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Entries in Weather (13)

Tuesday
Apr262011

Royal Wedding: Rain in the Forecast

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Despite predictions last week that the sun would shine on Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding day, updated forecasts now show the weather taking a turn for the worse.

The Met Office, the United Kingdom's national weather service, predicts strong winds with a likely chance of heavy showers Friday.

While superstition states that wedding-day rain is good luck, William and Middleton will surely be disappointed if their big day gets rained out. More than 2 billion people are expected to watch the royal wedding, and 600,000 tourists are flocking to London this week to catch a glimpse of the spectacle. A sea of umbrellas covering the wedding guests, royal family, bridal party, and William and Kate will surely block the best views.

ABC News royal contributor Katie Nicholl said it wouldn't be a royal wedding if there weren't several contingency plans. If it rains, the entire royal procession will travel to Buckingham Palace in covered coaches, a St. James's Palace spokesman confirmed. Prince William and his bride will take the Glass Coach, the same carriage in which Princess in to her wedding at St. Paul's Cathedral.

As for the royal couple's first kiss on the balcony of Buckingham, the Daily Mail reports a royal aide's insisting that the kiss will take place "'virtually no matter what...with no plans to alter the timing."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan142011

Sri Lanka on the Verge of Food Crisis after Floods

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(COLOMBO, Sri Lanka) -- Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered an emergency national plan in anticipation of an approaching food crisis resulting from floods and hazardous, unseasonal weather patterns.  Rajapaksa also warns that a global food crisis may be in the near future, due to rising agricultural prices.

The country currently faces a 20 percent loss of its harvest from torrential rains, reports the Financial Times

Unusual weather could also jeopardize the country's tourism with record low temperatures dropping to to just 18.8 degrees Thursday in Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital city.  These temperatures mark the city's coldest days in 61 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan132011

Raging Waters In Australia and Brazil the Product of Global Warming, Say Scientists

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- The pictures Thursday from around the world of dramatic rooftop rescues from raging waters make it seem as though natural disasters are becoming an everyday occurrence. But they're not all that natural; climate scientists say man-made global warming is the sudden force behind the forces of nature.

In the mountains of southeast Brazil, more than 340 people have died after fierce mudslides swept away homes. At least 50 are still missing and victims continue to search for loved ones. On the other side of the globe, floods in Queensland, Australia have ravaged an area the size of France and Germany combined.

And in Sri Lanka, officials say flooding there has affected more than a million people, and the death toll has risen to 23. Sewage lines and holding tanks have overflowed in the floods, and a spokesperson for the health ministry there said officials are concerned about waterborne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea.

"If left unchecked, climate warming will continue so the things that we're having hints of now, foretastes of now, will come stronger," Richard Sommerville, a climate scientist at the University of California at San Diego and author of The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change, said.

The extreme weather the world has seen is part of a larger trend, he said. "The world is warming up....It's warming for sure and science is very confident that most of the warming is due to human causes."

Every time we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, Sommerville said, we emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Now, climate scientists see "the changed odds, the loaded dice that favors more extreme events and more high temperature records being broken," he said.

The decade that just ended saw nine of the 10 warmest years on record, and warmer temperatures mean more moisture in the air. That moisture can fall as torrential, flooding rains in the summertime or blizzards in the winter.

"Because the whole water cycle speeds up in a warming world, there's more water in the atmosphere today than there was a few years ago on average, and you're seeing a lot of that in the heavy rains and floods for example in Australia," Sommervile said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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