississippi is Mardi Gras. While the event may be more commonly associated with Louisiana, Mardi Gras has a 300-year history on the Gulf Coast. There are numerous Mardi Gras events that take place beginning in January and into February.

Alabama

Alabama

Credit: Sean Pavone/ iStock

The Alabama Gulf Coast and southern Alabama are a great escape from winter flurries. Most cities in these regions average .2 inches or less of snow a year. When it comes to Mother Nature, however, surprises are always possible. Some cities in Alabama have seen record snowfall amounts of over 13 inches.

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Louisiana

Louisiana

Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock

Average snowfall throughout Louisiana is an inch or less, making this a consistently snow-free destination. Winter highs are likely to hover in the mid-60s. In addition to its temperate climate, Louisiana has one impressive draw for winter traveling: Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras has been openly celebrated in New Orleans since the 1730s. The Mardi Gras traditions began in France and then spread to French colonies. It was brought to New Orleans by a French–Canadian explorer in 1702. The traditions and celebrations have slowly grown overtime to become what New Orleanians call the “Greatest Free Show on Earth.”

The Carnival season begins on January 6, or King’s Day, kicking off a long stretch of celebrations and events. The date of Fat Tuesday changes every year and is always the day before Ash Wednesday. Bacchus and Endymion are two of the biggest parades of the season and happen the weekend before Fat Tuesday.

Florida

Florida

Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock

Summing up the average snowfall in Florida is pretty straightforward: none. In fact, it has only snowed in Florida 16 times in the entire 21st century. The reason snow is rarely seen in Florida is because the temperatures don’t drop low enough. The average high is in the mid-60s. The consistent weather and lack of winter precipitation make Florida a great destination for vacationing. In fact, Florida is the number one destination in the United States for Canadian transplants, and one in four residents in Florida are seniors.

Florida is home to a number of attractions that make it a desirable vacation destination. One of the most well-known is Disney World, and some of the winter months are the least busy at the park. Consider planning a trip in early to mid-December or January to mid-February. If you are looking for something a bit different, consider a visit to the Kennedy Space Center or Everglades National Park.

Hawaii

Hawaii

Credit: Shane Myers Photography/ Shutterstock 

Much like Florida, Hawaii’s average yearly snowfall is non-existent. It also boasts highs in the 80s and lows in the upper 60s. Weather like this should certainly make you consider saying aloha to Hawaii in the winter months. The only place you are likely to see snow in Hawaii is at the top of the state’s three tallest volcanoes.

The hardest decision about a winter trip to Hawaii is likely to be which island to visit. One big draw for Hawaii in the winter is surfing, with many popular competitions taking place along the North Shore in Oahu. Kauai, the Big Island, and Maui also offer great surfing opportunities in the winter months. If you are looking to avoid rain, consider visiting Oahu’s Waikiki Beach, Kihei on Maui, or Kona on the Big Island. These beaches are traditionally the driest during the winter season. No matter which island you choose, it is likely to be a pleasant tropical getaway in the midst of winter.

Migrants in Bosnia Face Horrific Conditions as Winter Descends

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WEATHER CHANNEL)

 

Migrants in Bosnia Face Horrific Conditions as Winter Descends (PHOTOS)

By Nicole Bonaccorso

6 days ago

weather.com

A migrant walks amid tents during snowfall at the Vucjak refugee camp outside Bihac, northwestern Bosnia, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. Despite calls for their relocation before winter, hundreds of migrants remain stuck in a make-shift tent camp in northwestern Bosnia as a spate of snowy and cold weather hit the region. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
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A migrant walks amid tents during snowfall at the Vucjak refugee camp outside Bihac, northwestern Bosnia, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. Despite calls for their relocation before winter, hundreds of migrants remain stuck in a make-shift tent camp in northwestern Bosnia as a spate of snowy and cold weather hit the region. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

Several hundred migrants refused food and water on Tuesday to protest the horrible conditions in the makeshift camp in which they are living in northwestern Bosnia. The Vucjak camp houses about 600 migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and according to Reuters, the camp lacks running water and electricity and is located on a former landfill near a mine field leftover from the war in the early 1990s.

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic is urging the immediate closure of Vucjak as the region experiences freezing weather and the first snowfall of the season. Aid agencies have long advised the closure of the camp, which is located about 5 miles from the Croatian border.

“Vucjak must be shut down today,” Mijatovic said. “Otherwise people here will start dying.”

Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia have closed their borders to undocumented immigration, leaving Bosnia with an upsurge in immigrants attempting to cross into the EU, while Bosnian authorities struggle to find a place for them. A new facility near Sarajevo won’t be ready to accommodate people for another 20 days, the Associated Press reported.

Fazil Rahman, one of the camp’s occupants from Afghanistan, told the Associated Press that migrants “don’t want the food… They don’t want it for lunch, they didn’t want it in the morning, they don’t want it at nighttime. People are asking just one question: to cross the border.”

Meanwhile, tents collapse under heavy snow, and some lack warm clothing and appropriate footwear for winter. In photos, migrants are seen walking in the snow in sandals, wrapping themselves in blankets in a futile attempt to keep warm.

“It should be closed as we speak,” Mijatovic said, according to BalkanInsight. “This is not a place for human beings.”

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

India: 5 dead, school, colleges shut as rain wreaks havoc in Tamil Nadu

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

5 dead, school, colleges shut as rain wreaks havoc in Tamil Nadu

The heavy rain has left several places in Tamil Nadu water logged and forced authorities to evacuate about 1000 people in Cuddalore district.

INDIA Updated: Dec 02, 2019 05:56 IST

M Manikandan
M Manikandan

Hindustan Times, Chennai
A general view of the water-logged area during the heavy rain, in Rameswaram (ANI Photo)
A general view of the water-logged area during the heavy rain, in Rameswaram (ANI Photo)

The regional meteorological centre in Chennai on Sunday predicted more showers in the next two days and issued a red alert for six districts in Tamil Nadu while torrential rain over the past two days claimed five lives.

“Thiruvallur, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai, Thoothukkudi, Ramanathapuram and Tirunelveli districts in Tamil Nadu would receive extremely heavy rainfall (above 20cm) in the next 24 hours,” the IMD’s Chennai regional centre alerted.

In view of heavy rainfall forecast, examinations of Madras University and Anna University scheduled for Monday have been postponed.

As Chennai received 9cm rain in the past 36 hours and spells are continuing, Chennai district administration declared leave for schools and colleges on Monday. According to Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Agency, schools will be closed in Chengelpet, Thiruvallur, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukkudi, Ramanathapuram and Cuddalore districts too.

According to Puviyarasan, Director, Regional Meteorological Center (RMC) Chennai, Tamil Nadu will get heavy rainfall for the next two days.

“In the past 24 hours, Thoothukkudi’s Sathankulam town had recorded 19 cm rainfall. Cuddalore had received 17 cm, and Thirunelveli district got 16 cm of rainfall. Due to the low-pressure area near Lakshadweep storms could occur in the South-Eastern Arabian Sea. So, fishermen should not venture into the sea for the next few days,” the RMC director told reporters.

He said Tamil Nadu had received 39 cm of rainfall since October 1 during this North-East Monsoon season.

Due to the heavy rainfall Duraikkanu (70) a resident of Moonram Sethi village in Thanjavur district, Ravichandran (50) from Paravakkottai in Thiruvarur district, Poongodhai (50), a physically challenged person in Ariyalur district died on Saturday as portions of their houses collapsed.

Besides, 50-year-old Kandasamy died in Pudukkottai town when his two-wheeler crashed in heavy rain while Sheik Ali (46), a resident of Chennai Ambattur died after falling into a storm water drain Saturday night.

Following the IMD alert, the Puducherry government on Sunday ordered schools to remain shut on Monday.

The heavy rain has left several sub-urban areas of Chennai water logged. These include Shozhinganallur, Pallavaram, Tambaram, Nanmangalam and Selaiyur.

The rain has partially submerged more than 100 houses in the outskirts of Chennai. Chennai City Corporation has opened helplines for people who need assistance to drain out the water.

“We are ready to help people at any time. The corporation staffers are already on the job to drain out the water,” G Prakash, Chennai City Corporation Commissioner told the media.

Several places in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Thoothukkudi districts have also been waterlogged.

According to the locals in Cuddalore, around 5000 houses in low lying areas of the coastal town have been marooned. About 500 people from KS Pettai in Cuddalore town have been forced to take shelter in a private marriage hall.

Tamil Nadu Industries Minister M C Sampath who visited the flood-affected areas in Cuddalore district said actions have been taken for draining the water.

“Around 1000 people have been evacuated from flood-hit houses. People have been moved to temporary relief camps. Food and Medical assistance have been kept ready,” Sampath told the media.

Farmers in the delta district said that the sudden rain has inundated more than 5000 acres of the Samba (a variety of rice) crops.

“Samba crops cultivated in the tail-end of parts of Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur and Thanjavur districts have been inundated due to the heavy rain,” said S Ramadoss, Nagapattinam district president for Tamil Nadu Cauvery Farmers Association.

Opposition leader and DMK President MK Stalin urged the state government to work on a war footing to prevent damages and loss of life.

“Tamil Nadu has been receiving severe rainfall for the last few days. So all the district administrations should work on a war footing to prevent life and material loss,” he said in a tweet.

The Central government’s Water Resources department also had sent a warning to Tamil Nadu Government about increasing water levels in the state.

The water storage level in Chennai’s major reservoirs such as Chembaramkkam, Poondi Sathiyamoorthi, Redhills and Cholavaram have been increasing since Friday. These reservoirs had dried up in June last which led to severe water scarcity in Chennai.

India: Mumbai slum dwellers by the sea live at the mercy of climate change

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Mumbai slum dwellers by the sea live at the mercy of climate change

Climate change poses a greater threat to poor communities in developing nations like India, Indonesia and the Philippines, with people living on the margins less able to protect themselves from the impact.

MUMBAI Updated: Nov 30, 2019 08:14 IST

Reuters
Reuters

Mumbai
Thousands of people, mostly migrants from other parts of the country, live in temporary shelters, built on rocks at the edge of the sea and are likely to be the first hit from coastal flooding caused by climate change.
Thousands of people, mostly migrants from other parts of the country, live in temporary shelters, built on rocks at the edge of the sea and are likely to be the first hit from coastal flooding caused by climate change. (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Representative Photo)

Already at risk from rains, flooding and open sewers, slum-dwellers who live by the ocean in the financial capital Mumbai are vulnerable to rising seas caused by global warming and say the government should help them move to safer locations.

Thousands of people, mostly migrants from other parts of the country, live in temporary shelters, built on rocks at the edge of the sea and are likely to be the first hit from coastal flooding caused by climate change.

“Even hearing about (the rising sea levels) we feel afraid. What do we do? We have been living here for so many years. It would be good if the government could do something to help us,” said Kamakshi Tangesh Devender, who lives in a slum in Worli neighborhood.

Climate change poses a greater threat to poor communities in developing nations like India, Indonesia and the Philippines, with people living on the margins less able to protect themselves from the impact.

A research paper by Climate Central, a US.-based non-profit climate science and news organisation, found that climate change will put an estimated 300 million people globally at risk of coastal flooding by 2050.

The UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report in September that sea levels could rise by one meter (3.3 feet) by 2100 — 10 times the rate in the 20th century — if carbon emissions that are responsible for climate change keep climbing.

“Mumbai is going to be under water, we need to plan for that eventuality and what is required is to plan a new city to replace Mumbai as and when it gets submerged. And ideally, to my mind, it should be somewhere inland – at a pretty substantial elevation,” Debi Goenka, an environmental activist, told Reuters.

As well as changing sea levels, scientists say climate change is causing an increase in extreme weather events around the world such as drought and floods.

Mumbai has been hit this year by incessant rains and flooding, causing loss of life and property and halting essential services like local transport. The city received 66% more rainfall than average during the June to September monsoon season, breaking a record set in 1954.

Governments are meeting at a U.N. summit on climate change in Madrid on Dec. 2-13.

India’s rain pattern getting affected by global climate crisis

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

India’s rain pattern getting affected by global climate crisis

In a report published on Wednesday, climate scientists pointed out that the Indo-Pacific warm pool, a stretch of ocean where the temperature remains above 28°C in the winter months, has doubled in size between 1981 ans 2018.

INDIA Updated: Nov 28, 2019 03:29 IST

Jayashree Nandi and Snehal Fernandes
Jayashree Nandi and Snehal Fernandes

Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Mumbai
Scientists have for the first time linked a specific phenomenon brought on by the climate crisis to reduced winter rain in India
Scientists have for the first time linked a specific phenomenon brought on by the climate crisis to reduced winter rain in India(Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

Scientists have for the first time linked a specific phenomenon brought on by the climate crisis to reduced winter rain in India — a growing patch of warm seas in the Indo-Pacific ocean region that is causing droughts in some regions across the world and extreme floods in others.

In a report published on Wednesday, climate scientists pointed out that the Indo-Pacific warm pool, a stretch of ocean where the temperature remains above 28°C in the winter months, has doubled in size between 1981 ans 2018. This, in turn, has “warped” the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a band of rain clouds that moves eastwards over the tropics and is responsible for most weather variations in the region — including the south-west and north-east monsoons.

The study, published in the journal Nature and authored by scientists from Pune’s Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), United States’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, University of Washington and University of Tokyo, said that the changes to MJO have a cascading effect that triggers extreme weather events across the globe.

The MJO season begins in October and lasts till April, and the report contends its “warping” has a direct link to lower rainfall in the winter months in north India. Experts separately say the effects also spill over to the summer monsoon,which is crucial for India’s agriculture and economy.

The landmark study comes less than a week before 197 countries gather for the UN Climate Conference (COP25) in Madrid to negotiate on rules around the functioning of carbon markets, how vulnerable countries can be compensated for the loss caused by climate impact, and to decide on how findings of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC’s) 2019 report on land and oceans can be taken on board.

“The MJO location-specific changes in terms of their lifespan has altered weather patterns across the globe because it changes atmospheric circulation that can enhance or suppress tropical rainfall variability, modulate or trigger extreme weather events including hurricanes, droughts, flooding, heat waves and cold surges,” said Roxy Mathew Koll, principal investigator and climate scientist, IITM.

Previous studies have established that an increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities has led to the warming of the Indo-Pacific pool, the study noted.

The study looked at climate model simulations between 1981 and 2018 and found that MJO clouds now remain in Indian Ocean for four fewer days (from an average of 19 days to 15 days). In turn, they have spilled over to the west Pacific region, where they linger for five more days (from an average of 18 days to 23 days).

MJO travels 12,000-20,000km mainly over the Indo-Pacific warm pool and modulates the El Niño Southern Oscillation, tropical cyclones and the monsoons, contributing to severe weather events over Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Koll said changes in MJO can affect western disturbances that bring rain to north India and may also reduce the span of summer monsoon rains and cause extreme rainfall events in short duration.

Raghu Murtugudde, professor of atmospheric and oceanic science and earth system science at the University of Maryland, who was not involved in the study, said the report is critical for the Indian monsoon because the MJO season (October to April) dovetails the monsoon season, also known as the Monsoon Intraseasonal Oscillation or MISO season (May to September).

“The monsoon is all about MISOs or active/break periods. Since the variability and change in the monsoon are all manifest in active/break periods and our agriculture depends on active/breaks, this MJO story raises new questions about how MISOs are responding to the Indo-Pacific warm pool changes,” said Murtugudde. “Now the question is to see how MJO changes are related to the MISO changes and what it means for the future of the monsoon.”

A third scientist supported the concerns. “It’s quite possible that changes in MJO are impacting the north-east monsoon. It definitely has a big impact on our summer monsoon which is being documented. MJO is one of fundamental oscillations that impacts the intra-seasonal variability of southwest monsoon,” said SK Dash, climate scientist, IIT Delhi.

In addition to India, the impact spreads to central and east Pacific, east Africa, the Yangtze basin in China, and the east and west coasts of the United States. It is also linked to enhanced rainfall over the Maritime Continent–west pacific region, the Amazon basin in South America, south-west Africa and northern Australia.

The study links MJO changes to California droughts in 2013-2014, South-east Asia floods in 2011 and East Africa droughts in 2011, which occurred during years when the MJO phase duration was longer over the west pacific region. Extreme flooding events in Brazil, such as the 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods are also linked to longer MJO

Iran: Heavy Snow Snarls Traffic, Shuts Schools in Iran Capital

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Heavy Snow Snarls Traffic, Shuts Schools in Iran Capital

Saturday, 16 November, 2019 – 11:30
Tehran spreads up the southern slopes of the Elburz mountains and heavy snowfalls often create challenging driving conditions. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Heavy snowfall blanketed the streets of north Tehran on Saturday, causing traffic chaos and forcing the closure of schools, authorities in the Iranian capital said.

Crews of municipal workers were battling to clear roads and pavements in parts of the capital, where snow began falling at the start of the morning rush hour and continued through the day.

“Snow started at a time when there is usually high traffic and now as you can imagine that snow has intensified this traffic,” Hamid Mousavi, mayor of Tehran’s first district, told the ISNA news agency.

The backed-up traffic prevented the use of snow plows and forced the municipality to deploy staff to clear the snow by hand, he said.

One commuter said his journey to work from east Tehran took him twice as long as usual as traffic was backed up on major roads leading to northern districts.

There were only a few accidents, despite the driving conditions and the fact that many vehicles lacked tire chains, a city official said, according to state television’s website.

Schools in some districts were ordered closed in the afternoon.

“Due to the coldness of the weather, snow and forecast of continuing snowfall, all schools will be closed this afternoon in districts one to five and district 22 of Tehran,” deputy governor Mohammad Taghizadeh said, quoted by ISNA.

“Also all schools in Shemiranat county will be closed in the afternoon shift.”