Inside the extreme weather week of June 15

Yellowstone flooding, hail in Mexico City and landslides in India

Weather 2 the Extreme with Caroline Brown (KPRC 2, Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Hey y’all! It’s Caroline Brown and I’m so excited to write the first newsletter in this blog! Being a meteorologist here in Houston, I get to talk about so many exciting local weather features, just this week we talked about Saharan dust, record breaking heat, and the tropics, but there’s a lot of other stories across the nation and across the globe that are really impactful, and fascinating. Let’s dive in!

Extreme flooding in Yellowstone:

In this handout photo provided by the National Park Service, water levels in Gardner River rise alongside the North Entrance Road in Yellowstone National Park on June 13, 2022 in Gardiner, Montana. (Photo by the National Park Service via Getty Images) (2022 National Park Service)

Over one year ago, my parents planned a special birthday camping trip for my mom to Yellowstone National Park. This week they started the long van ride, however, they quickly learned their trip was not going to happen. This is because the park is closed for the first time during the summer in over 30 years (the last closure was in 1988 due to wildfires).

This time wildfires were not the issue, but instead it was snowfall! Specifically melting snow that led to extreme flooding in Yellowstone National Park. The flooding is so bad that roads have been washed out, homes have collapsed into the river, and it’s possible the river could reach a record flood stage level.

The Yellowstone river was able to swell so immensely due to intense heavy rainfall, but also extra snowmelt in higher elevations. Both of these factors can be tied to our warming climate. Extra snowmelt due to warmer temperatures is pretty self explanatory; however the torrential rainfall can also be tied to warming temperatures. Warmer temperatures allow more moisture in the air, which can lead to heavier rainfall.

Flooding and landslides in India:

Torrential downpours in India over the past several days have been causing intense floods and torrents of water across the Guwahati area. Knee-deep water could be found throughout residential neighborhoods.

Municipal workers distribute food and water to flood affected people after continuous rainfall in Gauhati, India, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The heavy rainfall triggered several landslides, including one in the Guwahati area around 1 a.m. local time on June 14 that has caused several fatalities. Landslides happen after heavy rainfall because the water seeps into the ground, which changes the pressure of the slope of the land, causing instability. Once the slope is unstable, gravity takes care of the rest.

Hailstorm hits Mexico City:

In Mexico, an intense hailstorm rained down on Sunday, June 12, around 6:20 p.m. The storm hammered the city for about 30 minutes, and the weight of the hailstones eventually caused ceilings to collapse, including one supermarket. Roads were covered in ice, creating a river of hail through the city, and trees were toppled. Some parts of the city recorded over 6″ of rainfall, but no fatalities have been attributed to this horrendous hail storm.

Stay tuned next Thursday to learn more about the wild weather across the globe.


About the Authors:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.