Weather tracker: regions across world still reeling from an extreme July

From US floods to drought in France, communities around globe are still feeling effects of July’s extreme weather

Central US states are still reeling from a week of extreme flooding events in the final days of July. Initially, the extreme rainfall into St Louis gave a quarter of the normal annual rainfall in just 12 hours, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). A few days later, in eastern Kentucky, at least 10-12 inches (about 25-30cm) fell in the space of a few days, causing devastating flooding in the Appalachian region of the state.

The complex, numerous and steep valleys in the region enabled rainwater to quickly run down valley sides and build up on the limited and often built-up floodplains. Deforestation and historic mining activity in the region have also been mentioned as potential contributors. Both flooding events have been classified as one in 1,000-year events by the NWS.

Farther north, in Canada, a hailstone thought to be the largest ever measured in the country was found on Monday. In a severe storm near Innisfail, between Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta, the hailstone had a diameter of more than 12cm and a weight of just over 300g.

Following a July marked by extreme heat, exceptional lack of rain and several wildfires, the drought situation in France is becoming increasingly grave. It was the driest month recorded in the country since March 1961. Restrictions on water supplies are affecting many local authority regions and the situation is likely only to deteriorate with minimal rain forecast in many parts over the next week.

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One such area is the island of Corsica, where the commune of Conca recorded its highest ever temperature on Tuesday, peaking at 40.6C (105F). More generally across France, a third official heatwave of the summer affected the country this week, with further hot weather to come next week.

In Australia, a series of cold fronts brought spells of high winds to the south-west earlier this week. Gusts of 73mph were recorded in the suburbs of the city of Perth and a nearby exposed lighthouse site at Cape Leeuwin recorded a gust of 85mph in the early hours of Tuesday morning. While not exceptional for this part of the world during their winter months, this resulted in some building damage in the city itself as well as some swell of at least 8 metres on nearby coasts.

Daniel Gardner (MetDesk)

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