Over the weekend we had some notable news stories, including a massive underwater volcano erupting near Tonga, a small island country with around 100,000 citizens 1500 miles from New Zealand. The volcano has reportedly erupted several times over the last decade, with Saturday's being the largest.
Many were quick to compare the eruption to Mount Pinatubo and its subsequent "year without a summer”, but according to scientists at NOAA and others around the world, this eruption is significantly smaller than that or Mount Saint Helens and is unlikely to do much to alter weather or the climate in the year ahead.
China discovered Omicron in Beijing over the weekend and subsequently locked down the office building it was found in- with the employees still inside.
China's Central Bank also bucked the trend of others around the world, cutting interest rates as signs point to a significant slowing of the economy there.
Russia is continuing to throw its weight around, with the U.S. saying it was likely responsible for the major cyber attack aimed at Ukraine Friday. European natural gas prices are surging as it appears it's not a matter of if Russia flexes and shows aggression, but when.
Rain started to fall in portions of Southern Brazil and Argentina. Forecasts continue to point to above normal precipitation expected in the south. It is interesting to note that the pattern shifts to below normal in the north, though it is important to remember below normal for February near a rainforest still provides several inches of rain.
Early harvest figures in Northern Brazil still point to a massive crop, while early harvest in the South continues to show the opposite.
In the images below you will find both the Euro and GFS 1-7- and 8-14-day models for Southern Brazil and Argentina. Also attached is Northern Brazil's 14-day anomaly map (showing above/below normal precipitation expectations), as well as the actual precipitation map. Finally, an image of volcanic eruption is also attached.