Thai cave boys spared thundershowers, highlighting extreme climate disruption: UN weather agency

UN Photo (file)
Claire Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Thundershowers that have been forecast in northern Thailand luckily did not materialize, easing the extraordinary rescue of a boys’ football team and their coach, who spent well over two weeks trapped in a cave complex there, UN weather experts said on Tuesday.

Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), was speaking in Geneva amid reports indicating that all 12 boys and their coach had been freed in a daring rescue operation by a team of specialist divers.

“It is the start of the monsoon season in Thailand,” she said. “I’ve been looking at the weather forecast there for Chiang-Rai, for the region, every day for the past week. Every day it has consistently shown the risk of thundershowers; now they haven’t, fortunately, materialized.”

Commenting on several other extreme weather events around the world, Ms. Nullis noted that in Japan, flash floods across the country had claimed at least 150 lives, according to authorities, and that the toll “is likely to rise” in coming days.

The situation is significant given Japan’s high level of preparedness against natural catastrophes, the WMO spokesperson said, noting that around 10,000 houses have been inundated or destroyed by the worst flooding in decades.

“Japan is one of the best prepared countries in the world when it comes to disaster risk reduction, disaster response — they are supremely well prepared,” said Ms. Nullis. “So, the magnitude of the casualties, of the destruction we are seeing now, really is an indication of just how big and how extreme this was and how heavy the rainfall was in such a short period of time.”

Among the areas affected between 28 June and 8 July, West Japan and Hokkaido experienced record rainfall, the WMO spokesperson said, citing the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

This was caused by huge amount of water vapour from a stationary rainy front, in addition to damp air left over from Typhoon Prapiroon, JMA said.

Elsewhere in Japan, a different weather system, Typhoon Maria, has hit the south-west Ryukyu islands.

The storm has put nearby Taiwan, Province of China, on “lockdown”, the WMO spokesperson said, noting that at its peak in recent days, Maria had developed into a category 5 storm.

Although it has weakened to a category 3 event, Ms. Nullis said that it is still capable of sustained winds of 175 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 250 kilometres per hour.

“Taiwan is basically in lockdown today and Taiwan is expecting really to take the brunt of this. The China Meteorological Administration has issued a red alert and is … mobilizing all its emergency response teams.”

The west coast of the United States is also in the grip of “high-impact weather” systems, Ms. Nullis continued, noting record temperatures in downtown Los Angeles:

“Los Angeles area just set a whole new string of temperature records last week,” she said. “Just for an example, 48.9° (Celsius), which is 120° Fahrenheit, in Chino, which is a suburb of Los Angeles; 47.8° in San Bernardino.”

Turning to Europe, the WMO spokesperson told journalists that the agency’s Regional Climate Centre on Climate Monitoring, located in Germany, had predicted “a continuation of the drought situation and above-normal temperatures” of between 3° and 6° Celsius, above average.

“Almost daily warnings about forest fires” had been issued, Ms. Nullis said, noting that it was “very unusual” for this to happen so early in the year.

No specific event can be associated with climate change but current weather patterns are “consistent” with it, the WMO official said, citing “extreme heat, consistent heat, persistent heat and heavy precipitation”.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

China is among the 20 most innovative economies for the first time

Eurozone needs more than some decimals of growth

This forgotten chemical element could be the key to our green energy future

Joint U.S.-EU Statement following President Juncker’s visit to the White House

Thai citizenship means ‘dream of a brighter future’ for cave rescue boys, says UN Refugee Agency

Trump rejects Europe’s offer for zero car tariffs; he had personally tabled that idea in July

Eurozone: Bank resolution proposal gains wider interest

MWC 2016 LIVE: CEOs issue rallying call to drive ‘gigabit economy’

A renewed agenda for Research and Innovation: Europe’s chance to shape the future

EU and US close to an agreement on data sharing amid European citizens’ concerns

We lack a global framework for saving our environment. Here’s how we change that

Driving structural change through global value chains integration

EU summit: No energy against tax evasion and fraud

10 things Europe does better than the rest of the world

One Day in Beijing

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

TTIP’s 11th round major takeaways and the usual “leaked” document

EU Summit/Migration: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

German and French bankers looted the Irish and Spanish unemployed

6 ways to ensure AI and new tech works for – not against – humanity

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

UN chemical weapons watchdog adds new powers to assign blame, following attacks

Backed by UN agency, countries set to take on deadly livestock-killing disease

Why sustainable products are a win-win for all of us

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

How close is the new financial Armageddon? IMF gives some hints

Obama turns the G20 summit into warmongering platform

The role of junior entrepreneurs as a bridge between academia and business world

UN agriculture agency digs in to help forests and farms build resilience to climate change

Education and Training: where do we stand in 2014?

Germany and France only care about keeping their borrowing cheap

Assault on key Yemeni port would endanger 300,000 children and ‘choke off’ aid for millions more: UNICEF chief

Knowledge management and entrepreneurship: short term vs. long term perspective

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Carbon Price Needed for Climate Change Success

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

More answers from Facebook ahead of Parliament hearing today

Press conference by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission's proposals in the framework of the financial union (Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: EU, 2018 / Photo by Georges Boulougouris)

EU Finance ministers agree on new banking capital rules and move closer to Banking Union

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

FROM THE FIELD: Sailing a traditional and sustainable path in Fiji’s tropical waters

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change-the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, yet overlooked in climate negotiations?” IFMSA wonders from COP21 in Paris

Cultural diversity can drive economies. Here are lessons from India and South Asia

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

World Population Day: ‘A matter of human rights’ says UN

MWC 2016 LIVE: EC adds Brazil to partner tally

At Ministerial session, UN regional office in Beirut to focus on technology for sustainable development

This robot has soft hands. It could be the future of sustainable production

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

Eurozone recession subsides

Use space technology to build a better world for all, urges UN chief

The European Brain Drain: a truth or a myth?

EU seeks foreign support on 5G from Mobile World Congress 2015 as the “digital gold rush” begins

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

Sub10 Systems @ MWC14: Bridging the Ethernet of the Future

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Three scenarios for the future of geopolitics

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

Trade, entrepreneurship and the future of ASEAN’s economy

Czech Babis, Austrian Kurz and others threaten Europe with nationalist populism

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s