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MAY, MONTH OF EXTREME WEATHER AROUND THE WORLD


FILE – In this May 29, 2015 file photo, Indians sleep on the roof of a house to beat the heat in New Delhi, India. Even for a world getting used to wild weather, May seems stuck on strange. Torrential downpours in Texas, whiplashing the region from drought to flooding. A heatwave that has already killed more than 1800 in India and is the fifth deadliest since 1900. Record 91 degree temperature in of all places Alaska. A pair of top-of-the-scale typhoons in the Northwest Pacific. And a drought in the U.S. East is starting to take root just as the one ends in Texas. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal, File) — Even for a world getting used to wild weather, May seems stuck on strange. Torrential downpours in Texas that have whiplashed the region from drought to flooding. A heat wave that has killed more than 1,800 people in India. Record 91-degree (32 Celsiu) readings in Alaska, of all places. A pair of top-of-the-scale typhoons in the Northwest Pacific. And a drought taking hold in the East. “Mother Nature keeps throwing us crazy stuff,” Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis says. “It’s just been one thing after another.”  Jerry Meehl, an extreme-weather expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, points out that May is usually a pretty extreme month, with lots of tornadoes and downpours. Even so, he says, this has been “kind of unusually intense.” READ MORE...

ALSO Asia Summer Forecast: India Drought May Impact Over One Billion People; Active Typhoon Season Expected


An Indian farmer pushes his bicycle past a parched paddy field in Ranbir Singh Pura, about 34 km (21 miles) from Jammu, India, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Delayed monsoon rains in 2014 raised fears of drought in some regions with India's meteorological department reporting an acute deficit in rainfall in many areas. (AP Photo/Channi Anand) 
AccuWeather reports a very active typhoon season, combined with drought in much of India, could have a significant impact on lives and property for more than a billion people in Asia during the summer of 2015. According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls, "A phenomenon known as El Niño is forecast to strengthen over the summer." El Niño is a warm phase of the fluctuation of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean and usually leads to an above-average number of typhoons and super typhoons. How strong El Niño becomes along with other anticipated factors will determine the severity of impacts on the weather across southern and eastern Asia. According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani, "In addition to El Niño, we have warmer-than-average waters extending well north and west of the tropics in the Pacific, which will create lower atmospheric pressure and a favorable environment for tropical system formation." There is no way to predict accurately the timing, strength and location of individual tropical systems months in advance. AccuWeather will provide updates on where individual storms may form farther along into the season and the forecast track after they have developed. READ MORE...


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May, month of extreme weather around the world

WASHINGTON, JUNE 1, 2015  (INQUIRER) @inquirerdotnet Associated Press 12:07 PM May 30th, 2015 — Even for a world getting used to wild weather, May seems stuck on strange.

Torrential downpours in Texas that have whiplashed the region from drought to flooding. A heat wave that has killed more than 1,800 people in India. Record 91-degree (32 Celsiu) readings in Alaska, of all places. A pair of top-of-the-scale typhoons in the Northwest Pacific. And a drought taking hold in the East.

“Mother Nature keeps throwing us crazy stuff,” Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis says. “It’s just been one thing after another.”

Jerry Meehl, an extreme-weather expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, points out that May is usually a pretty extreme month, with lots of tornadoes and downpours. Even so, he says, this has been “kind of unusually intense.”

READ MORE...
The word “stuck” provides one possible explanation.

Francis, Meehl and some other meteorologists say the jet stream is in a rut, not moving nasty weather along. The high-speed, constantly shifting river of air 30,000 feet above Earth normally guides storms around the globe, but sometimes splits and comes back together somewhere else.


From left to right, Cara Hewitt, Linda Balas, Kathy Bullard and Doreen Crow look at the spot in Wimberley, Texas, on Thursday May 28, 2015, where eight of their friends from Corpus Christi were swept away in a flood. AP

A stuck jet stream, with a bit of a split, explains the extremes in Texas, India, Alaska and the U.S. East, but not the typhoons, Francis says.

Other possible factors contributing to May’s wild weather: the periodic warming of the central Pacific known as El Nino, climate change and natural variability, scientists say.

For every degree Celsius the air is warmer, it can hold 7 percent more moisture. That, Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon says, “is supplying more juice to the event.”

While it is too early to connect one single event to man-made warming, scientific literature shows “that when it rains hard, it rains harder than it did 20 to 30 years ago,” says University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd.

As bad as the Texas flooding has been, the heat wave in India has been far worse — in fact, the world’s fifth-deadliest since 1900, with reports of the 100-degree (38 Celsiu)-plus heat even buckling roads. And it’s a consequence of the stuck jet stream, according to Francis and Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters.

When climate scientists look at what caused extreme events — a complex and time-consuming process that hasn’t been done yet — heat waves are the ones most definitely connected to global warming, Shepherd says.

El Nino is known to change the weather worldwide, often making things more extreme. This El Nino is itself weird. It was long predicted but came far later and weaker than expected. So experts dialed back their forecasts. Then El Nino got stronger quickly.

Some scientists have theorized that the jet stream has been changing in recent years because of shrinking Arctic sea ice, an idea that has not totally been accepted but is gaining ground, Shepherd says.

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, likens what’s happening to a stewpot: Natural climate fluctuations such as El Nino go into it. So do jet stream meanderings, random chance, May being a transition month, and local variability. Then throw in the direct and indirect effects of climate change.

“We know that the stew has an extra ingredient,” Hayhoe says, referring to climate change. “That ingredient is very strong. Sometimes you add one teaspoon of the wrong ingredient and boy, it can take your head off.”


CHARLESTONCHRONICLE.COM

Asia Summer Forecast: India Drought May Impact Over One Billion People; Active Typhoon Season Expected Published: 5/28/2015 3:39:26 PM By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com


An Indian farmer pushes his bicycle past a parched paddy field in Ranbir Singh Pura, about 34 km (21 miles) from Jammu, India, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Delayed monsoon rains in 2014 raised fears of drought in some regions with India's meteorological department reporting an acute deficit in rainfall in many areas. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

AccuWeather reports a very active typhoon season, combined with drought in much of India, could have a significant impact on lives and property for more than a billion people in Asia during the summer of 2015.

According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls, "A phenomenon known as El Niño is forecast to strengthen over the summer."

El Niño is a warm phase of the fluctuation of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean and usually leads to an above-average number of typhoons and super typhoons.

How strong El Niño becomes along with other anticipated factors will determine the severity of impacts on the weather across southern and eastern Asia.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani, "In addition to El Niño, we have warmer-than-average waters extending well north and west of the tropics in the Pacific, which will create lower atmospheric pressure and a favorable environment for tropical system formation."

There is no way to predict accurately the timing, strength and location of individual tropical systems months in advance. AccuWeather will provide updates on where individual storms may form farther along into the season and the forecast track after they have developed.

READ MORE...
"In addition to the higher-than-average number of typhoons expected, we also anticipate more long-tracking typhoons, which will have a greater chance of being strong and impacting multiple land areas along their path," Sagliani said.

Some of the typhoons will turn east of the Philippines and Japan. However, because of the large amount of systems expected, a number of them could bring significant impact to the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan and perhaps mainland China.

A significant impact would be landfall or the remnants of a tropical system causing major flooding, damage and potential loss of life.

Drought to Grow in India as Monsoon Shuts Down

As the Pacific Basin churns out typhoons this summer and autumn, conditions over the Indian Ocean Basin will likely displace and disrupt the monsoon.

"El Niño conditions tend to lead to below-normal rainfall across much of India during the monsoon," Nicholls said.

According to a report by the European Commission, India has the second-largest plowable land area in the globe, after the United States and is one of the world's leading producers of paddy rice, wheat and sugar cane.

"While there will be some rainfall on the region, the pattern could evolve into significant drought and negatively impact agriculture from central India to much of Pakistan," Nicholls said.

A key to how severe and long-lasting the drought may be in India may be water temperatures in the western part of the Indian Ocean.

"If water temperatures in the western part of the Indian Ocean warm more quickly than anticipated, then rainfall will be enhanced across India, thus alleviating drought fears," Nicholls said.

Limited rainfall is also anticipated in Indonesia.

Warmth to Grip Much of Asia

Much of the balance of Asia is forecast to experience near- to above-average temperatures this summer.

In addition to India and Pakistan being drier than average, a large area of dry conditions may develop from near the Black Sea and around Turkey to the Caspian Sea and into western Kazakhstan.

Near-average rainfall is forecast from Iraq to Iran and Afghanistan to west-central China and Mongolia.

Areas that are likely to be wetter than average include Japan, the northern Philippines and the Yangtze Valley of China.

Locations that are likely to experience rounds of wet weather include Manchuria, as well as northeastern, southern and northwestern portions of China.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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