Weather Wise

As clouds fill the sky to end our week of fine weather, things are much worse in the rest of the world.
That area of high pressure that was hanging so helpfully over Britain early in the week has almost drifted away. High pressure consists of cold, dry air, and is generally associated with cloudless skies. Now that it is gone, we can already see the sky filling up with clouds, bringing a small threat of rain, but perhaps warmer air too.

In the rest of the world, however, disasters continue. The death toll from smog in the Indonesian half of New Guinea is said to have reached 265, as forest fires and a delay in the monsoon rains caused by El Nino combine to produce perhaps the worst conditions this century.

Mexico, meanwhile, is bracing itself for Hurricane Nora, which is expected to sweep across the country any moment now. Thousands have headed for emergency shelters as flash flooding is predicted.

In India, torrential rain killed at least 25 people on Wednesday night as their houses collapsed under the force of 90-mph winds. Guntoor district, 150 miles south east of Hyderabad, was reported to be under 4ft to 9ft of water.

In Vietnam, the whirlwinds of Typhoon Fritz are causing the damage; in Swaziland the Health Ministry has warned of heavy rains bringing a malaria outbreak. It's good to be in England, now that autumn's here.

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