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A severe storm system resulted in three fatalities as multiple tornadoes swept through the central United States.
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A severe storm system resulted in three fatalities as multiple tornadoes swept through the central United States.

Last week, central parts of the US experienced a severe outbreak of tornadoes with more than two dozen forming across the states of Ohio and Indiana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries.

Several powerful supercell thunderstorms moved eastward through central Indiana in the late afternoon and evening of March 14, leading to the formation of tornadoes. Most of these tornadoes were relatively mild, with estimated maximum wind speeds of 65-85mph, meeting the criteria for an EF-0 classification.

Although some were weaker, a few were more powerful. One initially caused extensive destruction to almost half of the structures in Selma, Indiana, before becoming a stronger EF-3 tornado in Winchester. At its strongest, the tornado had estimated wind speeds of 155-165mph, causing significant damage to homes and uprooting trees. Its strength then gradually decreased as it moved into Ohio, but it still caused some additional damage.

At the beginning of the week, a low pressure system moved towards the east in Japan while higher pressure was present in North and South Korea to the west. This created conditions for a frigid, northward air flow to move southward over the Sea of Japan. As a result, significant snowfall occurred in the north-western regions of Japan on Wednesday night.

Snow fell in low-lying areas, including the city of Hikone in Shiga prefecture, with 2cm measured overnight. In more inland areas, such as Nagano, 6cm was recorded by 6am. In mountainous regions, Kusatsu in Gunma prefecture saw 40cm of snow in a 12-hour span, setting a new record for March’s heaviest snowfall.

Currently, South Sudan is experiencing a heatwave, making it the latest African nation to face record-breaking high temperatures. This past Tuesday, the capital city of Juba recorded an air temperature of 41C as the heatwave continues. There is not much variation expected in the coming weeks, as temperatures are predicted to stay consistently in the low to mid-40s celsius each day. While these temperatures are typical during the summer season, they are quite exceptional for this time of year.

Source: theguardian.com