Newsletter Issue 14 (December 2021)

Converging Divergence 盛放‧匯聚 [HKMetS e-Bulletin vol. 25, 2021]

Our members are earnestly waiting and we are back now, with a new name “Converging Divergence 盛放‧匯聚” and a new “All Ladies Editorial Board” (Ms. Olivia LEE, Dr. Wen ZHOU and Dr. Sze-ning CHONG). Our bulletin will certainly live up to its new name as it contains contributions from authors coming from different institutes/organizations, all with the same passion for meteorology.

The weather of November 2021 – A sunny and dry November

With dry northeast monsoon dominating over southern China for most of the time in the month, November 2021 was marked by dry and sunny weather in Hong Kong. Mainly attributing to the exceptionally hot weather in September 2021, the autumn of this year from September to November was much warmer than usual with the mean temperature reaching 26.0 degrees, the third highest on record for the same period.

Climate change: Huge toll of extreme weather disasters in 2021

Weather events, linked to a changing climate, brought misery to millions around the world in 2021 according to a new report. The study, from the charity Christian Aid, identified 10 extreme events that each caused more than $1.5 billion of damage. The biggest financial impacts were from Hurricane Ida which hit the US in August and flooding in Europe in July.

38oC record Arctic temperature confirmed, others likely to follow: WMO

Worryingly, the temperature reading taken on 20 June 2020 in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk – which is located 115 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle – is “just one of a series” of potentially record-breaking observations from around the planet in 2020. The WMO has recognised a temperature of 38oC in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk, a new Arctic record.

Philippine super typhoon Rai ‘exceeded all predictions’ – forecaster

The rapid intensification that turned Super Typhoon Rai into the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year surpassed all predictions, forecasters said, leaving nearly 400 people dead and almost a million displaced. While it’s unclear exactly how global warming is affecting the intensification of such storms, the UN’s climate change agency has found it is “likely that the frequency of rapid intensification events have increased over the past four decades” as temperatures rise.

The December 2021 tornado outbreak in the US, explained

The tornadoes that ripped across the central and southern U.S. late in the evening of December 10, 2021, were notable in many ways. The thunderstorms and tornadoes they produced traveled far — sometimes far more than 100 miles — and the impacts were widespread. NOAA’s National Weather Service has confirmed 61 tornadoes as of December 18. The very fact that tornadoes of this intensity struck in late autumn, rather than in the spring and summer when thunderstorms and tornadoes are more likely, is remarkable.

Asia Pacific Typhoon Collaborative Research Centre launched

The Asia-Pacific Typhoon Collaborative Research Center (AP-TCRC) has been inaugurated in the Chinese coastal city of Shanghai, serving as a role model for regional coordination and cooperation in support of disaster risk reduction. It will promote greater research and investigation into a major natural hazard, which every year causes massive loss of life and socio-economic upheaval.

Extreme weather outruns the world

The pace and severity of climate change are simply outrunning humans’ efforts to contain it. The extreme weather caused by climate change will continue to worsen, even if every one of those new commitments at the COP26 summit is met. As the world warms, the odds of extreme weather and climate events are rapidly escalating. Any additional increment of warming is dangerous, scientists who study extreme weather events and their climate change connections say.

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