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Indian farmers likely to be hit by below normal monsoon rains this year

NEW DELHI - India is expected to get below normal monsoon rains this year after four straight years of normal monsoon yielding bumper crops. The India Meteorological Department says in a statement released Thursday that the rainfall is likely to be 95 per cent of the 50-year average, a bad news for Indian farmers who heavily rely on monsoon rains. The reason cited is an El Nino, a warming of the central Pacific once every few years, from a combination of wind and waves in the tropics. It shakes up climate around the world, changing rain and temperature patterns.

Cyclone curtails aerial search for MH370

The aerial search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was suspended Tuesday due to a tropical cyclone, but not before several aircraft had departed on the mission, officials said. Up to 10 military aircraft had been scheduled to fly over the Indian Ocean in hopes of spotting clues as to the fate of the Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8 carrying 239 people.

Cyclone curtails aerial search for MH370

The aerial search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 was suspended Tuesday due to a tropical cyclone, but not before several aircraft had departed on the mission, Australian officials said. Up to 10 military aircraft had been scheduled to fly over the Indian Ocean in hopes of spotting clues as to the fate of the Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8 carrying 239 people.

Cyclone halts aerial search for MH370

The aerial search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was suspended Tuesday due to bad weather caused by a tropical cyclone, officials said, but 10 ships would continue the mission. Up to 10 military aircraft had been scheduled to fly over the Indian Ocean in hopes of spotting clues as to the fate of the Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8 carrying 239 people.

California air quality officials consider relaxing rules for some diesel trucks

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - California air quality officials are considering giving small trucking operations more time to comply with new rules to clean up diesel emissions. The proposal would push back deadlines by a few years for small fleets, lightly used trucks and those in rural areas with cleaner air, and offer other adjustments to assist truck owners, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday (http://lat.ms/1rfppR1 ).

Premier urges New Brunswick town not to let guard down after water levels recede

SUSSEX, N.B. - Water levels in many parts of New Brunswick receded Thursday but Premier David Alward and Emergency Measures officials urged residents not to let their guard down because of a potential for more dangerous flooding. Alward spent the day touring areas that had been submerged Wednesday when heavy rain and ice jams caused rivers and streams to spill their banks.

New hurricane forecast maps to show flood risk from storm surge

By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - When the Atlantic hurricane season opens June 1, national forecasters will roll out a new feature: color-coded and broadcast-ready maps to graphically show the potential for flooding from storm surges. "We are not a storm surge savvy nation. Yet storm surge is responsible for over half the deaths in hurricanes. So you can see why we're motivated to try something new," said Jamie Rhome, storm surge specialist for the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said its modelling suggested a "fairly large potential for an El Nino, most likely by the end of the second quarter of 2014." "If an El Nino event develops ... it will influence temperatures and precipitation and contribute to droughts or heavy rainfall in different regions of the world," WMO chief Michel Jarraud said in a statement.

Bank study says economic cost of weather catastrophes is under-appreciated

OTTAWA - As a return on investment, Duff's Ditch has been a spectacular success. Manitoba's Red River Floodway, built by premier Duff Roblin for just under $63 million in the mid-1960s with the federal government covering 60 per cent of the cost, has spared the city of Winnipeg an estimated $30 billion in flood damages in the nearly half century since it was completed in 1968. Now, with severe weather events becoming increasingly frequent and costly, economists are urging government policy-makers to consider the long-term benefits of major infrastructure investments.

Southern Ontario, Quebec on flood watch with heavy rains on the way

BELLEVILLE, Ont. - Teams of volunteers in southern Ontario and Quebec were preparing for flooding with walls of sandbags on Sunday as they awaited heavy rain expected to hit parts of both provinces over the next several days. Environment Canada said some areas in Ontario could get up to 75 millimetres of rain by early Tuesday, while upwards of 45 millimetres of rain was expected in southern and central Quebec. "The frozen ground has a reduced ability to absorb this rainfall," Environment Canada said in a statement. "Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible."
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