February 2020 Weather Recap
Andreas Klippe Comments March 2, 2020
Climate change continues to develop and change. While it has not come to the point where we are getting storms in the dry season, evidently, we are feeling more intense effects from what used to be mild weather.
This raises another worry where climate change is indirectly causing deaths. Europe has been dealing with consecutive summer heatwaves. With buildings that have been designed to keep heat in, heat strokes have become a major concern with a number of casualties reported every year. It is revealing to us that existing infrastructure is not equipped to deal with climate change, and even modern countries are not fully prepared.
Official data has now confirmed that January 2020 was Earth’s hottest month on record. After 141 years of meteorological record-keeping, land and water temperatures worldwide were exceptionally high. Every January for the past 5 years have been the hottest. Europe was 3 degrees Celsius warmer compared to the 1981-2001 average.
This unfortunate news was confirmed by the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the European Union’s climate monitoring system, and supported by data from the Japan Meteorological Agency. As per January 2020, the standards of the Paris Agreement have not been met. For this month’s weather recap, we check the forecasts for Malaysia, the locust situation in East and Central Africa, and the storm that battered the UK and the European mainland.
Malaysia is scheduled for hot weather. The Malaysian Meteorological Department released a warning informing citizens of higher temperatures from February 2020 until the middle of April. Experts expect temperatures to rise up to 37.5° celsius, a significant increase compared to the average 28.5°C from 2005 to 2015.
However, after the very warm months, higher amounts of rainfall enough to cause flash floods are expected.
While the department issued the warning in advance for people to brace themselves for the coming weather, they also issued a call for people to change habits in fossil fuel consumption and to support public transport to lessen carbon emissions.
From Africa comes news that sounds like it was taken straight out of the bible. Locust swarms described to be the size of cities are decimating farmlands, crops, and vegetation. These swarms can cover up to 2,400 square kilometers. For comparison, the city of Tokyo is only 2,100 square kilometers. Swarms containing billions of mature locusts which started in East Africa have reached South Sudan. The swarms pose a threat to the food security of more than 19 million people.
While it may seem that locusts are unrelated to weather, the connection might surprise you. An unnaturally long rainy season in East Africa was the final nail for this coffin. The years of drought prior to the sudden but prolonged rainy season created the perfect breeding conditions for locusts causing the outbreak.
East Africa breathed a sigh of relief as a majority of crops were already mature enough for harvest. However, the swarms still pose a threat to herders and their livestock as well as future crops.
Storm Ciara battered the United Kingdom January 2020 causing floods, strong rains, and snowfall. The British Isles and Ireland received the brunt of the storm. The storm which came from the central United States continued on to Europe. While it was affecting the UK, Ciara was strong enough to affect the European mainland.
It has only been the start of the decade but Storm Ciara already is already being hailed as the Storm of the Century.
More than 20,000 people were left without power services. Some areas in the UK received a month and a half’s worth of rainfall in just 24 hours which caused widespread flooding prompting forced evacuations and extensive travel disruption. Multiple casualties were reported due to the storm.
It has become more and more important that not only governments but individuals and business entities must prepare themselves against the dramatically increasing danger of flooding in the near future. By keeping ourselves well-informed, we will see that even developed countries can fall victim to the wrath of nature and the increasing threat of climate change.
As always, my recommendation is simple: “STAY SAFE and PREPARED!”
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