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Flooding on Six Continents, in 12+ Countries This Week


PDC Disaster Alert (on January 12) displaying the Rainfall Accumulation (1 Day) layer over Malaysia and Thailand.

Every continent, perhaps excepting Antarctica, is experiencing flooding this week. Let’s touch down in at least one wet spot on each land mass.

South America: In Bolivia, la Agencia Boliviana de Información (ABI), in a report published on ReliefWeb, says that by January 10, “rains have left 1,700 families affected in five departments… Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Potosí, La Paz, y Oruro.”

Australia: Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued an alert headlined “Flood Warning for the Paroo River at Willara Crossing” at 9:35 am (local EDT) on Wednesday 11 January. Then, at 11:52 pm Thursday, 12 January, BOM issued a message about another area saying that “severe thunderstorms are no longer occurring in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).”

Europe: In England, the Government of the UK Flood Information Service (UK) had 47 Flood Warnings and 3 Severe Flood Warnings active as of 7 a.m. Thursday. The warnings marked “Severe Flooding: Danger to Life” were issued for “the coast from Clacton to Lee Wick; the tidal River Stour at Mistley, including the Quay and The Walls; and West Mersea, The Strood, and adjacent marshland.”

North America: NOAA’s California Nevada River Forecast Center (CNRFC) issued a statement saying that, in California, “Significant River Flooding is Occurring.” The Center deems that message to be “valid 01/11–16/2017.” Local and national news resources are describing rescues by air and boat, but as of the morning of Thursday, January 12, NOAA (NWS) says that “conditions are steadily improving in California and Nevada. Flooding is still occurring on many rivers, but precipitation is much lighter than in past days.”

Africa: For Zimbabwe and Mozambique, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s Africa Hazards Outlook says, “Heavy rainfall is expected to provide relief for several moisture-stressed areas, but increase the risk of flooding in southeastern Africa.” (CPC) In fact, flooding in the area encompassing at least half of Mozambique and nearly all Zimbabwe is surrounded by vast stretches of western and southern Africa and the island of Madagascar that are described as experiencing either drought or abnormal dryness.

Asia: Flooding extends across Malaysia and Thailand. The most recent National News Bureau of Thailand report (ReliefWeb), dated January 10, says that “the South of Thailand has continued to suffer flash floods and widespread inundation, as rainfall persists in the region.” The report goes on to describe flooding related to releases in dam spillways and to indicate that (then) “more than 1,000 people across five communities located in the vicinity of the reservoirs have already been evacuated.”

This Week in Hazards

  • The Government of Canada (GOC) has issued extreme weather warnings for areas of both northerly and southern Quebec. For Chibougamau, Matagami, and Waskaganish, the alerts indicate that “extreme wind chill values near – 40 are expected on Friday.” For Aupaluk and Tasiujaq in the north, the forecast is “snow, strong winds and blowing snow will reduce visibilities to zero tonight.”
  • As of January 12, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has Flood Alerts in Effect for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City as well as Findhorn Nairn Moray and Speyside. The alerts have been elevated to Flood Warnings from Portsoy to Macduff and Findhorn to Lossiemouth.

Current Hazard Warnings

Flood: Thailand, Malaysia, Australia (Queensland, New South Wales), England, Mexico, Scotland, Brazil, Angola, Bolivia, United States (California, Oregon, Florida, Midwest including the Mississippi in Iowa), Mozambique, Zimbabwe

Severe Weather: Germany, Canada (Quebec, British Columbia, Nunavut, Saskatchewan), United States (North Dakota, Minnesota, western states), India

Wildfire: Argentina

Drought: Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, United States (South, Northeast), Scotland

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