World Weather review: December 2017

World Weather review: December 2017

Tue, 09/01/2018 - 15:12
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On the 1st December, 121 mm of rainfall in 24 hours lead to flooding in Albania, leaving at least one person dead, homes destroyed and numerous roads blocked.

Heavy snow blanketed northern Europe on the 11th causing many flight cancellations and delays, particularly at Schiphol, Frankfurt and Brussels airports. In Germany, the heavy snow has caused car accidents and transportation problems. In France, 32 regions were put on alert, as snowstorms battered coastal areas and cut power to thousands of homes. Snowstorms also spread southwards into Italy.

Wildfires continue to wreak havoc in California. By Christmas day the Thomas Fire - which started on the 4th December - had burned more acres than any previous wildfire on record in California.

A rare snowfall fell in parts of southern Texas on the 8th, with Houston recording measurable snow for the first time in eight years. San Antonio received nearly 2 inches of snow.   Parts of the northeastern U.S. experienced their first major snowfall of the season on the 9th and 10th. Snow blanketed New York City, with nearly 5 inches of snow falling in Central Park. A blanket of snow covered the region, with a foot of snow falling in southwestern Pennsylvania.  Erie, Pennsylvania, experienced a White Christmas when a total of 34 inches of snow fell on Christmas Day, blanketing the city and shattering the city's previous records for snowfall in a single day. Another 19 inches of snow fell on Boxing day, making a snowfall total of 53 inches - the highest two-day snowfall total in the entire state of Pennsylvania. The huge snowfall total is a consequence of lake-effect snow, a weather phenomenon where cold air combines with lake water to create narrow bands of powerful snow.

Bitter cold continued to blanket the northern United States and Canada at the end of December and into 2018. International Falls in the US state of Minnesota - the self-proclaimed "Icebox of the Nation" - saw temperatures drop to -38.3°C. New Hampshire's Mount Washington, home of the "worst weather in the world", set a new low record at -36.6°C.

Twenty-six people died and 23 were proclaimed missing following landslides on the island of Biliran in the eastern Philippines as a result of Tropical Storm Kai-tak, known locally as Urduja, which brought heavy rains, strong winds and flash flooding to the area on 16th.  

More than 180 people were reported to have been killed and dozens more reported missing as a tropical storm Tembin swept through the southern Philippines on 22nd – 23rd. Tembin brought flash flooding and mudslides to parts of Mindanao island, with the towns of Tubod and Piagapo badly hit.

A man died after collapsing during the height of Sydney's sweltering conditions on the 20th.  Following this, a dramatic change in weather saw a 10°C drop in the space of just two minutes!  Meanwhile, a destructive storms hit Victoria, damaging cars and property and sent temperatures plummeting from 37°C to 24°C in just 10 minutes.

On the 27th and 28th, Tropical Cyclone Hilda, the third named storm of the 2017/18 Australian region cyclone season, hit Western Australia bringing heavy rain and strong winds.