World weather news
World weather news, December 2003
- For dozens of stations across Tasmania, November 2003 was the driest November ever seen. The
stations include Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Devonport.
Large swathes of the State had less than one fifth of their normal November rain, and many parts had
less than one tenth.
- The worst thunderstorm in a hundred years has battered
Melboune, Australia. More than 100mm or
rain was recorded in two hours in some suburbs. Severe
hail storms damaged cars, uprooted trees and flooded
homes. Thousands were left stranded as the water
invaded roads, homes and offices.
- Rainfall in 24 hours to 1800GMT on Tuesday - Le Puy 53 mm, Lyon 59 mm,
Marseille 68 mm, Montélimar 130 mm; in 48 hours to 18z on Tuesday - Lyon
75 mm, Marseille 81 mm, Le Puy 93 mm, Montélimar 182 mm.
- In Australia, severe thunderstorms affected Melbourne on the 2nd, dumping heavy rains and large hail
on the city. The storm dumped more than 100mm of rain on the city, generated high winds
and produced golfball-sized hail. Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged by flooding or
from falling trees. Parts of the north and eastern suburbs of Melbourne received more than 100mm in just two hours, which was described as a 100-year storm event by the Australian Bureau of
- Floods that have killed five people and forced 15,000 from
their homes in southeastern France eased around the city of Marseille, but the situation
remained critical elsewhere.
Road, rail and air traffic have been disrupted by rain and high winds, and four nuclear power
reactors were shut down as flooding along the Rhone river and its tributaries between Lyon and
Marseille turned the region into a disaster area.
Rhone Estuary authorities said the river level was gradually subsiding after reaching record
levels on Wednesday and that leaks in dykes along its banks were now under control after army
helicopters brought in material to shore them up.
Montpellier, west of Marseille, was practically cut off from the rest of France after roads out
were flooded, rail services stopped and air traffic at the international airport suspended.
- Tropical Storm Odette formed in the Caribbean Sea
on the 4th - the first tropical storm on
record to have formed in the Caribbean Sea in
December. Odette moved northeastward while
strengthening slightly to a maximum intensity of
55 knots, before coming
ashore over the Dominican Republic on December
6th. Odette dumped up to 180mm of rain
on the Dominican Republic before moving off to the
northeast and merging with a cold front off the
coast of the United States. In the Dominican
Republic, 8 deaths were attributed to the storm.
- In Venezuela, heavy rains during the 3rd-5th prompted flooding along the Limon River in the
northwestern state of Zulia. The flooding displaced at least 4,000 people
- A major winter storm impacted parts of the
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States during
the 5th-7th. Snowfall accumulations of one to two
feet were common across areas of Pennsylvania
northward into New England. Boston, MA received
16.2 inches while Providence RI had the greatest
single snowstorm on record with 17 inches, beating
the previous record of 12 inches set December 5-6,
1981. Boston's Logan International Airport was
closed briefly on the 7th as heavy snowfall made
regular airport operations impossible.
- Tropical Storm Peter formed on the 9th in
the eastern Atlantic and initially moved southwest
and south over warmer waters. Peter then
intensified rapidly to a maximum intensity of 60 knots while moving north. However, Peter just
as rapidly deteriorated to become a tropical
depression on December 10th. The last time there
have been two tropical cyclones in the Atlantic
Ocean of at least tropical storm strength during the
month of December was 1887.
- In Iran, subfreezing low temperatures in the capital
city of Tehran resulted in the deaths of
40 homeless people.
- Tropical Cyclone 03B formed in the Bay of Bengal
on the 12th and made landfall in the Indian state of
Andhra Pradesh by the 15th with maximum
sustained winds near 55kn The storm brought heavy rains which
produced flooding that inundated 120000 hectares
of farmland. Around 8,000 families
lost their homes and 50 people were killed.
- In Germany, snow and ice caused numerous traffic accidents, resulting in one fatality and 17 injuries. Police reported at least 100 road accidents in the southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg.
- Heavy rains during December 17-23 resulted in flooding and landslides
across the central and southern Philippines. At least 200 people were killed
from flooding and landslides, while a ferry sank in rough seas that carried 75
passengers and crew.
- In Bolivia, rising flood waters in the centre of the country on the claimed 6 lives and widespread material damage to houses and roads. The government of Bolivia declared a state of emergency as the Chapare River rose above flood stage.
- Heavy rains affected areas of southern California. The downpour produced flash flooding that resulted in mudslides, taking the lives of 15 people at area campgrounds in San Bernardino.
- A major snow storm in Utah occurred, causing several fatalities due to avalanches. As much as 60cm of snow fell in parts of the state, particularly south of Salt Lake City. Three people that were seen snowboarding in the Aspen Grove recreational area have been presumed dead, all others managed to escape or be rescued.
- A severe snow storm hit northern California and southern Oregon, with as much as 60cm of snow had fallen
along Interstate 5 closing a 150-mile stretch of the interstate, stranding hundreds of travelers. Winds from the storm caused
power outages to more than 200,000 customers in California and Oregon. One man died of a heart attack after helping other
drivers, no other fatalities occurred.
- A continuing cold wave claimed the lives of 157 people in northern India as of December 31. Temperatures in the region were
in the range 2-5C over the past two weeks and dense fog also caused several traffic fatalities. The cold temperatures have taken the lives of many homeless and elderly people in the area prompting the government to provide shelter to the homeless and people suffering from sicknesses.
World weather news, November 2003
- At around 1400GMT the village of Le Roeulx - between Mons
and La Louvière in southern Belgium - was hit by a tornado. Several house roofs were badly damaged - the roof and ceilings were sucked
out of one house. Windows were also broken and a large tree felled.
No-one was hurt.
- The death toll from a flash
flood that swept through an Indonesian mountain resort was at least 170
Five foreign tourists were among those killed in a disaster one official
said was largely caused by illegal logging, which had stripped surrounding
mountains of plant cover.
The flood struck in the early hours of Monday as most people slept. It
was triggered by heavy rains swelling the Bahorok river, which is lined by
guesthouses, restaurants and homes. Most of the dead are from the resort village of Bukit Lawang.
- While the eastern two-thirds of the United States
was experiencing record-breaking warmth during
early November, cold temperatures enveloped
much of the northern Great Plains and Northern
Rockies. Daily temperatures were more than 10C
below normal across much of Montana and
- Scientists at NOAA are observing oceanic telltale signs the climate phenomenon known as El Niño may be back in a weak form just in time for the holidays. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center's monthly El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion reports warmer-than-normal surface and sub-surface ocean temperatures were observed in most of the equatorial Tropical Pacific in the month of October 2003. Based on the sea surface temperature observations for September, October, and those projected for the rest of November, there is an above average likelihood sea-surface temperature conditions will be characterized as a weak or borderline El Niño by the end of November.
- WMO press release:
International cooperation in meteorology was born 150 years ago at a landmark
conference in Brussels that ultimately led to the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) one
hundred years later. The world meteorological and oceanographic communities will meet in the same city on 17 and 18
November under the High Patronage of H.M. King Albert II of Belgium for a Brussels 150 celebration event to take
stock of scientific progress, to exchange lessons learned and to set a future vision.
The systematic atmospheric and
ocean observations programme initiated at the Brussels Conference in 1853 has contributed directly to the present day
high level of skill in daily weather forecasting, as well as the rapidly increasing capabilities in seasonal to inter-annual
climate predictions of phenomena, such as El Niño and La Niña, as well as in climate prediction.
Two factors served as catalysts in the development of modern meteorology. One was the realization in the mid-19th
century that an understanding of the climatology over the oceans would enhance both the safety and the speed of the
ships involved in trading between Europe and other continents. The second factor was the advent of the electric
telegraph, at about the same time, that enabled the real-time exchange of information. Scientists quickly realized that
instant knowledge of weather conditions in a large area surrounding a specific point would enable them to predict the
weather at that point.
- S airflow and Foehn conditions meant that some
of the highest temperatures of the day were in N Scotland - Stornoway reached 16.3C, its highest November temperature in a 142-year record, while 20C was recorded at Lochcarron in NW Scotland. The only other known occurrences of 20C in the UK after 5 November were on the 17th in 1997 (20.7C at Aber) and on the 23rd in 1906 (20.0C at Lairg).
- Record temperatures hit parts of Western Australia. Morawa, in the Central West
district, reached 44C - the previous record here was 42.5C.
The heat comes as a result of a large area of high
pressure which has been centred in the Bight. The high
has been pumping air around its northern flank,
moving it from the arid hotspots of the interior into the
southwest. The wind strength and direction have also
been significant enough to disrupt the usual afternoon
sea breezes from developing here, meaning even coastal
areas have had no respite from the crippling heat.
- Heavy rains struck the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Flooding was
widespread in the city, with water levels reportedly reaching as high as 6 metres in some
areas. The flooding claimed 12 lives and injured 50 people
- Thunderstorms developed in southern
California on the afternoon/evening of the
12th and produced torrential downpours across
parts of the Los Angeles area. More than 125 mm of rain fell in just 2 hours in
southern Los Angeles, producing severe urban
flooding. Small hail also accomanied the
storms, accumulating several inches deep in
some areas of the city. Nearly 115,000 electrical
customer lost power as the storms affected the
- A strong storm system that moved across the U.S.
Great Lakes and into Quebec
produced a variety of weather impacts, including
severe thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy
snows. Winds gusting to 80-95 km/h
across the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes and Northeast
knocked out power to over 200,000 customers in
the region. Heavy snows
affected areas of southeastern Canada, including
Quebec, while snow also fell downwind of the
- Much of
Argentina was lashed by heavy thunderstorms, spawned by a very
active cold front sweeping through the region.
Winds gusted as high as 70 mph. This brought down
trees, power lines and ripped metal from some
buildings. At least thirteen people are known to have
been killed by the severe conditions. The worst affected
area was in central parts and around Buenos Aires where
some buildings lost their roofs and trees were uprooted.
Low-lying areas around the city were flooded by the
deluge and six hundred people had to be evacuated to
Heavy winds damaged the roof of at least one Provo home and
toppled trees, damaging tombstones in the Provo Cemetery (Utah, USA).
Peak wind gusts across Utah County included 101mph at the
9,143-foot elevation in the mountains east of Springville.
The storm was a remnant of a storm that hit Southern California on Wednesday.
And after the wind came the rain and mountain snow. Rainfall totals as of 5pm on Thursday included 0.97ins at Sundance and 9ins of snow at 7,500 feet.
- Heavy rainfall affected Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands during recent days. This resulted in significant flash flooding in many areas with thousands of homes being flooded. Some rivers rose over 10 feet above flood stage. Five-day rainfall totals included 23.69ins at Naguabo and 21.97ins at Comerio.
- A powerful cyclone swept across the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, with the southern coast of the peninsula hardest hit by the strong winds and heavy rain.
The settlement of Ozernaya saw gusts of nearly 70mph and temperatures rose by as much as 15C in places. This was thanks to tropical air drawn northwards by the cyclone. Nearly a third of the monthly precipitation fell within hours, with heavy snowfalls across the Yelizovo and Sobolevsky districts and the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
- In Kashmir, snowfall came as a real shock. Heavy snow lashed the picturesque Gulmarg region. The snow has come unusually early and has disrupted some major transport routes. The only surface link between the Kashmir Valley and the rest of the country was closed.
- In the US Pacific Northwest, strong winds on the 19th cut electricity service to around 67,000 homes
and businesses in Washington and Oregon. The storm brought a rare November snowfall to the
Seattle area, after 50mm of rain fell on the 18th.
- A storm system plowed through the central Appalachians and drenched the Eastern Seaboard (USA), causing flooding that killed at least two people, left dozens stranded and forced others to flee their homes.
In Maryland, a boy drowned in a rain-swollen creek and three construction workers were caught in floodwaters while working on a storm drain, killing at least one.
Schools were closed in parts of West Virginia and North Carolina, but more than 250 students became stranded by high water at three West Virginia schools and prepared to bed down there for the night. Thousands of people lost power.
Up to 8 inches of rain fell in northwestern North Carolina.
- Heavy rains accentuated by the nearby passage of
Typhoon Nepartak in the Gulf of Tonkin produced
flooding throughout the central provinces of
Vietnam during mid-November. Flooding and
landslides claimed 61 lives in Vietnam and inundated
over 32,000 houses.
- In Somalia, drought conditions in the Sool Plateau and Gebi Valley are reportedly the worst in living
memory. Cumulative livestock losses have decimated herds, with pack camel mortality rates over 80
percent. Drought has particularly affected Somalia's nomadic inhabitants.
- Typhoon 'Lupit' battered Yap and the Ulithi atoll with
gusts of wind up to 150mph and waves over 10 metres
high. Many trees came
down and gardens and crops suffered extensive
- Heavy rains in the Dominican Republic which began
in mid-November produced significant flooding
across northeastern and northwestern areas of the
country. Flooding along the rivers Yaque del Nore
and Yuna produced flooding that damaged homes,
crops, and inundated more than 200,000 hectares
of farmland. The floods displaced
around 12,000 people and resulted in 9 deaths.
Italy, 47mm of rain was recorded in six hours on
Wednesday compared to the monthly average of 112mm.
Catania in Sicily had 62mm in 18 hours which is over
half the monthly average of 115mm.
Ljubljana (Slovenia) had 99mm in the twelve
hours going into Thursday morning compared to a
monthly average of 80mm.
- Torrential rains
and gale force winds pounded the Caribbean coast of Honduras, and tropical thunderstorms caused rivers and dams to
overflow, sparking flash floods that engulfed 40
neighbourhoods and a major coastal highway. At least
three people were killed and thousands evacuated.
584mm of rain fell on La Ceiba, on the north
coast of Honduras over the weekend. This is nearly twice
the average for the whole of November of 325mm.
rainfall and mudslides in southeastern Brazil over the
weekend killed nine people and injured several others.
The northern suburb of Rio de Janeiro was one of the
worst-hit by the torrential rains that started to fall early
on Saturday. More than 1200 people had to flee homes
inundated by overflowing rivers or threatened by
In just 24 hours the unusually persistent summer rains
dumped 133mm of rain on Galeo, in Ilha Governador,
just to the north of Rio de Janeiro. This is about
one-third more than the average for the whole month
- The 2003 Atlantic hurricane season that ended today
was busier than usual, with 14 named tropical
storms blamed for 62 deaths.
Although 2003's hurricane season was more active than
usual, many of the strongest hurricanes, such as
Hurricane Kate, didn't make landfall.
The strongest storm to hit land was Hurricane Fabian. In
early September, Fabian's 120mph winds tore up roofs
and roads across Bermuda, causing an estimated $300
million in damage and eight deaths. It was the most
destructive hurricane to hit Bermuda in more than 75
Hurricane Juan, which made land at the end of
September, was the worst hurricane in modern history
to hit Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was the first time Halifax
had been hit by the eyewall of a hurricane since 1893.
Five deaths were attributed to Juan.
The most damaging and deadliest storm was Hurricane
Isabel, which hit North Carolina on 18
September. One of the strongest hurricanes on records,
Isabel reached wind speeds of 165mph. By the time it hit
land, Isabel's winds had dropped to 100mph. But the
hurricane still caused $2 billion worth of damage, much
of it from flooding as it swept over the mid-Atlantic
states, and it was blamed for 40 deaths.
Since 1995, seven of nine hurricane seasons have been
above normal, according to the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
World weather news, October 2003
- Flooding along the mighty Yellow River and one of
its tributaries has forced 300,000 people to flee their homes in north China,
while another 11,000 people in the east must be relocated.
Some 300,000 people in Weinan city in north China's Shaanxi province have
been relocated as heavy rain since 27 September has caused flooding along the
Wei River, a tributary to the Yellow River.
- In Haiti, heavy rains during the 5th-6th in the capital city of Port-au-Prince triggered landslides that collapsed homes in four neighbourhoods. The flooding was responsible for at least 13 deaths.
- A pre-season snowstorm blanketed southern
Germany leading to several road closures and traffic jams.
Fallen trees and ice made roads treacherous in the Black Forest and Allgaeu
regions, where two autobahns were shut temporarily. Several minor car
accidents were reported throughout the states of Bavaria and
Train service in the city of Freiburg was interrupted due to downed trees
blocking the tracks. Isolated power outages were reported in Bavaria.
- A man who was performing his morning prayers in a
mosque in northwest Bursa was killed when a minaret was toppled by strong
winds blowing across parts of Turkey.
Five other people were injured in the incident, the agency said, adding
that schools across the province had been closed by the winds blowing at 80km/h.
The main northwestern towns in Izmir, Canakkale and Istanbul also suffered
power cuts and damage such as fallen trees, damaged roofs and overturned cars.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo severe
thunderstorms affected the area around Bikoro. A school with at least 200 students was
struck by lightning, killing 11 and injuring 73.
Climatologically, the country has the some of the
highest concentration of lightning strikes
- The August heatwave kindled the love light in the
oyster beds of southwest France, and the result is an
unprecedented baby boom of 100 billion larvae.
According to the state maritime research institute IFREMER, producers in
the country's biggest oyster-growing area the Arcachon basin are reporting
around 19,000 larvae - technically known as spats - per tray, compared to an
average of just 45 last year.
"This record explosion is the result of the summer's exceptional weather
conditions. With water temperature between 25 and 28C compared to 20C
in 2002, reproduction has been especially abundant".
- Scientists monitoring the atmosphere have discovered
that the size of the Antarctic Ozone Hole this year is the
second largest ever recorded at around 10.9 million
square miles. This is not far short of the record 11.5
million square miles measured in 2000.
- The minimum temperature in Adelaide (Australia) on the 9th was 4.7C. This was the coldest October morning since 3.3C was recorded on 24 October 1951. The coldest ever October morning in Adelaide occured on 10 October 1910, when the temperature fell to 2.7C.
The average overnight (minimum) temperature in Adelaide for the first 10 days of October 2003 was 7.8C, making it the coldest start to October since 1910, which holds the record for this period in October of 7.4C. The long term mean minimum temperature for this period is 10.6C.
- Southern Greenland has been very unsettled during the past few days. Prins Christian Sund, which lies to the far south of the country, had 215cm of snow in 42 hours as vicious storms blasted through the area. Gales or even severe gales accompanied the snow which equates to about 215mm of rain. This is just over the October average rainfall figure of 206mm.
- Heavy rains and strong winds caused damage in the Venezuelan coastal area of Chichiriviche. Eighty homes were damaged by the high winds and ten of these were completely destroyed. Some ten people were reported injured in the area worse hit, which lies around 150 miles northwest of the capital of Caracas. In Caracas itself heavy rains flooded and blocked the main east-west highway through the city.
- Showers and thunderstorms brought flooding to
Algiers (Algeria). Seven
people were swept away and killed by flood
waters, with the fatalities occurring in the cities of
Saida and Assa.
- A strong low pressure system brought showers,
thunderstorms and strong winds to much of the
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region of the United
States. In Maine, gusty winds
knocked down trees and power lines which left
about 110,000 homes and business without power.
Further south, thousands of residents in
Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania also
lost electricity. Wind gusts of 80-115 km/hr were reported in parts of the area. Some of the heaviest rain fell in Boston (Massachusetts) and Providence (Rhode Island), which both saw 36mm in just 6 hours. 110mm fell in Rumford in Maine. Gusts close to 110mph were recorded over Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
- Throughout much of the western United States,
severe to extreme drought continues to be widespread. The
most concentrated areas of extreme to exceptional
drought classification were across the Northern
- Palermo (Italy) had 37mm of rain in
just six hours, after 19mm in the previous
couple of days. This together amounted to over half the
average for the entire month. This not only flooded
streets but spilled into many ground floor shops and
apartments. In Catania the average rainfall for the whole of
October of 82mm fell in a period of just two
same low pressure weather system that brought the
floods to Sicily had an even worse effect in Algeria, with Thirteen
people killed by flooding and mudslides in
western and central Algeria.
In the town of Saida, 273 miles west of the capital of
Algiers, over 40mm fell in the space of just
one hour. This was enough to very quickly turn a totally
dry ravine into a very dangerous, raging torrent.
- Heavy snowfall affected the west coast of Finland
during. Across the southern and
western parts of the country, temperatures fell to
-9C. According to statistics from the
Finnish Meterological Institute, October
temperatures fall this low only 5 times every 100
- In Vietnam, flooding and landslides in the central part of the country claimed 44 lives. Tens of
thousands of homes were submerged and thousands of hectares of crops washed away from flooding
that affected Binh Dinh and Quang Nam provinces during the period.
- A storm system aided by a powerful Pacific jet
stream brought heavy rains and flooding to areas of
Washington and British Columbia. Numerous daily rainfall records were
broken across western Washington on October
20-21. The 21st was the wettest day in Seattle
weather history (since 1891), with 128 mm
inches. Washington governor Gary Locke declared a
state of emergency for 7 counties as 10 rivers in the
state went above the flood stage. In British
Columbia, rainfall was described as the heaviest in
100 years, with around 500 mm of rain in
the Pemberton and Squamish region. Flooding
displaced hundreds of people and resulted in 2
deaths in British Columbia.
October is normally a dry month in Seattle. But rains have been heavy this month after the driest summer since 1885. Rainfall in June, July and August totalled less than 25mm.
- Arizona has been seeing some unusual autumnal heat over the past
few days. Temperatures on the 21st October reached a
high of 39C in Phoenix which is the latest date in the
year that temperatures have exceeded the 100F (38C)
milestone and is also above the average summertime
high that is recorded there.
- Tropical Cyclone 23W developed in the Gulf of
Thailand on the 23rd and crossed the Malay
Peninsula on the 24th as a tropical depression. The
cyclone brought train traffic and other
transportation to a halt and forced the evacuation of
more than 700 people across southern Thailand.
Thousands of people were affected by torrential
rains, and two fishing vessels were capsized in the
Gulf of Thailand on the 22nd as the storm was in its
developmental stages. The cyclone moved
westward and crossed the Bay of Bengal, making
landfall in eastern India on the 28th.
- In Holland -8.5C at Twenthe was the lowest October temperature in a record back to 1951. Hangshult in S Sweden recorded -17.2C, an October record for S Sweden. -11.7C at Helsinki was an all-time October record there.
- A cold outbreak across parts of Europe brought
record cold temperatures to parts of southern
Germany on the 25th. Temperatures in the
Bavarian town of Oberstdorf fell to -12C,
or the coldest October temperature since 1936.
Snowfall in parts of the Bavarian region
accumulated to 20 cm.
In Bordeaux -1.9C was recorded (0.2C lower than anything there in the last 30 years).
- In Scjaldthingsstadir, Iceland, the midday temperature was 16.6C, some 11 degrees above the October mean maximum. Looking further northwards still the thermometer read 20.5C at Dalatangi, some 14 degrees higher than their October mean maximum of 7C.
- French weather station wrongly predicted snowfall instead of
a cold but dry spell after a spider spun a web over
Dew drops on the web froze into an icy veil fooling the
meteorological equipment into recording snowfall.
This information was sent automatically from the weather
station in Dinard, Brittany, to the central computer in Paris.
A spokesman for France Metéo said the computer had then
issued a warning that snow was falling on the French coast.
He added: "It's a mistake that happens now and then. Sometimes
the computer makes very comical mistakes due to things like a
bird building a nest on the roof of the weather station."
- Very dry conditions along with Santa Ana winds
created a deadly wildfire emergency across
southern California (USA) by late in the month. More than
13,000 firefighters fought blazes across San Diego,
Los Angeles, San Bernadino and Ventura counties.
As of October 30, the fires had destroyed at least
2,400 homes, charred more than
250,000 hectares and killed 20 people. The
California governor's office estimated that fire
damage was approaching $2 billion (USD). The
Cedar Fire, located in San Diego county, grew to a
size of 100,000 hectares by the 29th,
making it the largest brush fire in the state since
The Santa Ana wind is not only fierce, it is very dry, dusty and hot. It occurs when a high pressure system forms over the Pacific northwest and a low pressure forms over Mexico. The resultant north-south pressure gradient causes strong winds that spill over the Sierra Nevada mountains from the northeast.
- A huge blob of solar particles slammed into the Earth around 1700GMT on Thursday.
The geomagnetic storm level is was listed as "severe" and magnetic field of the new cloud is pointing south, which means it could interact much more violently that if the magnetic field is pointing north, the same way as the Earth's.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) scientists said.
The biggest effect of the storms and the solar activity that's causing them was the blackout of high-frequency voice-radio communications for planes flying far northern routes.
Airliners in an emergency could still communicate through Very High Frequency radios, which are not affected by solar activity.
British controllers were keeping trans-Atlantic jets on more southerly routes than usual to avoid the problem. One of the few reports of problems came from Japanese space agency officials who said they had lost contact with a second satellite that may have been affected by the electromagnetic storm.
The Japanese space agency said Thursday that it had 'completely lost touch with the Midori 2 environmental monitoring satellite.
On Wednesday, Japan's space agency announced the flare caused the Kodama communications satellite to malfunction.
The agency said it was only temporarily shut down and would be reactivated after the storm subsided, but there was no major communication disruptions.
World weather news, September 2003
- After killing two people and triggering massive blackouts in Taiwan, Typhoon Dujuan swept into southern China, uprooting trees and causing landslides in Hong Kong. As the biggest typhoon to batter the shores of the former British province in decades, the approach of typhoon Dujuan sent millions of workers scurrying home, even closing the Hong Kong stock exchange and public transportation systems. The last significant typhoon to lash Hong Kong directly was Typhoon Hope in 1979. At the Hong Kong airport, more than 150 flights were cancelled and 115 were delayed as the storm battered the region with torrential rains and winds of 69 mph. Schools across Guangdong province closed, and fishing boats launched near the capital city of Guangzhou rushed to port.
- At least 32 people were killed,
five missing and 116 injured as Typhoon Dujuan hit southern
China. In Shenzhen, the hardest-hit city, 20 people were killed, 16 of
whom were migrant workers at a construction site where a two-story
factory was under construction and where several structures
The typhoon was the worst to hit Shenzhen and south China's
Pearl River Delta since 1979.
- At least 27 people were killed in
lightning strikes in Pakistan's remote north.
16 people were killed when
lightning hit a village in the mountainous Dir district, 190 km (118 miles)
northwest of the capital Islamabad. Eleven more were killed in another
village in the same region.
- Four people were missing, power
was out in 25,000 homes and many roads were impassible in Bermuda on
Saturday as the mid-Atlantic British colony began mopping up after Hurricane
Fabian's fierce assault.
Fabian, the most powerful storm to hit Bermuda in 50 years, swept over
on Friday, lashing the island with winds of up to 120 mph, felling
trees and power lines and causing flooding in some areas.
Fabian hit Bermuda as a Category 3 storm.
The most powerful storm of this Atlantic hurricane season, it was also
the most powerful storm to hit Bermuda since Hurricane Edna hit in September
1953 with 120 mph winds.
- Six people were killed, two reported
missing and around 30 injured after violent storms affected
Heavy rains and winds topping 130 kh/h hit the region overnight Friday to Saturday.
The storm caused serious damage to houses, roads and power lines
across the country's east, with diluvial rains bringing a train off
the tracks near the town of Constantine.
- Between 1,000 and 1,400 people died in
the Netherlands as a result of the recent heatwave that affected
much of Europe, the country's central statistical office
Mortality rates peaked between July 31 and August 13, when
temperatures were at their highest, but higher death rates were also
noted at the beginning of June and in the second half of July when
the weather was abnormally hot.
- Parts of Italy were affected by fierce storms which cut a
railway line and brought down trees.
The worst affected areas were the Puglia and Basilicata regions in the
south, and the Friuli region in the northeast.
In the south, the railway line between Potenza and Bari on the Adriatic Sea
will be closed for four or five days as a result of landslides.
In Sicily, gusts of wind reaching 140km/h
sent trees and traffic signs crashing to the ground in the central province of
- Exceptionally heavy rains affected the Sahel region
of Africa during late August and into September.
Flooding affected parts Burkina Faso, Mali,
Mauritania and Niger, causing at least 15 deaths and
destroying thousands of homes. In northern
Nigeria, flooding was characterized as the worst in
more than 20 years in Kaduna state. Thousands of
people were forced to flee their homes as the
Kaduna River rose above the flood stage on
In India, heavy rains at the end of August and early
September produced flooding across much of the
state of Orissa. Flooding affected over 3,500 villages
and resulted in 14 deaths
- Powerful typhoon Maemi caused at least 93 injuries, one death
and electricity blackouts as it raged over southwestern Japanese islands.
The typhoon, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 200km/h brought
extremely strong winds and rain to the region.
At one point a wind speed of 266.76km/h was recorded, the seventh highest wind speed ever recorded in
Japan. Winds of such strength are considered powerful enough to blow down a
Television footage showed boats flipped over on a quayside and trees and
concrete telegraph polls blown down, while torrential rain disrupted traffic
due to the extremely poor visibility.
- The summer heatwave that gripped Europe
this year killed more than 4,000 elderly people in Italy, the country's health
minister revealed. The final toll was expected to surpass the 5,000 mark when figures through to 31 August were compiled, warned Donato Greco, head of Italy's National
- Hurricane Isabel on became the first
Atlantic storm to reach maximum intensity in five years, according to the
National Hurricane Center's accounting.
"Isabel is the first category-5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Mitch
of 1998," the Center said in a statement.
The hurricane, with 160mph winds, is "extremely
The Center said Isabel was located 800km
east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antillies.
- The South Korean government was set to release more than one
billion dollars in emergency funds as the toll of dead and missing from
a devastating weekend typhoon rose to 115.
More than 75,000 homes remained without power early Monday and some 2,000
houses were destroyed, leaving 9,000 people homeless.
Officials said 282 ships were beached and wrecked by tidal waves and five
nuclear power plants were crippled.
The storm, with record-breaking 215km/h winds, caused extensive damage at Busan, South Korea's biggest port, raising fears
that the storm could have a serious impact on the export-dependent country's
Weathermen described Maemi as the most powerful typhoon since records began
- The death toll from rampant flooding in northern
China's Shaanxi province since late August has risen to 64 dead, 59 missing
and some 600,000 relocated.
The floods have inundated some 139,000 hectares of cropland
in the Wei River valley and along its tributaries, causing some 5.93 billion
yuan in damages.
- Close to five million chickens and turkeys died in
France during this summer's scorching heat wave, the president of the
country's poultry producers' federation.
Weeks of unseasonably high temperatures across much of the country cost
poultry farmers 50 million euros in losses, or four
percent of the industry's turnover.
- US warships began steaming out of the giant US
naval base at Norfolk, Virginia (USA) to get out of the path of a major
hurricane bearing down on the US east coast.
About 70 warships have been ordered to put to sea to ride out Hurricane
Isabel away from port, said Navy Chief Journalist Scott Boyle.
Boyle said they were scheduled to leave port every 10 to 15 minutes, and
F/A-18 and F-14 fighters based at nearby Oceana Naval Station also have been
ordered to disperse to other bases beyond the reach of the storm. Isabel was the first category-5 hurricane in the Atlantic since Mitch in 1998.
- The amount of wine produced in Portugal in 2003
should increase over the previous year as the record-breaking heatwave
caused grapes to ripen earlier than usual.
Each hectare of vineyard will produce 3200 litres of wine
in 2003, a seven-percent increase over the figure for the previous year,
according to agricultural forecasts.
- The ozone hole over the Antarctic this year has reached the record size of 10.8 million square miles set three years ago, the WMO said.
Measurements over and near Antarctica show that ozone decreased more rapidly this year than in previous years and that the size of the ozone hole is now as large as it was in September 2000.
The hole could continue to grow to its largest size ever in the next couple of weeks, the WMO said, but it also could suddenly decrease.
- Isabel tracked northwestward and made landfall
along the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a
category-2 hurricane with maximum sustained
winds near 85kn.
Heavy rain from the hurricane had spread well
inland over much of the Mid-Atlantic region
during the afternoon and evening, along
with a broad area of tropical storm to hurricane
force wind gusts over eastern North Carolina,
eastern Virginia and northward to the New Jersey
Isabel brought a storm surge of 1.8-2.4m
to the Outer Banks. Strong winds well
inland resulted in power cuts for 1.8 million
Dominion Power customers in Virginia and North
Carolina, the largest failure in the company's
history. Preliminary damage
estimates exceeded $1 billion, likely adding Isabel to
the list of U.S. Billion Dollar Weather Disasters.
There were at least 40 fatalities, with 25 of them in
- Hurricane Marty developed as a tropical depression
in the eastern Pacific Ocean on the 19th. Marty
made landfall along Mexico's Baja Peninsula on the
22nd near San Jose del Cabo with maximum
sustained winds near 85kn. Marty weakened as it tracked northward
across the Gulf of California, spreading heavy rains
as far north as Arizona by the 24th. Marty was
responsible for 6 deaths, and was the second
hurricane in less than a month to affect Baja
- The New South Wales record for the highest maximum temperature in September wasn broken today. The temperature reached a
39.5C at White Cliffs, and several towns have recorded temperatures above 39C in the Upper Western area of NSW. The
previous September record temperature was 388°C recorded at Mungindi on 29 September 2000.
- An elderly woman was swept away by floods
and 30 were forced out of their homes after torrential rains battered the
central Italian region of Tuscany.
A total 257mm of rain fell in the region on Tuesday
- Torrential rains beat down on the Tunisian capital, causing flash floods in and around the city and chaos on the
96mm of rain fell in less than two
hours, flooding parts of central Tunis and several suburbs, causing blackouts
and cutting telephone lines in a number of areas.
Tunis and its surrounding region were hit last week by the heaviest rains
in half a century, claiming four lives.
- France's August heatwave killed 14,802 people,
according to official government figures released today.
- At least two people were killed when Hurricane
Juan roared through eastern Canada's Nova Scotia province overnight.
Nova Scotia Public offices were closed on Monday, and officials urged
residents to stay indoors to avoid hampering the clean-up effort, and to avoid
injury from falling tree branches.
A state of emergency was declared on Sunday in Nova Scotia. Several thousand
residents of the Atlantic coastal region were evacuated as a precaution, and
all flights in and out of Halifax were cancelled on Sunday.
Juan moved through the Halifax area shortly after 0300GMT and wind
gusts of 143km/h were reported at Halifax
International Airport at the height of the storm.
- Deadly forest fires in southern France
and on the Mediterranean island of Corsica have ravaged 63,000 hectares of brush since the start of the year, the worst total since
record-keeping began 30 years ago, official estimates revealed.
The hardest-hit areas were the Var department on the Riviera coast and
northern Corsica, according to data from the national forestry office.
World weather news, August 2003
- In Sudan, heavy rains produced flooding that was blamed for at least 20 deaths across the country. Flooding along the Gash river near Kassala, which is located about 450km east of the capital city of Khartoum, was described as the worst in 70 years.
- 46.4C at Meida was the highest temperature in Spain this summer, but this was lower than the 50.0C at Seville in 1881 (which is also the highest temperature on record in Europe).
- Typhoon Etau developed in the western Pacific Ocean on the 3rd and attained typhoon status by the 4th. Etau crossed Japan during the 8-10th, with maximum sustained winds near 90kn as it skirted Shikoku on the 8th. More than 400mm of rain fell on parts of Hokkaido, flooding more than 1,000 homes. Etau was responsible for 8 deaths in Japan.
- 40.8C today at Perl Nenning was the highest temperature on record for Germany.
- Water levels in the Danube in Romania have fallen sufficiently to reveal 2 ships that sank during World War II. Port authorities are worried the wrecks could block traffic on the river. In France one million chickens have died from heat stress in the last seven days.
- A new UK temperature record of 38.1C set in Gravesend-Broadness, surpassing the previous record of 37.1C set at Cheltenham in August 1990.
- Pope John Paul II prayed in Paris for much-needed rain to break the heat wave in Europe. A Spanish Farmer's Union for instance said losses in the country's agricultural sector could total 800 million euros, and in the state of Brandenburg in Germany it is said that the heat could destroy over 80 percent of their crops.
- A new Swiss temperature record was set today as Grono in Graubünden recorded 41.5C, surpassing the previous record of 39.0C in Basle on 2 July 1952. A new national record was also set in Portugal with 47.3C at Amaraleja.
- 42.6C at Orange today was the highest temperature this summer in France - this compares with 44C in Toulouse in 1923, the highest French temperature on record. On Tuesday night fifteen hundred households lost power in central Paris as the unusually high temperatures affected buried cables. This is the first time it has happened in Paris.
- Provinces of Sør-Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal plus Sogn og Fjordane and Oppland (Norway) have had the heaviest rainfall in 50 to 100 years. During the heavy rainfall the rivers of the region swelled and flooded low-lying areas, cut off many roads, blocked the main railroad Oslo-Trondheim (near Oppdal), cut off the main road (E6) at the same area and destroyed many bridges and buildings. Many camping grounds were under water. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from threatened areas by helicopters or other means. At several stations the rainfall exsceeded 100mm in 24 hours, and a few had 160mm in 48 hours.
- Barcelona had an intense downpour that drenched the city for half an hour. Temperatures plummeted by around 10C in at matter of minutes, and there was a report of a tornado in the Centelles district. In Alicaniz, eastern Teruel province, hail the size of apples crashed down smashing windscreens and denting cars. In France winds reached 80mph in the southeastern Gard region forcing homes to be evacuated as their roofs were torn off.
- The highest temperature in Italy this month occurred today with 41.4C at Amendola; this is lower than the 42.4C in the same location on 23 July, and the all-time Italian record of 47C in S Italy in August 1957.
- In the United States, thunderstorms on the brought some of the heaviest rainfall and flooding to the Las Vegas, Nevada area since 1999. As much as 75mm of rain fell in parts of the area in just 30 minutes, producing widespread flooding and prompting the mayor to declare a state of emergency.
- Numerous wildfires continued to burn across the western United States, although year-to-date wildfire activity was well below the 10-year average. Smoke from wildfires in parts of Canada and Montana affected much of the plains.
- In France reports put the number of people dying as a result of the extreme heat as high as 10000. Meteo France said that the hot weather experienced there was the longest and hottest on record. In Portugal it is being reported that over thirteen hundred more people died in the first two weeks of August this year compared with last year. These figures are being attributed to the heat which was also the longest and hottest on record. The high temperatures have caused the Mediterranean Sea to become warmer than average, as much as 3 to 4C above off France and Spain, at 28C.
- An intense low pressure system over Tasmania brought widespread gales across southeastern Australia. Central pressure was 976mb at 0600GMT. A maximum gust of 141km/hr was measured at Bellambi Point (near Wollongong). This is the second highest gust measured during August in New South Wales, the highest being 148km/hr at Wollongong University in 1981.
- Hurricane Fabian developed in the eastern Atlantic from a tropical wave on 27 August, several hundred miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Fabian became a tropical storm on the 28th and a hurricane on the 29th, and reached 'major hurricane' status (category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale) on the 30th. Fabian reached category 4 strength on the 31st, but did not reach maximum windspeeds of 125kt until September 1st.
- 7cm diameter hailstones fell in Bergamo in northern Italy during the evening.
- In northeast Italy near to the Austrian border two people were killed as a result of torrential rains near the town of Udine. One person drowned after getting caught up in a mudslide and another when a small mountainside hotel collapsed. Over two hundred people were evacuated from their homes in the village of Dogna because of floodwaters sweeping down from the mountains and along the local river.
World weather news, July 2003
- Malta had a maximum temperature of 40C, which is one of their hottest July
days on record and is a good 10C above the July
- Fires broke out in farming areas of
Bulgaria as the country experienced some of its hottest
weather in a century.
Heavy goods trucks weighing more
than 20 tonnes were ordered to stay off roads as a precautionary
Record highs were reached particularly in the north and west,
soaring to 39C at Ruse on the River
Temperatures reached 38C at Veliko
Tarnovo in the centre, 37C at Burgas on the
Black Sea, and 32C in the capital Sofia.
- The temperature dropped to -9.4°C on Macquarie Island (Australia) early this morning, the coldest recorded in
the 55 years since routine weather observations began there. This is 11.1°C below the average
minimum temperature for July of 1.7°C. The previous coldest temperature of -8.9°C was recorded
back in 1954.
- More than 200 areas in central and southern
Ukraine were left without electricity after violent storms and strong
winds struck the country.
The Cherkasy and Vinnitsa regions in central Ukraine, Mykolaiv and Odessa
in the south, and Zhitomir in the north were most affected by the storms, it
More than 3,000 ha of seeded land in the southern
Mykolaiv region were damaged by hail.
- Flooding in eastern Uganda around the 7th produced landslides and brought the Manafa River above the flood stage. There were 20 deaths reported in Bubulo county, along with loss of livestock and crops.
- Cold and snowy weather characterized conditions
across much of New Zealand during the first week
of July, where locally 30cm of snow fell
in parts of the country. The snowstorm was
described by local media as the worst in 50 years,
causing thousands of power outages to homes and
businesses and stranding hundreds of motorists.
- At least 30 people were killed after heavy monsoon
rains lashed the southern port city of Karachi and parts of Sindh province. Rains halted traffic for several hours in Karachi Monday evening.
- River, stream and creek flooding in Illinois,
Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky (USA) still might not
crest until the weekend, but the worst will be
over after above-normal rain of 2-6 inches
since July 1 swamped the region.
- Athens is sizzling in the hottest weather
for 106 years, according to records by the Athens Observatory.
The average maximum temperature in June was 33.9C.
The temperature has remained 4C above the seasonal average for
the past two months.
Similar above-average temperatures have been recorded in other parts of
Greece, with the highest increase -4.6C above the seasonal norm --
measured on the island of Corfu.
- At least 49 people have been killed over the
past month by floods, landslides and lightning in monsoon rains that have
ravaged Nepal. Hundreds of people have lost their homes in the monsoon, primarily in the low-lying and mid-mountain ranges in the east and center of the kingdom.
- The waters of the River Po in northern Italy have
reached a critical low due to a drought, threatening agriculture and an
essential cooling system at a major power station.
Its waters supply the cooling system of a major power station at Porto
Tolle, where levels had also become critical.
Lombardy, the region surrounding Milan, has asked local districts to
provide it urgently with data on damage caused by drought, especially to
agriculture, in order to decide whether to declare a state of natural
disaster. At Cremona, the corn harvest could drop by some 40 percent, farming
- Chunks of Switzerland's mountains and glaciers
started to break away under the intense summer heat on Tuesday, forcing
authorities to evacuate climbers and hikers in the Swiss Alps.
Helicopters ferried about 70 people from one of Switzerland's top
landmarks, the Matterhorn, in southern Switzerland after a rock face crumbled
at 3,400 metres.
Local rescue services in Zermatt said no one was injured by the falling
rubble, but the evacuation was carried out as a precaution because unusually
hot weather at high altitude was melting ice that normally binds the rock
A portion of a glacier near the Alpine resort of Grindelwald also broke
away and fell into a river.
- Officials in France and Italy on Tuesday ordered
cuts in water consumption to combat a crippling drought and blistering heat,
as farmers in both countries warned of severe damage to this year's harvest.
In France, residents of 34 administrative departments have been asked to
reduce water use by refraining from watering their gardens, washing their cars
and filling their pools.
At particular risk is France's truffle harvest -- producers in the
southeast and southwest of the country say that the searing heat has destroyed
the prized and pricey fungi, which normally would have matured in the autumn.
The country's wine harvest is also in jeopardy, with the hot weather
bringing an increased possibility of hail storms - capable of wiping out
hectares of vines.
In the Lazio region alone, which includes the capital Rome, the drought has
sparked a 40 to 50 percent drop in olive production, a 35 percent drop in kiwi
production, and a 40-100 percent loss of the peach, apricot, plum and grape
Italy's biggest river, the Po, which flows across much of northern Italy has fallen to its lowest levels in a century.
- A two-year-old girl who was hit by a
falling tree at a campsite in southwestern France died of her
injuries, bringing the death toll from violent storms
lashing the country to five.
A total of 70 people were injured in the storms, nine of them
seriously, according to the emergency services.
Some of the worst damage was
in the southwestern city of Bordeaux, where winds
reached as high as 94mph, damaging
roofs and knocking down many trees.
- The temperature surpassed 29C in several places in Finland's
northern Lapland province, with 33.3C in Mietoinen near Turku.
- Two people were dead and
thousands were without electricity after Hurricane
Claudette swept over the Texas coast, ripping off roofs and snapping
trees in its wake.
The storm eventually lost strength and was downgraded to a
tropical depression Wednesday.
- Around 35 people were killed and 22 injured
when a flash flood swept through a power project construction camp
in the popular northern Indian resort district of Kulu.
- Low water levels in the main rivers of Europe have sparked worries.
The Danube was at its lowest point for the
month of July since 1953, causing several barges to run aground. Lack of water
also meant hydroelectric turbines were pumping out 15 percent less
electricity, driving up the price for Romania's residents.
The Czech Republic said that the Elbe river had dropped drastically,
virtually paralysing water traffic on the Czech-German border.
Hungary's prime minister said 20 percent of this year's
harvest had been wiped by what has become the worst drought since 1950. In
neighbouring Slovenia, the parliament delayed its summer recess to pass a bill
to compensate the country's farmers for their as-yet-unquantified losses.
- Heavy storms hit central and southern Germany
overnight injuring several people and causing widespread damage.
In Kinzig, in the central state of Hesse, five parachutists were injured
after being caught in turbulence during a jump from an altitude of 1,500
Lightning badly burned a 32-year-old man in Sankt Peter in the southwest
Black Forest region, while other lightning strikes started numerous fires, one
causing damage to a farm estimated at 500,000 euros.
Further west in Wiesbaden, a man and woman were hurt when their vehicle
slid off a wet road, and part of the main A3 motorway near Niedernhausen was
closed by an accident involving a truck carrying chemicals.
Basements and underpasses were flooded in several areas and falling trees
also caused widespread damage.
- A storm that hit the Russian city of Astrakhan
resulted in the deaths of at least three people, two of them children.
The storm, which caused major damage to the region's electricity network,
also left two hospitals, two pumping stations and almost 200 homes without
power, the agency said.
- Over 9,000 people had to flee their
homes in hills behind France's picturesque Mediterranean coast overnight as
two forest fires spread over a large area of countryside.
The biggest blaze consumed some 9,000 hectares of brush and
pine woods in the Maures hills behind Saint-Raphael in the Var region, one of
the country's premier tourist destinations.
- At least 73 people have died and more than five
million have been affected by monsoon floods in Bangladesh.
Official figures released by the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry in
Dhaka late Thursday said there had been 73 confirmed flood-related deaths
since the beginning of June in 18 northern, western and central districts,
where 5.88 million people have been affected.
The figure includes victims of pre-monsoon flash floods that ravaged the
southeastern Chittagong and northeastern Sylhet regions last month.
- Torrential rains have been pelting Japan?s southern
Island, Kyushu, triggering landslides and causing rivers
to swell to dangerous levels. The rains started late on
Friday and caused the Bullet train service to the area to
be temporarily disrupted on Saturday, after a train
station in the city of Hakata was flooded.
Over the weekend Minamata city, around 560 miles
southwest of the capital Tokyo, recorded more than
250mm of rain. In the early hours of Sunday
a particularly heavy downpour struck the city, loosening
the soil enough to start mudslides that buried at least a
dozen homes in the surrounding hills.
- Charlotte Pass in the Snowy Mountains of SE New South Wales, Australia had a low of -13C - the lowest temperature in Australia so far this winter.
- With the addition this week of
Hurricane Danny, 2003 is running third in the record book for the
most tropical storms or hurricanes this early in the season.
2003 is currently in third place behind 1997 and 1959 for
having the most tropical storms or hurricanes
this early in the season.
The fourth storm usually arrives 30 August,
National Hurricane Center forecasters say.
Danny formed on Wednesday - a month and a half
early this year.
- Germany sweated through its hottest day
of the year Sunday with 37.9C in the southwest city of Karlsruhe.
Temperatures in Mannheim, farther to the north, also hit 37.7 degrees.
Storms overnight brought down trees and traffic signs, and a farmer was
badly injured in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate trying to get his
tractor out of a barn that had been set on fire by lightning.
- Sweltering heat in Algeria's Sahara desert region
has killed 40 people since the beginning of the summer.
All the victims lived in the central Adrar region of the country, about 1500 km south of Algiers. Many succumbed to the extreme
heat after frequent power cuts shut off the normal flow of drinking water.
The entire north of Algeria including the capital Algiers has been in the
grip of a debilitating heatwave in recent days with temperatures in the
capital rising to 42C.
Temperatures further south in the Sahara region have crept as high as 47C.
- Seventeen Finns have drowned in the past week as
they sought respite from the heatwave surging through the country, where
drowning is a leading cause of accidental death.
Drowning is second only to car crashes as a cause of accidental death in
The latest deaths brought the total number of drowned this month to 29.
Lasy July, 47 Finns died from drowning, while 62 drowned in July 2001.
- German farmers, sweating like much of
Europe through one of the worst heatwaves in decades, could lose up to 80
percent of their crops in some cases.
One sixth of farmers in the region of Saxony could have to close up shop,
the regional association there said, with half of the rapeseed and rye harvest
- At least six people were killed and
thousands displaced as Typhoon Imbudo slammed into the Philippines.
Imbudo struck Palanan town on the east coast of the main island of Luzon at
0200GMT with peak sustained winds of nearly 200km/h.
The strongest typhoon to strike the Philippines in five years uprooted
trees and triggered floods that killed at least six people and left a
fisherman missing at sea.
- Two people were killed and 18 injured as Typhoon
Koni lashed northern Vietnam, uprooting trees and power lines and destroying
more than 1,000 houses.
The typhoon, bearing winds of up to 90km/h, hit Vietnam on Tuesday afternoon after moving through the Gulf of
Tonkin from China's Hainan island, but it weakened as it headed inland.
Torrential rains and heavy winds lifted roofs of houses and felled
electricity pylons and tens of thousands of trees.
- Typhoon Imbudo swept out of the Philippines and
toward Hong Kong early Wednesday as the death toll from strong winds and flash
floods it unleashed rose to 17 with more than 11,000 others displaced.
Local officials in the southern Philippines said the southern tail of the
storm caused heavy rains that spawned flash floods from Sunday to Tuesday,
drowning 11 people in the provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat.
- Madrid's traditionally intense summer heat, coupled
with sprawling urban development caused a huge rise in water consumption in
the Spanish capital in June, and residents now face steep price rises if they
continue to use so much, authorities warned.
Water consumption in the city was up 5.7 percent over the past year alone,
comparing last month with June 2002, according to the Canal Isabel II company,
which manages local water provision.
Although reserves are at 79 percent of maximum capacity and although Madrid
experienced a relatively rainy winter, local authorities are now threatening
to double the price of every litre a household uses over and above a daily
ceiling of 501 litres.
- Imbudo tracked westward through the South China Sea and came ashore in southern China near
Yangjiang. Maximum sustained winds were
near 90 knots and was one of the strongest typhoons to impact the region in
several years. The Hong Kong Observatory reported that it was the strongest typhoon to hit
Guangdong province since Typhoon Sally devastated the region in 1996.
- Army troops have been called in to rescue
thousands of people stranded in parts of southern Sindh province (Pakistan) due to
continued heavy rains as the death toll reached 37 in three days.
The government also declared a state of emergency in all government
hospitals in Karachi as rains, which have fallen for the last week, failed to
cease on Saturday.
- With the average high for the first three weeks of the month at 110F, Phoenix (Arizona) is on track to have the hottest July since the National Weather Service started keeping records in 1896. The average July high is 104F.
It's so hot that heat waves are creating turbulence for airplanes overhead, said Sky Harbor International Airport spokeswoman Deborah Ostreicher.
The searing pavement is burning the pads on dogs' feet and causing the animals to suffer heat stroke.
- At least 173 fishermen were
missing off Bangladesh's coast after 20 trawlers sank in
rough weather in the Bay of Bengal.
- Violent storms caused
widespread damage in Germany's southern state of Bavaria, where authorities
used a snowplough to remove hail stones blocking a section of the
The storms also felled trees and caused traffic jams on highways across the
- At least 85 people have died in torrential rains
that have lashed southern Pakistan's Sindh province for the past five days,
flooding around 5,000 villages.
- Above average temperatures and dry weather
worsened drought conditions throughout much of
southern and central Europe, from France eastward
through Romania and Croatia. Wildfires broke out
from Portugal to eastern Russia, with 5 fatalities
attributed to fires that burned in parts southern
France. Croatia's major rivers, including the Sava, Drava, Kupa and Danube, were reported at their lowest
levels ever. In neighbouring Serbia, the ecology minister reported that the country's rivers were at their
lowest levels in 100 years
World weather news, June 2003
- Perth's mean maximum temperature in May was
24.0C, the highest mean maximum temperature on record. This is 3C above
the long-term average of 21C. The previous record was 23.9C in 1972.
- 50.7C was reported from Jacobabad in Pakistan, this being 5C above the normal average June maxima of 45.6C.
- People in Moscow were astonished to see snowflakes falling from the skies
upon leaving their houses this morning. The phenomenon lasted for only a few
minutes and snowflakes would melt immediately upon reaching the ground.
After the very high temperatures during May, that reached 30C, the Russian
capital has been facing quite cold and gusty winds, being characterised as
"arctic cyclones" by the press.
- A 20-day heat wave in southern India continued
into early June, with maximum temperatures
reaching as high as 45-50C. More than
1,500 deaths were reported in India, with the
southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh the hardest
hit. In neighboring
Pakistan, the city of Jacobabad reached 52C
on the 5th; normal highs in early June are near 44C. Hot temperatures exacerbated drought
conditions in the region, with a
slower-than-normal onset of summer monsoon
- Severe thunderstorms in Bangladesh on the 7th and 10th resulted in 6 fatalities. A tornado injured
about 100 people on the 7th as it affected the farming district of Noakhali, located 120 km
east of Dhaka.
- Large hail fell in some of Sunday's storms in Limburg in NE Belgium and in
adjacent areas of the Netherlands.
An inhabitant of the village of Heppen near Leopoldsburg in NE Belgium
reported hailstones "the size of golf and tennis balls". Holes were
punched in the roofs of a veranda and a garden shed, aluminium window blinds
and cars were badly dented and garden plants destroyed.
Overpelt near the Dutch border reported hailstones 3 cm in diameter and in
the Netherlands Geldrop (near Eindhoven) en Venlo (South Limburg) had 2 to 3
At Lummen in NE Belgium a large marquee blew down despite the efforts of 10
people to hold it in place. At Ham near Leopoldsburg the roof was blown
off a house.
In Holland, at Rheeze (east of Zwolle) one person was slightly hurt when a tree fell on
At De Wijk (near Hoogeveen) the roof was blown off a house. At Valkenswaard (near Eindhoven) part of a factory roof collapsed under the
weight of rainwater.
At Twijzel (near Leeuwarden in the NW) several house roofs were damaged.
At Nieuwleusen (near Zwolle) several cars were badly damaged by falling
- During the afternoon a supercell brought lots of
damages to the regions of Hessen and Rheinland-Pfalz. Very unlucky was the
village of Acht (Mayen, Eifel), which was hit by an estimated F2/F3 tornado.
17 people were injured, two houses were completely ruined, and
another 15 seriously damaged, 20 people had to be evacuated, and there were many damaged roofs, uprooted trees, damaged cars, and loss of electricity.
A tornado was also was reported
in the evening from the village of Bertogne, near Bastogne in the east of the
Belgian province of Luxembourg.
Dozens of trees and electricity pylons were blown down and a number of roads
were blocked for a time. Many house roofs were damaged and some districts
were without power. Heavy rain caused flooding on roads and in the
basements of buildings.
- Tropical Depression 2 formed about 1,990 km
1,235 miles) east of the Windward Islands on the
10th. The depression dissipated over open Atlantic
waters on the 12th. Climatologically, this is only the
third tropical depression since 1967 to form east of
the Lesser Antilles.
- Thunderstorms with 80
mph winds blew across the
southern Plains and Tennessee (USA),
killing three people and cutting
power to tens of thousands.More than 90,000 electricity customers in the Nashville and
Chattanooga areas lost power.
- Hot again in much of southern Europe
Switzerland - Locarno 34.6°C.
Hungary - Budapest 34.1°C, Pecs 34.6°C, Szeged 36.6°C.
France - Toulouse 35.0°C, Mont-de-Marsan 35.1°C, Montélimar 36.9°C.
Portugal - Castelo Branco 36.0°C, Monte Real 37.4°C, Coimbra 38.6°C.
Spain - Madrid 36.0°C, Valladolid, Zaragoza and Palma/Mallorca 36.3°C,
Jaen 36.6°C, Almeria 36.9°C, Granada 37.4°C, Caceres and Ciudad Real
37.6°C, Badajoz 38.2°C, Cordoba 38.4°C.
Italy - Piacenza 36.2°C, Milan 36.6°C, Florence and Amendola 37.4°C,
Greece - Thessaloniki 35.4°C, Lamia 35.6°C, Athens and Samos 36.2°C,
- In Toulouse a heatwave saw temperature rising
This is a near record for June in Toulouse and well above the
June average of 24C. In Germany there were severe thunderstorms on Saturday evening: hailstones up to 5 cm diameter near Reutlingen south of Stuttgart; gust of 76 kn on the Kleiner Feldberg in the Taunus hills NW of Frankfurt, and 57 mm rain SE of Nuremburg.
- Continuing warm in some parts of S Europe:
France - Marseille 34.8°C, Montpellier 35.0°C, Perpignan 36.5°C (minimum
Spain - Valencia 36.0°C, Zaragoza 36.8°C, Gerona 36.9°C, Murcia 39.0°C,
Italy - Florence 35.9°C, Grosseto 37.0°C, Amendola 37.2°C, Cagliari on
Greece - Lamia 35.6°C, Alexandroupolis 35.8°C, Corfu 36.0°C, Athens
- Nearly half a million people have been made homeless so far
by floods in India's north eastern state of Assam. Two of the state's biggest rivers - the Brahmaputra and the Barak - are continuing to rise sharply due to heavy rains. The chaos caused by the floods is
happening as people in some
parts of India are praying for
- Tropical Storm Soudelor
was making its presence felt in Luzon (Philippines) with sustained winds of 65
mph and hurricane strength gusts of 84 mph. Soudelor
is the latest in a series of tropical storms to hit the
Philippines over the last couple of months. The storm
produced huge waves (up to 7 metres high) which
slammed into the coast, caused considerable damage and
forced hundreds of people from their homes.
Daet, a town to the east of the
capital Manila, recorded 222 mm in 24 hours, well over
the monthly average of 140 mm. Further south,
Catarman on the island of Samar, a massive 352 mm of
rain was recorded in a very wet 36 hour period, the
monthly average here is about 225 mm.
- Over the past week, at least six deaths had been blamed on the
floods in the USA: a 10-year-old boy in West Virginia; a 6-year-old girl in Kentucky; a cave explorer in Kentucky, and three members of one family in North Carolina. Rain delayed the search for the body of an 8-year-old boy who was in the same car as the three North Carolina victims.
Parts of Georgia got heavy rain for the second night in a row, with
more than 2 inches in some areas, prompting the evacuation early
on Wednesday of 22 people in the town of LaGrange.
Heavy rainfall from the past few days has made for very wet soils and
persistent runoff into creeks and streams.
In West Virginia, officials estimated nearly 200 houses were destroyed
or heavily damaged by flooding Monday and on June 11 in and around
Charleston. More than 60 homes were ruined or severely damaged in
nearby Boone County, where as much as 5 inches of rain fell on Monday.
Flood damage to West Virginia highways was estimated at $2.5 million
to $3 million.
Heavy downpours in East Texas (around 15cm of rain falling here in 6 hours) resulted in flash flooding with
many residents left stranded. The rain however has
brought some good news here, with a reduced fire risk, a
firework ban which was threatening 4th of July
celebrations has been lifted.
- In Venezuela, heavy rains caused flooding which
killed 16 people and forced the evacuation of 450
others in the southwestern state of Merida. The flooding and mudslides
occurred near the mountainous border with
Colombia, about 600 km west of the
capital city of Caracas. Flash flooding is common
during the rainy season in Venezuela, which runs
from mid-May through November.
- 21 people died and 48 are missing after rainstorms affected
central China's Hubei and Sichuan provinces for five continuous days. Rains began falling on 20 June, with the worst downpour occurring in the
northern mountainous part of the province where some counties were receiving
over 100 mm a day.
The Xinhua news agency said that over 3.2 million people were affected by
the rain, while 1.1 million were facing "disaster."
- Very large hail was observed near Aurora, Nebraska on the 22nd. A hailstone measuring
16.5 cm in diameter with a circumference of 17.3 inches (43.9 cm) and weighing 0.60 kg
was discovered by the National Weather Service. This was the largest hailstone ever recorded in the
state of Nebraska, and the second largest hailstone ever documented in the U.S. Only the Coffeyville,
Kansas hailstone (September 3, 1970) weighed more and had a larger circumference (wright 0.76 kg, circumference 44.5cm).
n Aurora in Hamilton county, giant hail fell across the west and northwest side of town. Hailstones
were reported to be the size of volleyballs...which was not far from the truth given the enormous
impact craters left in the ground...some as large as 12 inches and over 3 inches deep on grass lawns. See also http://www.crh.noaa.gov/gid/svrwx/events03/22jun03/22June2003_megastorms.htm for news and http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/misc/030622/030622.html for the meteorological details.
- A probable tornado uprooted 30 trees and damaged 10 houses
at Norderstedt just north of Hamburg. No-one was reported hurt.
Police and fire brigade were in action all evening around Hamburg clearing
uprooted trees and branches which had blocked roads.
In Schleswig-Holstein gusts up to 80 kn were reported at
Westerhever. Roads were blocked by uprooted trees in Dithmarschen. In
Wesselburen a whole house roof together with the roof timbers was ripped off
by gusts of up to 63 kn and thrown into the road. A second
house suffered serious damage to its roof.
4 parachutists were blown off course near Braunschweig - one suffered a
broken leg and another had to be rescued from 25 metres up in a tree.
A severe storm also struck Berlin in the early evening
affecting especially the west of the city.
The storm was accompanied by a "wall of sand and dust" reducing visibility
to only 500 metres, squalls gusting at up to 73 kn and a fall in
temperature from 28C to 18C in just a few minutes. The Meteorological
Institute at the Free University of Berlin registered a gust of 62 kn.
The Berlin fire brigade received 1117 calls for help: all available fire
brigade personnel were called out to clear damage and roads obstructed by
fallen trees and branches. A motorway was temporarily closed and the
railway line between Berlin and Potsdam was blocked by fallen trees for 5
hours. 10 people were injured in and around Berlin.
- At least 31 people were killed
in landslides and flash floods in Bangladesh.
The victims were washed away by rushing waters or buried by landslides in
several different places in the southeast of the country, which received 120
mm of rain in 24 hours.
Two people died in the southeastern port city of Chittagong, five others in
the nearby town of Mirarshari and 24 in the southeastern Khagrachari hill
Earlier the Flood Forecasting Centre said heavy rains in the South
Eastern Hill basin had triggered a "sharp rise" in the water level in several
rivers, with some bursting their banks.
- Drought continued across areas of Ethiopia, where
increased variability of rainfall has produced poor
agricultural output. Since 1984, there is a declining
trend for annual rainfall across the Eastern
Highlands and Midlands of Ethiopia.
- Residents of Rome and other major Italian cities
found themselves without electricity for several hours on Thursday as power
companies struggled to cope with higher-than-usual demand due to a punishing
In Rome, local power company Acea was forced to cut electricity in
90-minute increments to parts of the city as residents plugged in extra air
conditioners and fans to get relief from soaring temperatures, expected to hit
Similar power cuts were planned in several other cities including Milan,
Genoa, Trieste and Portofino, with approximately five percent of the country
to be affected throughout the day.
- Rainfall in the Northeast USA was much above normal during June. In New York City, 256 mm of rain has fallen at Central Park during June, breaking the old June monthly rainfall record of 248
mm set in 1903.
- Tropical Storm Bill developed in the central Gulf of
Mexico on the 29th and made landfall along the
coast of Louisiana on the 30th in Terrebonne Bay
about 50km east of Morgan City.
Maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall
were near 60mph, which caused power
cuts to around 220,000 homes and businesses in
- At least 51 people have been killed
and tens of thousands affected by landslides and flash floods triggered by
heavy rain that has drenched Bangladesh for the past five days.
Residents in the southeastern Chittagong Hill Tracts said 25 people were
killed in landslides in the Banderban and Khagrachari districts, while 26
others were washed away by swirling floodwaters in and around the port city of
- Torrential rains and landslides in southern China
have killed at least 148 people, affected 45 million and led to almost six
billion yuan (730 million US) in economic losses.
showed that by 30 June floods had affected 44.75 million residents, left 148
dead and ruined 1.98 million hectares of farmland.
Many roads and houses have been destroyed or washed away.
- While Western Europe swelters in record heat,
Moscow experienced one of its coldest Junes ever with temperatures not seen
since 1941, the deputy chief of Moscow's weather service said.
"Moscow has not had such a cold June since 1941," Valery Lukyanov said.
Average temperatures have been hovering around 13C rather than the 17.5C usually gracing the Russian capital
in June, he said.
Temperatures have sunk that low just three times since 1879 - in 1904,
1928 and 1941.
World weather news, May 2003
- Hail, heavy rain,
lightning and strong winds
battered parts of Missouri and
Arkansas on Thursday in a
storm system that stretched
from Kansas to Illinois.
There were many reports of hail
in Missouri, including some more
than an inch in diameter, and
wind gust of 65 mph was reported
near Ava, Missouri.
- At least three more people have been killed in
tropical storms in Bangladesh.
Of the three victims, two were killed in lightning strikes and another in a
house collapse outside the capital Dhaka during a storm that swept most parts
of the country.
Violent storms in the past three weeks have left more than a dozen people
dead, scores injured and hundreds of mud and bamboo homes flattened.
- Air temperatures reached 35C in various Bulgarian cities. 30.2C was recorded in Sofia, which is the highest temperature for the
beginning of May in the last 100 years.
- A tropical storm flattened hundreds
of flimsy huts in several villages in eastern Bangladesh, killing 19
- More than a million residents of Nairobi (Kenya) have gone
without water since Sunday after floods destroyed a dam in the centre of the
country and parts of the capital were expected to be without water for days.
Sasumua Dam, the second largest in the country, was built 50 years ago and
supplies two-thirds of the water to the Kabete reservoir on Nairobi's western
suburbs, from where it is distributed to the city.
The dam pumps 60 million litres of water every day and is normally capable
of sustaining sections of the city for at least three months.
The water shortage in the capital comes at a time when seasonal rains
continue to pound the country, wreaking havoc as floods sweep away entire
Heavy rainfall during late April and early May
resulted in significant flooding across parts of the
Greater Horn of Africa, specifically southeastern
Ethiopia, southern Somalia and much of Kenya, killing at least 68 people.While heavy rainfall is common across the Horn of Africa in the two annual rainy seasons
(October-December and April-June), this is reportedly some of the worst flooding since 1997.
- The deadliest outbreak of severe weather since May
1999 produced 84 tornadoes, large hail and
damaging winds across 8 states, including
Missouri, Kansas, Tennessee
and Arkansas, killing as many as 38 people as the
twisters left a swath of destruction a quarter-mile wide in some
Tornadoes laid waste to homes, buildings and industrial
parks and wiped some small towns virtually off the map.
In southwestern Missouri, the town of Pierce (population 100,000) was essentially flattened.
- Maximum temperatures in Germany included
Berlin-Tempelhof 29.3C, Munich Airport 30.4C, Bamberg and Nuremberg 32.1C. The highest temperature in Germany was the highest in May for 50 years.
At Kufstein (NW Austria) the temperature rose to 34.6C.
Very warm air from northern Africa and a
foehn at the northern side of the Alps caused these very high temperatures.
The observatory of Hohenpeissenberg in S Bavaria (986m amsl)
recorded 27.9C, the highest value for the first ten days of May since
A severe storm system that swept
across parts of southern Illinois has
left at least two people dead and
dozens of homes either damaged or
The storms brought strong winds and
hail late Tuesday to a largely rural
area of the state near the Kentucky
- A tornado swept through Oklahoma City, flattening hundreds of homes and scattering cars and
mobile homes across the landscape. Strong winds also tore off roofs
in eastern Kansas, and may have been the cause of a train derailment
At least 104 people were injured in the Oklahoma City area,
Tropical Cyclone Manou developed in the Indian
Ocean on the 3rd and made landfall along the
eastern coast of Madagascar on May 9 with
maximum sustained winds of (75 knots). Wind gusts along the coast were
reportedly much higher, with speeds up to 110 knots observed in the city
of Vatomandry. There were 23
fatalities and 85 percent of the buildings were
destroyed in the District of Vatomandry
- A barrage of twisters that ripped
across the midsection of the USA marked the end of the most active week of
tornadoes on record, meteorologists said as they sized up a wave of
storms that left 42 people dead from Kansas to Georgia.
Storms affected several states, although they
weren't as severe as some of the earlier turbulent weather. One
powerful system swept across central Illinois, damaging homes,
tearing down tree limbs and pelting the region with hail. Tornadoes
were reported in at least 10 counties, but no major injuries were
reported. May 1-10 had more reported tornadoes (412) than any other ten-day period since records began in 1950 in the USA.
- About 49 people have died in floods that have swept across the east
African country after three weeks of heavy rain.
In western Kenya more than 60,000 people fled their homes, which were
In the east of the country, 3,000 of the 130,000 refugees living in camps
near Dadaab lost their makeshift homes in heavy rains.
- Hailstones the size of eggs pelted the
north of china at the weekend, injuring dozens of people as they
fled for shelter.
The freak weather in Hebei province, which neighbours
Beijing, has had its most devastating effect on farmers.
The hail and powerful winds
uprooted or damaged nearly 200,000 trees and destroyed
around 40,000 hectares of crops. One
farmer saw 80 of his 100 animals killed. The effect of the
storm is likely to be long reaching as many villages now
face a dramatic reduction in their harvest, up to 90% in
- Tropical Cyclone 01B developed in the Bay of
Bengal on the 11th and drifted slowly northward.
The cyclone remained offshore as of the 15th with
maximum sustained winds near 65 km/hr (35 knots
or 40 mph). Locally heavy rain bands had affected
parts of the east central coast of India during May
- Hailstones 2 to 4 cm in diameter fell during a shower today in the
of Clinge in SW Netherlands. The village lies close to the border with
Belgium and a few miles west of Antwerp.
15mm diameter hailstones were reported in
Bridgend in South Wales and Bracknell in Berkshire (UK).
- Torrential rainfall from nearby Tropical Cyclone 01B in the Bay of Bengal brought the worst flooding
and landslides in over 50 years to Sri Lanka, killing at least 300 people. Government
officials reported that 350,000 people were left homeless during the flooding.
The Sri Lankan Meteorology department said that the
city of Ratnapura saw 99mm of rain. This
was the greatest amount recorded there in one day for
In American Samoa, the heaviest rainfall in nearly
20 years affected the islands during the 18th-20th,
causing mudslides that killed 4 people and
prompted a state of emergency declaration from
Governor Togiola Tulafono.
Rainfall at Pago-Pago on the 19th totalled 27.1cm.
- Hurricane experts from NOAA today
said the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season will likely have
above normal levels of activity. The outlook calls for the
potential of 11 to 15 tropical storms, with six to nine
hurricanes, and two to four classified as major hurricanes
(category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane
Scale). Officials from NOAA and the Federal Emergency
Management Agency advised residents in Atlantic and
Gulf Coast states to be prepared throughout the season,
which runs June 1 through Nov. 30. In the central Pacific,
NOAA hurricane experts forecast two to three tropical
storms; this is slightly less than the long-term average of
4.5 tropical storms per season.
- As India awaits the arrival of the monsoon rains
temperatures continue their seasonal climb across the
country. For many southern states however, the heat in
recent day has pushed well beyond that expected in May,
gripping them in a crippling heatwave.
Worst affected at the moment is the state of Andhra
Pradesh. One of the hottest spots has been the district of
Visakhapatam with temperatures hovering around the 50C
mark. Typically the temperatures have been at least 5C
The heat has claimed around fifty lives in the last week.
- Very warm in S Spain. Seville Topped out at 35C, (great weather for football!) however this was
dwarfed by the reading from Los Rodeos in Tenerife where the temperature surged to
37.6C, the station is over 2,000 ft high. Other readings include
Tenerife Reina Sofia Apt 30.C, Santa Cruz 32.4C.
- Tropical Storm Linfa developed in the South China
Sea west of the Philippines on the 25th and crossed
Luzon island during the 27th-28th with maximum
sustained winds of 55kn.
Torrential rains were blamed for 15 deaths across
the northern Philippines.
Heavy rains in the southeast United States brought
significant flooding to south Florida on the 27th,
with over 254mm reported at Fort
Lauderdale. In central North Carolina, four earthen
dams burst when as much as 150-200 mm rain fell over parts of the area.
- Dry conditions in eastern Russia promoted wildfires
which spread large plumes of smoke as far away as
Canada and the upper Midwest of the United States
by the 28th.
- Temperatures in mid to late May soared across
South Asia, with high temperatures in many areas
of India and Pakistan well over 38C (100F). In the
Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, more than 430
people died in the heat wave which began in
mid-May. Temperatures in India
during the week of 24 May reached as high as
40C (122F) across the worst-affected areas near
the Bay of Bengal coast.
- An intense thunderstorm hit the city of Nicosia and much of Cyprus, resulting in flash floods. 66 mm were recorded at a Nicosian
suburb within the almost two hours that the thunderstorm lasted.
- Tropical storm Linfa affected the southern islands of Japan. Owase on the mainland recorded 461mm in just 12 hours. This is around double the average rainfall in this area for a whole month.
World weather news, April 2003
- Heavy rains that fell in northwest Bolivia during 31 March 1 April resulted in a mudslide that
killed 14 people and buried dozens of homes. The mudslide occurred in the gold
mining town of Chima, located about 580 km north of the capital of La Paz.
- The development of Tropical Cyclone Inigo near the
Indonesian island of Sumba brought
torrential rainfall to Sumba and Flores. Mudslides on the island of Flores caused
32 deaths, with 29 of those fatalities occurring in the
town of Ndona.
- After the coldest winter for a decade, there was a storm with heavy
snow and freezing rain to Ontario (Canada). The storm had been
working its way eastwards across the country all week,
hitting Alberta first of all before dumping a foot of snow
on Regina, Saskatchewan. Friday's storm was unusual even by Canadian standards.
said a year's worth of freezing rain had fallen on
Toronto and surrounding areas in two days.
The city's airport had to cancel all flights and used up
thirty days supply of de-icing fluid in just 24 hours.
- Las Vegas is still having to deal
with the effects of a long lasting drought. Lake Mead, fed
by the Colorado River and the source of southern
Nevada's drinking water, has dropped by 60 feet in the
last two years, to it's lowest level since 1972.
- A frontal system brought severe weather to parts of
the US Great Plains eastward into the lower
Mississippi Valley region.
Numerous reports of wind and hail damage were
received, and isolated tornadoes occurred.
- Snow affected a wide area from the central plains of
the United States eastward into the Northeast.
Snowfall accumulations of 10-20 cm
were common in this area over the three days.
- A blast of bitter winds resulted in unusually low temperatures, with
records being broken all parts of W Europe. -7C at Hamburg was its lowest April
temperature for 62 years. -24C was recorded near Venice, and
many Mediterranean coastal towns had their coldest
8th April for well over 100 years.
The cold air also brought a widespread blanket of
snow; up to 2 metres of snow have fallen in the
hills of southern Italy.
declared a state of emergency in the small mountain
community of Smolian, with renewed avalanche
warnings issued across much of the Balkan mountains.
- An Atlantic depression, with a central pressure
of 965mb brought very
strong winds, on the border between Force 9 and 10,
with gusts approaching 100 mph to the Azores. On the
island of Terceira 60 mm of rain was
recorded in the 54 hours to 1200 GMT.
The winds brought down trees and power lines across
the islands and the electricity supply on the island of
Flores was knocked out completely. Several families
were forced to evacuate and some 18 houses on the
island of Pico were damaged by a tornado.
- The minimum temperature in Rome of 0.8C was the lowest in April in a 140-year record. Fassberg on the Lüneberg Heath in northern Germany recorded -11.0C on Tuesday morning and -10.3C today.
- In Oman, thunderstorms produced torrential rains and flash flooding in the northern part
of the country leaving fourteen dead. In Nizwa, southwest of the capital city of Muscat,
66mm of rain fell, which is more than double the normal rainfall received in the entire
month of April.
- In Southeast China's Guangdong province, severe thunderstorms resulted in one death and
24 injuries. Hail the size of eggs caused damage to homes and crops, and 120mm of rain fell in the city of Nanxiong, producing severe flooding.
- Severe thunderstorms developed late on the 15th
and produced 11 tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma (USA),
along with numerous reports of damaging hail and
- At least 4 deaths were blamed on flooding from
heavy rains across Puerto Rico, Haiti and the
Dominican Republic. Three of the fatalities occurred in Puerto
Rico, where three days of heavy rains culminated on
- Above average precipitation continued across much
of Afghanistan during early to mid April, with
significant flooding reported in southern
Afghanistan's Helmand province, which resulted in
at least 30 deaths. In Kyrgyzstan, heavy precipitation caused a landslide which hit the village
of Kara-Taryk, located about 100km east of Osh City. The landslide was responsible for at
least 38 deaths.
- A strong frontal system which swept across New
Mexico on the 15th produced strong winds gusting
as high as 130mph at the White Sands
Missile Range. Sustained winds over 35mph) produced significant amounts of blowing dust
which was responsible for a 10-car pileup near the
town of Deming that killed 2 people.
- Tropical Storm Ana developed as a subtropical
storm on the 20th and became the first Atlantic
tropical storm (since records began in 1871) during
the month April on the 22nd. Maximum sustained
winds reached 45 knots
although the storm remained over open Atlantic
Ocean waters. Most of the leading experts on hurricanes for the
Atlantic are predicting higher than normal sea surface
temperatures in 2003 with the resultant increase in
storm activity, although this really only affects the
countries of the western Atlantic. Ana dissipated on the 23rd.
- In Bangladesh, strong thunderstorms were blamed for capsizing a ferry which killed 130 people on the
21st. More severe thunderstorms caused damage to planes parked at the Dhaka
International Airport on the 22nd, as strong winds also produced power cuts throughout the city.
- At least 40 people were killed and
nearly 2000 injured in a severe cyclone in India's northeastern Assam
The army has been called out to help the police with relief and rescue
work amid fears of a rising death toll as scores of people remain missing.
The cyclone, packing speeds of up to 130km/h,
destroyed about 2,000 houses in eight villages.
- Calgary (Canada) emergency medical services responded to 263 calls, about 100 more than average, after a storm left thigh-deep snow behind, paralyzing parts of Calgary and causing major damage to trees and some buildings. The snowfall set a record for the day and came within five cm of the all-time heaviest snowfall recorded in 1986. Trees and structures buckled under the weight of up to 65 cm of wet snow, including Calgary's North Hill Co-op store, which had part of its roof cave
in. The previous record snowfall in Calgary for 26 April was 32 cm, set in 1966. In Banff about 80cm of fresh snow brought skiers in their droves on to the pistes.
- It dawned cloudy and very wet
across many central and southern parts of the British
Isles. In the space of only 4 hours, parts of north Wales
had 25mm of rain. The rain was also
accompanied by strong gusty winds. This was the result of the tail end of Tropical
Santa Fe, Argentina has been hit by the worst flood since 1573.
Several days of heavy rainfall have caused some rivers in the area,
including the Salado River, to rise as much as 508 mm in
12 hours. Two people are known to be dead with at least 45,000
people evacuated from the area. The flooding has been so severe,
that Santa Fe is currently an island.
World weather news, March 2003
- The 31st and oddest Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race kicked off, as fans cheered 64 mushers and their dogs in a ceremonial, noncompetitive start shortened by Alaska's unusually warm winter. Race organizers had to haul in snow for the 11-mile sprint through Anchorage streets and trails. The weather is forcing so many changes on the 1,100-mile race to Nome that some are calling it the "I-Did-A-Detour." Monday's restart site has been moved more than 200 miles north to Fairbanks.
- Cyclone Japhet brought devastating winds and
torrential rain to parts of southern Mozambique during
the last couple of days bringing flooding, travel
disruption and structural damage - with one of the
worst hit places, the coastal city of Inhambane.
- Record-shattering cold temperatures threaten to freeze massive Lake Superior's surface for the first time in more than two decades.
"The lake is fairly well covered," said Craig Evanego, an ice forecaster with the National Ice Center in Washington. "It's the thickest its been in years."
Lake Superior last froze completely in 1979, and this year's ice cover is the most since 1996-97, lake watchers said.
Ice currently covers more than 90% of the greatest of the Great Lakes, Evanego said. In some areas, the covering is a scant inch or so, but vast portions of the big lake have 12 to 28 inches of ice, according to the National Ice Center.
- Marquette, MI (USA) had the lowest temperature ever recorded in March. A low
temperature of -30F was recorded breaking the previous low temperature record
of -27F which was set on 1 March 1962.
At Miami, FL (USA) a high temperature of 90F was reached. This is the earliest
record of 90F to be recorded at Miami since 5 March 1964. The new 90F record is 11F above
the normal high of 79F.
- Widespread above average rainfall In Australia during February brought significant relief to many areas that had been
suffering rainfall deficiencies, the Bureau of Meteorology announced today. Periods of rainfall
deficiency were ended over large areas, but in parts of southern Victoria and eastern Tasmania
rainfall deficiencies expanded and intensified following below average rainfall in February.
- Eastern Canada
has suffered a particularly harsh winter this year as
prevailing northwesterly winds have continually
brought bitter Arctic air down over Ontario and Quebec.
Thunder Bay on the shores of Lake Superior
experienced temperatures as low as -32C early on
Wednesday, which is 20C below the seasonal average.
thunderstorms have dumped 277mm of rain on Antalya
in Turkey in just 24 hours up until this morning, almost
three times the average rainfall for the whole of March.
- In Malawi, flooding rains around the 10th damaged
a major power station, causing widespread power
failures and water shortages in the country's two
- Warm over parts of S and central Europe. San Sebastian 24.5C and Cordoba 24.7C in Spain; Geneva 20.3C and Sion 20.9C in Switzerland;
In the Bavarian Alps Garmisch at 720m asl reported 19.6C and 8cm snow
cover. Oberstdorf at 812m asl reported 14.6C and 30cm snow.
Many French airports were reporting temperatures above 17C today. At Bourg St. Maurice (865m) in the French Alps, the temperature at 1400GMT was 22.1C with a dew point of -7.6C.
The highest temperature was in
Biarritz with 26.2C. Cognac and Clermont-Ferrand had 23.5C and 23.2C
- Tropical Cyclone Kalunde developed in the Indian
Ocean on the 5th and passed across Rodrigues in
the Mascarene Islands on the 12th with maximum
sustained winds near 105kn.
- Severe thunderstorms affected eastern India and resulted in 14 deaths and 200 injuries in the
state of West Bengal. Strong
winds and hail uprooted trees, flattened hundreds
of homes, killed thousands of cattle and poultry and
damaged crops in the Howrah, Bankura and
Hooghly districts of West Bengal state.
- A United Airlines flight from Hawaii to San Francisco plunged suddenly after hitting turbulence early Thursday, injuring 10 people, including five flight attendants who were slammed into the jet's ceiling.
Seven of those injured were taken to a hospital, San Francisco International Airport officials said. The flight was carrying 147 passengers.
- The thick sheet of ice on Lake Superior could delay the opening of the shipping season later this month despite the efforts of the Coast Guard icebreakers that will soon start work.
More than 90% of Lake Superior's surface and that of two other Great Lakes are frozen. Ice on the Duluth harbor was more than 2 feet thick in spots.
The locks at Sault Ste. Marie are scheduled to open March 25. The first ships are scheduled to leave the Duluth-Superior port on March 23. More than a dozen large "lakers" have been docked there over the winter.
- Colorado's biggest winter storm of the
season dumped several feet of snow on the
Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Snowfall was heaviest in Gilpin
county, located west of Denver, where up to
222cm of snow fell. The Denver International Airport was closed on the
19th, and the main terminal was temporarily
evacuated due to the possibility of a roof collapse
from the weight of heavy snow. This was Denver's
second biggest snowstorm ever recorded (80.8cm), and it has become the snowiest March on record for the city.
- A powerful storm system moved across the
Mediterranean Sea and affected Greece on the 17th.
The storm produced wind damage and power
cuts, with heavy snowfall in the southern
Hurricane-force winds also swept through parts of
the Aegean Sea. This same weather system brought
gusty winds and associated dust storms to areas of
northern Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, and southern Iraq
during the 18-19th.
- In the United States, severe thunderstorms which
affected southern Georgia early in the day
produced a tornado that affected Mitchell and
Worth counties. The storm claimed 6 lives and
resulted in 25 injuries.
- Warm weather conditions across Scandinavia and NW Europe
resulted in temperatures of 11C in Stockholm, 12C in Oslo and 18C in Brussels. These are all 8-10C above the February average.
- In Tunisia Gabes reported 16mm of rain in 24 hours (March average is 17mm). A desert low brought unusually wet weather
into parts of Algeria. Ghardaia, to the southeast of the
Atlas Mountains had 46mm of rain over the weekend with 25mm at El Golea had 25mm. The March averages are 9mm and 10mm respectively.
- A strong storm system crossed the eastern
Mediterranean and affected the Middle East during
24th-26th, bringing a variety of precipitation
types to the region. In Israel, Jerusalem reported a
mix of rain and snow on the 25th, while strong
winds produced severe sandstorms over large
portions of Saudia Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait during
the 25th-26th. In addition to near-zero visibility and strong winds gusting over 40kn,
showers and thunderstorms preceded a strong cold front which swept across areas of eastern Iraq and
Kuwait, severely affecting US and coalition military operations in the area. Strong thunderstorms
produced large hail that damaged some coalition aircraft flying missions in the Persian Gulf.
World weather news, February 2003
- A tornado that was responsible for 164 deaths struck remote areas of the central Democratic Republic
of Congo, affecting 6 villages in the District of Yumbi, Bandundu province. The tornado injured another 1,700 people, more than 200 critically, as it impacted an area located about 250 km (150 miles) northeast of the capital of Kinshasa.
- In eastern Canada, freezing rain that affected New Brunswick on the 2nd caused thousands of power cuts, and cost the provincial electrical utility New Brunswick Power between US$3-4 million in
damage repair. A power company spokesman characterised the ice storm as the
worst in the utility's history, eclipsing the cost of the 1998 ice storm in New Brunswick.
- Numerous wildfires continued to burn across parts
of New South Wales, aggravated
by the unusually dry conditions.
- Drought conditions affected much of southern
Africa, including Botswana, Zimbabwe and parts of
South Africa. In Botswana, only 4 percent of
available land for cultivation was ploughed this
rainy season due to drought.
- The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Beni moved into
northeastern Australia and produced
locally heavy rainfall. Across coastal areas of
Queensland, as much as 30 cm of rain fell
which brought flooding.
Tropical Cyclone Fiona pushed south of Java during
the 5th-6th, but locally heavy rains fell on the
island. Maximum sustained winds with the cyclone
reached as high as 100 knots over open waters of the Indian Ocean on the
- A storm brought heavy rains to Southern
California and caused mudslides,
power outages and street flooding.
Rainfall amounts were more than double and triple
the record. Mount Wilson in Pasadena recorded 7.68 inches of
precipitation. At Las Vegas, Nevada, 19mm of
rain fell on the 12th, which was the third wettest
calendar day since 21 November 1996.
- For the first time in the history of the Iditarod
Trail Sled Dog Race, officials have approved a detour because of a lack of
snow on the normal route.
The ceremonial start March 1 is still set for Anchorage, but probably will be
limited to 11 miles unless at least 6 inches of snow is on the ground.
Unseasonably warm temperatures have melted much of the snow that's
fallen in the area and the start of the trail is marred by bare ground and
spans of open rivers.
Under a plan approved Tuesday, the restart will take place at 10 a.m. March
3 on the Chena River about a mile from the Fairbanks International Airport
to give mushers time to drive their dog teams to Fairbanks, about 360 miles
north of Anchorage.
- In the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, heavy rains caused flooding that affected 10,000 homes
and produced traffic chaos throughout the city. Flooding and landslides throughout the country have
killed around 60 people since December 2002.
- A powerful winter storm that affected much of the
eastern half of the United States during February
15-17 dumped heavy accumulations of snow across
much of the Ohio Valley eastward through the
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Snowfall
accumulations of 30-60cm were common,
with snowfall amounts exceeding 90cm
in parts of northeastern West Virginia.
Numerous all-time snowfall records were broken,
including Baltimore and Boston. The storm system
brought the heaviest snow accumulations to the
East Coast since the Blizzard of 1996. Farther to the
south, subfreezing temperatures extending into the
Carolinas brought sleet and freezing rain to the
parts of the region. The storm closed numerous
airports in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic and
severely hampered transportation.
At Central Park, NY the storm total from the President's Day snowstorm (16-17) reached
19.8 inches on the 17th. This is fourth largest snow storm in terms of snowfall totals
since records have been kept dating back to1869. The top three are as follows:
26.4 inches on December 26-27, 1947
21.0 inches on March 12-14, 1888
20.2 inches on January 6-7, 1996
- In Canada, cold temperatures in Newfoundland
froze floodwaters which affected the town of
Badger. The Exploits, Red Indian and Badger rivers
flooded the town as ice jams gave way on the 15th.
By the 17th, temperatures as low as -20C
froze much of the standing water, encasing cars,
snowmobiles and some homes in ice. Most of
Badger's 1,100 residents were evacuated during the
15-16th after a state of emergency was declared.
- In western India, severe thunderstorms on the 18th in the town of Dholatar in Gujarat state knocked
down 28 houses, killing at least 5 people. The storm also disrupted power in region,
uprooting nearly 11,000 power poles.
- A winter storm brought heavy snow to parts of
Jordan, Israel and Lebanon and
was characterized as the heaviest snowfall since
1950 for parts of the region. Locally over 20 cm
of snow accumulated, disrupting
transportation and closing schools and business
throughout the area
In Syria, six people are reported to
have died when their house collapsed
in heavy rain.
Main routes from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem and Beirut to Damascus were
closed by the bad weather and temperatures in Jordan plunged below
- Norwegian and Swedish water reservoirs fell
latest week, prolonging a decline that has sunk reservoirs in the
hydropower-dependent region to their lowest levels in decades for the
Norwegian water reservoirs fell 2.6 percentage points to an average
percent of full in the latest week.
Norway's water reservoir levels averaged 53.6 percent of full in the
week last year.
- The third winter storm of the
week coated much of the USA South
contributing to the deaths of 11
motorists, three immigrants
crossing the brush of south
Texas and a woman who froze
to death in her home in
The huge storm, which stretched
from Texas into the Northeast,
left an inch-thick layer of ice on
top of snow in many places,
- The sunshine-record of February 1975 was broken in the Netherlands during February. The KNMI reports 151.7h at De Bilt, a record since the start of the
observations in 1901. The east (Hupsel) and southeast (Maastricht) have been
the sunniest places with a 163.9h and 163.8h respectively. These are normal
values for June.
World weather news, January 2003
- An avalanche buried over a dozen cars under several feet of snow, blocking a road in central Japan and forcing over a hundred people to take refuge on the mountain overnight. No injuries were reported. Sixteen vehicles were covered in the midmorning slide along a well-travelled mountain road in Azumi village in Nagano prefecture. Rescue crews pulled 12 people unhurt from their cars after digging them out from drifts up to 6 feet deep. Meanwhile, snow continued to fall into Sunday evening.
- Parts of northern Vietnam have been blanketed by snow as an unusually long cold spell grips the mostly tropical country. "It's been snowy here before, but very rarely has it been as much as it is now," said a weather specialist in Lao Cai province in Vietnam's mountainous north. The latest snow fell in the Lao Cai resort town of Sa Pa, which is at an altitude of 1,600 metres (5,250 feet), weather officials said. In Ha Giang province, five to 15 cm of snow fell on January 5 and 6, the heaviest snow ever reported in that area. The snow has been a big hit with many people travelling to northern areas on the border with China to see the rare snow. The area has not seen such a cold snap for nearly 20 years, officials said.
"Northern Vietnam has not had such a long chilly period since 1984 which
lasted for 29 days," an official at the national weather forecast centre said.
- A rare snowfall in southern France
shut down two airports and forced schools to close to help avoid vehicle
accidents on icy roads.
Flights to and from the southern cities of Nimes and
Montpellier were cancelled. Several major highways linking France and Spain
across the Pyrenees mountains were closed to vehicles because of poor
visibility and treacherously icy roads.
No more than about 2 inches of snow fell across the
region. But combined with ice in an area where measurable snow is rare,
the snowfall had the effect of paralyzing transportation.
- The temperature reached 35.1C in Hobart at 1.03pm this afternoon. This is the highest temperature
recorded in Hobart in the last 23 months but it was well short of Hobart's all-time highest temperature of 40.8C, recorded on
4 January 1976. It is, however, well above the long-term January mean maximum temperature of
- The death toll from a two-week
cold wave gripping northern
India rose to nearly 120
as temperatures fell to near
freezing in some places.
Most of the victims were homeless
pavement dwellers and beggars. Every winter,
dozens of people die of exposure in
northern India when temperatures
plunge at night.
Early on Tuesday, Ranchi, capital of eastern Jharkand state, recorded a
low of 1C with 3C in Jhansi town in Uttar Pradesh.
- Drought conditions expanded into the plains and lower Great Lakes region (USA), as dry weather continued.
In Iowa, Des Moines experienced a record 53-day long dry spell that ended on the 4th, along with the
warmest temperature ever recorded in January on the 8th (67F).
- A low pressure system brought torrential rains to northern Australia during January 10-13, 2003.
Along the border of Queensland and the Northern Territory, adjacent to the Gulf of Carpentaria, up
to 800 mm of rain fell.
- 17 people died Saturday after mudslides buried three houses
on a steep hillside in Petropolis, 38 miles away from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Torrents of water swept cars and
bodies into a river and the city's centre.
Authorities said more than 7 inches of rain fell on the city in an hour
- The death toll from a cold snap in Portugal rose to
five after a man died of carbon monoxide poisoning from lighting a
charcoal fire inside his home to fend of freezing temperatures.
Firefighters found three other people in the house, including a couple that
was unconscious and seriously injured.
Temperatures in most of northern and central Portugal dropped below
freezing for the second consecutive night, prompting the city of Lisbon to set
up two sites with tents for the homeless.
- A merciless blast of Arctic weather claimed
still more victims across central and eastern Europe, with thousands of
residents having to endure record low temperatures without any heating.
Several ships meanwhile found themselves trapped in thick ice that has
surrounded ports throughout the region's eastern Baltic coast, while more than
20 people have died recently from the intense cold in Latvia, Hungary and as
far west as Portugal.
Ironically, the eastern region of Siberia, renowned for its deadly winters,
has thus far experienced one of the mildest winters in a century.
In Ukraine, heavy snowfall closed down five airports on Sunday when runways
were covered in ice.
In Germany, snow and frozen rain virtually shut down the airport at Cologne
and Bonn, cancelled flights at Frankfurt's international airport and caused
traffic snarls in Bavaria.
Arctic weather in the Baltic region has killed at least 15 people in the
Latvian capital of Riga in recent days.
In Russia's second-largest city of St. Petersburg on Monday, around 50
ships remained at sea, shut out of the city's frozen ports by a layer of ice
some 80cm thick covering the Gulf of Finland.
Ice there had not been that thick since 1941.
In Hungary, two people died over the weekend due to record low temperatures
- Wide swathes of tropical Bangladesh, Nepal and
Himalayan India remained gripped by a savage cold wave that has killed
nearly 1,200 since Christmas and left millions shivering.
Dhaka meteorologists warned that Bangladesh's coldest winter in
years, which has killed 540 people since mid-December, was tightening its icy
grip after offering a short respite.
- 27 people were feared killed, and several
villages have been destroyed after Hurricane Ami slammed into Fiji early
Ami, which on Fiji's classification system went from cyclone strength to
hurricane early on Tuesday morning, has also isolated the large island of Vanua
Levu, right in the storms path.
- Seventy-nine more people were killed overnight by a
cold spell that has gripped Bangladesh since mid-December, bringing the death
toll to 640.
Despite a slight increase in temperatures, cold continues to grip
normally-balmy Bangladesh, which was ill-prepared for the frigid weather. Most
of the victims of the near-freezing temperatures are elderly, ailing or young.
Nearly 1,300 people have died across South Asia since temperatures fell in
mid-December in Bangladesh, northern India and Nepal, according to media
- Heavy snows have knocked out electricity supplies in
nearly 200 towns across Ukraine.
Central Sumy and Poltava, western Lviv and Rivne, northern Chernigiv and
eastern Kharkiv have been without power since Tuesday evening, and emergency services were busy clearing roads, where the snow has
caused numerous accidents.
- Torrential rains and mudslides have killed
26 and injured at least 70 in southeastern Brazil.
The storm destroyed 2,280 homes on the outskirts of the city of Belo
Horizonte. An estimated 774
people have lost all their possessions, while 6,281 have been forced from
- Sydney has recorded its hottest January day since 1983 with the temperature soaring to 39.0C.
This is also the hottest day in Sydney City since 21 December 1994, when the temperature reached 40.9C.
The temperature in the city was affected by a seabreeze for most of the day, before shooting up to 39.0C just after 5pm.
Sydney's outer west also endured one of its hottest days with the temperature at Penrith and Richmond staying above 40°C
for an extraordinary 8 hours, from 11am to 7pm.
Many of Sydney's western suburbs recorded their second or third highest temperatures ever, with Parramatta experiencing its
hottest day of 44.5C (records began in 1965), breaking the previous record of 43.9C set on 21st December 1994.
- Parts of Newfoundland, Canada, were within a millimetre of
setting a new snowfall record - and were getting as
much as 20 centimetres.
A blizzard hit eastern
Newfoundland and Cape
Breton, N.S., shutting
down schools and
government services, as
well as causing delays and
cancellations at the St.
The snowfall brings the province's accumulation up to a
On Saturday, after a fall of 25 centimetres, St. John's had
received 250.9 centimetres, just one millimetre short of the total
to the same date in 2001. That year, a century-old record was
smashed with a total of 648 centimetres of snowfall.
- In Bolivia, heavy rains brought the San Julian and Chutacagua Rivers above flood stage, affecting
several towns in the departments of Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. Around 6,500 people were affected
and up to 80 percent of the crops were damaged in the region affected by the flood. Flash
flooding affected the Bolivian capital of La Paz, causing two deaths
- Temperatures dropped to -38C as a cold wave tightened its grip from
the northern Plains into New England, keeping even the
hardiest people indoors. Arctic air has been blowing south
for more than a week, and has been felt especially hard in
the Northeast, where the last couple of winters were
- A winter storm brought significant accumulations of
snow to parts of the U.S. Deep South, including the
Carolinas. Snowfall accumulations of
10-30 cm were common across areas
of western and central North Carolina, as well as
the Outer Banks.
- In northern Florida, Panama City Beach got
as low as -9.5C. Miami broke a 62 year low temperature
record for that date with 2.8C.
- Hot temperatures exacerbated drought and wildfire conditions in southeast Australia, as Melbourne
recorded the fourth warmest day on record, with a maximum temperature of 44.1C.
- Tropical Cyclone Beni developed in the south Pacific
Ocean on the 26th and passed within 90 km of the eastern tip of Rennell in the Solomon
islands on the 26th. Winds gusted to between
50-60 knots at the
town of Bellona as the cyclone passed by, along
with a 48-hour period of heavy rains. Property and
agricultural damage was reported on the island,
with tree crops such as coconuts, papaya and banana
- A slow-moving area of low pressure
through Western Australia gave widespread and
prologued heavy rain across inland parts of this state. The
highest totals over the weekend included 356mm at
Marillana, 214mm at Wittenoom and 197mm at
Newman - roughly twice the monthly average rainfall falling over three days.
- Colorado's mountain
snowpack is 25% less than average.
Colorado would need
double the amount of snow it has now to reach average, and even
that wouldn't end the drought.
The snowpack provides much of Colorado's water supply. Melting
snow contributes about 80% of the water in rivers, streams, lakes
- Heavy rain triggered three landslides on
Indonesia's main island of Java, killing at least 20 villagers and
leaving 10 others missing.
The landslides also blocked the island's southern railway line, which
connects Jakarta with cities in central Java.
- Severe drought affected 900,000 people in Zimbabwe's southwestern province of Matabeleland. In one of Zimbabwe's worst droughts in the last 50 years, up to 20,000 head of cattle
were in danger of dying. Across the country, aid agencies estimated that almost 7 million people in the country would require food aid until the next harvest around March 2003. Across
Ethiopia, drought was expected to cause up to a 30 percent reduction in coffee production,
undermining the country's main cash crop. In Mauritania, 420,000 people were in need of
food aid due to one of the worst droughts in the last 20 years.
If you have a snippet of weather news that you feel merits inclusion, then please feel free to email it to me.
Last updated 23 January 2004.