10. The driest place on Earth is Antofagasta, Chile. It only receives a miserly 0.1 mm (0.004 inches) of rainfall every year.
9. The Kerala red rain phenomenon occurred in the Indian state of Kerala from 25th July to 23rd September, 2001. Blood red rain fell from the sky in heavy downpours, staining clothes pink. Initially, it was thought the red rain may have been caused by a burst meteor but it was later discovered that the rain got its unusual colour from a type of local algae.
8. The strongest wind ever to be recorded occurred on Mt Washington, New Hampshire, USA. It reached a toupee loosening 371.8 km/h (231 mph).
7. The biggest ever hailstones ever recorded fell in Bangladesh on 14th April, 1986. They weighed in at over 1kg (2.2 lbs) each and killed 92 people!
6. A waterspout is a columnar vortex of water similar to a tornado that forms by rotating air, usually over tropical water. Occasionally a waterspout is so strong it can pick up aquatic life such as fish, frogs and even turtles and lift them high into the air. The animals can then be carried in the clouds, kept aloft by the wind. Eventually these animals fall to the ground, many still alive. Though not a common occurrence, people have experienced raining fish up to 160 kms (100 miles) inland.
5. Tropical storms are given names from an alphabetically ordered list determined by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). The names can only be repeated after six years but if a storm causes large amounts of destruction the name is retired permanently and a new name starting with that letter is added to the list. This system was invented to easily distinguish different storms happening at the same time in different parts of the world.
4. The world’s largest snowflake fell in Fort Keogh, Montana, USA, on 28th January, 1887. It was recorded at a staggering 38 cm wide and 20 cm thick.
3. The town of Yuma, Arizona, USA is the sunniest place on Earth. It has a pleasant 4 000 hours of sunshine per year.
2. In the 17th and 18th century, extremely cold winters hit the UK. The period became known as the Little Ice Age and it was so cold that in 1684 the River Thames froze solid for two months.
1. On 14th April, 1935, a dust storm hit the US that was so severe that many people suffocated from dust filling their lungs. Oklahoma and Texas were the worst states to be hit in an area known as America’s Dust Bowl. Black Sunday, as it was later named was the result of a combination of events – drought, high winds and over farming that had left the land bare created a giant dust cloud that was estimated to have displaced 300 million tons of topsoil from the area.
That was 20 shocking weather facts you probably don’t know. Were there some weather facts listed here that you knew about? Let us know!