World weather news
World weather news, January 1996
Two New Year revellers froze to death in
Moscow when they collapsed in icy streets after
heavy drinking session.
25 people had been taken to hospital
with frostbite, as New Year temperatures dropped to about -3F.
- Floods caused by heavy rains have
killed 14 people, left at least 11 missing and forced about 120,000
others to flee their homes in Indonesia's northern province of
- Heavy snows in the main sanctuaries
of the Monarch butterfly in central Mexico have killed millions
of the distinctive orange and black insects, environmentalists
- A tornado touched down in suburban Miami, damaging 100 homes, tearing down power lines
and causing minor injuries.
- Days of freezing weather
have prevented several thousand tourists returning to work from
Christmas and New Year holidays on the popular East Friesian
islands off northern Germany.
Temperatures have remained below zero for several days
across northern Germany, and at night have dipped as low as
-24C in eastern Germany.
Ice 15 cm thick trapped 25 trawlers - most of Germany's
biggest fishing fleet - in the port of Friedrichskoog, forcing
some owners to hack channels in the harbour to prevent their
wooden boats being crushed.
- Drivers in much of the United States
braved icy conditions after a storm left up to 10
inches of snow from Missouri to Ohio to parts of the Northeast,
and sent the mercury plunging to -28F in Minnesota.
- Very cold in
Northeast USA as gusts of arctic air also
forced readings in much of the Plains and Great Lakes regions into
the single-digits (degF).
- Heavy rains and melting snow are
causing the worst flooding in Romania in 25 years.
Flooding rivers entered some reservoirs, tainting drinking water
to several cities.
- The largest snowstorm in at least two years
hit the middle Atlantic area and moved northeast toward New
England. Airports were closed. Snow fell at the rate of 5cm/hr in New York.
Snowstorm resulted from the meeting of warm, moist air from the south and a cold arctic airmass from Canada.
- At least 10 people died and 200
were injured in traffic accidents over the weekend as freezing
rain turned most of western Germany's roads into ice rinks.
Authorities reported more than 1,500 accidents in the
regional states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia
alone, as salt-spreading trucks found they could not spread fast
enough to prevent roads freezing over a second time.
- Heavy rain left four people dead
in southeastern Brazil, the latest casualties of
persistent bad weather that has killed at least 20 people in the
past few days.
Fifteen people died last week in the city of Sao Paulo and
7,000 in the state were left homeless as a result of heavy rains
which began Wednesday. Flooding also brought Rio de Janeiro to a
- By evening, a record 30.3 inches of snow had fallen in
Philadelphia, 22 inches in New York City, and 18 inches in
About 200 people were stranded for six hours
through the night on an unheated Washington commuter train stalled
by the snowstorm that paralyzed the capital area. 28ins of snow fell
in Kentucky. Schools, offices and roads closed in the northeast.
It was one of the snowiest storms in the NE this century.
Up to 43ins fell in west Virginia. 41 died. The storm cost
an estimated $585 million in insured-property damage.
- Snow piled up to 3 feet deep from New England to Virginia; one of the highest snowfall measures was 37 ins in the
Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia.
- Ski conditions in southern Spain, where a lack of snow forced the cancellation of last year's World Championships,
are again worrying the sport's governing body as it prepares to try again next month at the same venue.
- Cold in Florida; temperatures were as many as 20degF below normal
in some parts of the state this morning. Tallahassee had a low of 24F, with a wind chill near zero.
- Heavy rains flooded main streets in Lisbon, Portugal, and
caused power cuts in downtown areas, bringing the capital to a virtual standstill.
- The Indonesian capital's worst floods in
20 years started to subside but hundreds of Jakarta
residents remained sheltering in safe areas, facing the debris
and health hazards from the deluge.
- Tropical cyclone Bonita,
packing 120 miles per hour winds, bore down on Madagascar
and residents reinforced homes and moved away from
- Cubans, more accustomed to complaining
about hot and humid conditions, are shivering in a cold snap
'Temperatures will remain chilly today with maximum of 20
to 23 Celsius,' said Wednesday's weather
forecast in the ruling Communist Party newspaper Granma.
This was a 'cold, cold, cold early morning,'.
- More than two feet of snow felled trees and
stranded motorists while a powerful blizzard blew across northern
Japan for a third day.
- Floods in central and northern
Portugal over the past week have killed 10 people and made 1,050
- Eleven people died in the past
three days during an unseasonal cold snap in Guatemala, where
temperatures in some parts of the country plunged below
- A new snowstorm caused big problems in
the Northeast USA again, closing the federal government in
the nation's capital, snarling transportation and knocking out
electricity. Up to 12 ins of snow fell in southwest Virginia,
western Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
- Heavy snowfalls swept Iran, and
some regions were hit by the worst conditions in 50 years.
Airports at Isfahan in the center of
the country and Shiraz in the south have been closed.
Shiraz, Iran's third largest city, was buried
under 20 inches of snow, with conditions worsening and all roads
into the city blocked. 17 people died.
- Torrential rains unleashed floods and
landslides along France's southern coast.
Several days of constant, heavy rain, along with snow melt from
warm Alpine weather, combined to swell rivers and saturate the
- Near-blizzard conditions blasted the Rockies and northern Plains
of the USA, giving up to 24ins of snow, while winds up to 110 mph caused sand storms in Texas. 17 were injured in a 23-vehicle chain reaction crash
on Interstate 10 due to blowing sand. Fog was blamed for a 30-car pileup on Interstate 43 north of
- In North Dakota snowstorms dropped a foot of snow, spawned by a powerful Arctic frontal
system pushing out warm, moist air and driving down temperatures
along the front by more than 40 degF in a matter of hours.
- A rare heavy snowfall blanketed
Jerusalem and swept through other parts of Israel and the West
A trace of snow falls nearly every year in the holy city but
usually melts within an hour.
- Tornadoes tore off roofs in Arkansas and Texas, where winds
gusted to 110 mph. A man and a woman were killed when the roof of a
store collapsed in Anthony, Texas.
- Tens of thousands of evacuated
residents in northeast Pennsylvania started returning to their
homes late Saturday after dikes held back rising waters in the
The threat of flooding - prompted by heavy rains and
melting snow during unusually warm weather on Friday - moved
- The Icebox Festival in the northern
Minnesota town of International Falls was postponed
- because of the cold.
As temperatures dipped to -42F,
organizers of the annual winter festival - its highlight is a
frozen turkey bowling contest - said they would wait for a
- Seven people died in floods in
central Mozambique at the weekend after heavy rains along the
road which links Zimbabwe with the Mozambican port of Beira.
Weekend rainfall in Chimoio was 95 inches and in Beira at
least 45 inches of rain was recorded.
Nine people died in a cyclone that hit northern and central
Mozambique last week.
- Thousands of Mexicans have fallen
sick with breathing difficulties, eye problems, headaches and
nausea as Mexico City's smog emergency entered its third day.
Despite draconian measures including curbs on factory
output, gasoline sales and car driving, smog levels in the city
were still well above World Health Organization (WHO) safe
- GOES-9, one of a new generation of U.S.
weather satellites, is now over the Pacific Ocean.
The satellite has been positioned in orbit 22,300 miles above
the equator at 135 degrees west longitude, enabling its cameras to
view the western United States, Hawaii, Alaska and much of the
Pacific Ocean, NOAA
- Three people have died in heavy
rain and snow storms that have paralyzed parts of Spain, cutting
power and isolating dozens of villages.
The worst affected area was southern Andalusia.
- Severe cold has killed more than 200
people in northern Bangladesh since last month, local officials
They said temperatures had dropped in places to 39F,
the lowest for years. The poor, the old and the
homeless were worst affected.
- Four people in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) died when a
fierce storm lashed the city, bringing down powerlines and trees
and leaving some areas under water.
Two people were killed by landslides during the storm, which
hit Rio with winds of up to 60 miles per hour on Monday evening.
- At least five people died and
hundreds were evacuated from flooded homes as relentless rain
and thunderstorms battered Morocco and submerged large areas.
Torrential rains since Sunday have wreaked havoc with public
services. A train was derailed as tracks were buried beneath
water and another caught fire Monday because of a short circuit.
It was not immediately known what effect the downpour had on
agriculture, which had suffered from the worst drought on record
in 1995. Meteorologists said the area from Casablanca to Kenitra
near Rabat had so far received 1.3 times the annual average
amount of rain.
- Heavy snowfalls in Hungary over
the past two days have halted supply and troop convoys for the
U.S. contingent of the NATO Bosnian peacekeeping force.
Heavy snowfalls blanketing eastern and central Europe have
dumped around 20 inches snow over Hungary making roads difficult
and slowing down train traffic.
- Snow-slicked runways forced Air France to cancel 50
flights from Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Only about 2 inches of snow fell on the Paris region, but
it mingled with ice in some areas. Police reported numerous
- Arctic air continued to grip the northern regions of the Midwest USA.
Temperatures fell into the minus 40s in northern Minnesota in
- At least 19 people have been
killed and hundreds others made homeless by heavy downpours that
have swept Morocco this week.
- More than two dozen vehicles
collided early Monday on Interstate 94 because of blinding snow,
closing down the major Chicago-Milwaukee highway, police said.
Six injuries were reported.
State police said bitterly cold wind chasing a cold front
across the Great Lakes region caused white-out conditions.
- Flash floods swept through
the Herault department in southern France, killing four
people and causing significant damage.
Three people were reported missing in the flooding around
the city of Beziers, triggered by heavy rainstorms which caused
three rivers to overflow.
Torrential rains also triggered floods on the French
Mediterranean island of Corsica during the night, cutting off
some roads and submerging highway bridges.
- January was an exceptional month in Germany. It seems to have been the driest
of the century in Germany as a whole - parts of the NE recorded no precip.
at all for the whole month (hence the lack of snow cover and extreme frost
penetration). Further, the temp. anomalies for the month varied widely from
below -4 degC in the north to an incredible +5.4 degC on the summit of the
Feldberg in the Black Forest (persistent anticyclonic inversion weather
- overcast and frosty in the plains, mild and sunny in the mountains).
- Thousands of Oregonians were without heat early Wednesday after
gusting winds knocked down power lines during a bitter cold snap.
In Alabama, some streets were under water after heavy rains.
- The lowest temperatures in a decade sent
shivers through the Midwest and forecasters warned
that an even colder Arctic airmass would arrive before the
Chicago has already recorded 23 deaths
directly blamed on cold weather.
Frigid temperatures froze fire hydrants and coated
firefighters with icicles as they battled blazes across the
region set off by malfunctioning heaters or fires set by those
trying to stay warm.
Among the lowest temperatures, Geraldton,
Ontario, recorded -49C.
Kansas' sole nuclear power plant remained closed
after a screen covering a pipe froze, restricting the flow of
water from a cooling lake to the plant's nuclear reactor.
World weather news, February 1996
- A severe storm over northern Japan dumped more than
22 inches of snow by Thursday evening and another 40 inches could
fall before the storm is over, forecasters said.
- An estimated 400 people - all of them drunk - have
frozen to death in Moscow so far this winter, the Interfax news
Winter began early in the Russian capital this year with a Nov.
2 snowstorm. There have been no blizzards, but the temperature has
remained consistently cold, topping the freezing mark only once at
36 F on Dec. 24.
The coldest temperature of the winter so far was -6 F on Jan. 3.
- The worst wash of Arctic air in years sent temperatures
plummeting to new daily lows from Washington state to Michigan,
including -46C Ely, Minn.
The Minot, N.Dakota, Air Force base recorded
a noon temperature of -33F, with a wind chill of -93F.
- A winter storm played havoc with
normally temperate Texas as freezing rain covered
central and northern parts of the state with a sheet of ice.
at Tower was the lowest ever
recorded in the state of Minnesota. Soap bubbles
froze instantly and shattered when hitting the ground.
People were warned about pierced ears and body parts because
metal jewelry can freeze to the flesh.
When eggs were cracked on a sidewalk in St. Paul, the whites
hardened in 45 seconds, the yolks in just over 3 minutes.
Gravediggers used a device that resembles an upside-down
bathtub with a torch inside to thaw the ground enough to dig
- Blizzards have killed 42 people in a
Tibetan region of China's southwestern Sichuan province in one
of the worst snowstorms reported in China for several years.
- On Midwest farms, the
tails of newborn cattle are at risk of freezing solid and breaking
off in temperatures well below zero.
- 3 killed in Texas as a result of icy conditions.
- Scant snow in Anchorage, Alaska, has prompted
organizers to cancel the World Championship Sled Dog Race, one of
the premier sprint mushing events. (2nd)
- Eight people died and 10 were
injured in motorway pile-ups involving at least 20 vehicles just
north of Lisbon in thick fog.
- Record low temperatures for February at
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, -27F;
Des Moines, Iowa, -26F. -54F recorded at Shepherd Bay,
North West Territories, in Canada.
- One man died and more than
100 people were injured in accidents across the north of
Holland after a winter's day of skating turned to
Sub-zero temperatures have frozen hundreds of miles of
waterways, attracting tens of thousands of skating-mad Dutch to
At one organized race on the Ijsselmeer
around 3,000 people were expected but ten
times that number turned up. Skaters travelling at over 20mph collided
in dozens of
- Early reports from growers indicate
that freezing temperatures caused some damage to the Florida
citrus crop, especially Valencia oranges.
- Flooding and mudslides forced scattered
evacuations in northern California and Oregon as strong winter
storms swept in from the Pacific.
- Record low temperatures for February at
Columbus, Georgia, 10F;
Elkins, West Virginia, -22F;
Meridian, Mississippi, 8F.
- From Britain to Yugoslavia, Europe
shivered under a thick blanket of snow as freezing
temperatures brought chaos to much of the continent.
Blizzards trapped over 1,000 drivers in their cars overnight
in southern Scotland and brought down power lines across
Britain, leaving more than 25,000 homes without electricity.
Snow drifted up to six feet deep in places.
- Danish government icebreakers went into action for the first
time in nearly a decade to clear channels between Jutland and
the islands of Funen and Zealand.
Another icebreaker was sent to the Oresund channel between
Zealand and Sweden, where drifting ice has disrupted high-speed
shuttles between Copenhagen and the Swedish port of Malmo.
- In France, snow blanketed the northwest regions of Brittany
and Normandy, paralyzing numerous roads and prompting
authorities to close schools in several areas.
- German newspapers said the country was experiencing its
coldest winter since 1986-87. The river Elbe in eastern Germany
has frozen over, bringing barge traffic to a standstill.
- Rough seas, heavy snowfalls and blizzards closed Romania's
Black Sea port of Constanta and disrupted River Danube traffic.
Belgrade (the 'White City') lived up to its name, lying
under more than 18 inches of snow which have severely disrupted
traffic and services.
- The Vienna daily newspaper Neue Kronen Zeitung reported 33
days of snowfall so far this winter in the Austrian capital and
said council trucks had cleared 100 times more snow than last winter.
- Portugal is experiencing one of its wettest
winters for years with rainfall in many places triple the norm.
Floods have killed at least 12 people and made more than 1,000
homeless over the past six weeks.
Southern Spain, in the grip of a drought for several years
that drained reservoirs, has seen almost continuous rain since
December which has ruined crops and flooded homes.
- Thousands of tons of dead fish are trapped
under the frozen Dnipro River in the Ukraine.
Fiercely cold weather along with declining water levels in a
central section of the river,
Ukraine is suffering from one of its worst winters in decades.
Much of the Dnipro has frozen over. The unusually thick layer of
ice is forcing the fish into a smaller and smaller space,
eventually suffocating them.
- A combination of heavy rainfall and melting snow pushed rivers
over their banks in Washington and Oregon.
western Washington state have had more than a foot of rainfall in
the last few days.
- Cairo airport was shut down after
severe sandstorms reduced visibility, airport sources said.
- Some very cold spots in NW Europe this morning:
Holland had -20.5C and Berlin-Dahlem had -15.2C (the lowest there
since Jan 1987).
- A storm in Skikda, Algeria's main port for
crude oil and petroleum products exports, has badly damaged oil
and gas facilities there.
- Recent flooding in Morocco has killed
25 people, destroyed 7,200 homes and flooded more than 312,000
acres of agricultural land.
Damage to infrastructure was estimated at more than $55
million with roads, bridges, electricity and telephone lines
- Five people were killed and
dozens injured in violent storms that lashed France's Atlantic
coast this week.
Torrential rains and winds of up to 100 miles an hour hit
the coast Wednesday, smashing boats, damaging roads and bridges
and bringing down power lines.
- Heavy rains caused flooding up to six
feet deep in parts of Jakarta (Indonesia), immobilizing traffic in
and stranding residents in mosques,
schools and even rooftops.
The runoff from torrential rains that started at midnight
overwhelmed the city's network of rivers, many of which are blocked
by waste and have been narrowed by construction along their banks.
A flood that struck Jakarta last month was the capital's worst
in 20 years. It killed 10 people and caused $17.3 million in
- Heavy rain has caused flooding in Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho states: 7 died,
about 30,000 were evacuated, over 500 roads in Oregon were blocked, where
drinking water was running out.
- A frost-free morning in Munich, breaking a 48 day run of consecutive
- Thousands of rescuers and a fleet of
helicopters freed more than 1,500 people who were trapped in cars
and buses in drifts up to 6 feet deep by a weekend snowstorm in eastern Ukraine. The hardest-hit area was
about 240 miles southeast of Kiev between Dniepropetrovsk and
Temperatures have averaged 3degF for weeks in Kiev,
much of the rest of Ukraine has been frozen since December, in
what is the longest such cold spell in more than half a century.
Fierce snowstorms on Friday and Saturday caused electric outages
across the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, a southern resort region
that rarely sees significant snowfall.
- 50 people
have been drowned in a week of floods
across half of South Africa.
Heavy rain has fallen in the past week over most of the
northern and eastern regions of the country, filling dams to
over capacity, bursting the banks of rivers and leaving the
streets of several major towns awash to car-roof level.
Steady rains since December have broken a severe drought
that had gripped most of the country.
- At least 18 people died this
week in flooding from prolonged seasonal rains in northern South
Africa, and 43 are missing.
- A powerful storm dumped snow along the East Coast of the USA,
causing scores of accidents including a train crash outside
Washington that left 11 people dead and injured dozens
more. It was New York's 12th snowstorm of the season making it the city's
second snowiest winter in nearly 50 years.
- A giant snow palace with walls
400 yards long, a chapel, restaurant and theater opened to the
public Saturday in the Finnish town of Kemi near the Arctic
The castle, partly paid for by European Union regional funds
and which local unemployed youth helped to build, has so far
consumed 1.059 million cubic feet of snow and cost some
$700,000, organizer Seppo Lankinen said in a statement.
- Taiwan's military launched a
rescue mission on Sunday for 19 crew missing after a
Greek-registered cargo ship sank in rough seas.
- Snowstorms sweeping the Yangtze River
valley grounded air traffic in Shanghai and disrupted
train and bus transport, stranding thousands of travellers on
China's Lunar New Year holiday.
- Heavy snow in parts of Japan disrupted air,
road and rail traffic and forced the cancellation of sporting
The Tokyo Fire Department reported 41 people suffering
broken ribs and other minor injuries were taken to hospitals
after falling on snow-covered streets or being involved in
- A Chinese cargo vessel sank in
rough seas in the Taiwan Strait and hopes of finding any
of its 30 crew alive faded after rescuers were unable to find
any trace of the boat.
- Blizzards in
northwestern Europe, causing hundreds of highway
accidents and forcing more than a thousand motorists to abandon
their cars on snow-clogged roads.
The storms showed the contrast between countries accustomed to
snow and those that are not: In Denmark, 6 feet fell in some places
but there were no fatalities, while in the Netherlands, 4 inches of
snow brought more than 500 car crashes and two deaths.
In Britain, trees felled by high winds disrupted train and road
traffic. A motorcyclist died after hitting a fallen tree near Iver,
It was the worst snowstorm in the Netherlands since 1985. In the
northernmost Dutch provinces of Groningen and Friesland, heavy snow
cut off access to many villages. Some schools closed.
- Snow fell on much of France, causing an
Air France jet to skid off a runway at Charles de Gaulle Airport
and creating traffic chaos in Paris.
Snow was falling just about everywhere in France except along
the Mediterranean coastline and in the south-central regions of
Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence.
- Snow drifts and ice paralysed much
of northern and western France after more than
1,000 people spent the night in emergency shelters after being
trapped in the snow.
The worst-hit area was around the western city of Caen, in
Normandy, where police banned trucks from the roads and appealed
to motorists to stay home except in emergencies as crews
struggled to sweep away one-metre snow drifts.
In the west, storms wrecked fishing boats in the port of
Roscoff in Britanny and smashed the harbour pier at
Port-en-Bessin in Normandy.
- Heavy fog shrouded New York City, causing havoc at the metropolitan area's three major
airports and a ferry accident that injured 18 people, officials.
- Severe blizzards around 20th caused havoc in N Germany. Many roads became
impassable due to blowing snow and severe drifting, isolating many small
communities for a time. Daytime temperatures around -5 degC were accompanied
by gales gusting up to 130 km/h. At the exposed coastal station, Kap Arkona,
a mean windspeed of 60kn was reached. A passenger ferry travelling from Denmark
to Rostock was stranded for 18 hours by the combined effect of storms and
thickening sea-ice. The blizzards seem to have been the worst in the region
since the winter of 1978-79.
On 23rd, Sonnenbuehl recorded Germany's lowest minimum
of the winter so far with -29.8 degC. Just above the snow -32.6 degC was
Over the weekend, mild SW winds have brought a rapid rise in
temperatures with Foehn conditions north of the Alps.
At Zwiesel (Bayrischer Wald), a minimum of -17.3 degC
was recorded just before the mild air arrived. By the afternoon (Sunday),
a max of +8.0 degC had been reached, a rise of over 25 degC.
- In Texas, more heat was forecast after temperatures
soared to over 100 degrees in some areas. Firefighters fought
a huge grass fire at Poolville, 35 miles northwest of Fort Worth,
that had destroyed dozens of houses and injured at least 18 people.
- The death toll in Hong Kong's
coldest snap in half a century has climbed to 29 as more elderly
people succumbed to the unusually wintry weather.
Temperatures have dropped as low as 3 degC
in the territory, where the normally
humid, sub-tropical climate makes central heating a rarity.
- Up to 60,000 Tibetan herders and
their families are facing starvation and hundreds of thousands
of yaks have died in savage winter snowstorms on a west China
More than 100,000 people have been affected by storms that
have battered Yushu since late 1995 and 60,000 of these faced
extreme shortages of food, medicine and firewood.
- Thunderstorms rolled across the southern Plains (USA).
The thunderstorms, some of them severe, developed during the
morning and early afternoon over the southern Plains and began
sliding through the lower Mississippi Valley.
Hail up to 2 inches wide was reported during one storm near
Commerce, Texas, and wind gusted up to 60 mph during storms in
parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas.
World weather news, March 1996
- New York City got 4.6 inches of snow in its 13th snowstorm this
enough to set a record total of 66.3 inches for the season. The old
record of 63.2 inches was set in the winter of 1947-1948.
- A deadly tornado and high winds
spawned by severe thunderstorms left 7
people dead and more than 30 injured in Alabama.
The worst of the damage occurred in a mobile home park.
The violent weather conditions were caused by a cold front,
pushing southeast towards Florida into warm, moist tropical air
from the Gulf of Mexico.
- Indonesian rice farmers are
battling to dry out crops hit by heavy rain.
Traders said much of the rice from the main island of Java
had higher than average water content as rain had disrupted the
Water content in the rice that is coming in currently is
about 17 percent or about two percent higher than average.
Rice with 17 percent water content cannot be stored for more
than 10 days while that with 15 percent water content can be
kept for almost six months.
A tornado cut a four-mile path of
destruction through the Georgia countryside southeast of Augusta,
leaving five people injured, one of whom was carried
for more than 50 feet in the air.
- Rain, snow and bitter cold descended on
parts of the south eastern USA, lowering temperatures almost 50degF.
The cold snap, which also brought freezing rain and snow to the
Northeast, was blamed for at least two deaths.
- A snowstorm in Massachusetts pushed
the winter of 1995-96 into the record books, the latest snowfall brought to 245 cm the total winter accumulation, surpassing the
previous record of 244.6 cm set in 1993-1994.
The total seasonal snowfall for New
York after Friday's storm was 176 cm, compared
with the previous record of set in 1946-47 of 160.5
- Popocatepetl volcano has been spewing out clouds of ash and gas for a week.
Preliminary satellite imagery shows an ashcloud drifting to the SSW
(according to the WWW page of Michigan Technical University). AVN
forecasts from the USA suggest dispersion of the ash cloud to the S and SE
across the Caribbean. The cloud of ash and steam was thrown
3km into the air by the volcano, according to Reuters.
- An avalanche that swept through a hamlet
in Pakistani administered Kashmir has killed at least 35 people.
Official sources in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir, said
the incident took place in the Neelum valley about 150 km to the northeast.
- Flooding and landslides in Ecuador brought on
by rainy weather since late February have left at least 23 people dead
and forced 6,000 from their homes.
The rainy weather, which has affected most of Ecuador since late
February, has caused heavy flooding in nine of the nation's 21
provinces, particularly those on the Pacific coast.
- Violent thunderstorms swept
through the Southeast USA,
spawning at least 16 tornadoes in Alabama alone.
Authorities reported only minor injuries and moderate damage
to homes as the storm system moved through lower Mississippi and
Alabama into Georgia, northern Florida and the Carolinas,
bringing with it golf-ball sized hail and heavy rains.
- At least 40 people were buried alive
when an avalanche covered more than seven houses in a village
in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
The area has been in the grip of torrential rains for the past
four days and the northern areas have been badly hit by the heavy
- A fierce winter storm hammered the Detroit
area and other parts of Michigan,
clogging roads with accidents, closing schools and causing at least one
Wind gusts exceeding 50 mph and 8 inches of wet, heavy snow
brought down power lines and tree limbs.
- Sri Lanka expects a sharp fall
in rice and some other crops this year after northeast monsoon
rains failed, possibly affecting tea
and rubber export crops.
Rain-fed crops without irrigation have suffered very badly
because of very low rainfall from November 15 to December 31
Production of dried chillies had fallen by half to around
10,000 tonnes, and the drought could also threaten tea and rubber crops, the
island's main export commodities.
Sri Lanka has two rainy seasons. The southwest monsoon, the
most important for crops and for fuelling the country's
hydroelectric plants, begins in mid-May.
The northeast monsoon, from November to March, brings
intermittent thundershowers and are considered necessary to keep
crops healthy until rains arrive in May.
- Desert is encroaching on parts of Mexico's beef belt states
of Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon that have
not seen rain for more than 1,000 days.
Other regions are in their fourth consecutive year of
Around 300,000 cattle perished last year, according to
estimates. Deaths are
lower this year - but only because there are half the number of
animals left in Mexico.
- Another avalanche killed 36 people
in Neelum valley about 150 km from Muzaffarabad, the capital
of Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
This is the third such incident in the last 10 days in Azad Kashmir,
which has been badly hit by torrential rains and heavy snowfall in its
northern areas. More than 111 people have been killed in the last two
weeks by avalanches.
- Rice farming in Laos has been
badly hit by natural calamities and severe shortages of the
staple food persist.
For five successive years, a substantial portion of the Laos
rain-fed rice crop was wiped out by floods, drought, or pest
In 1995, the Laos rice crop sustained heavy damage from the
country's worst floods in 30 years.
Severe flooding, brought by typhoons Irwin and
Louise last July and August, ravaged 62,350 hectares of paddy
fields in central and southern regions. The areas accounted for
20 percent of total national hectarage.
- A wind-whipped snow storm that dumped
a foot of snow on the upper Midwest USA was blamed for five
traffic deaths and shut down highways, schools and businesses.
A week into the start of spring, Minneapolis received its
biggest snowfall of the entire winter and the heaviest snow this
late in the season in a dozen years.
Northern Wisconsin received up to 14 inches of snow,
triggering school closings and shuttering businesses.
Temperatures plummeted from a high of 80 degrees in the
Great Plains over the weekend into single-digits (degF), endangering
the nation's largest wheat crop.
- Floods, storms, earthquakes,
droughts and other natural disasters killed 5,561 people in
China in 1995 and inflicted $22.39 billion
Southern China was swamped by torrential rain while the
north suffered from spring droughts that extended into the summer.
At least 5,561 people were killed and 240 million affected
by the natural disasters.
More than 10 million people nationwide lost their homes.
A total of 45 million hectares (111 million acres) of arable
land was affected, with the output of six million hectares (15
million acres) slashed by more than 80 percent and production
from another 22 million hectares (55 million acres) cut by 30
percent, it said.
- Palaeontologists report in the journal Nature that the Arctic would have been a
rather pleasant place to be 90 million years ago.
The surprise finding has bearing on modern climate models trying to
predict what a world with elevated greenhouse gases would be like.
Fossil leaves from Alaska and Russia
brought about the conclusion.
'There were good deciduous forests there then,' declared
paleobotanist Jack Wolfe of the University of Arizona. Duck-billed
dinosaurs roamed among cypress-like and broad-leaved trees on Arctic
coastal plains in summer, nibbling ferns and horsetails against a
backdrop of alpine mountains.
About 30% of the margins of those leaves lacked teeth, which
tends to be indicative of a warm climate.
The fossil leaves were fairly large, which meant
a favorable growing season, and often had downturned tips, or 'drip
tips,' a sign of high rainfall. The lush leaves of tropical plants, for
example, often exhibit drip tips, because leaves will rot unless the
water runs off.
An average summer day would have been as warm as 20C, according to the analysis. And even
during the long months of winter darkness, average temperatures would
have remained at, or above, freezing.
World weather news, April 1996
- The Australian government declared a
drought in the eastern state of New South Wales, making eight years out
of the past nine that the region has endured drought.
Poor rainfall since the beginning of this year has left 42 percent of
New South Wales suffering from drought.
About half of the state's wheat belt is drought-declared.
Drought-declared areas now cover the north-west of the state, much of
the central west and the south areas.
- Remarkably dry air over England during the afternoon.
At midday, temperatures were typically 7-8C with dew points below -5C
over much of Wales, the Midlands and the Pennines/Lancashire. By 1800GMT
Heathrow was reporting a temperature of 9.5C and dewpoint of -13C, when the
dewpoints below -5C were confined to an areas from S Yorkshire to the Isle of Wight. Hygrograph records from Maidenhead show the humidity to be the lowest at about 1730GMT (20 per cent).
- In a finding that could revise science
textbooks and improve global weather forecasting, scientists
reported satellite data that challenge a fundamental theory abut the
speed of large-scale ocean waves.
These so-called Rossby waves - with hundreds of kilometres from one
wave crest to the next - carry a 'memory' of weather changes at
distant sites over the ocean, said Dudley Chelton, a member of the
science team of the ocean-observing TOPEX-Poseidon satellite project.
From satellite-gathered data, the scientists tracked waves moving
through the open ocean and determined that, at mid-latitude, their speed
is up to three times faster than previously thought.
In animations of the satellite data, the waves - a natural result of
Earth's rotation and a key feature of large-scale ocean circulation -
appear as alternating positive and negative sea level features traveling
throughout much of the world's oceans.
By altering currents and their corresponding sea surface
temperatures, the waves can influence the way the oceans release heat to
the atmosphere and, thus, are able to affect weather patterns, the
scientists said in the report in the journal Science.
For example, in 1994, oceanographers at the Naval Research Laboratory
mapped a Rossby wave they concluded was a remnant of a 1982-83 El Nino
event. They found evidence the Kuroshio current, off the coast of Japan,
was pushed northward, raising the temperature of the northwest Pacific -
a shift some scientists blamed for the 1993 flooding across midwestern
- Drought is likely to wipe out much of the
wheat from the US breadbasket in Kansas.
'Some of the fields are 100 percent dead. Rain will not
bring them back,' said Merle Witt, a Kansas State University
Wheat in southwest and southcentral Kansas is in the worst
condition, with plants stunted or killed by extremely dry soil.
In central and northern areas of the state rain could still
improve yield prospects.
- More than 500 houses were damaged and 800
people affected by a tornado that swept through southern China's
The tornado skimmed the western district of Zhuhai, a Chinese
municipality that abuts the Portuguese enclave of Macau.
A spokesman for Zhuhai's domestic airport said a number of flights
had been delayed because of the adverse weather conditions.
Across the Pearl River estuary in Hong Kong, pounding rains caused
the cancellation of 18 incoming flights and the rerouting of several
- Lightning killed an airman and
injured 10 others who were changing a helicopter tyre at
Hurlburt Field Air Force Base in northwest Florida.
- A tornado swept through parts of
Decatur (Illinois) Friday night damaging 50 to 60 homes, the second time in
24 hours that one of the deadly storms hit this
There were numerous reports of injuries but no confirmed
One lumber yard was flattened. Many homes in the northwest
part of Decatur were demolished or left without roofs, witnesses
Thunderstorms and hailstones the size
of chicken eggs killed six people and seriously injured 164 in
The storm, which hit China's southern Maoming city in
Guangdong province in the morning, left five people missing and
destroyed homes and plantations.
- Tornadoes flattened homes, toppled
power lines and tossed trucks into the air on a path of
destruction across the Midwest and South USA, killing two people and
injuring dozens, officials said Saturday.
Across several parts of the Midwest and South dozens were injured as tornadoes damaged hundreds of homes and
At least 40 people were injured in Champaign-Urbana and
Ogden (Illinois), and several blocks of residences were heavily damaged,
Red Cross officials said. The agency set up shelters and feeding
centers for those left homeless.
Hail the size of golf balls crashed through car windshields
in Chicago's south suburbs, but there were no serious injuries.
- At least two tornadoes tore through
south-central Ontario (Canada) in the evening, causing widespread
damage, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.
After an afternoon of thunderstorms through much of Ontario,
the tornadoes touched down in quick succession, uprooting trees,
ripping the roofs off houses and bringing down power lines
across highways, authorities said.
- Mudslides started by recent
torrential rains killed 26 people in the northwest Bahia province.
The deaths occurred when mud flowed over hillside neighbourhoods in
the provincial capital of Salvador, and authorities blamed both the
heavy rains and the construction of the homes on extremely porous soil.
'In the last 12 hours we have received 9.32 inches (233 mm) of rain,
when precipitation for the whole month averages 14.4 inches (361 mm). '
Sunday's disaster marks the second time in two years that the semi-
arid Bahia province has been hit by unseasonably heavy rains.
- A tornado swept through a
five-mile stretch of northwest Arkansas on Sunday night, killing
two children and injuring at least 50 people.
The twister raced through downtown Fort Smith, 160 miles
northwest of Little Rock near the Oklahoma border, before
crossing the Arkansas River into a residential neighbourhood in
- Warm SW winds and mainly clear skies over the last few days
have brought a steady rise in temperature across Germany. Maxima around 27-28 degC were
widespread in the northern plains and along the Rhine on the 21st. This is the hottest April weather since the same date
in 1968, when a similar synoptic situation brought a short heatwave and
temperatures close to 32C in and around the Berlin area.
Highest reading day by day were 29.2 degC in Karlsruhe (21st),
29.7 degC in Berlin-Dahlem (22nd)
and 30.0 degC in Potsdam (23rd).
Only 3 weeks ago the Baltic Coast was still partially iced over, and remains
of deep snow drifts were still visible as temps rocketed to around 28C
in coastal areas this week.
- Strong mud flows raging
through a Philippine province north of Manila have killed four children
and two construction workers as the country battens down for its annual
Heavy rain caused flooding in Idaho, Washington and Oregon (USA) that has
damaged at least two dozen homes, caused mudslides and forced some road
- Flooding rivers and creeks Thursday
closed dozens of roads, forced evacuations of homes and threatened at
least two hydroelectric power plants in the western Upper Peninsula
Officials in Dickinson, Iron and Menominee counties focused their
attention on the rising Menominee River, swollen by rain and record
amounts of melting snow.
Up to 250 inches of snow that fell in the northwestern U.P. in recent
months has been melting, dumping tons of water into tributaries of the
- With no more rain coming in April, here is the latest about Florence's
(in Oregon, USA)
amazing (since 1 July 1995) rainfall total. Through 25 April,
Florence has had 2522 mm of rain. The annual average is 1941.8 mm.
The 1996 total so far is 1319.5 mm.
- Frigid temperatures
blew into northern Minnesota after a snowstorm that
threatened to worsen flooding in a region hit by a record 10
feet of snow this season, the National Weather Service said.
The mercury dipped to a record-low for the date at 14F
International Falls, where the
previous night's heavy snow forced the city's small airport to
close for only the second time in history.
The latest snowstorm brought the season's total for the
city, known as 'the nation's icebox,' to 116 inches, breaking
the previous record set four years ago.
Flooding caused by the melting snowpack has saturated flat
prairies in northern Minnesota and North Dakota, with run-off
causing the Red River and other waterways to overflow their
banks for several weeks.
- A 14-year-old boy has become the third
person to be killed by lightning in the past two weeks in Singapore.
Before the recent rash of deaths, lightning had killed an average of
less than one person every two years during the past 15 years until 1995
when three people were killed, official statistics noted.
Singapore's Meterological Service Department said April is the month
with the most lightning strikes and has an average of 20 days with
Singapore's rate of 12 to 20 lightning strikes per square kilometre
each year is one of the world's highest.
- Flash floods forced hundreds of East St. Louis, Ill., USA residents from
their homes and thousands more people in Southern Illinois
and Missouri were left without power in the wake of heavy rains and
Two deaths and several minor injuries in Missouri were blamed on the
storm. Flood warnings were posted for central and southern Indiana,
where levels along the Wabash River were the highest since 1994.
Heavy rains fell in a 100-mile-wide east-west band from St. Louis
across Illinois to southern Indiana. Parts of Illinois got 7 to 8 ins of rain overnight.
Southeastern Illinois received as much as 10 inches of rain over a
- 180 tornadoes in the USA during April - the normal is 114 for this month.
- -41F recorded at Ikermiuarrsuk (Greenland).
World weather news, May 1996
- Floodwaters from recent torrential rains receded in many heartland communities and farms, but runoff caused the Mississippi River to rise toward flood
levels, authorities said.
- Soaring temperatures in the Indian capital
are taking a toll on animals at the Delhi Zoo.
The zoo's cold weather animals, which include a Himalayan bear, four
leopards from northeastern India and goats from the mountain region of
Ladakh, are suffering the most.
Temperatures in the capital reached 110F on the 2nd and can be
expected to exceed 117F during the hottest part of the summer.
To prevent animal deaths, Delhi zoo officials have been adding
rehydration salts to the animals' drinking water.
The zoo currently has three air coolers installed in the tiger house,
but the machines are not working properly and the tigers are listless
Last year, the zoo used 24 reed-mat coolers during the summer, but
most have been sent out for repairs.
- A Sudanese airliner has crashed while trying to
land in a sandstorm, killing all 50 people aboard.
The plane, on a domestic flight, crashed into an empty
house as the pilot was trying to land in Shaqla, a town about
300 km north of Sudan's capital of Khartoum.
pilot had been forced to attempt landing short of his destination,
Khartoum, by a sandstorm that affected much of Sudan on Friday night.
- Heavy thunderstorms in NE Germany on Friday evening brought
localised flash floods, especially in parts of Berlin. About 40mm fell
within an hour at Berlin-Dahlem and the 24-hour total there of 50.3 mm
was an all-time record for May.
Unusually late hard frosts occurred widely across N. Germany and the
Low Countries on 5th and 6th. Fassberg recorded a minimum of -4.4C on 6th.
- Several houses were destroyed and
several others damaged when a storm swept through Brandenburg (Kentucky, USA).
The storm, which struck at 6 p.m. local time, may have been
a tornado, but official confirmation of that status will await
an inspection by the National Weather Service.
- Torrential rains along the South China Coast did
$12 million damage in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai,
wreaking havoc on rice paddies, sugar cane plantations and fish ponds.
Nearly 17 inches of rain pummeled the city at the mouth of the Pearl
River early on Monday, flooding 1,000 factories.
Officials said in some of the affected areas, the water rose as high
as 13 feet and remained there for several hours.
Meanwhile, the steady rain touched off three minor landslides and
severe flooding in Macau, particularly on Taipa island and low-lying
areas of the Macau peninsula. No injuries were reported.
- Thunderstorms spinning off
tornados and dumping flash-flood rainfalls raked areas from
Missouri to West Virginia, leaving at least three dead.
storms occurred along a stalled cold front running from Missouri
to the Virginia coast.
- Hundreds of people have been evacuated and
hundreds more were stranded in the worst floods to hit eastern
Australia in 20 years.
Major centers in the state of New South Wales including the towns of
Byron Bay, Grafton and Murwillumbah, 900km north of Sydney,
have been swamped in the weeklong deluge.
State Emergency Services officials estimated the damage to be around
$100 million Australian.
At least 40 houses were submerged when the Clarence River gushed over
levee banks at Grafton, forcing 250 people to flee, the police said.
- Cold, wet weather that has delayed spring
planting in the United States and Canada sent grain prices
soaring Wednesday amid renewed concerns over low worldwide
stockpiles of wheat and corn.
- Thunderstorms brought more flash
floods and high winds to the Midwest, and similar
conditions were expected to hit the area through the weekend.
A radio station said up to 5 feet of water covered streets
in Carthage, in western Illinois.
Hailstones measuring up to an inch in diameter were reported
across central and southwest Missouri.
- Beatrice, Nebraska (USA) was hit by tornadoes around 9pm. As many as 20 homes were destroyed
and 150 others damaged.
No one was reported killed by the thunderstorms that ripped through
the area but there were a number of minor injuries, mainly from flying
- A tornado struck a nuclear power plant in
northwest Illinois as twisters, heavy rain and severe
thunderstorms raked parts of the Midwest USA.
The tornado damaged three storage buildings at a nuclear
power plant near Cordova. A spokesman for
Commonwealth Edison, which operates the facility, said the main
reactor building was not touched and damage overall was minor.
A man in suburban Chicago was killed by lightning.
artificially-induced to put out huge fires still raging across the steppes of
Mongolia, have killed thousands of cattle, civil defence
At least 4,900 cattle froze to death or drowned in
Oevorkhangai province, on the southern slopes of the Khangai
Mountains, where snow 80 cm deep has thawed in
places and flooded large areas of pasture.
Snow fell across large parts of Mongolia after the
governmenent and army, trying to put out fires that threatened
Ulan Bator, seeded the clouds with explosives to squeeze out the
humidity and prompt precipitation.
Elsewhere in Mongolia, fires that started four weeks ago
were still blazing. Officials said 76 fires were under control
and that at least a dozen blazes were not.
Fire damage has been estimated at around $1.8 billion.
The severity of the fires, which have been declared a
national catastrophe, has been blamed on an almost snowless
winter that has left forests and pastureland tinder-dry.
- At least 24 people were killed and
20 injured in heavy storms that lashed central and eastern Nepal.
Houses collapsed and high winds tore down electricity and telephone poles, making
One-third of the trees in the Char Ali Forest, covering more than 1,745 hectares, were destroyed.
- Tropical storm Bart intensified
into a typhoon on as it headed towards the northern
Philippines with winds hitting 140 kph.
Bart originally threatened the central provinces but swung
north and was now a danger to northern provinces on the main
island of Luzon.
- A powerful storm left almost 600 dead and over 1,500
wounded in the central district of Tangail, leaving a trail of
devastation in its wake.
The storm, packing winds of more than 150 kph swept through
several hundred villages in Tangail, some 150km north of
Dhaka. It destroyed homes, uprooted trees and knocked over electricity
- Sri Lanka has only two weeks of
power left in hydropower reservoirs because of plunging water
levels caused by drought.
- A freak late season storm whipped into
northern California from the Pacific Ocean, dumping heavy
rains across the region and touching off concerns of flooding in the
foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
The impact of the heavy rains was even felt on the Internet as the
Baltimore Orioles-Oakland Athletics afternoon game was rained out. The
game was to have been the first major league contest ever broadcast live
on the Internet.
- Intense thunderstorms producing as much as
6 inches of rain moved across southern Ohio forcing evacuations, closing numerous roads and bridges and
pushing water levels in at least one dam to a 53-year high.
The heavy rainfall came after two weeks of significant rainfall, with
more than 10 inches falling across the same area since Saturday.
- Continued heavy rain in the
Midwest USA is delaying plantings, raising river levels and
causing flash floods but most weather experts say chances are
unlikely for a repeat of 1993's 'Flood of the Century.'
- Seven inches of torrential rain from slow-moving thunderstorms
prompted a flash flood warning for two counties in Ohio, USA.
Up to three feet of water was blocking some roads and
streets in Bryan, located about 60 miles west of Toledo.
- Parts of southern and central West Virginia have been hit
with severe flooding since Wednesday following heavy rains that
caused rivers and streams to overflow their banks.
Warm weather brought record heat to Kansas for the
second consecutive day; by midday, the temperature in
Dodge City in western Kansas hit 99F, breaking the record for the date
of 98F set in 1927.
- The annual Ten Tors endurance hike over Dartmoor, UK, was abandoned due to wind, heavy rain and some sleet.
- Sri Lanka faces daily power cuts
of 18 hours in a week's time unless the monsoon rains start
Sri Lanka relies on hydro reservoirs for 84 percent of its
electricity, but the vital winter northeast monsoon failed and
the southwest monsoon has been delayed. The reservoirs are less
than 15 percent full.
- Flash floods hit parts of the upper
Midwest USA as severe storms boiling up in unseasonal heat
swamped the region with heavy rains.
The Des Plaines River burst over its banks in parts of
suburban Chicago, and flood warnings were issued for that river
and for the Fox River in northern Illinois.
The storms occurred along a cold front bumping into hot humid
air which brought summer-like temperatures in the 90s to parts
of the area during the weekend.
- In New York, the temperature in Central Park of 95F was
3 degF higher than the record for the date set in 1959. Other
highs included 94F at Newark, NJ, and 92F at Atlantic City NJ and 96F at Washington DC.
- Record heat continued to grip the
Philadelphia area, just a week after a record cold snap had
people scraping ice off their windshields.
The scorching heat arrived on Sunday, five days after temperatures
dipped into the 20s in the Philadelphia suburbs.
- Flash flooding drove more than 100
families from their homes in Illinois as
residents of the Ohio River valley braced for more rain.
Basements were flooded in scores of homes in Chicago's
northern suburbs after up to seven inches of rain fell in the
past three days.
- A line of powerful thunderstorms swept across
central and southeastern Massachusetts USA, packing 60 knot
wind gusts and blinding rain that ripped down trees and power lines and
tore roofs off homes.
Temperatures along the front dropped as much as 20 degF in a
matter of minutes.
- High temperatures in eastern USA included 92F at Harrisburg, PA.,
90-95F in Massachusetts and 96F in Baltimore.
- Texas' top agricultural official
said a drought gripping the U.S. Southwest and
northern Mexico was reaching disastrous proportions.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Rick Perry
said rainfall levels in a region that stretches north
from Texas into Oklahoma and Kansas and west into New Mexico and
Colorado were at their lowest levels in decades.
San Antonio, Texas, had its second driest winter since 1885,
while sub-tropical Houston has had only a third of its normal
rainfall this year.
- Rescue workers
searched a coastal mountain glacier in British Columbia (Canada) for three
experienced skiers feared dead after being caught in an avalanche of
snow and ice last Saturday.
- Three people drowned and about 4,000 homes
were damaged in heavy rains over the past few days in central
provinces were affected by the rain, which began on Sunday and was
continuing on Friday.
- China's southwestern Lijiang county was hit by hailstones the size of table tennis balls.
A nearly half-hour hailstorm pounded the prefecture, one of China's
famous scenic spots.
The hailstones dropped on 38 villages and 10 towns, damaging 7333 hectares of crops and rendering useless another 3,266 hectares. The hailstorm also destroyed homes and public
- Japan's economic forecasters, ever
cautious about the country's budding recovery, are now blaming
the weather, saying forecasts of a cool summer could cut
consumption of air-conditioners and other durable goods.
- Weekend rain storms brought some
relief to the bone-dry Panhandle areas of Texas and Oklahoma but
were not enough to end one of the worst droughts of this
Scattered storms dumped 6-10 inches of rain on areas of
northwest Texas and western Oklahoma on Saturday and early
marks the 100th anniversary of the greatest natural disaster in the
history of St. Louis, the Great Cyclone of 1896.
Some 305 people were killed when a wave of tornadoes cut through
eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois on the afternoon of May 27, 1896.
Most of the deaths came in crowded, working class neighborhoods of St.
- Transportation bottlenecks and slim
government financial support are clipping the wings of beekeepers in
China, the world's largest producer of bee products.
With long-distance migratory methods, more than 100,000 Chinese
beekeepers faced drought in the north and unusually cold and wet weather
in the south while transporting their beehives to flower-growing areas.
Because of inconvenient transport, only a small proportion of these
plants can be utilized during their full-bloom period.
- Violent storms, heavy rain, heat and even
snow marked Memorial Day across the United States,
spoiling outdoor fun for many on the first official holiday of
the coming summer season.
fell during the weekend on higher elevations of the Rockies as a
storm moved slowly into the Plains states. A foot of snow was
reported at Winter Park, Colo.
- Two people have been found dead near
Dushanbe from three days of torrential rains that left at least 50
families homeless on the outskirts of the Tajikistan capital.
The floods also
destroyed hundred of acres of cotton and vegetable crops near Dushanbe.
- A tornado tore through
Louisville's (Kentucky, USA) southern suburbs, injuring 45 people and damaging
as many as 1,000 homes.
- Northern Mexico is suffering from the
country's worst drought in 43 years, and strict conservation is needed
in border states to ensure availability of drinking water.
Rain (in 1996) has been 77 percent less than
what would normally be expected by this time of year, making the drought is the worst since
- U.S. hurricane trackers will be flying
higher and further than ever before in pursuit of information on
the power and path of nature's mightiest storms.
This hurricane season, meteorologists will fly a new $43
million jet to the highest reaches of approaching hurricanes to
gather data that will help them determine how big and strong the
storm is and where it is likely to hit land.
The 1996 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins
Saturday. Prof. William Gray
of Colorado State University, has predicted that 11 tropical
storms will develop this year, seven of which will become
- A heat wave has scorched Pakistan's
southern and central plains for more than a week, killing at least 60
The searing heat was centered in the southern Pakistan provinces of
Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan, but authorities said it was slowly moving
north toward the capital.
The heat wave, ahead of the cooling monsoon rains, also killed
hundreds of birds and cattle.
In Multan, one of the hottest cities on earth, a circus elephant went
berserk after his trainer left him in the sun. The elephant broke her
chains and killed the trainer.
Shops, schools and offices closed early in many areas.
- Five small children died in a sandstorm
that raged from May 29-31 near Dunhuang, a popular tourist spot in
China's remote northwestern Gansu province.
The five were among eight people who fell into an irrigation ditch in
the blinding storm.
The sandstorm and accompanying high winds and heavy rain caused $6
million worth of damage either directly or indirectly.
Almost half of Dunhuang's 8,277-acre cotton crop was destroyed, along
with much of the fruit crop.
- Britain suffered one of the coldest Mays in
300 years and the second-coldest this century with an average
temperature of just 9.2C, the Meteorological Office.
Before the warmer weather of the last few days arrived, May's average temperature had been
on course to be the coldest since 1698 when 8.5C was recorded.
May's rainfall was also low at only 57 mm, 18 percent
below the average. Rainfall for spring 1996 in total was only 149 mm, 24 percent below the seasonal average.
The Royal Horticultural Society estimated that the unseasonably cool
conditions held back the growing season for many crops and plants by
more than two weeks.
- Floods killed 23 people in
Ivory Coast's commercial capital.
Officials said those killed in the floods triggered by heavy
overnight rain included many children. Ivory Coast is part way
through one of its two annual rainy seasons.
World weather news, June 1996
- Since the beginning of the year drought across the 10 provinces that
comprise China's prime wheat-growing region has parched 7 million
hectares of crops and 2.1 million hectares of farmland.
Less than 15 mm of rain have fallen over the
past several weeks, leaving huge swathes of arable land between the
Yellow River in the north and Huai River valley in the south
The Yellow River, which ususally bursts its banks from flooding in
the summer months, has dried up five times since January along different
sections of its lower reaches in Shandong province.
- A heat wave gripping Pakistan
has killed at least 45 people over the past week.
The highest temperature - 120 F was recorded Sunday at the
Sindh town of Jacobabad, followed by 116.6F at Peshawar in the
North West Frontier Province and 115.8F at Multan in Punjab.
- Mountain torrents triggered by the
continuous rainstorms pounding China's Jiangxi province have collapsed
5,700 homes and disrupted the lives of 1.8 million people.
The hardest-hit areas are in Jiangxi's central region, particularly
in the counties of Fuzhou, Yichun and Ji'an, which have virtually been
soaked since the latter half of May.
From May 30 to June 2, the average rainfall in the entire province
was about 84 mm while in Yifeng county, it was as high as
- At least 50 people died in
one day in a heatwave in Pakistan, bringing the death toll for
the past 10 days to 95.
The scorching weather was likely to continue,
especially in southern Pakistan, for the next few days, though
moisture brought by pre-monsoon eastern currents over Bangladesh
might bring some relief to northeastern regions.
- Tornadoes, flash floods and hail
the size of tennis balls struck parts of the central United
States Wednesday night and Thursday.
Tornadoes raged during the night in Minnesota, the Dakotas
and eastern Kansas but no widespread damage was reported.
Streets in Lawrence, Kansas, were flooded with up to 12 inches
of rain Thursday morning and more heavy rain was expected later
in the day.
Motorists in the Kansas City metropolitan area scurried to
move their vehicles under cover Wednesday night to avoid damage
from large hailstones that accompanied the storms.
- The heat over southern Britain combined with traffic fumes to push smog above one of the
thresholds set by the European Union, bringing air quality warnings from
the Meteorological Office.
The heat also caused isolated hour-long delays at London's Paddington
rail terminal because newly laid tracks failed to settle in the heat.
- Reports concerning the evening's thunderstorms included: 2inch diameter hail in Dorset, and golfball-size hail in Norfolk. Flooding at Cleeve, near Goring (Berkshire) and at Wheatley (near Oxford). In north Luton there were agglomerations of hailstones "several inches" in diameter, resulting in much damage to
foliage, etc, and several dead birds lying on the ground in
- India's monsoon has covered
most of the southern and eastern region, and the entire country
is expected to be under monsoon rains by July 15, a senior
Indian Meteorological Department official said.
He said that on Sunday the monsoon entered the western coast
and southern and eastern India.
The June-September monsoon arrived on June 3, two days late,
in the southern state of Kerala.
- A week-long heatwave, unusually intense for early June, has brought
sweltering conditions to many parts of mainland Europe. In Germany, the hot
spell was most intense on the three days ending Saturday (8th), with highest reported
maxima of 33.0 (Bendorf,6th), 35.6 and 34.7 degC (Kalkar,7th,8th), respectively.
On the 8th, 34 degC was reached even as far north as Kiel, while the night of
6th/7th brought some very high minima (22.8 degC at Bueckenburg).
Widespread violent thunderstorms broke out over the weekend, with flash
floods, lightning damage and severe hailstorms in places. Itzhoe reported 82mm
of rain of 8th, while 93mm fell at Linz Airport (Austria) on 9th.
- Caught in the worst drought in
living memory, hundreds of Navajo indians are making pilgrimages to a
hogan to pray for rain, tribal leaders said.
Two tribal gods are said to have entered the hogan, a home
built of logs and mud, in late April to tell 96-year-old Irene
Yazzie that the Navajo are suffering the drought because they
are neglecting traditional religious practices.
Unless the people return to traditional ways, the gods
warned, the rains will not come, Albert Hale, president of the
Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona, said.
Rain on the Navajo range has been less than a third of
normal levels this year and tribal sheep and cows are starving.
- At least 40 people have
been killed by floods in eastern Ethiopia.
along the banks of the Wabe Shebelle river in eastern Ethiopia
had been flooded by recent rain.
- Recent rains have brought
temporary relief to some areas of the southern United States,
but experts said one of the worst droughts to hit the region
this century is far from over.
The eight-month-old drought had led some old-timers to talk
of 'Dust Bowl days' of the early 1930s because of the prospect
of widespread crop failures and farm bankruptcies.
- The first autumn storm of the year in
southern Chile has caused an undetermined amount of damage and left
around 300 people homeless.
High winds tore off roofs and knocked down trees, fences and
electricity cables in and around the city of Temuco, 900 km
south of Santiago, and dozens of families have taken refuge at shelters
set up in schools.
The storm, the first of the southern hemisphere's autumn, also
brought heavy rain to the region.
- Parts of the South Island were
isolated by heavy snowfalls, as a wintry blizzard swept across
Heavy snow fell on the South Island cities of Dunedin and
Christchurch where police reported 'horrendous conditions.'
Many schools were closed because it was too dangerous for children
to be out of their homes.
Swells as high as 6 m in the Cook Straight delayed ferry
service between the North and South Islands.
- Officials in the southern desert
district of Tharparkar have called the Pakistani army to help fight a
growing number of snakes after at least 25 local people have died of
In less than a week, poisonous snakes have bitten more than 300
people in villages around Tharparkar, killing at least 25.
An intense heat wave, which itself has resulted in the deaths of more
than 100 people in the southern Sindh province since May 15, has forced
thousands of snakes out of their pits.
- A string of powerful thunderstorms
dumped as much as eight inches of rain on the northern Philadelphia
suburbs, causing flash floods that killed two people and
knocked out power to about 100,000 homes.
- A powerful tropical cyclone
battered the southeastern coast of India Friday, killing 120 people.
Five people died in Madras, a coastal city which received a record 14 inches in 24 hours
until Friday morning.
Tropical cyclones are fairly common in early summer in the
region, which lies about 1,000 miles southeast of New Delhi.
- The smog that has engulfed Seoul for more than
a month is likely to linger until near the end of June, an environment
official said Saturday.
'The smog will clear when the summer monsoon begins around June 25,'
said a spokesman for the Korea Meteorological Agency.
The level of air pollutants
and sulphur oxides and nitrogen dioxides doubles under the conditions,
dropping visibility in the South Korean capital to 5-8km
from the average 20-30km.
- Rescuers were searching for the crew of
a Cypriot vessel who disappeared when the ship capsized after a
collision with a Greek freighter in thick fog off the southern Korean
port of Pusan, maritime authorities said.
'The collision took place around 11:50 p.m. on Saturday night in
thick fog. Visibility was down to 10 metres.'
- Lightning killed a Moroccan youth
and four French nationals went missing after
torrential rains struck south Morocco.
- More than 65 people were believed
killed, dozens missing and hundreds made homeless in the worst
floods to hit the impoverished Arab state of Yemen, official
They said unprecedented rains Friday and Saturday in the
eastern provinces of Hadramout, Marib and Shabwa also caused
widespread damage with hundreds of homes and farms affected.
- Scientists warned residents of south China's
coastal areas to expect an onslaught this summer and autumn
of storms, typhoons and giant waves that pose a severe threat to lives
'More oceanic natural disasters are expected to hit' than last
year, scientists said, 'making 1996 a year of dangerous oceanic
Meteorologists drew their conclusions from analyzing trends in the
western Pacific Ocean, where usually warmer sea temperatures south of
the equator have been dropping while subtropical high pressure over the
northwest Pacific have weakened.
- An electrical apparatus that appears to
create conditions for rain may be the answer to northern Mexico's 2-
Reportedly, the machine invented by Russian Lev Alexandrovich has
already succeeded in bringing rain to a northern Mexican town that had
not seen precipitation in more than a dozen years.
The system creates an electrostatic field that fosters condensation
of moisture already in the air, promoting rainfall.
One of the machines, known as Local Atmospheric Electrification
device, caused a sensation by attracting rain in the
town of Puerto de la Libertad.
The results were not
spectacular - a light afternoon sprinkle - but promoters say the full effects will not be felt until 45 days after the
system of antennas is installed.
- Unrelenting rain saturated the Mid-Atlantic states, where at
least four people were killed and hundreds stranded by rising waters.
Up to 13 inches of rain fell in parts of Maryland, Virginia, West
Virginia and Pennsylvania.
- A powerful cyclone lashed India's western
coastal state of Gujarat, killing more than 30 people and
leaving thousands homeless.
At least 18 people were buried alive as hundreds of mud and straw
homes collapsed because of heavy rains accompanied by strong winds of as
much as 100kph.
- The remnants of Tropical Storm
Arthur moved out to sea after brushing the North and
South Carolina coasts with moderate winds and rain.
Arthur, downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical
dropped as much as five inches of rain on areas of South
- Scientists chasing a tornado that ripped
asphalt off a highway, tossed cars 600 feet into a field
and splintered a house have captured the first detailed look inside a
The VORTEX team revealed
images on Thursday from a new mobile radar system.
Among the findings: a core wind that blew downward instead of up as
predicted in some models, an outer zone where wind sped up again after
dropping, and spiral bands spinning out of the center in the radar
- The death toll from flooding in western
Tuscany rose to 11 as Italy's environment minister
said past governments had not done enough to prevent such
Rivers swollen by torrential rain storms broke their banks
Wednesday, sweeping away cars, flooding houses and cutting off
roads to several villages on the coastal plain and in mountains
inland from the port city of Massa.
- Authorities in Indian-administered
Kashmir ordered all schools closed in the wake of flash floods
that have swept through the valley.
The flooding in Kashmir follows an intense cyclonic storm earlier
this week that hit India farther south, along the coast of Gujarat.
- Ferocious cyclones which left
a trail of death and devastation across western and southeastern
India over the past week will also benefit many crops, analysts
and officials said.
They said standing crops such as foodgrains and oilseeds
were not affected by the storms, although sowing in some areas
could be delayed.
- Nearly 1,000 natives on federal
reserves bordering Lesser Slave Lake in northern Alberta are waiting to
return home after rivers and streams peaked at near record levels.
The return home will depend on the weather. While the rain has
stopped for now, over 160 millimeters has fallen since June 17.
- central Italy Saturday as rescuers searched for seven people
missing in western Tuscany, where at least 11 people have been
killed in floods this week.
Civil protection officials announced a flood warning for the
northeast Friuli Venezia Giulia region, where road and rail
links to bordering Austria and Slovenia were blocked and the
river Tagliamento was threatening to break its banks.
- Strong winds, electrical storms and
rains lashed Mexico Sunday as Hurricane Alma moved slowly toward
the southern Pacific coast.
Mexican officials issued an alert as strong winds of 100 mph
and gusts of up to 120 mph were reported, the Mexican National
Weather Service said.
- Indian authorities air-dropped food
and medical supplies to thousands of marooned villagers in the western
state of Rajasthan, where flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains has
killed at least 27 people.
- At least 11 people died when a river
overflowed in the central Mexican city of Puebla, sweeping away
cars and bridges and flooding homes.
- Hurricane Alma turned
back out to sea and was downgraded to a tropical storm
after a deadly brush with Mexico's Pacific coast that killed
three people and left thousands homeless.
Overnight winds of up to 100 miles an hour lashed the
- A string of powerful storms bounded
through Washington DC, causing the death of at least one
person, destroying several suburban homes and leaving thousands of
residents without power.
At least three tornadoes were reported in northern Virginia and winds
that hit 75 mph in some suburban communities caused widespread
residential damage and toppled trees and power lines.
- A University of New Hampshire
climatologist studying likely weather for the Summer Olympics in Atlanta
said Tuesday temperatures there next month 'will be brutal.'
Climatologist Barry Keim, also a lecturer in geography, said
Atlanta's average high temperature in July is 88F.
During the games, which end Aug. 4, anyone competing
outdoors will be susceptible to high temperatures and high humidity.
Georgia's summertime humidity is driven by the 'Bermuda high,' the
high pressure system in the Atlantic that brings warm, moist
air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean to the eastern United
States during the summer months.
- Seven people were killed in flash floods
while on a hiking expedition in a mountainous northwest of the Omani
- Hurricane Boris fizzled out over
central Mexico after pummeling the southwestern coast,
killing at least four people, injuring 70 and leaving more than
Up to 10 inches of rain fell, causing flooding, and winds reached 90 mph.
- Flooding caused by torrential rains has killed
at least one person and stranded more than 50,000 others in northern
Thousands of mud houses were washed away in the districts of Jamalpur
and Sherpur, while floodwaters damaged crucial rice crops in the rural
area near the Indian border.
World weather news, July 1996
- Up to 338 people have been killed and
thousands made homeless in the worst floods to hit the
Arab state of Yemen in three decades.
More than 22,000 people were made homeless by the
floods that started in mid-June in the eastern provinces of
Shabwa, Marib, Hadramout and Abyan.
- Authorities in El Salvador declared an
emergency in areas affected by three days of heavy rain that
has caused flooding and mudslides and forced hundreds of people from
- Rapidly dissipating tropical storm
Cristina hit land in the state of Oaxaca, bringing high
wind and heavy rain along an 140-km stretch of Mexico's
The neighboring states of Chiapas and Guerrero also received heavy
rain as a result of the storm, only days after hurricane Boris hit the
- Another polar outbreak for NZ.
Most severe south of Christchurch especially
Southland with persistent low temperatures and snow to sea
An anticyclone is now building and the frosts are
expected to get severe. Already Invercargil in Southland has
reported a record grass minimum for July of -13.4C with an
air reading of -9.0C this morning.
The snow brings joy to the North Island ski fields
because it is covering over the ash from the Ruapehu
volcano which closed them all down.
Southern Brazil has been having
unprecedented snow falls.
- Invercargil (New Zealand) again broke its all time low grass
reading for second day with -14.4C; yesterdays max was 1C.
Although the town is far south (only 46 S
though) it is on a low flat plain by the roaring Pacific
Ocean and very rarely gets snow.This time it has a good
covering of snow which is undoubtedly the reason for the
- Monsoons continuing to pound Bangladesh and
flooding more than 25 percent of the country so far have killed five
people and left 20 million homeless.
- At least 226 people have died
after torrential rains swept across China's eastern Zhejiang
province, and the army has been sent in to rescue tens of
thousands of villagers trapped by floods.
Heavy rains also hit central Jiangxi province, causing the
water level of the Yangtze river to rise to 33.18 metres,
or 4.68 metres above the danger level.
Monitoring stations recorded 328 mm of
rainfall in Lin'an in the first 24 hours of the downpour, the
heaviest in in the region in 50 years.
- Continued cold snap in New Zealand produced record minima for July in Wanaka and Gore
both close to -10C.
The heaviest snowfalls for
40 plus years on the eastern slopes of the North Island
(over 400m mainly) of about 30+ cm trapping a number of
trucks and closing roads for the last two days.
Further north still the tip of the Coromandel
Peninsula,further north than Auckland at 36.6S. had its
highest peak Moehau (850m) covered in white which is
almost unheard of except by real old timers.
- Floods sweeping across large
areas of Bangladesh killed at least nine people and left
thousands homeless, officials said.
- At least one fisherman died and more than
20 people were reported missing in southern Mexico in the wake of
tropical storm Cristina.
- The death toll in floods sweeping large
areas across Bangladesh rose to 12 after three children drowned
in the northern district of Sirajganj.
- The heat wave baking North Texas continued
to pose a deadly threat, forcing authorities to struggle to
prevent residents from succumbing to its effects.
At least four elderly victims between 67 and 93 years
old died over the holiday weekend.
The National Weather Service forecasters predicted the mercury
would top out between 103 and 107 degF. The record high for the day
was 105 degrees, set in 1914.
snowfalls closed most major roads into South Africa's
KwaZulu-Natal province as parts of the country shivered
through some of their coldest weather in 15 years. 20 people died as a result of the weather; the lowest temperature was recorded at Kimberley (-7degC).
The N3 highway, the main artery connecting the
country's commercial and industrial hub around Johannesburg with
Durban port on the Indian Ocean, was closed indefinitely at a
nearby mountain pass because of snow that had drifted six feet
deep in places.
Some parts of the country had recorded their
heaviest snowfalls in 60 years.
Heavy snowfalls are rare in South Africa and traffic
authorities are generally ill-equipped to deal with them.
- Private cars were banned from
central Athens for the third time in five days to help
combat heavy air pollution in a scorching heatwave.
Temperatures rose to 41degC and an
absence of wind, the environment ministry decided to ban private
cars, halve the number of taxis allowed on the road and order
industry to cut production by 30 percent to curb pollution.
- One German tabloid paper today is describing the current summer as a 'Horror Summer'!
Last Friday, prolonged rainfall brought up to 70mm of rain in places.
Across a wide part of Bavaria, an exceptionally violent squall line with
thunderstorms caused considerable damage, ripping off roofs, blowing down trees
and injuring several people. At least 25 sailing boats were turned over or sunk
on the region's lakes. Gusts up to hurricane-force were recorded and damage costs are likely
to reach to several million DM. Near Munich University
for example, a 10 x 20 meter array of scaffolding was blown over onto the
street below, burying 4 parked cars.
- Southern China mopped up after
some of the worst floods in a century killed more than 400
people, with farmers replanting crops and troops buttressing
With the death toll at least 405 in six provinces and
expected to rise as more bodies were dug out from landslides or
found in collapsed homes, officials were on alert for more
storms as the annual typhoon season neared.
- Bulgaria sweltered in record-high temperatures
Monday, with thermometers registering 45 C in many places.
Readings of 50 C, an all-time record for the Balkan nation,
were reported in the Danube port of Silistra.
Forest fires broke out in many places, and officials warned that most
crops will perish if the heat wave continues.
- Stormy weather lashed northern and central Italy
with high waters killing two in northern Italy and gale-force
winds whipping up fierce forest fires in the centre of the country.
Police said torrential rains battered Lago Maggiore near the border
with Switzerland, killing an elderly woman whose house collapse under
- The flooding of the Orinoco river in southern
Venezuela has affected dozens of Indian communities and poses a serious
Large parts of Venezuela's Amazon region, which includes the southern
states of Amazonas, Bolivar, Delta, Amacuro, Guarico and Apure, have
been hit by the flooding, with the heaviest rain of the year expected
between July 15 and Aug. 15.
- Unseasonal heavy snowfalls blanketed parts
of the French Alps and Pyrenees, forcing a change of
route for the Tour de France cycle race.
Several regions suffered record low temperatures and others
were buffeted by exceptionally high winds and heavy rain, the
weather bureau said.
'We get this type of weather only every five or 10 years.
In July, you almost never get snow below 9,800 feet. This time,
we had snowfalls as low as 5,900 feet,' a weather bureau
- Bertha, the first hurricane of the 1996
Atlantic season, became a killer storm Monday as it ripped through the
northern Caribbean, targeting its maximum sustained winds of 90 mph at the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
- A wide area of Germany, stretching in a broad band from the SW to the East,
recorded over 50mm of rain. The highest 24-hour total was 86mm at Posen.
Blizzards occurred at higher levels in the Alps. At least 40cm of fresh snow
fell at the summit of the Zugspitze, increasing the level depth there to 2m.
Last year, all but some traces of snow had melted away by early August.
- Storm winds tearing through
central Poland killed one person and injured five.
It said the winds in Plock province late Monday tore the
roof off a barn in the village of Suchodebie, crushing a
74-year-old farmer who died on the way to the hospital.
Emergency services worked hard in several
regions to clear damage from winds and rain which wrecked houses
as well as power and telephone lines.
- A record-breaking heat wave sweeping
northern Texas and Oklahoma has killed as many as 16 people,
most of them elderly. (9th)
- Typhoon Dan, the first typhoon to threaten
Japan this season, dumped torrential rains on Tokyo
as it approached the Boso Peninsula east of the capital.
Dan brought heavy rain, and in some places near Tokyo 16
inches have fallen since Sunday.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture
named 22 Texas counties as natural disaster areas due to the
- Two years after freezing temperatures
ravaged Brazil's coffee crop and sent prices to near 10-year
highs, frost scares are worrying the world's top grower again.
- Torrential rains have triggered
floods which killed at least 15 villagers and inflicted more
than $8 million in damage in northwestern Iran since Friay.
The floods also killed 1,788 cattle, destroyed 300 houses
and damaged farmlands and roads in East Azerbaijan Province.
- Acid rain is the latest fear
resulting from several days of eruptions at New Zealand's most active
volcano, Mount Ruapehu.
Measurements this week showed
the mountain was pumping out 6,000 tons of sulphur dioxide gas a day.
- Hurricane Bertha fizzled
into a tropical storm after clobbering North Carolina,
devastating a swath of coastal resorts and leaving many communities
devoid of electricity.
The storm is blamed for the deaths of at least 10 people, including
one man in North Carolina's Outer Banks, as it developed during the past
week, forming in the Caribbean and continuing up the East Coast of the USA.
- Cleanup crews and residents
worked to recover from flash flooding that left two people dead
as it swept through a central Colorado forest (Pike National) bereft of vegetation and
- Floods and landslides triggered by seasonal
monsoon rains in Nepal have killed at least 11 people, inundated towns
and villages and destroyed crops nationwide since Thursday.
- A massive landslide in India's West Bengal
state killed at least 34 people and stranded 100,000 others.
- The night of 16-17 July was unusually cold in Germany. Roth (Bavaria)
recorded a minimum of 3 C, while Berlin-Dahlem set a new date record for
17 July with 7.6 C. (17th)
The US Insurance Information Institute
reported property losses from Hurricane Bertha, which battered the
Carolina coast on Friday, is estimated to cause $194 million in insurance
losses in the continental USA.
- Freezing temperatures affecting many parts of
Peru have killed at least 200 children in the past three weeks.
Temperatures have dipped as low as 10 degF,
particularly in the southern Andean Mountain region.
Ever Menacho, head of the National Meteorological Service, said this
winter will be one of the coldest for Peruvians in the last few years,
and that ocean temperatures along the Pacific coast have fallen several
degrees below the seasonal average.
- A tornado killed 21 people and left more
than 200 people injured in townships in eastern China's Jiangsu province
early Monday morning.
- Flooding and landslides have
killed up to 200 people and made some 2.2 million homeless in
northeast India and north Bangladesh as monsoon rains continue
to lash the region.
- Heavy overnight rain triggered
floods that paralysed Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos,
blocking streets with broken-down cars and severing power supply
and communications across much of the city.
- Powerful thunderstorms caused flash
flooding in portions of western Iowa, while heavy
downpours, hail, gusty winds and possible tornadoes battered
Roughly 100 residents of Denison and Dow City were evacuated
after up to 10 inches of rain fell overnight, swelling streams
and flooding streets. 14 ins was reported in parts of Chicago.
An unofficial rain guage in Aurora collected 16.19 inches of rain,
just two inches less than the all-time, 24-hour record for rain recorded
in Alvin, Texas, in July 1979.
- Typhoon Eve, packing maximum winds of 67.5
mph, raged through Japan's southern main island of Kyushu, injuring at least 15 people and forcing the closure of
hundreds of schools.
- Unusually heavy snow has cut
off remote mountain villages in Lesotho and snow has fallen in
parts of South Africa for the first time in 35 years.
- A weakened Typhoon Eve moved off
the Japanese coast on with heavy rainfall.
On Thursday, the storm hit the southern Japanese island of
Kyushu, knocking out power to 160,000 households and injuring 15
people, none seriously.
- Flames shot up hundreds of feet and black smoke was visible for 20 miles Friday after lightning hit a 75000-barrel storage tank at a gasoline refinery in Ontario, Canada.
- Floods continued to sweep through northern Bangladesh as officials put the death toll from a week of torrential rains at more than 30.
- At least 15 children were killed
and as many again injured after lightning struck a school in the
eastern state of Bihar.
- Two people including a child were
killed by flash floods that swept parts of Western Pennsylvania, USA,
after heavy rains caused streams and creeks to overflow.
- More than 4,000 people were evacuated
from their homes in northern Quebec after flash floods
killed 10 people, including two children.
- Nepal made a nationwide appeal
for aid for victims of monsoon-spawned floods and
landslides that have claimed at least 74 lives in the past two
- Two women attending Queen Elizabeth II's
garden party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace were slightly
injured when a bolt of lightning struck the gathering.
- Twelve people have died and scores injured
in the central Chinese city of Chongqing, the latest area of China to be
slammed by this season's torrential rainstorms.
Between late July 20 and early July 22, more than 200mm of rain fell on the mountainous city, resulting in a dozen deaths.
- The season's third tropical depression was
near the Netherlands Antilles, whipping the eastern
Caribbean with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph that
threatened to intensify to tropical storm strength by day's end.
- One person was killed and several others
injured when heavy rain caused about 20 homes to collapse in and around
- A strong typhoon that triggered flash floods
and landslides killed at least 20 people in the northern Philippines.
According to the Philippine Astronomical Geophysical Services
Administration, Typhoon Gloria the 'strongest and wettest' tropical
cyclone to hit the country so far this year.
- A landslide triggered by heavy rain crushed a
South Korean Army barracks, killing at least 19 soldiers and
injuring nine others, 130km north of Seoul.
The heaviest monsoon rains of the year dumped 178 mm of
rain on the area late Thursday and early Friday.
- Tropical Storm Cesar grew stronger as it pounded its way north toward the coast of Nicaragua after
hammering Venezuela with torrential rains that killed at least five
Hundreds of people in Venezuela were left homeless Friday after Cesar
passed through. In Caracas flooding caused precarious homes to crumble
in the western districts of Caricuao and and Macarao.
- Hurricane Cesar was downgraded two steps to
tropical depression status as it passed inland over Nicaragua.
Six persons died in the country.
- The former Caribbean storm system known as
Hurricane Cesar that regained strength to become Pacific Hurricane
Douglas expanded along the southern Mexico coast with winds
extending 140 miles from its center.
- Floods in North Korea have killed an
undetermined number of people and seriously damaged vast areas of the
country since torrential rain started in mid-July.
- Flash flooding stranded about 30
campers Monday night at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas, USA.
- Typhoon Herb moved through Taiwan, causing landslides and flashfloods along the island's east
coast and forcing it to shut down for the duration of the storm.
Typhoon Herb, claimed 45 lives and caused millions of
dollars of damage in the country's worst natural disaster in
nearly four decades.
World weather news, August 1996
- A powerful typhoon that smashed into
southeastern China killed several dozen
people, including some struck by lightning, and left tens of
In the southeastern coastal province of Fujian where Typhoon
Herb made landfall, several dozen people had been
- Monsoon floods and landslides in Nepal have
killed at least 111 people over the last month.
63 people are still missing.
- Belgium went on drought alert after a lack of rain depleted water reserves and sparked
concern about a repeat of forest and heath fires which swept
parts of the country several months ago.
Rainfall in Brussels was down
30 percent since July 1995. In the Ardennes in the south and in
eastern areas it was 30 to 40 percent below average.
Residents of the city of Rochefort in the hilly Ardennes
region in the south, which has been worst affected by the dry
spell, woke up to find they were banned from using hose pipes to
wash their cars or water their gardens.
Other isolated Ardennes towns were relying on tanker and
fire brigade deliveries for water supplies.
- Torrential rains have swollen
three of China's biggest rivers to danger levels and officials
warned against epidemics in the wake of widespread
floods which have killed more than 2,000 people this year.
The waters of the Yellow River, known as China's sorrow for
its devastating floods throughout history, had risen to a
historic high following several weeks of rain.
Downpours across southeastern and central China after two
powerful typhoons last week had swollen the waters of the
Yangtze river, Asia's longest, and the northern Haihe river.
Millions of people were on round-the-clock alert along the banks
in case the rivers overflowed.
- A drought is forcing
authorities to impose tough water restrictions in western
France, normally one of the country's rainiest regions.
Rainfall since the winter has been less than half the normal
rate and failed to replenish reservoirs, worrying farmers in the
livestock and grain-producing region.
- Severe thunderstorms and high
winds tore through the Kansas City (USA) area, ripping part of
a roof from a library and tossing a car over an embankment into
- Despite temperatures of around 70 F (21 C),
the English city of Sheffield was blanketed with 15 cm of
snow during a freak August storm, according to
Britain's popular tabloid press.
But the reports of freak August snow were dismissed by the
'With the temperatures involved, it's not likely to be snow, but
hail from a heavy shower or thunderstorm'.
- At least 76 people died and more
than 180 were injured when a torrent of mud and rock swept over
a crowded family campsite in the Pyrenees mountains of northern
Officials feared dozens more bodies could still lie
downstream in a river near the 'Virgen de las Nieves' (Virgin
of the Snows) campsite in the mountain town of Biescas, about 80
miles east of Pamplona.
- Chinese authorities evacuated some 10,000
people and prepared to blow up dikes and divert a swollen
northern river to spare the key city of Tianjin from flooding.
- About 400 residents of towns near
Sherbrooke, about 150 kilometres east of Montreal, were forced from
their homes when heavy rains caused at least two rivers to overflow,
The flash flood, caused by heavy rain late Thursday and early Friday,
was the second in less than one month to hit Quebec province.
- Flash floods on the outskirts
of the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator have killed six people since
Thursday, bringing the death toll from floods in recent weeks to
The floods followed rainstorms late on Thursday that
destroyed roads and dozens of felt tents in districts to the
northwest of the capital.
Ulan Bator's weather station was out of order as a result of
a broken radar and could not give warnings of fierce storms.
- Floods spawned by torrential rains in
southeast China have killed more than 235 people and left 282
missing after some of the worst rains in one coastal county for
500 years, officials said on Sunday.
- Energy officials held an emergency
meeting to see what they can do to prevent a repeat of the
massive weekend power cut that stretched from Canada to Mexico and
nine states in between, leaving an estimated 4 million people without
Extremely high temperatures caused 500,000-volt lines in the Portland
area to sag as much as eight feet, with the electricity jumping from the
lines to overgrown trees and shorting out the lines.
- Enormous storm hit east and south Kent and
neighbouring parts of East Sussex Monday (mostly) morning,
12th August. For about 2 hours
the Ashford area was getting 32mm/hour or more.
Sellinge, near Ashford, 60.5mm fell in one hour at
the peak of the storm. 110mm fell in Folkestone.
- A flash flood in the northern state of
Jammu and Kashmir claimed the lives of eight Indian soldiers
whose vehicle was swept away by the water.
- Thousands of Japanese travellers endured
flight cancelations and delays as typhoon Kirk roared
toward southern Kyushu Island during Japan's peak summer
Kirk, packing maximum winds of up to 108 mph, swelled tides
with waves of up to 30-feet high in waters around Okinawa and
- Forecasts for the grain and sugar
beet harvest released indicate impending disaster in
Ukraine's farm sector, victim of the worst drought in decades
and worsening difficulties inherited from the Soviet era.
- Belgium's drought came to an
end with torrential overnight rains and forecasts of
more cloudbursts to come.
The downpours between Monday night and Tuesday evening
flooded cellars and roads and caused some car crashes but little
- Powerful Typhoon Kirk lashed western Japan, killing at least four people and injuring 43 before heading
toward the nation's northeast tip.
More than 200,000 houses in western Japan were affected by temporary
power cuts, and more than 450 flights were canceled, affecting some 72,000 passengers.
- Sudan has appealed to the world community to
provide relief after floods that have demolished more than 300 homes
along the White Nile River.
Rains and floods have engulfed nine villages in White Nile State,
destroying 326 homes and rendering homeless about 25 percent of the
- Vietnam Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet
has put provinces in the Mekong Delta on alert for major
flooding due to heavy rains that have swollen upper reaches and
tributaries of the river.
The Central Meteorological Office said water levels at Tan
Chau in the southern border province of An Giang would rise to
3.5 metres by the end of the month, just under level
two on a flood alert scale.
Southern waters have been swollen by the effects of Typhoon
Frankie, a tropical storm that lashed northern regions of the
country at the end of last month.
- The waters of Awash River (Ethiopia),
which recently threatened to flood an area where 150,000 people
live, have started receding.
The Awash River, fed by rains from the highlands, was
threatening to overflow and destroy thousands of hectares of
sugar estates at Shoa, Wonji and Metharar along its banks some
65 miles east of Addis Ababa. (22nd)
- Mexico's northeast coast braced
Thursday for Dolly, freshly upgraded to hurricane status and on
track to strike land sometime Friday morning.
- Authorities have declared an emergency in
Pakistan after floods and heavy rains killed seven people and marooned
According to the report, Lahore, Sheikhupura and Narangmandi areas of
central Punjab province are the worst affected and authorities there
have called out troops to rescue thousands of marooned people.
- Heavy rain and snow fell on a
treacherous mountain trail leading to a holy shrine in India's northern
state of Jammu and Kashmir, killing at least 235 Hindu pilgrims and
trapping some 70,000 others.
The pilgrims, including families and Hindu ascetics, were trekking by
horse and foot to caves in the city of Amarnath to view a large ice
stalagmite, believed to represent the phallus of the Hindu god Shiva.
- Typhoon Niki killed seven people when it
roared past China's Hainan Island on its way to northern
The seven were killed as the typhoon ravaged the resort city
of Sanya on the island province's southern tip, which was lashed
by high winds of up to 93 mph and heavy rains, the agency said.
- Pakistani authorities called out
troops and declared a state of emergency in the city of Lahore
after torrential rain caused floods and at least seven
deaths and six injuries.
- Hurricane Dolly spread storms across most
of rain-starved Texas as it made landfall on Friday in northern
Mexico, providing brief relief to areas of the state dried out
by a prolonged drought.
The hurricane crashed onshore near Tampico, Mexico, dumping
torrential rains in northern Mexico and spreading storm bands
across the Rio Grande Valley into northern Texas.
- Unprecedented rains in the catchment areas of two of Punjab's (Pakistan) five
rivers - Ravi and Chenab - marooned thousands of people while the flood
monitoring department in Islamabad said the worst was yet to come. On
Friday Punjab's capital Lahore received the highest rainfall on a single
day in 15 years.
- Winds for Hurricane Edouard increased on Saturday
to about 115 mph, prompting the US National Weather Service to
upgrade the storm to a Category 3 hurricane.
The storm moved west across the Atlantic Ocean with the season's
sixth tropical depression following in its path with mild 35 mph winds.
- At least four people were killed
and scores left homeless over the weekend when torrential rains
whipped by gale-force winds struck Colombia's central
- Hurricane Edouard remained a powerful storm
with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph as it moved
north of the Caribbean islands, the National Hurricane Center
- The rainfall event in East Anglia and Southeast England between the evening of the 28th and approx 0500 GMT on the 30th was heavy, if not a record-breaker.
Total rainfalls for the event are as follows:
- The National Hurricane Center ugraded
Tropical Storm Fran to a hurricane.
At 5 a.m. EDT, Hurricane Fran was centered 385 miles east of
Antigua with winds of 75 mph.
- One man died after being swept
off a yacht as torrential rains and gale force winds battered
Belgium, causing widespread damage.
The 45-year-old man fell overboard in the Channel off the
coastal town of Nieuwpoort.
Some areas had more rainfall in 24 hours than they normally
get in a month, the meteorological office said.
Cellars, houses and streets were flooded throughout the
country, trees were uprooted and roofs and cars damaged.
Brussels received 2.24 inches of water in the past 24 hours
- compared to an average 2.96 inches per month - but in
several districts in the south of the country up to 3.2 inches
fell, the Royal Meteorological Institute said.
- In southern Australia the weather feature for month was an " East Coast Low " that formed on the 30th
virtually over Sydney. This brought over 100mm on the 31st in places with gale force
winds. Port Kembla Coast Guard recorded a 90knot gust. Seven people died, two from drowning and five others in accidents on
Insurance assessors estimated the damage at more than U.S. $10
- Floods and landslides triggered by heavy
monsoon rains have killed 244 persons in 61 of Nepal's 75 administrative
- Three people died in the central
Mexican town of Leon when a sudden storm caused a river
to burst its banks, the government news agency Notimex said.
World weather news, September 1996
- At least 105 people have died in this year's seasonal floods in Pakistan, which have inundated about 3000 villages, an official survey said.
- At least six people died over the
weekend in widespread floods across Mexico, partly caused by the
Tropical Storm Elida.
- Almost 400 people have died in
tropical storms and flooding in northern Vietnam since the start
Tropical storms and flash flooding caused by
torrential rains had killed 394 people, seriously affected
262,787 households and caused $362 million worth of damage.
- A rainstorm with hail and winds of
40 miles per hour killed a woman and wreaked havoc in Rio de
The storm, which left many Rio neighborhoods temporarily
without electricity, raged for about an hour in the evening,
knocking down trees, flooding streets and blowing tiles off
roofs, a spokewoman for Rio's disaster relief agency said.
Santos Dumont domestic airport was shut down because of the
storm and traffic jams formed everywhere. Models and visitors at
Rio de Janeiro's spring and summer fashion show had to run for
cover in high heels and miniskirts when the wind blew down the
tent over the catwalk.
A spokesman for the National Meteorological Institute said a
cold front approaching from the south had clashed with the
city's hot air masses, causing the sudden tropical rainstorm.
- The hurricane watch for the U.S. east coast
was extended northward as Hurricane Fran headed
northward east of the U.S. coast, the National Hurricane Center
- At least 30 people were injured, two of them
seriously, when an Air France Boeing 747 encountered severe turbulence
on a flight from Johannesburg to Paris, an airline spokesman
He said the plane made an emergency landing in the southern French
city of Marseille to evacuate the injured.
- Hurricane Fran on unleashed its
fury on North Carolina, killing at least 10 people before it lost steam
in the Piedmont and returned to tropical storm status.
Fran unleashed torrents of rain after it came ashore near Cape Fear.
Between 10 and 15 inches of rain fell along Fran's path.
Major flooding was already occurring in western Virginia which was
declared a disaster area by President Clinton. Volunteers in boats had
to rescue more than 15 families from rooftops in Danville, Va., and
helicopters people from mountain areas because of the flash flooding.
The total death toll along the track of Fran was 30.
- Tropical storm Hortense formed east of the
Caribbean Saturday with strengthening winds of 65 mph bearing
down on the on the Lesser Antilles.
- Hurricane Hortense rolled along the northern
coast of the Dominican Republic with 75 mph winds,
leaving a battered, flooded Puerto Rico in its wake.
Ponce, on Puerto Rico's south coast, reportedly took a heavy
pounding, with winds gusting to 80 mph and a storm surge that
sent flood waters at least 0.5 mile inland from the beaches.
- Typhoon Sally battered several
remote villages of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces in China, forcing more than 15
million residents to flee their homes.
- Hurricane Hortense's winds strengthened to
105 mph as it battered the Turks and Caicos islands
in the southeastern Bahamas with high winds and seas.
- Hurricane Fausto smashed into Baja
California, knocking down trees and cables and leaving at least
one person dead as it swept across the peninsula and moved into the Gulf
Storm surge flooding from 5 to 10 feet was expected in the gulf. Fausto was the first fatal hurricane to hit the area in 20 years.
- Hurricane Hortense carried its 90 mph (150
kph) winds north over chilly Atlantic waters, posing a threat
of hurricane-force winds and heavy rain for the Canadian Maritimes.
- An avalanche swept away a Frenchman and
two Sherpa guides as they scaled Mount Everest.
The climbers were at 7800 m when the avalanche
More than 70 groups are vying to climb Himalayan peaks during the
autumn climbing season, authorities said.
- Typhoon Violet which tore through Japan
claiming seven lives and triggering nationwide mudslides, began easing
as it moved up to the northernmost main island of Hokkaido.
In Tokyo the typhoon brought 240mm of rain in
10 hours, the third heaviest downpour in the Japanese capital since the
Meteorological Agency began keeping records in 1876.
- Tropical storm Isidore, the ninth named storm
of the Atlantic-Caribbean hurricane season, formed with 65 mph
winds in the far eastern Atlantic, 950 km west-southwest of the Cape Verde
- Isidore became the seventh hurricane of the
1996 Atlantic season as its top sustained winds strengthened
and reached 90 mph.
- Less than a week into autumn, the
Black Hills of South Dakota were blanketed with snow.
It is not unusual for the Rocky Mountains to get snow in
September, but usually it amounted to flurries and not drifts
- Heavy rains and floods from nearby typhoon
Zane caused at least two structures to collapse in Taiwan,
while one person was reported missing.
Zane dumped 200mm of rain on Taiwan's north and east
coasts, causing rock slides along the east coast.
- One hundred people have been
killed and about 4,000 houses destroyed in Nile floods and heavy
rains in five of Sudan's 26 states.
The floods have also done heavy damage to farms and
The states affected are Khartoum, White Nile and River Nile
in the north and Upper Nile and Jonglei in the south.
- <29thdd>Golf - cricket ball size hail to
the New England plateau area of New South Wales (Australia).
The town of Armidale was
worst affected with damage running into millions.
- Police and soldiers scrambled to
stem major floods that threaten Cambodia's capital and have already
killed 11 people throughout the country.
Typhoon activity and heavy rainfall caused the Mekong River to burst
its banks over the weekend, affecting seven of the country's 21
Close to 1.3 million people have been affected.
- At least 30 people have drowned
and vast areas of farm land throughout Laos have been devastated in the
worst monsoon flooding in recent years.
World weather news, October 1996
- Weather officials said Calgary, Alberta (Canada),
and adjacent areas received
13 cm of snow overnight, a record for early October since 1916.
- A mudslide triggered by several hours of
torrential rains has killed at least 16 people on the Indonesian island
- A powerful volcanic eruption beneath the
Vatna Jokull glacier in Iceland has formed a vast lake of boiling water
that threatens to flood a wide area in the south.
Water from the melting glacial ice would soon reach a
critical point where it will spill over the side of the mountain,
flooding the coastal plains below.
Torrents of up to 30,000 cu. m of water per
second can be expected to begin flowing off the south side of the
glacier and into the sea at any time, experts said. The main highway
encircling the island nation could be washed away by the ensuing flood.
The eruption is the
most powerful in Iceland since 1938.
- South Texas residents tried to dry
out on Sunday, a day after torrential rains pounded the area, killing one person.
The flooding on Saturday resulted from nearly 15 inches of rain that
fell around Brownsville, officials said.
- Tropical Storm Josephine
churned across the Gulf of Mexico, dousing Florida with
heavy rains and sending tornadoes spinning across the state
before its expected early evening landfall.
There were at least 12 reports of tornadoes in the central,
western and northern parts of the state and parts of some
communities. Josephine made landfall just before midnight near St Marks.
- Flooding in southern Vietnam's
Mekong Delta has claimed 27 lives, most of them children, and is
now affecting more than 1.8 million people.
Flooding in the lower stretches of the Mekong River is an
annual threat, often claiming scores of lives in one of the most
densely populated regions of the country and in neighboring
But Vietnam's domestic media reported that this
season's water levels were approaching their highest in nearly
- Several north Florida waterways
were at flood stage because of heavy rain from tropical storm Josephine,
but state officials said they expected no major flooding.
As much as five inches of rain drenched already saturated north
- A man was swept away in his car by a
raging torrent and feared dead after heavy rains
battered northern Italy.
Heavy rains on Tuesday caused several rivers in northern Italy
to break their banks, flooding roads and forcing the evacuation
of dozens of people from their homes. Southern Italy has also
- Tropical Storm Kyle emerged in the western
Caribbean and was expected to buffet Honduras, Belize and
the Yucatan Peninsula with gusty winds and rain, the National
Hurricane Center said.
- Record snowfalls and
unseasonally icy temperatures signalled the start of the Alaskan
winter this weekend, several weeks ahead of schedule.
A weekend storm blanketed Anchorage, Alaska's largest city,
in 12.6 inches of snow on Saturday.
Since Friday night, 17.8 inches of snow has fallen at
Anchorage International Airport, a record for snowfall in the
first two weeks of October.
- Storms have lashed northeast Colombia over the past 4 days, killing at least 12 people, and leaving hundreds of families
Worst hit were Santander and Norte de Santander provinces.
- Flooding in southern Vietnam's
Mekong Delta has spread across eight provinces, killing 64
people and placing more than two million in need of help.
- Floods in growing areas could
delay Thai sugar cane crushing this year and output may drop
below forecasts of more than 60 million tonnes.
- Hurricane Lili hit the Isle of Youth south
of Cuba late on Thursday night on a path expected to take it onto the
mainland and then over or near the Cuban capital on Friday.
At least 10 people were killed and hundreds driven from
their homes as rain from Lili lashed Central America.
- Vancouver Island
residents were counting the damage early today after the worst storm in
more than 30 years created power cuts, blew over trees and broke the
moorings of pleasure boats.
Hydro crews worked through the night to restore power to thousands of
homes as sustained winds of 100 mph lashed western
- Hurricane Lili moved away from Cuba, where it
damaged homes, disrupted power and prompted the evacuation of thousands,
and sent its nearly 90 mph winds toward the Bahamas where the hurricane
was expected to hit within the next 24 hours.
Lili was the first major hurricane to directly pound Cuba in half
a century. On Oct. 19, 1944, the last big hurricane to hit Havana killed 20.
Estimates of crop damage were far from complete, but officials said
citrus and banana crops were hardest hit. Cuba's famed cigar wrappers
and tobacco also may have been seriously damaged by the storm.
- Four construction workers were
feared dead after being swept away by floods spawned
by tropical storm Beth.
The storm crossed the northern Philippines on Thursday
night. Some parts of northern Luzon were without electricity
after winds toppled power lines.
- A strengthening Hurricane Lili scored a direct
hit on the central Bahamas before moving into the Atlantic.
- A violent storm blamed for the death of a
child in New York continued to pound New England.
Officials declared a state of emergency in several north
shore Massachusetts towns, evacuating residents of low-lying
The slow-moving storm had dumped more than 8 inches
of rain in portions of the New York City-New Jersey metropolitan
- Powerful thunderstorms ripped through
north Texas, wrecking dozens of homes, toppling trees and
forcing the cancellation of many flights in and out of Dallas.
- The death toll from recent monsoon
flooding has risen to 91 with rain storms continuing to threaten
- A woman has drowned in the high waters of the Mur
River in the province of Salzburg, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths in the country to four.
Heavy, unseasonal rains in Upper and Lower Austria have kept areas
along the Danube and other rivers on constant alert since the weekend,
with floods in several regions reaching cellars and making streets
- The death toll from torrential
rains and flash floods in the southern Indian states of Tamil
Nadu and Andhra Pradesh has risen to 300 with thousands left
homeless in the last week.
- The storm that soaked parts of
the New England with more than a foot-and-a-half of rain, caused
damages estimated 'in the tens of millions' of dollars,
The slow-moving coastal storm produced a 36-hour pounding
torrent of water that damaged bridges, washed out highways,
flooded homes, closed businesses and left more than 100,000
without drinking water.
Portland received 12.27 inches of rain from the storm that
began late Sunday - three times what it normally gets in the
entire month of October.
Camp Ellis received 19.19 inches rain from the storm, which
was 'perhaps the greatest storm total since precipitation
records have been established for Maine,' the National Weather
Portland, Maine, also set a new record for rainfall in a 24-hour period with 10.53 inches - breaking a record of 7.75 inches
in 1991 set by Hurricane Bob.
- Freak hailstorms coupled with
strong winds killed one person and caused substantial damage to
buildings in southeastern Cyprus.
Winds ripped roofs off homes, in some cases causing water
tanks to crash onto parked vehicles at villages in the Famagusta
district on the south eastern coast of the island.
- Flash floods have killed at least 13 people
and injured seven others in the Indonesian province of central Java.
The flooding, triggered by several days of torrential rains, caused
rivers to spill over their banks over the weekend, inundating hundreds
of homes and displacing hundreds of people.
- Lightning struck a boat
carrying West African traders off Sierra Leone, killing at least
25 of the more than 70 passengers.
The boat split in two when it was hit by a bolt of lightning
10 miles off the Sierra Leone town of Kambia.
- Forty people were killed
when strong winds blew down 23 houses in Baie de
Henne, a village on Haiti's northwestern coast.
- Hurricane Lili gained strength as it neared
the Azores in the Atlantic and forecasters said it could
bring heavy winds and rains to Europe within three to four days.
- At least 100 people have been killed in
southern Sudan and 8,000 made homeless by Nile River flooding following
The disaster is taking place even though earlier this month Egypt's
government ordered the opening of the High Dam's Toshki spillway to keep
some of the excess river water from backing up into Sudan.
Egypt had declared a state of emergency in August in its southern
province of Aswan, where water behind the huge dam had risen to record
- Strong lashed parts of
northern Europe during the night, felling trees, disrupting
ferry and rail services and flooding coastal areas.
At least seven people were killed, when
trees collapsed or big waves swept over coastal defences.
Gales and heavy rain pummeled Britain overnight, blocking
roads and leaving thousands of homes without power.
British meteorologists blamed spin-offs from Hurricane Lili,
which caused widespread damage in Cuba and the Bahamas just over
a week ago before finally veering eastwards over the Atlantic.
Passengers and crew endured a nightmare channel crossing
when their ferry, PandO's Pride of Calais, was battered by
10-metre waves and took 10 hours longer than normal to
make the 75-minute Calais to Dover crossing.
On Britain's south coast numerous vessels broke from their
moorings. In Minehead on the Bristol Channel, huge chunks of concrete were ripped from the
A North Sea oil rig platform with 69 people on board drifted
from its moorings off the coast of Scotland but was safely
reconnected to a tow line.
In Pembrokeshire, firemen were called in
to pump out flooded properties and to make damaged roofs safe.
In the southern English town of Warminster, drivers were
confused after the gales blew traffic lights round the wrong
In the low-lying Netherlands, water and shipping authorities
started intensive monitoring of dikes in the southwestern
province of Zeeland. Authorities predicted seas would reach 3.7
metres, a phenomenon which normally does not occur
more than every five years.
Max gusts reported in the UK included 80kn at North Hessary Tor (Devon) and 78kn at Alderney.
- A man trying to secure his camper in powerful
winds near Denver, CO, was crushed to death as gusts topping 100 mph ripped the
roof off a school, damaged homes and downed power lines.
Such winds usually occur through the Rocky Mountain West in December
and January in the presence of strong low pressure, especially when a
'closed low' formed by a winter storm system moves out as it did
- A cyclone hit Bangladesh's southwestern
coastal belt early morning, destroying several hundred villages
and leaving thousands of families homeless. 12 people died.
State-run Radio Bangladesh reported tidal surges devastated crops on
more than 30,000 acres of low-lying agricultural land.
- Heavy rains turned several Texas
rivers into raging torrents that killed one person and
forced the closure of many highways.
As much as a foot of rain fell in parts of central and
southwestern Texas Monday and Tuesday, rapidly filling lakes and
rivers depleted by a blistering summer drought.
- A riverboat capsized in heavy rains in the
eastern Indian state of Assam and at least 95 people were feared
World weather news, November 1996
A giant lake under Europe's largest
glacier in southeastern Iceland began flooding in a
delayed reaction to a volcanic eruption beneath the ice cap last
Iceland has been preparing for flooding of the uninhabited
black sand plains at the foot of the Vatnajokul glacier since a
volcanic eruption melted parts of the ice cap and filled the
sub-glacial lake Grimsvotn to overflowing.
- NASA said it would try again on
Thursday to launch the first of three probes bound for Mars this
year after bad weather thwarted its first attempt.
Mars Global Surveyor was poised for blast-off at 1:16 p.m.
EST Wednesday, but gusty upper level winds halted the countdown
with just over one minute to go. Thick cloud and rainshowers at
Cape Canaveral Air Station earlier postponed the launch by about
- A hole in the ozone layer, the natural
umbrella over the Earth which blocks the sun's harmful
ultraviolet rays, is already as big as it will ever get over the
Antarctic, the WMO said.
But the world should now watch out for potentially more
life-threatening depletion over Europe and America, it warned.
Rumen Bojkov, special adviser on ozone to the World
Meteorological Organization (WMO), told a briefing in Geneva
that up to 10 percent of the ozone had been depleted over Europe
and North America by man-made chemicals in the past 20 years.
The ozone hole over the Antartic is currently around 6
million square miles in area and has persisted for 50 days,
according to the WMO's network of satellite and observing
stations in the region.
A long duration of this size was comparable
with previous Antarctic spring seasons in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
- A powerful cyclone has hit southern India,
killing at least 215 people and leaving a vast trail of destruction in
its wake, reports said Thursday.
The cyclone, which developed in the Bay of Bengal, hit the east and
west Godavari districts of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh
late Wednesday night.
At least 42 people drowned when a ferry capsized in rough waters in
the River Godavari, while heavy rains, powerful gale winds and tidal
waves up to 12 feet high claimed more than 170 lives, the Press Trust of
The forceful winds also uprooted thousands of trees, destroyed homes
and disrupted train services, the report said. Telephone systems were
also knocked out, making it difficult assess the full extent of the
The Bay of Bengal is notorious for producing heavy storms, cyclones
and other turbulent weather, which lash the western coast of India and
Bangladesh. Each year, hundreds of people die in tidal waves and floods
caused by cyclones in the bay.
- Iceland put the
estimated damage bill from flooding caused by a sub-glacial
volcano at around $16.5 million and scientists warned that more
eruptions were possible in the remote area.
The melt flow from a lake in southeastern Iceland under the
Vatnajokull icefield, Europe's largest glacier, was returning to
normal two days after a torrent of black sulphurous water and
debris flooded an uninhabitated plain, media reports said.
- Indian authorities scrambled to launch
rescue operations after up to 2,000 people were feared
killed by a cyclone that lashed the country's southeastern
coast on Thursday. Damage was put at $1.5 billion dollars.
- Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes raced
across Georgia, USA, before dawn, damaging several homes and businesses
and injuring at least 19 people.
- Disaster officials raised an alert in
the northern Philippines after a tropical storm left 16 dead and damaged
or destroyed almost 2,500 homes in central provinces.
Dale, packing maximum winds of 108 mph, is
moving northwest at 16 mph.
Typhoon Ernie also left hundreds of families homeless in the southern
provinces of Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte, as heavy rains
swept away houses and forced residents to evacuate.
- Areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania that border
Lake Erie were cleaning up from the first major snowstorm of the
year, a winter blast that triggered widespread power cuts in the
Cleveland area and threatened continued trouble by resuming later in the
- Australia defended its livestock trade after
a ship carrying 1,600 head of cattle sank over the weekend in a typhoon
off the island of Guam.
The 20-man crew of the 'Guernsey Express' spent six hours in a
lifeboat before being rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.
took water and sank after a battering from 180 mph winds
whipped up by Typhoon Dale.
- Three children were crushed to death by
collapsing walls when a violent hailstorm ravaged a town in the
northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia.
The storm injured 25 others and destroyed at least 40 homes
as it pelted the town of Utinga for an hour and a half on
- Winds with gusts of up to 90
mph blew over a heavy railway car in the Swiss Alps,
injuring four tourists.
The accident occurred at about 6,500 feet, as around
90 tourists and workers were coming down from Europe's highest
railway station at 11,300 ft.
It was the first such incident since the rail link opened in
1893 on the Jungfraujoch mountain in the Bernese Oberland.
The vehicle was a double locomotive weighing 50 tons.
- An active Low centred over France brought extremely contrasting weather
across Germany. In the west, copious rainfall lead to localised flooding.
Up to 80mm fell in the Saarland. Meanwhile, S. Bavaria has been sheltered
by the lee effect of the Alps with another strong Foehn event. The maximum
temperature in Munich on the 12th was an outstanding 19.1 C, breaking the
date-record set in 1969 by a whole degree! This brings the total number of
exceptionally warm November days in 1996 to 4.
- The earliest heavy snow storm in 32 years in Ohio, USA,
was entering its fourth night on Tuesday.
The dead of winter, occurring in the middle of November, started
Saturday - bringing northeast Ohioans full circle, from raking leaves
Saturday morning to shovelling snow Saturday night. One Cleveland
suburban area reported 43 inches of snow on the ground by Tuesday
- Five people have died in flooding after heavy
rains that also inundated 22 village in the northern Caspian province of
- Just 2 days after reaching a maximum temperature of 19.1C, Munich (Germany)
to a slight snow cover. It snowed/sleeted all day and
accumulated to about 2 cms in the suburbs, despite undergoing steady melting.
33mm of rainwater equivalent fell in 30 hours or so.
- Some 800 people have been evacuated as a
precautionary measure from homes in eastern Cuba as heavy rains
lashed most of the island.
The bad weather, which began at the weekend and was expected
to continue at least for the next 24 hours, followed extensive
damage to crops last month when Hurricane Lili hit western and
central areas of the country.
- Two children have died and two adults
are missing in flooding caused by three days of intense rain in northern
Some 2,000 inhabitants have been evacuated after the Chamelecon and
Ulua rivers overflowed their banks, affecting the towns of Urraco, La
Lima, Chamelecon, San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortes.
- Torrential rain has toppled at least 36 houses
and swamped 20 others in three central and southern Egyptian provinces.
The rain, which intensified late Wednesday, caused the collapse of
nearly 20 houses in Aswan province, about 920 km south of
- Freezing rain coated streets
and highways with a dangerous layer of ice across the Great
Plains, USA, causing at least one traffic death.
near Plankinton, S.D., resulting in one death.
swept across parts of the Dakotas, Iowa, Wisconsin and
Minnesota, glazing trees and power lines and knocking out
electricity to some residents. Farther west in Colorado's skiing
areas, up to 15cm of snow was forecast.
- Heavy rain and wind lashed Cuba,
forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes, damaging
hundreds of houses and delaying a trip to Rome by President
- Much of Florida, USA became a virtual wind
tunnel with gusts of up to 50 mph burying some coastal
roads in sand and briefly knocking out power to more than 6,000
homeowners, but no injuries were reported.
- Two children died in northern Italy
when the caravan they were sleeping in was struck by lightning
and burst into flames.
- Heavy snowfall and high winds
sealed off the Canada-U.S. border overnight and brought Winnepeg to a virtual standstill. Winds up to 45mph and 12ins of snow were reported.
- At least five people
were killed near Brescia (Italy) after their van skidded off a road into a
Wet road conditions were believed to be the cause of the
accident as heavy rainstorms lashed the country.
Venice was under more than three feet of flood water and
rivers were overflowing in many parts of central and northern
- A tropical depression formed off the
northeast coast of Nicaragua Monday and could strengthen into
Tropical Storm Marco within a day or two, the National Hurricane
- All small boats on Colombia's Caribbean
islands of San Andres and Providencia were warned by the
Meteorological Institute to stay in port as a nearby
tropical storm whipped up winds of 70 mph.
- Heavy snow across parts of Wales and northern England.
In Denbighshire about 25cm reported, the greatest since the blizzard of 8 Jan 1982. At London Heathrow Airport the pressure fell to about 967mb, quite low for November.
- At least five people were killed and more
than 100,000 homes were left without power by the storm that
dumped rain and snow across the Pacific Northwest.
Wet along the Oregon coast (USA) with 10.58ins of rain in 4 days at Florence.
The storm caused major flooding in the SW quadrant of Oregon; some rivers
flooded as badly or worse than in February 1996; mudslides closed roads and
killed at least five people; the wind caused power cuts.
On the 18th Yakima (annual rainfall normally 8 inches) reported
2 inches of rain.
- A very deep depression crossed New Zealand. Extreme low
pressure records for November were broken in many places.
At both Christchurch and Timaru 971.8mb was recorded, breaking the previous all-time
low readings at both places.
The lowest pressure ever recorded in New Zealand is 954mbar at Taiaroa Head
January 1939, while the highest ever recorded was 1046mbar at Wellington on 30
- At least 12 people have been killed, homes
swept aside and farmland flooded as torrential rain continues to batter
southern and central Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula.
- Marco, a
tropical storm with top winds of 70 mph, stalled in the Caribbean south
of Jamaica but was expected to resume its journey toward the
island by Thursday. The storm has already caused havoc in Central America and the
Dominican Republic, where a number of people have been reported killed
and thousands affected by flooding from heavy rain.
- A low pressure system over Tennessee moved eastwards and gave a
snowfall of 4 ins over the Shenandoah Valley. Partly cloud skies and temperatures above 5C had been forecast.
- Tropical Storm Marco's threat
to Jamaica eased but emergency workers remained on high alert
for torrential rains as the weather system meandered in
the Caribbean south of the island.
- A South African farmer
in a rubber boat saved 14 school children after their truck was
washed away in a raging river, but three others and the driver
Emergency services in the region remained on full alert as heavy rains swelled rivers and dams, posing a threat
to residents of low-lying areas.
On the country's south coast near the town of George, about
40 British tourists were stranded on a steam train after floods
washed away railway lines.
- Marco, once a hurricane and twice a tropical
storm, weakened rapidly and was downgraded to a tropical
Officials said major flooding caused by weather
surrounding tropical storm Marco had already taken at least eight lives in
Central America and the Dominican Republic.
- Honduras declared a state
of emergency in a northern area where torrential rain
and floods have drowned at least 10 people and driven more than 63,000
others from their homes.
Crops, bridges and highways were also
destroyed by the flooding, caused by 10 days of pounding rains.
- A newly published study of New England
frost patterns suggests weather was a major cause of the American
Revolution because undependable growing seasons hurt crop production.
The study, 'Growing Season Parameter Reconstructions for New England
Using Killing Frost Records, 1697-1947,' by David C Smith and colleagues,
found that in the 30-year period before the American Revolution,
there were 22 short and poor crop growing seasons and seven
longer and good seasons, he said.
'Poor weather and crops and then come the British - it was a
tinderbox,' he said.
The study asserts in some New England areas, the growing season
during the 250-year period could last for almost 200 days one year and
drop to nearly half that length the next.
- An unusually slow moving upper level trough and cold pool have
been responsible for substantial falls of rain on the New South
Wales Mid North Coast and Northern Tablelands over the weekend.
the three days to 0900 local time Monday include
Coffs Harbour 298mm and Comboyne 331mm.
Only minor flooding was reported in streams in the area
due to the protracted period over which rain
fell and the fact that catchments were dry after below average
rainfall in recent months.
- Snowstorms, ice and frigid temperatures
from Texas across the U.S. Midwest have caused at least 19
deaths since Sunday and triggered power cuts affecting
- Hot dry northwesterly winds swept across
Victoria and Tasmania bringing termperatures up to 12
degrees above average for November. Late last week, Tasmania was
experiencing snowfalls down to the 500m level; at 3pm
local time, Hobart's city temperature was 29.6C.
- In a summary of the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season,
and the verification of their prediction, WM Gray and co-workers
said the season was characterized by very high
hurricane activity, particularly of major hurricanes. There were a
total of 13 named storms (average 9.3) and 9 hurricanes (average 5.8).
They underforecast this very active hurricane season, which they
put down largely to a continuing (since late 1994) long period basic shift
in Northern and Southern Atlantic sea surface temperature conditions
which they did not account for.
Atlantic surface temperatures have warmed and the South Atlantic surface
temperatures have cooled since 1994. This is indicative of an increase
in the Atlantic's thermohaline or conveyor belt circulation from its
typical diminished strength of the last 25-30 years.'
- Workers began to repair
roads, bridges and power cables in southern Jordan where flash floods
have killed at least 3 people.
An unprecedented 30-minute downpour in
the Wadi Mousa district, 185 miles south of Amman, caused the death of three people
on the 25th.
The floods were said to be the worst in 50 years.
- Heavy snow brought traffic to a
near standstill in Hamburg and on the motorway towards Luebeck. Over 30cm
fell on the Lueneburger Heide.
Snow stuck on the hills immediately south of the coast, but the effect of the still warm
Baltic sea kept the coastline itself snow-free.
- Worsening drought has intensified northwest
China's critical water shortage, triggering a long-term search for more
underground sources for consumption and irrigation, officials said.
- One person was killed and four injured when a
house collapsed after a heavy rainfall in the Saudi Red Sea port of
For the past three weeks, the western and southern parts of Saudi
Arabia have been subjected to unusually heavy rains.
- Thousands of people
began to evacuate India's Andhra Pradesh state as the second cyclonic storm in three weeks threatened
to lash its coast.
- Disaster officials rushed relief and
rescue operations into the central Philippine province of
Catanduanes after strong rains
triggered landslides and flash floods that killed at least 13 people and
injured three others.
- A cyclonic storm in the
Bay of Bengal that threatened to lash southeastern India
appeared to veer away and head towards Bangladesh.
World weather news, December 1996
- Five Brazilian children were killed and
five adults injured when heavy rains caused a hillside to
collapse and bury their homes in an eastern Sao Paulo slum.
- Two people drowned and dozens of towns and
villages in southern Bulgaria were flooded after heavy rains caused
several rivers to spill over their banks.
The civil defence service has declared a state of emergency
in the southern towns of Zlatograd, 160 miles south of Sofia,
and Nedlino, where dozens of houses are under water.
- Moscow, normally under a thick blanket of
snow by now, is experiencing its warmest winter on record and
the weather will stay mild for the first weeks of December, the
Russian Meteorological Center said.
Snow cover will not begin until around mid-December, he
said. In Russia, snow cover means that snow must lie on the
ground for not less than five consecutive days.
In the past 117 years - since records have been regularly
kept - snow cover has never come later than Dec. 1 to the
center of the Russian capital.
The average temperature this November was about 5.5C above normal.
- Heavy snow in parts of Scotland and northern England; in southern areas of Scotland snow and ice brought down power cables -- some isolated homes remained without power for a week as blocked roads made it impossible for repair crews to make progress.
- Coloradans (in the USA) fought sub-zero wind chill readings
as gusts in excess of 50 mph whipped parts of the state and a
100 mph gust hit the ski resort of Eldora.
- A powerful cyclone that
threatened to lash India's southeast coast today has
weakened and is now seen moving away slightly, meteorological
- California's weather woes have benefitted nut
traders of Iran and Turkey.
A looming shortage has pushed up prices of almonds and pistachios,
while the cost of hazlenuts has jumped by 35 percent after the Turkish
government intervened to bolster prices.
Good quality almonds are almost sold out and prices are up 20 percent
in the past six weeks following a poor Californian crop for the second
- Widespread flooding from two weeks of
continual rain in Venezuela has left an estimated 10,000 people homeless
and increased the risk of cholera outbreaks.
Several Venezuelan states have declared a state of emergency, as
rivers overflowed their banks in the country's coastal areas.
- A prolonged drought in central Chile has led
authorities to encourage water conservation as shortages began
affecting the capital.
Rainfall in Chile this year remains 40 percent to 50 percent
The drought has led to severe shortages in Santiago, where residents
have been lining up on the streets to obtain water from special water
- Fourteen workers were missing and at
least 12 others were injured in a mudslide and flash flood that
struck two work crews near the Yubara road tunnel in central Japan.
- A powerful cyclone hit India's
southeast coast but then began to weaken.
The storm crossed into the southern state of
Airport authorities in Madras said that most evening flights
to and from the city had been cancelled.
- A motorist was missing after his car
was swept away overnight in a flash flood as heavy rains lashed
Dozens of homes were flooded and their inhabitants evacuated
by rubber dinghy in several towns including Beziers as rivers
flooded their banks. The rains cut rail
links and roads over a wide area near the Mediterranean coast.
- A snowstorm that dumped up to 18 inches
of heavy wet snow in parts of New England left more than 160,000
homes without power.
- Ten people have died of exposure in Hyderabad, central
Pakistan is undergoing an early winter cold snap, with temperatures
close to freezing in many parts of the interior.
- Flooding along Northern California creeks shut down schools in
Eureka, forced some evacuations in the town of Ferndale, and closed a
15-mile section of Highway 101 on the North Coast.
Creeks and drain
systems were overwhelmed by 5 to 14 inches of rain in a 36-hour period.
- Severe floods swept through three provinces
in Indonesia, killing at least 14 people and forcing more than 10,000
people from their homes in Sumatra, Java and East Timor.
- Russian reindeer are dying by the thousands
because unusual weather has covered their grazing grounds in extreme
northeastern Siberia with a thick layer of ice.
On the Chukotka peninsula 6,200 reindeer have
starved to death because of icy conditions this autumn.
Warm November weather brought rain instead of snow. Colder
temperatures then froze the rainfall into a sheet of ice too tough for
the reindeer to break with their hooves.
Russians and indigenous people in Chukotka eat reindeer meat and make
money selling pelts and other parts of the animals. Ground reindeer horn
is used in medicines.
- An early-season blizzard packing 60
mph wind gusts and up to a foot of snow hit the Black Hills area
of South Dakota and parts of Wyoming this morning.
- Residents of Minnesota and parts of
Wisconsin were digging out from their first major snowstorm of the
winter... which dumped up to 14 inches of snow on the states after
earlier striking in South Dakota and Wyoming.
- In a recent issue of the Lancet medical journal, New Zealand
scientists say that global warming could bring about dengue fever
epidemics in the South Pacific.
Research conducted by Simon Hales of the Wellington School of
Medicine and colleagues, attributed the mosquito-borne disease,
generally occurring after floods in tropical zones such as Southeast
Asia, China and Cuba, to climate change caused by the El Nino
Hales compared data from previous studies on dengue to El Nino and
its effects, which demonstrated that the higher the Southern
Oscillation Index the greater the instances of dengue fever.
- Thousands of homes have no power after a
windstorm in Southern California.
The winds, which exceeded 100 mph in some places, disrupted power to
400,000 homes and businesses in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and
Ventura Counties near Los Angeles.
- Three German skiers
died in an avalanche Monday in the mountain wilderness near the
Canadian resort of Whistler, British Columbia, officials said.
- US Federal health officials warned that colder weather seems to increase the risk of Sudden
Infant Death Syndrome.
Doctors still do not understand the cause of the mysterious ailment
that kills 4,000 to 5,000 U.S. babies without warning each year. But the
National Institute of Child Health and Development says winter seems to
be the riskiest time for sudden death in infants under a year of age.
The increase may come from the greater risk of infection during cold
months or from accidentally wrapping babies too warmly.
- A severe winter storm engulfed
the northern U.S. plains, paralyzing traffic, closing
schools and stranding thousands in their homes amid white-out
conditions and bitter cold temperatures.
Snowdrifts as deep as four feet closed major roads
in the Dakotas, and authorities said many roads may not
be reopened until Wednesday because snowploughs have been unable to
keep up with the drifts.
- The ancient Sahara Desert was wet,
green, and wild to a degree never before imagined.
The findings by University of Wisconsin, Madison, researchers suggest
the Sahara and Sahel regions of northern Africa 12,000 to 5,000 years
ago differed vastly from what scientists have until now envisaged.
With a slight shift in Earth's orbit ages ago, powerful summer
monsoons started sweeping through what is now one of the driest places
on earth. They moistened the soil and spawned vegetation.
The vegetation and soil changes actually enhanced the effects of the
orbital shift...increasing the annual precipitation by as much as 10
percent. The vegetation and soil encouraged water retention and
recycling - rather than water loss by runoff. The combined forces
brought a 25 percent more total rainfall to the region than it
- The season's first big winter blast is shattering temperature records
in the Rockies, stalling air and auto travel across the Upper Midwest.
In Colorado, Pueblo's -19F was a record for the date and -11F in Colorado Springs smashed the 122-year-old mark of -4F.
- State agriculture officials say
Florida's citrus crop escaped the below-freezing temperatures that had
been forecast for Friday morning.
Although the Panhandle area recorded its first hard freeze of the
year, temperatures across most of central Florida's citrus belt remained
above 32F, leaving the state's $1 billion citrus crop unharmed.
- Three people aged 70 and over died in the
northern district of Rangpur as a cold wave swept across
Local media reports temperatures in Rangpur have plummeted, exposing
thousands of elderly villagers to hypothermia.
- President Fidel Ramos has released 2.5
million pesos for relief operations in a southern Philippine
province hit by flash floods that have killed one person and affected at
least 5,000 families.
The deluge triggered by continuous rainfall since last week also
swamped the nearby city of Dapitan and the towns of Polanco and Pinan.
- The Sierra Nevada got a second day of
near record snowfall, closing highways through the mountains
between California and Nevada and bringing weekend accumulations to as
much as seven feet.
The California Highway Patrol says bad road conditions have caused
hundreds of accidents, and one traffic death on Saturday was blamed on
- Indonesian President Suharto is
urging citizens that the possibility of a prolonged drought next year
could cause forest fires and crop damage.
In the past few years major fires ravaged several Indonesian forests
and crop lands, causing heavy smoke to blanket parts of southeast Asia.
In 1994 haze from the burning forest and cropland led to the
suspension of airline flights into and out of various Indonesian
provinces. And it caused several river and road accidents and claimed
the lives of several people.
- A storm has lashed the east Malaysian
state of Sabah, killing at least 162 people and causing widespread
flooding, damaging buildings and sinking boats.
The winds and rain
that lashed Sabah were spawned by Tropical Storm Greg, which moved from
the South China Sea onto the west coast of Sabah with top winds gusting
at over 30 kmph.
- Venice spent Christmas
under water for only the second time this century as heavy rains
and high seas caused the lagoon city to flood.
Local authorities said water levels reached 1.11 metres above the normal tide level on Christmas Day and added
that although conditions improved on Thursday, St Mark's Square
Venice last spent Christmas under water in 1973.
It was the ninth time this year that the waters in this
northern Italian city had risen above the 1.1 metre
St Mark's Square, which is the lowest point in the city, has
been flooded on 99 days so far this year.
- Arctic air dominated the weather in Southern Alberta in the week of Christmas; in Calgary the 25th was sunny with a bright blue sky and a high of -18C. The coldest day was the 28th, again under clear skies but with a keen N wind a high of -31C occurred.
- Three people were killed and at
least 10 injured as a result of heavy rains in the city of Nova
Friburgo in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state.
Three people drowned in their homes on Wednesday night when
the river Bengala, which runs through Nova Friburgo, flooded the
houses along its banks. The heavy rains lasted about 90 minutes and the
river swept away several houses.
- A 57-year-old homeless man and a
77-year-old retired man who lived alone in a camper were found
dead of cold in the Paris area, bringing to three the
death toll in France from a two-day cold snap.
- A sudden cold snap has killed at least two
people in Moscow and is likely to claim more lives as it settles in
across much of Russia.
The weather service says temperatures dipping to minus -26C
below the seasonal average for Moscow.
The cold weather follows a long warm spell that had Russians
wondering when winter would arrive.
- A freak ice storm struck the Portland (Oregon)
area, coating trees, power lines and just about everything else with a
thick coating of ice, and Washington was lashed with a powerful winter
storm that lowered visibility to near zero in some places.
The weight of the ice toppled power poles and sent tree limbs
smashing into power lines, leaving about 70,000 customers without
electricity. The Portland airport was forced to use backup generator
power for a couple of hours.
- Blizzards left almost
400 Bulgarian towns and villages without electricity, cut
telephone links in 110 communities and halted traffic at most
Airports in Sofia, Varna and Bourgas were closed. The only
operating airport is in the country's second city, Plovdiv, 100
miles southeast of Sofia.
- Blizzards swept across Romania disrupting road and rail transport and shipping on the
river Danube and in the Black Sea.
Traffic on roads in eastern Romania was blocked by heavy
snow bringing freight traffic to a halt in the area and forcing
many motorists to abandon their cars.
- Indonesia's state-run media say the flash
floods that have swept the country's eastern province of East Nusa
Tenggara have killed at least three people and left many missing.
The floods, caused by
three days of incessant rains, pushed rivers over their banks and
inundated thousands of homes in the Timor island.
- At least five people have now died of
hypothermia in in France as bone-chilling temperatures continue to grip
Over the past three days, three other people have died of the cold in
Paris and one in the northwestern city of Brest.
- Four patients have died at an
unheated Bulgarian mental hospital during extreme cold weather
in the past two days.
Radnevo hospital's medical director said two
of the four patients had died directly from the cold. The
hospital has been without heating for the past 10 days.
- Hundreds of thousands of people are without electricity in Oregon and
Washington and some major highways are blocked from a winter storm that
hit the West Coast.
In Seattle, the largest city in the affected region, only half a foot
of snow fell overnight, but icy conditions downed power lines and
disabled 10 percent of the city's Metro rail coaches. About 150,000
customers in Thurston, Pierce and King counties in Washington had no
power as new snow fell Friday morning.
- More than 300 people were trapped in a
Caucasus mountains tunnel in southern Russia after
avalanches blocked roads in the area.
There were no reports of casualties but fog was preventing
helicopters bringing relief to car and bus travellers forced to
a halt by the snow. About 120 vehicles were caught in the
2.5-mile Roksky tunnel, Tass said.
The 10,000-foot high Roksky pass crosses the main Caucasus
ridge between the Russian region of North Ossetia and the
breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia.
- Italy, which enjoyed spring-like weather
just a week ago, faced a country-wide cold spell Saturday as
temperatures dipped as low as -22F (measured at Livigno) in some parts of the country.
Snowstorms hit the central regions of the Marche, Umbria and
Abruzzo as well as in the south in Puglia and the Aeolian
islands off Sicily.
The cold spell also left much of the Venice lagoon frozen.
Television showed fishermen and gondoliers struggling to break
the ice around their boats in the northeast city.
- An avalanche has killed at least six Turkish
teenagers as they were skiing in eastern Turkey.
The avalanche in
Erzurum Province, appeared to have been triggered by a
ski-track vehicle driving along the wrong path of a downhill ski course.
- Another snow storm has rolled into the Pacific Northwest dumping
more snow, ice and rain on weather-weary residents while utility crews
scrambled to restore power knocked out by a previous storm.
Northern California continues to dry out from storms last week that
caused blizzard conditions in the Sierra Nevada. Five people died in the
- Bitter cold killed a homeless man in
Leipzig and ice halted shipping on major waterways.
He was believed to be the first fatality of the year-end
cold snap that has brought temperatures down to -20C in some parts of Germany.
The shipping authorities in Magdeburg said more than 200 km
of the River Elbe would be closed at midnight from its confluence with the Saale down to Doemitz near
- Sections of the Danube river in central Europe were frozen
over, as were major canal waterways in northern Germany, while a
freak blizzard deposited up to four inches of snow along
Croatia's unsually balmy Dalmatian coast on the Adriatic.
People on the French Mediterranean resort island of Corsica
awoke to see snow covering the landscape for the first
time in a decade.
Divers found four people dead inside the Greek cargo ship
Distos which had capsized off the Greek island of Evia in bad
weather in the Aegean Sea. Sixteen others aboard were missing.
The frozen bodies of three men were found over the weekend
in Poland, bringing to 13 the number of deaths since the cold
snap began. Most of the victims were intoxicated.
Temperatures have touched -25C (-18F) in Romania in the last
three days and snow and blizzards have disrupted rail and road
traffic and shipping.
- Scores of drivers are thought to be stranded in a heavy snowstorm in British Columbia, where drifting
snow has blocked highways in several areas.
With reports coming in of more than 60 cm of snow on the
ground in the lower mainland area by Sunday afternoon, snow drifts are
report to have blocked highways between Abbotsford and Chilliwack.
- Thousands of holidaymakers
fled their campsites and civil defence officials declared
emergencies in some regions as the remnants of tropical Cyclone
Fergus lashed New Zealand.
Thousands of people fled the popular resorts of the Bay of
Islands and Coromandel Peninsula at the height of the summer
holiday season, but many had their escape routes blocked as
floods closed major highways.
- Poland reported its coldest weather for 10 years, with 17
deaths recorded in the past week.
Scandinavia and Russia, well used to hard winters, have seen
colder weather and heavier snow than in recent years. Tass news
agency reported a total of 10 people dead in Russia with 245
hospitalized with frostbite.
Snow and ice also paralyzed much of central and southern
Italy, with people using skis to get around the Umbrian capital
of Perugia and the normally mild southerly regions of Calabria
and Puglia also snow-bound.
Temperatures in Austria have hit their lowest for 30 years.
Two people have been reported killed by the cold.
- Homeowners have got out
their snow shovels as Vancouver and much of southwestern British
Columbia lay blanketed in white after the worst snowstorm in the
province in several decades.
In Victoria, even less used to snow than Vancouver, residents were
likewise busy with shovels, but the city remained virtually paralyzed by
snow which accumulated nearly 75 cm since the snowstorm
began on Friday.
- Mild Pacific air surfaced
along the eastern edge of the Rockies and while in Calgary it was dark
and cloudy with a high of -24C, 40 miles to the west it was sunny with a
gusty west wind with temperatures in the +4 to +5C range. At the town of Pincher
Creek in the exteme SW corner of the province, tucked into the
foothills, the temperature rose from -20C at 8.30 am to +2C at 9:00am!
According to Environment Canada this may have been the biggest
temperature swing in such a short time ever recorded.
- Dense fog is being blamed for a 70-
vehicle pileup that killed a woman and injured at least a dozen other
motorists east of New Orleans (USA).
If you have a snippet of weather news that you feel merits inclusion, then please feel free to email it to me.
Last updated 28 September 2015.