Weather tracker: Nigeria flooding and US blows hot and cold

Authorities partly blamed after months of deadly flooding in African nation; jet stream causes temperature divide in US

Nigeria has found itself at the centre of devastating floods over the past week, with poor preparation from authorities partly blamed for the damage caused. At least 600 people have died across the west African nation, with two-thirds of states affected by the disaster.

An estimated 1.3 million people have been displaced, with up to a quarter of a million homes reportedly destroyed. The floods are a culmination of months of above average rainfall, with the first floods having occurred in summer.

Compounding the problem was the release of water from a dam in neighbouring Cameroon, resulting in larges areas of farmland being submerged and threatening food security in the region.

Meanwhile, in the US there has seen a sharp divide across the country thanks to the positioning of the jet stream. The western half of the country has had a late blast of summer, bringing another wave of record-breaking temperatures. Seattle was one city affected by the warmth, with the mercury topping 31C (87.8F) last Sunday. Temperatures have never reached such highs so late in the season, with this October having had more days above 75F (23.9C) than any other.

However, the eastern half of the US has had an early blast of winter. In the Great Lakes in particular, records have been broken due to the cold, with parts of Michigan and Wisconsin recording more than 40cm of snow through Monday and Tuesday.

This was caused by what is called lake effect snow, where the temperature difference between the relatively warm water of the Great Lakes and the cold air aloft drives persistent and intense convective precipitation.

South-western parts of Europe had yet another blast of heat in recent days, following a relentlessly hot summer. In France, temperatures hit 29C (84.2F) on Wednesday, while in Spain there was further record heat. Granada recorded its hottest October day on record, reaching 35.3C (95.5F). This means that there have been an astonishing 25 days this year in Spain on which a heat record has been broken.

Nicholas Lee for MetDesk

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