World weather news
World weather news, December 2002
- An unusual drought that began during the summer
of 2002 has left Scandinavians with soaring
electricity prices and possible power cuts. In
Finland, reservoir levels which dropped to 10-year
record lows resulted in a 10 percent increase in
- With only four hurricanes, the Atlantic storm
season that ended yesterday was the calmest in five years.
In all, the season produced a dozen tropical storms, two
more than average. The four hurricanes -- Gustav, Isidore, Kyle and
Lili -- were two less than average, and all developed in less than a
month, between Sept. 8 and Oct. 4.
Eight of the 12 cyclones came in September, setting a
monthly record, said Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the National
Hurricane Center in Miami.
- While the eastern U.S. experienced much colder
than normal temperatures on December 1, much of
Alaska was basking in above average warmth.
Many daily temperature records were set across
this region during the beginning of the month.
- Unseasonably warm temperatures exacerbated
severe drought conditions across Australia.
Maximum temperatures in Melbourne reached
35.6C on the 2nd, which is over 11C
above normal for the month of December.
- A large dust storm affected parts of Chad and Niger
around December 3, significantly reducing visibility.
- During December 4-5, an expansive shield of snow
and ice encompassed much of the eastern U.S., from
the lower Ohio Valley, southern Appalachians and
into the Northeast. Snow accumulations of 10-20 cm
(4-8 inches) were common along the northern edge
of the precipitation shield, while a significant
accrual of glaze occurred in the Carolinas. The
storm caused at least 17 fatalities, mostly from
- A day after Guam was raked by a
severe typhoon with wind gusts estimated at
more than 180 mph, the U.S. territory asked for a federal disaster
Pongsona had moved away from the island,
Guam still was being shaken by wind up to 70
No deaths were
reported, but the entire island was without
electricity, and water
and sewer systems
aren't expected to be
fully operational for
Tiyan, Guam recorded 500 mm of rain which set a new record for daily rainfall during the month of December.
- The Northern Mariana
Islands have suffered a major disaster in the wake of Super Typhoon Pongsona.
This is the worst typhoon the island has reportedly experienced.
Damage on Rota island would exceed five million US dollars, "an amount
beyond the capacity of the commonwealth government to provide."
of Rota's agricultural products and vegetation as well as 80 percent of
government facilities were reportedly destroyed.
- Mudslides triggered by
torrential rains slashed through Angra Dos Reis (Brazil), burying houses
and killing at least 34 people.
were driven from their homes by the torrent
of water and mud in Angra dos Reis, a city of
about 60,000 tucked between mountains and
the Atlantic Ocean, 100 miles west of Rio de
Janeiro. In 24 hours, the city got more than 5 inches of rain - nearly as much as the
average rainfall for two weeks
- Bitterly cold weather in northeastern Poland has
killed 66 people since October.
According to the police, most of the victims are people under the influence
of alcohol and the homeless.
In the northeastern town of Bialystok, the bodies of two homeless people
were found on Monday after the temperature dropped to below -21C.
In the eastern region of Lublin, a 45-year-old man who had drunk too much
alcohol, died of the cold after falling asleep near a country road.
- Two Russian naval vessels froze over and
sank in the southern Black Sea port of Novorosisk as a
cold wave continued to sweep the country.
The crews of the patrol boat and exploration craft were
evacuated safely before the ice, together with wind gusts of up to
180 km/h, caused the vessels to list and
Traffic in the major Russian oil port was paralyzed due
to the cold weather.
Local authorities have urged residents not venture outdoors,
where temperatures of -15C are as cold as -35C after the wind
chill is factored in.
The cold snap has also caused many water pipes in the city to
freeze and explode, and wreaked havoc with telephone lines.
Freezing temperatures have claimed 141 lives in the Russian
capital Moscow since the beginning of winter.
- Tokyo (Japan) got its earliest blanket of
snow in a decade, snarling air,
road and rail travel and causing accidents that
injured more than 200 people.
The Meteorological Agency recorded 0.4 inch of slush on the ground across
the city and said temperatures hovered just above freezing.
The last time Tokyo got snow this early was in December 1991, when about
the same amount fell.
Utsunomiya, a city north of Tokyo, got nearly seven inches of snow, the
most there for the month of December since 1912.
- A massive wave of mud, water and rocks triggered by days
of heavy rain swept through the packed bathing area near the village of
Pacet, 390 miles east of the Jakarta, Indonesia.
Huge boulders, broken tree trucks and thick mud were
hampered rescue efforts;
29 bodies had been recovered and that the
death toll was likely to rise.
- A shower of tiny fish rained down on the village of
Korona in the mountains of northern Greece, Greek television
reported, attributing the incident to a tornado.
Villagers discovered the unexpected catch on the banks of Lake Doirani,
which lies on the Greek border with the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia,
following a spell of rough weather.
- Thousands of homes
and businesses remained without power after the second mid-Atlatic ice
storm in a week pulled down tree limbs and
power lines in the eastern USA.
Freezing rain and
slush coated roads from Virginia north into
New Jersey and westward into parts of the
Secondary roads were
slippery across western Maryland, where ice
was up to a half-inch thick in places
- A woman drowned as her car was swept
away in a swollen river, and some 200 people had to be evacuated from their
homes as heavy storms hit parts of southern France.
Flooding caused by the storms was particularly bad in parts of the city of
Montpellier, where several streets were turned into torrents, and a campsite
had to be evacuated.
There was also heavy flooding in the medieval village of Sommieres, which
had only just been recovering from similar floods three months ago.
The woman who died was trying to ford a swollen river with her car in
Fabregues, a town near Montpellier.
- At least four people were killed and
several injured as sleet and snow caused traffic chaos across much
Worst hit were the southern state of Bavaria and Lower Saxony in the north
where numerous injuries were reported as pedestrians fell on slippery
pavements and many schools were closed for the day.
A 44-year-old man died near Fridolfing in Bavaria overnight after his car
hit a patch of black ice.
Elsewhere, more than 100 accidents were reported on Monday as weather
officials said the icy conditions would move slowly eastward throughout the
Thunderstorms preceding a strong cold front
pushed into the U.S. Mississippi Valley,
producing severe weather and tornadoes. Three
people were killed in Missouri and Arkansas with
more than 40 injuries.
- A storm that brought five straight days of rain and high winds to the
Pacific Coast eased up today, but more bad weather was on the way and
the danger of mudslides was high.
At its height, the storm left nearly 2 million
Californians without power.
At least 13 deaths were blamed on the wild weather
- six died in California, two people were killed in their bed by a falling tree
in Oregon and a snowboarder was killed by an avalanche at a Nevada ski
resort. The U.S. Forest Service also warned that avalanche danger remained high
above 6,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, a playground for thousands of
California skiers and where more than 9 feet of snow had fallen at some
- Many towns in country South Australia experienced a record number of days for
December when the maximum temperature was above 40C. The hot weather that has
arrived about a month earlier than normal has been caused by a slow-moving trough of low
pressure producing an east to north-easterly air stream over the state. And there is little respite on
Renmark yesterday set a December record with a four-day run of maximum temperatures above
40C - 40.9C, 43.5C, 41.7C and 41C. Whyalla also set a record for December with maximum
temperatures of 41.9C, 40.1C, 40.0C and 31C.
- Showers and thunderstorms brought flooding to parts of Sri Lanka. Flooding on
the island affected around 70,000 families, destroyed
about 5,000 mud huts, and caused 2 fatalities.
- Heavy rains on the 22nd prompted flooding in the mountain city of Teresopolis, located about 90km north of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). A mudslide was responsible for 9 deaths and 50 injuries.
- Heavy rain in France has caused a surge in the level of the River Seine in Paris, prompting a number of museums and hospitals to begin urgent preparations in case of serious floods. The authorities are reported to be keeping a nervous eye on the toes of the famous Zouave statue next to the Pont d'Alma. They say that if the toes become wet from the rising waters of the Seine, Paris is likely to be in big trouble and a flood alert will ensue. The Zouave statue - of a 19th Century French Algerian soldier - has suffered the indignity of being submerged up to his hips on three occasions in the last hundred years; in 1910, 1924 and 1955.
- The Angolan capital, Luanda, has been hit by a severe rainstorm that has left at least four people dead and brought parts of the city to a halt. Large pools of water are reported to have left people stranded, and in the area of the international airport the water level was said to be knee-high.
- Heavy rain and tornadoes damaged homes in southwest Georgia, and minor flooding hit the Atlanta area as storms moved across the state. In Leesburg, about 10 miles north of Albany, roofs were torn from several homes and neighbors gathered to help the handful of families who had to leave home on Christmas Eve.
- A major winter storm affected much of the eastern USA. Significant accumulations of snow were reported from the Texas panhandle, through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and northern Arkansas during the 23rd-24th, causing 12 deaths. Springfield, MO reported 33cm of snow, or 52cm for the month, for a new December snowfall record. Snow spread eastward from parts of the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast on Christmas Day, with some locations experiencing the snowiest Christmas Day ever recorded. The snow delighted children and ski resorts, but it disrupted holiday travel plans. The storm, accompanied by winds gusting to 40 mph, was blamed for at least 14 traffic-related deaths since Monday. Flights at several East Coast airports were canceled or delayed, and officials closed 100 miles of the New York State Thruway, the state's main east-west highway. Even as the last of the storm's snow moved off the New England Coast Thursday morning, airport delays continued at many Northeast airports. In Washington, D.C., snow fell on Christmas Day for only the ninth time since record-keeping began in 1872. The Northeast hadn't seen a major Christmas snowstorm since 1995.
- Two men were thrown overboard in two separate collisions between yachts Thursday as heavy rain and high seas hit Australia's Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race. Within 30 minutes of the start in Sydney Harbour, the yacht Trumpcard collided with the bigger Loki and had to withdraw because of the damage. The two boats were among 57 entries in the 725-mile race to Hobart on the island state of Tasmania.
- The first frost for the whole December in Reykjavik occurred today, after a long
spell of mostly S winds. The first 25 days of December were very mild, the average temperature being some 5C above average. In Siglufjördur in the north of Iceland it was +12C on the 24th, with 9C at Reykjavik on the same day.
- Cyclone Zoe swept over the Solomon Islands with winds possibly gusting up to 223 miles an hour, according to the Tropical Cyclone Warning Center in Brisbane, Australia. Cyclone Zoe started early last Thursday 25th December in Tuvalu waters and gathered speed and strength as it moved westward across the Pacific. It was classified a category five storm representing the strongest level of storm with the likelihood of high levels of destruction and damage. However damages are yet to be confirmed because of severed communications links.
World weather news, November 2002
- The Bureau of Meteorology announced today that the area of the country experiencing severe rainfall
deficiencies has expanded as a result of a very dry October. Nearly half of Australia recorded October
falls within the lowest 10% of records with much of NSW registering record low totals. Also
recording their driest October on record were parts of the Upper North and Northeast districts in
South Australia, as well as scattered patches through southern and central Queensland.
- Two sailors, a Pole and a Latvian, were killed in
separate accidents off the Scottish coast during heavy storms which
severed sea and air links between the mainland and the Shetland Islands,
Also caught in the ferocious weather was a British ferry taking 80
passengers from Lerwick to Aberdeen, on the Scottish mainland. The ferry had
to turn back and seek shelter in a bay, according to local coastguards.
And a Norwegian ferry carrying 12 people sent a distress message after
breaking down 225km east of the Scottish coast, the
coastguard added. An oil tanker, the Grampian Chieftan, went to the stricken
- Nearly 200 cars and
big-rig trucks collided on a foggy stretch of Long Beach Freeway (USA), injuring dozens of people, nine critically, and closing the highway
"The fog was thick and all you saw on the horizon
was the cars piled up in both directions."
California Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Pace said
194 vehicles, including seven or eight tractor-trailers, were involved in two
separate pileups about a half-mile apart. Some cars were buried under
others, and some of the injured had to be cut from their vehicles
- The National Weather Service in Fairbanks (Alaska) says the
city experienced its warmest October in 15 years, and the 12th
warmest since 1904. The average temperature in October was
31.7F, which was more than 8F above
The warm weather is bad news for trappers. The season opened
across much of the Interior yesterday. But there isn't enough snow
on the ground to go anywhere on a snowmachine yet. Even if there
were, rivers, streams, ponds and lakes aren't frozen or safe for
- The first major snowfall of the season
knocked out power to thousands of
customers in northeastern New York,
and closed schools there and in Maine (USA).
Several inches of wet, heavy snow fell
in an area stretching from the
south-central Adirondacks to the
Vermont state line.
- Violent storms rolled through
southern Alabama (USA),
with a tornado killing at least two people and
- Five people have died in Hungary since
last week in an unseasonal cold spell.
Most froze to death in the open air, including one in his own
garden, as temperatures dropped below 0C
at a time when the average temperature is around 11C.
- More than 70
tornadoes and thunderstorms over the
weekend and into Monday killed at least 35
people in five states of the USA. Sixteen deaths were
reported in Tennessee, 12 in Alabama, five in
Ohio and one each in Mississippi and
Pennsylvania. More than 200 people were
It was the nation's
biggest swarm of tornadoes from a single
weather system since more than 70 tornadoes
- some topping 300 mph - killed 50 people in
Oklahoma and Kansas in May 1999.
- Nineteen boats sank in a
fierce storm off Bangladesh,
and officials and witnesses said about 200 men
were missing and feared dead.
The tropical storm whipped up waves that swamped eight coastal districts
in southern Bangladesh. Winds and torrential rains swept through most of
southern and central Bangladesh, flooding dozens of villages and forcing
thousands to flee their homes.
- Foehn winds led to temperatures as high as
22.8C at Chieming in Bavaria, while Salzburg Airport reached 24.1C
and Bad Goisern in the Salzkammergut area of Austria reported 25.6C. This is thought to be the highest temperature
ever recorded in Austria in November.
A gust of 118 kt was recorded at the mountain top site at Sonnblick
in Austria. The foehn also brought Sahara dust, especially
in the Austrian provinces of Kärnten, Steiermark and in the
Salzkammergut the dust gave rise to a reddish
haze and people said the air tasted "dusty". Objects became coated
with a thin layer of the dust.
Strong winds whipped through western Austria, overturning a one-car train at Uttendorf, ripping off roofs and uprooting trees. One train passenger was killed.
packing a dangerous mix of snow and
freezing rain sent cars sliding off
highways across New England (USA) and
left thousands of people without
electricity as ice-laden tree limbs
crashed down on power lines.
The blustery nor'easter made for
treacherous driving as thick layers of ice formed on highways and
downed trees made roads impassable. In Maine, a teenager was
killed and 10 other people were taken to hospitals in a two-vehicle
crash on a slick road.
Connecticut residents reported hearing loud cracking sounds as ice
overcame trees. Tens of thousands of New Englanders were still
without power early Monday, including more than 57,000 customers
of Connecticut Light & Power.
Most parts of Maine had only 3 to 5 inches of snow by the
afternoon, but trees were sagging under the weight of ice.
- Russia's Pacific island of Sakhalin was cut off from
the mainland Tuesday by violent storms with wind speeds of nearly 100km/h
that left some communities without power.
The airport at the capital Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk was closed down after the
runway iced over and ferry services were suspended late Monday.
More than 25,000 Sakhalin residents were without power after the freezing
winds damaged local transmission lines.
Many coastal roads in the west of the island have become impassible and
residents are being asked to refrain from driving.
Overnight, two sailors were killed and seven more were missing when a
Russian trawler sank off Sakhalin.
- Germany's Rhine river will remain closed
to traffic near the southwest city of Karlsruhe until further notice following
heavy rains in the region, local weather authorities said.
Water levels at nearby Maxau remained 27cm above the
safe limit of 7.50 metres, and weather officials said the river, Germany's
major water transport artery, was unlikely to drop before Thursday.
Local authorities closed the river on Sunday and had said they expected to
reopen it Tuesday.
- Within the next 50 to 80 years, palm
trees, figs and oranges may find themselves more at home in
Britain's hotter, drier summers, the National Trust and the
Royal Horticultural Society said, releasing a new report on
the impact of climate change.
"Gardening in the Global
Greenhouse: The Impacts of Climate Change on Gardens in
the U.K." was commissioned by the two organizations and
the government, as well as water, forestry and botanical
In the report, Reading University
scientists Richard Bisgrove and Paul Hadley looked at the
vulnerability of gardens to the vagaries of the weather.
They also determined that there are
likely to be fewer frosts, earlier springs, higher year-round
temperatures, increased winter rainfall leading to flooding
risk, and hotter, drier summers increasing the risk of
- Icy highways caused at least 110 accidents, including some rollovers, from
midnight Saturday to Sunday morning. A 9-year-old girl was killed in an accident in western Nebraska.
Authorities closed 90 miles of Interstate 80 in Wyoming for a while.
- Flash floods have claimed at least 35 lives in
Morocco and caused extensive damage in large parts of the north African
Thirty-eight people were swept away by the flooded Bengueribi near Settat,
south of Casablanca. It said 30 of them are confirmed dead, and
eight others are missing.
In Moulay Yacoub, near Fez, 200km east of Rabat, a
36-year-old man and four of his five children died when their house collapsed
from the heavy rain late on Sunday.
Most of west and central Morocco has suffered torrential rains in the past
week, sometimes exceeding 100mm a day.
- Thousands of residents of eastern India
and Bangladesh were warned to head to safety as a cyclone
developed in the Bay of Bengal.
A storm with winds of up to 70km/h
was lying stationary about 800 km south of
- Powerful winds caused chaos in the usually
sunny western US state of California, leaving at least 44,000 homes
and businesses without power.
Gusts of between 72 and 123 km/h rattled
the state, hitting southern California and the city of Los Angeles
particularly hard. Some 28,000 homes and businesses suffered power cuts in Los
- Floods caused by torrential rain and the
swelling of the Congo river in recent weeks have left thousands of people
without shelter in central and northern parts of Congo.
People living in the centre and north of the central African country were
most affected with many families forced to spend the night in their boats
after the flood water washed away houses and left homes and local markets
"The situation on the ground in Loukolelas, Makotimpoko and Mossaka.
The rivers Sangha and Ngoko have both burst their banks, forcing about 3,000 people living nearby to flee their homes.
World weather news, October 2002
- Fast-moving Typhoon Higos, one of the most
powerful storms to threaten central Japan for 50 years, struck Tokyo
late Tuesday and killed at least two people.
Another person was missing and 18 others injured as the typhoon
caused blackouts and paralysed traffic.
Hundreds of flights, including domestic departures, were
cancelled and train services, including Shinkansen bullet trains,
were suspended in many parts of central and eastern Japan.
The typhoon lashed the capital after making landfall in Kanagawa
prefecture, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Tokyo at 8:00
pm (1100 GMT), the Meteorological Agency said.
"This is one of the most powerful typhoons to come near the
Kanto region (around Tokyo) in the last 50 years," an agency
- Hurricane Lili dumped heavy rains on western Cuba
and 127,000 people fled their homes in fear of the storm that
ripped roofs from buildings in the Cayman Islands and killed seven in
Jamaica and St. Vincent.
Lili picked up speed and its violent winds
gained strength as it approached Cuba,
whipping up battering waves and storm
surges up to 10 feet higher than normal.
On the island, government radio stations
announced that school classes in western
Pinar del Rio province and the capital of
Havana were canceled. Cubana Airlines
halted all flights and train service between
Havana and the provincial capital of Pinar
del Rio was suspended.
- Hundreds of thousands of
homes across Louisiana remained
without power early Friday after
Hurricane Lili pounded the state
with heavy rain and fierce winds
before heading up the Mississippi
River and weakening into a
Lili made landfall at midmorning
Thursday as a Category 2
hurricane, crossing Vermilion Bay
with 100 mph winds before heading
to the northwest.
The storm knocked power out of
nearly 465,000 homes.
A total of six separate tornadoes were sighted in Mississippi. Dozens of trees were toppled but no major damage was reported.
- The death toll from flash floods and heavy rains
that have plagued Thailand since August has risen to 135.
38 of Thailand's 63 provinces were still affected by
the floods, with the central and northeastern regions worst hit.
So far the disastrous weather has caused damage worth about 40 million US dollars, including the destruction of rice paddies and
Flash floods wreaked havoc in the capital Bangkok on Monday, submerging
major roadways and low-lying suburbs and preventing thousands of
schoolchildren and officeworkers from leaving their homes.
- Up to one million Cambodians are expected to
face food shortages in the coming months and into next year following crop
devastation brought on by floods and drought.
Less than half of this year's rice crop has been planted because of drought
and much of this was destroyed by the August floods, said Nhim Vanda, first
vice president of the National Disaster Committee.
- Four people have frozen to death and another eight
have been hospitalised in a cold snap gripping Moscow.
The four died on Wednesday, bringing the toll to 15 people who have died
from the cold this month in the Russian capital, where temperatures have sunk
over the past few nights to -2C.
Most cold victims in Russia are usually either homeless people or drunks
who fall asleep on the streets.
- Nine people have been killed and one person
reported missing after storms thrashed eastern Algeria.
Four people died after their car was carried away in flash floods near Batna, some 430km east of Algiers.
The last victim of storms reported by officials was struck and killed by
Floods in the El-Hadjeb wadi, or gully, shut down roads for several hours
and caused damage to crops.
- Tropical Storm Kyle lost its tropical characteristics
and was on its way into the history books as the third longest-lived
tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean. But its 22-day life span fell short
of Hurricane Inga's 24-day run in 1969, and almost a week short of
Hurricane Ginger's 28-day meandering in 1971.
- Four people died and 6,000 others were
evacuated from their homes as heavy rains and floods continued to hit
The high winds and torrential rain affected Santa Fe province and northern
Buenos Aires province especially, where more than 4,000 people were forced
from their homes.
Further south in Rio Negro province, a resumption of stormy weather after a
respite Monday forced nearly 2,000 people to head to emergency shelters at El
Bolson, 1,650km southwest of the capital.
- Torrential rain and hail storms caused extensive floods in several parts of
Israel. More than 25 children were evacuated from a flooded kindergarten in
Hadar district of Haifa. Downtown Haifa was flooded causing severe traffic in the city. Floods
elsewhere blocked roads and damaged crops. The hailstorm damaged cars and other property.
- In Australia, drought is affecting over 90
percent of New South Wales and threatens
to move the country into an economic
recession (Sydney Morning Herald). In the
rural sector, about 40,000 jobs have been
lost due to drought over the past three
months, according to the Australian Bureau
of Statistics. The Australian Bureau of
Agriculture and Resource Economics
predicted a 16 percent drop in the gross
value of farm production throughout the
- In Paraguay, a 2-year drought is affecting Chaco region which includes the Department of Boqueron.
The government of Paraguay declared a national emergency, as food and water reserves were
depleted and approximately 5,000 people have been affected by food shortages.
- The snows of Kilimanjaro are
melting, washing away a record of 11,000 years of African
Researchers from Ohio State
University and the University of Massachusetts report in
the Oct. 18 issue of the journal Science that if the current
melting rate continues, the last ice atop the 19,300-foot
African mountain could disappear between 2015 and 2020.
A team went to the top of
Kilimanjaro in January and February 2000 to bring back the
evidence in the ice. This included 1.18 inch dust layer
deposited in the ice around 4,000 years ago. The dust, a
sign of widespread drought, is "the biggest in the record,".
- Helsinki had one of its coldest October nights ever with -13.5C reported.
On Saturday the south of Sweden had heavy snow. South of a line from
Göteborg (Gothenburg) to Stockholm some places had 30 cm. As trees are
still in leaf, the weight of the snow broke many branches. Broken tree
branches falling on electric cables caused power cuts for some 10 000
- Strong storms lashing Argentina have killed three people and caused 5,000 to flee their homes as the Plata, Parana and Uruguay rivers swell.
In Rosario, Argentina's third largest city 310 kilometers north of the capital, some 500 people, including 321 children, were evacuated
from their homes along the Parana River.
- The Australian record for the highest maximum temperature in October was again broken, this time at the Western Australian town of Port Hedland which hit 46.9C.
The previous record of 46.7C was recorded on Monday at Mandora Station, about half way
between Port Hedland and Broome.
Mandora Station also broke its own record yesterday, recording 46.8C, while Pardoo Station
equalled its record of 46.7C set on Monday. The town of Pannawonica broke its record for
October yesterday when it hit 46.0C, and Roebourne reached 45.9C, a new October
high recorded at the town's post office.
- For at least four Colorado (USA) cities and towns,
the past year was the driest in more
than a century, including Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Center and Rocky Ford.
Wildfires, water restrictions, low water levels and agriculture
troubles are all evidence of this.
- Hurricane Kenna grew into one of the strongest hurricanes to menace Mexico's Pacific coast in
decades and veered toward land Thursday night, as forecasters called for urgent action to protect an area that includes major tourist
The Category 5 hurricane with winds of 160 mph was veering away from a Baja California summit of world leaders. Category 5 is the
strongest category of hurricane and is considered capable of causing catastrophic damage.
- At least 3 died, 17 people were injured and hundreds of
people left homeless after a storm hit the Mozambique port of city of Beira. Heavy rains lashed the city on Thursday night,
destroying houses, uprooting trees and knocking down electricity and telephone
- Hurricane Kenna made landfall along the
central Pacific coast of Mexico just north of
Puerto Vallarta on October 25 with
maximum sustained wind speeds of 125 knots. Kenna was
the third most powerful hurricane to ever
strike Mexico from the Pacific.
- Cross-Channel ferry service from
three French ports was suspended Sunday due to violent coastal winds
of up to 130km/h, the port authority in
Service to Britain from Calais, Dunkirk and Boulogne-sur-Mer was
Regional officials in northern France issued a weather warning
early Sunday that was to remain in effect throughout the day.
- At least 30 people were killed in accidents caused
by gale-force winds that swept across western Europe and caused
widespread damage and transport chaos.
Germany has reported the largest number of confirmed casualties so far,
with ten people killed. Six died in Britain and four in Holland.
The roof of Amsterdam's central train station collapsed, causing no
Dutch authorities suspended all rail transport and advised people to stay
indoors to avoid the "life threatening" conditions.
Authorities in France meanwhile said four people had died in accidents
related to the storms.
In Austria, a retired German couple died when a tree fell on them as they
were out walking near the central town of Salzburg.
Coastal winds topped 130 km/h in some parts of the
Channel, contributing to a collision that damaged a British Royal Navy frigate
and a P and O ferry in Britain's southern Portsmouth Harbour, causing no
Insurance companies on Sunday estimated the damage so far in Britain at 50
British Airways cancelled 39 flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick
airports because of high winds, while the GNER rail company cancelled some of
its services out of and into London.
Nine flights were cancelled at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport after the
high winds made it impossible to use some of the passages leading to the
At Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport Dutch airline KLM cancelled 19 flights and
diverted one of its incoming planes to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.
- Today saw the lowest temperature ever recoded in October at Mývatn in the north of Iceland. -21.4°C was the lowest October reading for more than 50 years. The first winter snow fell in Reykjavik.
- Homes and roads
flooded as powerful storms brought
heavy rains, high winds and at least
one tornado to southeast Texas
In the Beaumont area, about 8 inches
of rain fell in about four hours,
beginning at midnight.
- The death toll from three months of flooding in
Vietnam's southern Mekong Delta has reached 148, including 132 children, but
water levels are slowly falling.
Floodwaters, which have been at critical levels since September, are
expected to gradually recede over the next week.
Authorities say the floods have caused 23.6 million dollars worth of damage
to Vietnam's primary rice-growing region in the third successive year that it
has been swamped by floods.
- An intrusion of Arctic air produced record low temperatures across parts of the upper Midwest
during the last week of October. Williston, North Dakota dropped to -23C today,
which is the coldest low temperature ever recorded during the month of October.
- Italy's main highway was closed for a 110km stretch between the central Tuscany region and Rome due to heavy
Flooding and landslides stopped traffic in both directions on the A1
highway, between Orte, near the capital in Lazio region, and Valdichiana in
World weather news, September 2002
- South Korea's
government said that nearly 200 people were
killed or missing in a powerful typhoon (named Rusa) that pounded
the nation over the weekend, and the death toll was
expected to rise.
After battering the Korean peninsula, the storm moved
north, bringing torrential rain to Sakhalin Island in
Russia's Far East, where it destroyed houses, washed
away roads and cut power supplies for hours.
North Korea also reported heavy human losses and property damage, with "scores" of people killed and large tracts of farmland destroyed.
Rusa, the Malaysian word for deer, was the most powerful typhoon to hit South Korea since
Sarah in 1959, which left over 840 people dead or missing.
The storm destroyed sections of railways and roads, wiped out bridges, knocked out electricity and submerged thousands of homes. Property damage in South Korea was tentatively put at $750 million.
- The damage estimate from a tornado that tore through Ladysmith in northwestern Wisconsin (USA) topped the $20 million mark.
The twister destroyed more than 40 buildings, damaged up to 150
others and left 37 people hurt.
It left mounds of wood and glass clogging the pavements and
telephone phones hanging suspended in their own wires.
The tornado leveled a Baptist church. It ripped the cross off the
front of the United Church of Christ. It bent flag poles at 90-degree angles.
- Flooding has killed 1,532 people this year in China and caused $8.2 billion worth
of damage. More than 1 million homes had
been destroyed by flooding by the end of August and some 2.4 million people forced to flee
their homes. However, damage was even worse in 1998 when summer flooding killed more
than 4,000 people.
- Packing winds of 90 mph, Typhoon
Sinlaku sent huge waves crashing against Taiwan's eastern coast,
cutting power to homes, closing schools and washing away a woman who
had gone to watch the surf. Cities in the northern half of the island closed government
offices and airlines cancelled domestic flights.
- Typhoon Sinlaku left up to 26 people dead and five missing as it battered southeast China over the weekend.
More than 300,000 people had to be evacuated and more than 40,000 buildings
were destroyed along with vast areas of farmland.
- An unusual Utah tornado wrecked homes and
broke power lines, causing an estimated $2 million damage. No
injuries were reported. Three funnel clouds were spotted Sunday in the area about 120 miles south of Salt Lake City, but only one touched the ground.
The afternoon twister destroyed six homes and damaged two dozen
- At least 21 people have been killed, and 12 others are still reported missing amid
widespread flooding that has already claimed at least 13 lives in southern
France after a dam burst in the village of Aramont near Nimes.
Rescue workers began at dawn on the 10th to evacuate a retirement home in
Aramont, a village of some 3,500 inhabitants.
Badly hit towns include Nîmes,
Orange and Avignon. The A7 motorway around Orange was shut for several hours
due to flood water.
Rainfall totals included Montélimar 98 mm in 24 hours ending 1800GMT on Monday and 15 mm in the previous 12 hours, Orange 103 mm in 12 hours ending 1800GMT on Monday, Nîmes 140mm in 24 hours ending 18z on Monday. A report of about 650 mm in total at Anduze near Alčs in the Gard department has been confirmed by Météo France.
- A severe tropical storm, Hagupit, lashed Hong Kong
with rains and high winds Wednesday, churning toward mainland China.
At least 19 people were hurt, including two women and a man
struck by broken window glass when the train they were riding in was
hit by bamboo scaffolding poles that broke loose from a construction
- Tropical storm Gustav was upgraded to
a hurricane, the Atlantic season's first, as it headed toward the Canadian
Maritimes. The storm, which dumped up to 6 inches of rain on North
Carolina's Outer Banks, had strengthened with a maximum sustained
wind up to 90 mph.
Weather experts have watched amazed as afternoon
rains have beaten down on Athens every day for the past two weeks, a first
since records began.
The bout of heavy, day-after-day rain in the middle of the afternoon is set
to smash all known weather records.
Since the beginning of September the Thission monitoring station near the
Acropolis has recorded twenty times more rain -- 201.4 millimeters, or eight
inches -- than would normally fall in the entire month (11.4mm).
"This has never happened before, it is unprecedented," according to Costas
Lagouvardas, a scientist at the Athens National Observatory, who said the wet
weather could continue until the weekend.
In 1929, it rained in the city for six days running -- an event so unusual
it stayed engraved in local memory.
- Heavy rainfall caused chaos in New Delhil for the second consecutive day on Friday, leading to traffic jams,
bursting sewers and caving in pavements.
According to the meteorological department, the city witnessed its wettest
day of the monsoon season on Thursday with 87.2mm of rain in
just nine hours.
In comparison, since the beginning of the monsoon season in early July, the
city has received a total of 212 mm rainfall.
- The remnants of tropical storm Hanna brought heavy rain and overcast skies to the eastern third of
the United States, stretching from the Gulf Coast to the mid-Atlantic. This storm brought much needed rains to parts of the southeast which has been suffering from
extended drought conditions. Preliminary rainfall totals as of early Sunday (15th) included 14.59
inches at Donaldson GA, 8.10 inches at Chipley FL, 7.25 inches at Blakely GA, 6.00 at Newton GA,
and 5.05 inches at Marianna FL. Two to five inch rainfall amounts were common across portions of
western Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
- Tropical storm Hagupit caused flooding in the Jiangxi province of China which has destroyed 4,000 houses, flooded 159 villages, and submerged 271,810 acres of farmland since Friday. Some 180,000 people have been affected.
- Media reports indicate, some 800 people narrowly escaped a huge mudslide in northern Thailand. The mudslide swept through three villages in a tangle of uprooted trees and destroyed
buildings. The mudslide, triggered by weeks of monsoon rain, demolished seven houses in Chiang
Mai province and damaged another 60 structures. The total death toll
from widespread monsoon flooding in various parts of Thailand since early August rose to 78
- Drought continues to plague many parts of the United States, with agricultural and related
economic losses mounting
- Warm weather causing a glacier melt and slip over the weekend resulted in flooding and mudslides
that affected the rural areas around the village of Karmodon (Russia). Some 113 people are reportedly
- Flooding in northwestern Albania reportedly inundated hundreds of homes and
prompted the government to declare a disaster emergency for four districts. Thousands of acres of
farmland were also reportedly flooded, and power to many residents was also lost.
Storm Lili triggered a mudslide that killed a woman
and three of her children in St. Vincent and
Lili reached the southeast Caribbean as a tropical depression on Monday and
quickly strengthened, damaging at least 139 homes in Barbados with
winds of 60 mph. In St. Vincent, Lili damaged at least 42 houses, two schools and a police
- Hurricane Isidore
smashed houses, levelled trees and flooded
streets, killing two people and leaving
another 300,000 homeless before weakening
into a tropical depression over the Yucatan
Peninsula. Isidore had winds in excess of 100 mph
when it pounded the Yucatan's ecological
reserves and ruins, including the Mayan
city of Chichen Itza. But the extent of the
damage to the popular tourist spots was
unclear, as downed power and telephone
lines cut off communication to much of the
- Snowfall in Munich today was the earliest in autumn since 1923, when snow fell on the 23rd.
- Isidore whimpered out over land, but the heavy rain it
brought left swaths of flooding
in Mississippi and Louisiana (USA).
The rain continued into the
evening in the northern part of
the Magnolia state as the system
moved into Tennessee.
Two people in Mississippi were
killed as a result of the tropical
- A thunderstorm killed 26 people in
two separate accidents in Khartoum. Thirteen people, mostly women and
children, plunged to their deaths when the Ferris wheel they were riding
at a riverside amusement park collapsed in the storm. In a separate
accident 13 people drowned when their pleasure boat sank during the
- Hurricane Lili ripped roofs from apartment
buildings in the Cayman Islands
and forced 100,000 people to flee their
homes as it threatened Cuba. The storm
had killed eight people so far.
Lili's eye tore across Cayman Brac,
hitting the easternmost of the Cayman
Islands with torrential rain and violent
- September 2002 was a busy month in the tropics, producing eight named
storms - the most recorded in a single month in the Atlantic basin. This breaks the previous
record of seven named storms set in August 1993, September 1949,
August 1995, September 1988 and September 2000. Systems are given
names when they become tropical storms with winds of at least 39 mph.
World weather news, August 2002
- Vintners were assessing their losses after hailstones the size of tennis
balls crushed grapes in parts of northern Italy. Other crops were also ruined, including highly
prized olives from the Lake Garda region, corn and peaches. The hailstones on Saturday and
Sunday weighed up to 1.5 pounds apiece. The Italian Agriculture Confederation estimated
damages to be near $200 million.
- Tropical Storm Bertha came ashore and dumped more than 7
inches of rain on parts of the Gulf Coast (USA). In Florida, a man apparently
drowned in rough surf kicked up by the storm Sunday afternoon. Scattered flooding also has
been reported from the Florida panhandle to Mississippi.
- At least ten people were killed in the city of Meizhou when heavy rain and high
winds hit coastal Guangdong province in southern China. The
storm, called Kammuri, hit the coast Monday morning. Officials referred to it as a typhoon, but
its wind speed when it hit Guangdong could not be verified. More than 100 rural houses were
damaged outside the nearby city of Lufeng.
- Twenty people were feared drowned when a boat capsized in a
flooded river in eastern India on Tuesday, while monsoon rains engulfed another 20 villages in
Bangladesh. Monsoon floods have left more than 580 people dead in Bangladesh, India and
Nepal over the past month, and have damaged millions of dollars worth of crops and property.
- Torrential rains in Europe
inundated Austrian villages on the 8th, swept away tourists on Russia's Black Sea coast, and battered vineyards and olive groves in northern Italy. In northern
Italy, hail and heavy rain has battered much of the region, damaging wine grapes, tobacco crops and
olive groves. Nearly 3 inches of rain fell earlier in the week in Brescia, near Milan - more than the
average monthly rainfall for all of August. Several deaths were reported and aboput two thousand
people were evacuated from flooded homes in southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic. In Bulgaria,
flooding left dozens of villages without electricityState radio reported two farmers were killed by
lightning. In Lower Austria, the river Kamp rose to its highest level since records were first kept in
1896, said Franz Hauer of the province's Hydrographic Service.
- Rainfall followed by flooding swept away all in its path
the Black Sea coast, including lightly built holiday homes.
Many of the dead were holidaymakers, some swept in their cars into
Sources in the administration of Krasnodar, the region hit by the
said the number of deaths now stood at 62, with
15 people still missing.
Torrential rain caused dykes to burst their banks and water
overflow on the popular Black Sea coast in southern Russia.
- Torrents of muddy water from monsoon rain swept away several
villages in remote northern India Sunday, killing at least 43 people.
- The Vltava River spilled its banks and threatened medieval
architectural treasures in the Czech capital Tuesday, as the prime minister declared a state
of emergency and thousands of Prague residents fled to higher ground. Floods roared through
many European cities after near-record summer rains. The death toll rose to at least 76,
including at least 58 deaths in Russia.
- The death toll from a flash flood in Iran's
northeastern Golestan province rose to 39. Flooding followed seven hours of torrential rains, which caused a river
to burst its banks.
The floods damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure leaving some
villages cut off from the rest of the province, according to local officials.
- Around 50,000 people are being ordered to
evacuate the historic city as it prepares to be
struck by its worst flood in over a century, with
the surging Vltava River expected to swell to a
peak depth at 2 pm.
- Fresh floods hit eastern Austria,
tens of thousands of people in much of the rest the country
to come to terms with losing everything after days of devastating heavy
As Danube waters rose to their highest level yet in Vienna, the town
Tulln, west of the Austrian capital and upstream along the Danube
hit by new flooding on Wednesday afternoon.
The government approved in crisis talks 650 million euros
compensation for flood victims and repairs.
So far there has been no official estimate of the total damage
estimates have suggested the havoc left in the wake of the floods could
worst from a natural disaster in Austria in a century.
- The Romanian government
river Danube was expected to rise considerably during the next seven
said there was no immediate danger of flooding.
Since the middle of July, floods and bad weather in Romania have
the lives of some 14 people, destroyed hundreds of homes and damaged
Flooding across Europe has claimed at least 90 lives in the past
- The German military began
evacuating around 2,000 patients from hospitals in the
flood-stricken city of Dresden, including 200 people in
The historic city of Dresden, perched on the Elbe river, has
been one of the centers hardest hit by floods that have swept
eastern Germany this week, killing at least 12.
- The flooding Vltava river began to peak around
1200 GMT and should not rise any further, according to
officials in the Czech capital.
Hydrologist Vaclav Baca told the CTK news agency that the river
remain at its current levels -- three times above normal -- for up to
More than 200,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, mainly
Prague and southern Bohemia, since torrential rains hit the country last
causing the worst flooding in more than a century.
At least nine people have died in the floods, which have threatened
historic sites and inundated popular tourist spots in the centre of
A film-star elephant, a bear, a hippopotamus
lion became the latest victims of the epic floods sweeping the Czech
when zookeepers could not save them from drowning.
The four giant attractions at the popular Troja zoo in a Prague
put to sleep overnight Tuesday by zookeepers who were unable to save
the floodwaters of the overflowing Vltava river, said zoo director Petr
- Persistent and worsening drought has
spread to nearly half the contiguous United States.
The National Climatic Data Center said that as of the end of
July, 49 percent of the 48 contiguous states were affected by
moderate to extreme drought.
Areas of extreme drought stretched from the Southwest to
Montana and Nebraska and from Georgia to Virginia.
The greatest area of drought coverage to date occurred in
July 1934, when moderate to extreme drought covered 80 percent of
the contiguous United States.
- A rare heatburst was observed in the San Angelo, Texas area shortly after midnight.
The heatburst developed when a decaying thunderstorm complex slowly dissipated over the region.
Thunderstorms created downdrafts of dry air which warm by compression as the air descends
aloft to the surface. The resulting heatburst occurred near the instrument sensors which was able to
pick up the event which is usually seen as a rapid temperature rise with strong winds and low
humidity, followed by a decrease in temperature as the event moves away.
The temperature observed at 1235am on the 14th was 75F, with a south wind at 31mph
gusting to 40mph with a relative humidity of 62% The observation at 0105am reported the
temperature jumped to 94F, winds northwest at 15mph gusts to 40mph with a relative humidity of
19%. The event ended by 0130am, the temperature fell back to 73F, winds south at 31mph,
relative humidity at 66%.
- Four more people were reported to have
drowned in floods triggered by a Philippines storm, bringing the death
Five others remained missing in the central island of Negros after
were swept away by strong currents while eight were injured by
the province of Rizal near Manila.
The storms had now moved away from the
Philippines after causing waterspouts, small tornadoes and
mudslides that killed 26 people and forced 3,500 to flee their
- round 700 residents of Budapest had to be
evacuated from part of the city because of the rising
flood waters of the Danube river.
Dykes along the Danube here were built to hold back a 10cm swell while meteorologists were expecting no more than 8.7cm.
- Scandinavia is facing a summer of record high
temperatures and humidity.
Meteorologists in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have all recorded
either higher than normal temperatures or a noticable rise in humidity since
the beginning of summer.
Despite exceptional rainfall at the end of July in southern Sweden, the
country is having one of hottest and driest summers in the last 100 years.
Since the beginning of August, temperatures in the Lapland region in the
Arctic circle have hit 30C.
Denmark has also had a warm summer with plenty of sun despite violent
thunderstorms and episodes of high rainfall at the end of July.
Parts of the Faeroes islands, normally battered by winds and rains, are
even running short of water, and authorities have urged residents to conserve
Thanks to the warm and dry weather in Denmark and Norway, farmers are
preparing to harvest hay for an exceptional third time..
Finland is also set to break temperature records, last broken in 1988, with
the mercury regularly hitting 30C and humidity levels reaching
- Rising floodwaters submerged all the dams
in the historic German city of Dresden, further swamping streets,
homes and local landmarks.
Authorities said the river was had risen above the 8.77m
record set in 1845 to 8.81m.
Train service was still cut off to the main station in Dresden, the state
The sumptuous Zwinger palace and Renaissance-style Semper opera house have
also been flooded, with some 6,000 cultural treasures taken to safety.
- The Danube river reached a record flood peak in
the Slovak capital Bratislava.
The river rose to 9.86 metres in the early morning, compared to its
previous local record of 9.84 metres set in 1954.
- Record floods threatened a string of historic towns on the 18th, as central European leaders were
due to meet to discuss the huge costs of the path of destruction wrought across the region. As waters began to ebb in devastated regions of the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Russia and
Romania on the 20th, relief and recovery crews faced the daunting task of cleaning up a
region littered with debris while health officials warned of the potential threat of disease. Towns in
northern Germany prepared on the 20th for the approaching floodwaters of the River Elbe,
which has wreaked havoc in regions along its banks since flooding began some two weeks ago.
Across the continent, at least 108 people have been killed in what has been termed the "Floods of
The cleanup and rebuilding
operations are expected to cost about 20 billion euros ($20 billion) across Europe. Analysts have
estimated the total economic losses, which includes loss of tourism and closure of businesses, could
be as much as 15 billion euros,15-20 percent of which could be insured.
- Flooding along the Mekong has caused 43 deaths and damaged homes and crops in Laos,
Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. In Cambodia some 120,000 people were in evacuee centres.
- Over 1 million people have been affected by a drought in Mauritania. Mauritania has appealed for international assistance.
World weather news, July 2002
- The July through June water year that ended yesterday was the driest on
record for many places across Southern California, including San Diego.
The lack of rain has dried out trees, brush and grass, contributing to fires
that have burned more than 75,000 acres in Southern California. It has
forced rural communities that rely on wells to conserve water and
ranchers and farmers to cut production.
- The 9.52 inches of rain that fell on San Antonio (Texas, USA) not only
broke the July 1 record of 4.07 inches set in 1932, but the monthly record
of 8.29 inches set in 1990. Meanwhile, western Texas continues to suffer
- People from parts of the West USA to the lower
Mississippi Valley, suffered through high humidity and temperatures in
the 90s again, as fans and air conditioners sucked up electricity
at rates that strained utilities. At least four deaths have been blamed on
the stifling weather this week in St. Louis and Chicago. Providence, R.I., tied its record for the date with an afternoon
temperature of 97F. Humidity was 44%, which combined with the
temperature to make it feel like 104F, the National Weather
- Typhoon Rammasun's fringes brought welcome rain to
drought-staggered Taiwan, but also triggered flash floods and
mudslides in northern areas.
- In the western Pacific, Typhoon
Chata'an has now hit the U.S.
territory of Guam after cutting a
deadly swathe through Micronesia.
All power has been cut on Guam and
its airport is closed as winds of up to
190 km/h strike.
Guam, home to around 150,000 people and a large U.S. naval base, has also
been forced to cancel its Fourth of July celebrations.
The typhoon had earlier wrought havoc through the sparsely populated,
low-lying atoll nations of Micronesia, with as many as 39 people feared
killed so far by floods and mudslides.
- Rain caused more flooding in Texas (USA). From
Castroville to LaCoste 4,000 people remained evacuated because of
Medina River flooding. An estimated seven inches of rain fell around the Nueces
River basin overnight and the river was nearly 10 feet above the
flood stage near Asherton, Texas, Friday afternoon.
- Heavy rain drenched parts of flood-weary Texas (USA) again, and thunderstorms also produced flood-causing downpours in
Thunderstorms poured up to a foot of rain overnight around
the West Texas city of Abilene, causing flooding south of the city.
Abilene is some 200 miles northwest of the area of San Antonio,
where a week of heavy rain has caused severe flooding.
Showers and scattered thunderstorms also developed during
the afternoon across the Plains, from eastern sections of New Mexico
and Colorado into Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and parts of South
Dakota. Up to 10 inches of rain fell on drought-stricken southwest
Nebraska, washing out part of Interstate 80 and causing flooding
around Ogallala. One man was killed when his truck plunged off a
washed-out bridge approach on I-80.
- Four people were dead or missing after
Typhoon Rammasun hit South Korea with gusty winds and heavy rains.
Damage was put at 7.9 million dollars) mostly in southern provinces.
- Thirteen people drowned in Moscow at the weekend as
bathers tried to beat a summer heat wave.
The heat, combined with excessive alcohol consumption, was blamed.
- Typhoon Chata'an left about 21 people dead or
missing, including five South Koreans, in the Philippines over the weekend,
while around 20,000 other people were displaced.
Classes at all levels of school were suspended, while brief power cuts
were experienced in some areas in Manila as strong winds triggered automatic
safety devices to switch off.
- At least 10 people have died in floods in
eastern India which have left nearly one million others stranded in submerged
villages across three eastern states.
Officials in the Bihar state capital of Patna said 10 people, including a
woman and her two sons, drowned in separate overnight accidents in the
inundated districts of Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Nawada.
At least 300,000 others were homeless or marooned in 250 villages spread
across the districts of Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and
Sheohar in Bihar, India's second most populated state, a state administration
Bihar's major Punpun, Bagmati and Budhi Gandak rivers rose above official
danger levels Sunday, the Central Water Commission announced.
torrential monsoon rains, the army was called out to help more than 750,000
people stranded by floods.
- Heavy rain and gales swept across Athens, leaving one person
dead, trapping hundreds in flooded
buildings and bringing traffic to a
The fire department received
hundreds of calls for help during the
two-hour summer storm, which
struck shortly after midday.
After months of hot, dry weather, the downpour filled up drains and
sewage pipes and swamped central Athens roads.
- Torrential rains and strong winds were hampering efforts to rescue six Taiwanese lost in the mountains and a missing
Chinese fisherman as tropical storm Nakri lashed Taiwan.
Nakri had forced the airport, schools and government offices on Penghu, an
offshore island west of the main Taiwan island, to close.
Schools and government offices in central Changhwa county, Taichung city
and Taichung county were also shut from Tuesday afternoon while several
domestic flights were cancelled.
- The toll from heavy rains induced by Typhoon
Chata'an has risen to 41 dead or missing in the Philippines.
- seven people died
in a storm that uprooted trees and damaged cars in the German capital Berlin.
Two children died on a camping ground on an island on Wannsee lake, a
popular recreation area just south of Berlin, and several children were
The third victim was a man crushed by a falling tree in the Reinickendorf
"The storm was so strong that people had to hold on to streetlights outside
the Bahnhof Zoo," the main train station in central Berlin, a witness said.
Other witnesses said the violent storm and high winds uprooted trees and
damaged cars in the capital.
The main Berlin-Tegel airport closed to air traffic in mid-evening.
- A bolt of lightning killed two soccer players and
injured five others during an amateur match in Ukraine.
Two of those injured in the late Wednesday incident near the southeastern
city of Dnepropetrovsk were reported to be in serious condition.
- Two schoolboys were killed, five people
were missing and 13 others were injured in Japan as Typhoon Chata'an
whirled north along the Pacific coast.
- States across western USA sizzled
under record temperatures expected to
last through most of the week, with
triple-digit temperatures forecast as far
north as Idaho and Montana.
In Reno, Nevada, 109F broke the all-time high set in 1931.
- Typhoon Halong made landfall near Tokyo twice
but by-passed the capital, packing winds and rains that injured nine
people, damaged more than 150 homes and triggered 60 landslides.
- Peru appealed for international aid as it scrambled to send
food, medicine and blankets to
southern regions where freak cold
temperatures have killed 59 people.
The killer chill began at the start of July and sent temperatures plunging to
10F in the southern mountains, a rare phenomenon even at high
altitudes in the Southern Hemisphere winter.
The cold spell has also put at risk the lives of a million llamas, alpacas and
vicunas -- a mainstay of the rural economy
- Soaring temperatures have killed at least
seven people in China as a
heatwave sweeps across the country.
The southwestern city of Chongqing
was the worst hit, reporting five
deaths in the excessive heat.
Over 3,500 people were hospitalized on Monday as the mercury hit 41C.
The central city of Shijiazhuang recorded the highest temperature in the
heatwave on Monday with 43C.
- It was very wet in parts of northern Germany on Wednesday and overnight.
24-hour totals to 0600GMT on the 18th included: Lübeck 96mm,
Hannover Kronsberg 121mm, Brocken (Harz Mts) 155mm.
- A deadly hailstorm of giant hailstones, some the size of eggs, killed 25 people and left hospitals
overflowing with head-wound victims in central China. The hailstorm struck northern parts of
Henan province, uprooting trees, smashing car windscreens, cutting off electricity
and destroying buildings. Locals described it as the worst hailstorm in at least half a century.
According to media reports, more than 800 people have died in floods and torrential rains across
China this year and officials are now bracing for flooding worse than that of 1998, when the Yangtze
River overflowed and deluges killed more than 4,000 nationwide.
- Heavy rains flooded five regions in Romania. Worst affected was Constanta, which
borders the Black Sea, where flood waters drowned more than 100 pigs and chickens, inundated 800
hectares of sunflower and corn crops and flooded eight farms and houses. Flooding also
hit the southern county of Prahova where bridges, roads and farms were under water. Thirty-seven
villages in northeastern Romania were without electricity because of the floods.
- Torrential rains killed at least three people in flash floods across Northeastern Iran.
15 minutes of torrential rain
caused flash flooding in several areas. Flooding near the city of Quchan killed one person, two
others died in the city of Shirvan and several homes in villages were also damaged.
- The US Storm Prediction Center says that the preliminary count of
451 tornadoes reported this year up to July 24 is half of the 10-year
average for the same period, 914 tornadoes, and the lowest mid-year
count since 1988. Tornado deaths are also down. Just 11 people have been
killed so far this year; 46 people lose their lives to tornadoes in a typical
- Flash floods and landslides continue to affect Nepal. Incessant monsoon rains triggered flash floods and landslides in twenty districts out of a total of 75 districts. Since the
landslides in eastern Nepal, which killed 44 people, on 14 July, a total of 198 people have been killed,
115 injured, and 30 people went missing. About
100,000 people in 50 villages have been directly affected by water-logging in the eastern and
southern parts of the country.
- The number of deaths from floods, lightning and
landslides caused by storms in Turkey this week rose to 40. Rescue efforts were continuing in Rize on the eastern
Black Sea coast, the site of the worst flooding. Storms have struck central
and eastern parts of the country since Tuesday. In Rize, 29 people were
killed, two were missing and more than 200 remained homeless in their
- A week of heavy rain and flooding have left 18
people dead in the Philippines. Many drowned or
were electrocuted in flooding, while others were killed by landslides that
hit particularly hard in Pampanga province, about 45 miles north of
Manila, and in suburban areas around the capital, the disaster
coordinating agency said. Weather officials said a storm system had
exited the Philippines, but monsoon rains continued to sweep along the
western parts of the archipelago, from northern Luzon island down to
the Visayas in the center.
- Bangladeshi authorities are bracing
for the worst as continued rains
exacerbate an already serious flood
Hundreds of thousands of
Bangladeshis are now homeless as the
monsoon rains swell already flooded
rivers and people take refuge on what
high ground they can find.
A shortage of food and drinking
water is the biggest problem in
stricken areas, especially for people
who are clinging to their
half-submerged homes in remote
The flooding has killed 13 people in Bangladesh so far and submerged
more than a third of the country damaging rice crops.
World weather news, June 2002
- Three days of torrential rains have caused
widespread flooding in central and southern Chile, killing at least nine
people and forcing 50,000 people from their homes. Nearly five inches of rain fell between Saturday and Monday
night in Santaigo, flooding numerous streets, damaging and collapsing
homes and cutting electric power to 90,000 homes, officials said.
Around 50,000 people were evacuated from their flooded
homes, with police using inflatable boats to rescue many of them.
The rainfall was reportedly the worst for 100 years.
- Fierce rainstorms deluged northern Italy, flooding
roads, downing bridges and bringing Venice's precarious water levels to
4 feet above sea level - a record for June, officials said. Sirens sounded in
Venice to announce the ''acqua alta'' - or high waters, which frequently
afflict the lagoon city and its magnificent canal-side palazzos. The
hardest hit regions were Fruili-Venezia Giulia, in the northeast, where a
record 14.5 inches of rain fell in 24 hours; and Piemonte on the opposite
side of the country. Rome far to the south also was swamped.
- The massive Wye Oak, the living symbol
of Maryland's state tree and designated the largest white oak in the
country, was toppled Thursday during a thunderstorm.
The tree was estimated to be more than 460 years old --
meaning it was growing in Maryland before the pilgrims arrived. It
was 104 feet tall, with a trunk 32 feet in circumference, and
weighed 200 tons.
- News reports indicated that eight people were found dead on the 7th, after fierce thunderstorms
swept across Europe, leaving a trail of flooded roads, collapsed houses and downed bridges from
France to Poland. Regional officials in northeastern Italy declared a state of emergency, while in
Austria the military was deployed to battle the effects of flooding.
- A heat wave pushed consumer electricity demand
to a new summer high on Sunday. The Israel Electric Corporation
reached the limits of its power reserve and was forced to cut off
electricity for short periods of time during the afternoon at several
locations throughout the country.
- Heavy rain in Colombia sent rivers pouring over
their banks, causing floods that forced more than 2,000 people out
of their homes. Some of the worst hit were residents of a
poor neighborhood in Bogota called Tunjuelito where some residents
were perched on rooftops waiting for rescuers in boats. Rivers also
spilled into homes in Casanare and Tolima provinces, affecting hundreds
of families in five townships.
- At least 14 people have died in the southern
Arizona desert over the last 5 days due to extremely hot weather
conditions. Another 100 immigrants have been rescued as federal, state
and local authorities search the area to stop "heat-related" deaths.
In all, authorities said 41 immigrants have died this year tying to
cross the border patrol's Tucson, Arizona sector. AP reported that
more than 300 immigrants have died each year while attempting to cross
- Cursed by the public for the worst drought in
several decades, Estonian weather forecasters have launched a fundraising
campaign for the local zoo to make amends.
"Precipitation this spring has been very sparing and it is often the
forecasters who get the blame," said Jaan Saar, director of the Estonian
Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology.
"We admit our 'guilt' and have launched a donation for the Tallinn Zoo
among our employees."
The feeding grounds at the zoo, which lacks the money to pay to water them,
have turned to brown because of the exceptionally dry weather, Saar said.
"People will always find a way to alleviate a hard situation but not caged
animals who are fully dependent on man's will and possibilities," Saar said.
- Flooding and mudslides caused by torrential rain have killed at
least 179 people in western China and wrecked bridges and power
stations. The worst-hit area was Shaanxi
province, where at least 150 people were dead and another 400 missing.
Rain swept through the area from Saturday to Monday. In Shaanxi, 80,000
houses were destroyed or badly damaged as the rain washed out 13
bridges and 20 miles of highways and railway lines. Rain in the northwest
region of Xinjiang destroyed 500 homes and 4,000 acres of cropland.
- Several people were injured by hail
the size of softballs while straight line
winds partially ripped the roof off a
motel as storms pounded Nebraska (USA).
The large hail smashed windows in
cars and homes throughout the
Kearney area in central Nebraska late
- Latest media reports indicate that parts of western China have been inundated by their heaviest rains
on record, killing more than 500 people and leaving as many as 320,000 homeless. Deaths and flood damage were reported in areas that stretched from the
remote northwestern desert region of Xinjiang to the densely populated central province of Hubei. In
the normally dry west, record high rainfalls this year have made flooding particularly severe.
Parts of Shaanxi province got 489mm of rain over two days, the heaviest
two-day total since weather records began a century ago.
- AP reported that heavy rains triggered a new wave of floods and mudslides in Tajikistan, killing at least 8 people. Flooding destroyed 24 homes in the capital Dushanbe. A mudslide in the village of Revat, 200 km north of the capital, killed 4 people and destroyed or damaged some 30 homes. A mudslide last week in the Sogliiskoi region, 85 km north of Dushanbe, left more than 1,500 people homeless.
South African ship carrying helicopters
is on its way to Antarctica to help rescue
107 people aboard a German ship
trapped by an ice drift.
It will take the South African ship, the
Agulhas, nine days to reach the edge of
the ice, where it will meet up with the
Argentinian icebreaker Almirante Irizar to try to free the trapped
The Magdalena Oldendorff, the trapped German ship, was carrying 79
Russian scientists and 28 crew members, including two Germans, to
Cape Town from the Novolazarevskaya station in northeast
Antarctica when it came across the ice drift, according to officials from
Antarctic Logistics Center International.
The 18,000-ton vessel headed back toward Antarctica and was waiting
along the continent's northern tip, due south of Cape Town, until it
either was rescued or the ice moved out of its path.
If the South African and Argentinian ships cannot reach the ship, the
helicopters will remove the scientists and nonessential crew members
and leave the vessel behind with a skeleton staff and supplies for the
- A cold front pushing across the
Midwest (USA) triggered at least one
tornado, high winds and
baseball-sized hail in Nebraska and
Minnesota late Wednesday.
Fortunately, there were no reports of
- Monsoon rains have flooded
northern Bangladesh, trapping tens
of thousands of people in their
homes, drowning two children and
damaging crops, roads and bridges.
Swirling flood waters swept away the
two children Wednesday in the
district of Mymensingh, where about
50,000 people were trapped in their
- A dust devil wreaked havoc at
the third day of Royal Ascot (England).
The freak wind whisked a gazebo, chairs and ladies' hats
a hundred feet into the air, sending punters scurrying
for cover at the Berkshire course.
Two men were taken to hospital; one with a suspected
heart attack, the other with cuts and bruises.
The Met Office at Bracknell recorded the Force 6 gust,
describing it as a "dust devil".
- At least four people were killed and
scores injured when a severe storm lashed the northwestern Pakistani
city of Peshawar.
The storm, with winds of up to 65 km/h,
accompanied by heavy rain, uprooted power pylons and trees and severed
telephone links in several parts of the city.
- The Rodeo and Chediski fires in Arizona merged, and have burned over 330,000
acres as of this date. Over 300 homes have been destroyed by the fires in Arizona, and over
30,000 people have been forced to evacuate, including most of the population of Show Low
(pop ~ 8000). The entire town is now considered to be threatened by the fire.
- The death toll
from flooding in southern Russia
climbed to 72, as officials
came to grips with the extent of the
damage to towns and villages
throughout the region.
Nearly 86,000 people have been
evacuated from their homes, many of
them by helicopter, since the rains
began a week ago.
More than 3,000 residential buildings
have been destroyed and nearly 4,000
damaged by the floodwaters, Beltsov
said. Roads, bridges, rail lines and gas
pipelines have sustained damage, and
some 110 towns and villages are
without electricity, he added.
Emergency Minister Sergei Shoigu was to fly Tuesday to Dagestan on the
Caspian Sea, one of the worst-hit republics, the ITAR-Tass news agency
reported. About a third of Dagestan's territory has been submerged in
The floods are the worst in Russia since the Siberian
republic of Yakutia was inundated by melting snow and
ice a year ago, and residents say they are the worst in
Chechnya since 1937.
- More than 750 people are now feared dead in flooding
that has devastated large areas of China in recent weeks.
Official government figures have put the confirmed
death toll at 453 people, with 151 deaths in the worst-hit
province of Shaanxi.
But a further 300 people in
the province are still
missing, a week after a
senior official said they
were not expected to be
It is still early in the
flooding season, which
lasts well into September,
prompting fears that more
people could die this year
than in 1998, when the
worst flooding in half a
century killed at least 2,000 people.
More than 57 million people have already been affected
by the flooding, according to the Ministry of Civil
- The 100F temperatures that broke records across the northern
Plains (USA) were impressive, but a long way from the hottest ever
in Nebraska and the Dakotas. Saturday's hottest official high was 111F at
Bismarck, N.D., which broke not only the
daily record for June 29, but the record for
the month, which was 107F recorded in both
1921 and 1988.
But this was a long way from the warmest
ever recorded in Bismarck, 114F in July 1936.
The 108F recorded at Timber Lake, S.D. was the hottest ever recorded
there, but official observations data back only to 1948.
World weather news, May 2002
- Very wet in parts of Switzerland. According to SYNOPS rainfall in the 60 hours ending 0600GMT on the 4th at Locarno Magadino was 493mm.
- At least 145 families were left
homeless after heavy rains washed away homes in Bundibugyo district of Uganda. After the floods washed away the Umya Bridge, large part of
the district was cut off from the rest of the country. Floods and mudslides could have also affected
other parts of the country.
- By the 6th searchers have found nearly 200 bodies after refloating a Bangladesh
ferry boat that sank on Friday night. Up to
300 people are believed to have been drowned when the ferry sank 100 miles south of Dhaka,
in a storm in one of the worst Bangladesh ferry disasters since the 1980s.
- Major transport links slowly reopened amid a
massive cleanup operation after torrential rains caused floods and mudslides in
Switzerland and northern Italy. Switzerland's Gotthard highway and tunnel was reopened midmorning. It had been closed Friday afternoon after mudslides blocked all four lanes. The
Gotthard railway route was also back in business. Hundreds of people on trains from the
northern Italian city of Milan spent the night in hotels after having to interrupt their journey.
In the southern state of Ticino near the Italian border police said the situation was slowly
improving. More rain fell in the space of 12 hours on May 3rd, than in a normal month. There
were dozens of mudslides and local roads remained closed. Rains tapered off slightly in
northern Italy, but fresh landslides overnight continued to block roads and heavy snowfall in
the mountains around Alto Adige prompted warnings of avalanches.
- As floodwaters in
southern West Virginia and
Virginia receded, the toll of death
and destruction inched upwards with five people dead in
West Virginia (USA), one dead in Virginia
and another 10 people missing.
The deaths brought the total to five in McDowell County (WV) since more than
4 inches of rain deluged the region over six hours on Thursday.
- A tornado hit the town of Happy, TX early Sunday morning killing two people and
destroying ten homes and damaging about 50 other buildings. 3 people remain in the hospital with
minor injuries. It was one of at least 6 tornadoes reported Sunday in west Texas and the Panhandle.
- Up to 7 inches of
snow made travel difficult across western and central North
The last time North Dakota saw so much snow in May was in
1991, when 6 inches fell in Bismarck on May 3.
- A spring storm dumped more than a foot of snow
on southern Alberta, causing icy road conditions that left
hundreds of vehicles stuck in ditches. No deaths had been reported from a
series of accidents reported in and around Calgary, but icy roads made
sending tow trucks too risky in some cases.
- A drought has hit southern China, where nearly 20 to 30%
of rice fields have been devastated. In the province of Guangdong, virtually all-major reservoirs have
dried up and a third of its farmland is perched. The same is reportedly true in the Guangxi region. In
the city of Shenzhen, people stand in lines to buy water. The drought has also hit Fujian province.
- At least 26 people were killed and 33 injured when an
Egyptair plane crashed while trying to land at the airport in Tunis. The crash occurred while the
region was experiencing a violent storm with winds exceeding 100km/h. According to the control
tower, the cause of the accident was the bad weather in the area.
The slow-moving front dropped as
much as 19 inches of wet snow in parts
of Lincoln County just west of Spokane (Washington, USA)
in a late-season storm that set records
for cold temperatures across the state.
There were predictions of crop
losses throughout the state's fruit belt because of freezing
temperatures and strong winds that accompanied the Arctic front.
Temperatures below 28F can kill or damage fragile fruit buds
and winds can blow blossoms off and inhibit pollination.
Record low temperatures for the date were recorded in Spokane,
Pullman, Ritzville, Wenatchee, Ephrata and Omak, where it was 23F, breaking the mark of 29F set last year.
- An ice jam on the Nushagak River flooded the village
of Ekwok, a community of 130 people 285 miles southwest of Anchorage.
The village was under as much as 2 feet of
water. Flooding damaged a number of private homes, the power plant
and a fuel storage area. Six families were evacuated.
- 13 people died over the weekend in storms that battered Madagascar for four days.
The storms fallowed cyclone Kesiny, which killed two people last Thursday.
- According to media reports, two people were killed and five are missing after Tropical
Cyclone 01A hit the Omani coast, a police official said on the 12th. The police mission in the
Zofar governorate, south of Oman, said that rescuers were trying to save persons trapped by
flooding. The storm also caused huge damage to homes and blocked roads. In a statement
carried by regional news agencies, teams were also working to estimate damage to electricity
facilities and other damage caused by uprooted trees in the city of Salalah.
- Drenching thunderstorms stretched
from Texas to New England (USA) for a
second day, causing deadly
flooding and leaving thousands of
customers without electricity.
At least two people had died in
flooding, one was killed by a falling
tree and a boy was in critical condition
Monday after being hit by lightning.
- At least 50 homes were flooded when an ice jam
plugged the Tanana River (Alaska). The half-mile wide ice jam diverted water
into and over Piledriver Slough, usually a slow-moving, shallow
waterway about 35 miles south of Fairbanks. Up to 3 feet of water
covered some spots. Twelve to 15 families left their homes to wait for the
water to recede.
- Four people were seriously injured and
three were reported missing after fierce storms lashed
southwestern France's Atlantic coast.
Two of the missing were divers, who disappeared off Saint-Jean-De-Luz,
while a passenger on a small pleasure boat disappeared in the same area, which
was hit by winds of up to 100 km/h on
In the Gironde region, some 40,000 homes were cut off from electricity, and
some major roads were cut.
- A weeklong heat wave in southern India
with temperatures of up to 120F has killed 373 people in Andhra
Light rain gave some relief Wednesday, but also boosted the humidity
during this unusually hot May, the peak of summer in southern India.
Dry winds and a scorching sun baked the state for much of the week.
- Nine Indiana (USA) counties declared local
floodwaters forced evacuations, blocked
roads and planted seeds of future
problems for the state's farmers. The flooding was the worst for several years.
- It's been 90 years since the temperature reached 74F on May 20 in
Fairbanks (Alaska), but the record didn't have a chance today, with 80F reported.
The dark side of the balmy weather is very low humidity, less than 20%
at midday. "This means the danger for forest fires is very much elevated. On a
normal summer day we get something under 50%."
Temperatures on Monday around Alaska included 75F at Anchorage (normal maximum 56F), 75F Juneau (normal 57F) and 64F at Nome (normal 45F).
- Record low temperatures swept across the
eastern half of the USA this week in a
late-spring blast of cold that is expected to
ease on Thursday.
At least 92 cities from Michigan to South
Texas and points east hit record lows
Monday. Among them, Hartford, Conn.
had a low temperature of 30 degrees which
broke the record for the day and is their
latest freezing temperature on record.
- The death toll
from a heat wave that has gripped
southeastern India rose to 1,030
as reports trickled in from remote rural
villages. Most of the dead were older
people unable to bear temperatures that
reached 122F. In the hardest-hit districts, mostly on the Bay of Bengal, the heat was so
intense that tin-roofed shanties turned into ovens, ponds and rivers dried
up, birds fell from the sky and animals collapsed.
All the deaths occurred May 9-15, and the victims were mostly the
elderly and the poor, who could not withstand the brutal heat, which
causes dehydration and sunstroke. Farm laborers and rickshaw pullers
who had worked instead of taking shelter also died.
It is the highest one-week toll on record for any Indian heat wave,
meteorologists said. Weather officials said past heat waves have never
killed many more than a few hundred in a week countrywide.
- Torrential rain pounded Haiti for a fourth
day, causing flooding and landslides and killing at least 10
people. Almost 100 people were left homeless in the southern peninsula
of this Caribbean nation. Rain has battered the eroded hills since Friday,
carrying away people, their houses and livestock, and destroying fields.
Rain also pounded Jamaica this week, causing at least five deaths and
widespread damage throughout the central parishes of Clarendon, St.
Ann's and St. Catherine.
- On the 27th. the Honduran government declared a state of emergency after heavy rains
flooded the capital, Tegucigalpa, and left more than 100,000 people stranded in eastern
Honduras. Major floods were reported in Tegucigalpa, where 300 people were evacuated, and
in the province of Danli, in southeastern Honduras. In Olancho province, 80 miles (130 kms)
east of Tegucigalpa, the rains washed out five bridges, preventing thousands of people from
leaving the area.
- Heavy rains fell across parts of central and southern Chile
adversely affecting 3,655 people in Atacama, Coquimbo, Vlaparaiso, Libertador General Bernardo
O'Higgins, Maule, Araucania and Metropolitana de Santiago regions. Some 2,880 people remain
isolated in Atacama, Coquimbo and Vlaparaiso regions.
- According to media reports,
residents were evacuated from Managua, the Nicaraguan capital, and a dozen
communities to the southwest of Managua were cut off by heavy rains that made streets
impassable and washed out sections of highways. Managua Mayor Herty Lewites advised
inhabitants of the capital to stay indoors until the end of the downpours, which began last
week. In San Rafael del Sur, 60 km southwest of the capital, 14 communities on the
Pacific coast were cut off after a section of the highway washed out. State-run Radio Nicaragua
reported that a child was swept away and killed by flood currents in a neighborhood in the
rains sent floodwaters into homes in
northeastern Pennsylvania (USA), closing roads
and forcing some residents to be rescued
from their rooftops, authorities said.
The National Weather Service said more
than five inches of rain fell in the Bear
Creek Township area, about 15 miles
south of Wilkes-Barre, between 2 and 6 p.m.
- A prolonged drought in eastern Guinea-Bissau has killed
hundreds of heads of cattle, threatening the lives of thousands of people. A member of the
parliament was quoted as saying that the drought destroyed staple peanut and rice fields and was
indirectly responsible for the deaths of some people.
- Record heat is expected across interior
California and the Southwest today as
above-normal warmth engulfs much of the
West. High temperatures will be as much as
20F above normal, with cities such
as Phoenix and Las Vegas facing 105F to 110F heat this afternoon.
- With much of the West (USA) gripped
by the worst drought in decades, rivers
are running low from lack of rain and
devastating year for ranchers and farmers, it's looking like the Dust Bowl
days in parts of the Great Plains, cities and towns are imposing tough
water-use restrictions, and wildfires are breaking out almost daily in the
A few hundred miles to the southwest, the drought is exposing sandy
beaches at the Lake Mead Recreation Area on the Nevada-Arizona
border - and weapons and cars ditched there.
World weather news, April 2002
- A tornado struck eastern India, killing at least nine people and flattening nearly
500 homes, many of them thatched huts. Most of the
deaths were caused by collapsing homes and uprooted trees. At least 50 people were injured by
the twister, which lasted nearly 20 minutes, reaching wind
speeds of up to 60 mph.
- A landslide in Papua New Guinea's rugged, jungle-clad mountains has killed eight
villagers and 22 are missing, presumed buried under mud and debris, the national disaster
office said on April 3rd. The disaster office reported, "That particular area is prone to
landslides and flooding. There had been heavy rain in the province which caused the landslide."
- BBC News reported that the food shortage in Malawi, due partially to an ongoing drought, is worsening. Maize
now sells for $13 for a 50kg bag, up from $3 at government-run markets last year. Famine, caused by
the food shortage, is affecting 75% of Malawi's 11 million people. The
spread of cholera, worsened by the current drought, has killed more than 500 people in Malawi.
503 people have died from cholera since the outbreak began in November.
- At least 16 million people in China are short of drinking water as the country
experiences the worst drought in decades. State run media said that the level or rainfall in parts of
southwest and northeast China were down by 90%. The drought is expected to destroy huge areas of
- Aheavy downpour hit
Accra (Ghana) and its surrounding neighbourhood, causing floods which destroyed millions of cedis worth of
property. Two hundred residents living along the Odaw River were affected.
- A severe storm damaged homes and infrastructure in East
Cape towns (South Africa). Hail and floods damaged at least 200 homes. The damage is estimated at 360,000 rands.
- According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center , no one in the United States has died as a
result of a tornado so far this year. This is the furthest the nation has gone into any year
without a tornado related death since record keeping began in 1950, according to NOAA
scientists. In addition, the nation has experienced significantly fewer tornadoes than average. So far in
2002, only 59 tornadoes have been reported, much less than the typical count of nearly 200 by
April 15. This is the lowest tornado count on this date since 1994.
- 11 people died during floods that swept parts of southern and
central Iran. Iranian state radio reported that the floodwaters destroyed homes and
- Summer came early across parts of the midwest (USA). Temperatures soared into the
mid to upper 90's in Nebraska. Temperatures were above 90F in Omaha and reachedF at McCook, Nebraska. Temperatures were also hot in parts of Kansas, northwest
Missouri, western Iowa and southwest Minnesota. The temperature reached 91F in the
St. Paul/Minneapolis area breaking the old daily record of 82F set in 1915 and 1976. This was the
earliest in April that 90F or higher was recorded, the previous earliest date was on the 25th of
the month back in 1990 when the mercury hit 95F. The 95F reading is also the record high for
April. At the beginning of April 2002, there was 4-7 inches of snow on the ground.
- Summer extended eastward to New England (USA) from the 17th to the 20th of the month. New all
time record April high temperatures were set in Central Park, NY and in Charleston, SC. with
temperatures near or above 95F. In Philadelphia, PA they had three days in a row of
temperatures near or above 90F.
- Taiwanese authorities are considering
nationwide water rationing because of the island's worst drought in two decades. Since
January, the island's capital of Taipei has received just 280 mm of rainfall,
about 46 percent of the annual average of the past 30 years. Rainfall in Kaohsiung, the island's second largest city, totalled 42 mm or 27 percent of the 30-year average.
- Five people were missing and feared dead, and 270 houses were destroyed by flash floods in Qala-i-Nau (Afghanistan). 250 families were stranded at a UNHCR transit camp there, 340 miles west of Kabul.
- Eleven people were killed by lightning and falling trees when a severe
30-minute thunderstorm hit the northern part of India's West Bengal state on the 26th.
- A spring storm in the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys in the USA caused tornadoes,
high wind and hail. The storm then moved eastward causing additional damage and
spawning killer tornadoes. The tornadoes were part of powerful storms carrying heavy rain
and snow. On the system's northern edge, up to 20 inches of snow fell overnight in Wisconsin.
More than 40,000 people were without power in northern Wisconsin on the 28th and wet snow
contributed to four traffic deaths in Minnesota. In Maryland, a powerful tornado killed three
people and levelled parts of La Plata, a small town 25 miles south of Washington, D.C. A
tornado in Missouri struck Marble Hill, killing a 12 year-old boy. In Kentucky and Illinois,
tornadoes caused one death in each state. In Tennessee, a tornado injured 18 people 30 miles
southeast of Nashville, and a tornado touched down in Ohio and caused widespread damages. About two-thirds of the businesses in LaPlata, were destroyed or damaged by a tornado - ther first F5 tornado in the USA since 1999.
World weather news, March 2002
- This winter's run of unusually mild
weather in the Midwest USA froze in its
tracks with Chicago getting its
first below-zero (degF) temperature, as record
cold surged all the way to the Mexican
The icy air flowed southward in the
wake of a weekend storm that spread ice
and snow from the Rockies to the Plains and from Texas to Michigan.
At least 23 deaths were blamed on the storm and one person was
missing in Colorado. In Texas, freezing
rain was blamed for more than 500 traffic accidents and 100 flights were cancelled out of Dallas-Fort
Worth International Airport.
- Tropical storm Mitag began impacting eastern part of Yap State on Feb. 28th. The
typhoon struck Yap Main Island on March 3rd. The neighboring islands of Ifalik, Woleai, and
Eauripic also sustained considerable damage. There were no deaths or serious injuries reported but
strong winds and tidal surge destroyed nearly all food crops in low-lying areas including parts of the
town of Colonia. Some 150-200 people lost their homes. On Rumung Island, the storm surge, which
went in far as 1200m inland, caused damage to the coastline, the retaining walls, and crops. Power in
Colonia was cut for several hours and most of the other parts of the island lost power for several
days. Public facilities, property and roads were destroyed, as were private homes, boats, vehicles, and
- Louisana was braced for a second-straight
night of record cold temperatures and a
hard freeze late Monday and early
Tuesday. Strawberry farmers in Southeast Louisiana, who covered their plants
last Wednesday and haven't uncovered them since, still don't know
what the damage, if any, will be.
Shreveport recorded 17F, breaking the 22F mark set in
1971. It also was the second-lowest March temperature ever recorded
in Shreveport after 15F on March 3, 1943.
- Data released by the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
confirms what many have thought to believe: This winter was one of the
warmest on record. For the nation as a whole, meteorological winter -
December 2001 through February 2002 - was the fifth warmest in the 107
years of record keeping. Individual state rankings show it was the
warmest winter recorded in Iowa, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey,
Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
- Scientists at the U.S. National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, or
NOAA, report that surface
temperatures of the Pacific Ocean
near the South American coast
warmed 2C in February. That is a
strong sign that the Pacific is headed
for an El Nino condition that could
last more than a year.
- Tropical cyclone Hary tracked southward along the coast of Madagascar bringing
heavy rain and strong winds. No substantial damage was reported in any of the districts. In
Antalaha two bridges have been destroyed and one person died. In Maroantsetra risk of flooding
provoked evacuations from low-lying areas. In Fenerive Est district one road remains cut due to a
- Power cuts continued after
high winds ripped through southeast
Michigan (USA) damaging homes, toppling
trees and utility poles.
About 16,000 Edison customers were
without power after at
least 158,000 of the utility's customers
had lost power since early Saturday.
Elsewhere in southeast Michigan, the howling winds toppled a church
steeple and ripped the roofs off several buildings at the Hazel Park
- Strong storms and at least one tornado hit
portions of central and south Mississippi.
No injuries were reported in the three
counties, but two homes were destroyed
and more than 60 were damaged, some
heavily, when the storms hit late on Friday
and on Saturday.
- An Alaskan snowstorm dumped 28.7 inches of snow on Anchorage, AK on March 16-17th. This snowfall broke the old daily record of 15.6 inches. Snow amounts ranged from 24 to
29 inches at lower elevations with 5 to 10 inches recorded along the upper hillside. Light snow began to fall in Anchorage at 5 pm
on the 16th and continued through the evening of the 17th. The heaviest snowfall occurred
between 10 pm on the 16th and 3 pm on the 17th, when 21 inches of snow was observed at the
airport. Daily snowfall totals were 3 inches on the 16th and 25.7 inches on the 17th.
in east central Tennessee picked up over 7.00
inches of rain while the majority of North
Carolina outside of the mountains saw less
than one-half of an inch of precipitation.
According to media reports, the National Guard was called in to help evacuate residents
affected by a storm that damaged or destroyed at least 250 homes in the worst flooding to hit
eastern Kentucky in 25 years. More rain is expected in parts of the region on the 19th and
20th. At least seven deaths in Tennessee were blamed on the storm, which dumped as much as
6 to 8 inches of rain.
- A winter with little snow has helped make this
snowmobiling season one of the safest in more than a decade in
Wisconsin. Fourteen people have died in snowmobile-related accidents
this season, which has not officially ended. That's the lowest since the
1980s, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. Last year,
26 snowmobilers died, while the 1999-2000 season had a record 39
snowmobile deaths. Most snowmobile trails opened later than usual this
season because of below-normal snowfall and stayed open only briefly.
- A massive sandstorm has enveloped most of northern China, covering the capital Beijing in a
shroud of dense dust and reducing visibility to less than 50 metres in some areas. The storm is
the strongest and most intense this spring, the official state-run Xinhua news agency reported,
and hit China's north on the 19th with fierce winds. Sandstorms are frequent in spring,
triggered by sudden seasonal temperature changes. Sand is
picked up from the expanding desert regions in northwestern China and Inner Mongolia. The
dust could be seen east of Beijing over the Yellow sea and the Sea of Japan on
- Cleanup began in West Texas, where a tornado toppled two mobile
homes and ripped roofs off buildings, and hail stripped leaves from
trees. Winds gusted to almost 70 mph in Lampasas. Hail up to 1.75 inches in
diameter fell around Eldorado, San Angelo and Fort McKavett.
A tornado touched down in San Angelo.
Air travel was delayed at Dallas-Fort
Worth International Airport because of
lightning, which caused ramps to be
- Recent Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery
analyzed at the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center revealed that
the northern section of the Larsen B ice shelf, a large floating ice mass on the eastern side of
the Antarctic Peninsula, has shattered and separated from the continent. The shattered ice
formed a plume of thousands of icebergs adrift in the Weddell Sea. A total of about 3,250 km2
of shelf area disintegrated in a 35-day period beginning on 31 January 2002. Over the last five
years, the shelf has lost a total of 5,700 km2, and is now about 40 percent the size of its
previous minimum stable extent.
- Flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rains have left 13 people dead and more than
6,000 people homeless throughout Ecuador. Torrential storms have drenched Ecuador for the
past two weeks, causing rivers to overflow and flooding entire neighborhoods of towns and
cities. Damage was worst in the coastal provinces of Manabi, El Oro and Guayas, where the
country's second largest city, Guayaquil, is located. This type of event usually occurrs when
water temperatures rise off the western South American coast and could possibly signal the
return of El-Nino
- Light snow in the afternoon accumulated another 0.3 inches in
Marquette, Michigan (USA), pushing the seasonal total there to an even 300 inches
since October. Heavy lake-effect snow streaming from the unfrozen
waters of Lake Superior was accountable for much of the record snow.
Normal seasonal snowfall through March 30 is 156.8 inches. February and
March of 2002 became the snowiest such months in Marquette with 91.9
inches and 81.7 inches, respectively. February 2002 is also the snowiest of
any month, surpassing the 91.7 inches in January 1997. Weather records in Marquette
began in 1961.
- Six people died in flooding after torrential rain hit the Spanish island of Tenerife. As many as 30 people were injured. Heavy rains caused flash floods and
mudslides, flooding houses, cutting power and stranding thousands of
people. Air traffic at the Rodeos airport was restored
after the rain stopped in the north of the island.
- Shirt sleeves and short pants were on
display in northern China as the capital Beijing enjoyed
record high temperatures and meteorologists announced the arrival of
summer a month early.
28.7C in Beijing, outstripped the previous historic
high of 26.4C on 31 March 1989.
The Central Meteorological Station said record highs or
near-record highs were recorded throughout north and northeast
China, including the cities of Beijing, Tianjin and Shenyang.
The hot weather came quickly, rising from a daily high of only
12C in Beijing on Friday.
World weather news, February 2002
- From Georgia to Maine, eastern states of the USA are worried about a rare winter
drought that has dried up reservoirs and forced conservation in a season
when water is usually plentiful.
Cities have had to seek out
alternate water sources and
institute mandatory water-saving
measures as a result of the low
water levels. States have issued
drought warnings to dozens of
counties in the mid-Atlantic and
Sparse rainfall since last spring and paltry snowfall this winter are to
blame. The jet stream that directs cold air and precipitation to the
Northeast in winter has remained farther north than usual, keeping the
snowfall above the Great Lakes. The lack of normal precipitation has
depleted groundwater, rivers and lakes.
- Floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain
killed at least 30 people and left a dozen missing on the eastern end of
Indonesia's Java island. A series of flash floods hit
the Situbondo and Bondowoso districts, about 450 miles east of Jakarta.
Many houses remain under
water. Thick mud and floods were blocking several roads in the region,
hindering relief efforts.
avalanche buried 20 cars in snow near a
tunnel leading through some of
Afghanistan's highest mountains.
The Salang tunnel, a key link in connections between the country's
north and south, was damaged during Afghanistan's wars, but was
reopened last month after Russian-led repair works.
During the past few days, snow has blanketed parts of Afghanistan,
blocking roads and isolating remote mountain villages.
- Twenty four counties in southern and eastern
Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, were placed in a drought
emergency Tuesday. Residents are urged to reduce water usage by
10-15% in effort to avoid additional restrictions in the spring.
Precipitation has been below normal in the state since October 2000.
- Recent floods in Malawi have worsened the food shortage in the country.
The floods also affected transportation by damaging bridges and railways. It is estimated that
between 50 to 80 percent of farming families in the country face starvation. Many people, primarily
children have been reported to die from hunger.
A cold snap that wiped out millions of monarch butterflies in central
Mexico last month may reduce next year's migrations, the World Wildlife
Fund says. According to a WWF report, as many as 250 million monarch
butterflies may have been killed by a massive cold front that swept across
central Michoacan state on January 12 and 13. Millions of the butterflies make
the journey each year from Canada to the monarch butterfly reserve in
Michoacan, a hilly region carpeted in pine trees, arriving the on the first two
days of November and departing in March.
- Fears aregrowing for the survival of endangered
leopards and tigers in Russia's Far East, as freak weather
conditions threaten them with starvation.
Heavy snowfalls in the Primorski region could all but
wipe-out the deer and boar which the Amur tiger and
Far Eastern leopard feed on.
Only about 350 Siberian tigers and 40 Siberian leopards
still exist in the world - all of them in the region.
Snow in the region is up to 1.5 metres deep. The deer
already find it difficult to find food in the forest with
snow-levels of 40 centimetres.
- A powerful thunderstorm raged through northern
Bolivia, causing flash flooding in La Paz and killing at least 50
people. Most of the dead were swept away by raging
flood waters that turned the main downtown street El Prado into a
muddy river. The storm, which also spawn widespread hail,
left more than 100 people injured. The torrential rain stranded thousands
of workers and pedestrians for hours and knocked out electrical power
and telephone service in the downtown area. Scores of residents were
forced from homes because of flood damage.
- The warm temperatures and lack of much
rain or snow in NE USA are threatening maple syrup
production. Weather is the major factor in making
maple syrup, said Ronald Olsen, marketing
representative for the Connecticut
Department of Agriculture. "The temperatures haven't been ideal,"
Olsen said. Nights with temperatures in the mid-20s
and daytime temperatures in the 30s are
needed for peak production. Trees are
tapped and most maple sap is collected
from around mid-February to mid-March.
- Violent storms tore across the north of Germany on Tuesday,
killing three people and bringing down trees, power lines and the roofs
of houses. Gusts reached 110 mph, and the storms brought heavy rain and
hail. Trees brought down railway power lines and blocked roads. The
roofs were ripped off houses near the North Sea and in Hanover. The
warm, wet and windy spell follows heavy snowfall last week across
northern Germany, Scandinavia and Britain that caused scores several
fatal accidents, disrupted flights and cut off power.
- Facing a fourth straight year entrenched in drought,
Montana could be on course for a return to the Dust Bowl days of the
1930s, officials told the state Drought Advisory Committee.
Rivers and reservoirs hold less
water than normal, mountain
snowpack is lagging, and dry
Montana soil is being blown away
on strong winter winds.
- Drought conditions in Kenya's arid and semiarid regions have persisted causing
malnutrition levels in Wajir and other districts to reach as high as 15%. A morbidity and mortality
rate among children has subsequently increased.
World weather news, January 2002
- Temperature has dropped to -15C in Romania. Heavy snowfall over New Year's eve paralyzed traffic on most roads in Romania. In Transylvania and Dubruja the snow was up to 1.5m thick. All traffic came to a standstill on 15 national highways and some train service were cancelled. The ports of Constanta, Madjidia, Sulina and Agigea were closed, as well as the Dunabe-Black Sea canal.
- Heavy snowfall and low temperatures on trapped thousands of people in automobiles and trains in the southern region of Silesia (Poland). Snow also covers most roads in Opole region, where all the roads are essentially closed off and cars have been trapped on many roads since Tuesday night. In Lower Silesia near town of Legnica and Walbrzych even snowplows are trapped. Five people are feared to be dead in avalanches in the mountain resort of Zakopane.
snowstorms continued to plague
southeastern Europe, shutting
down transportation and blanketing
villages from the Danube River to Turkey.
At least nine people have died since the
snows started late last week. Parts of
Greece and Bulgaria remained in a state of
emergency on Sunday, while scores of
homeless people in Turkish cities sought
shelter in sports halls and dormitories.
The famous Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey turned white, and the
snow-covered ancient Acropolis in Athens was closed to visitors.
In Turkey, heavy snowfall left some 5,000 villages cut off Sunday, local
media said. Many flights were canceled at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.
Four people have frozen to death in Turkey since the bad weather began.
Two people have died in Greece. And in Bulgaria's Black Sea town of
Kavarna a man was found frozen to death in the street.
The cold front stretched across southern Europe. In nearby Italy, two
homeless men died from exposure to cold, authorities said Sunday, and
some of Venice's famed canals froze over.
Traffic on Bulgarian stretches of the Danube River was banned near the
ports of Silistra and Lom, where thick slabs of ice covered much of the
river surface. Road and rail routes were blocked in northern parts of the
country where snow six feet deep had prompted a state of emergency.
Ice and snow stopped most flights at Athens International Airport and
closed sections of Greece's main north-south highway, where all large
trucks were banned.
The heavy snow reached Crete and other holiday islands and battered
crops in farming areas across Greece.
rain fell in parts of Australia for the first
time in more than two weeks, dousing
flames Monday after weary crews of
volunteers had fought fire with fire, setting
controlled burns to block blazes.
Up to 2 inches of rain fell overnight, mainly
in the Blue Mountains national park 50
miles west of Sydney.
- Very mild in Swedish Lapland in recent days in the SW flow. Some maximum
10th Gunnarn 8.3°C, Luleĺ 8.8°C.
11th Luleĺ 8.5°C. Kvikkjokk 8.8°C - just short of the record January temperature there of 9.0°C in 1992.
Katterjĺkk had 105 mm precipitation - mostly as rain or sleet - in 24 hrs to
06z on Friday and 46 mm in 24 hrs to 06z on Saturday (the January average is 76mm). So far this month there has been 247mm there - already beating the record January total there of 228 mm in 1981.
- 11 people died in flash floods caused by heavy rains and snow in western and
southern Iran. The floods occurred on Jan. 11th and 12th. Floodwaters circled almost a 1000 villages. The most affected were Fars, Bushehr, Khouzistan and Kerman provinces.
- Rains doused most of Australia's "Black
Christmas" bush fires, and relieved firefighters said the crisis
No lives have been lost, but an estimated 170 homes and 1.6 million acres
of forest and farmland were destroyed by the fires, most burning since
Christmas Eve. The insurance bill is expected to top $36 million.
Up to 1 inch of rain fell across New South Wales state overnight
Wednesday, much of it in areas where wild fires still raged.
Wednesday's rains caused minor flooding, knocked out power to about
2,000 homes and led to the evacuation of 35 people from a caravan park
in the Shoalhaven region, 120 miles south of Sydney.
Hailstones the size of tennis balls shattered windows,
windscreens and the roof tiles of
hundreds of homes as a vicious
storm whipped through eastern
The pounding rain from the storm,
which struck the northeastern coast of
New South Wales state late on
Wednesday, had earlier doused the
last of the huge bushfires that had
threatened the outskirts of Sydney
- At least eight people are now known to have lost their
lives in floods in the Indonesian province of North
The flooding began on Monday after torrential rainfall,
although latest reports say it has now subsided.
Flooding has also been reported in and around the
Indonesian capital, Jakarta, where some 177mm
of rain - half the monthly average - has fallen in the
past two days.
- Cyclone Dina passed within 65km of La Reunion, leaving a trail of
destruction in its wake.
Local authorities on the island said
120,000 homes were without
electricity after winds of more than
150mph brought down
power lines, felled trees and triggered
avalanches that shut many roads.
About 2,500 of La Reunion's 715,000 inhabitants left their homes for
temporary shelter arranged by local authorities. Drinking water supplies
were cut off to one quarter of the population.
- A strong storm system hit western Finland on night between 24th and 25th. During the next
24 hours, Valkeakoski got a total of about 42cm snow, and is 150km from the sea. The storm caused hundreds of car accidents, most of the ferries stayed on harbours,
airports were closed, trains were several hours late. Traffic over the longest bridge of Finland
near Vaasa was stopped because of the strong wind and almost zero visibility. Also a large
cargo ship was missing on the sea, but it was finally found on good condition. Fortunately no
one was killed during this storm, although many were injured in car accidents. Some areas
suffered from electric blackouts, but this time they were fixed in pretty short times, the longest
blackout was about 2 hours.
- Record warm temperatures across the
Midwest and East Coast enticed golfers,
picnickers and spring flowers to emerge
this weekend as the mercury topped 70F in
some normally frigid states.
Temperatures in Chicago neared 60F
on Sunday while St.
Louis reached 62F. Syracuse, N.Y., hit a
January record Sunday when it reached 59F.
It was a welcome respite at the Heritage Hills Golf Course in McCook,
Nebraska. The town 77F on Saturday - a record high
for any day in January.
- Gales battered northern Europe, killing at least 18 people as the wind
ripped roofs off houses, disrupted traffic and shipping and left thousands
of homes without power. Wind gusts of up to 120 mph tore through
Britain and Ireland before heading to Scandinavia, Germany, Poland and
Russia. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued 12 flood
warnings in Scotland; 23 flood warnings were in force for Wales and
England. The Russian enclave of Kaliningrad declared a state of
emergency after the winds closed power plants and left 200,000 people
- New Yorkers were urged to cut their water use to lower
the demand on dwindling reservoir levels as city officials issued a
drought warning Monday. Residents should
take shorter showers, take smaller baths and turn off the taps when
brushing their teeth or shaving, said Joel Miele Sr., commissioner of the
city's Environmental Protection Department. A drought emergency could
be declared as early as April, triggering mandatory restrictions in the city
of 8 million. The city's last drought emergency was in 1989.
- As of 5 am today, the temperature at La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA has not fallen below 0F. This ties the winter of 1931-1932 for the latest date ever for the first sub zero
temperature. No sub zero temperatures are predicted into early February, so the winter of
2001-2002 will go down in the record books for the latest date with a sub zero temperature.
Temperature records for the station date back to October 1872. Normally the first sub zero
temperature occurs on December 13th and the area usually experiences 24 days with
temperatures below zero during a winter.
- The temperature soared to 80F at Pinson, Alabama, USA. This
was a record high for the month of January.
- Preferred areas for lightning include Florida,
the Himalayas and central Africa.
Oceans and the poles, however,
mostly escape lightning strikes.
So conclude scientists perusing a new
composite map of satellite images that
record where and when lightning
strikes across the planet.
NASA researchers made the
observations using two weather
satellites, the first one launched in
1995, equipped with special
near-infrared detectors that can spot
lightning flashes even in daytime.
If you have a snippet of weather news that you feel merits inclusion, then please feel free to email it to me.
Last updated 17 January 2003.