Heavy rain has caused widespread flooding across South Africa. Heavy rainfall is common during La Niña summers in South Africa, and rainfall for the month of January has been nearly 10 times average in parts of the country. Other nations besides South Africa have also been hit by heavy rain. La Niña has been blamed for flooding across Australia and the Philippines.
More than 100 people have lost their lives in flooding across South Africa. The majority of the deaths have been in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.
The heavy rain has been widespread across the country. Eight of South Africa's nine provinces have been declared disaster areas by the South African government.
Tzaneen-Grenshoek, in the flood-ravaged KwaZulu-Natal province, has received nearly 7 inches of rain since Friday. This is nearly double what usually falls during the month of January.
Kimberly, located in the nation's west, has had more than 10 inches of rain so far this month. Average rainfall during the month of January is only 2.36 inches. This comes on the heels of a wetter-than-normal December.
South Africa is a major producer of corn, soybeans, and wheat. Farmers usually welcome wetter-than-normal conditions, but it has been so wet, crops have been damaged. In addition, field work cannot be completed with saturated conditions.
Unfortunately, it is likely to stay wetter than average for another month or two, which is usually the case during a La Niña. From 1-3 inches of rain is expected this week across eastern parts of the country. The rest of the country should have half an inch or so.
After a period of above-average temperatures dominated most of the Midwest and Northeast during much of April thus far, a complete reversal in the weather pattern is evolving this week.
A new round of thunderstorms will bring the risk of severe weather across parts of Texas and Oklahoma to the lower Mississippi Valley by the middle of the week.
Due to the positive feedback, the National Weather Service has expanded their former, experimental Impact Based Warnings to include the Southern region for the spring of 2015.
As residents are far from over with the recent cold winter across the Great Lakes, Mother Nature will bring the return of snowflakes to the region this week.
Global warming and climate change, two terms that are treated synonymously in most media coverage and casual debate, have been shown to spark different reactions from the American public.
Following strong to locally severe thunderstorms in part of the South Central states at midweek, the risk of violent storms will increase over the region on Friday.
Caribou, ME (1963)
4" of snow.
Havre, MT (1967)
Minus 14 degrees -- record April low.
Hayes, KS (1989)
107 degrees -- state record high for April (beat record of 103 set at Kiowa on April 6, 1893).