World weather news

World weather news, December 2003

1st
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.
2nd
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.
2nd
Rainfall in 24 hours to 1800GMT on Tuesday - Le Puy 53 mm, Lyon 59 mm, Marseille 68 mm, Montlimar 130 mm; in 48 hours to 18z on Tuesday - Lyon 75 mm, Marseille 81 mm, Le Puy 93 mm, Montlimar 182 mm.
2nd
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 Meteorology
4th
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.
4th-6th
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.
3rd-5th
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
5th-7th
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.
9th
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.
9th
In Iran, subfreezing low temperatures in the capital city of Tehran resulted in the deaths of 40 homeless people.
12th-15th
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.
16th
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.
17th-23rd
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.
22nd
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.
25th
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.
26th
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.
28th
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.
31st
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

3rd
At around 1400GMT the village of Le Roeulx - between Mons and La Louvire 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.
4th
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.
4th
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 Wyoming.
5th
Scientists at NOAA are observing oceanic telltale signs the climate phenomenon known as El Nio may be back in a weak form just in time for the holidays. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center's monthly El Nio-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 Nio by the end of November.
7th
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 Nio and La Nia, 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.
7th
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).
10th
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.
10th
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
12th
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 area.
12th-13th
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 Great Lakes.
12th-13th
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 higher ground.
12th-13th
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.
13th
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.
16th
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.
17th
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.
18th-19th
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.
19th
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.
20th
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.
20th
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.
23rd-24th
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 damage.
24th
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.
25th-26th
In 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.
28th-30th
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.
29th-30th
Heavy 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 mudslides. 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 of 104mm.
30th
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 years. 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

5th
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.
5th-6th
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.
8th
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 Baden-Wuerttemberg. Train service in the city of Freiburg was interrupted due to downed trees blocking the tracks. Isolated power outages were reported in Bavaria.
9th
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.
9th
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 worldwide.
9th
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".
9th
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.
9th-10th
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.
11th
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.
13th
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.
14th
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.
15th
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.
16th
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 Rockies.
16th-17th
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 days. The 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.
19th-20th
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 years.
14th-21st
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.
20th-21st
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.
21st
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.
22nd-28th
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.
24th
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.
25th
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).
26th
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.
28th
French weather station wrongly predicted snowfall instead of a cold but dry spell after a spider spun a web over meteorological equipment. 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 Meto 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."
30th
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 1932. 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.
30th
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

2nd
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.
3rd
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 collapsed. The typhoon was the worst to hit Shenzhen and south China's Pearl River Delta since 1979.
5th
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.
6th
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.
7th
Six people were killed, two reported missing and around 30 injured after violent storms affected eastern Algeria. 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.
8th
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 reported. 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.
8th
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 Caltanissetta.
10th
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 7 September.
10th
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
11th
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 house. 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.
11th
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 Epidemiological Centre.
11th
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 dangerous." The Center said Isabel was located 800km east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antillies.
15th
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 economy. Weathermen described Maemi as the most powerful typhoon since records began in 1904.
15th
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.
16th
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.
16th
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.
17th
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.
17th
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.
18th
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 shore. 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 Virginia.
19th-24th
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 California.
22nd
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 388C recorded at Mungindi on 29 September 2000.
24th
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 alone.
24th
Torrential rains beat down on the Tunisian capital, causing flash floods in and around the city and chaos on the roads. 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.
25th
France's August heatwave killed 14,802 people, according to official government figures released today.
29th
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.
30th
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

1st-3rd
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.
1st
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).
3rd-10th
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.
9th
40.8C today at Perl Nenning was the highest temperature on record for Germany.
9th
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.
10th
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.
10th
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.
11th
A new Swiss temperature record was set today as Grono in Graubnden 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.
12th
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.
13th-15th
Provinces of Sr-Trndelag, Mre 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.
17th
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.
19th
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.
19th
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.
21st
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.
21st
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.
24th
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.
27th-31st
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.
28th
7cm diameter hailstones fell in Bergamo in northern Italy during the evening.
29th
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

1st
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 average.
2nd
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 safety measure. Record highs were reached particularly in the north and west, soaring to 39C at Ruse on the River Danube. Temperatures reached 38C at Veliko Tarnovo in the centre, 37C at Burgas on the Black Sea, and 32C in the capital Sofia.
3rd
The temperature dropped to -9.4C on Macquarie Island (Australia) early this morning, the coldest recorded in the 55 years since routine weather observations began there. This is 11.1C below the average minimum temperature for July of 1.7C. The previous coldest temperature of -8.9C was recorded back in 1954.
3rd
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 said. More than 3,000 ha of seeded land in the southern Mykolaiv region were damaged by hail.
7th
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.
7th
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.
7th-8th
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.
1st-8th
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.
8th
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.
10th
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.
10th
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 sources said.
15th
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 together. A portion of a glacier near the Alpine resort of Grindelwald also broke away and fell into a river.
15th
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 harvests. Italy's biggest river, the Po, which flows across much of northern Italy has fallen to its lowest levels in a century.
15th
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.
16th
The temperature surpassed 29C in several places in Finland's northern Lapland province, with 33.3C in Mietoinen near Turku.
15th-16th
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.
16th
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.
16th
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.
17th
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 metres. 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.
18th
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.
18th
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.
18th
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.
18th-20th
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.
19th
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.
19th
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.
20th
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.
21st
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.
21st
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 Finland. 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.
21st
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 already destroyed.
22nd
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.
22nd
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.
23rd
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.
23rd
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.
24th
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.
26th
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.
26th
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.
27th
At least 173 fishermen were missing off Bangladesh's coast after 20 trawlers sank in rough weather in the Bay of Bengal.
27th
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 Munich-Stuttgart motorway. The storms also felled trees and caused traffic jams on highways across the state.
28th
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.
24th-31st
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

1st
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.
3rd
50.7C was reported from Jacobabad in Pakistan, this being 5C above the normal average June maxima of 45.6C.
3rd
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.
5th
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 rainfall.
7th-10th
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.
8th
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 cm hail. 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 a caravan. 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 trees.
10th
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.
10th-12th
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.
12th
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.
13th
Hot again in much of southern Europe Switzerland - Locarno 34.6C. Hungary - Budapest 34.1C, Pecs 34.6C, Szeged 36.6C. France - Toulouse 35.0C, Mont-de-Marsan 35.1C, Montlimar 36.9C. Portugal - Castelo Branco 36.0C, Monte Real 37.4C, Coimbra 38.6C. Spain - Madrid 36.0C, Valladolid, Zaragoza and Palma/Mallorca 36.3C, Jaen 36.6C, Almeria 36.9C, Granada 37.4C, Caceres and Ciudad Real 37.6C, Badajoz 38.2C, Cordoba 38.4C. Italy - Piacenza 36.2C, Milan 36.6C, Florence and Amendola 37.4C, Grosseto 38.0C. Greece - Thessaloniki 35.4C, Lamia 35.6C, Athens and Samos 36.2C, Corfu 36.6C.
14th
In Toulouse a heatwave saw temperature rising to 38.1C. 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.
15th
Continuing warm in some parts of S Europe: France - Marseille 34.8C, Montpellier 35.0C, Perpignan 36.5C (minimum 26.1C). Spain - Valencia 36.0C, Zaragoza 36.8C, Gerona 36.9C, Murcia 39.0C, Tortosa 39.6C. Italy - Florence 35.9C, Grosseto 37.0C, Amendola 37.2C, Cagliari on Sardinia 37.4C. Greece - Lamia 35.6C, Alexandroupolis 35.8C, Corfu 36.0C, Athens 37.0C.
17th
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 rain.
16th-17th
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.
18th
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.
13th-19th
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.
20th-25th
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."
22nd
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.
23rd
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.
26th
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 district. 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.
26th
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.
26th
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 heat wave. 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 37C. 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.
26th
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.
29th-30th
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 southeastern Louisiana.
30th
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 Chittagong.
30th
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. Statistics 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.
30th
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

1st
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.
2nd
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.
2nd
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.
4th
A tropical storm flattened hundreds of flimsy huts in several villages in eastern Bangladesh, killing 19 people.
4th-5th
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 villages. 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.
4th-5th
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 places. 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.
5th
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 1879!
6th
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 destroyed. The storms brought strong winds and hail late Tuesday to a largely rural area of the state near the Kentucky border.
7th
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 there. At least 104 people were injured in the Oklahoma City area, five critically.
3rd-9th
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
10th
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.
11th
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 submerged. 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.
11th
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 some cases.
11th-15th
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 12-15.
13th
Hailstones 2 to 4 cm in diameter fell during a shower today in the village 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).
16th-17th
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 sixty-one years.
18th-20th
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.
19th
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.
21st
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 above average. The heat has claimed around fifty lives in the last week.
21st
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.
25th-29th
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.
27th
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.
28th
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.
29th
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.
31st
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.
31st
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

1st
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.
1st-2nd
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.
4th
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. Environment Canada 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.
4th
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.
5th-7th
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.
6th-8th
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.
7th-8th
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. Austria declared a state of emergency in the small mountain community of Smolian, with renewed avalanche warnings issued across much of the Balkan mountains.
12th
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.
9th
The minimum temperature in Rome of 0.8C was the lowest in April in a 140-year record. Fassberg on the Lneberg Heath in northern Germany recorded -11.0C on Tuesday morning and -10.3C today.
14th-17th
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.
14th
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.
15th
Severe thunderstorms developed late on the 15th and produced 11 tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma (USA), along with numerous reports of damaging hail and strong winds.
12th-18th
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 the 18th.
15th-22nd
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.
15th
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.
20th
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.
21st-22nd
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.
22nd-23rd
At least 40 people were killed and nearly 2000 injured in a severe cyclone in India's northeastern Assam state overnight. 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.
26th
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.
28th
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 Storm Ana.
29th
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

1st
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.
2nd-3rd
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.
3rd
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.
3rd
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.
4th
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.
5th
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.
6th
Repeated 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.
10th
In Malawi, flooding rains around the 10th damaged a major power station, causing widespread power failures and water shortages in the country's two main cities
11th
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 respectively.
5th-12th
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.
12th
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.
13th
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.
13th
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.
17th-19th
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.
17th-19th
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 Peloponnesian region. 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.
20th
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.
23rd
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.
23rd-24th
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.
24th-26th
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

2nd
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.
2nd
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.
4th
Numerous wildfires continued to burn across parts of New South Wales, aggravated by the unusually dry conditions.
4th
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.
5th
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.
5th-9th
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 8th-9th.
12th
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.
12th
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.
13th
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.
15th-17th
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
15th-17th
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.
18th
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.
24th-26th
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 freezing.
26th
Norwegian and Swedish water reservoirs fell in the latest week, prolonging a decline that has sunk reservoirs in the hydropower-dependent region to their lowest levels in decades for the season. Norwegian water reservoirs fell 2.6 percentage points to an average of 31.1 percent of full in the latest week. Norway's water reservoir levels averaged 53.6 percent of full in the same week last year.
26th
The third winter storm of the week coated much of the USA South with ice, 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 Oklahoma. The huge storm, which stretched from Texas into the Northeast, left an inch-thick layer of ice on top of snow in many places, including Arkansas.
28th
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

5th
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.
5th-6th
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.
6th
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.
7th
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 21.5C.
7th
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.
8th
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).
10th-13th
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.
11th
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
12th
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.
13th
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 of -25C.
13th
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.
14th
27 people were feared killed, and several villages have been destroyed after Hurricane Ami slammed into Fiji early today. 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.
15th
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 reports.
15th
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.
16th
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 their homes.
18th
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 40C 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.
20th
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. John's airport. The snowfall brings the province's accumulation up to a record-breaking level. 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.
21st
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
22nd
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 unusually mild.
23rd
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.
24th
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.
25th
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.
26th
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 affected.
25th-27th
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.
22nd-28th 28th
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 and reservoirs.
29th
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.
31st
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.