Lessons in the "Weather" Category

Autumn

Today, let’s talk about autumn. What exactly is autumn? It is a season that follows summer and is before winter. Autumn starts in Britain on the 23rd September. It is on this day that daylight and night are the same length of time. The nights now get longer and the days shorter.

Autumn is probably the most colourful time of year. It is when the leaves change colour. Many leaves turn into vivid autumn red, yellow and brown colours that so many people love to see. Autumn is also conker season when the conkers fall from Horse Chestnut trees.

Autumn is the time of falling leaves. Many leaves are blown off the trees. Often they form a magnificent carpet of different coloured leaves on the ground. It is a sign that winter is on its way!

Oklahoma - After the tornado

Today, let’s talk about the devastating tornado that recently hit Oklahoma in the USA. The town of Moore near Oklahoma City took a direct hit. Entire streets were reduced to rubble as the powerful storm hit - destroying everything in its path.

Stories have emerged of the bravery of those who tried to protect others from the tornado, including the teachers who protected their students from the storm as two schools took a direct hit.

Category: USA / Oklahoma / Tornado

Purple and pink colours introduced on Australian weather map

Recently weather maps in Australia began to show two entirely new colours on them. Purple and pink have been introduced by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology due to the extreme temperatures that have been recorded in the country.

Australia has seen a record heatwave, which has caused hundreds of bush fires right across the country. The increased temperature has forced the country’s meteorologists to redraw their national temperature scales upwards.

Category: Australian Heatwave / Meteorology / Weather

Europe freezes – coldest spell in 30 years

Sunday – The big ‘Siberian like’ freeze continues to tighten its grip on Europe. Most of the continent remains under a huge blanket of snow. The result is chaos in many places.

Ukraine has seen the brunt of the bad weather where more than 160 people have now died because of the cold weather. Nearly 1,600 have been hospitalised with hypothermia. Hundreds of heated tents have been set up across Ukraine to help the country’s homeless keep warm, with hot meals being handed out at the shelters.

Temperatures in Ukraine have dropped to minus 33ºC. Huge areas of Poland and Slovakia have also been affected by the bad weather with temperatures there dropping as low as -35ºC. So far 20 people have perished in Poland because of the cold snap. There have been further deaths in Russia and right across Eastern Europe.

Category: Europe / Weather - Snow / Disruption

Skiers stranded in Austria by too much snow!

Skiers in Western Austria recently got a bit too much snow for their liking. It was reported that more than 15,000 tourists were stuck in various ski resorts after too much of the white fluffy stuff fell last week. Dozens were reported to have been airlifted out of ski resorts by helicopters after roads became blocked by 5m of snow - though the cost was around £1,800 (€2,017) per person.

On Saturday an Austrian army military helicopter was brought in to pick up 52 people who had been stranded at a mountain refuge in Vorarlberg. Skiers had been unable to make the descent from the Lindauer Huette refuge, which is 1,744m (5,720 ft) above sea level, by any other means because of the avalanche risk.

The snow has caused chaos on the roads and railways. Villages and some tourist resorts have been cut off. The most heavily hit areas were Austria’s western Tirol and Vorarlberg regions that received 1-2 meters of snow (3-7ft) of snow in just four days.

Category: Tourism / Skiing Holidays / Austria

Icelandic volcanic ash creates travel chaos

Spectacular scenes emerged from southern Iceland recently as its Eyjafjallajoekull volcano began erupting. On April 14th it suddenly began sending a plume of ash 8.5 km (5.3 miles) high into the air. The volcanic ash spewed out gradually spreading across Europe, causing travel chaos, not only in Europe but worldwide.

Within days, the ash had crossed many parts of Europe, forcing closure of most of Europe’s air routes. The Met Office in Britain warned the disruption could go on for another week, causing flight misery to passengers. Geologists warned the travel chaos could last months.

Meanwhile airports remained closed across much of Europe. Travellers instead opted for any means possible to get home. Cross channel ferry services were rapidly booked up, as was Eurostar, who raised prices and was accused of profiteering.