El Nino rocks winter weather worldwide with floods, twisters, blizzards
This spate of extreme late-December weather, attributable at least in part to El Nino, has been one for the history books.
Late-December weather sees tornadoes and snowstorms in Texas, widespread flooding in South America
Tracey Lindeman · CBC News ·
From the one-two punch of tornadoes followed by blizzards, to unseasonably warm temperatures in Canada and Europe, to brushfires in coastal California and Australia, this spate of wacky late-December weather has been one for the history books. The extreme weather is being blamed, at least in part, on El Nino, a phenomenon that occurs when water temperatures rise above normal across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator.
A wildfire in Solimar, in southern California's Ventura County, burned more than 400 hectares of land, forced the closure of parts of two major coastal highways and caused evacuations over the weekend.
Flooding in England, Scotland and Wales plunged parts of the U.K. underwater, particularly northern parts of England, such as York, where the River Ouse was running more than five metres above normal summertime levels. More than 500 soldiers were dispatched to Yorkshire and Lancashire to assist in rescue efforts, according to the BBC.
Flooding in the area where the borders of Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay meet forced nearly 150,000 people to flee their homes last week. El Nino has brought torrential rains to the area, causing levees to fail and bodies of water to overflow.
Brushfires in Australia's Victoria state began Dec. 19 with a lightning strike and spread throughout the area around Melbourne. According to the BBC, the fire had burned nearly 2,200 hectares by Dec. 26, with fires burning out of control on Christmas Day.
Unseasonably warm winter weather
In some parts of the world, including many pockets of Canada, unseasonably high winter temperatures made for a green holiday season.