Weather tracker: Tropical Cyclone Kirrily brings 170km/h gusts to Queensland

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On Thursday evening (local time), Tropical Cyclone Kirrily reached the coast of Queensland. It started as a tropical low in the Coral Sea and gained strength over the course of a few days. By 10am AEST on Thursday, it had become a category 2 cyclone and by 3pm, it was a category 3, with gusts of 170 km/h (105mph). When Kirrily moved inland five hours later, it caused power outages for over 34,000 homes and businesses in Townsville. However, by midnight, the cyclone had weakened to a category 1.

At the beginning of the week, there was a thick fog that formed from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico, making it difficult to see on Tuesday with visibility less than a quarter mile for many. This happened because of the extreme cold weather last week, followed by warmer air from the south this week, causing water vapor to condense closer to the ground, also known as advection fog. On Thursday morning, there was another round of dense fog, affecting almost 99 million people from North Dakota to central Pennsylvania and as far south as New Orleans.

In recent days, there has been thick fog in Northern India, causing visibility to drop to zero in some areas on Wednesday. As a result, the Indian Meteorological Department issued a red fog warning on Wednesday morning for Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Harana, Chandigarh, and Delhi. This warning will remain in effect until January 28. In contrast to the US, the fog forms due to warmer and sunnier days followed by cooler nights. This type of fog is called radiation fog.

In the Philippines, PAGASA, also known as The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, has announced a drought in eight provinces on Luzon Island. Other provinces, including Metro Manila where the capital city is located, have also been facing extended periods of dry weather. A drought is defined as five consecutive months of below normal rainfall, while a dry spell occurs after only three months. The shortage of rainfall has been attributed to the El Niño phenomenon and is expected to persist until the end of spring.

Some other areas have also been going through dry periods due to El Niño in the past few months. The World Food Programme has predicted that by the end of January, several southern African countries, such as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and southern Madagascar, will have received less rain than usual based on observations and forecasts. As a result, the Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe has recommended that farmers increase their efforts in collecting and storing water when feasible.


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