Posted on: April 15, 2012
stuur dit door
Om al het gebazel over klimaatextremen door CO2 te relativeren vond ik een indrukwekkend krantenartikel
uit Augustus 1950 waarin "het weer wereldwijd krankzinnig werd".
Dat jaar kenmerkte zich door: vele overstromingen, record neerslag, wereldwijd abnormaal weer, langdurige mist, verkeerschaos, groot verlies aan arbeidsduren, strenge vorst, superstormen, abnormaal vroeg voorjaar, opgedroogde waterputten, bosbranden, droogte, record zonneschijn, record temperaturen, massale werkloosheid, waterrantsoenen, opgedroogde rivieren, abnormaal onweersgedrag, zomerweer in de winter
, langste winter ooit in Engeland, sneeuwstormen, uitval elektriciteitsnetten, hittegolven, misoogsten, veel doden door verdrinking, modderstromen en bliksem, schaatsen op de Zuiderzee, koudste winter in Turkije, zomer en winter tegelijk in de VS
THE WORLD"S WEATHER IS JUST CRAZY
The floods and record rains that bedevilled the eastern States recently were part of a world cycle of unusual weather, said the chief meteorologist at Sydney's Weather Bureau (Mr. J. Hogan).
The cause of this cycle was that bands of high and low pressure had shifted from their normal place on the earth's surface.No one knows yet why they shifted, but meteorologists all over the world are trying to flind out. If and when they do find out, the secret of long range weather forecasting will be in their grasp.
That's because the force and direction of the winds, which blow from high pressure to low pressure areas, depend on where those areas are. And the nature of the moving air hot, cold, dry, moist decides whether or not the winds will bring rain with them.
Longest fogSydney's record rainfall for June and July occurred because there were mild north-east winds carrying moisture-laden air from the tropics, instead of the usual stream of dry air carried by the cold westerlies from Central Australia.
Now take a look at other countries, and see what they have had to endure. Here's a case-book of British weather, during the past two years:December, 1948, began it. Londoners had the longest fog anyone could remember it lasted nearly five days.
Traffic became disorganised. Time lost by workers was valued at £3,750,000 a day.Even then England got off lightly, for in parts of Western Europe the fog lasted for 10 days.
By January 3. 1949, wild gales had sprung up. The English Midlands froze over. Just across the Channel, observers on top of the Eiffel Tower reported gusts of 162 miles an hour.In February, 1949. normally the middle of the English winter, the weather turned warm. .
Shops did a brisk trade in dark glasses. Crocuses popped out. In Suffolk, village wells ran dry for the first time in any February, and the War Office rushed water tanks to the Villagers.Grass fires broke out on golf links. Passengers in the Queen Mary, 260 miles out on the Atlantic, walked the deck in summer clothes.
Drought cameThen came the spring and summer drought. Easter last year was the sunniest in living memory, and it brought the hottest April night for 50 years. Londoners slept in the parks.
In May the British Weather Bureau declared a state of "absolute drought," which meant that 15 days had passed with rainfall of less than an inch a day a serious matter in England, where wells quickly dry up.By July some parts of Britain were enduring temperatures higher than any previously recorded.
By September the drought threatened to cause mass unemployment in north-eastern counties, because reservoirs were nearly dry, and so could not supply shipyards and other industrial plants.
Householders in these areas got. a ration of three buckets of water a day.A -20-mile stretch of the Liverpool Leeds Canal dried up, so that bargemen were out of work for two months. London had freak thunderstorms, some lasting for only 90 seconds.
In October came two weeks of flood rains; then, on the Sussex coast, the worst gale in living memory. In Hastings, furniture floated about in 5 ft. of water.Last December more gales. The weather in Western Europe and North Africa was altogether bewildering gales in Britain and Greece, snow in Morocco, summery sunshine in Normandy, with spring blossoms out.
January of this year one of the longest winter mild spells in living memory in England. February-gales again, rising to 102 miles an hour, and floods. The Severn rose 8 ft. in 24 hours, and the Wye flooded hundreds of acres in Somerset.
92 m.p.h. galeApril-a 92 miles-an-hour gale struck Blackpool. It came so suddenly that people promenading in spring weather had to cling to lamp-posts to avoid being swept away.
Bleakest British Easter for many years.Capt. William Stewart, of the Cunard liner Pranconia, said the Atlantic storms were the worst in his experience. Three passengers died of heart failure.
Following the gales came the heaviest April snowstorm for 31 years. It cut off electricity in wide areas by felling power-lines, and electricity rationing followed for a time all over England.In May freak storms wrecked several villages in Bedfordshire, lifted dogs and cats 50 ft. into the air, raised a horse-float 20 ft. Up, with a pony inside it, and smashed cars against fences.
It was a genuine tornado which came clown from the sky like an inverted ice cream cone-the first tornado in Britain for 22 years.June-heat wave again. Fifty service men and women collapsed while rehearsing a King's birthday parade. Two women strolled down Regent Street in bathing costume, and men rushed to buy straw hats.
Such is the climate record of one country. But throughout the world you will find similar departures from normal.Let's look through the news of Western Europe.
France.-Hottest September day for a century. A swimming race had to be postponed because the river had dried up.Italy.-Record floods last October. Whole families drowned at Capua. The total deathroll was 100; £750,000 worth of crops were ruined, and the swollen river covered 1,000 square miles.
For days afterward rescue columns, directed by aircraft, were pushing through to villages isolated by vast stretches of mud.
Big deathrollSpain and Sweden.-Fearful storms caused a long death-roll. In Andalusia (Spain) alone, six large rivers overflowed, and 50 people died by drowning and lightning-stroke or were buried alive.
Holland.-Last January the winter freeze was so violent that motor cars crossed the Zuyder Zee.Turkey.-The worst recorded spell of cold in its history. Scores of people froze to death, and hungry wolves terrorised villages.
Austria.-In April avalanche warnings went out, and snowdrifts blocked the Brenner Pass over the Alps.In America the weather picture made a similar crazy pattern.
Last January -the southern States enjoyed record-breaking summery weather, while the north and north- west endured the severest cold wave for 60 years. Then in New York the temperature reached 79 deg.; in Oklahoma it went down to 2 deg.Floods drove 40,000 people from their homes in various States. Freak storms the wildest for 50 years killed 34.
In April unseasonable snow fell, and the temperature (25 deg.) was a record low for the month.May ushered in the colossal Winni- peg (Canada) floods, which made 12,000 people homeless, covered 14 towns and 200 square miles of country.
Short of waterA great drought hit the eastern States at the end of last year. This kept New York City so short of water that residents were asked to go without baths and shaves and 'drink less water on a specified day each, week.
A model in a shop window demonstrated how to take a bath in a gallon of water.Mayor O'Owyer called in a scientist, Dr. Wallace Howell, to try to make rain artificially.
April, May, and June were the wet- test, dreariest months anyone in New York can remember. Dr. Howell emphasised that he had nothing to do with the rain; but this did not stop shopkeepers and others, who had suffered from it, suing the mayor for damages. So you see other countries have suffered from mad meteorology, too.
Perhaps in a few years we shall no longer be surprised at aberations in world weather, because we shall know what causes them.But that will not make them less irritating or alarming.
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