People across the UK were left sniffing the air in disgust on Friday after strong easterly winds spread unpleasant farming or industrial smells from the continent. The Met Office said it had received reports of the pong - dubbed Euro-whiff - from a wide area across south east England stretching from East Anglia to Dorset, and from the south coast up to Norfolk. Experts said the odour was believed to be from manure being used on agricultural land on the continent, perhaps mixed with industrial aromas from the Ruhr region in north west Germany.

For the India Meteorological Department (IMD), it has been an annual ritual for the past 20 years to issue its long-range monsoon forecast around this time of the year, though the credibility of these predictions has been on the wane. The projection that the rainfall during this year's monsoon season (June to September) will be equal to 99 per cent of the long-period average, should therefore be viewed with some caution, even if prima facie it is a good news for the country's farmers, economy and the hydrological balance.

Facing all-round flak on galloping inflation, the government on Wednesday tried to wash away some of its worries by predicting a "near-normal' south-west monsoon for the year, suggesting that increased farm production could be expected.

The south west monsoon, crucial to agriculture, is likely to be near normal this year, the Meteorological Department has forecast amid hopes that good summer rains would lead to an easing in the price situation. "India Meteorological Department's long-range forecast for the 2008 southwest monsoon season (June-September) is that rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be near normal," earth sciences minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here. Quantitatively, monsoon season rainfall is likely to be 99 per cent of the long period average with a model error of five per cent.

Two years ago, Eduardo Ferreira was studying the microbiology of cancer cells in S

Olympics - Beijing Seeds Clouds To Protect Opening Ceremony CHINA: April 11, 2008 BEIJING - More than 100 people and three aircraft will be on standby at the Beijing Olympics to manipulate the weather if storms threaten the opening ceremony. Staff at 21 locations around the capital will fire rockets to seed storm clouds if there is a danger that rain would disrupt the Aug. 8 ceremony, officials said on Thursday.

Forecaster Expects Eight Atlantic Hurricanes This Year US: April 10, 2008 MIAMI - The noted Colorado State University hurricane research team predicted on Wednesday that 15 tropical storms would form during the coming Atlantic storm season, of which eight would strengthen into hurricanes. The team founded by forecasting pioneer Bill Gray increased its outlook by two tropical storms and one hurricane over its last outlook issued in December due to improved conditions for storm development, including warmer sea surface temperatures in the eastern Atlantic.

Expect A Warmer Summer -- But No Floods UK: April 4, 2008 LONDON - This summer is expected to be warmer and perhaps slightly wetter than average but with little chance of a repeat of last year's devastating floods, the Met Office said on Thursday. "It looks like being a typical British summer," a spokesman said. "The risk of exceptional rainfall on the same scale as the summer of last year remains a very low probability."

London: Forget Jaws. Sharks can save lives too by giving early warning of storms.

More than 300 Melburnians have fainted, collapsed or suffered heat stress since Melbourne's autumn heatwave hit four days ago.

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