Hurricane Sam became the 18th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season last week, strengthening to hurricane status within 24 hours, and becoming a category 4 storm over the weekend. Maximum sustained winds reached 155mph at the peak of the storm, but this was to be short-lived as Sam began to weaken by Monday.
Warm sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic are expected to fuel Sam this week but the storm’s path will keep it out to sea, avoiding devastation and destruction on land for many.
More than 70,000 homes in Thailand have been flooded due to a combination of the south-west monsoon rains and Tropical Storm Dianmu. Thai rivers are above flooding levels in 39 places across 30 central provinces, with dams and reservoirs on the brink of bursting at 11 locations as water levels are critically high. Local authorities are making way for further heavy rain, with flood barriers being installed to try to protect homes and businesses.
Early season snowfall has affected Anchorage in Alaska this week, with reports of 37.3cm (14.7in) of snow in places. The heavy, wet snowfall led to tree branches collapsing, especially as many are still in leaf this early in the season, and power outages for many as a result.