Every corner of the globe has been hit by extreme weather this year with devastating consequences for both life and the environment.
In January 2021, Storm Christoph lashed North Wales and North-West England and there was record snowfall in Madrid, Spain.
The Pacific Northwest was trapped in a killer heat dome where blistering temperatures engulfed Lytton, a village in Canada’s British Columbia, in fire.
There was flooding in Germany and China this month, bringing loss of life and carnage to infrastructure.
Scientists have long warned that climate change would contribute to an increase in both the frequency and severity of freak killer weather.
We look at some of the major catastrophes which have hit countries in 2021 …
Record-breaking snowfall in Spain
Storm Filomena ushered in the first few weeks of 2021 with record-breaking levels of snow in Madrid.
Temperatures plummeted and the heaviest snow for 50 years brought transport to a halt and caused around €1.4bn (£1.2bn) of damage.
Storm Christoph batters the UK
The road was severely damaged during Storm Christoph in January.
(Image: Copyright Unknown)
Storm Christoph which landed from January 18 to 20 was “one of the wettest three-day periods on record” for North Wales and North-West England, according to the Met Office.
Parts of Cheshire was flooded and residents were evacuated in Manchester and Merseyside.
Significant snowfall also led to travel disruption with icy conditions and road closures.
Cyclone Ana lashes Fiji
Just a month after category 5 Cyclone Yasa ripped through parts of Fiji, the region was battered by Cyclone Ana towards the end of January.
Fiji’s ambassador to the United Nations, said the cyclone – which caused more than 10,000 people to take refuge in 318 evacuation centres across the country – had left behind “a difficult recovery”.
Killer winter storms in Texas, US
In February, around 3.5 million businesses and homes were left without power as temperatures dropped to -13℃ in some areas of Texas.
Power went out across the state, leaving many vulnerable people in extremely cold conditions.
The death toll rose from 151 to 210 in July, after a decision was made to include deaths caused by the collapse of the state electric power grid in the final count, the Guardian reported.
Worst sandstorms in a decade in China
In the Spring, the worst dust storm seen in a decade caused the sky to turn orange in China.
The air was hazardous to breath in Beijing, visibility reduced to less than a kilometre, flights grounded, the elderly told to stay indoors, non essential activities stopped and schools shut.
Sandstorms also hit Tenerife in Feb leaving flights grounded
Flooding deluge Australia
In March, parts of Sydney and New South Wales were hit by extreme flooding.
Heavy downpours led to rivers and dams overflowing, with thousands evacuated from their homes.
Wildfires ravage Greece
A wildfire spread though the Attica region of Greece, scorching around 20 square kilometres of land.
Strong winds put pressure on firefighters battling the blaze, as villages in the Geraneia mountains were evacuated. “In parts of Athens, the smell of fire was suffocating and the sky had turned grey from the smoke,” Reuters said.
An airplane tries to extinguish a wildfire on the island of Evia earlier this summer
Record temperatures in Moscow, Russia
The Moscow Times reported that temperatures reached 34.8℃ in Moscow, making it “the absolute record for any day in June was hit”.
The “record-breaking heatwave” weren’t just recorded in the capital; Penza, Vologda and Petrozavodsk also broke heat records during the month.
An Extinction Rebellion activist on the beach in Seaham, County Durham, posing as Boris Johnson acting out the 11th century story of King Cnut who sat on his throne and attempted to command the incoming sea to turn back.
(Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)
Killer heatdome over Western Canada and North-Western US
The “heat dome” that settled over western Canada and the north-western US for five days earlier this month sent temperatures soaring to 40C (104F).
The intense heat is believed to have killed as many as 500 people in the province of British Columbia and contributed to the hundreds of wildfires currently burning across the province.
Lytton, a village in Canada’s British Columbia, was “engulfed and largely destroyed by a wildfire” as a result of the temperatures.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Floods, New York
Storm Elsa caused “relentless storms and mass flooding” in New York, this month, The New York Times reported.
Though subway service was “largely uninterrupted”, videos of flooded stations circulated on social media.
Floods also hit New Jersey and Connecticut, and bathers were warned off Long Island beaches due to “elevated bacteria levels during heavy rainfall”, the paper added.
Flooding, West Germany and Belgium
Bridges were down and passing through towns was hazardous
(Image: Craig Couzens)
Torrents destroyed homes and bridges along the River Ahr in July, while in the German village of Schuld, water “engulfed streets and swallowed homes”, in July.
For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.