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Weekly wrap-up: Lightning kills 60 in Bangladesh in 2 days; All-time record heat, Cyclone Roanu ravage India

While drenching rains brought flash flooding concerns across parts of the south-central and southeastern United States this week, deadly weather struck Asia.

Over 11 inches of rain fell in Vero Beach, Florida, on Tuesday, leaving cars submerged in streets around the city. Not only was it the wettest May day on record, but it was also the wettest day for any month, breaking the record of 8.82 inches set on Jan. 21, 1957. Through Thursday evening, the city had received over 15 inches, making it the wettest month on record.

Severe storms also spawned a tornado in the same region, the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed. An EF1 tornado caused an estimated $395,000 in the Vero Beach Highlands area Tuesday. Two homes suffered major damage while 16 suffered minor damage.

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As unseasonable blast of chilly air on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, helped challenge record lows and even brought some snow across parts of the Great Lakes and Northeast.

In Caribou, Maine, 4.5 inches of snow was measured Monday morning, the most on record for this late in the season, according to the NWS. Higher amounts were reported throughout the state. One location near Perham, Maine, received 7.5 inches.

In Wichita Falls, Texas, lightning struck a golf course on Tuesday, leaving a remarkable image of a ground current trail.

Several dust storms impacted travel across Arizona, including one that swept through the Phoenix area, and another that caused a portion of Interstate 10 to be shut down near San Simon, Arizona.

Meanwhile, the weather took a deadly turn throughout parts of Asia this week.

Lightning killed more than 60 people over a two-day span in Bangladesh during tropical storms, according to the Associated Press. According to the AP, some experts are partly blaming the deaths on people's exposure to metal equipment like cellphones.

However, that is not true, according to Lightning Safety Specialist John Jensenius of the NWS. NOAA researchers say that lightning is not attracted to people carrying cellphones.

"Cell phones, small metal items, jewelry, etc., do not attract lightning. Nothing attracts lightning. Lightning tends to strike taller objects," Jensenius said. "People are struck because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. The wrong place is anywhere outside. The wrong time is anytime a thunderstorm is nearby."

Cyclone Roanu, the first of the season in the Bay of Bengal caused devastating flooding and mudslides in Sri Lanka. At least 43 people were killed and another 300,000 displaced, according to the Sri Lankan Red Cross. The storm has also delivered intense rainfall to parts of India, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

"Rainfall has surpassed 300 mm (12 inches) across parts of Sri Lanka, including the capital city of Colombo," AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister said.

In addition to the flooding, sweltering heat also invaded India. The city of Phalodi was the hot spot on Thursday, reaching 51 C (124 F), an all-time record high for any month in the country.

Several AccuWeather meteorologists and staff writers contributed content to this article.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook