World weather news
World weather news, December 2000
- The lower 48 states (USA) had the second coldest
November on record (since 1895), mostly due to the cold in the West.
For instance, Denver's mean temperature of 28.9F was 8.7F below normal,
and was only surpassed back in 1880. See here for more figures.
- Reported on the radio this morning, New Zealand experienced the coolest
November for 50 years. This was attributed to the number of south
westerly weather systems passing over the country.
It was colder then usual in central and eastern areas of the North
Island and drier and more sunny in the north and west of the South
- Floods have killed at least 14 people and left
thousands homeless in Indonesia's North Sulawesi province. Days of monsoon rains caused the city's three rivers to
burst their banks late on Thursday. Flooding and landslides have killed at least 200
people in Indonesia in the last month. Environmentalists say widespread
deforestation - the result of timber cutting by logging operations and
villagers looking for firewood - has been a contributing factor in the
- A river swollen by heavy rains
overflowed its banks near the gold fields of northwestern Tanzania,
killing at least 26 people and injuring 17 others. More than two hours of heavy rainfall on Friday caused
the Mirongo River to swell on the outskirts of the Lake Victoria port of
Mwanza. It was the first time in
memory that such heavy flooding hit the region, which is the East
African nation's breadbasket and center of gold mining activities.
- Floods subsided in much of the central and
southern Philippines as tropical storm Rumbia moved away from the
country, but the storm left at least 12 people dead and seven missing
- Early snow storms in Mongolia
have killed almost 16,000 head of livestock and thousands of families are
migrating to save herds from another devastating winter, the State
- The 2001 Atlantic
hurricane season will be quieter after
six years of record activity, said
hurricane forecaster William Gray
Thursday. Gray and his team of
forecasters expect nine named storms,
five hurricanes and two major
hurricanes in 2001. Between 1950 and
1990, the Atlantic Basin, which
includes the North Atlantic, Caribbean
Sea and Gulf of Mexico, averaged 9.3
named storms, 5.8 hurricanes and 2.2
major hurricanes per year.
- Cyclone Sam
was upgraded to a category five
severe tropical cyclone early on Friday -
the top of a five-point scale - as
it moved closer to Australia.
At 4 a.m. WST (2000 GMT on the 7th) Sam was
located 93 miles west of
Broome, Western Australia
- A trough crossing Belgium on Sunday afternoon gave heavy showers with thunder in
many places and hail in some. Alsemberg near Brussels reported 1 cm diameter
hailstones. Gusts recorded included 70kn at Liège-Bierset.
In St Gérard near Namur one person was killed and another injured when they were
hit by roof tiles blown off by the wind.
In Wortegem-Petegem in East Flanders, the roofs of 3 houses were badly damaged.
In various other places the fire brigade were called to deal with blown down
trees, snapped electric cables and damaged roofs and chimneys. In Puurs near
Antwerp several cars were damaged when part of the roof of a block of flats blew
on to them.
Around 14.00 the village of Houdain south of Lille in Northern France suffered
what might have been a small tornado. A number of house roofs were severely
damaged and a man was hurt by debris.
Storms affected Germany later in the evening. In Trier roofs were blown off
stalls in the Christmas market - 5 people were hurt by flying debris. Nuremberg
Airport registered wind force 10 and around 40 calls were made to the fire brigade
there to deal with wind damage.
- Cold air from Canada, combined with a storm system that probably
was born near the Rockies, created ice and snow that coated much of
Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana (USA).
The cold reached south to Texas and as far west as California,
Washington and Oregon.
By midday, United Airlines had cancelled 364 of its 434 planned
departures from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and 334 of its
434 planned arrivals. O'Hare is United's biggest hub
- The monsoon trough, extending NE from ex-TC Sam across the Gulf of Carpentaria (Australia),
continues to produce isolated heavy falls. Abington Downs, near Georgetown, southeast
of the Gulf, recorded 136.6mm to 9am. Over 400mm has fallen to the south and east of the
Gulf in the past week, with river systems, including the Gregory, in flood. Two people
were airlifted from their home near Lawn Hill National Park today as floodwaters rose.
- A group of up to 163 illegal immigrants feared drowned while trying to reach Australia from Indonesia likely sailed into a massive cyclone, Australia's immigration minister said.
Australia has said the 163 immigrants, probably from the Middle East,
were thought to have died after leaving Indonesia late last week in two
boats for Ashmore Islands, an outcrop of reefs about 600 km (370 miles)
off Australia's remote northwest.
The two boats -- one carrying 87 people and another with 80 aboard --
left while Tropical Cyclone Sam was building in intensity off Australia's
northwest near the Timor Sea. Four survivors were picked up by a
- Residents from the Plains to the Northeast (USA) coped with power outages
and treacherous travel as a winter storm that rampaged
across the nation moved out to sea. Nearly 500,000 homes and
businesses in Arkansas and Texas alone were without electricity after
Wednesday's ice storms caused power lines to fall. Slick roads and
heavy snowfall caused at least 11 traffic deaths from Texas to Indiana.
- One person was seriously injured and
others were feared buried under rubble Thursday after a portion of a
snow-covered roof collapsed in a suburban shopping mall in Sarnia, Ontario (Canada).
Much of central and eastern Canada have been under a blanket of snow
since Monday, with two winter storms dumping 40 to 50 centimeters (16
to 20 inches) of snow over the region.
- Winds gusting up to 90
mph left at least 100,000 homes and
businesses without electricity
in western Washington State (USA) as snow
snarled traffic in other parts of the
state. One death was reported on
- Freezing rain affected much of
Arkansas (USA) today, closing more than
100 schools throughout the state.
- Tornadoes killed 12 and injured over 50 when they hit Tuscaloosa and other parts of Alabama (USA).
- Thousands of people waited for
the electricity to be turned back on
today as the latest in a series of
storms blew blinding snow and
bitingly cold air across the USA. Police urged travellers to
stay off the roads in parts of the
northern Plains as blowing snow
cut visibility to near zero.
Highways had been shut down in
parts of Wyoming, cutting off
access to one town, and winds
gusting to 41 mph have produced
wind chills as low 47 degrees below zero at Fergus Falls, Minn.
- Floods and mudslides triggered by two days of
heavy rain killed 13 people and drove more than 2,000 from their homes
in southeastern Brazil, civil defense officials said Tuesday. Although the
torrential weekend rains that pounded the states of Espirito Santo,
Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo have subsided, some cities and towns
remained isolated because of damaged bridges and flooded highways.
- Mudslides caused by heavy rains in southern
Brazil killed three people and blocked roads. Two toddlers and an unidentified third person
were buried in collapsed homes Sunday night in the city of Alto Feliz,
said Ricardo Andre Lanius, a highway patrol officer in Rio Grande do
Sul state. He said heavy seasonal rains caused flooding in the northern
part of the state and washed out parts of a major state highway near
Porto Alegre, some 700 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro.
- Workers cleared rocks and branches from Havana's major
thoroughfares today after heavy weekend rain killed two people and
damaged 135 homes. The deluge - an average of 6.9 inches - took its
toll on Havana's older neighbourhoods, collapsing 25 dilapidated
buildings. Local administrator
- Exceptional extremes in temperature continued today, with both minimum and maximum temperatures 10C to 15C above and below normal
reported. It was an unusually cold start to the day in southeastern Australia as the cold air that has been sweeping Tasmania over the past few
days made its presence felt. Canberra recorded its coldest summer morning since 1987 when the thermometer dropped to 3C, while Omeo, across
the border in Victoria, recorded -1.2C, 9.5C below normal, and Scamander on Tasmania's east coast recorded 3.8C, its lowest December minimum in a 17
year record. Meanwhile, towns in southwestern WA had a hot night with temperatures not dropping below the mid-20s, around 11 or 12C above
average. Today, cloud again kept much of Central Queensland 10 to 15 below, while Western Australia's heatwave moved east somewhat,
giving Albany Airport a top temperature of 40.9C, only 2C shy of its December record, and towns in the Great Southern tops of around 40C.
- Nearly a week after
a Christmas ice storm devastated the
southern Plains (USA), tens of thousands of
homes and businesses in Arkansas,
Oklahoma and Texas remain without
power. About 135,000 homes and
businesses in the state remained in
the dark. Some communities
have also been without water and
sewer service for days. In Oklahoma, about 104,000 people remained
without power, and some areas weren't expected to get service restored
for five to 10 days.
- A rare snowfall up to 4 inches deep made roadways slick and sent
numerous cars and trucks spinning off the road throughout northern
Louisiana on New Year's Eve. It was the largest accumulation in the
state in 15 years, as temperatures dipped down into the 20s overnight.
By nightfall, Interstate 49 and the eastbound lanes of Interstate 220 were
closed. Traffic was at a standstill along state Highway 3 after two
18-wheelers collided and three others slid off the roadway. I-20
between Ruston and Monroe was also clogged.
- At east one runway is open in each
of the New York area's airport
as the region
begins cleaning up from a record
snowstorm. As much as 29 inches of
snow plastered New York, New
Jersey and other parts of the
Northeast USA on Saturday, cancelling
hundreds of flights and slowing
motorists in and out of some of the
nation's major cities to a crawl. New
York's Central Park recorded 12
inches of snow, a record for Dec. 30.
World weather news, November 2000
- A tornado hit the North Dakota capital city
of Bismarck Wednesday afternoon. More
than 40 homes were damaged and shoppers
at the city's largest shopping mall had to
It was one of several twisters reported in
North Dakota. It was the first
time a tornado had struck the state in
November since official record-keeping
began in 1916.
- Typhoon Xangsane whirled away from Taiwan and closer to southern Japan, leaving 54 dead and 32 missing in the island's worst flooding in three decades. The storm
also killed 40 people and left 66 others missing in
the Philippines last week. It caused the worst floods in Taiwan for 30 years.
- As a
blizzard dumped snow across the
Northern Plains (USA), a tour bus carrying
dozens of Canadian tourists flipped over in southwestern North Dakota
and landed upside down.
Many of the 56 people aboard the bus Thursday suffered broken bones
and a few were flown to Bismarck with more serious injuries.
The central and northern Black Hills area of South Dakota was hit the
hardest, while Lead, South Dakota, set a single-day accumulation record,
with 31.9 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
- Heavy rain in Hawaii. The rains were
the heaviest and most persistent across the eastern half (windward side) of
Hawaii. Hilo reported 27.24 inches of rain in a 24-hour period from approximately 1 PM HST on November 1st, 2000. This broke the previous 24 hour rainfall record of 22.30 inches set on
February 19th and 20th in 1979. Deep tropical moisture was pulled northward over parts of
the Hawaiian Islands fueling strong convection and flooding rains. The rainfall from the
thunderstorms flooded numerous homes, forcing dozens of families to evacuate. In addition,
several landslides were reported on Hawaii Belt Highway, and schools and most businesses
Kapapala Ranch on the island of Hawaii reported 27.49 inches of rain for a 24 hour period
ending at 2AM HST on November 3rd, 2000.
The Hawaiian state 24 hour rainfall record is 38.00 inches at Kilauea Plantation on the island of
Kauai and occurred on Jan 24-25, 1956.
- Typhoon Bebinca affected
the northern Philippines on Friday, killing
at least 26 people, triggering landslides and flooding
many areas. Packing
winds of up to 95 mph when it hit, the storm was
about 260 miles west-northwest of Manila midday
Saturday, moving toward southern China at 12 mph
with top winds of 65 mph. Bebinca is expected to re-gain strength as it
moves across the South China Sea. Typhoon Bebinca arrived a week
after Typhoon Xangsane swept through the northern
Philippines and left 54 people dead, 249 injured and 66 missing.
- Heavy rains and thunderstorms associated with the slow passage of a cold front and
upper-level low pressure system through Texas state was responsible for flooding that
claimed six lives.
- Alpes-Maritimes in SE France had hours of heavy rain and strong winds - leading to
flooding and landslips. Gusts of 85-95 km/hr in Nice.
In Nice a 60 year-old man was killed by a landslip. The seaward side of the
Promenade des Anglais seafront road was closed to traffic on Monday evening
because of shingle blown from the beach. Nice Airport was also closed for a
A 34 year-old man was killed by a mudslide in the town of Gap as he was helping a
driver whose car had got stuck in the mud.
Rainfall totals in the 24 hrs to 19.00 local time on Monday - Ajaccio on Corsica
46 mm, Bordeaux 49 mm, Marseille 54 mm, Nice 111 mm, Cannes 116 mm.
Vence in the hills above Nice had 143 mm between 18.00 local time on Sunday and
12.00 on Monday - including 98 mm between 04.00 and 10.00.
Amateur site at Besse-sur-Issole NE of Toulon had 93 mm between 22.00 on Sunday
and 12.00 on Monday.
Cap Ferret near Arcachon reported 83 km/hr gusting 130 km/hr and
Pointe du Raz in Brittany 91 km/hr gusting 120 km/hr.
Earlier in the day mean winds/gusts reported included Ouessant 83/111 km/hr, Ile
d'Oléron 60/110 km/hr, Belle Ile 70/120 km/hr and Ile d'Yeu 70/120 km/hr.
- On Sunday night Switzerland was swept by violent föhn winds - electric poles and
trees were blown down and some houses suffered damaged roofs. Gusts of 200 km/hr
were reported on the highest peaks.
- Rain-triggered landslides killed at least 52
people. As many as 14 villages in Central Java
province were hit on Sunday after two days of heavy monsoon rain. In the
village of Pacekelen, 14 people were buried alive. Ten are still missing.
Police and soldiers are working to find survivors. Last week, landslides
killed 36 people in the same region, about 280 miles from Jakarta.
- In northern Italy storms caused
floods and landslides, forcing scores
of people to evacuate their homes.
Three people, including an elderly man who drowned in his home, died
on Monday in Liguria, the area around Genoa which has been hit hard
by recent bad weather. Another man died in Val D'Aosta.
In the centre-southern Abruzzo region, a man was missing after his
fishing boat went down in a storm off the coast of Vasto, in the Adriatic
Sea. Another man aboard has been rescued.
24-hour rainfall totals included - Turin 36 mm, Rivolto 43 mm, Piacenza 52 mm,
Genoa 94 mm, and in the Giovi Pass 130 mm. Locarno in Switzerland had 91 mm.
- Powerful thunderstorms moved across Alabama overnight and spread into
Georgia, soaking Atlanta's morning rush hour.
The storm system battered parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on
Wednesday and generated at least thirty-two tornado warnings. A warning
means that a tornado either has been sighted or has been indicated on radar.
- Snow moved into the Dallas-Fort Worth (USA) area overnight and iced roads and
bridges. The snow was heaviest in western portions of the state. The city of Sweetwater
reported 10 inches of snow. Five inches of snow fell on San Angelo, which tied
the city's record date for the earliest snowfall.
thunderstorms battered the Houston (Texas, USA) area Sunday night.
High winds tore the roofs off apartment buildings, knocked down trees and left
thousands of people without electricity.
Five people received minor injuries, when the winds ripped the roofs off five
apartment buildings in south Houston.
A wind gust of about 78 mph was recorded at Houston's Hobby International
At one point, 23,000 customers were without
power in Harris, Fort Bend and Wharton
counties. The storm also generated golf-ball sized
hail in some areas.
- The Leonid meteor shower is expected next
weekend and once again, NASA will offer a
stratospheric view of the annual show.
As many as 100 shooting stars per hour could streak across the sky on Nov.17 and
18, as the earth passes through debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle.
The best viewing is expected from the eastern United States, Canada, Africa and
Europe. However, weather conditions, city lights and uncertain meteor forecasts
can disappoint Leonid fans, so the best view may be on your computer screen.
NASA plans to launch a camera-equipped weather balloon 100,000 feet above the
earth and then offer live pictures of the meteor shower on the web at
The balloon is scheduled for launch early Saturday morning, Nov.18 and should
reach maximum altitude during the last of three meteor stream encounters.
- The native people of the Canadian Arctic are seeing
something unknown in their oral history - thunder and lightning.
Electric storms in the upper Arctic are among the evidence of climate
change being reported in a new study by the International Institute for
Sustainable Development, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The study lists various
environmental changes, including melting permafrost and thinning ice.
And some more subtle changes, such as the appearance of robins and
barn swallows that allegedly weren't previously seen so far north.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared a
state of emergency in 10 states after days of incessant
heavy rains left at least three people dead and 2,400 homeless in the
northern coast. The rains have raised fears of a recurrence of last year's
massive floods and mudslides that killed at least 15,000 people, left tens
of thousands homeless and wiped out entire towns in the northern
coastal state of Vargas. The capital city of Caracas, Vargas and eight
other states on the northern coast and to the west were declared in a
state of emergency. Two people died after
mudslides buried their homes and one man drowned after he was swept
away by an overflowing river. Rivers swelled, streets became streams
and mudslides buried hundreds of shanty homes this week as rains
poured down on the northern coast and west of the country.
- Yet more heavy falls of rain in parts of SE France and Northern Italy.
Rainfall totals in the 24 hrs ending 0600 GMT on Friday included
Nice 40 mm, Le Luc 53 mm, Hyères 55 mm, Cap Cépetn 93 mm and Locarno 68 mm.
Near gale force N-NW mistral in Marseille on Friday afternoon and evening with
gusts to 91 km/hr. Toulon and St Tropez had gusts to 110 km/hr; Cap Béar near
Collioure reported 125 km/hr. 24-hour rainfall totals ending 1800 GMT on Friday included Piacenza 47 mm, Turin 49 mm, Genoa 84 mm. Oran on the Algerian coast had 45 mm in the 24 hrs ending 0600 GMT on Saturday.
- Two avalanches swept away groups of skiers at
separate resorts in the western province of Tyrol, killing four
people. The first avalanche roared down a
mountain at the ski resort of Obergurgl, 215 miles west of Vienna,
killing three German skiers. The search using helicopters and dogs was
concentrated on the Rosskar ski area, where witnesses said skiers had
ventured onto runs that had been closed due to avalanche warnings. A
second avalanche struck hours later in Goelbner, another tiny Tyrolean
resort 260 miles southwest of Vienna. It swept away a group of seven
skiers, killing an Austrian man.
- Torrential rain sweeping across parts of western
and central Greece flooded thousands of homes and left
motorists stranded, from Athens to the holiday island of Corfu. Many districts in Athens were blacked out for several
hours, as rain water flooded central roads and buildings in the capital.
One woman was killed when her car was hit by falling rocks on a
southbound Athens highway. In Corfu,
fierce gales damaged homes, lifting the roofs off many properties.
- At least 11,000 people have been forced to
leave their homes in Sri Lanka's northeast after floods swept through
three cities. The displaced people
were rushing to safer areas from Batticaloa, Ampara and Polonnaruwah
towns and taking refuge in schools, hospitals and public buildings, the
broadcast said. Heavy rains lashed the region, damaging huts, harming
crops, lagoon fish and prawn yields.
- Flooding triggered by torrential downpours
derailed a train, caused rivers to overflow their banks and submerged
rice fields in central Vietnam. At least 31 people
were killed. An average of 12 inches of rain fell on nine coastal
provinces from Thursday to Sunday, causing the region's rivers to
train and three carriages derailed near the resort city of Nha
Trang when a culvert was washed away Friday night, killing the
engineer and injuring his assistant.
- Fueled by two weeks of heavy rain, floodwaters
cut off villages and destroyed crops Monday in two eastern Australian
states. About 50 homes in the village of Woolomin, about 150 miles
north of Sydney, were evacuated as the Peel River burst its banks. The
swollen river also threatened the nearby provincial town of Tamworth.
At least 12 rivers in northern New South Wales state were reported to
be flooding. To the north in Queensland state, damage in the town of
Mackay was being assessed after torrential rain forced the evacuation of
homes and damaged fields of sugar cane. Flood warnings also were in
force for rivers across eastern Queensland.
- Rising floodwaters disrupted rail and road travel in western
Sweden. A graveyard in the town of Arvika was reportedly submerged, as rivers
flowing south from the Norweigen Mountains, through western Sweden, reached record levels.
Sweden's largest lake, Vanern is reportedly so full that the state controlled utility Vattenfall has been
forced to release an unprecedented 1,000 cubic metres of water per second in to the Gota Canal
system leading towards Gothenburg.
- All schools in Vladivostok were closed
as snowstorms raged in the area for more than 24 hours. Many streets were reportedly under
1.5m of snow.
- Rescue workers pulled out the bodies of
four people who died when a mudslide hit their house in the Tuscan
countryside. One other person was missing and presumed dead. The mudslide hit the village of Vinchiana,
located about 6 miles north of Lucca, on Monday. Heavy rains have
caused floods in northern and central Italy, forcing scores of people to
evacuate their homes.
- Buffalo (New York) was moving again as
tow truck drivers, police officers and snow plows
worked through the night to clear roads
blanketed by a 25-inch snowstorm. Stuck schoolchildren were
reunited with their parents, and a 65-mile section
of the New York State Thruway reopened on
Wednesday morning. The monthly total as of 7 AM LST on the 21st was 42.20
inches, which is a new monthly November record
- A storm that has been raging
since the weekend has killed nine
people in Mozambique.
Five of those killed in the recent rains were in the central province of
Zambezia and four were in the northern province of Nampula.
- 1,800 individuals remained
in makeshift shelters in Canada de Gomez after a severe storm hit the city Wednesday night and
early Thursday causing a river bordering the city to overflow. Two deaths have been reported, and
more than 1,000 homes were damaged as 150mm of rain fell on the city in a few hou
- An elderly couple died when their home was
swept away in a mudslide on the Italian Riviera and hundreds
of people were evacuated after fresh torrential rains hit the
The town of Imperia and villages in the mountainous hinterland
were isolated by landslides and mudslides that also disrupted rail
traffic on Thursday and Friday morning on the coastal line between
Genoa and the French border, and closed down roads.
- Torrential rain and strong winds wreaked havoc in
Paphos (Cyprus). A total of 40-43mm of rainfall accumulated in Paphos as property was
damaged and power was disrupted. However, the highest rainfall total recorded was 96mm in Athalassa.
- Bad weather downed power lines, forcing two more Ukrainian nuclear
reactors to shut down and leaving millions of people without electricity.
Driving rain, snow, ice and heavy winds have swept across Ukraine
since the weekend, causing widespread power failures. Nuclear plants
provide 50% of Ukraine electricity. Half of its 14 reactors were down
- Cyclone 03B uprooted hundreds of trees and
demolished mud huts on India's southern coast, killing six people and
injuring 12. The storm's 75 mph winds struck
the mainland from the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday at Cuddalore, a
port town in Tamil Nadu state/
The cyclone weakened and later dissipated after it hit the coastline.
- The six-month Atlantic hurricane season
officially ends today with a tally of 14 named
storms, of which eight became hurricanes and
three reached major hurricane status with
steady winds faster than 110 mph. Despite the
busier-than-normal season, the USA escaped without a hurricane
strike. The last time that happened was in 1994.
- A late-season tropical storm brought heavy
rain, high waves and flooding to parts of the southern Philippines,
forcing residents to flee coastal villages. The storm affected
Siargao island, a popular surfing spot 470 miles southeast of Manila.
Nine towns were flooded in northern Mindanao, forcing 1,640 people to
flee their homes by rising floodwaters and big waves that threatened
coastal villages in the region. Elsewhere, more than 1,500 passengers
waiting for ferry rides from the main island of Luzon to central
Philippine islands were stranded after authorities halted ferry services.
World weather news, October 2000
- Finland was at least very close to new October record yesterday.
Temperatures of 18-19C were reported. The absolute October
temperature record for whole Finland is 19.4C (Helsinki-Malmi
- Hurricane Keith battered the
Yucatan Peninsula and Belize with
torrential rain, damaging winds and
storm surge while remaining
nearly stationary off the coast. Since
encountering land on Sunday, Keith has
slowly weakened with top steady
winds decreasing to 75 mph.
Deadly flash floods and mudslides are
possible in the Yucatan Peninsula and
Belize in addition to Honduras and
eastern Mexico where up to 20 inches
rain are possible. Already more than 14 inches of rain has been reported
at the Belize Airport according to a statement issued by the National
Hurricane Center in Miami.
- The death toll from devastating floods in western Bangladesh
exceeded 100 as grim reports poured in Monday of tens of thousands of marooned
people waiting to be rescued.
There were 30 flood-related deaths in the worst-hit
Jhenaidah and Chuadanga areas during nearly two weeks of unprecedented floods in
10 western districts bordering India.
Reports of deaths from boats capsizing, snakebites and a lack of medical
attention were pouring in from the flooded areas, where hundreds of unfed and
marooned people were being exposed to water-borne diseases.
- Hurricane Keith continues to batter most of Central
America including Belize where it appears to have
caused its most serious damage.
The devastating storm toppled wooden houses and
ripped the roofs off hotels in Belize.
Reports from Nicaragua say ten people have been killed
by flooding caused by a hurricane affecting much of
The authorities said most of the victims drowned as they
tried to cross swollen rivers.
In neighbouring Guatemala, a young girl was also
- The pounding rains from a tropical storm flooded homes and
streets and forced schools and businesses in Florida to shut down early. Thousands of
residents were left without power.
The storm, which started as a disturbed weather system over Cuba, dumped
up to 11.5 inches of rain in some parts of Miami-Dade County over a 15-hour
Numerous flights were cancelled at Miami International Airport.
According to National Weather Service meteorologist Joel Rothfuss, the
deluge was comparable to Hurricane Irene, which last October dumped up
to 18 inches of rain on south Florida, causing millions of dollars in damage.
- As the death toll mounted along Vietnam's
deluged Mekong Delta, officials said an unexpected flash
flood killed at least 40 people in a remote mountain village of Lai Chauin the
Lai Chau has been hit by flash floods in recent years.
The flood, which occurred earlier in the
week, destroyed several houses, injured 17
people and caused subsequent landslides.
Elsewhere in Asia, flooding has claimed more than 1,000 lives and left
more than 20 million people homeless in Bangladesh and India.
Meanwhile, scores of others have been killed or marooned by flooding
in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Many of the victims have been
afflicted with diseases - including scabies, typhoid and dysentery.
The floods have destroyed rice fields in 29 of Laos' districts, most of
which would have been harvested later this year.
Vietnamese officials said that two new threats
faced the nation's flood victims -
the spread of cholera and
crocodiles swimming down river from Cambodia.
- The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has stretched over a
populated city for the first time, after ballooning to a new record
size, New Zealand scientists said.
Citing data from the US space agency Nasa, atmospheric research
scientist Stephen Wood said the hole covered 11.4 million square
miles an area more than three times the size of the United
For two days, September 9-10, the hole extended over the southern
Chile city of Punta Arenas, exposing residents to very high levels of
ultra violet radiation.
Last month, scientists expressed surprise when NASA data from
September 3 showed the hole at just under 11 million square miles
the biggest it had ever been.
Record-low temperatures in the stratosphere are believed to have
helped the expansion of the ozone hole during the southern
hemisphere's spring season.
- President Bill Clinton admitted he felt ``a little jinxed'' when he
became a victim of the torrential downpours that have flooded
First his bomb proof stretched limousine refused to start after he
had attended a rally in Jacksonville.
A secret service agent attempted to breath life into the engine
with jump leads and when that failed Clinton used a back-up car.
The president too was soaked by the non stop rainfall and then
missed attending a Democratic fund raiser when Air Force One, the
presidential jumbo jet, was grounded in Florida by the weather.
Up to 18 inches of rain has fallen in Florida this week.
Florida's record for the greatest amount of rainfall in a 24 hour
period is 38.7 inches which fell on Yankeetown in 1950.
- Weather related disasters should be a warning sign to the world's
leaders that climate change threatens the livelihoods of millions of
people, says a report issued today by the Friends of the Earth
Severe events have included storms in Taiwan, Brazil and Canada,
and flooding in Bangladesh, Japan, Vietnam and India.
There have also been fires in the US, Italy and the Balkans, and
droughts in Burundi, Croatia, Kenya and Iran.
The environmental group said that no individual disaster could be
directly blamed on man-made climate change.
But scientists believe that the number of such events will rise as
the effects of climate change are felt.
- The worst flood in the Cambodia's history
has caused \$79 million in damage. The
flood has affected more than 2.7 million people and nearly half of which
are in urgent need of food, housing and medicine. In all, 252 people died
in the flooding. 430 miles of national roads and bridges, and
925 miles of rural roads were destroyed or seriously damaged.
More than 741,000 acres of rice paddies were
destroyed. The Mekong River has been receding gradually for a week
but most parts of southeastern Cambodia remain submerged.
- Clear skies under a high pressure system caused several record low October temperatures this morning in the southeast of Australia, with late
frosts causing concern over frost damage to crops in Victoria's northwest. Nhill recorded a minimum of -2.0,C equal to its previous lowest
October minimum in 38 years of computerised records. This followed a minimum of -1.6C on Monday morning. Laverton Airport, between
Melbourne and Geelong, had its coldest October morning in 57 years with a minimum of zero. Local agronomists fear that some crops may have
suffered damage. Field peas in the Hopetoun area of western Victoria appear the worst affected with damage rates between 15 and 75%. In South
Australia, Parafield, north of Adelaide, broke a 38 year record with a minimum on 1.6C while Swan Island, off the northeastern coast of Tasmania,
recorded a record low of 4.3C. Widespread light snow was reported across Tasmania overnight, with falls as low as Maydena in the upper Derwent
Valley, and at Lake Leake in the northeastern highlands.
- A ferocious storm created havoc in Canterbury (New Zealand) today as many
residents faced evacuation, thousands experienced power cuts,
and road closures cut off access to outlying Banks Peninsula
Many Christchurch roads and all city parks were also
closed because of danger from trees toppling in the saturated
Residents in Eketahuna were being advised to boil drinking water
until Monday after the area's worst floods in 50 years.
- Heavy rains in southern Brazil swept away
houses and flooded cities, killing at least six people and driving more
than 5,000 from their homes, civil defense officials said Saturday. The
rain, which began last Wednesday, lashed 33 cities and rural towns in
Rio Grande do Sul state. The government and private groups distributed food and
supplies to victims. Although the rain stopped Saturday and flood
waters began to recede, weather forecasts predicted more rain in the
area over the weekend.
- Some high rainfall totals in SE France on Friday night and Saturday.
24 hrs to 18.00 GMT on Saturday - Marseille 50 mm, Bastia on Corsica 57 mm,
Montelimar 88 mm.
Montelimar already had 30 mm in the previous 12 hrs - total thus 118 mm in 36
24 hrs to 06.00 GMT on Saturday - Le Puy 46 mm, Orange 88 mm.
12 hrs to 06.00 GMT on Saturday - Carpentras 70 mm, Bec de l'Aigle 110 mm.
At Nice and Antibes warm air from the south caused a rise in temperature from 19°C
at 22.00 on Friday evening to 22°C at midnight.
- Flash flooding has claimed the lives of 47 people in
Vietnam in the past 10 days. Storms this past
weekend have left villages in Cambodia knee-deep in water. Since July,
the death toll in Vietnam from massive flooding has risen to 463 as a
result of tropical storms and flash floods. Floods claimed 31 lives in
central Vietnam, where the rains have since stopped and waters have
dropped to near normal levels, officials said. Sixteen more died in four
southern coastal provinces.
- 11 individuals died on Monday as
temperatures in northern Kyrgyzstan fell below zero. According to meteorologists a cold cyclone
from Siberia and Kazakhstan has been hitting the northland and capital city Bishkek with heavy
snowfall. On Monday, the highest temperature was just 2 degrees Celsius during the day. The average temperature in the country in October is
- Rescuers were resuming their searches across Switzerland and Italy
today for at least 21 people missing after a weekend of mudslides and
Seven people were missing in the Val D'Aosta region of Italy, one
of the hardest hit by the rains, as a state of emergency was declared
in the worst-hit areas. The death toll has now reached 10.
In Switzerland, rescuers with sniffer dogs combed the mountain
village of Gondo, a third of which was destroyed in a landslide on
Saturday. Twelve people are missing, feared dead.
In the Italian city of Turin, the Dora Baltea river burst its banks
overnight, flooding several of the city's main streets with about 20
inches of water and mud. At least 250 people were evacuated from
The Caselle airport was also shut down, while the road connecting
Piedmont and Lombardy was cut off.
The Rhone river receded slightly as the rain eased today. But much
of the Swiss state was still cut off by road, and rail links were
expected to remain closed for several days.
On the other side of the Alps, Lake Maggiore was at its highest
level in a century.
- Nearly 15,000 people were evacuated
in the northern Italian plains
Tuesday as two raging rivers -
the Po, Italy's longest river, and
the Ticino that feeds into it
from the Alps - took aim on
- Floods in southwest Bangladesh
inundated new areas, damaging or
destroying homes in nearly two
"New areas are being flooded with
water released from other areas
after the army had cut through
dykes and roads," said Bhabesh Chanda, a local administrator in
worst-hit Satkhira district.
The floods, which struck usually dry
southwest in the last week of September,
have killed more than 130 people, left over
two million homeless and caused huge losses
to the impoverished nation's economy
- Late-season Hurricane Michael slammed
into southern Newfoundland late Thursday, knocking down power
lines, disrupting ferry service and damaging homes. The hurricane
evolved into an extratropical storm and weakened as it moved inland.
Forecasters said it was packing winds of 85 mph late Thursday, down
from almost 100 mph - Category 2 hurricane intensity -earlier in the
day when it was still over the Atlantic. On land, winds blew at a
measured 80 mph, forecasters said, stripping siding from homes in Seal
Cove. Nearby, the village of McCallum bore the brunt of the storm. No
injuries have been reported so far. Michael was the 13th named storm of
this year's Atlantic hurricane season; eight have been hurricanes. The average year has 10
named storms and six hurricanes.
- The flood death
toll in Italy and Switzerland rose to 37
Saturday after search teams found
another body. Several people are still
missing and at least 23,000 people are
still unable to return to their homes. On
Saturday, the water level of the Po was reported to be dropping by
about two inches an hour. In Comacchio, where the Po empties into the
Adriatic, animal carcasses, tree trunks, and other flood debris clogged
the port, hindering navigation. Damage to roads, bridges and tunnels
have snarled traffic in much of the affected region. In some areas,
however, life was slowly returning to normal.
- Thick fog, strong winds
and rain threatened to curtail operations to
recover the bodies of 118 sailors inside the sunken
Russian nuclear submarine Kursk. A cold front
was forecast for late Sunday, raising the
possibility of gale force winds in the Barents Sea
that could complicate the work of divers in the
- Thunderstorms continued to soak West Texas and eastern New
Mexico during the evening, after Sunday thunderstorms reportedly
produced flooding and at least one tornado.
Parts of Edwards and Real counties flooded after as much as six and a
half inches of rain fell on Monday.
Storms stretching across the Texas Panhandle Monday afternoon
produced a tornado near the eastern edge of Amarillo. No injuries
workers searched for several people
believed to be missing after their
trailers were swept away by fierce
flooding in two western Arizona (USA) towns.
Hundreds of people were forced to
evacuate the neighbouring towns of
Wenden and Salome after a little more
than an inch of rain triggered major
flooding on Sunday. Witnesses saw at
least two people carried away in a torrent
- At least five people have been killed and three are
missing in floods that have been sweeping through
eastern Spain since the weekend.
Rescuers have been using helicopters and mechanical
diggers to reach people trapped near the River Ebro in
Catalonia, one of the regions worst affected by storms
and torrential rain.
Towns and villages along Spain's Mediterranean
seaboard have been inundated. Further down the coast,
in Valencia and Murcia, dozens of roads and railway
lines have been cut.
In all, states of emergency have been declared in 11
provinces, with Zaragoza, Teruel and Albacete also
In Valencia 149 mm fell in the 24 hrs to 1800GMT on
Tuesday, including 109 mm overnight. Valencia has had 227 mm between Sunday
morning and Tuesday evening.
- Naval commandos rescued trapped families from their
balconies as rain-driven floods swept across the Tel Aviv
area, temporarily closing the city's main highway and driving hundreds
of residents from their homes. A little more than 3
inches fell in 24 hours. Almost 600 people in the Tel Aviv area had to be
evacuated. The Ayalon
Freeway, Tel Aviv's main traffic artery, was blocked for hours on its
northbound lanes after the rain swept tons of mud onto the road.
- The death toll in weekend rainstorms in Bangladesh was at least
28. At least 200
people were injured and more than 100 fishermen missing after strong
winds and heavy rains lashed the Bangladesh coast on Saturday.
- Tropical storm Xangsane whirled away from
the Philippines on Sunday, leaving at least 12 people dead and 25
missing in its wake. More than 26,600 people were evacuated from
flooded villages in southeastern portions of Luzon Island, the worst-hit
area. Most of those who died either drowned or were killed by falling
trees or collapsing walls. Among the missing were 19 fishermen who
had been out in eight motorboats off Borlongan on the eastern island of
The Met Office UK said the weather in
southern England was the worst for more than a decade,
recalling the storm of October 1987.
At least four people were
killed on wet and
windswept roads in
England and Wales, and a
Dutch ship's captain was
found dead after falling into
the hold of his vessel
There were four deaths in
France and one in Ireland,
most of them caused by
The Eurostar train service, linking London with Paris
and Brussels, was suspended until 1500 GMT on
Monday, and in France the speed of the TGV
high-speed trains was cut to half, as high winds brought
trees down across railway lines.
Air France cancelled 140 flights in total, 30 of them
long-haul, and British Airways cancelled 88 flights on
Monday morning alone.
Ferries between Denmark and Sweden were also
disrupted, and light traffic - motorcycles and cars with
trailers - were prevented from travelling on the new
Oresund bridge connecting the two countries.
Several towns on Norway's southern coast were flooded,
with abnormally high tides, driven by wind and rain,
flooding the centre of Kristiansand and Arendal.
As gale-force winds lashed the Atlantic coast of France,
an Italian cargo ship carrying toxic chemicals sent out
distress signals, and all 14 aboard were taken ashore by
In N Holland, 24-hour rainfall totals to 0600GMT on the 30th included West Terschelling 81.2 mm, Midsland 82 mm, Formerum 91.3 mm. The village of Oost-Vlieland on the island of Vlieland had 85.5 mm - giving a
total of 114 mm there between Friday and Monday morning.
Five passengers were slightly hurt when a train caught fire near Utrecht - probably as a result of wind damage to the overhead wiring.
- Rescue efforts were halted Tuesday evening on
Indonesia's main island as heavy rains continued to pound sites where
landslides killed at least 34 people. In the Central Java
province town of Cilacap, 21 bodies were found after seven
rain-triggered landslides early on Monday and nine people were missing
and feared dead.
- Worsening Drought in Southeast US: In the U.S., drought conditions have worsened across
the southeast, with many areas in moderate to extreme drought. Some locations, including the
Greenville-Spartanburg airport in South Carolina, have recorded no rainfall for the entire
month of October. The 2000 drought, affecting agricultural regions of the south and southeast
since spring, has caused well over $2 billion in losses. This includes significant losses to the
corn, cotton, and soybean crops.
If you have a snippet of weather news that you feel merits inclusion, then please feel free to email it to me.
Last updated 8 January 2000.