Entries in Weather (13)


Tourist Attraction Owner Wants to Sue over Bad Weather Reports

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A man who runs an animal attraction in Devon in Southwest England wants to sue the British office of meteorology, claiming "pessimistic forecasts" are cutting into tourism's bottom line.

Rick Turner tells the website Metro, "Over the August bank holiday weekend, I remember they forecast a whole weekend of rain with heavy rain on the Saturday.  We did not have a drop and were enjoying sunshine and blue sky all day."

A spokesman for the U.K.'s national weather service says, "No one, not even the Met Office, is able to get it right 100 per of the time.  But the UK is lucky enough to have one of the best weather forecasting services in the world."

Turner is hoping to recruit more people in his line of work to undertake legal action against the weather service.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


BBC Weatherman Apologizes for Wrong Forecast

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- They're the two words every person who has ever had a birthday party, family reunion, hiking trip, wedding or just a good hair day thrown to pieces by rain wants to hear: I'm sorry.

And while a BBC weatherman didn't issue his apology quite that succinctly, he did issue an on-air mea culpa for predicting sunshine when, instead, Londoners got rain.

"There are thunderstorms there which were not represented in our forecasts over the past couple of days or so," the BBC's Phillip Avery said Sunday afternoon. "I have to say we can't even blame the computers, the computers actually wanted to put those thunderstorms in there but forecasters thought that it wasn't supported by enough evidence and so we went for the dry, hot option."

"Having said that, apologies to anyone who has had their next few hours ruined," he said.

Avery was forced to do what no weatherperson ever wants to do after he and his team of BBC forecasters stuck to what they thought the weather would hold -- dry sunshine -- rather than what the highly detailed weather models released by the Met Office, the U.K.'s National Weather Service, predicted, rain and clouds.

By Sunday morning, thunderstorms began developing over the English Channel and thousands of Brits, notably BBC viewers, were left stuck in the rain, the U.K.'s Telegraph reported.

By Sunday afternoon, Avery issued his on-air apology, and by Sunday night the BBC issued a statement of its own to the British public.

"The weather team always endeavor to be open about forecasting and it was right to explain why today's forecast didn't capture weather events in some regions," a spokesman said. "This was done following discussions with Met Office colleagues."

video platform video management video solutions video player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Balkans Lurch from Killer Blizzards to Destructive Floods

ALEXA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- The Arctic cold is over for now, but that does not mean the Balkans are out of the woods yet. In fact, if the weather gets too warm too fast, the troubles may only be beginning.

Already hundreds of boats and barges have been crushed by cascading ice on the Danube River, and fears are growing that a thaw accompanied by spring rains will cause massive flooding and even landslides. The snow through much of the region is still five times its normal depth.

"We've got a situation that could be problematic," Aleksandar Prodanovic, flood control expert in Serbia told ABC News. "You have to take into consideration March and April rain as well as couple of weeks of winter left."

When a freeze gripped Europe in the end of January and first half of February, a thick layer of ice was formed on the Danube -- in some places as thich as 18 inches. Ship traffic was halted in many areas of Europe's busy waterways.

But now, with temperatures climbing, the ice has begun breaking up around the Serb capital of Belgrade, and damage has already been significant.

In Belgrade, huge ice chunks crashed into hundreds of anchored boats and swept away a number of barges. A couple of Belgrade's most popular floating restaurants have sunk. Now the U.N. is warning that parts of central and eastern Europe, until recently paralyzed by heavy snow, could face another catastrophe.

Margareta Wahlstroem, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative for disaster risk reduction, said in a statement in Geneva that there are warning signs that, "destructive floods will add to the loss of life and economic assets" as temperatures rise. In addition to the flood warnings, Serbian emergency officials warned of a risk of landslides in some 2,300 locations, where the heaviest snow has fallen in the lowlands.

In neighboring Bosnia, emergency crews are preparing for a fresh battle with winter when rivers overflow with snowmelt. Bosnians are also being warned of the danger of possible landslides and citizens are asked to contribute to the country's recovery by removing snow around their homes and trying to control of melting water.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


5-Year-Old Avalanche Survivor Released from Hospital

ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images(RESTELICA, Kosovo) -- A 5-year-old girl rescued from an avalanche in Restelica, Kosovo, Saturday that killed her parents, her 2-year-old brother, her paternal grandparents, an aunt, and uncle has been released from the hospital.  The girl had been buried under 33 feet of snow for 10 hours.

A member of the search and rescue team said Amsela Reka was found in the arms of her mother in the snow-covered rubble of her home after hearing her voice and the ringing of a cell phone. Amsela’s mother was also holding Amsela's 2-year-old brother, who died with his mother.

The rescuers cheered and threw their arms in the air when Amsela was pulled from the snow dazed but alive and not seriously harmed.

The family was home when a mountain of snow crashed onto its remote village Saturday morning, covering 22 houses. The village had been cut off from much of the outside world after a month of snow. It took rescuers two and a half hours to reach Restelica, and another hour to dig to the part of town hit by the avalanche.     

Villagers had already been frantically digging through the 33 feet of snow, trying to reach any possible survivors.  Among the nine people reported dead were a married couple and their 17-year-old son.

Amsela, the sole survivor, was wrapped in blankets and rushed to a hospital. Doctors told ABC News she had second-degree cold burns on both hands. As Amsela was leaving the hospital Monday, a funeral was under way for her parents, grandparents, aunt and brother in their village of Restelica.

Searchers continued to look for the body of Amsela’s 19-year-old uncle, but more snowfall and the possibility of another avalanche impeded search efforts.  

Hundreds of people have died during Europe’s two-week-long deep freeze. The Balkans have been blanketed in snow, and many roads are impassable, cutting off remote villages from emergency services and supplies.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Serbia Frozen: Arctic Blast Blamed for Six Deaths

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- An arctic freeze has been blamed for six deaths in Serbia, while record snow has left 11,500 people trapped in about 6,500 households in remote villages. Many schools are closed, with hospitals facing an influx of hypothermia, orthopedic and cardiac cases.

The weather also caused traffic accidents, and raised fears of powergrid failures, burst water mains and skyrocketing home fuel and electricity bills. It has shut down normal life throughout the region.

“People are not ready for this kind of weather,” a doctor said in Bajina Basta, southwest Serbia, adding that hospitals were advising people not to go outdoors.

The temperature dropped in the southern region of Sjenica to minus-4 degrees, with fresh snowfall and continued low temperatures forecast for the weekend. “We have not experienced such harsh conditions since 1947,” Deputy Mayor Hazbo Mujovic said. “But back then, people were used to old-fashioned snowy and cold winters. They would prepare for it.”

Major highways remained open, but more than 1,800 miles of secondary roads are impassable. Many villages are cut off because of 16- to 19-foot-high snow drifts.

Dozens of homes and thousands of people in the town of Svrljig were without heat, electricity and running water overnight after a heavy snow fall, according to a local report. Eighteen other municipalities have also declared a state of emergency.

The meteorological office says temperatures in the latest freeze have been considerably lower than usual for this time of year. Forecasters predicted more bitter cold into next week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Deep Freeze Grips Europe, Killing 80

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The severe cold weather currently gripping Eastern Europe has now spread to Italy and as far south as Turkey. As many as 80 people have died, mainly in Ukraine and Poland, as the death freeze settles over the continent.

Dan Britton, a press officer at Britain’s Met Office, told ABC News the cold weather stems from, “a large area of high pressure sitting over Eastern Europe, which has brought about cold temperatures over quite a large area.”

The Ukraine has suffered the most fatalities as emergency ministries confirmed 43 people had perished in minus-28 degree temperatures.

While hospitals in Ukraine have treated more than 600 people for frostbite and pneumonia, many of the dead were homeless people who were unable to find shelter at night.

As Poland experienced minus-22 degree conditions, seven more deaths have been confirmed. Five were said to be homeless people.

Several people have also died in the Baltic states -- the Czech Republic, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, and Bulgaria -- where until now temperatures had been well above normal for midwinter.

The heavy snow has caused transport chaos across Europe.

Forecasters have confirmed that this area of high pressure has come from Siberia.

“These kind of weather conditions occur every 20 to 30 years, last time in 1986 and 1956,” Jurik Muller of the German Meteorological Service said.

With snow now falling in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey, the weather is likely to continue throughout the weekend.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rome Curtails Traffic to Fight Air Pollution

Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Getty Images(ROME) -- The air quality was so bad in Rome on Thursday that officials banned many of the exhaust spewing cars and motorcycles from the city for the next two days.

Only cars with even numbered license plates were allowed into the city along with cars, motorcycles and scooters that have strict anti-pollution devices on them, as well as electric and hybrid cars.

The exemptions include anyone driving to a wedding or a funeral.

On Friday, only vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers will not be allowed to circulate. Anyone found driving with the "wrong" plate number is liable to a fine of 150 Euros (about $200).

Rome has been battling air pollution all year. Smog levels exceeded limits set by European laws some 56 times this year -- including a recent six-day stretch.

Rome was one of 46 Italian cities which exceeded the safety limits for over 35 days this year. Thirty of these cities are in the Po valley in the north of Italy, where the situation gets so bad so frequently that authorities have no other remedy but to curtail traffic for a day.

Italians know that the high smog levels this year are not helped by the unseasonably warm fall weather. Rome's Mayor Gianni Alemanno, who has always been critical of the effectiveness of alternate license ban on traffic, told reporters Thursday that the warm weather was to blame for forcing the city to take this action. He said he hoped that this was just a temporary measure and that a more long-term plan to reduce traffic and pollutants could be introduced shortly.

Most Romans blame a poor public transport system and limited metro system on why they are forced to use their private vehicles. New "green-transport" projects continue to be drawn up for more electric buses and car and bike sharing, but the city is already short of funds, and new austerity measures expected to be announced next week are unlikely to help moves to improve environment-friendly systems.

With this winter's weather expected to remain balmy, what may finally force Italians to leave their beloved cars and scooters at home will be further government austerity measures which are expected to seriously curb personal spending.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New NASA Study Finds Wild Weather Caused by Same Events

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Although they occurred 1,500 miles apart and were entirely different in nature, the two most destructive natural disasters of 2010 were linked by a single meteorological event, a new NASA study finds.

Scientists found that the same large-scale meteorological event—an abnormal Rossby wave—sparked both extreme heat and persistent wildfires in Russia as well as unusual downstream wind patterns that shifted rainfall in the Indian monsoon region, causing heavy flooding in Pakistan.

“Think of the atmosphere like a loose membrane. If you push one part up, something else has to come down somewhere else. If you produce a high in one region, you produce a corresponding low in another,” William Lau, a NASA atmospheric scientist who co-authored the report published in the Journal of Hydrometeorology, explained.

The 2010 Russian event produced the hottest summer in the country's history, causing roughly $15 billion in damages and killing an estimated 56,000 people in more than 300 wildfires. 

The Pakistan flood submerged one-fifth of the country's total land mass—approximately 307,374 square miles—and had a death toll of around 2,000, though it directly affected 20 million people with the destruction of property.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Earthquake Rattles Japan; No Risk of Tsunami

Jason Reed/Ryan McVay/Photodisc(TOKYO) -- A strong 6.0 magnitude earthquake is the latest to strike Japan.

Monday’s earthquake centered off the coast of Ibaraki, less than 200 miles from the capital city of Tokyo.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. Officials did not issue a tsunami alert.

On Friday, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Ishinomaki, one of the cities hardest hit back in March when a 9.0 magnitude quake spawned a tsunami and devastated the northeastern part of the country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


China: More Rain Forecast After Dozens Killed, More Displaced

STR / Getty Images(BEIJING) -- It will be several days before parts of China get relief from the rain and flooding that has killed at least 175 people and forced thousands more to evacuate their homes.

Wet weather is expected for Suchuan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Henan and Shandong, according to the National Meteorological Center.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs estimates that the direct economic losses amount to at least $4.9 billion, or 32.02 billion yuan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio