While Super Typhoon Rammasun slammed into Asia last week, leaving destruction and death in its wake, drastic temperature swings griped the United States, blasting the Midwest with record cold, but sparking wildfires in the West.
1. Typhoon Rammasun
Early in the week, Typhoon Rammasun strengthened as it barreled toward the Philippines before striking the capital city of Manila. At the time of landfall, Tuesday, in southeast Luzon, Rammasun slammed the region with wind gusts nearing 125 mph.
Rainfall totals up to 8 inches were reported near Rammasun’s path as it traveled across southern Luzon Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday.
In Legaspi, 11.6 inches of rain accumulated as the storm’s core tracked across the city. Rainfall across Manila averaged between 4 and 8 inches in places, causing widespread flooding, coupled with damaging winds that downed trees and power lines.
In Manila, home to nearly 12 million people, hundreds of thousands were displaced by the fierce storm. Dozens more have been reported dead, or missing in the typhoon’s wake.
By midweek, Rammasun made its way back to the South China Sea, targeting China and Vietnam.
Becoming a super typhoon before weakening, Rammasun made landfall with wind gusts up to 100 mph along the Leizhou Peninsula.
While Rammasun began to dissipate over the weekend, a new threat was born in the basin, Typhoon Matmo.
2. Flooding Inundates Idaho, Colorado to Texas
In the United States, heavy rain caused widespread roadway flooding in Rexburg, Idaho, forcing Brigham Young University-Idaho students to traverse water nearing a foot deep.
The floodwaters inundated the campus, leading to massive flooding down walkways, roadways and stairs.
The southeastern end of the Rexburg was slammed with nearly 2 inches of rain in one hour, according to an NWS report at 6:32 p.m. Tuesday MDT.
The average monthly rainfall for July in Rexburg is around three-quarters of an inch.
Flooding downpours continued across other parts of the country by midweek, hammering areas from Colorado to Texas.
Combining with moisture along the Rockies, a storm system unleashed torrential rain over portions of central Colorado late Tuesday night.
As the system moved southeastward, rain began to inundate portions of northeastern, drought-stricken Texas late Wednesday. Some areas had received more than 8 inches of rain by Thursday morning.
Multiple water rescues were made Thursday morning by law enforcement, as residents and pedestrians became stranded on flooded roadways. Flash flooding along highways prompted the closing of I-35, north and south, and Highway 287 in the area.
3. Extreme Temperature Swings Grip Midwest, NorthwestWhile the central U.S. experienced torrential downpours, scorching heat blasted away at the West, sparking wildfires as an autumnlike chill descended upon the Midwest.
Record lows included North Platte, Nebraska, which saw temperatures dip to 44 F, breaking the record low of 48 F set in 1973. Temperatures from Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin also ranged from the mid-40s to the 60s in areas.
Meanwhile, areas in British Columbia and the northwestern U.S. saw temperatures soar above 100 F.
On Monday, the high at the Reno-Tahoe Airport in Nevada hit 105 F, breaking the record of 103 F set in 1972.
By Thursday and Friday, multiple wildfires ignited across the state of Washington. The wildfires forced evacuation orders for hundreds and damaged numerous homes.
“Lots of smoke once again for much of eastern Washington and north Idaho due to the fires burning in (the) Cascades as seen on visible satellite,” NWS reported late Thursday evening.
The plumes of smoke also impacted air quality according to the report.
“As of 6:30 p.m. (local time on Thursday), air monitors in Leavenworth, Wenatchee (and) Spokane were indicating unhealthy amounts of fine particulate matter in the air.”
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Downpours will raise the risk of localized flooding across the southeastern United States prior to a push of drier air over the weekend.
Severe flooding has killed nearly 300 people since last week across northeastern India, Nepal and Bangladesh.