News Stories

Wacky Summer Weather

Extreme weather continues to strike without warning aroundthe world and global warming is front page news in manycountries. In the U.S., we have to rely on ourlocal weatherreports, and have no way of knowing that our bizarre,unseasonable weather is being repeated around the globe.There are major floods in areas around the world and Europe,which had a killing heat wave last summer, now has winter inJuly.

Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Taiwan, southern China,India, the city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, Japan andNew Jersey have all experienced extraordinary floodingwithin the past two weeks. Last week Edmonton, Alberta,experienced a "once in 200 years" storm with 45 inches ofrain and hail that buried parts of the city under tons of ice.

July 13 was an ominous day for flooding: a ferociousthunderstorm similar in violence to the Edmonton storm sweptacross Shanghai, killing seven and sinking a cargo ship. InSoutheast Asia, the worst monsoon flooding in memory haskilled thousands and left over five million people homelessacross India, Bangladesh and Nepal. A typhoon has killed atleast 50 people in the Philippines and Taiwan, and left aquarter of a million homeless.

Also on the 13th, there was a 17-inch downpour innorthwestern Japan, killing at least five people. Again, therains were sudden and intense, and the sudden floodingovercame people in low-lying areas, in areas that had neverexperienced these kinds of floods before. On the same day, more that a foot of rain fell in a fewhours in New Jersey. The flooding was so fast that, as inEdmonton, people had to flee their cars to escape risingwater. The flood zone extended into Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Meanwhile, Europeans from Oslo to Budapest are havingsnowball fights in July. Europeans feared a repeat of lastyear's killer heat wave, and southern Europe has indeedexperienced some intense heat. But most Europeans have hadtemperatures that are about half what they were last year. Read theCNNReport.

In the U.K., people are turning on their central heating.Elliot Frisby, of the VisitBritain tourism board, says, "Wedon't sell Britain as a sun, sea and sand destination."

Swedish ice cream maker Ingemar Folkeson is laying offworkers. Danish ice cream maker Lars Fenner says sales are"10 to 15% below normal."

In Vienna, Hubert Pichler, who works in an outdoor amusementpark, says, "I already made 10% less business in May and inJune I was down almost 30%. We've only had three days ofreal summer this year..."

15,000 people died in France in last year's heat wave, sothe government spent $82 million to install air conditionersin retirement homes, but most of them haven't even beenturned on yet.

Is it wet and cold where you are? Sip a hot brew in ourgorgeous newunknowncountrymug!

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