Australian weather Sun 22 Jul 2018
TAS: Getting away from it all - on Maatsuyker Island. How do you pack for six months living on one of Australia's remotest and most inhospitable islands. ABC Radio Hobart interviewed two people currently working out how much toilet paper, toothpaste and chocolate to take.
QLD: Big bananas, big prawns - now Australia has the Big Thermometer. It seems nothing puts a place on the map more than a "Big Thing". Stanthorpe QLD has just staked its claim to being the coldest place in the state with the Big Thermometer. The coldest temperature measured there by the BoM was -10.6 back in June 1961.
International weather Sun 22 Jul 2018
Sweden, Finland: Forest fires continue. The number of ongoing fires in Sweden has increased from 45 on Friday to 70 on Saturday, with an estimated 300sq km currently aflame. Light, widespread rain last night has been a little help, but the forecast is for heat and drought to continue in the coming weeks. A multinational force from Italy, France, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Denmark are assisting in fighting the fires, with Austria, Portugal and Germany ready to help. This Al Jazeera video report shows the fires, the result of the worst drought in 74 years.
Over the border, Finland has had similar hot, dry weather with 2,400 fires breaking out since the beginning of May. Among the worst have been in Lapland, the country's largest and northernmost region. The largest fire came over the border from Russia on Friday, however news today indicates good rains are helping to control the fires.
Europe, Asia: Heat brings drought, death and violent storms. Bob Henson looks at the causes of the highly abnormal heatwave [ignore initial error message] in Lapland and across Scandinavia in general, as well as casting an eye east to East Asia. Japan has reported temperatures close to and above 40C resulting in at least 30 deaths and over 10,000 hospitalisations and counting. The Guardian also gives details and examines the causes of the big heatwave, extending from Algeria to the Arctic. The economic affects of the drought in northern and central Europe are becoming disastrous, especially for grain growers report The Guardian and Reuters.
The heat is bringing contrasts around the continent, from water levels so low in the Rhine and Danube that full loads cannot be carried, to heavy rain and raging floods in Slovakia. Severe thunderstorms have been reported, such as this one in the French Jura with hail 20cm deep that required snow ploughs to move, and this intense thunderstorm downburst in NW Italy.