The World's Weirdest Weather
About the Show
From freak desert snowstorms to glow-in-the-dark ocean waves, The World's Weirdest Weather examines some of the planet's most extraordinary weather phenomena.
Series 3 Episode 1
This episode visits a town in South Carolina where it's raining popcorn snow: little balls of ice called graupel that look harmless but that could trigger avalanches.
Storm-chaser Geoff Mackley captures lahar - a dangerous concoction of volcanic ash, rocks, debris and water - on film.
In Newfoundland, a man films a strange rolling bank of fog that looks like a tsunami.
In Canberra a man films a giant tornado, born not from a thundercloud but from a colossal fire storm.
And in the Peak District, winds so strong they can overcome gravity and blow a waterfall back up into the sky are captured on film.
Series 2 Episode 4
This episode shows weather at its weirdest and fastest, as a cloud envelops a supersonic jet. In Japan, a brave skier searches for the legendary snow monsters on the slopes of a ski resort.
Elsewhere, an onlooker captures a festival of colour in the sky when he films a rare fire rainbow. In the Florida Keys, a storm chaser comes face-to-face with seven towering waterspouts.
Apocalyptic black rain falls from the skies in Iceland, while in Sicily it's raining rocks. Weird weather traps residents in their homes when an invasion of tumbleweed swamps an entire town.
Plus: a blood-red waterfall; and rows of stunning regimented clouds known as Cloud Streets, stretching across the ocean. And what explains the most otherworldly place on Earth, where there are two suns, an endless sky and no horizon?
Series 2 Episode 3
An icicle the size of a house closes down a whole street in Canada as contractors attempt to remove it using chainsaws. The weather is behind a mysterious green haze that envelops Moscow 26 years to the day after the Chernobyl disaster.
The programme also features rare footage of lightning bolts called blue jets reaching up to the edge of space. The Severn tidal bore gives a surfer the chance to ride a wave for over nine miles.
Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth, but a storm dumps two and a half feet of snow in it. And beautiful bubbles of frozen methane, suspended in time, are captured on camera beneath the surface of a lake in Canada.
Series 2 Episode 2
Weird weather turns the waters of Lake Erie pea green. A man in New Zealand finds live eels swimming in his street after a sudden and violent downpour known as a weather bomb.
A photographer captures amazing images of one the rare and bizarre-looking moustache cloud. And New York City grinds to a halt as onlookers witness the beautiful sunset known as Manhattanhenge.
In Hawaii, volcanic lava creates tornadoes of steam on the ocean surface. A man films a terrifying mudslide roaring through a sleepy Austrian village.
And wind and rain carve ancient rocks in Egypt into stunning giant mushroom shapes.
Series 2 Episode 1
The first episode of the second series investigates a cave system with its own weather, a desert in Brazil where people can swim in lagoons surrounded by huge sand dunes, and the weather that turns the waters of a lake in Argentina into what looks like concrete.
The programme also meets a surfer in San Diego who rides ocean waves that glow in the dark. In Melbourne, a summer day turns to what looks like winter in minutes. And in Canada, a mystified family film an upside down rainbow in the sky.
Plus, a 50-year-long puzzle of mysterious lights in the Michigan sky is examined, and, in Texas, a storm-chaser captures on camera a rare and beautiful type of lightning called spider lightning.
The World's Weirdest Weather
Alex Beresford explores more remarkable weather events, including a flash flood in New Zealand that washes a dozen eels into a suburban street, and discovers how spiders, powered by static electricity from a thunderstorm, can seemingly fly.
In Brazil, a huge swarm of spiders raining through the sky is caught on camera. In Argentina, a strange wave submerges a whole town, only for it to re-emerge as an eerie ghost town 30 years later.
The programme also investigates the science behind a barrel-shaped sideways cloud that helps hang-gliders fly for hours on end, whirlpools at sea, a building that can set your car on fire, and a volcano in Hawaii that produces its own mini-tornadoes.
Series 1 Episode 3: Water
Alex Beresford looks at how water can create freakish weather events around the planet. He learns about how a strange combination of weather phenomena created the deadly storm of 1953, which resulted in the UK's worst flood.
Over 300 people died in the UK and thousands more in Germany and Holland. Eyewitnesses to the tragedy tell their stories of survival in the face of the onslaught of water.
Not all water weather is lethal; Alex learns how rocks move silently across a desert floor and explains how dying micro-organisms in the water turned the sea into froth like a cappuccino, turning a Scottish village into a nightclub foam party.
He also investigates weather events that take weirdness to a new level: a rain of worms in Scotland, giant hailstones called ice bombs, and a strange underwater wave that may explain the Loch Ness Monster.
Series 1 Episode 2: Air
Alex Beresford reveals the staggering power of air, and learns how it creates strange weather, from tornadoes spinning on the spot to Biblical-scale dust storms, mirages, double rainbows and dust devils (columns of dust spinning over the surface).
Air can also be deadly. Just over 60 years ago, really strange weather gripped London. Alex investigates how a freak set of conditions conspired to create deadly smog and London's worst pollution disaster.
It was an event that killed thousands and led to new legislation to protect air quality.
Our atmosphere also conjures up beautiful and spectacular phenomena: angels cavorting in the mist, double rainbows and even double sunsets.
But there's a flipside of even the most stunning events. The northern lights, the auroras, are the frontline in a battle between our atmosphere and a deadly stream of radiation blasted out of the sun called the solar wind.
Alex also investigates mirages and discovers a new theory that suggests that a rare cold mirage may have helped sink the Titanic.
Series 1 Episode 1: Fire
Alex Beresford explores strange weather associated with fire, from firenadoes to upward lightning, lightning created in volcanic explosions and raging bush fires called firestorms; as well as exploring how lightning storms rage on planets millions of miles from Earth.
Lightning strikes Earth 45 times a second. Britain gets around 300,000 strikes, with between 30 and 60 people being hit.
The programme hears remarkable first-hand accounts from those who have survived lightning strikes, and learns about the strange effects lightning can have on a human body.
Alex travels to Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, the lightning capital of the world, where there are near-constant lightning storms with thousands of strikes every night.
Footage captured by the public on smartphones and digital cameras reveals the many varied forms lightning can take, from St Elmo's fire coursing through the fuselage of a commercial airliner, to ball lightning high in the sky and lightning inside a snow storm.
Alex examines the terrifying spectre of a firenado, a catastrophic combination of a tornado and a wild fire, a swirling pillar of fire that can reach 800 degrees centigrade; as well as firestorms: a wild fire so powerful it creates its own weather, including lightning bolts that set even more fires.
He also investigates fire from within the planet and learns how a deadly combination of weather and volcanic eruptions created a lethal sulphur cloud that left a trail of destruction as it travelled over Europe.
The World's Weirdest Weather synopsis
From freak desert snowstorms to glow-in-the-dark ocean waves, The World's Weirdest Weather examines some of the planet's most extraordinary weather phenomena.Episode Guide >