World weather news
World weather news, December 2001
- Emergency workers are cleaning up today after
winds of up to 175km/h smashed through Sydney (Australia)
during a thunderstorm which unroofed houses,
crushed cars and left two schoolgirls dead.
More than 400 State Emergency Service
volunteers were returning to the field to help
with the clean-up, responding to the 3200 calls
for help received since the storms hit yesterday
afternoon. Lightning strikes and downed power lines started fires in the Blue Mountains, at Colo Heights and Kurrajong Heights. All were under control last night.
- Olga, which grew from a subtropical storm farther out in the Atlantic
November 24th, was the 15th named storm and the ninth hurricane of the
six-month hurricane season for 2001. The persistent Olga, after becoming a rare late-season hurricane,
weakened to tropical storm strength Thursday, dissipated into a
tropical depression, regained enough strength Saturday to again
become a tropical storm, and Monday night dropped back again to
tropical depression status.
There have been few named storms in recorded history after the
hurricane season. They were Hurricane Nicole in 1998, Tropical Storm
Karen in 1989 and a hurricane that made landfall in 1925, before storms
were given names.
- Coastal flooding in Turkey has left at least three people dead.
Hundreds of homes and businesses have been drenched by five consecutive days of rain, and
flood waters have swept away roads, a bridge and a highway and carried overturned vehicles
into the sea. Heavy flooding also was reported in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya and
in the Aegean port city of Izmir.
- Seventeen people died of exposure in Moscow in the past week, bringing the winter death toll so far to 170. Most of the victims are homeless people or those who pass out on the street after drinking. Overnight temperatures have been as low as -12C for over two weeks
- Americans are taking advantage of what is
shaping up so far to be a balmy December,
with several cities breaking temperature
records as the mercury soars into the 60s
In Portland, Maine, the mercury climbed
to 60 degrees at the airport, breaking an
old record of 55 set in 1951 and tied in
1953 and 1999. In Milwaukee 68F was the highest temperature on record for December.
- A fishing boat went missing and more than
2,000 people fled their homes as tropical storm Kajiki tore through
the central Philippines.
The unseasonal storm blacked out parts of the islands of Cebu
and Panay as well as the southern tip of the main island of Luzon
and caused widespread flooding.
- Floodwater inundated houses, collapsed buildings and downed power
and telephone lines, killing a girl and a man in Turkey.
Sunday's casualties increased the death toll to five in flooding since last
The flood waters collapsed a four-story hotel near the Mediterranean port
city of Mersin, but the hotel was closed and empty.
Authorities have evacuated more than 450 people in the town of Tarsus.
- Adelaide has had its coldest start to December (and summer) since 1969. The average temperature for
the first 10 days of December this year was 21.9C, 4.2C below the normal temperature of 26.1C for this period in
Adelaide. The previous record was set in 1969 when the average temperature for the first 10 days of December was 21.8C. In addition,
Adelaide has just experienced four consecutive December days with a maximum temperature below 20 degrees, an event which last occurred in
- Four people have died from cold in
northern Romania in the last few days.
A cold snap has seen temperatures plummet to -15C across the impoverished country in recent days, causing
heating problems for public buildings including hospitals.
The government recently decided to cut gas supplies to a number
of state companies, in order to ensure supplies for homes.
- Some very low minima in Central Europe on Thursday night - especially in
Bavaria and Austria. Kempten -20.4C, Mariazell -20.1C, Salzburg -20.2C, Aigen im Ennstal -21.2C. Czech Republic: Churanov -20.2C. Poland
Bialystok -21.7C. Northern Spain also cold Valladolid -6.0C, Madrid -7.1C, Teruel -8.4C, Palma/Mallorca 2.0C.
- Jan Mayen island in the Norwegian Sea reached 12.3C - a December record there.
In Switzerland Jungfraujoch recorded a low of -30.7C.
- Spanish minimum temps on Saturday night included Madrid -10.4C, Salamanca -10.6C, Teruel -13.8C, Calamocha -15.0C, Alicante 1.2C, Valencia 0.5C.
- Snow reported on Sunday around Barcelona and even in Valencia.
- North Texas got as much as 10 inches of rain. That's well above the normal amounts for the entire month.
- Catalonia- in northern and northeast Spain - has remained
isolated from the rest of Spain for two days after heavy snow trapped motorists and residents.
- Low minimum temps on Tuesday night in Greece included -20.2C in Larissa. 120 people are still trapped on a train
in Northern Greece in 6 feet of snow. They have been trapped since yesterday
evening, and they are still no nearer being rescued. At the other extreme - Narsarsuaq in Greenland reported 14.3C at 0600GMT with an easterly gale.
- More than 300 villages in central and northern Greece were snowed in,
while all airports and schools in the north remained closed for a second
day. Snow also hampered traffic on the country's main north-south
Heavy snow falling across the region since late Sunday also claimed two
lives in Bulgaria, both men who froze to death.
Ten villages in Bulgaria had no water supply, and a further 37 remained
without power after snowfall cut power lines. Deep drifts shut down
three highways near the border with Greece.
The Black Sea port of Varna, 300 miles northeast of Sofia, was closed due
to bad weather, and a state of emergency declared in three southern
- According to preliminary reports, the world's record high sea level pressure of 1083.8 mb recorded at Agata in Siberia on 12/31/1968 appears to have been shattered in Tosontsengel in northwest Mongolia. The city is about 420 miles west of the capital city of Ulanbataar. At 2 am local time on the 19th, the
sea level pressure rose to 1085.6 mb. The town is situated in a protected valley
which allows cold air drainage and radiational cooling which leads to high pressure values. At
the time of the pressure reading the the temperature was -40.5C and there
was a 4 cm uneven layer of loose dry snow covering the ground completely. The day's low of -42.3C and high of -32.8C was well below the
monthly normal of minus 18C. (Note by RB - there is some doubt as to this new record, however, when reports from nearby stations are considered.)
- Buffalo, NY was buried by a lake-effect snowstorm, with 25.2 inches falling
in a 24-hour period ending on Christmas Day. This is Buffalo's third heaviest 24-hour snowfall
on record, at the Airport. The stage was set for this and future lake-effect storms, with much
above normal water temperatures on the Great Lakes for this time of year. The large contrast
of warmer lake temperatures vs much colder temperatures above the lakes (as colder air moves
in) results in deep convection (rising motion), condensation, and heavy snowfall, often
accompanied by thunder and lightning. Prior to this storm, the Airport station had only
reported 1.6 inches of snow for the season thus far. The snowfall continued on December
26-27, with a total of 55 inches recorded during the December 24 through 27 period.
- Floods, following rainfall, which swept across large parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island starting today, left at least 15 people missing and thousands homeless. Asahan river has washed out roads and destroyed at least one major bridge.
- Heavy snowfall raised the risk of avalanches across the French Alps where a skier was killed in a snowslide. Snow and rain fell in parts of eastern France triggering floods that killed child. Floods also forced the closure of roads and rail lines. In Vosges region 60 families were evacuated from their homes as flood waters rose. Several highways and secondary roads in Vosges and nearby regions on Lorraine, Moselle and Haute-Marne were closed due to flooding.
- Heavy snowfall in Sweden disrupted the supply of electricity and paralyzed transport. The death of one man is blamed on the bad weather conditions. More than 12,000 households in southern Sweden met the New Year without heating or electricity when power transmission lines were damaged by accumulated ice. Up to 60 trains were cancelled daily because of snowdrifts.
- Vava and Niuatoputapu in the kingdom of Tonga were hit by a tropical storm just hours before the New Year. Communication lines were lost for several hours on Monday. Buildings, trees, and crops were damaged but no injuries were reported.
World weather news, November 2001
- A house on Auckland's North Shore (New Zealand) is covered
with a tarpaulin today after an overnight tornado
knocked over a tree and sent it crashing through
The tornado swept through the North Shore
suburb of Birkdale, uprooting trees and damaging
at least three roofs about 1am.
It then moved across the harbour through Mission
Bay to the south Auckland suburb of Onehunga. In
Mangere, 10 houses in one street suffered damage
to their roofs.
- Tropical Storm Michelle quickly
gathered strength Thursday in the
Caribbean, threatening to become a
hurricane as it battered Honduras and
Nicaragua with flash floods.
Flooding from the storm has already
killed four and forced more than 115,000
people from their homes over the past week. Another 19 people were
reported missing, seven in Honduras and 12 in Nicaragua.
Cuba issued a hurricane watch for the western part of the island,
including Havana, and forecasters urged residents of the Florida Keys
to keep an eye on the storm's progress. A storm surge of 18 feet was reported from Cuba.
- Cyclone Manfred (as named by the Deutscher Wetterdienst) seems to be one of the strongest depressions ever hit to
Finland. In central Finland, rain turn to wet snow, and the result was a
heavy snowstorm. Some 40000 households have been suffering from power
blackouts last 24 hours in that area. The whole Aland Isles area
between Finland and Sweden have been suffering from long blackouts, not
because of snow but because of trees falling down to power lines.
Sailors on an Iranian cargo ship needed rescuing after it lost power in 10m waves.
- 135mph winds from hurricane Michelle devasted Cuba.
The worst damage appeared to be in the central province of Matanzas
and the northern part of Villa Clara province to the east.
The death toll was five on the island: four people killed in
building collapses and one man who drowned on the southern coast when
Michelle made landfall. At least 45,000 homes and about 780 government businesses and
industries were damaged or destroyed in the storm, along with at least
500 schools, 50 child-care centers and 180 medical facilities.
In Havana, where 2 million of Cuba's 11 million residents live, at least 179
buildings collapsed and 1,200 trees were knocked down. The roofs of at
least 1,550 homes were ripped off or severely damaged.
storm Lingling battered the Philippines for
a second day today, leaving at least 108
people dead, sinking a cargo ship and
virtually shutting down several provinces.
The death toll included 78 in Mahinog town
on the resort island of Camiguin, which
suffered its worst disaster in a
half-century. With 300 people missing,
officials said the overall toll was likely to
Fast-moving flood waters bearing boulders cascaded from hills around
Hibok-Hibok, one of seven volcanoes on the island, into mountain
villages in Mahinog and riverside communities in Catarman as most
people were still sleeping on Wednesday.
The storm knocked out electricity and flooded many parts of central
Leyte, Samar and Bacolod provinces, where many schools were closed.
- A severe gale on and near the Belgian coast in the afternoon caused
disruption and some damage. Ostend reported force 9 through most of the
afternoon - highest 30 min. average wind speed was 58 kt and a 5 min.
average of 68 kt was recorded at one time. The storm also caused
disruption around De Panne, Nieuwpoort, Koksijde, Poperinge, Diksmuide and
Ieper at the southern end of the coast.
A German container ship sailing from Dover to Zeebrugge ran aground near
In and around Brugge roads were blocked by fallen trees - including the E40
motorway. Near the coast and in parts of East and West Flanders electricity
poles, advertisement hoardings and scaffolding were blown down and roof
tiles removed. In Ostend part of the wall of a block of flats collapsed.
- At least 618 people died after heavy rains affected
Algeria, resulting in the worst floods in 40 years. Torrential rains began drenching Algiers on Friday,
causing water to rush through its streets and buildings to
crumble in Bab El Oued, one of the poorer
neighbourhoods of Algiers. More than 100mm fell in a few hours in Algiers on Saturday (the November mean is 93mm).
Throughout the city, people could be seen wading
waist-high in water, trying to get to safety. Many
ground-floor apartments have been engulfed.
The deluge came after severe drought in the region,
during which harsh water restrictions were imposed.
Only a few weeks ago, religious leaders were calling on
people to pray for rain, as the city's reservoirs began to
- Typhoon Lingling hit central Vietnam, killing at least 18 people, knocking out power and
destroying hundreds of homes.
- Fierce storms with winds of up
to 170mph have brought devastation to
Spain's northeast coast and Balearic islands.
A local council employee died on Monday after being seriously
injured by a falling tree on Sunday night, according to local
officials in Calvia on the island of Majorca.
A taxi-driver was also killed there in similar circumstances on
Thousands of trees were uprooted on Majorca and Menorca with
pleasure boats and cars damaged and dozens of roads blocked.
Power cuts lasting up to 18 hours left around 175,000 people
without electricity in the Balearic islands.
Winds there created waves reported up to nine metres (29 feet)
There was a similar scene of destruction in Catalonia in
northeast Spain where one person was killed on Friday in the city of
The local authorities said the scale of the damage had led the
mayor of the regional capital, Barcelona, to seek to have the area
declared a disaster zone.
- Up to 13 inches of rain fell in parts of Texas on the 15th and 16th, breaking daily extreme rainfall
records in Austin and San Antonio, swelling creeks and waterways. Ten
people died in southeast Texas from the storm.
- Flooding and mudslides caused by five straight
days of heavy rain killed at least nine people and forced thousands to
leave their homes in southeastern Brazil, civil defense officials said on
Tuesday. Rain soaked more than 20 cities and towns in the state of
Espirito Santo. 2,400 people were
- Rising flood waters forced 29,000 people from
their homes, washed out several roads and damaged 66 houses after
several days of heavy rains in the central Philippines, officials said
Wednesday. Flood waters carrying debris from the Mount Mayon
volcano, which last erupted in June, also washed away nine homes in the
central province of Albay, and authorities warned residents of possible
- Four people died, three are missing and up to 142 were rescued after a flash flood on the 20th swept through a national park in
Spain's Canary Islands. There were warnings of further heavy rain in the
islands on the 21st as well. Storms and strong winds in the Straits of Gibraltar kept fishing boats in
port and interrupted ferry services between southern Spain and North Africa.
- October 2001 was the warmest October on record globally, according to
scientists at the National Climatic Data Center. The
average temperature of 58.2F was one degree above
the 1880-2000 long-term average.
The year-to-date global temperature was 0.9 degrees above average, the
second warmest January-October period since global surface temperature
records began in 1880.
The previous October global temperature was record occurred in 1997
during the most recent El Niño with warmer-than-normal sea surface
temperatures in much of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.
An absence of cold equatorial waters since 1997 is a contributing factor to
higher temperatures in the tropics and a higher global temperature
average than those recorded during the past three years.
Monthly temperatures were above average across much of Europe and
northern portions of Africa as well as across eastern Asia, with monthly
departures of more than 7F above normal in Algeria.
Lower-than-average temperatures were reported throughout parts of
eastern Europe, western Asia and throughout much of Australia.
In Australia, October average maximum temperatures were the lowest
since 1976, and minimum temperatures were fourth lowest on record
since October 1950, according to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology.
- Less than three months from the start of
the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics,
there is no snow at Utah ski areas, and
the warmest November in the Colorado Rockies since 1979 has forced
cancellation of the World Cup downhill - one of the most prestigious
ski events in the United States.
A year ago, Utah resorts were running at full bore long before
Thanksgiving. This year, "Think Snow" signs abound in the windows
of restaurants and hotels.
- A broad storm system spread rain from the Great Lakes to the
Gulf Coast on Saturday, with deadly tornadoes in the South, and a
second storm spread rain across California with heavy snow in the
A cold front swept eastward through the Mississippi Valley and
continued eastward, carrying showers and severe thunderstorms along
a line that curved from the upper Great Lakes through the Ohio and
Tennessee valleys and across Louisiana.
Tornadoes struck parts of Mississippi and Alabama, damaging
several towns and causing at least 12 deaths. Severe weather also
was blamed for four deaths late Friday in Arkansas.
- Heavy rain fell across northern and eastern Tasmania overnight and this morning from an active cloudband ahead of a trough which in turn arced
ahead of a deepening, slow-moving low to the west of the state. The moist northeasterlies ahead of the trough dumped around 100mm on parts of
the Northeast Highlands and east coast ranges, with Gray, at the top of the Elephant Pass southeast of St Mary's, scoring top fall of 113.8mm. A
heavy spell of rain in the central northern inland gave Sheffield 68mm between 9 last night and 6 this morning. Mt Wellington recorded 69mm
at the summit automatic weather station, its highest November one-day tally in 14 years of record.
- A violent storm in Turkey has left four
people dead as strong winds and torrential rains lashed much of the
country for the past two days.
The minaret of a mosque in a suburb of the capital Ankara
collapsed late Saturday in winds blowing up to 40 km/hr, killing two men and injuring five others.
Elsewhere, the strong winds knocked town electricity poles,
leaving several towns partly or completely blacked out, and blew
away the roofs of many buildings. Several houses and offices were
- After a warm start to the ski season, snow has piled up in parts of the Rockies and resorts have
opened their slopes in relief and in anticipation of the upcoming the Winter Olympics. Utah's Park
City resort, a key venue in the games, opened on Saturday after a heavy Thanksgiving
snowfall. Heavy snow in the 1-3 feet range fell on these areas over the weekend.
- With less than a week left in the hurricane season,
Hurricane Olga formed Monday in the central Atlantic but posed no
immediate threat to land.
Olga, the ninth hurricane of the season, was far out to sea
about 510 miles east of Bermuda, with sustained winds of 75 mph,
just over the hurricane threshold.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
The last storm to develop this late in the season was Hurricane
Nicole in 1998. Nicole became a tropical storm on Nov. 24 and
reached hurricane status on Nov. 30 but quickly weakened and never
- Saudi Arabia's King Fahd has called on
his people to pray for rain for the third time in a month.
"In view of the country's and people's need for rain, and in
line with the teachings of our Prophet Mohammad ... King Fahd has
called for prayers for rain to be held across the kingdom on
The Saudi people had already been urged by their monarch to
offer prayers for rain on October 26 and November 15.
Weatherman Mohammad Nour told the daily Al-Riyadh last week that
heavy rain was forecast for December and January. So far this
season, most northern and central regions have remained dry and
southwest areas of the kingdom have had only little rain.
- More than nine inches of rain fell on parts of the island of
Hawaii as strong storms soaked the state, snarling traffic,
downing power lines and closing schools. The National Weather Service
extended a flood watch into Wednesday for the islands of Maui, Molokai,
Lanai and Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. The Big Island was
hardest hit, with 9.28 inches of rain falling at Kapapala Ranch over a
The rain was the result of a Kona storm, which happens when a low
pressure system forms west of the islands and brings up moisture from
- For two years running, the United States
escaped the wrath of a hurricane, though
a higher-than-normal 15 named storms
emerged during the 2001 Atlantic
hurricane season. Nine of those storms
became hurricanes. With the season
officially ending today, none of the
storms hit the United States.
It was one of the slowest-starting seasons on record: the first
hurricane did not develop until Sept. 8, the latest date in 17 years. And
it was a late year as well. More than half
of the named cyclones developed in October and November.
World weather news, October 2001
- Four people were killed and thousands forced
to leave their homes in southern Brazil after two days of heavy rain. The rain punished the country's
southernmost states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Parana. All
the deaths, blamed on flooding and landslides, were reported in Santa
Catarina state. Twenty-five cities declared a state of emergency in what
was called the worst flooding in 16 years. In Curitiba, the capital of
Parana state 400 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro, rainfall over the past
12 hours was half the October normal.
- Altenstadt (Bayern) maximum temperature 29.5C, followed by a minimum temperature of 19C. The Berlin area had the warmest October night since the observations began in 1893. Potsdam station failed to dip below 14.9 degrees on Tuesday night. Munich reached 27.8 degrees, the second warmest October day ever (28.2C recorded in 1923).
- Poor visibility caused by heavy morning
fog most likely contributed to a deadly
airline crash at Milan's Linate Airport,
according to Italy's Interior Ministry.
An SAS airliner slammed into a private
jet during a morning takeoff, then
swerved into an airport building and
burst into flames, killing all 114 people
on both planes.
- Seven people were injured as tornadoes hit Oklahoma and Nebraska.
Some 12 tornadoes were
reported in Oklahoma and
11 in Nebraska.
The town of Cordell, some 160 km west of Oklahoma
City, bore the brunt of the damage.
quarter of all houses had
been severely damaged or
destroyed in this town of
- Hurricane Iris,
the year's most violent Atlantic storm,
killed at least 15 US tourists on a diving
boat, wiped out Belize's banana crop and
left 13,000 people homeless before losing
strength over land.
Iris pounded Belize with 140 mph winds. a category 4 hurricane.
- Heavy rainfall in Chad over the past several weeks caused
flooding as the banks of the Logone (South), Chari (Center-West) and Batha (Center-East) Burst.
Some 129,500 people have been affected, 100 missing, and some 10,500 houses destroyed.
- Residents from Texas to the Florida
Panhandle are cleaning up and surveying
damage after violent storms blitzed the
region this weekend. The storms, many
of which spawned tornadoes, ripped off
roofs, smashed homes and left many
readied for more inclement weather as
Typhoon Haiyan threatened northern
Taiwan, prompting officials to close
schools, ground flights and cancel trains.
Haiyan turned north away from the
island late Tuesday, but would still bring
This year's typhoon season has been one of the worst in Taiwan's
history, and people took precautions to prevent further damage.
- Storms doused coastal towns of India
with the heaviest rains in 40
years, smashing houses and killing at
least 31 people.
The worst hit area was Kurnool, where
16 people were killed, including 15
people washed away when floodwaters gushed into a temple where
they had taken shelter. The area is 170 miles south of
Hyderabad, state capital of Andhra Pradesh.
Seven deaths were reported in Cuddpah, where most of the town was
under four feet of water after the nearby Buggavanka dam
Sullurpeta and Nellore, 300 miles south of Hyderabad, received 10
inches of rain in a day after the storm in the Bay of Bengal hit the
"It was the highest rainfall in the past 40 years," said C.V.V. Bhadram,
the meteorological department director.
- Flooding in southern Vietnam has killed 40 people,
including 25 children, over the past six days.
The deaths brought the toll from three months of flooding to 287. The
high waters, which began in late July, have flooded 275,600 homes and
caused an estimated $52 million in damage. Water levels in some areas were receding slowly, but high tides had
affected several districts in the southern provinces of Vinh Long and Ben
- A record 83 tornadoes hit the USA in the first two weeks of this month,
breaking the old record of 47 set during the same period in October 1998.
October 1997 remains the most active month when 100 tornadoes touched
down, according to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.
Tornado records dating back to 1950 show that an average of 29
tornadoes hit the U.S. during October.
- Violent storms swept through parts of southern France, overturning mobile homes and leaving one person dead and
dozens injured. The death occurred at a campsite in Argeles-Plage, 20
miles south of Perpignan, which was whipped by 75 mph winds and
heavy rain early in the day. Over 30 people were treated at the scene by
rescue workers. Heavy wind and rains knocked out power in parts of the
southern Ardeche and Gard districts, leaving 6,000 people without
electricity. Two tornadoes were reported in the area.
- Heavy rains this past month have flooded large areas of the Argentine Pampas causing the
evacuation of 4.000 people. The hardest-hit area was the fertile farming
regions of Buenos Aires province, where thousands of acres of fields and grazing lands are
submerged. Half the province is under water, with some of the
worst flooding in decades. Furthur west in Argentina, the flooding had also encroached on large parts of the
central provinces of Cordoba, Santa Fe and La Pampa.
- Between 150 and over 300mm of rain fell along a short stretch of the north Queensland coast (Australia) south of Cairns overnight. Babinda Post Office
reported 317mm for the 24 hours to 9am.
The succession of torrential showers appears to
have resulted from local convergence in a light southeasterly airflow, combined with the strong uplift for onshore winds provided by the 1500
metre Bartle Frere range just behind Innisfail.
- The USA, from Mississippi to Michigan, was affected by an outbreak of severe weather. Hail, damaging winds and tornadoes were all spawned by a strong cold front. Over 20 tornadoes were reported, and one woman died when when a
tornado demolished her
home and hurled her several hundred
metres into a field. A gust of 90 mph was reported at the
South Bend Airport (Indiana).
- In North Dakota (USA) an out-of-season blizzard stranded
hundreds of cars, cancelled
flights and closed schools.
A record-breaking 11 inches of snow fell
yesterday in Grand Forks as a broad,
strong storm system crossed the Plains.
Blowing snow stopped many drivers in
- Officials today released a final report
detailing the destruction left in the wake
of Tropical Storm Allison. The
assessment covers property and lives
lost in the flood event that plagued
Texas and Louisiana following Allison,
the costliest tropical storm in U.S.
Allison and its remnants moved slowly across the Deep South and
eastern states from June 5 to June 16, spawning severe storms,
torrential rainfall and massive flooding. More than 45,000 homes and
businesses in Texas were flooded, along with another 1,000 homes in
Louisiana. Extreme rainfall amounts fell as far north as the suburbs of
The system -- actually the remnants of Tropical Storm Allison -- sat
over metropolitan Houston for nearly 30 hours, eventually killing 24
and causing $5 billion in damage across Texas and Louisiana.
World weather news, September 2001
- Erin strengthened to a major hurricane Sunday afternoon as its center
passed about 100 miles east of Bermuda - sparing the island its strongest
winds and heaviest rain. Erin's top steady winds increased to 120 mph,
making it the first major hurricane of 2001.
- Heavy rain since late August is causing flooding
throughout Vietnam's southern Mekong Delta. The flooding has
innundated 105,000 homes affecting over 230,000 people. At least 56
people, most of them children left along while their parents were
tendiing fields, have died in the high water
- Federal climate experts say a weak version of the El
Niño climate phenomenon may be forming in the Pacific Ocean. If the
process continues, the United States could experience mild impacts in late
winter or early next spring, according to forecasters at the Climate
westerly winds and high
temperatures have sparked three
forest fires in northern and
firefighters were trying to quell
the biggest of the fires in
mountains near Guarda, a city
about 300km northeast
- Tropical storm Nari killed at least 80 people in northern Taiwan, as the capital was submerged under a torrent of floodwater. The victims were drowned, buried in landslides, or electrocuted by broken power lines in the north of the island. The storm left 32 inches of rainfall in its wake since Sunday. Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou said the amount of rain was "unprecedented."
- Heavy rains affecting the Sichuan province of China left some
10,000 travellers stranded as train tracks were submerged. The flooding also resulted in 25 reported deaths.
- The Niger River and its tributaries the Sankarani, Fié, Milo and
Djon have overflowed and caused some of the worst flooding in 10 years in Guinea.
70,000 people have been affected; from which 40,000 are displaced. It was also reported
that the flooding submerged 17,000 hectares of agricultural land and affected cattle.
- Juliette weakened from a hurricane to a
tropical storm Saturday, losing power as
it lingered over the southern tip of Baja
California after causing heavy flooding
and killing three people.
The storm had
destroyed a hotel in Cabo San Lucas.
In the USA, September was the hottest ever in
Phoenix and the third-hottest in Tucson. The scorching weather also
exacerbated the West's lingering drought, especially in western
The average temperature of 92.2F in Phoenix broke an
18-year-old record of 91F degrees set in 1983. The average daily high
last month -104.6F - also was a record.
World weather news, August 2001
sweltering Midwest (USA) hoped for a
break from temperatures
approaching triple digits
- a heat wave in
which two athletes have died,
including an NFL player.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration warns that sunstroke, heat
cramps or heat exhaustion are likely when
the heat index tops 105 degrees. Heatstroke
is possible with either prolonged exposure
or physical activity, or both. A record for consecutive days with 100-degree temperatures was set
in Austin, Texas. Wednesday marked the 21st consecutive day with
temperatures above 100, shattering the former record of 19 days set in
- Flooding in northern Bangladesh closed schools and thousands fled their homes after heavy
monsoon rains swamped villages. According to media reports, floodwaters washed away dirt
roads or overflowed the paved streets, disrupting communication and transportation. Villagers
used homemade boats or rafts fashioned from banana trees to get around. The Meteorological
Department said 100 millimeters (3.9 inches) of rain fell on the region during a 12-hour period
ending at 6 a.m. (0000 GMT) Thursday, August 2nd, 2001.
- After days of sweltering heat, a storm swamped parts of
the Midwest (USA), trapping motorists in Chicago and shutting
down a nuclear reactor about 125 miles away. Parts of Interstate 94 and
other expressways were flooded and closed after a torrential downpour
in the Chicago area
- Floods south of the Polish capital were
receding rapidly as a 65-mile flood wave headed northward
along the Vistula River. The surge earlier this week passed through
Warsaw without causing serious damage
- Nine people have died in torrential
rains flooding the Pacific port of Vladivostok.
A state of emergency has been declared in the Primorye region, where
thousands of others have been left homeless after flood waters washed
away about 1,500 dwellings and 70 kilometres (44 miles) of roads,
regional officials said.
The region has been deluged by a month's worth of rain falling in just
two hours on Tuesday.
- The National Guard will help people
who live in and near Grand Forks, NDakota (USA),
clean up damage left by strong storms
packing winds of over 100 miles per
The weather broke loose overnight as a
cold front pushed across the state. Winds
downed 3,000 trees in the state and
damaged hundreds of homes.
- Two tropical storms and two months of normal to
above-average rainfall are restoring Florida's lawns to green and feeding
life back into drought-sapped lakes and streams. But despite the recent
rainfall, drinking water supplies continue to be low, forcing local officials
to keep water restrictions intact across central and south Florida.
- In Ethiopia, the River Omo burst its banks
thereby displacing some 10,000 people. 5 people and 300 head of livestock were reportedly washed away, as well as some grain stores
- Monsoon rains, reportedly some of the heaviest in 40 years,
have caused considerable flooding in Delhi (India).
- A tornado affecting the Nebraska town of Jackson
destroyed 10 houses and forced the town to evacuate its population of some 200 people.
- Drought affecting Iran has caused agricultural damage estimated at $2.6 billion. 30 cities have had to ration their water and Tehran has had to shut piped water off
one day a week. In total some 90 percent of Iran's population has had its drinking water affected in
some way. The Iran Parliament has also reportedly declared June through December a "water crisis
- Recent heavy rains caused flooding in eight Philippine provinces
located in the south and central parts of the country. 27 deaths have been reported and 10 are
missing. Thousands reportedly fled their homes. Damage to crops and property is estimated at $8.4
million. The total number of people affected is estimated at 79,000.
- Flooding along the Blue Nile (Sudan) has caused some 10,000 people to
be evacuated. The Al-Ayyam reported that flooding destroyed 500 houses and some commercial
buildings in the Hadaliya area of eastern Sudan. Flooding has also apparently affected 6 villages in the
Al-Hawash province of Al-Jazirah in central Sudan
- Heavy rains caused a landslide in the Simalgauda village of
Nepal. 10 people were reportedly killed. Since June flooding and mudslides associated with the
Monsoon have killed 100 people
- The World Food Program reported that three months of drought in
Central America has caused as many as 1.6 million to suffer from hunger. Some experts believe the grain crop loss in the region could be as high as 80%.
- In South Africa, parts of Cape Townh were declared disaster areas due to
heavy rains and flooding. The heavy rains have already driven thousands of people from the
World weather news, July 2001
- A waving warm front over central Sweden has now given 93mm of rainfall over
the town of Sveg which lies around 220 miles to the northwest of Stockholm
in the 12 hours up to 0600 GMT on Wednesday. This almost reaches the 94.0mm
July average rainfall for the town.
- The town of La Rochelle lies near the west coast of France. During the 6
hours up to 1200 GMT on Wednesday 43mm of rain had been reported at the
town. This is close to the 48mm July average rainfall value for the town and
it was still raining at 1200 GMT.
- Contrasting weather has affected South Africa during the past couple of
days. The capital city Cape Town lies on the southwest side of the country
and has now had a total of 65mm of rain during the 48 hours up to 0600 GMT
on Wednesday compared to the July average of 94.0mm. It was also rather cool
with the midday GMT temperature on Wednesday only reaching 13.2C. On
the eastern side of the country the city of Durban has had fine conditions
with the 1200 GMT temperature on Wednesday reaching 32.0C, almost 10
degrees above the 22.2C July average maximum temperature and just
short of the 33.3C known July maximum temperature.
- Severe storms, with wind gusts near 100 mph, rolled through eastern
France and much of western Europe Friday evening. At least 11 people
were killed at a Yiddish concert near Strasbourg, France, when a tent of
concertgoers was crushed by a wind-toppled tree. The storms also
flooded roads and tunnels in and around Paris. There were also reports
of mudslides near Tulle, a town in southwestern France
- Large stretches of Asia, from the Korean peninsula through northern
China and on to Afghanistan, is suffering through a devastating drought.
The United Nations says that 5 million people face starvation in the
Afghanistan and neighbouring Tajikistan alone. Parched soil, exposed to
the elements because of dead vegetation, is often picked up by the wind
and carried away in large dust storms. This dust, tracked by satellites,
have reached Arizona and the Southwestern USA.
- At least 35 individuals were injured when a tornado ripped through
northern Italy, uprooting trees and tearing the roofs off of homes. Lampposts were
reportedly brought down by the winds, and the police reported a spate of car crashes as
drivers lost control in the high winds. Railway lines were also reportedly damaged near Milan,
putting them out of order for at least 2 days.
- More than two dozen families were evacuated from
their homes in Tazewell County (Virginia, USA) because of
flooding. Hundreds of homes and about 40 businesses were affected
in Tazewell and the city of Bluefield. Several bridges were washed-out, but no
injuries were reported. The same storm system also triggered flooding
and mudslides throughout central southern West Virginia.
- Thousands of people stacked sandbags to fight off floodwaters
in southern China, where the death toll from tropical storm Utor rose to
23. Utor blew into Guangdong
province on Friday, destroying homes, sinking fishing boats and
triggering landslides. At least 23 people died in Guangdong. Damage was estimated at $300 million. Utor,
a typhoon in the Philippines, was downgraded to a tropical storm before
hitting Hong Kong and China. In the Philippines, 121 people were killed
last week and 44 others were still missing. At least one person died in
- Beijing has been hit by a heat
wave with temperatures reaching more than 39 degrees Celsius today - the hottest day on
record so far this summer. A number of people have reportedly caught summer colds and
- Tropical Storm Trami
brought torrential rains to southern Taiwan causing widespread flooding that drowned at least 3
individuals. Trami did not make landfall, but
inundated much of southern Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties with the most severe rainfall in 40
years. Approximately 22 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period beginning Wednesday evening, the
power was cut to more than 100,000 households, and mobile phone services were suspended as some
3,000 communication bases were flooded
- Heavy rain from the summer monsoon that
began last month has triggered flooding across eastern India. At least 23
people have died in the flooding and several million residents have been
forced to flee their homes as 10 rivers in the region overflow their banks.
- Heavy rains in South Korea caused flooding and
landslides, which resulted in 40 deaths and left 14 people missing. Of the 40 confirmed deaths, 19
were electrocuted, 4 buried by landslide, and 17 swept away. In addition 500 cars were destroyed and
34,000 homes were flooded in Seoul and Kyonggi-do
- Tens of thousands of Czechs and Germans braced for a second wave of flooding as falling rain continues to fuel the worst natural disaster to hit
Central Europe in centuries.
Floodwaters have killed at least 52 people in Poland and 39 in
the Czech Republic. Hundreds of thousands have been chased
from their homes and estimates are that the damages may run
as high as $2 billion.
The rains began two weeks ago and were drenching the region
again today, raising fears that there is still more destruction
Poland's three largest industrial plants have all been shut down
by flooding, and in the northern port city of Szczecin workers
used sandbags and plastic sheeting to protect a shipyard and
power plant from rising waters.
In southern and southwestern Poland, 1,000 towns and villages
were swamped and 140,000 people displaced. The forecast is
that there is more to come.
- Flood waters in the eastern Indian state of
Orissa showed signs of receding, as health officials battled
the spread of disease among the more than 1 million people left homeless.
- Heavy rain caused flooding and mudslides in parts
of West Virginia and Virginia (USA). For some counties, this was the
third time floods hit this month. At least two deaths have been attributed
to the flooding.
- Some 1,300 people in southeastern Poland were
evacuated from their villages early today as the swollen Vistula River
breached a dyke. Floodwaters burst the dyke near Kamien,
about 105 miles from the capital Warsaw. Inhabitants of the nearby
villages of Kepa Gostebcka and Kepa Solecka were evacuated.
Some 25 people have been killed by floods and violent storms in Poland
this month, including 12 since the situation worsened last week.
- Typhoon Toraji swept into Taiwan,
triggering landslides and flooding that killed at least 32 people. Dozens
- A landslide buried part of a village on a remote Indonesian island amid
heavy rains. At least 62 people in Sambulu were killed, and hundreds of
residents were unaccounted for. Authorities
said Sambulu was also hit with flooding Tuesday, and parts of it were
still underwater. The village sits on Nias island, about 780 miles
northwest of the capital, Jakarta. Landslides killed two others south of
the island, near the town of Telukdalam.
World weather news, June 2001
- Strong winds and heavy rain snapped power lines in
Ukraine, cutting off electricity to some 109 towns. Heavy weather struck the western regions of
Khmelnytskyi and Chernivtsi, and the southern Odessa region.
- Today was the warmest June day in nearly half a century across parts of Victoria and Tasmania. In Melbourne, the temperature rose to 20.9°, the
highest reading for June since 1957, while a number of weather stations with shorter periods of record around Melbourne, and on Flinders Island
and Tasmania, set new June highs. A prolonged period of deep northwesterlies has swept warm tropical air over the southeast of the
- Allison, the first tropical storm of the 2001
season, moved ashore in eastern Texas
early Wednesday morning and has now
weakened to a tropical depression with
maximum winds of 35 mph.
- Several long-standing rainfall records for June
were broken in an unusual manner overnight, as
severe thunderstorms raked northern and
central South Australia. Heavy rain is unusual
in June in this area, and tends to fall in rainbands
ahead of frontal systems rather than from active
thunderstorms. Last night, however, after several
days of warm, fairly moist northerlies over the
state, a deep upper low with cold air aloft curled
northeast across the head of the Bight then east
across central northern South Australia.
Other storms brought Whyalla town's 24 hour to
9am total to 58.6mm, the heaviest June one-day
fall in nearly a century of readings. Woomera also
made the record books, its 24 hour total of 48mm
the heaviest in 51 years, and equal to a quarter of
the town's average annual rainfall.
- Monsoon floods sweeping
northeastern Bangladesh have killed at least seven people, made
thousands homeless and disrupted rail and road communications.
- Landslides triggered by heavy rains buried homes
and cars along a highway in northwest Colombia, killing at least four
people and leaving 11 others missing.
- The first tropical storm of the year 2001
came and went swiftly, but grabbed south
Louisiana's attention with torrential rain,
The National Weather Service reported
rainfall ranging from just under half an inch
in Lake Charles to nearly 7.6 inches in the St. Mary Parish city of
Patterson over the 24 hours ending at 1 p.m.
On Wednesday, during the 24-hour period ending at 7 p.m., Baton
Rouge, Kenner and Slidell had measured more than 6 inches of rain.
- Flood-weary southeast
Texas, still recovering from surprise
Tropical Storm Allison earlier this week,
received a second damaging dose of
torrential rain Thursday from remnants of
A storm cell raked the southern and
southwestern parts of the Houston area
early Thursday morning, showering as
much of 11 inches in suburban Sugar Land
and between 5 inches and 10 inches
- Over 35 inches of rain fell around parts of Houston (USA) in 5 days.
The resulting floods killed 20 and caused $1 billion
in damage. Some rainaguges collected 25 inches of rain in 10 hours.
- A drought in North Korea has persisted for 90 days since early
March, reportedly the second longest drought in the country?s history. According to the latest
information released by the Central Forecasting Institute of the Hydrometeorological Bureau of
DPRK, the longest drought was from July 11 - October 11, 1727.
- Flooding caused by a week of
monsoon rains has stranded nearly half a million people, washed away mud embankments and
damaged rice crops in northeast Bangladesh. Nine deaths have reportedly occurred since the flooding
began on June 5th, and schools have been closed in some villages. According to officials at Dhaka?s
Flood Forecast and Warning Center, all the rivers in the region - the Monu, Khowai, and Kushiara -
reportedly burst their banks.
- The AP reported that in Hyberabad in southern India, heavy monsoon rains caused
the wall of an apartment building that was partially under construction to collapse onto a
neighbouring house killing 9 individuals on Tuesday. Several low-lying areas in Hyberabad were
reportedly flooded on Monday as a result of the heavy rains.
- 36 motorists were buried by landslides after torrential rains.
The tragedy occurred around dawn
Tuesday when the avalanche swept over an abandoned shack where the
motorists had set up a campsite after being stranded by smaller landslides
about 30 miles east of the capital, Quito.
- A 12-year-old boy was listed in critical condition after
he and six other people were injured when a tornado struck this
west-central Minnesota town of Benson. In Wisconsin, wind up to 90 mph snapped trees, damaged buildings and
left at least 200,000 people without power. Some were still without
power Tuesday morning. Hail as big as 2.5 inches in diameter hammered
La Crosse County.
- Severe thunderstorms, hail and 72 tornadoes were reported mainly in the midwestern
portion of the U.S. during the two days.
- Dozens of tourists are stranded in the
Australian outback as a result of floods caused by heavy rains that deluged an area the size of Saudi
Arabia. Police reported that heavy rains in 4 states and the Northern Territory, covering a staggering
2 million square kilometers (770,000 square miles) of central Australia, have caused widespread
flooding throughout the outback.
- Tornado-ravaged town of
Siren, Wis., had plenty of notice even
though a warning siren was not
functioning, state and federal officials said
Three people were killed, 16 were injured,
and more than 120 homes and buildings
were damaged or destroyed
by the tornado.
Its winds reached 200 mph, and it cut a
swath 30 miles long and a half-mile wide.
- Nearly two weeks after Allison barged
ashore in Texas, the storm's remnants still
packed a wallop all the way up to
The former tropical storm has become the
nation's costliest. It drenched the South and
killed 48 people. It is expected to pass
through New England today and veer
toward Canada, the National Weather
The hurricane season's first named storm has caused $2 billion in damage
along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. The death toll includes 22 in Texas
and Louisiana, nine in Florida, nine in North Carolina, seven in
Pennsylvania and one in Virginia.
The storm continued to flood homes and snarl traffic this weekend.
In Pennsylvania, 9 inches of rain forced hundreds of people from
their homes. About 50,000 more were without power. Dozens of
motorists were trapped in cars stalled on flooded highways.
Flash floods blocked scores of roads in parts of New Jersey.
Torrential rains caused dozens of accidents in Massachusetts.
Lightning lashed the state and caused two house fires. As much as
5 inches of rain fell in some areas.
- Last winter's deep snow, followed by a cold spring, sapped the sweetness
out of the season for Vermont-area maple syrup producers. Vermont,
the country's leading maple sugar producer, produced 275,000 gallons this
year - down 40% from last year. "It was the second-worst year on
record," says University of Vermont maple specialist Larry Myott, whose
records go back to 1916. Too much snow and a long cold spring
prevented the sap from flowing and kept some producers from sugaring
- Some 1,500 travellers were stranded at Denver International
Airport (USA) after golf ball-size hail knocked nearly 40 planes
out of service. United Airlines had cancelled 125 of its nearly 2,300 daily
flights - a quarter of them due to the problems in Denver, one of its
biggest hubs and at least 32 planes were damaged in the storm, a problem
that would cause delays at other airports
- Rain this month relieved a severe drought in northern China,
but some areas are still so dry that household water use must be limited,
officials said Thursday. The lack of rain has affected 73 million acres of
farmland and at one point left areas that are home to 22.6 million people
without adequate drinking water. In the eastern province of Shandong,
restrictions have been made on personal monthly water usage, and
penalties exist for overusage.
- Tropical storm Chebi killed at least 73 people when it hit
China's southeastern coast late on Saturday after leaving nine dead in
Taiwan. Another 87 people were
missing in coastal Fujian province after the weekend storm. Damage in Fujian was estimated at $425
- Iran continues to suffer from its 3rd consecutive
year of widespread drought, causing a sharp decrease in water resources. The Iranian government
reportedly expects the water crisis to affect 18 of the country's 28 provinces. The levels of the
reservoirs supplying the capital have reportedly dropped by 200 million cubic metres since March,
and water in 3 reservoirs near Tehran have fallen to half of last year's levels due to low
precipitation. People in Tehran as well as the province?s of Kerman, Sistan-Baluchestan, Bushehr,
Isfahan, Khorasan, Fars and Semnan are reportedly suffering.
- A state of emergency was declared in one of
the regions of Yakutia Republic (Russia) after the Indigirka River burst its banks in torrential rains. The river
has reportedly been flooding the settlements of Oimyakon, Tomtor, Orto-Balagan and Yuchgei, and
the Indigirka's level is near critical outside the city of Ust-Nera.
- - A huge dust cloud that originated in the Sahara
Desert has spread into Texas, impairing visibility and reducing air quality,
forecasters said. The dusty veil stretched from Cuba and the eastern coast
of Mexico to South Texas and was expected to reach into
North Texas by Thursday. Air currents can carry volcanic ash, smoke
from forest fires and other matter long distances, including from as far
away as the Sahara Desert, off Africa's west coast, said Skip Ely, a
National Weather Service meteorologist. The clouds can travel halfway
around the world, usually at an altitude of about 10,000 to 12,000 feet.
floods drove thousands from their homes in Accra, Ghana. There were unconfirmed
reports of at least two dead, and thousands of homes were left flooded.
The floods began after five hours of heavy rain, wreaking
havoc in several densely populated, low-income neighbourhoods.
World weather news, May 2001
- he death toll now stands at 65 after a
rain-induced landslide scraped across
southwestern China and destroyed a
nine-story apartment building
Thirty-four people were reported
dead on Wednesday, but the rest of
the bodies were discovered when
soldiers and crews cleared away more of the rubble. Only seven
people are known to have escaped the disaster.
The victims were among 25 families that lived in the apartment
building in the city of Chongqing, Xinhua, the agency reported.
Windsor Locks, Conn., was one of
the hottest Northeast cities on
in the USA, with a high temperature of
88 degrees. Runners, walkers and
roller skaters in New York's Central
Park broke a sweat in the 87-degree
Other record high temperatures for the date include
Central Park (NY) and Newark (NJ) 87F and Burlington (VT) 86F.
- Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan have been
declared drought areas following two years of light monsoon rains.
- Portland, ME reached 92 degrees F which obliterated the old record of 74
degrees F set in 1969. The station also set the warmest low and warmest average with
temperatures of 57 and 75 degrees respectively and erased the old respective marks of 54 in
1949 and 60 in 1942 and 1969. In the 61 years of records at the airport throught May 3rd, 2001
the airport has recorded only 12 maxima of 90 degrees or higher in May. The city office
archive which dates from 1874-1940, recorded just 11 May maxima of 90 degrees or higher
- 22 dead in flash
flooding from monsoon rain in
Thailand today. They've had something like 8 inches
of rain the last 2 days.
There's a tropical system centred around the Andaman
Islands lying just off
the Thai and Myanmar coast providing the moisture.
Other affected areas this
week have been Bangladesh and India (near the Bangladesh
dozens of people have been killed by lightning, collapsing
houses and floods.
- An active trough ahead
of a cold front crossed the Western Australia central and southwestern coasts bringing damaging wind and falls of up to 80mm in a
few hours. General falls of more
than 25mm over the southwest broke a long-running dry spell. The period
from December to April was the driest for 101 years in Bunbury, Busselton,
Boyanup, Collie and Donnybrook, with falls of only a few millimetres.
A marked upper circulation together
with cold upper air increased both instability and convergence over eastern
New South Wales resulting in continuing heavy showers and thunderstorms along
the coast from around Sydney to Rockhampton. A thunderstorm
at Wollongbar produced downdrafts strong enough to unroof a service station and damage
a nearby two-storey block of flats. Hail up to 15cm deep fell in the storm.
- 4,881 buildings, where more than 18,500 people
reside, 17 bridges and 17,800 km of roads were inundated in Russia's Volga and Ural regions. The
most serious situation is reportedly on the Belaya River where the water level is 9.02m, 2m higher
than the critical rate. A total of 3,634 buildings, where 15,058 people live, have reportedly been
flooded in the city of Ufa. In the Republic of Bashkiria, 649 houses have been inundated, and seasonal
drifting of ice has now begun on Siberian rivers.
- Dry conditions
have continued to affect maize production in many countries in southern Africa. The late onset of
rains, and prolonged dry spells in parts of most countries has adversely affected maize production,
while flooding in some parts of the region has also affected maize production in localized areas.
- In Panama at least 775 people were left homeless as a result of
flooded rivers in the western provinces of Boca del Toro. Waters from the Cricamola River and
several tributaries reportedly inundated numerous homes.
- At least 20 individuals have died from malnutrition and hot
weather in parts of India. Temperatures in New Delhi reportedly reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit last week. Power
outages reportedly lasted more than an hour several times a day, and in the northwestern desert
state of Rajasthan - where people are suffering from the third straight year of severe drought -
many people are walking for miles each day to get water. In Pakistan temperatures reached 122F and at least 36 died from the heat over the weekend.
- Two days of heavy flooding in Iran has left at least 32
people dead and 50 injured, an official said Monday. Torrential rains,
which began Sunday afternoon, caused the flooding in the village of
Tazeh-Qalel, about 380 miles northeast of Tehran. Mahmoud Samini, the
deputy governor in the nearby city of Bojnurd, said 200 houses had been
destroyed and 2,500 head of cattle lost.
- Russian scientists announced Tuesday
that thousands of baby seals might
starve to death because of unusually
strong winds in the White Sea. The
researchers believe the winds will be
powerful enough to prevent
Greenland seals from migrating to
better feeding grounds.
- On Puerto Rico more than 1,860 homes have been damaged
island-wide by rains and flooding that
began Sunday night, the State Emergency
Management Agency said.
At least 178 people sought safety Tuesday in shelters in several rural
southwestern towns, it said.
Highways and bridges were underwater in the southwest, and mudslides
and overflowing rivers had destroyed crops and caused roads to buckle.
- A woman was killed Sunday when two successive
bolts of lightning struck a party of hikers in southern Greece. Nine other people from the 19-member group were hurt, one
seriously, and another was missing. The hikers, all coworkers from a
private Greek bank, were stranded for several hours in bad weather on
the slopes of the 7,296-foot Mount Erymanthos before rescue workers
- A blinding flash filled Anthony Marchese's car
Monday in Brookfield, Wisconsin (USA). His rear tires blew into shreds. A rear window shattered. The
horn wouldn't stop blaring. Marchese's car had just been hit by lightning.
Marchese, though, walked away, shaken but unscathed. Police said they found two 6-inch holes in the
pavement where his rear tires had touched the road. The car wasn't so
lucky. It had to be towed.
- Russian helicopters
helped evacuate residents from flooded
homes in eastern Siberia on Thursday, as
fighter jets dropped bombs on ice that is
jamming the Lena River and causing
One Mi-8 helicopter crashed near the town
of Lensk as rescue workers retrieved
people from a roof.
Most houses in Lensk, a town of 27,000, were flooded, and evacuees
were being housed in 14 emergency centres.
The town, in the vast and sparsely populated Yakutia region in eastern
Siberia, remained without electricity or telephone service.
Spring flooding is an annual occurrence in Russia, despite the efforts of
officials to blast ice jams - including the occasional use of fighter jets to
- Hurricane experts from NOAA said the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season is likely
to have normal levels of activity, bringing fewer storms than the past three years.
However, officials advised residents in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states to be prepared for
storms, high winds and flooding throughout the season, which begins June 1. A normal
Atlantic hurricane season typically brings eight to 11 tropical storms, of which five to seven
reach hurricane strength, with two to three classified as major.
- Heavy rain in the western state of Michoacan (Mexico) caused flooding and prompted two lions at a local circus to
escape their cages. About 50 people
were left homeless when their wood and cardboard shacks collapsed or
were flooded by rain and heavy winds near Cuitzeo. The lions caused panic among
residents before police and circus workers subdued and returned the
in the Siberian region of Yakutia
has eased after Russian bombers
blasted a massive ice jam.
The jets rained explosives on the
29 km plug of ice on the
Lena river that has caused the
worst flooding the region has seen
for 100 years.
Water levels in Yakutsk had receded from a
record high of 9.17 metres to 8.87 metres after the aerial onslaught.
- Lake Okeechobee, the backup reservoir for Florida's heavily populated east coast, has dropped to just 9 feet above
sea level - the lowest level on record - and keeps falling with every
passing day. The four-year drought that has reduced the water level is
only the latest stress on the nation's second-largest freshwater lake.
- South Korea said that it would spend an
additional $7.7 million to fight a prolonged drought threatening the rice
harvest. The dry spell began in March and is also affecting impoverished
North Korea. Since the start of the year, South Korea has received only
8.4 inches of rain, one third below average.
- Still suffering from the effects of a massive
earthquake, western India on Thursday alerted the armed forces to
prepare for a severe cyclone building up in the Arabian Sea. The severe
cyclone, with winds in excess of 120 mph, was over the Arabian Sea 350
miles south of Veeraval. Forecasters with the Ahmadabad Weather
Bureau is expecting the storm to intensify as it approaches the Indian
coast on Saturday.
- An intense storm hit southern Chile and left two individuals dead
and approximately 400 homeless, while cutting off more than 2,000 from the rest of country.
Heavy rains and powerful winds reportedly caused rivers to overflow, blocked bridges and
roadways, and forced authorities to close down several ports.
- Media reports indicate that severe heat since early May continues in Pakistan. The central
and southern regions are the worst affected with 80 deaths reported. In the Sindh province in
central Pakistan the River Indus has nearly dried up and no significant rains have fallen for
almost 1 year. According to official sources the losses to livestock are reportedly more than
247 million dollars, and crops have also been lost. A serious drought also affected the same
provinces from November 1999 to July 2000, leaving 143 dead, 1.09 million affected, 2.48 million
livestock killed and crops destroyed
- Florida is in its 4th year of its
worst drought since record keeping began. Rainfall is reportedly 50-60in below normal over the
4-year period. According to state forestry officials, the state has
reportedly had 2,844 wildfires burning across 254,500 acres so far this year. As of Wednesday, May
30th, 184 wildfires were burning in the state.
It's the end of May, and Vermont
residents are talking about the snow
that fell over their communities last
About a half an inch of snow
accumulated around the state at
elevations of 2,000 feet and above.
Two inches fell at Mount Mansfield
and on Smuggler's Notch. Three inches piled up across the border at
New Hampshire's Mount Washington. Snowfall is rare at this time of the year in Vermont.
- Media reports indicate that a prolonged dry spell in the Arua District (Uganda) is
threatening to affect the season's crop harvest. The worst hit counties are reportedly Madi Okollo
and Terego, and the crops most likely to be the worst affected are beans and maize.
- Adolph, located over the eastern Pacific west of the Mexico, weakened
from a hurricane to a tropical storm. The once
powerful storm is forecast to weaken over the weekend over the cooler
waters of the Eastern Pacific. At one time on Tuesday, the storm had
winds faster than 145 mph. Adolph was the first hurricane of the Eastern
World weather news, April 2001
- A thunderstorm hit Sydney's east
on April 2nd, damaging buildings and bringing down trees. The worst damage was to Maroubra Surf
Club on Marine Parade and St. Spyridon High School on Anzac Parade.
- NW Kauai got a pounding by a cluster of
thunderstorms. About 3 inches of rain fell in some areas from noon to 3
p.m. Monday, causing flooding in streets in Waimea and resulted in the
closing of both Kuhio and Kaumualii highways for short periods. The
Waimea River pushed through the sandbar at its mouth and was filled
with debris. There were no reports of serious property damage or homes
flooded, although some businesses had to mop out their storefronts.
- Despite a fierce blizzard that shut down
major highways, halted air travel and closed schools, snowplough
operators were among 19,000 public workers on strike Wednesday in
Canada's eastern province of Newfoundland. Snow, freezing rain and
winds gusting to 62 mph have pelted the province since Sunday. The
union has agreed to free 61 snowplough operators from picket duty to clear
the roads. Normally 200 plows would do the job.
- Five farmers, including two sisters, were killed by a
lightning strike in southern Vietnam, an official said Thursday. The
victims were killed when a lightning bolt from a monsoon thunderstorm
struck their thatched shelter, said local officials in the Kien Giang
province, about 155 miles southwest of Ho Chi Minh City. Accidents
involving lightning are frequent during the rainy season, which starts this
- At least 7 people have died and 9 remain missing after a fierce snowstorm hit most parts of
Mongolia between April 7th and 9th. Five people reportedly died in Malchin county of Uvs province.
Zamuun-Uud was reportedly hit by both snow and sandstorms on Monday, and Khovd was also
struck by a sandstorm.
- Lightning killed a man in western Ohio and a tornado damaged homes
and knocked down trees in northeast Ohio as a powerful series of storms
moved across the state. In northeast Ohio, a
tornado swept through Lowellville, damaging two homes, two garages
and a business and knocked down numerous trees and utility lines. No
injuries were reported. The weather service said hail ranging in size from
1 inch to 2 inches fell across parts of Ohio, including Kettering near
Dayton and Wooster and Canton in northeast Ohio. Some stations
reported gusts of 85 mph.
- Heavy rainfall is possible in the Grand Forks area Wednesday and will
add to the flooding near the Red River, which is already swollen from
melting snow. The Red River was expected to crest up to 50 feet by
Thursday, perilously close to the calamitous 54.35-foot level of 1997.
- Cuba's eastern and central regions have been
suffering from one of the worst droughts in a decade for months. The on-going drought
has forced authorities to adopt a series of measures to protect water supplies as well as crops
and livestock. The drought has brought reservoirs in the
province of Camaguey to their lowest levels in 5 years. The provinces of Tunas and
Guantanamo have registered below-average rain levels for the region, and currently only 9%
of the cultivated farmland is being irrigated
- Below normal
precipitation in the province of Saskatchewan is causing uncertainty regarding what to seed this
spring. Accumulated winter precipitation (November 1, 2000 to March 31, 2001) was well below
normal for most of the province, excluding the southeastern and east-central areas.
- At least 11 individuals
died and more than 1,000 were displaced in Luanda (Angola) over the weekend following torrential rains that
hit the city hard on Saturday. Eight people reportedly died in Boavista District when their homes
collapsed due to a landslide triggered by the heavy rains.
- The Mississippi River (USA) kept residents in river
basin areas on alert as it slowly swept out of its banks and threatened to become the highest
flood crest on record in spots. A 403-mile stretch of the river from Muscatinem, Iowa, to
Minneapolis was closed to boat and barge traffic, and nine counties in western Wisconsin were
under a state of emergency.
- In Zimbabwe, a total of 109 lives have reportedly been lost as a result
of the floods - 71 in the province of Zambezia, 28 in Tete, 6 in Sofala and 4 in Manica.
The number of people now in accommodation centres is estimated at
225,075, and the total number of affected people is 461,811. Provincial authorities in Sofala have
reportedly estimated that $1.5 million is needed to rehabilitate roads and bridges
damaged by the floods.
- Satellites have tracked a huge dust storm that started in Mongolia earlier in
April, then picked up industrial pollution from China and spread westward across the
Pacific. The haze that has been
reported over various parts of the United States and Canada this week has been traced to Asian origins between the 6th and 9th April. The storm spread
a haze across parts of the U.S. and Canada. The whitish haze has reportedly been seen from
Calgary, Alberta to Arizona, to the East Coast, levels of particulate matter in places have
- Florida's drought - the worst in a century in some parts -
has cost farmers $574 million in the last four years. Even the state's citrus industry has
suffered from the drought, losing $82 million over the past 4 years.
- Two years of drought and record low snowfalls are
severely affecting northern Pakistan. The previously abundant Indus River is reportedly now only a
trickle in some places, causing fishing to be decimated and farmland to become parched.
- - Flooding caused by heavy rains pounding western
Brazil killed at least 13 people and left more than 10 missing. The rains have not let up since the beginning of week
and have flooded several neighborhoods in Cuiaba, about 700 miles
northwest of Brasilia, and many residents had to be rescued by helicopter
- In Finland the highest temperatures were Mikkeli 23.8C (25th) and Joensuu 23C (26th). Absolute maximum on record for the whole of Finland in April is 25.5C. Also, 25C was reached in St. Petersburg in Russia on 25th.
- At least 21 individuals died, more than 100 were injured and many are
missing following a series of storms that hit parts of Bangladesh on the weekend.
The tropical storms with winds up to 50mph also damaged homes and paddy crops.
- April 2001 is now the wettest April ever at Brussels Uccle in a record going
back to 1833.
131 mm rain has fallen so far - beating the 130 mm recorded in April 1903.
Belgian market gardeners and the building industry are encountering problems
because of the wet weather. Many building projects are behind schedule.
Rainfall in the first 4 months of the year has been well above normal.
- Heavy rains and flooding have caused extensive damage in southern Angola, particularly the
provinces of Benguela, Cunene, Huila and Namibe. Bridges over the Beiro and Giraul Rivers in
the Namibe province collapsed and the railroad connection between part of Namibe and Huila
province has been cut, severely affecting the transportation of humanitarian assistance.
World weather news, March 2001
- Las Palmas, the capital of Grand Canaria recorded its highest March
temperature for 45 years. The maximum temperature was reported as 30.5C, almost 9C above the
average of 21.7C and beating the previous known extreme of 30.0C.
- Northeast USA was blasted by sleet, snow, rain and biting wind Tuesday
and early Wednesday as a powerful storm brought 2 feet of snow to
interior New England. Strong winds and high tides caused flooding along
the Massachusetts coast, forcing voluntary evacuations of Scituate,
Plymouth, Lynn and Hull on Tuesday morning.
- Arguably the remotest settlement in Australia began evacuating today as flooding and continuing rain from ex-Tropical Cyclone Abigail made
living conditions impossible. The settlement or Kiwirrkurra is located in the Gibson Desert of WA, 450km NW of Uluru, and in an area devoid of
rain gauges. Areas to the north and northeast have recorded more than 200mm in the past week as the remarkably robust remnants of Abigail have
slowly arced through western NT and central eastern WA. Warburton, several hundred kilometres south of Kiwirrkurra, recorded 108mm in the 24
hours to 9pm today, while Giles Met Station reported 72mm in the 24 hours to 9am today.
- An avalanche has trapped about 200 people in vehicles on a
Siberian highway and at least two people died from carbon monoxide
poisoning as they tried to keep warm in their truck, officials said
Wednesday. Officials said more victims might be found in buried vehicles
as road crews clear the highway, the Interfax news agency reported. The
avalanche occurred along 2-miles of highway in the Yermakov district,
about 2,100 miles east of Moscow. Record snowfalls have hit Moscow and
other Russian regions over the past month.
- Gusty winds and dry vegetation are feeding
wildfires across the mountain near the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
More than 400 firefighters and national guardsmen and a water-dropping
helicopter are struggling to contain the blazes, which spread rapidly
through the foothills north of Caracas' San Bernardino and La Palmita
neighborhoods. Wildfires were reported throughout the roughly 14-mile
length of the Caribbean coastal range north of Caracas
- Tens of thousands of people are being evacuated in
Ukraine, Hungary and Romania, as floods, fuelled by
heavy rain and melting snow, sweep through farmland
In Hungary, officials have declared a state of emergency
as they battle to rescue about 25,000 people from villages
along the river Tisza, in the north east of the country.
In Romania, officials say the
floods have damaged many
homes and bridges, and left
a vast area of farmland
under water. Some 4,000
Romanians have been
moved to safety.
The government in
Ukraine - where four
people have died - has
appealed for international
- The rain-swollen Tisza River, which rose to 25 feet at the
village of Zahony (Hungary), reached its highest level in 100 years on Friday. The previous record, set on March
15th, 1888, was less than half an inch lower. More than 30,000
individuals have fled their homes in two dozen villages, 65 square miles of land have been inundated
and 136 houses in the northeast region have collapsed.
- In Mozambique the death toll as a result of flooding has reached 75. The floods have affected
approximately 490,000 individuals, and 81,000 people have been displaced. In addition, at least 183
primary schools have been forced to close. The
floods have severely damaged the road network, and since mid-January, 8,260 people have been
evacuated from dangerous areas.
- Flooding in the Ukraine has forced more than 11,000 individuals
to flee their homes and has caused 6 deaths. More than 32,000 homes in 240 villages have reportedly
been hit by floodwaters from the Tisza River in the Transcarpathian mountain range, and more than
1,200 homes have been destroyed. The area was declared a disaster zone today, and
electricity, gas and drinking water have been cut off in some areas.
- Widespread thunderstorms developed in a trough lying north/south through central New South Wales, bringing some heavy rain and electrical
activity. Breeza Station, 50km WSW of Tamworth, reportedly received 116mm between 8 and 11.30pm. Many centres in the state's Central West and in the north of the SW Slopes and Southern Tablelands recorded
between 25 and 70mm in the storms. Dubbo recorded 26.8mm in the hour to 7am.
- Severe storms, including at least one tornado, lashed the Florida
Panhandle and southwestern Georgia (USA) early
in the day, killing one person,
injuring more than a dozen others and toppling trees and mobile homes.
- The governor of Washington State (USA) has
issued a drought emergency, making
state funds available to help farmers
and fishermen who may be facing the
driest year on record.
The snow pack in the Pacific
Northwest is below average, and the
region has not received the drenching
late winter rains that help boost river levels and feed reservoirs.
This is already the worst drought in our state since 1977.
- Heavy snow and strong E winds affected parts of North Germany and South
Denmark and Sweden on Monday.
In the German States of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern there
were serious traffic holdups and more than 500 road accidents - leading to 3
deaths. Many schools there and in Denmark were closed for the day. The
catamaran ferry between Trelleborg in Sweden and Rostock in Germany was
In Germany Flensburg reported 16 cm snow and Eggebek 18 cm.
- 13 of Malawi's 27 districts have been affected by heavy
rains and flooding. Approximately 334,985 individuals have reportedly been affected and 14 deaths
have resulted. The southern region is the worst affected, especially Nsanje and Chikwawa where
125,000 and 62,500 people have been affected respectively. In addition, parts of these districts
reportedly remain inaccessible.
In the Western Australia Kimberley area, a monsoon-trough low that has been hovering offshore from Broome since Sunday gave Derby Airport 101mm in the 3 hours to midnight this morning, and a 24-hour to 9am total of 152mm. This is 30mm higher than the station's previous March record.
Flat, a truck stop on the Tanami Road from
Alice Springs to Wyndham WA, 171mm fell
solidly over the 12 hour period to 9 this morning
for a 24-hour total of 183mm, breaking the
station's previous all-time one-day record of
139.7mm set on 2 February 1973. Unfortunately,
the new automatic weather station at Flat
Rabbit, as it is sometimes known, was not
reporting, but the manual gauge readings gave
137mm over 9 hours to 6am and a further 34mm
- Rain-swollen rivers burst
their banks, flooding several villages,
overflowing town centers and blocking
roads Wednesday in northeast and central
The area around Paris was particularly
hard-hit as the Seine flooded towns and
villages. Residents in many areas were
forced to move around in boats.
River traffic was disrupted, roads along the
Seine were shut and the tip of the Ile de la
Cite, the capital's historic island center, was
In central France, 18 villages around the
city of Lyon were flooded as the
Rhone-Saone River burst its banks. In the
town of Macon to the north, people walked gingerly along hastily
constructed wooden boardwalks above swirling floodwaters.
Other affected regions included Calvados in the north, Meuse and
Haute-Marne in the east and Saone-et-Loire in the center.
- It's costing more money than anticipated to keep
Vermont's roads clear during this unusually snowy winter, prompting
Agency of Transportation officials to ask the Legislature for more
money. The highway maintenance division expects to spend $18 million
on salt, sand and plowing by the end of the season, said Director David
Dill. ''In the past 15 years,'' he said, ''there were only two years when we
exceeded $14 million.'' Lawmakers have indicated they would help the
transportation agency pay its unexpected bills. Dill said the extraordinary
winter maintenance program ate into money needed for spring
maintenance. The winter's harsh weather is expected to produce a host of
spring maintenance problems - such as potholes, frost heaves and
- In southern Italy temperatures reached over 30C: Lamezia Terme 301°C; Amendola and Messina 32.0C; Catania 34.2C; Palermo 34.7C.
- The hottest March weather on record has persisted through
most of the last few days in Greece, with sirocco winds blowing hot air up
from the Sahara desert in Africa. According to Greek meteorologists, this is the hottest March in Greece, since 1897. On the island of Ikaria, forest fires have already destroyed several hectares of woodland and firemen are fighting at least 25 other outbreaks in various other parts of central Greece.
In Larissa 33C was recorded, Thessaloniki 32C, Lamia 32C, Tripoli 31C.
- Following heavy rains further flooding submerged more of
western and northern France. Hundreds of people were reportedly evacuated from
their homes in Brittany and Normandy overnight - some for the fourth time in as many months - as
a number of rivers burst their banks submerging roads, railways and fields. In Paris, roads along the
Seine remained deep under water, and parts of Ile de la Cite resembled Venice. Boats were also
unable to ply the river, with fast-flowing water almost touching some city center bridge spans. The
March rains have reportedly reached three times the average level.
- Erie, Pa. (USA) has received 144.9
inches of snow fall since October, the most snow for any winter since
records began in the city in 1847. On Saturday, Burlington, Vt. set its
snowiest March on record with 43.7 inches and fourth snowiest winter on
record with a total of 116 inches, so far. This winter was the second
snowiest in Buffalo, N.Y. with a total of 157.8 inches.
- A tornado roared through Pakistan's eastern
Punjab province Wednesday, killing four people, injuring dozens more
and destroying 100 homes, a government official said. The tornado
heavily damaged Chak Miran, a village of several hundred homes about
120 miles southeast of Islamabad. The tornado struck during the first
heavy rains to hit this parched nation of 140 million people in nearly one
- A tornado carved through the western
town of Greymouth early Wednesday, ripping roofs off houses,
destroying greenhouses and tearing down trees. There were no injuries.
The tornado struck before dawn, roaring through the town in just 30
seconds, leaving some properties looking like bomb sites, Greymouth
mayor Kevin Brown said. At least half a dozen families in the town 250
miles southwest of the capital, Wellington, were forced from homes
wrecked by the wind or flooded by burst water pipes.
- Thousands of houses and hundreds of
hectares of paddy fields in East Java have become inundated following a week of incessant rains in
Central and East Java. The floods have reportedly affected a number of sub districts in Bojonegoro in
the western part of East Java. The worst hit area is the Cemungklung village, Kalitidu sub district,
where floodwaters inundated villager's houses to a height of 0.5m on Monday.
- Some 6 million people in southern Florida have been forced to
meet stringent water use restrictions in a region more accustomed to
floods than withering drought. Gripped by the worst drought in the state
in a century, water managers have issued cuts in lawn watering and
residential car washing.
World weather news, February 2001
- Every February 2nd crowds gather at Gobbler's Knob, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A
groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, burrowed inside his heated simulated tree trunk was pulled
into the limelight once again. A pre-dawn fireworks display helped to ignite (hopefully not
literally!) the crowd that has gathered in anticipation of Phil's forecast. Phil saw his shadow
and predicted six more weeks of winter weather
- Continuous torrential rains led to massive floods that
inundated thousands of homes in North Sulawesi. In Jember, East Java province,
heavy rains on Saturday and Sunday reportedly caused the Manyang River to overflow, which then
led to flooding of several villages in several districts.
- An avalanche struck three skiers in Italy's Alps on
Sunday, killing one of them. Also on Sunday, a snowboarder was killed in
a avalanche in Austria. The avalanche in Turan killed a 26-year-old
Italian man. Another avalanche in Italy buried four skiers, but they were
able to dig themselves out. Also on Sunday, a German snowboarder was
killed in Austria just northwest of Innsbruck. Heavy snow followed by
thaws over the last two days have made large areas of the Alps prone to
- Weeks of rain, the heaviest to hit Bolivia in recent
years, have driven thousands from their homes across the country. News reports said at least 20 people have been
killed. Crop damage is in the
millions of dollars and thousands of houses were damaged beyond repair.
Classes have been suspended in several major cities where schools were
damaged or were being used to shelter the homeless.
- A fierce storm with giant hailstones and wind gusts of up to 62 mph hit the Australian city of Casino in the north of New South Wales on Tuesday night, injuring at least six people. The storm swept through the city, ripping down telephone and electrical lines and toppling trees. Roofs were torn from numerous homes, as well as a local hospital and several nursing homes. The hailstones were described as being as large as softballs. The storm followed another a day earlier which tore through Sydney, prompting officials to declare many parts of the region natural disaster areas.
- A winter storm that has buried much of the
Northeast in heavy snow continued to pummel New England early
today, with parts of New Hampshire seeing up to 5 inches of snow an
hour. The powerful weather system dropped as much as 3 feet of snow in
parts of the state, and blanketed other sections of New England with
- Persistent rain over the last several weeks is
causing floods in central Mozambique and is forcing residents to flee their
homes. Over 25,000 people have been displaced. Disaster officials with
the government expect the flooding to get worst as the country enters
the height of the rainy season. The country, which suffered through
devastating floods a year ago that killed 700 people, has asked
neighboring South Africa to provide an air force cargo plane to transport
relief supplies to the flooded city of Quelimane, the provincial capital
- The Siberian winter, which climatologically arrives in October and lasts through May, has been
unusually severe so far this season. The region has experienced its harshest winter weather in
decades. Some areas reportedly had mid January temperatures as low as -94F in the
Kemerovo region, some 1800 miles east of Moscow. If those temperatures are accepted as
official, this would be a new record low for the continent of Asia. The old record of -90F was
set at both Oimekon and Verkhoyansk, in Siberia in 1892 and 1933 respectively. According to
the Disaster Relief Organization , the burn unit of the Irkutsk City Clinical Hospital, which
treats both burn and frostbite patients, has been especially busy. Since the beginning of the
year, 154 people have been treated for frostbite, and five have died.
- A winter storm killed 11 individuals on
Quebec (Canada) roads and left 260,000 others without power. Five individuals reportedly died on the 9th in
a series of crashes following freezing rain that left the roads in treacherous condition, while 6 people
died on the 10th in traffic accidents caused by strong winds gusting at 120 km/h. Winds also
knocked down poles, trees and power lines, and in Montreal the winds reportedly tore a piece of
brick façade from an apartment building, leaving approximately 30 individuals homeless for the next
few days. The winds were reportedly also responsible
for major delays at both the Montreal and Quebec City international airports, and the Laviolette
Bridge in Trois-Riveres and the Pierre Laporte Bridge in Quebec City were temporarily closed due to
falling ice left over from the freezing rainstorm on Friday.
- Winds gusting up to 66 mph blew down trees and caused power cuts
across Maine (USA). About 35,000 customers were without power
in the late afternoon, according to Central Maine Power.
- At least 94 people died, and thousands were left homeless,
after a weekend of torrential rains triggered floods and landslides in the
western Indonesia region of Java. Most of those who died were reportedly buried in the
landslides, while others were swept away by floodwaters. The floodwaters inundated at least
19 districts in Java, and most of the victims were reported in the hard hit area of Lebak.
- The heaviest snowfall in three decades to hit
Seoul forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled or delayed, blocked roads
and stopped some ferry services. The Korea Meteorological
Administration said snowfall in Seoul reached 9 inches, the most since 10
inches fell on 28 January 1969. Several roads in and around Seoul were also
blocked, but the nation's other airports were operating normally as the
snowfall concentrated on the northwestern region. South Korea also
issued marine storm warnings. Nineteen of the nation's 102 coastal ferry
routes were temporarily stopped because of the storm.
- Severe flooding in Chile's desert north
has washed away homes and
possessions and halted transportation
into neighboring Peru and Bolivia.
The Lluta and San Jose rivers burst
their banks Friday morning,
destroying nearly everything in their
path from the Andes to the Pacific
Ocean. Initial estimates put the damage to infrastructure and crops
at $8.9 million. That does not include the $2 million a day in lost
trade with Bolivia or the expense of rebuilding and compensating
The Chilean government has declared the region around the city of
Arica a disaster zone and will make aid available. Many residents of
the region have lost all of their crops for the year and had their
irrigation pipelines destroyed.
The Lluta, normally about 60 meters wide, is currently 600 meters
wide in some places. Every bridge across the river has been
destroyed. The Army is constructing temporary bridges to
reconnect Arica with Tacna, Peru via the Pan-American Highway.
Arica is located near the Atacama Desert, considered the driest in
the world. There are places in the Atacama where no rainfall has
ever been recorded.
- A blinding snowstorm caused several large car
pilups, including one involving 120 vehicles, across Virginia (USA).
The 120 car pileup occurred on Interstate 95 about 40 miles south of
Washington around 11 a.m. More than 100 people were taken to a shelter
at an elementary school nearby, and people stuck in traffic were urged to
leave their vehicles and walk to exit ramps, where they could catch rides
to the shelters. The inclement weather is also being blamed for a 20 car
pileup on southbound Interstate 81 in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Four
vehicles caught fire and another spilled an unidentified hazard chemical in
- Mozambique is making a new appeal for $30m as the
country faces renewed flooding that has so far killed 41
people and forced thousands from their homes.
The appeal comes as the country is still struggling to
recover from last year's devastating flooding which left
700 Mozambicans dead and 500,000 homeless.
Heavy rains have been falling since last month,
swelling rivers, particularly in Mozambique's central
- A violent tornado cut a 23-mile path across Pontotoc County, in
northern Mississippi. The tornado killed five people with hundreds injured and the storm
damaged more than 360 homes. Crews using chain saws cut through toppled trees to reach
homes and downed power lines, but it could be days before services are restored to the
- Three small northwest Illinois (USA) towns are partially
under water as the Rock River backed up behind a
7-mile-long ice jam that plugged the stream. Nearly 200 people have left their homes in
Cleveland, Barstow and Osborn, but there are still a few people staying in
their homes. Although water receded a few inches Wednesday,
forecasters with the National Weather Service warn that Moline, a town
downstream, could be in danger when the ice jam melts or breaks.
- Thunderstorms producing multiple lightning strikes
injured one worker and damaged several houses, as heavy rain pounded
the Dallas-Fort Worth (USA) area. A construction worker was struck by
lightning as he was working atop a home in southeast Plano. He was
reported in critical condition. At least two houses in Fort Worth,
two in Keller and one in Southlake were also struck by lightning.
World weather news, January 2001
- New Year's Day simply meant another day of work for crews working
to restore power to Oklahomans who have been without electricity for
a week following a Christmas Day ice storm.
A fresh coating of snow rung in the new year, affecting celebrations
and making travel more difficult.
The number of homes and businesses without power declined to about
- Heavy snowfall brought down power lines in
northeast Poland, cutting electricity to some 12,000 homes. Up to 40cm of
snow reportedly fell overnight Sunday, and into Monday morning. The most amount of snow fell
around the town of Suwalki.
- A blizzard that hit northern China has killed 20 people, with
thousands more snowed in and cut off from food supplies. Four others remain missing in the vast Inner Mongolia region
since the storm hit on New Year's Day, according to local government
offices in Xilingol. Up to 14 inches of snow, some of it mixed with sand
blown into the atmosphere from the Gobi Desert, fell in arid Inner
Mongolia, blocking roads and disrupting communications.
- November-December 2000 has entered the record books as the coldest
such two-month period in the USA since records began in 1895. With an
average temperature of 33.8F, the two-month period surpasses
the old record of 34.2F in 1898, according the National Climatic Data
Center. After experiencing its second-coldest
November on record, the nation had its seventh-coldest December.
During this period, 43 states recorded below-average temperatures.
- Temperatures dipped to 16F as Florida's worst
cold spell in 11 years slid into its third week and farmers looked at
extensive damage to sugarcane, tomatoes and other crops. U.S. Sugar
Corp. said many of its 420,000 acres of sugar cane in Palm Beach and
Hendry counties may be lost. The multimillion-dollar citrus industry has
fared better. Some
growers actually sprayed their citrus crops with water to freeze them to
protect them from more damaging cold air. Thursday was the coldest
night of the winter so far in Florida and the Panhandle recorded its
coldest December in a decade. Farmers in southwest Florida, the state's
largest tomato growing region, reported extensive damage.
- Coast Guard icebreakers are busier than usual clearing paths for
freighters on the Great Lakes (USA) and other waterways because of
earlier-than-normal cold across the Midwest. The 290-foot U.S. Coast
Guard Mackinaw - the largest icebreaker on the Great Lakes - and the
140-foot Neah Bay have been busy keeping shipping lanes open across
large portions of lakes Michigan, Erie and Huron already frozen over.
They have also been used to keep open the Detroit River at the mouth
of Lake Erie and the St. Clair that links lakes Eire and Huron. Coast
Guard veterans are calling this year the worst for ice on the Great Lakes
- A cold wave severe even by Russians' hardy standards has
settled in over western Siberia and the Far East. Temperatures of -70F set a record in the
Kemerovo region about 1,800 miles east of Moscow, while temperatures
in much of the rest of Russia east of the Ural Mountains were around
-40F. The cold wave, which is expected to last several more days,
has put a strain on Russia's power plants and heating stations, which
often suffer from poor maintenance and slim fuel supplies
- An avalanche swept two Italian climbers to their
deaths. Search teams found the two bodies
under piles of snow and ice that formed overnight in the Val Daone.
Weather this year has been especially treacherous, with heavy rain
alternating with snow and snap freezes. In eastern Switzerland, rescue teams were searching for the
occupants of at least two cars believed to have been buried on Sunday when
an avalanche crashed down on a high Alpine road. The Swiss
meteorological service said the Engadine region has seen 16 to 27 inches
of new snow this weekend.
- Heavy snow left tens of thousands of tourists
and students stranded at an airport on a South Korean island. More than 60 domestic flights from
the airport on Cheju island off the southern coast were cancelled after up
to 17 inches of snow blanketed South Korea. Hundreds of domestic
flights from Seoul's Kimpo airport were cancelled while some
international flights were delayed for hours. The Korea Meteorological
Administration said the snowfall in Seoul was 6 inches.
- Black ice affected many roads in the Netherlands during the morning rush hour - leading to the deaths of 7 people in accidents.
- A wet day in parts of California: Chatsworth 4.70ins (prervious record for the day 1.24ins, 1980), UCLA campus 5.12ins (1.63ins, 1980), Pasadena 3.65ins (1.22ins, 1995).
- Kenya's meteorological office said it had recorded 128 mm of rain in nine hours. Heavy rain has been falling on Nairobi for most of this month, and
it was the wettest January's in 40 years. Meteorologists
said a cyclone off the east African coastline combined with a pressure gradient caused by
extremely low pressure over the Indian Ocean and high pressure over the Atlantic had caused
the unseasonable rainfall. Kenya is only just beginning to recover from one of the worst
droughts in its history, and substantial rain had not been expected until March.
- The severe drought in western
and parts of southern Sudan has caused at least 900,000 individuals to be at risk of famine. Wells
have reportedly dried up due to lack of rain in northern Darfur, and the water table is very low.
- Rescuers battled gale-force winds Monday with
fading hopes of finding survivors from an ambulance helicopter that
plunged into the sea with five people aboard. The helicopter went down
during a fierce storm near Cape Sounion, about 45 miles
southeast of Athens, while transporting a heart patient to Athens from
the island of Patmos. The storm brought torrential rain, causing
power cuts in Athens and widespread flooding. At least eight
people were killed in traffic accidents, two people drowned, and an
8-year-old girl who fell into the sea was still missing by Monday.
- Flash floods killed two people and drove at
least 12,000 others from their homes in the central Philippines. The Balugo River and
tributaries overflowed their banks and flooded much of Silay city and
nearby villages. At least two bridges collapsed and most roads were
impassable in Silay, 280 miles southeast of Manila, where 90% of the
city centre reportedly was underwater Monday morning.
- One man was killed and at least 27 people were
injured as a wild storm lashed Australia's east coast, uprooting trees,
peeling roofs off homes and smashing windows. It was the third major
storm to hit eastern Australia in the past 10 days, each one causing
extensive property damage. About 60,000 homes
were blacked out by the storm in Brisbane. Gusts up to 60 mph
extensively damaged many buildings. Flooding was also reported in
parts of Sydney.
- A snowstorm on Sunday blanketed the New
York area in up to 8 inches of snow. Significant delays and cancellations reportedly occurred at JFK,
LaGuardia and Newark airports as a result, and a bus travelling from Atlantic City, NJ to New York
reportedly flipped over injuring some 35 passengers, some severely.
- The worst drought in 30 years continues to affect
Afghanistan. According to the UN, the drought and fighting in Afghanistan have driven more than
100,000 people to flee to Pakistan in the past 5 months.
- Sixteen people died of hypothermia in Moscow over the past
week and 114 were hospitalized because of the cold. A total of 104 have died of hypothermia in the capital since Oct.
10. Of those recently hospitalized, 21 suffered from frostbite and one was
struck by a falling icicle.
- At least 5 individuals were killed during a four
and a half hour storm that included heavy rains and hail. The storm pounded Buenos
Aires and the surrounding area, and the Argentine weather bureau reported
that 145.2mm of rain fell on Buenos Aires during the storm. Road traffic, plane, railway
and subway services were all reportedly disrupted, and approximately 270,000 homes suffered from
- Wet roads and foggy conditions Friday caused multiple
chain-reaction crashes as a cold winter storm dumped rain and snow
across parts of Southern California. In Cajon Pass through the mountains
northeast of Los Angeles, motorists were stranded through the morning
when about 40 vehicles were involved in several crashes. Dense fog
slashed visibility to just a few feet and light snowfall made the road
- In Kabul (Afghanistan) the
heaviest snowfall in three years brought the promise of relief
from a devastating drought. An estimated 8 inches of snow fell overnight
in Kabul. The snowfall,
which began Tuesday, was welcomed by Afghanistan's farmers, who have
struggled through the country's worst drought in 30 years. Freezing
weather Monday night was blamed for at least 110 deaths in refugee
camps in western Afghanistan.
- At least 8 people and approximately 500,000
animals have died in Mongolia since November as a result of winter storms and temperatures as low
as -50C. Mongolia is reportedly suffering from one of its worst disasters in many decades.
If you have a snippet of weather news that you feel merits inclusion, then please feel free to email it to me.
Last updated 12 December 2001.