Tempest, fire and flood - European weather of 2007 - a powerpoint presentation given at the 88th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society, 22 January 2008, at New Orleans, Louisiana.
Tempest, fire and flood - European weather of 2007 - PDF version of the above presentation.
World weather news
World weather news, December 2007
- On Sunday night Darwin (Australia) endured its hottest night for more than 20 years, and its equal hottest night on record. The minimum temperature recorded at Darwin Airport was 29.7C. The previous occurrences of such hot nights occurred on 25 November 1987 and 19 December 1985.
A complex weather pattern, including a deep heat-low south of the Top End, contributed to the persistent westerly winds over western Top End.
The deep heat-low has also created a pattern suitable for hot days over large parts of the Territory, with hot northeasterly winds ahead of it. Several stations throughout the Territory have recorded their hottest December day, while Tennant Creek, Wave Hill and Ali Curung recorded their hottest day ever.
- Emergency crews sought to rescue people stranded by floods and mop up damage after hurricane-force winds and a rain storm swept through Washington and Oregon.
The states reported seven storm-related deaths, while Oregon and Washington remained under a state of emergency after gusting winds and pounding rain triggered landslides and floods and toppled powerlines and trees.
A series of storms started over the weekend and soaked the Pacific Northwest. Wind gusts of more than 100 mph were reported along the Oregon coast, with the highest reading at 129 mph at Bay City.
In Seattle, where the storm was less severe, four inches of rain fell during a 24-hour period on Monday.
Vernonia, Oregon, a small city located in a valley near the Nehalem River on the western part of the state, was underwater after getting 11 inches of rain during the storm.
- Violent snow and rain storms have been pummelling much of eastern and western Canada over the weekend. St John's (Newfoundland) was plunged into darkness on Sunday evening after two days of harsh weather cut power across the region. With snow swirling in winds estimated at over 50mph.
Elsewhere 10 to 20cm of snow combined with brisk northeast winds are expected in Montréal and the forecast calls for more snow in Toronto.
Recent winters have been milder than usual and so the cold start to December has come as a bit of a surprise. On Friday, Environment Canada forecast an unusually cold winter for much of the country for the first time in more than a decade. La Nina is said to be the cause.
- A winter storm that wreaked havoc on the Upper Midwest began its snowy assault on the Eastern USA.
Drivers in much of the region had to navigate a mix of rain, sleet and snow as the storm - which was blamed for at least 17 deaths - lumbered eastward, blanketing northern New England overnight and threatening to dump as much as 20 inches in places.
In Vermont, 7 inches of snow welcomed skiers and snowboarders on Monday morning. School was cancelled or classes delayed from New York to Maine. Ice storm warnings were issued for Massachusetts and Connecticut.
- A line of storms lashed the east coast of Australia, running from the New South Wales/Queensland border to the southern tip of Tasmania. The storms triggered flash floods across Sydney, while a second line of storms developing further west brought floods to Melbourne.
Dry roads are said to have been turned into rivers, as 50mm (2inches) of rain fell in a very short space of time.
Sydney and Melbourne had thunder, lightning and hail the size of marbles.
Sydney was also hit hard by flash floods and winds gusting over 50mph.
Residents of London, Ontario, are braced for more snow after forecasters predicted that the region would see up to 60 centimetres fall this week.
Schools in the region have been closed and a number of flights have been cancelled due to the adverse weather.
- Officials breathed a sigh of relief as Severe Cyclone Daman swept past Fiji's second largest island, and more densely populated Vanua Levu. Instead it pounded the smaller islands to its north with winds gusting up to 155mph.
Cyclone Daman intensified to a severe cyclone early Friday and was forecast to make landfall overnight across the north of Vanua Levu. Some evacuations took place in preparation for the storm which was forecast to bring serious damage from gusty winds and from flash floods.
The small northerly island of Cikobia was hardest hit, its population amounting to little more than a hundred people. As the island was lashed with winds over 155mph homes were flattened. Radio contact with the island was lost as the storm struck, but brief contact later suggested there may have been fatalities.
As Daman brushed the Lebrasa area of northern Vanua Levu, heavy rain triggered landslides and flooded low-lying areas, while strong winds uprooted trees.
- A devastating ice storm cut off power to over one million people, and brought widespread damage and auto accidents to a large part of Oklahoma and surrounding states on December 8-11, 2007. Freezing rain accumulated on trees and power lines, bringing the lines down and leaving around 600,000 homes and businesses without electricity. Officials say it will several days to restore power to everyone. Hundreds of auto accidents were reported on ice slick roadways. The ice storm was the result of persistent widespread rain that fell into a shallow layer of below freezing air. This allowed the rain to freeze upon contact with exposed objects.
The storm reportedly killed some 23 people.
- A thunderstorm bringing large hailstones struck the Sydney area of Australia.
The storm hit the region at 1630 local time, resulting in flash floods and hail which measured up to 7cm in diameter.
There were delays at Sydney Airport, although the storm is expected to move out to sea, while hailstones smashed windows and damaged traffic lights, also leaving thousands of homes without power.
- Heavy rain over the weekend may have been welcomed by the Cyprus water board following reports that reserves were low.
The island received torrential rain in many areas, while thick fog and snow fell on the mountains.
Larnaca also saw flooding, with the wet weather expected to continue until later in the week. It was recently reported that the Orthodox Church of Cyprus had called for priests to pray for rain.
- Angry commuters set fire to two trains in South Africa's capital Pretoria after severe storms disrupted rail services.
Train services in Pretoria were brought to a standstill after the signalling system broke down and a backup system was struck by lighting, rail operator Metrorail said.
A severe thunderstorm wreaked havoc in large parts of Pretoria on Tuesday, flooding homes and causing severe damage.
- Polar mesospheric (or noctilucent) clouds are occurring more often and appearing at lower latitudes than they used to, according to scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
The build-up of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane in the upper atmosphere may be responsible: increased carbon dioxide cools the upper atmosphere and makes it easier for ice crystals to form. Methane reacts with oxygen to form water vapour.
Temperatures need to be at least -134C for the clouds to form. As increased carbon dioxide causes the temperature to drop and increased methane produces more water vapour, more clouds form.
- Floods in Malaysia have killed 12 people and left more than 20,000 homeless, and more rain is expected, which could push up food and palm oil prices in one of the world's top growers.
The monsoon rains have cut off roads in several states including Kelantan and Terengganu in the east and Johor in the south.
Johor was the worst hit, with 13,000 residents fleeing to higher ground. The state is a major oil palm and rubber growing region and a key source of vegetables and poultry.
- Tropical Storm Olga began to weaken slightly as it crossed south-western areas of the Dominican Republic and headed toward Haiti today, but heavy rains continued and low-lying areas were evacuated.
Olga comes nearly two weeks after the official end of the Atlantic hurricane season. It is the 15th named storm this year and is the 10th to have developed in the month of December since 1851, when records began, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
Olga's torrential rains killed at least 22 people in the Dominican Republic and forced tens of thousands out of their homes. Olga was also blamed for mudslides that killed a man in Puerto Rico and for two deaths on Haiti.
- The decade of 1998-2007 is the warmest on record, according to data sources obtained by the World Meteorological Organization. The global mean surface temperature for 2007 is currently estimated at 0.41C above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14.00C
Other remarkable global climatic events recorded so far in 2007 include record-low Arctic sea ice extent, which led to first recorded opening of the Canadian Northwest Passage; the relatively small Antarctic Ozone Hole; development of La Niña in the central and eastern Equatorial Pacific; and devastating floods, drought and storms in many places around the world.
- The transport network in eastern Canada has been left in chaos by a major snowstorm. The storm left the cities of Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal under 40 centimetres of snow. The snow made driving conditions treacherous and more than 600 traffic accidents were reported to police in Toronto in just one morning. It also resulted in almost 100 flights from airports in Toronto and Montreal being cancelled and left the rail service struggling to cope with the increased demand caused by the delays.
- In Spain, cold conditions were experienced, prompting a huge surge on electricity demand, exceeding the previous record set on 27 January 2005.
Large parts of Spain woke up to a blanket of snow on as their first major storm of the winter arrived. This prompted the country's Civil Protection Authority to place ten regions under a state of alert.
Up to now Spain had been experiencing a relatively mild start to the winter, but the arrival of the storm brought plummeting temperatures and heavy snowfalls, especially across eastern parts of the country. Jijona and Taragona were just two cities which woke to vivid wintry scenes yesterday morning.
The snow blocked dozens of roads and several mountain passes, some which were subsequently closed or left only accessible by the use of snow chains. The motorway linking Madrid and Barcelona was also closed temporarily near Zaragoza.
- Three people have been killed after persistent heavy rain since the start of the month led to widespread flooding in northern Zimbabwe. 43 villages in the Zambezi Valley have been washed away by floodwater. In addition to the fatalities, around 1,000 people have been left homeless and state radio has announced that the government has declared the floods a national disaster.
- The 2008 duck shooting season in Victoria has been cancelled because of the ongoing drought, the Australian state's government has announced.
The drought had helped to reduce the number of ducks and habitat availability to their lowest levels for 25 years.
Environment minister Gavin Jennings said there are now only 68,500 ducks in the state - compared to the 25-year average of 187,500 - and that next year's ban on hunting should allow numbers to increase.
It is the second year running that Victoria's 15,000 duck hunting enthusiasts have been prevented from shooting because of the drought.
- Flooding has forced more than 20,000 people to leave their homes in eastern Sri Lanka when a depression over the Bay of Bengal increased monsoon rains.
- A severe storm has caused flash flooding and damaged the communications network in the Australian state of Victoria.
A number of roads in the state capital Melbourne were left under water after a brief downpour and the strong winds accompanying the storm blew down telephone cables.
The Bureau of Meteorology said some areas of the state experienced 25mm of rain as the storm passed through and that golf ball-sized hailstones had been reported in others.
- Parts of New England are on track for their snowiest December in more than a decade. The area is on pace to get up to 44 inches by the end of the month, an amount not seen since 1995.
The latest winter storm has dumped up to 10 inches of fresh snow throughout Maine and New Hampshire, shutting down schools and snarling traffic. Retail stores are being affected by the snowy weather as many Christmas shoppers are avoiding driving.
This latest round of winter weather to dump snow on Massachusetts too, is finally starting to move away. It is the third storm to hit the area in the past week but is less severe compared to the powerful snow storm, which barrelled into New England last weekend.
- At least 16 people died after an avalanche covered a busy road in Tajikistan. The avalanche occurred after several days of heavy snowfall in the mountainous Asian republic. Tractors were sent in to clear the snow from the road, which runs between the capital Dushanbe and the city of Khudjand, but the rescue effort came too late for 16 people who had been trapped in their cars. An emergency ministry official said that rescue teams were still searching the area amid fears that more drivers had been caught in the avalanche.
- Many Americans are struggling to cope with blizzards which have dumped up to 69cm of snow in some spots. A storm, the third in as many weeks, hit the mid-west over the weekend causing havoc for Christmas travellers. It then moved across to NE America where it gave further snowfalls before moving out to sea.
The blizzards have caused chaos on the roads with many accidents reported, including one 50 plus vehicle pile-up on Interstate 40 in Texas. 22 people died as a result of the storm. 300 flights from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport were cancelled and more than 400,000 homes in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin were left without electricity.
- Torrential rains sparked flash floods across Eastern and Central Sri Lanka, forcing thousands to flee from their homes.
The worst hit areas were the eastern district of Batticaloa, along with the central district of Polonnaruwa. In Batticaloa, days of heavy rain caused a reservoir to burst its banks, flooding many surrounding homes although fortunately, no loss of life has been reported.
Sri Lanka is currently in the midst of the monsoon over north eastern areas which normally runs from December to February.
- Floods and landslides triggered by monsoon rains left close to 100 people dead or missing on the main Indonesian island of Java.
Landslides hit villages in densely populated Central Java's Karanganyar and Wonogiri districts early Wednesday after heavy downpours, with floods also swelling in several areas.
- More than 60 people had to be evacuated from a holiday resort in South Africa after heavy rain left them in danger. The holidaymakers had been staying in caravans in the southern Cape area when the rain struck in the early hours of the morning and they had to be escorted from the resort.
The rain also led to the river Buffels breaking its banks at Laingburg, although the damage was limited to some minor roads being flooded.
- Perth sweltered through its hottest December day on record with temperatures hitting 44.2C. This also breaks the record for three day average temperatures in Perth; with the hottest Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day since records began (over 90 years ago). The hot weather fuelled the outbreak of bushfires in the south of the city, threatening houses in the suburbs. The record high temperatures hampered more than a hundred fire-fighters who were battling to control the blazes that had been burning since Christmas Eve.
- Across the United States, moderate to extreme drought conditions covered much of the western U.S., while exceptional drought persisted in the southeastern region. 55% of the western U.S., 78% of the Southeast, and 35% of the contiguous U.S. were currently in moderate to exceptional drought.
- Five people died after a snowstorm caused chaos on the roads of the Altai region of Russia. Heavy snow and wind speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour had reduced visibility to almost zero on many of the region's roads.
Eleven major accidents occurred during the worst conditions, leaving five people dead and 16 injured.
The storm also forced the closure of Barnaul Airport for a day.
- Heavy snowstorms continued to disrupt travel in the central United States Friday and forecasters said little relief was expected until the New Year.
More than 400 flights were cancelled and delays were averaging an hour and a half at Chicago's O'Hare airport as the storm system which crippled Denver on Thursday moved eastward.
- Zimbabwe has received record amounts of rainfall countrywide during December with a cumulative average of more than 200 percent of normal rainfall to date, making it the wettest December on record.
The rains have seen Chivhu recording the highest amount of 504mm compared to 496mm recorded over the first half of the season last year.
Arcturus received the lowest rainfall of 175mm, which is above the December average of 100mm.
The Meteorological Department yesterday said wet conditions that have been experienced over the month have made this year's December the wettest of 127 Decembers on record.
The heavy falls have led to water logging in poorly drained soils, ponds, increases in river flows and dam levels and flooding in low- altitude areas such as Muzarabani and Malipati.
Other areas that received considerably high rainfall were Mutare 390mm, Chinhoyi 362mm, Kwekwe 349mm and Masvingo 322mm.
- A fourth day of consecutive rainfall across Atlanta (USA) has saved the city from experiencing its driest year on record. The most arid year ever recorded for Atlanta was in 1954 when just 807mm of rain fell over the course of the year. Meteorologists had expected this year to break that record, but an increase in the amount of rainfall over the weekend has brought the total to 809mm. A series of rainstorms before Christmas also helped the city to exceed the total, with Atlanta receiving rain on ten of the last twelve days.
- A potential avalanche on a major highway in the Rocky Mountains left some 2,000 people stranded in Colorado.
Heavy snowfall and winds topping 60mph boosted the risk of avalanches on route 70, which links the capital, Denver and some of the poshest ski resorts in the United States: Vail, Aspen and Beaver Creek.
As a precaution the road was shut down late Sunday.
World weather news, November 2007
- A deadly storm battering the Caribbean grew into a hurricane (Noel) as it headed for the open sea, leaving 107 people dead and thousands stranded in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
It left in its wake floodwaters which hampered the rescue of people trapped on rooftops in the Dominican Republic, wreaking havoc four days after it slammed into the island nation.
In Haiti, the death toll reached 34, officials said on Thursday. A further 14 people were listed as missing.
No deaths were reported in Cuba, which was also hit hard on Wednesday, but there was significant damage to agricultural fields.
- Tens of thousands of Mexicans were trapped on rooftops and others clung to lampposts on Thursday after heavy rains flooded nearly the entire southern state of Tabasco.
At least 500,000 people were made homeless and one person was killed in the worst flooding the swampy state has seen in more than 50 years.
Officials have said Tabasco lost all of its banana and other crops, and that four-fifths of the state was under water.
The floods were triggered by storms that have wreaked havoc in the oil industry along Mexico's Gulf coast.
- A huge and unexpected hailstorm hit Bogota, Colombia, causing severe flooding and burying dozens of vehicles under the ice, trapping more than 100 people. Within minutes, roads were completely blocked. As the ice began to melt, the roads became rivers of slush. There were no injuries, but some 40 people were treated for exposure. Some 300 families had to find shelter and 70 vehicles were damaged.
The Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies has said that it was the severest hailstorm in the country since 1967 and which could possibly be explained by the ongoing La Niña event in the Pacific. IDEAM also said that 60-70 mm per hour fell in the area of El Campín.
- Parts of Hawaii have suffered flash floods and landslides after the US state was hit by a heavy storm; a stormhad seen rain of up to 185mm fall in just ten hours on parts of the Pacific archipelago.
Two homes on Oahu were badly damaged by boulders dislodged during the storm, while the rain proved too heavy for the local drains to cope with and nearly two million gallons of sewage were washed across the islands of Oahu and Molokai.
- Power was being restoredto several thousand coastal residents from Massachusetts to Maine who lost electricity when the remnants of Hurricane Noel blew through the region over the weekend.
The storm struck New England with just a glancing blow Saturday, bringing down tree limbs and knocking out power to 80,000 homes. State officials reported no serious injuries or deaths.
The Canadian Maritimes, consisting of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, were also busy cleaning up.
Noel hit the Maritimes with winds in excess of 80mph and producing waves as high as 15m. It also dropped as much as 70-75mm of rain in places.
Noel was the second post-tropical storm to hit eastern Canada this year. In August, eastern Newfoundland and Labrador suffered millions of dollars in damages as roads and bridges were washed out by as much as 155mm of rain in some areas.
- Parts of Midwest USA experienced their first flurry of snow this season, blanketing a number of towns surrounding Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes. The snow was generated by a low pressure system centred over north eastern parts of America, producing the first winter storm of the season in western New York and Pennsylvania.
Just over 20cm of snow was recorded in the 12 hours in the north western town of Waterford, covering roads, and causing hundreds of traffic accidents. Numerous power lines were knocked down by the storm, leaving 15,000 New York residents without electivity. Residents in the city of Buffalo, where temperatures remained above freezing, were spared the snow, but instead were pelted by wind blown sleet which arrived throughout the day, amid thunder and lightning.
- Heavy rain in Sri Lanka's Southern Province has left homes and roads under water; the rain has caused levels in the Nilwala and Gin rivers to rise significantly during the previous 24 hours.
As a result parts of the Galle and Hambantota districts were hit by floods, which were reported to be up to three metres deep in some places.
- The UK-based Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) consortium of weather experts, warned on Friday that Australia should brace itself for its worst tropical cyclone season since 1998-1999.
The season which started at the beginning of November, runs until the end of April 2008. TSR are forecasting that up to 13 tropical storms will develop, of which seven will become severe with up to five or six cyclones going on to hit the Australian mainland. This would make it a more active season with the increase in activity expected to be generated by the current La Niña phenomenon.
La Niña results in a cooling of the sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific and this year is expected to be at its coldest since 1999. This contributes towards a more active tropical cyclone season.
The Australian bureau of Meteorology has said that the forecast from TSR should be taken seriously. Queensland insurers have already paid out more money for storm damage this financial year than the whole of last year, and the season has only just begun. The state has been hit by numerous storms over recent months, bringing floods and with high winds tearing off roof tops and toppling trees.
- A severe storm broke a small Russian oil tanker in two off the Ukrainian port of Kerch on Sunday, spilling up to 2,000 tonnes of fuel oil in what a Russian official said was an "environmental disaster."
The same storm in the Black Sea and Azov Sea also sank four freighters, three carrying sulphur and one with a cargo of scrap metal. The heavy seas also cracked the hull of another oil tanker, but the ship was afloat and not leaking.
- Local reports say that at least 24 people have been killed in renewed flooding in central Viet Nam. The floods peaked on Monday following rainfall of up to 1450 mm. Tens of thousands of homes have been submerged and some 25,000 people evacuated to higher ground in central Viet Nam in the fifth major flood event since August.
The deaths this week have raised the regional toll to 332 people, 114 of them since 26 October. The peak season for storms and floods usually runs from August to the end of October.
- Residents and businesses in the south-east of the Australian state of Queensland face the prospect of being fined for wasting water, under new restrictions due to come into force later this month.
Water levels in the state's reservoirs are dangerously low following a lengthy drought, prompting the introduction of level six water restrictions.
Households with fewer than five residents will be fined the equivalent of GBP 450 if they continue to use more than 800 litres a day, while anyone wishing to fill their swimming pool will have to arrange for water to be shipped in from outside the state.
Businesses will be required to reduce water consumption by 25 per cent or introduce best practice water conservation measures within 12 months, with companies that fail to comply facing fines of up to GBP 50,000.
The restrictions on household water usage will be lifted when reservoir levels return to normal, but those on businesses are likely to be permanent.
- Emergency services in Sweden had to call in the military after heavy snow caused chaos on roads in the Sodertorn area after more than 20cm of snow fell in the evening.
Slippery conditions forced some cars off the road, while other drivers abandoned their vehicles when they became stuck in the snow.
That prevented snowploughs, gritter lorries and rescue vehicles getting through, and emergency services had to call in the military in all-terrain vehicles to recover stranded motorists.
- Thousands of people have been warned to evacuate in India and Bangladesh as Tropical Cyclone Sidr heads across the Bay of Bengal.
The border area of India and Bangladesh, where the deltas of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers meet, is one of the most flood-prone areas in the world and densely populated.
Sidr is the sixth storm of the north Indian Ocean cyclone season.
According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC), Sidr intensified to a category 5 storm on Thursday morning. Winds were reported to be 155mph with gusts 190mph. This is the strongest classification of storm according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
As of the 23rd there were reports of over 3500 dead and thousands injured as a result of the storm. According to reports, Cyclone Sidr is described as the worst storm to struck Bangladesh since 1991.
- Austrian ski resorts have opened more than two weeks earlier than usual following November snow falls.
There is already more than 1m of snow right down to the valley stations in many areas, according to the Austrian National Tourist Office.
Among the resorts that are opening this weekend are Zell am See, Saalbach-Hinterglemm and Mayrhofen.
A storm generated by low pressure across southeast Europe, moved across Austria bringing heavy snow falls and strong winds. Langem am Arlberg had 112cm of snow over 48hrs with winds reported to have peaked over 100mph here. Some areas suffered serious damage. The Tirol area of Austria measured 40cm of new snow while Salzburg had up to 70cm; however there were reports of up to 150cm in places.
The onset of severe weather prompted the closure of roads, some blocked, but others closed as a precaution due to the risk of avalanche. Austria's avalanche warning system raised the alarm to the second- highest possible. One of the roads closed gives access to the elite ski resorts of Lech and Zurs in Arlberg. The previous time that Lech was cut off so early in the winter was 1974.
Meteorologists over the weekend described the weather as being the kind of conditions only experienced in the Alps every 30 to 50 years. This comes on the back of the 2006 season when ski resorts were sent into a panic over a lack of snow and climatologists announced the Alps to be at their warmest for 1,300 years.
- Ski resorts in the US state of Utah are facing the prospect of having to postpone their planned openings because of a lack of snow, according to tourism industry representatives.
Although parts of the state received 137 centimetres of snow during October, much of it has already melted.
Three major resorts confirmed they are likely to cancel their opening weekends because of the conditions, but Connie Marshall of Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon said she did not expect the weather to be a long-term problem.
The Solitude resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon has decided against leaving anything to chance and has used manmade snow to ensure its ski runs can open on time.
- A state of emergency has been declared in parts of northern Greece after heavy rain caused flooding near the border with Turkey.
The army sent military trucks to evacuate those who had stayed in Komotini, the capital of Rodopi prefecture, after a day of heavy rainfall on Sunday. Fourteen villages were cut off in one southern province.
Bulgaria was forced to close two Black Sea ports and has declared a state of emergency after torrential rain and storms lashed the country. Over ten centimetres of rain fell in southern Bulgaria in 12 hours on the 19th, according to the National Meteorological Institute.
- In Papua New Guinea, heavy downpours associated with tropical cyclone Guba caused widespread flooding in the province of Oro forcing officials to declare a state of emergency. About 500 homes were washed away, while 163 people lost their lives with many others missing. According to reports, some areas had floodwaters that rose up to 3m forcing thousands of residents to evacuate. About 70,000 people were affected.
- Farmers on New Zealand's North Island are facing a loss of GBP 110 million because of an ongoing drought. Sheep and beef farmers in the area have been affected by a shortage of grass because of the lack of rain.
- Hailstorms in southern Lebanon have set off a series of explosions, according to the United Nations.
Hailstones the size of walnuts had fallen in the area, as a long dry spell came to an end.
In several villages near to the town of Marjayoun the hailstones hit cluster bombs thought to have been left undiscovered since last year's conflict between Hezbollah and Israel.
The UN Mine Action Coordination Centre said a number of the bombs exploded when they were struck, but it is believed no one was injured.
- Parts of the Spanish region of Andalusia were left underwater after a severe storm.
The worst affected areas were the town of Utrera, which declared a state of emergency after a river broke its banks and flooded 400 homes, and the province of Jaen where properties were left underwater.
Cadiz was badly affected by strong winds which caused serious damage to a number of commercial buildings. Residents also reported seeing a tornado.
The town of Utrera, Seville province, saw the Calzas Anchas stream burst its banks in the heavy rainfall.
- The Indonesian coal industry has been severely affected by heavy rain over the past six months.
Bloomberg reported that 2007's output figures are likely to be 25 per cent lower than expected because of the problems caused by the rain.
All of the country's major mining companies have revised their coal production estimates and several have already defaulted on contracted export deliveries.
Indonesia is one of the world's biggest coal exporters and the rain-related disruption has helped to push up global coal prices by 64 per cent this year.
- Typhoon Mitag intensified as it churned towards the Philippines on Friday, triggering mass evacuations, flight cancellations and exacerbating heavy rains and flooding.
In the central Bicol region, Philippines' typhoon alley, people sought refuge in churches, schools and town halls as over 50,000 people fled their homes ahead of the typhoon's expected arrival on Saturday.
- More than 700 people have been forced to leave their homes after flooding hit the South African province of Western Cape.
Several days of heavy rain caused the Great Brak and Little Brak rivers to overflow.
Homes were inundated and roads left underwater in the Eden District Municipality, forcing the authorities to send out rescue teams in boats.
At Plettemberg Bay, the 295.2mm of rain fell between about 1200Z on the 21st and 0420Z on the 24th, an event triggered by a cut off low which became embedded on the SE flank of a large high pressure belt to the WSW of South Africa.
Widespread flooding ensued, dirt roads badly damaged.
- A thunderstorm in the North East District of Botswana has left at least 14 families homeless; it brought heavy rain, strong winds and lightning to the village of Senyawe. Local farmers welcomed the rain, but the storm caused major problems for many villagers. The winds blew down some homes and removed the roofs from others, while lightning strikes killed 28 goats.
- Residents of the flood-hit province of Oro in Papua New Guinea have been exposed to a new danger in the form of unexploded World War II bombs; rains associated with Cyclone Guba had caused widespread flooding in the province a week earlier, leaving 170 people dead and thousands homeless.
The floodwater also uncovered unexploded bombs and shells that had been left buried since the conclusion of the fighting between Japanese and Australian troops more than fifty years earlier.
- Hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines were allowed to return home after Typhoon Mitag failed to have the expected impact.
Mitag did not directly hit the central Bicol region as had been predicted, but it did bring heavy rain to the north and central Philippines.
Eight people are believed to have been killed and more than GBP one million worth of crops were destroyed by the rain, but the region was spared the landslides and widespread flooding that had been feared.
- Despite alarming predictions, the U.S. came through a second straight hurricane season virtually unscathed, raising fears among emergency planners that they will be fighting public apathy and overconfidence when they warn people to prepare for next year.
Friday marks the official close of the Atlantic season, so unless a storm forms in the next few days, only one hurricane - and a minor one at that - will have hit the U.S. during the June-to-November period. Mexico and Central America, however, were struck by a record two top-scale Category 5 storms.
The preliminary total for the season: 14 named storms, six of them hurricanes, two of them major.
That was less activity than the government predicted before the season started, and stands in stark contrast to 2004 and 2005, when the U.S. was hit by one devastating storm after another, including Hurricane Katrina.
- The typhoons that have buffeted the Philippines in the past fortnight could have a positive effect on the country's rice industry, according to agriculture officials.
The heavy rain that accompanied typhoons Hagibis and Mitag has helped to restore the water levels in two important reservoirs in the north of the country.
This should ensure there is enough water available to irrigate crops during the dry season.
- After suffering a delayed and, in some cases, virtually snow less season in 2006-07, European resorts are enjoying record November snowfalls.
Switzerland and Austria have had the best of the early snow, with even low-lying resorts, that had previously been drawing up plans for 'winter hiking' now able to use their chairlifts.
France is expecting significant snowfalls this weekend, as are parts of Germany; some Italian resorts are already open and Sweden and Norway are also hoping to join the party. Zurich has had its heaviest snow fall since 1955 and in Verbier the town is reporting 40cm of snow.
Kitzbuhel in Austria, which has opened six weeks earlier than planned, suffered from the warmest November on record last year, and had to cancel the celebrated Hahnenkamn World Cup downhill race in January.
- Three towns in the north-east of Montenegro have been badly affected by flooding, according to local civil protection officials.
A combination of heavy rain and melting snow had caused rivers to overflow in Rozaje, Berane and Gusinje.
The damage in Rozaje, where more than 100 houses were destroyed, was described as "alarming" by the officials in charge of the rescue operation.
More than half the houses in a Roma community settlement in Berane were flooded, while a number of villages in the area around Gusinje were cut off after roads were left underwater.
- A lack of rainfall in Nigeria this year is likely to have a long-term impact on food production, according to a group representing farmers.
The United Nations reported that a long dry spell, which saw rain fall in the north of the country just four times in a year, had resulted in a much poorer harvest than had been hoped for.
A spokesman for the All Farmers Association of Nigeria said many of its members had not made enough money to buy seeds to plant for the next season and that they are also struggling to afford to feed their livestock.
- Sustained heavy rain has seen the death toll from the flooding in Algeria rise to 11.
The north of the country had experienced five consecutive days of downpours, leading to flooding in the cities of Algiers, Oran and Boumerdes.
Three people have drowned in the capital, five died in house collapses caused by the weather in Oran and three people were swept away by the floodwater in the area around Boumerdes.
Algeria's transport network has also been badly affected, with the main road routes into Algiers all virtually impassable because of the floods.
World weather news, October 2007
- Typhoon Lekima lashed Vietnam and southern China with torrential rains and high winds, killing at least seven people, damaging hundreds of homes and disrupting air, sea and train travel.
The storm, which killed at least five people in the Philippines last weekend, swept into central Vietnam from the sea on Wednesday night, blowing roofs off houses, sinking scores of fishing vessels and grounding flights before moving to Laos.
The typhoon raised rivers to dangerous levels in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces, but the damage caused was not as serious as feared.
- On Tuesday, heavy rain and hail struck the southern town of Alcala de Guadaira near Seville, leaving a number of people dead. There was an extremely heavy downpour including hail (which gathered to 50cm depth in some places) and winds of 100km/h. Some areas received 60mm of rain.
- A fierce storm lashed through Spain's Mediterranean island of Mallorca overnight, destroying homes and injuring a number of people. The popular tourist destination was hit suddenly by the storm, which caused widespread damage in the space of just half an hour.
The storm which had winds gusting up to 60mph, battered the town of Palma, forcing the temporary closure of the airport and grounding a number of flights. The strong winds uprooted many trees, with the rains flooding many homes and buildings.
- Rainfall deficits have expanded and intensified over the southern half of Australia as a result of widespread below to very much below average September rainfall. Averaged over the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), it was the driest September in the historical record back to 1900. Unless October and November are wetter than average, 2006-07 will be one of the very few instances in history where the MDB has suffered a winter-spring drought in successive years. The other years when this has occurred were 1918-19 (the latter was extremely dry), and 1940-41, with 1940 being very dry. In each of the years 1927, 1928, and 1929, large parts of the MDB had a winter-spring rainfall total in decile 3 or lower, although individually none of the years was extremely dry.
- The heavy rain and floods that have left hundreds of thousands of people homeless in Africa have also had a devastating impact on the wildebeest population. At least 20,000 wildebeest were swept away after a river in Kenya's Masai Mara park broke its banks. Hundreds of thousands of the animals stampede from Tanzania's Serengeti park to the Masai Mara between July and October every year and the fact the flood occurred so close to the end of the migration season meant it had a bigger impact. Sarisa Nkadaru, administrative manager of Mara Conservancy, said: "It's the first time in Mara's history that so many gnus drowned during their much-anticipated migration."
- Some five million people in South-East China were affected by Typhoon Krosa which destroyed houses and caused widespread flooding. More than 1.4 million people were evacuated ahead of its arrival and no deaths were reported.
- Parts of the US have been experiencing a rare October heatwave, namely around the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and the Northeast. The Chicago Marathon had to be halted mid-run on Sunday as runners succumbed to soaring temperatures. New temperature records were set across Illinois and for the marathon itself. Temperatures in early October are normally around 15C, but temperatures over the last few days have been soaring into the low 30s Celsius.
Some of the many records broken for specific dates in October:
- Sunday 7th:
Georgetown, Delaware reached 33C, previous record 30C in 1959.
Chicago, Illinois reached 31C, previous record 30C in 1947.
- Monday 8th:
Central Park, New York reached 31C, previous record 30C in 1931.
New York Kennedy Airport reached 32C, shattering the previous record of 24C in 1990.
- Tuesday 9th:
Richmond, Virginia reached 35C, previous record 33C in 1941
Baltimore, Maryland reached 34C, previous record 33F.
- Across the United States, severe to extreme drought conditions continued throughout much of the Southeast region, the western U.S., including the northern Great Lakes region. Exceptional drought persisted in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, and North and South Carolina. On 9 October, 61% of the western U.S. was in moderate to exceptional drought, 80% in the Southeast, and 44% for the contiguous U.S..
- Schools and homes in two regions of Trinidad were inundated with water after a two-hour burst of heavy rain. Presentation College and a number of homes in Chaguanas had been hit by flash floods. Neighbouring Tunapuna-Piarco was also badly affected, as drains overflowed and left roads and houses flooded. A spokesperson for the Met Office in Piarco said the rain was a result of an Intertropical Convergence Zone and upper level trough.
- Flooding triggered by torrential rains killed at least 47 people in a village in central Haiti.
The loss of life in Cabaret, nestled in mountains about 19 miles north of capital Port-au-Prince, brought the toll from floods and mudslides across much of Haiti over the last two weeks to at least 50.
- Eastern Spain was pounded by thunderstorms that brought heavy rain on October 11-12, triggering widespread floods. In Valencia, 100mm of rain fell in a one-hour period while other areas reported over 200mm of rain falling in short periods of time. Two fatalities were reported. Swollen rivers washed away a three-story building and a bridge near Alicante, where a woman was killed after her house was flooded. In Ibiza, a man died after a strong gust of wind blew him into a building while he was kite surfing on Playa d'en Bossa beach.
- Farmers in the Western Highlands province of Papua New Guinea are facing an uncertain future after a hailstorm caused widespread damage to crops. Villages in the province had been affected by strong winds and hailstones "the size of coconuts" during a four-hour storm. As a result, a large proportion of coffee, vegetable, pawpaw and sweet potato crops in the area were destroyed, leaving many local farmers facing the prospect of months without income. Several villages in the area also saw houses flattened or badly damaged by the high winds.
- At least 21 people were killed and thousands evacuated across Central America after days of torrential rain triggered landslides and flooding. The countries affected were Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua. According to reports, 600mm of rain fell in a period of four days.
- One British tourist has been found alive, after six western tourists and two Thai guides died, when flash floods swept them away while exploring a cave at a southern Thai national park. The group had been trekking through the Khao Sok national park in Surathani province late in the afternoon, when heavy rainfall caused flash floods that sent water surging through the cave. The heavy rain then caused a stream in the cave to rise suddenly and the tourists became trapped.
- At least 11 people are reported to have died in floods caused by torrential rain near Tunis. Six others were reported missing. Agence Tunis Afrique Presse reported that some areas in the north of the country had received 17cm of rain during a torrential downpour.
- A powerful storm has swept through southern Bangladesh, lashing parts of the country with heavy rain and strong winds. The storm originated in the Bay of Bengal over the weekend and began to track northwards on Monday before making landfall later that night. A number of southern districts were inundated by the rain, with nearly 225mm falling overnight in Chittagong Port City.
The rains caused a mudslide just outside the city killing a number of people, while in the Bay of Bengal more than 100 fishermen are still reported missing.
- The Brazilian government has allocated £13 million to the drought relief effort in the north-east of the country. The drought in the region had been more severe than expected and had left 387 towns short of water. The government had only expected 280 towns to be affected and had to allocate extra resources to water distribution when it became clear its original plan for the army to deal with the situation was not working. A lack of rain in Brazil recently saw the price of coffee hit a ten-year high, as traders fear it may lead to a poor harvest.
- A blinding sandstorm whipped through parts of Los Angeles on Tuesday, with the drop in visibility causing a number of traffic collisions in the region. The storm swept through the city of Lancaster in southern California's Antelope Valley and was generated by winds of around 55mph. The city is located north of Los Angeles and is the second largest city on the Californian side of the Mojave Desert. Like much of America's south-west, California is in the midst of a severe drought. The Antelope valley has been very dry this year, receiving less than 5cm of rain since January. The dry weather results in the dirt and sand lying very loosely together on the ground, providing the conditions for even a small gust of wind to generate a storm.
- Homes in the Wellington region of New Zealand were left without roofs and electricity after a night of strong winds. Gusts of up to 80 miles per hour had been measured during a north-westerly gale. Emergency services were called out to help residents in the suburb of Karori after the gusts lifted roofs off, while a number of power lines were felled by the wind. Police also attributed several minor road accidents to the fact the wind had made driving conditions difficult.
- The death toll from the widespread flooding in west Africa has reached 210, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The region's worst floods for 30 years, which began in late July, have also affected more than 785,000 people, with many of them left homeless.
- The 2007 Antarctic ozone hole is relatively small, both in terms of ozone hole area (area where the total ozone column is less than 220 Dobson Units) and in amount of destroyed ozone (ozone mass deficit, i.e. the amount of ozone that would have to be added to the ozone hole in order to fill those regions where total ozone is less than 220 Dobson Units up to 220 Dobson Units). From 1998 until now, only the ozone holes of 2002 and 2004 have been smaller than the 2007 ozone hole.
- A spring-like system raked Oklahoma with severe storms, damaging mobile homes, collapsing festival tents and injuring more than 30 people.
The storm brought down two tents at an Oktoberfest celebration in Tulsa, hurting at least 30 people. Twenty-one people were taken to hospitals. The storm damaged more than two dozen mobile homes and travel trailers north of Tulsa, where five people were injured.
- A couple spending their first night in a new house are among at least six people killed by unusually severe October storms that have ravaged the USA, from Michigan to the Gulf coast.
According to the US National Weather Service, the Midwest storms were extremely strong for October, leaving flattened trees, power outages and debris in their paths, as they struck Thursday and early Friday. On Thursday, about thirty tornadoes were reported from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, as unseasonably high temperatures created instability not normally seen this late in the year.
- Residents of the north of Bulgaria are clearing up after a spell of heavy rain caused widespread disruption; overnight rain had led to houses in Ribaritsa and Teteven being flooded and that water supplies in the area had been cut off.
Properties were left without electricity in Sevlievo, where water levels in rivers rose towards danger point.
- Much of the central and eastern United States is experiencing one of the warmest Octobers on record. In Washington DC, there have been 14 days this month with highs at or above 80F (27C). For 3 days temperatures were above 90F (32C) in Washington.
Parts of Canada are also enjoying an October that has felt more like summer. Mid-afternoon on the 22nd Montreal was hotter than Atlanta, Houston and New Orleans. Over the weekend temperatures in Toronto were up to 26C; a temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12C) is normal for this time of year.
The unseasonably warm weather has allowed children to go to school in shorts and sandals. Normally Montréalers are hauling out the deep tread tyres by mid-October, but the unusually warm weather has meant that people are delaying the inevitable. On 21 October 1988, just over 21cm of snow fell in Montréal.
- The 2007 drought in the Republic of Moldova has been the worst in a series of nine dry periods since 1990. Its severity has been compared to the drought of 1946 during which many Moldovans starved.
Rain in September arrived too late to improve crop conditions.
- At least 30 people were killed after floods swept through the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa.
Heavy rain fell in the capital, having already affected other parts of the country for three days.
The rain led to landslides, and the overflowing of rivers; bridges also gave way.
- Weather forecasters say the Santa Ana winds of hurricane strength, which fuelled the spread of wildfires in California over the past few days, are beginning to die down. Severe wildfires in southern California, which started on 21 October, forced 950,000 residents to evacuate the area, resulting in the biggest evacuation in Californian history. The fires charred 209,200 hectares, destroyed more than 2,000 homes, killed 7 people and injured 40 others. Seven of southern California's counties have been declared in a state of emergency by President Bush.
Many parts of California have experienced record low rainfall this year as temperatures shot to all-time highs, leaving vast swathes of parched countryside at the mercy of fires propelled by powerful winds. Los Angeles recorded just 81.5mm in the year to June 30th 2007, making it the driest year on record since 1877. Meteorologists fear a dry winter will prolong the drought in many of the affected regions.
- More then 3,000 homes are without power and 20 sustained damage after violent storms struck a large area of New South Wales, Australia.
Torrential rain and high winds lashed the NSW north coast with thousands of homes loosing power in northwest Sydney due to severe lightning. The blackouts affected traffic lights in the city causing road chaos for a time. Large hailstones and gusty winds battered Byron Bay, Grafton and Dunoon damaging cars and buildings.
Near the town of Lismore in northern NSW, a rare tornado was spawned by the severe storm system. It ripped through power lines and electricity substations giving rise to blackouts across the town. Around 20 houses were badly damaged, with 2 completely loosing their roofs. The local church and school also suffered significant damage.
- Thick fog blanketed Beijing, reducing visibility to virtually zero in some areas. Thousands of passengers were stranded at the city's Capital International Airport in the northeast as the thick grey haze shrouded the runways and forced flight delays.
Major highways leading into the Chinese capital were closed due to the poor visibility.
Children and the elderly were advised to stay indoors as thick smog choked the city on Friday, a day after the top Olympic Official warned that pollution could disrupt next year's Summer Games. People were urged to wear face masks if they needed to be outdoors.
- Tropical storm Noel developed off the south coast of the island of Hispaniola, composed of Haiti and Dominican Republic, on 28 October and made landfall in Haiti on the 29th with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph. Noel brought heavy rains that caused widespread floods and prompted landslides across the island of Hispaniola. In Dominican Republic, 56 people lost their lives and damaged about 14,500 homes, while 34 deaths were reported in Haiti. Noel's wrath damaged Dominican Republic's rice, plantain, and cacao plantations leading to an estimated $30 million in losses. After making landfall in Haiti, Noel moved towards Cuba making a second landfall on the 30th with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph. According to reports, the heavy rain in Cuba damaged 1,000 homes. Tropical storm Noel is the second deadliest storm of the 2007 season and the deadliest in the Caribbean since Tropical storm Jeanne in 2004.
- A hailstorm has caused widespread damage to crops in a major farming area of the Australian state of Queensland; hailstones the size of cricket balls had been spotted falling on Darling Downs.
Some buildings suffered superficial damage, but the main impact was on a wheat crop which was just weeks away from being harvested.
One farmer described the damage to his crop as "disappointing", but explained that most farmers in the region have special hail insurance to help them cope with the losses.
- Floods triggered by heavy rains have killed 13 people in central Vietnam and left five others missing over the past two days.
"It could not be worse," said disaster official Nguyen Thanh Phat in Quang Nam province, where two people drowned and authorities were searching for four others. "The new floods are compounding the misery of villagers who have yet to recover from the previous floods."
- Across China, moderate to extreme drought conditions persist across northern Neimongol, eastern Hubei, southern Jiangxi, western Fujian, and northeastern Tibet.
- A La Niña event is currently underway across the central and eastern Equatorial Pacific, with sea-surface temperatures up to 1.5C colder than normal, according to the latest WMO El Niño/La Niña update. La Niña conditions are expected to continue throughout the first quarter of 2008.
- Oman is bracing itself for the possibility of another cyclone to make landfall this year. The unnamed storm is currently known as tropical cyclone 05a and is currently moving across the Arabian Sea whipping up winds of up 85km/h. Although the storm is strengthening over the warm ocean waters, it is expected to be weaker that the previous cyclone, Gonu.
World weather news, September 2007
- A 12-year-old girl died after being struck by lightning during a storm in the Bulgarian town of Dospat; torrential rain, hail and winds of up to 75mph caused significant damage in the south of Bulgaria, with roofs dislodged and trees uprooted across the region. The worst affected place was Dospat, where what was described as a small tornado left more than 80 per cent of the town's houses damaged.
- Across southern areas of the state of California, 25 fatalities were attributed to a heat wave that prompted temperatures to soar past the 40C. The excessive heat resulted in the declaration of an 'electrical emergency' by energy officials during the week of 2 September and thus left about 55,000 people without electricity for two days.
- It is the first time that two Category 5 hurricanes (Dean and Felix) have made landfall in the same season since 1886, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As Felix made landfall in Nicaragua, Hurricane Henriette hit the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico. The records of the National Hurricane Center show no other two Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes making landfall on the same day. Felix holds the record for the fastest intensification from tropical depression to category five: about 51 hours. Most storms take a few days to reach hurricane strength.
- One person died and another is presumed dead after heavy rain in Poland. The Jelenia Gora region was placed on flood alert after river levels rose by 30 centimetres overnight. An elderly woman suffered a heart attack and died during an exercise to evacuate an area close to the Sola river on Thursday evening and a workman is thought to have died after being washed into the same river. Heavy rain on Thursday and Friday also led to flood warnings in Austria and the Czech Republic. The Austrian town of Steyr was hit by floodingafter two days of heavy rain; water swamped the streets of the Upper Austrian town after the river Enns broke its banks. The rain also resulted in the water level in the Danube rising to dangerous levels and transport infrastructure in the Vienna suburb of Klosterneuburg was also flooded.
- At least seven people have lost their lives with many others missing as floods inundate parts of eastern Romania. More than 1000 homes have been flooded with almost 1400 residents being evacuated after days of torrential rain. The worst floods hit four counties in the country which affected 47 villages and towns. The villages of Vrancea, Vaslui and Bacau were particularly badly hit with many roads and homes being washed away during the height of the flash flooding.
- Heavy monsoon-related rainfall, which commenced in June, affected parts of South Asia. In India, nearly 3 million people were affected by the worst floodings in years in many parts of India. Heavy rain produced flash floods in northeastern India, killing at least 10 people. Bangladesh and Nepal also suffered from landslides and floods prompted by heavy rains during September 7-9. In Bangladesh, 100,000 people were affected by the floods while in Nepal 15 fatalities were reported. Since the beginning of the monsoon, more than 2,500 fatalities have been reported across India, 959 in Bangladesh, and 183 in Nepal.
- Across eastern Romania, flooding during the first week of September affected about 1400 people and damaged more than 1000 homes. The floods were responsible for the deaths of 7 people with many others missing and caused the Kleine Ybbs river to reach its highest level in a century.
- Typhoon Fitow struck Tokyo and surrounding areas, bringing record rainfall. At least one person died and transport and power supplies were disrupted.
The biggest typhoon to have hit Tokyo since October 2002 then weakened and moved north.
- More than two million people have been left homeless after heavy rains in the Indian state of Assam caused widespread flooding. Three days of heavy rain had led to the deaths of 12 people, while thousands of homes were destroyed by flood water, together with crops, roads and power and telecommunications infrastructure. Assam's relief and rehabilitation minister Bhumidhar Burman told the news agency: "This is the worst flood we have ever experienced. The damage caused is unbelievable."
- Heavy rain has brought more flooding to Bangladesh. There have been more than 830 flood-related deaths since July. In Nepal, heavy rain has triggered flooding and landslides with the deaths of at least 15 people.
- Hurricane Humberto became the first storm on record to intensify from a tropical storm to a category one hurricane within 16 hours. Humberto developed as a depression in the Gulf of Mexico on 11 September, reaching tropical storm intensity on the 12th. Humberto made landfall just east of Galveston, TX on the 13th as a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85mph and was the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005. This hurricane brought to the Texas-Lousiana coastline heavy rain, left about 100,000 residents without power, and was responsible for the death of one person. Humberto weakened to a tropical depression on the 13th.
- The Bengal tea industry is bracing itself for a bad year following heavy rain late in the monsoon. India Times reported that the Dooars area had experienced 86 centimetres of rain in the past week, causing damage to many tea plantations. As well as destroying some bushes, the rain has created conditions that are likely to seriously hinder the growth of those that remain.
- The European Commission announced on September 13th that it is to provide 3 million euros to help the Moldovan government cope with the effect of the country's drought. Eighty per cent of the south-east European republic has experienced drought conditions, leading to crop failures and the death of livestock. With many of Moldova's poorest residents relying on home-grown crops to survive, there are concerns about potential food shortages in the south of the country.
- A man has been found dead after heavy rain in southern Spain resulted in flooding; the 67-year-old's body had been found in a ditch near to the city of Jaen after being washed away by flood water, but that the cause of death had not yet been confirmed. Emergency services are searching for two more people after their car was washed away. The news comes a day after a man was killed in the Spanish province of Huelva after being struck by lightning while gathering shellfish during a thunderstorm.
- The heaviest rainfall in 35 years has displaced 150,000 people in eastern Uganda since August and the rain has been "worsening by the hour," authorities said.
Up to 400,000 people have lost their livelihoods by severe flooding in eastern Uganda. Nine people died after being washed away by floodwater or struck by lightening during the violent storms. The death toll was expected to rise because rain still falling across large areas of the affected region.
- At least 13people were killed in South Korea as it was battered by typhoon Nari. In addition to the confirmed fatalities that resulted from the floods, seven people are missing, 200 properties have been washed away, hundreds of acres of crops have been destroyed and thousands of people have been left without electricity.
- Torrential downpours and flash floods across Africa have submerged whole towns and washed away bridges, farms and schools. This summer's rains have killed at least 150 people, displaced hundreds of thousands and prompted the U.N. to warn of a rising risk of disease outbreaks
In eastern Uganda, nine people have been reported killed and 150,000 have been made homeless since early August. Another 400,000 - mainly subsistence farmers - have lost their livelihoods after their fields were flooded or roads washed away and the rains are forecast to worsen in the next month.
On the other side of the continent, Ghana in west Africa has also been heavily hit. Three regions in the north, the country's traditional breadbasket, have been declared an official disaster zone after whole towns and villages were submerged. Torrential rains between July and August killed at least 18 persons and displaced a quarter of a million.
More than a million people across at least 17 countries have been affected. It is difficult to say how much rain has fallen; few African countries have meteorological services, and those that do only offer forecasting, lacking the staff and infrastructure to track weather in remote areas.
In the tiny west African nation of Togo, 20 people are dead and 66,000 displaced after a deluge washed away 100 bridges and seven dams in the last week.
In the oil giant of Nigeria, 68 people have died and 50,000 are affected, according to the Red Cross. Even the desert nations of Niger, Mali and Mauritania have been hit.
- At least two people lost their lives after heavy rain led to flooding and landslides in the north of Slovenia, according to local authorities.
Although the heavy rain had eased, a number of villages in the area remained cut off. Reports in the local media put the death toll at higher than two and also indicate that more than 100 homes have been destroyed.
- North Korea has been pummelled by heavy rains for a second time in a month, state media said, as the communist nation struggles to contain disease outbreaks from earlier floods. Rice and other crops were lost as rains spawned by Typhoon Wipha inundated western provinces and the capital Pyongyang in the past three days. It said the new downpours had caused "heavy losses in many sectors" of the economy and some areas damaged by last month's floods had again been hit.
- Severe thunderstorms affected Andalucía, Spain. Heavy rain and large hailstones fell across the region prompting flash floods, wrecking hundreds of car's windshields, and injuring about 18 people. Only one fatality was reported. According to reports, the heavy rain destroyed 15% of the grape harvest in the Jerez region. Violent downpours brought travel chaos across the region, triggering flash floods. In some cases hailstones as big as tennis balls are also reported to have fallen. The Marbella area was said to have been the worst affected by the hailstorms, shattering hundreds of car windscreens and leaving 18 people injured. Widespread floods also left roads and rail routes blocked across the region, with the main rail line from Jaén to Madrid suffering. Many homes were also affected. One man was killed in Almuñecar when a garage wall collapsed. Meanwhile in the town of Nerja and surrounding villages, up to 40,000 residents were left without power for several hours.
- Heavy rain fell in southern and eastern parts of India, triggering flash floods and landslides that killed more than 60 people and left about 50 villages under water. In the state of Orissa, reportedly worst hit, 190mm of rain fell in Chandbali in a 24-hour period.
- A boy died when heavy rain led to flooding in the Turkish city of Konya; Konya's drainage system had been unable to cope with the heavy rain that had fallen. A hospital, houses and offices were inundated and when the clean-up operation got underway, the body of a ten-year-old boy who had been swept away by the flood water was discovered.
The cities of Zonguldak and Denizli were also hit by flooding after the rain.
- A 'flurry of tornadoes' caused damage in a number of towns in central and southern England on Monday, officials and reports said, although no casualties were immediately reported.
Ferocious winds were reported in Farnborough, south of London, Luton and Northampton, north of the capital, and Nuneaton in Warwickshire, west central England, according to police and emergency officials.
In Farnborough, 20 homes were hit by a tornado, ripping a roof from a garage and uprooting trees. "There are no reports of any injuries. We have three fire crews up there assessing damage," said a Hampshire Fire Service spokesman.
In Luton, tiles were pulled off roofs when a violent storm hit. Terrence Meaden of a tornado research group, Torro, said: "I have spoken with a witness who saw the tornado funnel at ground level going through her garden."
- Emergency services experienced a busy day after New Zealand's north island was hit by severe thunderstorms, according to a local newspaper.
The storms brought three centimetres of rain, wind speeds of up to 68 miles per hour and in some areas, a covering of hailstones two centimetres in diameter.
A MetService spokesman told the newspaper there had also been around 450 lightning bolts, but that only ten had hit the ground.
Worried residents in Auckland put in 40 calls to the fire service in just 90 minutes to deal with incidents ranging from fallen power lines to a flooded house.
- Fresh rainfalls and slow relief have deepened the humanitarian crisis caused by record floods in Africa which have affected more than 1.5 million people and killed at least 300, aid agencies warned.
The worst floods in three decades have now affected 22 countries, displacing hundreds of thousands and starkly raising the risk of epidemics since the deluge hit parts of the continent in July.
The worst-hit country since unprecedented downpours swept across the continent in August has been conflict-wracked Sudan, where the United Nations said up to 625,000 people could be in need of emergency aid.
- Moldova is currently in the grip of its most severe drought in living memory, according to the United Nations.
A report published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation on September 25th said this year's drought was comparable to the one of 1946, during which thousands of Moldovans starved to death.
The water table is 200cm lower than normal in some areas and crops have failed, pushing the price of food up.
The UN warned that the small harvest caused by the drought could also impact on the supply of food in 2008, because many farmers will not make enough money this year to be able to afford to plant crops for next year.
- The price of wheat has reached a record high because of the impact of droughts on major growers.
The price of wheat futures rose to £4.61 a bushel on the Chicago exchange after Ukraine announced it planned to limit exports to help keep prices down in its domestic market.
The East European state is one of a number of wheat growing nations to have suffered from a shortage of rainfall this year, together with Australia and Canada.
- Cameroon's cocoa industry has been badly affected by heavy rains, according to local industry representatives. Reuters reported that exports of cocoa beans had dropped from 12,454 tonnes in August 2006 to 7,562 tonnes in the same period this year. The combination of heavy rain and a lack of sunshine has meant crops have not matured as quickly as expected and much of the harvest has been delayed, according to a spokesman for the National Cocoa and Coffee Board. The rain has also left parts of Cameroon's Southwest province inaccessible, making it difficult to transport beans that have been harvested to market.
- Tobacco growers in the US state of Kentucky are growing increasingly concerned about the impact of the drought conditions, according to a local newspaper. The state has experienced its third driest first nine months of the year in the 113 years that records are available for. Rainfall of just 666mm has been recorded so far this year, compared to an average of 924mm. The state government announced earlier in the week that water from reservoirs would be made available to farmers, but one tobacco grower told the newspaper it would take "inches of rain over several days" to get the moisture level in the soil up to a level where plants can make it through the winter.
World weather news, August 2007
- Tropical Storm Chantal was responsible for heavy rain and extensive flooding in the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland. The worst flooding occurred in the southern areas of the Peninsula where many houses were flooded. According to reports, damages are estimated to be about $4 million.
- Temperatures in the United Arab Emirates are continuing to soar and are expected to rise further; today's temperatures reached 44.3C at Dubai International Airport. However, meteorologists have predicted that this could rise to as much as 46C during the next few days. The hot weather has been attributed to desert winds blowing into the country, bringing dust as well as heat.
- Almost 200 people have died and 20 million people have been displaced and some five million hectares of farmland is under water in some of the worst floods for many years in northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It has been raining in the region for 20 days. According to reports, more than 1000 people have died across South Asia since the start of the annual monsoon in mid-June.
- A state of emergency has been declared in a Bulgarian municipality due to the continuing drought; the Tsar Kaloyan region is suffering from the long period of hot and dry weather. In particular, the drought has had a negative effect on the region's agricultural sector, such as its wheat crops and fodder.
According to local authorities, two-thirds of the regions wheat crops have been destroyed, while the damage to sunflower fields is expected to reach 100 per cent unless there is some imminent rain.
- Severe thunderstorms struck Myanmar resulting in two deaths and many other injuries. The storms spawned a strong tornado that was responsible for two deaths and the destruction of 160 houses. Heavy rain triggered flash flooding which affected about 800 families and flooding many homes.
- The continuing drought affecting areas of New Zealand has led to a number of farmers significantly reducing their livestock. Meat & Wool New Zealand stated that sheep numbers on the east coast, the area most affected by the drought, have fallen by nine per cent compared to the previous year, while beef cattle fell by 13 per cent. Some farmers in the region have reduced their sheep stock by up to 50 per cent. One of the region's largest agricultural firms PGG Wrightson said that the drought in June was possibly the worst ever recorded in the area.
- During the first week of August, areas across China suffered from heavy rain which triggered flash floods that killed 78 people and left 18 others missing. In the province of Henan, the flash floods destroyed about 6,000 houses and about 6,700 hectares of crops.
- At least 14 people have been killed and 7000 forced to leave their homes by flash floods in central Nigeria. Flooding caused by days of heavy rain has also driven thousands of families from their homes in Lagos.
- In Vietnam, flooding triggered by Tropical Storm 06W killed at least 70 people in central Vietnam and affected thousands more. According to reports, more than 48,000 homes and 65,700 hectares of agricultural land were submerged under water. In the province of Dak Lak, 610mm of rain fell in a 24-hour period.
- Chile's capital Santiago received snow for the first time in eight years on Wednesday; parts of the city lost power and schools were closed, while local meteorologists predict that the cold weather is likely to continue. Snowfall also led to the Liberatadores Mountain Pass, connecting Chile with Argentina, being closed.
- Three people were killed, 17 injured and 13 were reported missing in the Philippines yesterday after Tropical Storm Wutip caused floods and landslides. Tens of thousands of people were forced to seek shelter in public buildings.
Tropical storm Pabuk was the first to hit the islands earlier in the week and was shortly followed by Wutip which churned across the country's Northern provinces early on Wednesday morning.
- The rain which fell on parts of Switzerland this week was the heaviest in a century. In the Jura, 150mm fell in 72 hours - as much as normally falls during the entire month of August. Heavy rain caused water levels to rise and disrupted traffic. Many lakes and rivers passed warning levels. Heavy rain also caused chaos in northern Italy and north-eastern France.
Zurich, received its largest daily rainfall amount in 100 years. Only one fatality was reported.
- Nearly 100 people have drowned and 335 injured in floods in Sudan over the last four weeks, caused when rivers burst their banks. Some 60 000 houses have been damaged or destroyed and 500,000 people affected. Heavy precipitation and high temperatures are expected to continue until the end of the rainy season in October.
- Typhoon Sepat developed as a depression in the western Pacific Ocean on the 12th, reaching typhoon intensity on the 14th. By the 16th, Sepat had maximum sustained winds of up to 140kn and a minimal central pressure of 910 mb. On August 18, Sepat made landfall in eastern Taiwan producing heavy precipitation which resulted in mudslides. Only one fatality was reported but agricultural damages were estimated to be about $34.5 million. Although Sepat didn't make landfall in the Philippines, the outer bands of the typhoon affected the islands enhancing monsoonal rains that were responsible for 3 fatalities. Sepat made its second landfall along the coast of the Fujian province, southern China, with maximum sustained winds near 65kn on the 19th. Up to 200 mm (8 inches) of rain was produced by Sepat in most provinces in eastern China which killed 36 people and affected 1.53 million people. Sepat spawned a tornado that killed 13 people and left about 60 more injured. The heavy precipitation prompted landslides which left at least 12 people missing. Damages were estimated to be about $663 million. By the 20th, Sepat had dissipated.
- Hurricane Dean developed in the Atlantic Ocean, west-southwest of Cape Verde, as a tropical depression on the 13th. Dean moved towards the Caribbean sea and by the 16th it reached hurricane intensity. On the 17th, Dean entered the Caribbean Sea through the St. Lucia Channel as a Category 2 hurricane. Although Hurricane Dean passed to the south of Puerto Rico and the island of Hispaniola as a Category 3 hurricane, Dean's outer rain bands affected the islands as well. During the evening of the 17th, Dean strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane and by the 19th Dean passed south of Jamaica. On August 21, Dean was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 145kn, with gusts of up to 174kn, and a central pressure of 906 mb before making landfall in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. While interacting with land, Dean downgraded to a Category 1 storm but immediately regained strength as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico. Dean made its second landfall on August 22 near Tecolutla, Veracruz as a Category 2 storm. Dean lost its strength and dissipated over central Mexico.
Hurricane Dean was the first major hurricane for the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season and the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic basin since Andrew in 1992. Dean had a central pressure of 906 mb becoming the 9th lowest on record for the Atlantic Basin but ranked third lowest at landfall in the Atlantic basin since records began, behind the 1935 Labor day hurricane and Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Dean was responsible for at least 20 fatalities across the Caribbean and 10 fatalities in Mexico. Dean destroyed agricultural crops across Mexico and severely damaged its major cruise ship port and hundreds of homes. Insured losses were estimated to be about $300 million.
- Worshippers at more than 750 mosques in the Turkish capital Ankara have prayed for rain amid a prolonged dry spell; high temperatures in the city have depleted its reservoirs severely, as current supplies are only expected to last another three months. This has prompted many to seek divine intervention in the third major drought to hit Ankara in 50 years. Local people have called for the resignation of city mayor Melih Gokcek after accusing him of failing to take drought precautions and wasting money on non-essential projects. Mr Gokcek also faced criticism after suggesting that residents take holidays away from the city in order to conserve water supplies for a longer period.
- Temperatures in Japan hit record highs yesterday in a heat wave that has left at least seven people dead. In Tajimi, 400 km west of Tokyo, a record 40.9C was reached. The previous record was 40.8C in 1933, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
- According to a United Nations report, floods and landslides in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea have killed at least 83 people and 60 are missing. In one province, 10 per cent of the population has been displaced. Some 60000 houses have been destroyed and more than 90000 ha of farmland are under water.
- A severe heat wave occurred across much of the central, southeast, and eastern parts of the Southern U.S. throughout much of August 2007. The impacts of this heat wave are still being assessed as above-normal temperatures persist across much of the Southeast. More than 50 deaths have been attributed to the excessive heat. Numerous all-time record highs were set in August, along with scores of new daily high temperatures. Average temperatures during the warmest periods from the 7th-11th and again from the 15th-17th were more than 10°F warmer than average in many parts of the country. Preliminary calculations indicate that the nationally averaged temperature during August will likely make this one of the top 20 warmest Augusts for the United States since 1895.
- Tropical Storm Erin developed as a depression in the Gulf of Mexico on the 14th, reaching tropical storm intensity on the 15th. On the 16th, Erin made landfall near Lamar, Texas with maximum sustained winds of 35kn. Erin downgraded to a depression but dropped moderate to heavy precipitation in its path. By the 19th, Erin was over Oklahoma where it re-intensified with maximum sustained winds of 30kn. Later that same day, Erin dissipated over northeastern Oklahoma. About 250mm of rain fell across Houston and San Antonio, Texas, as well as in parts of central Oklahoma, as a result of Erin. According to reports, 13 fatalities were blamed to the tropical storm and many homes were damaged by the floods. Torrential rain also lashed other states including Minnesota, where nearly 280mm of rain caused violent flooding that washed away bridges and roads, killing six people. In Wisconsin up to 300mm of rain fell in some parts triggering mudslides. In Chicago the severe weather saw the cancellation of more than 200 flights at the O'Hare International Airport.
- Parts of Australia have been lashed by severe storms that have disrupted areas such as Sydney; parts of Sydney's north shore received more than 120mm of rain. Travel has been badly affected by the downpours, with localised flooding on roads causing numerous delays.
- Although Sunday brought a slight lowering in temperatures, the last two weeks has seen temperatures soar above 38C, across several of the southern and Midwestern US States. The National Weather Service issued several excessive heat warnings for the areas, with Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas the most affected. On Sunday, for the first time in ten days, the temperature in Memphis did not break 38C. It set a new record last Thursday, for the date, when the temperature hit 41C. Meanwhile the temperature in the Tennessee Valley was reported to have reached 40C making it the hottest there on record for 55 years. Temperatures across north-central Arkansas are also said to have reached 44C last week. Heat to be the largest weather-related killer across the US, accounting for on average as many as 1500 deaths a year. This number is said to be greater than the 30-year mean annual number of deaths due to tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and lightning combined.
- In the United States, thunderstorms brought heavy rain across parts of the Midwest prompting widespread flooding which forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. There were 18 reported deaths across the Midwest due to flooding. The American Red Cross said in a preliminary report that in Wisconsin and Minnesota there were approximately 4,200 affected homes. Damages in Wisconsin were estimated to be about $38 million.
- Pheonix, Arizona, is approaching a record most people probably do not want to see broken. The most 110F (43.3C) or higher days in a summer is 28. So far this year, they've had 26 extra-hot days, and with higher-than-normal temperatures forecast for this week, it looks like more are on the horizon. The latest date for the 110F day is 15 September, in 2000. The official temperature for Phoenix is recorded at Sky Harbor International Airport.
- At least eight people have died after a heavy storm swept across parts of Poland; winds gusted at almost 120km/h through the Mazury lake district. Along with heavy rain, the winds caused severe disruption at inland ports in the area, causing approximately 50 yachts to overturn. More than 80 people had to be rescued from different vessels in the lakes, although some were severely injured. Those who died drowned after their boats capsized, while nine people are still unaccounted for.
- Transport in Finland has been disrupted after a thunderstorm damaged the rail network; safety devices on the Helsinki-Turku line were damaged by the storm, leading to train services being delayed. Parts of the rail line between Kirkkonummi and Karjaa have also been damaged, causing delays to some local services. Meanwhile, the thunderstorm caused extra work for the emergency services as some properties were flooded and had their power cut off and lightning bolts set off some alarms and caused small fires in several areas.
- More than 300mm of rain has been recorded in the north-eastern part of Queensland (Australia), forcing many residents to evacuate their homes. The heavy rain and strong winds has been attributed to an area of low pressure which settled over south east Queensland earlier in the week. Jeff Callaghan at the Bureau of Meteorology said that this type of weather system was extremely rare for this time of year, with the last one not seen since the 1800s. The rainfall eased on Saturday, but many flood warnings still remain in place.
- Approximately 50,000 people have been displaced by the recent flooding in Uganda. Six districts had been lashed by unusually high levels of rainfall for the last month before the flooding hit. The crisis was exacerbated by flood damage to roads and bridges, which limited access to the affected areas. In addition, the displaced people are facing the risk of diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea and chest infections.
The floods are believed to be the worst to hit the area in more than 30 years.
- With month of the melt season yet to go, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center reports that Arctic Ocean ice cover has shrunk to the smallest area ever recorded: 5.31 million km2. The previous record minimum of 5.32 million km2 was set in September 2005. Sea-ice extent in the Arctic has been monitored by satellite since the 1970s.
- During August 22-27, heavy rainfall affected China's southwest region prompting flooding and triggering landslides that killed 17 people in the Sichuan province.
- This year's wet summer in Canada has led to a surge in the number of poisonous plants growing in some parts of the country. Plants such as western water-hemlock and tall larkspur have been identified near Drayton Valley.
Recent wet weather has been cited as the cause, as the plants are known to thrive in marshy soil. Some animals including cows have died after consuming them, prompting authorities to warn farmers of the risk to their livestock.
Agricultural workers have been urged to keep animals away from the weeds and remove them while wearing protective gloves.
- Large parts of Greece from north to south continue to be ravaged by some of the worst wildfires in living memory. A total of 63 people have died, of whom 57 were in the Peloponnese in the south. Some 170 fires are being fanned by strong, dry winds known as Meltemi, which blew smoke and ash over Athens. The fires are so large that they can be observed from space. EUMETSAT satellite pictures show plumes of smoke stretching hundreds of kilometres across the Mediterranean.
- Some 125 people were evacuated from their homes in eastern Spain yesterday as strong summer winds caused forest fires to spread. The fires started north of Valencia on Tuesday and have burned at least 3000 ha. Fires razed 35 000 ha in the Canary Islands earlier this summer. There have, however, been relatively few fires in Spain this summer. This has been put down to greater public awareness and cooler and damper weather than normal.
- Officials in the Canadian province of Ontario have issued a smog warning for the area because of current high temperatures, with cities such as Toronto likely to be affected by decreasing air quality due to the heat.
Temperatures have hovered around 33C, although the humidity has added to the discomfort suffered by vulnerable groups of people, such as those with respiratory ailments.Authorities have also warned that elderly people and the very young should also take care, as up to 600 people die from low air quality each year.
World weather news, July 2007
- Eastern states of West Bengal and neighbouring Orissa have been battered by heavy downpours for six days, sparking fresh flooding which has left hundreds of thousands of people marooned. A large number of people continue to remain cut off from the rest of the country after surging river waters, broke through mud embankments and swamped villages. Railway tracks over a 30 metre stretch between Tindharia and Rongtong in Darjeeling district of West Bengal were left dangling since Wednesday, as loose earth caved, in the following landslide.
In Calcutta, civic authorities have been completely overwhelmed with relief work after the city received 475 mm of rainfall in four days.
- The number of deaths caused by the heat wave in Greece, which lasted some 10 days, has risen to fifteen. Since Friday 29 June, temperatures have returned to the seasonal norms, having reached 46C in Athens. The fires which had been burning in several parts of the country since last Wednesday are now all under control.
- A total of 61 people lost their lives as a result of heavy rainfall, which is expected to continue across India, raising the death toll in the country to 294 since the beginning of this year. West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have been among the worst monsoon-affected states during the last 10 days.
- Torrential rains and gale force winds have lashed southern parts of Japan killing one and injuring four, as well as causing widespread flash flooding and triggering landslides. Nearly 3,400 residents in Kumamoto have been urged to flee their homes due to a river breaking its banks, cutting off roads. Other neighbourhoods in mountainous areas have been isolated by the floods.
One of the worst hit areas was the small town of Misato located south of Tokyo, where hundreds of homes were isolated by flooded roads and a landslide.
Over 200mm of rain fell in some parts of Kyushu in southern Japan since Thursday night.
- A heat wave affected areas across the western contiguous U.S. during the first week of July. Temperatures were past 40C across the western U.S., breaking maximum temperature records in several cities. These dry and hot conditions throughout much of the western U.S. enhanced wildfire potential, with several large fires scattered across the region during early July.
- Typhoon Man-Yi developed as a depression in the western Pacific Ocean on the 8th, reaching typhoon intensity by the 10th. Early morning on the 13th, Man-Yi made landfall in the southern island of Okinawa with maximum sustained winds near 160km/h. The strong winds left more than 60,000 people without power. On the 14th, Man-Yi made landfall on the southern part of the islands of Kyushu and Shikoku and immediately weakened as it tracked toward the northeast. Typhoon Man-Yi was responsible for 5 fatalities and was reportedly the most powerful storm to hit Japan in July since records began in 1951.
- Heavy rainfall, which began on the 8th and persisted till the 18th, caused the overflowing of rivers and triggered flash floods across northern parts of Sudan forcing hundreds of families to evacuate the area. The flood waters destroyed approximately 18,000 homes and were responsible for injuring 20 people and killing more than 50 others. According to residents, the event is Sudan's worst flooding in living memory.
- Cold weather in Argentina resulted in the first major snowfall since 1918 snowfall in Buenos Aires. According to the local meteorological centre, this is the first time since 1973 that Buenos Aires experienced any snowfall. The snowfall was linked to a mass of freezing air from the Antarctic which collided with a low pressure system that swept across the capital and surrounding area.
- Winds, blizzards and rare snowfall hit various provinces in South America causing the death of three people in this unusually cold winter season. Over the past week authorities in some countries, e.g. Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, were forced to take measures to ration energy supplies and in Bolivia and Peru a state of emergency has been declared. Temperatures reached as low as -22C in Argentina and -18C in Chile.
- Seven people were injured in the Canadian city of Ottawa after they were struck by lightning. Five of the victims were teenagers who were hit when the lightning hit a nearby tree. They had been out playing golf when the thunderstorm broke out, although none of them sustained any life-threatening injuries. A storm earlier in the day had already prompted the golf club to call players inside, although the rain had subsided by the time the seven players ventured out again.
- Heavy monsoon-related rainfall prompted landslides that killed at least 26 people in western Nepal. Six people remain missing.
- High temperatures in Hong Kong have caused a spate of heat-related illnesses across the city At least 80 elderly people have been taken to hospital suffering from conditions such as heatstroke. Meanwhile, an 88-year-old woman collapsed in a shopping mall and was pronounced dead before arriving at hospital. Residents have been advised to stay indoors while the hot weather persists.
- The Australian state of Victoria has been covered by snow as a cold snap hits the region; several areas have been affected by the snow, which has been compounded by the high wind chill factor. Motorists have been warned to take extra care on the roads as many of the surfaces are icy, while many of the road markings have been completely obscured. The conditions have led to several minor accidents, mainly as a result of cars losing grip and skidding.
- Severe thunderstorms over the past few days have created a powerful duststorm which is moving across parts of Arizona in south-west America. Winds of around 47mph were reported in the city of Chandler near Phoenix, which kicked up the sand into a duststorm. As the storm passed, temperatures in the city dropped from 43C to 33C in just over an hour, with the increase in dust reducing the visibility on many roads. The high temperatures and humidity across the state created ideal conditions for a storm, with the warmest ever minimum temperature of 33C recorded in Phoenix on Monday night, 3C higher than the previous one.
- Heavy rain which began in June 2007 across parts of China continued in July. During the first week of July, torrential rainfall generated devastating floods and landslides which affected about 500,000 people in Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Chongqing provinces. About 94 fatalities were reported with 25 others missing. The floods and landslides also destroyed about 49,000 homes and damaged approximately 240,000. During July 15-18, severe storms pounded central and eastern parts of China, which killed at least 37 people mainly due to mudslides and lightning strikes. In Chongqing city, an intense thunderstorm produced heavy rains which triggered floodings that affected about 113,000 people and destroyed about 10,000 homes. On July 16-17, Chongqing received, according to reports, 227mm of rain in a 24-hr period. This amount of rain broke the previous record of 206mm that was set on July 21, 1996 and thus became the largest volume in a 24-hr period since records began in 1892. Economic losses have been estimated to exceed $500 million.
- Authorities in Hungary are distributing thousands of gallons of water as the country's heatwave continues. Budapest is currently experiencing temperatures of more than 38C. As a result, Budapest's city council has sent out teams of municipal workers to distribute 22,000 bottles and 15,000 plastic bags of drinking water to local people. Meanwhile, water trucks are cooling streets and pavements and the city's transport company is delivering water to passengers at bus stops.
- High temperatures in Bulgaria have caused damage to some of the country's transport infrastructure with tram rails in the capital city Sofia buckling in temperatures of 40C.
- Strong winds have left a trail of destruction across a province in Finland.
The southern province of Kymenlaakso was lashed by winds that were strong enough to uproot trees. The town of Valkeala was badly affected, as trees were brought down over a half-kilometre stretch by a line squall. A number of buildings were also damaged as roofs and windows faced the force of the gusts, as well as impacts from falling trees and branches.
- Details of the heavy rain and floods in the UK can be found here.
- Violent thunderstorms have caused destruction and death in northwest Pakistan. Officials say that more than 80 people have been killed, including women and children, as lightning, flash floods and landslides batter villages in the remote Usherai Darra area of the country. Over 20 homes were washed away on Friday evening in the flood waters. Rescuers have confirmed the death of around 70 people so far, but feared the number of dead could increase, with scores of people still missing. On Saturday torrential rain caused landslides which damaged more homes in the villages and blocked off roads, hampering rescue operations.
- Parts of South and Central Texas finally got a break from the torrential rain that flooded roads, stranded an Amtrak train and sent Boy Scouts fleeing for safety.
As much as 17 inches of rain had fallen in some areas between 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. Dozens of people were rescued, some by helicopter, but no serious injuries were reported in the state's latest round of flooding. The sun peaked out by midday Sunday.
- Thirty-two people are dead and 5,000 have fled their homes in Indonesia after floods and landslides caused by heavy rains demolished homes and severed transport links.
Entire villages are cut off by the disaster in Central Sulawesi after torrents of mud and water destroyed several bridges following a week of downpours.
- The capital of Brunei has been disrupted after a major storm hit the city yesterday evening. Bandar Seri Begawan was lashed by strong winds and heavy rain. This caused damage across the area, as parts of buildings, stalls and other structures were brought down. Meanwhile, power was cut off and some roads were blocked by the fallen debris such as trees and signs.
- Road travel across New Zealand has been severely disrupted after parts of the country were hit by snow and rain. Heavy rain in the North Island led to some surface flooding. Both the North and South Island have been also been affected by snow, resulting in the closure of several roads.
- Balkans authorities warned people to stay indoors to avoid searing temperatures that have already killed 30 people in Romania and two in Bulgaria and Greece, with another two deaths reported in Croatia.
Temperatures in the region were recorded at 40C and above, with Greece expecting a high of 45C on Tuesday and Italy just behind at 44C, hours after Rome recorded one of its warmest nights ever on Monday at 27.1C.
On the same day, Bulgaria experienced its hottest temperatures since records began with the mercury shooting above 45C in parts of the country, and more than 860 people reportedly fainting in the streets in Romania.
The heat also fanned several fires, with the most serious on Tuesday raging near the southern Macedonian city of Bitola.
One person died and thousands were evacuated as the blaze lay waste to some 1,000 hectares of forest near Macedonia's second-largest city.
Greece was also recovering from a season of blazes that in the past month have devastated 32,000 hectares.
- Large chunks of ice, one of them reportedly about 50 pounds, fell from the sky in Iowa, smashing through a woman's roof and tearing through nearby trees.
Authorities said they were unsure of the ice's origin but have theorized that the chunks either fell from an airplane or naturally accumulated high in the atmosphere - both rare occurrences.
"It sounded like a bomb," said Jan Kenkel, 78. She said she was standing in her kitchen when an ice chunk crashed through her roof early Thursday morning. "I jumped about a foot!"
She discovered a messy pile of insulation, bits of ceiling, splintered wood and about 50 pounds of solid ice.
Neighbours Karle and Mary Beth Wigginton said they heard a loud "whoosh" coming through the trees, discovering several large chunks of ice in front of their home in this city in northwestern Iowa in the country's Midwest.
- Much of China was inundated by the worst rains of the year, testing the Three Gorges Dam's anti-flood capacity, even as over a million people suffered from serious drought.
In northwest China's Shaanxi province, 21 were confirmed dead and 18 others were still missing in floods triggered by heavy downpours that began on Saturday.
More than 700 people have been killed by floods, landslides and lightning this year in China.
On Monday, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies described this summer's inundations as "some of the worst flooding to hit the country in the last 10 years."
The capital Beijing was also hit by the heaviest rainstorm this summer on Monday, causing serious delays at the city's international airport and stranding about 10,000 passengers.
In central China's Hunan province, sustained drought for the past four months had triggered a water crisis for 1.2 million people, Xinhua said.
China's largest city Shanghai is also sweltering through what is likely to become its hottest summer on record.
- Floods and heavy rains have caused 23,000 mudbrick homes to collapse and killed at least 62 people across Sudan this month.
The homes of over 40,000 families were damaged in northern Sudan alone, and tens of thousands of cattle have been lost. Most of the north is arid, and many houses are constructed in local materials that can't resist strong rains.
At least 140 public buildings, including schools and hospitals, have been heavily damaged and major roads have also been cut off.
Tens of thousands have also been displaced by the flooding in southern Sudan, and top local officials have recently declared the south a disaster zone.
The rains have caused mudslides that ravaged 10,000 homes on the outskirts of Khartoum, where the White and Blue Niles meet to form Africa's largest river.
World weather news, June 2007
- Farmers in Taiwan have been advised not to go on their fields during the current heatwave.
One farmer died this week after spraying insecticides on his crops without wearing any protective gear.
According to local officials, the high temperatures made the chemicals more volatile and therefore increased the need for safety equipment.
However, the Bureau of Health Promotion stated that the safety devices themselves could also be deadly in the soaring temperatures.
The farmer died from pesticide poisoning, while three other agricultural workers have recently died from heat exhaustion.
- Three days of prolonged rain fall across parts of China has triggered floods and mudslides, which have destroyed hundreds of homes and farmlands. The torrential rain that began late on Thursday night has caused over 6 million pounds worth of damage across 59 towns and cities.
In the southern province of Huaihua, 300mm of rainfall was recorded in Xiangtan City in just over three hours leading to the collapse of over 800 houses. Jiangxi in eastern China was hit by mudslides as a result of the heavy rain, which destroyed over 2000 homes.
- Around 14 people have been killed and more than 8000 have been forced to leave their homes as torrential rains lashed down on the Dominican Republic.
In total, four northern provinces have been placed on a red alert as heavy rains damaged many homes and thousands of acres of crops.
Four people died as a result of landslides in El Salvador, and another two people were killed by flooding as the storms battered Cuba.
The heavy rains across the region, according to local meteorologists, were generated by tropical storm Barbara which developed in the Pacific and has currently moved eastwards into Mexico's southern coast.
- Parts of North-west India are continuing to reel under extreme heat today as temperatures rise to 46C, 4C above the average for this time of year. The total death toll from the heat now stands at 37, with 14 people dying over the past 48 hours in the northern province of Uttar Pradesh. There has been little relief overnight as minimum temperatures have rarely fallen below 30C (86F) over the past week.
Despite monsoon conditions hitting the western coast of India earlier in the week, north-eastern parts of the country have yet to receive any rainfall.
- Armed police are delivering water to villages in drought-hit southwestern China, where nearly 4 million people face shortages.
4.5 million cattle also have inadequate drinking water in the province of Sichuan and 116,000 people have to rely on water wagons to supply them drinking water.
In Guanyin, part of the city of Suining, 80 of the 98 wells and two of the three reservoirs have dried up.
- The approach of Tropical Storm Gonu has prompted the evacuation of hundreds of residents from the Iranian port of Chabahr today.
Yesterday, Gonu forced thousands of people to leave low-lying areas of Oman.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Meteorological Organization has issued warnings for the coast and islands in the Oman Sea and Strait of Hormuz where waves were predicted to reach a height of 5.5m.
Gonu was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the region since records began in 1945; the storm's winds peaked at nearly 150mph over the sea, making it a Super Cyclone, the strongest possible and equivalent to a Category Five hurricane.
- Residents of Los Angeles have been hit by a series of restrictions in a bid to conserve water supplies.
The city has experienced its driest year on record as it has received less than a quarter of the typical amount of rain.
Meanwhile, a hot and dry summer has been forecast, meaning the city could be faced with a major drought before the end of the year.
This has prompted authorities to impose restrictions on water usage in a bid to cut it by ten per cent.
Measures include spending less time in the shower, reducing the use of lawn sprinklers and not using toilets to dispose of rubbish.
- Trucks were trapped in flooded highways after Cyclone Gonu battered Oman's coast on its path toward the world's most important crude oil tanker route. At least 20 storm-related deaths were reported.
The storm caused little damage to Oman's relatively small oil fields. But raging seas had prevented tankers from sailing from Omani ports, effectively shutting down the country's oil exports.
- Wild weather brought chaos to Australia's east coast, driving a huge freighter aground in tumultuous seas, sweeping cars into flooded rivers, disrupting flights and cutting power lines.
Helicopter rescue pilots braved gale-force winds to airlift 21 crew from the stricken freighter as giant waves threatened to beach several other ships, sparking a series of distress calls as they were dragged closer to the coast.
- In May, unusually heavy rain fell in the interior of Yemen and locust breeding occurred over a large area. According to FAO's Desert Locust Information Service, the situation is becoming extremely serious and aerial control operations requiring external assistance will be needed in next few months to minimize the threat to agriculture.
In addition to these events, Tropical Cyclone Gonu brought widespread heavy rain to the eastern portions of Oman and southern Iran. These areas had already received unusually heavy rainfall in March, which had favoured locust breeding. A landfalling tropical cyclone in June 1996 initiated a locust upsurge in the Arabian Peninsula and Red Sea regions which lasted for two years.
- Australian officials say that at least nine people died and five were missing after heavy storms lashed the east coast of the country. Residents in the state of New South Wales were warned from taking unnecessary journeys and around 200,000 people were left without electricity.
A beached cargo ship is threatening to break up after it was washed onto a reef, leading to fears of a major fuel spill.
The storms were triggered by a very low pressure system off the east coast and meteorologists continue to issue flood and wind warnings for several areas in New South Wales and Queensland.
Up to 300mm of rain has fallen in parts of the Hunter region since Thursday, and 200mm was received in the Central Coast and Sydney.
- Several areas in Germany and Switzerland were swamped by flash floods over the weekend of 9-10 June after severe storms. Swiss media reported the deaths of three people and around 50 homes destroyed.
In Germany, some 27 people were injured after violent storms struck the south and south-west, also triggering flash floods. Air and road traffic was disrupted.
- Reports say an estimated 37 people have died in two days as a result of a heatwave in the north of India. The state of Uttar Pradesh was the worst affected region with 9 victims.
Temperatures in New Delhi on Saturday were recorded at 44.9C - the hottest in the capital since the beginning of the year.
- Flash floods, landslides and lightning strikes have killed at least 100 people across parts of Bangladesh.
Nearly 275mm of rain fell in Chittagong and the neighbouring districts on Monday overwhelming the area with water. Intense thunderstorms elsewhere in the country claimed 15 lives.
Most of the deaths were caused by massive mudslides which buried shanty homes in the port city of Chittagong.
- Between 1.30pm and 3pm, in what was said by a resident, to be 'the worst thunderstorm in living memory', floodwater levels rose to a depth of around 10 inches in places in Northern Ireland.
Within the space of just 40 minutes, the Fire and Rescue service responded to more than 400 emergency calls as large parts the province were inundated with flood water. Counties Tyrone, Antrim and eastern parts of Belfast were among the worst hit areas. In eastern Co. Tyrone, Lough Fea recorded 53.4mm of rain, much of which fell in the space of a few hours.
Flooded streets led to complete traffic chaos for several hours, and some people abandoned their cars, which were left floating in the water. Emergency crews battled to clear water from flooded businesses and homes. Fire crews used rubber dinghies in the Ladas Drive area of Belfast to rescue stranded people.
More than 30 people were rescued.
- Up to 28,000 people have been affected by severe flooding on the Kenyan coast. Many areas have been hit by torrential rain during the last month, including Mombasa, Kilifi and Malindi.
At least seven people have died in the floods, while many others have been injured by falling debris.
The damage to property and infrastructure along coastal regions was described as "substantial", while local people have also been placed in danger by the greater risk of disease.
- North-western Sweden experienced unpredicted snowfall following an intense heatwave.
The province of Harjedalen saw up to ten centimetres of snow falling.
Meanwhile, local media reported the sight of sun parasols covered by up to seven centimetres of snow in Drevdagen village.
Meteorologist Jonas Hoglund told the Aftonbladet newspaper that having up to ten centimetres of snow is a phenomenon rarely seen in that area of Sweden.
- At least 17 people lost their lives in Pakistan over the weekend after heavy rains interrupted a prolonged heat wave which has accounted for over 250 deaths this month.
Low-lying areas of the Punjab province, including the capital Lahore, were worst affected by the downpours.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted that the monsoon proper will arrive at the end of June, bringing more-than-average rainfall.
- Reports say some 500,000 people were left without water after a heavy storm battered the Siberian city of Tomsk in the evening.
One person died, eleven were injured and dozens of local areas deprived of electricity in Tomsk and four rural districts.
- An estimated 36 people have died in floods and landslides in south west China, 13 have been reported missing and nearly 300,000 have been evacuated. Torrential rainfall has swamped parts of the region since 17 June.
Almost 9 million people have been affected by the disaster in the worst affected provinces of Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou and Hubei.
- At least 16 people were killed by lightning and flash floods in eastern India. An estimated 150,000 were taking refuge in tents, schools and government buildings after monsoon rains prompted the River Brahmaputra to burst its banks.
- A number of retailers in Qatar have been forced to shut up shop as high temperatures have hit fish catchments.
The combined effects of warm seas and cyclonic winds have hit the available supply of fish, including King Fish and Hamur.
As a result, many vendors in shops and markets have been forced to close until their catchment improves, although many are pessimistic as the temperature is already 33C ahead of the summer season.
Many traders are relying on imported prawns for business, as well as less sought-after alternatives such as sardines and mackerel.
- A snowstorm has reportedly blocked more than 6000 trucks on the slopes of the Cristo Redentor pass (3800m asl), the main route between Argentina and Chile, in both directions.
- Floods killed five people in Texas including a five-year-old girl and her grandmother who were swept away after torrential rain lashed the north of the state.
The rains flooded "several north Texas towns" on Monday and left people clinging to rooftops and trees.
National Weather Service said close to 23cms of rain had poured over the Gainesville area since early Monday morning. Forecasts called for scattered thundershowers over the area on Tuesday followed by at least two partly sunny days without rain.
- Lesotho is experiencing long-term drought conditions and February 2007 was the driest February since 1968. The drought has significantly reduced cereal production.
Lesotho Meteorological Services, predicts that below-normal rainfall will continue at least until August. The outlook is that water resources will dry up early and that a 'serious potable water scarcity is highly probable'.
- Ten people have died in the Yemeni city of Aden due to high temperatures.
Temperatures of up to 43C have led to some people falling victim to heat-related illnesses.
This has been compounded by a series of power cuts that have left cooling systems inoperable.
Usually at this time of year, temperatures in Aden hover between 36C and 39C.
- Authorities in India are set to release hundreds of prisoners because of the current heatwave.
With temperatures hovering around 45C in places such as New Delhi, it has been decided to free 600 people who had been detained on minor offences.
Seven inmates have died in the city's Tihar prison in the last few weeks, as it is currently overcrowded to more than double its recommended capacity.
Delhi High Court ruled that the prisoners would be allowed to go free if they paid a sum of money.
- Rising temperatures in Turkey are hitting water supplies across many of the country's reservoirs.
The news provider states that the water level in Istanbul's reservoirs dropped from 40.5 per cent of capacity last week to 39.7 per cent.
This time last year, water levels in the city's reservoirs were 86.5 per cent full with 747 million cubic metres of water.
However, this year's average volume of water has been recorded at 342 million cubic metres.
Temperatures have already reached as high as 39C in some areas, with the heat levels across the county up to four degrees above the seasonal norm.
- The south of Ukraine is experiencing its worst drought in more than a century, according to local agricultural workers.
A prolonged lack of rainfall has had a considerable impact on crop output, leading to a knock-on effect on prices.
Reduced wheat yields have caused the price of bread to increase by up to ten per cent in some areas, with the biggest rises in central and western regions.
This has led to disarray in the Ukrainian government, as the price hikes are proving to be extremely unpopular ahead of the forthcoming election.
The prime minister has threatened to sack leading agricultural officials if prices continue to climb.
- A low pressure system in the Tasman Sea brought dangerous weather to the NSW coast. This is the third time that an East Coast Low has impacted the NSW coast in the last two weeks.
The intense low produced sustained winds around its centre of more than 100km/h. At its peak, at 6am/20th, the centre was about 400km east of Sydney with a pressure of 980mb.
Waves offshore from Port Kembla increased from 2 metres at midnight to 6 metres around midday with maximum waves exceeding 10 metres.
Rainfall in the 24 hours to 9am was largely confined to the southeastern parts of the state. The highest totals reported include 64mm at Eden and 55mm at both Sydney and Robertson.
The cold temperatures associated with this system also brought snow falls through the Central and Northern Tablelands of New South Wales.
The maximum temperature on Tuesday at each of Cobar (6.6C) and Ivanhoe (8.2C) were the lowest on record for June. At Cobar that is the lowest in over a hundred years. Records at Ivanhoe go back to 1959.
Sydney has recorded 466mm so far this month, making it the wettest June since 1950.
- British weather forecasters, making their first public attempt to predict the Atlantic hurricane season, say it may be a little quieter than their American counterparts expect.
It is most likely that 10 tropical storms will form from July to November, the British government forecasters said Tuesday. An expected cooling trend in Atlantic Ocean surface waters favors fewer tropical storms than in recent years, the British meteorologists said in their first-ever hurricane season forecast.
There is a 70 percent chance that the number of tropical storms will be in the range of seven to 13, according to the British.
In May, U.S. government forecasters predicted 13 to 17 tropical storms in the season that runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Colorado State University researcher William Gray predicted 17 named storms. The Atlantic season has already had two named storms, Andrea and Barry.
The British scientists did not predict a number of hurricanes that would form or how many would become strong, as American forecasters do.
U.S. government scientists have said they expect seven to 10 tropical storms to become hurricanes and three to five of them in the strong category. Gray predicted nine hurricanes, five of them intense.
- Firefighters in the Greek capital Athens have been struggling to tackle a fire amid high temperatures.
A blaze broke out at a municipal rubbish collection point and created a thick cloud of black smoke.
However, temperatures have been hovering above 40C and are expected to rise further in the next few days, thus feeding the fire.
Authorities have stated that the blaze, which occurred in the southern area of Glyfada, could continue for several days before it is completely extinguished.
Meanwhile, the heatwave has prompted the Public Power Corporation in the city to urge locals not to cook or use air conditioning sytems in order to reduce the likelihood of a power cut.
- A sudden windstorm mixed with heavy rain toppled a construction crane and numerous trees in Vienna yesterday, killing two people and injuring others.
Traffic at Vienna's international airport had to be suspended because of high winds and lightning, as well as some train services. There were power outages and many traffic accidents.
The storm broke a heat wave in which temperatures had risen to 35C.
- Australian tropics experienced one of the coldest June months on record with the cold conditions experienced from 17 to 22 June being accompanied by widespread unseasonable rain during what is normally the dry season.
The cold snap resulted from the combination of an extensive and slow-moving middle-level cloud band associated with an upper-level trough. At the same time, there was a south-southeasterly surge over much of the tropics as a direct result of the circulation from the intense low-pressure system off the NSW coast, which brought the flood rain to that region.
Record all-time low daily maximum temperatures were widespread through the Australian tropics and the conditions have contributed to a new record for the wettest June in tropical Australia, with the area-averaged total of 46.9mm (as of 27 June) exceeding the previous record of 39.1mm set in both 1939 and 1973.
- In Manitoba during the evening two or three tornadoes touched down west of Winnipeg. Four houses were completely destroyed and three others severely damaged in Elie a village about thirty miles west of Winnipeg. Also destroyed were a flour mill and a grain elevator. Witnesses said they saw tornadoes in the towns of Portage la Prairie, Carman, Elie, Oakland and Starbuck, all west of Winnipeg. The first storms hit at about 6 p.m. local time.
- Severe thunderstorms, associated with an outer band of the tropical cyclone Yemyin (03B), produced heavy rains and winds that killed about 230 people in the city of Karachi, located in the Sindh province in southern Pakistan. These were mainly due to collapsing houses, snapped power lines which electrocuted many people, and flying debris. The storms produced heavy rains which caused floodings and destroyed thousands of homes.
- A heat wave has swept over the western Chinese province of Xinjiang with temperatures reaching 44.8C in Turpan -more than 14C above the usual temperature in June. In Shihezi, temperatures have exceeded the 30-year record.
- A number of fires destroyed areas of forest, orchards and crops on Sunday in the east of Algeria where temperatures reportedly reached 45C - a 60-year-old record. The heat wave has affected the country since Saturday.
- Torrential rain in the north of England has caused the death of three people. Hundreds were blocked in their cars or took refuge on the roofs of their houses. Thousands are without electricity.
Some parts of the country received the equivalent of one month's rainfall within a few hours. The flooding is the worst to have occurred in recent years in some areas.
- A snowstorm fell on Johannesburg, South Africa, as a winter weather front moved across the country, closing mountain passes and claiming at least one life. It was the country's first significant snowfall since 1981. Flights from the international airport were delayed by up to three hours as aircraft were de-iced.
- Constant downpours over the past 10 days in Texas, USA, have caused heaving flooding and claimed 11 lives. Bridges have been washed out and people stranded. Several families had to be evacuated by helicopter.
Austin has had its wettest year on record with more than 76cm of rain since January. Texas had been experiencing drought since 2005.
Severe storms produced persistent heavy rainfall in central Texas during June 26-27 which deposited about 460mmof rain in the Marble Falls area on the night of the 26th. Meanwhile the Dallas area has experienced its second wettest June, behind 1928, since records began in 1899.
- Five people have now died in Greece's longest ever heat wave which has persisted for eight days. Temperatures reached 43C in Athens yesterday and 46.2C in Nea Philadelphia, the highest since 1955.
Two deaths were reported yesterday in Bulgaria and Cyprus. The high temperatures have killed at least 42 people in Italy and the Balkans. In Romania, where temperatures reached 45C on Tuesday, a violent storm yesterday increased the number of weather-related deaths to 30.
- Stormy weather has brought widespread flooding across the drought-parched southeast of Australia. The storm is the fourth to hit the eastern coast of Australia this month and has caused the worst flooding in Victoria in almost 40 years.
Several rivers burst their banks in the Gippsland region on Thursday evening. As floodwaters rose, residents were warned of a potential crisis with hundreds forced to abandon their homes. Floodwaters were forecast to hit levels as high as those seen during the great floods of 1990.
The Bureau of Meteorology said the frequency of this month's storms was the result of a series of intense low-pressure systems in the Indian Ocean which in turn caused intense high pressure systems south of Australia.
- Temperatures in Israel of 42C have led to a record demand for electricity (9500MW). The population has been asked to use certain high-consumption machines and systems, notably air conditioning, with care, so as to avoid a disruption in the electricity supply.
- Monsoon flooding following cyclone Yemyin, which ripped through Balotchistan province in Pakistan on the 26th-27th, has affected more than 800,000 people in south-west Pakistan and killed 20. Monsoon storms have claimed more than 120 lives in neighboring India and at least four in Aghanistan.
The total number of lives lost in the unusually severe flooding is still unknown.
People and livestock have been stranded on rooftops without water or food, in temperatures of 43C.
World weather news, May 2007
- Temperatures reached 50°C in the Vidharbha region of India earlier this week and topped 40C in many other areas. At least three people have died from the stifling conditions which have persisted for the past two weeks.
- Residents of Wellington are today reeling from heavy rain and flooding following a torrential downpour yesterday morning. Despite rain being forecast for the region, it arrived earlier than expected, with much greater intensity.
Having rained steadily overnight, a deluge of rain fell between 5am and 6am, inundating Wellington with half its monthly rainfall in just one morning - 28mm of rain fell in just over an hour.
Normally receiving 119mm over the month of May, residents of Kelburn were hit by 52mm of rain throughout Wednesday morning. The intensity of the downpour led to widespread flooding, causing fatal accidents across a number of highways. Conditions were worsened by rocks and shingle strewn across some of the roads, whilst storm drains were unable to cope with the volume of water.
- Two people were killed in heavy rains in Sri Lanka's capital while flash floods caused traffic jams and disrupted ceremonies to welcome back the national cricket team.
The meteorology department said Colombo received over 12cm of rain during the 24 hours to Thursday morning.
- Days of deadly storms flooded roads, damaged homes and knocked down trees in Texas, and about 200,000 homes and businesses remained in the dark by Thursday.
At least three people have been killed - two hit by lightning and a third stuck in a submerged car.
High wind, heavy rain and lightning and zero visibility shut down Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport for more than an hour. Forty flights were cancelled, a dozen were diverted and others were delayed.
Wind gusts of up to 100 mph were reported in Terrell, east of Dallas.
- Temperature readings in the Chinese capital reached 31.9C - the warmest 3 May in 40 years, according to the China Meteorological Administration. It was caused by the occurrence of a mass of warm air, coupled with still conditions.
Some 1,000 firefighters have been mobilized to tackle a fire in a nature reserve west of the capital.
- The threat of a summer drought has forced French authorities to impose water-rationing measures in seven out of 96 departments throughout the country.
The National Weather Service Météo-France says that the water table is low in most regions and the situation could become problematical if the lack of rainfall persists. On average, some 30% less rain than normal has fallen in France since last October, while a broad swath of the Rhone valley from Valence to Nimes, Marseille and Toulon in the south is 75% to 90% down on its usual level. In Brittany, the rivers have not been so low for 40 years.
- At least 11 people have died and dozens more have been injured as a tornado struck the town of Greensburg, in southern Kansas. Little has been left standing as the tornado destroyed nearly everything in its path.
The National Weather Service classified the Friday night tornado as an F-5, the highest category on its scale. Two smaller tornadoes followed, sweeping northwards into the town.
Despite sirens warning residents twenty minutes before the tornado struck, many people who took shelter in their basements became trapped by the debris.
- At least five people have died in the main commercial city (Yangon) of Myanmar after the heaviest rainfall in at least four decades.
Much of the leafy colonial era capital was under water on Saturday after 24 hours of torrential rainfall.
One northern suburb of the city recorded 13.54 inches of rain, the biggest downpour in 39 years.
In the Mingaladon area of the city, where the international airport sits, rainfall of 11.14 inches was the highest in 60 years.
Hundreds of houses were underwater. Some buildings and trees had collapsed and telephone lines were cut.
Residents blamed the flooding on the city's poor drainage system, which is often choked with rubbish at the end of the October-May dry season.
- A state of emergency has been declared across the states of Oklahoma and Missouri (USA) in response to rising floodwaters. Thousands of residents have been forced from their homes along the Missouri River this week as severe thunderstorms, which spawned the devastating Greensburg tornado, continue to pound parts of the central Plains.
Five levees broke along the Missouri River sending a deluge of river water running down across the town of Big Lake, Missouri, submerging it. Residents across three states were evacuated as water levels reached those not seen since the devastating floods of 1993.
- At least 14 people have died after a tornado struck the south-east of Chad.
The town of Bebedjia was hit by the funnel, which also caused more than 100 serious injuries.
A local resident was quoted as saying that 95 per cent of the town was destroyed within 20 minutes, while a second storm struck later in the day and added to the widespread damage.
The man described scenes of general panic among the local population and said that the material and human cost had been "enormous".
- The Canadian city of Winnipeg saw record temperatures for the time of year yesterday.
Temperatures reached 31.3C; this beats the previous record for May 9th, which was set in 1992 when the mercury rose to 30.7C.
Other nearby towns also enjoyed record temperatures, which were attributed to a mass of warm air moving up from central and south-western parts of the US.
However, the heat in Manitoba triggered a number of severe forest fires, which were fuelled by light winds.
- Heavy rains have not only flooded the town of Durazno, north of the Uruguayan capital, driving residents from their homes, but has muddied the drinking water as well.
The local Yi river has not crested this high since 1959, said residents, some of whom lost everything from clothing to furniture and vehicles and are sleeping in shelters.
- A subtropical storm has become the first named storm of 2007. Andrea developed off the north-eastern Florida coast but is weaken as it drifts southwards. The hurricane season starts on 1 June.
- Fire fighters in Los Angeles have been battling a blaze which has been tearing through the bush covered hills of Hollywood over the past two days. The state is in the grip of the driest start to the year since records began in 1877, with the combination of high temperatures and drought conditions sparking the wildfire outbreak.
The fire erupted Tuesday afternoon in Griffin Park, a mixture of wilderness and cultural sites set between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley; already destroying the popular terraced garden of Dante's View.
Although there have been no deaths or destruction of any homes, around 300 people have been evacuated.
Fire fighters in northern Georgia have also been battling with wild fire for a fourth consecutive week. Deemed the largest blaze in state history, the fire has consumed over 100,000 acres of the Okefenokee National Wildfire Refuge.
- Four rock climbers were killed in flash floods, which ripped through canyons around the Dead Sea on Saturday, according to rescue workers. The victims had been in a group of 11, abseiling in the area; a rocky region of deep ravines, caves and lofty crags.
The flood which swept over a portion of a main highway along the frontier with neighbouring Jordan was caused by a rare spring cloudburst. The Dead Sea is surrounded by desert and generally arid cliffs and has been prone to flash floods in the past, because it is located several hundred meters below sea level.
Heavy rains are rare at this time of year in the arid Middle East, where most precipitation falls in winter.
Hundreds of Israelis travelling on the national day of rest were stuck in various locations in the area after flash floods blocked main roads.
- Two fishermen went missing, several piers were destroyed and homes flooded in the port of Saint Pierre on the island of La Réunion over the weekend. Meteorologists estimated wave heights at more than 11m.
Freak waves are also thought to be responsible for the disappearances of at least six people from the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues.
- The Indian monsoon season may arrive earlier than is normal as officials predict the seasonal rains to reach the coast of Kerala on 24 May.
Although the date of the monsoon is important for the Indian economy, more important is its distribution across the region, as the agricultural industry is heavily reliant on the rainfall.
Forecasters have included a margin of error of plus or minus three days, with an anticipated rainfall of 95 per cent of the long-term average.
Explaining the importance of the monsoon to the economy, one senior edible oils trader told the news agency: "What will be crucial now for oilseeds is how the second phase of monsoon advances over the country. Unless the second spell also comes a week early, there would be a stress on the crops."
- The air pollution index in the Chilean capital Santiago has hit an eight-year high.
The city's particle quality index - which reflects pollution levels in the atmosphere - has risen to 409 points as the number of particulates has surpassed levels last seen in 1999.
Consequently, the Chilean government has issued warnings to the elderly and the very young to remain indoors until the smog dissipates, while new regulations are being enforced regarding the use of vehicles during times of poor air quality.
- A tidal surge triggered by a storm in the Bay of Bengal swept through coastal districts of Bangladesh and Myanmar today, killing at least one fisherman and damaging hundreds of homes. Some 100 fishermen aboard 20 fishing boats were reported missing. Nearly 80 000 people were evacuated to cyclone shelters.
With winds of up to 80km/h, the storm crossed the Bangladesh coast at dawn, heading east towards Myanmar. Crops and shrimp farms were washed away in the 1.2-m high surge. Power was cut off, trees uprooted and roads washed away.
Meteorologists in Myanmar estimated wind speeds of up to 160 km/h and a sea surge of up to 3m.
- Bureau of Meteorology data reveals that Melbourne has just experienced its driest 365-day period on record to 9 am this morning.
Head of the Victorian Climate Services Centre, Dr Harvey Stern, noted: 'Melbourne's average yearly rainfall is 638.8 mm, but for the 365-day period ending today Melbourne had received less than half that amount, 316.4 mm.'
The extremely low rainfall during the last year continues a pattern which commenced in late 1996, and which has seen Melbourne record a record 10 below average rainfall years in a row.
- Droughts in China are set to intensify in coming months amid scarce rainfall and high temperatures.
Rainfall in areas such as the Henan Province have been down since March by 70 per cent on average for the past two years.
About 77 per cent of reservoirs and 186,000 wells are thought to have dried up, with drought having damaged about 11 million hectares of crops.
4.8 million people and an equal number of cattle are thought to be short of drinking water.
- Floods caused by heavy rains have killed at least 24 people and destroyed over 800 homes in Afghanistan.
The floods struck the north-eastern province of Badakhshan, and the torrential rain began on Tuesday night.
Afghanistan suffered years of drought before the heavy precipitation of 2007 began.
Floods this year have already claimed hundreds of lives.
- Areas of Miami were flooded as torrential rain lashed southern Florida. Up to 17cm of rain were recorded in some parts over a period of nine hours.
Several people died in road accidents and many roads were closed. Southern parts of the state have been affected by an 18-month drought and parched land was unable to absorb a large proportion of the downpour. Most of the rain however, fell on coastal areas, and not inland where it is most needed.
- Indonesia's Meteorological and Geophysical Agency says large waves are expected to hit the west coast of Java, today, though not of the size that have pounded the country since Thursday. Over 1000 people were forced to evacuate their homes on the western shores of Bali, Java and Sumatra.
One death was reported and many homes, businesses and fishing boats were destroyed.
According to the Agency experts, the waves - reportedly reaching as high as 7 metres - were the result of 'winds accumulating in one region' and are not linked with annual weather patterns.
- Heavy rainstorms in southwest China triggered flash floods and mudslides that killed 21 people and left 11 missing.
The storms that affected Sichuan province also caused a mudslide that damaged a 1,000-foot stretch of highway.
In the city of Chongqing, floods and lightning killed 10 people and left six missing. On Wednesday, seven children in Chongqing died when lightning struck their school and set it on fire.
- Parts of New Zealand were hit by heavy rain, flooding a number of towns and suburbs. In northern Taranaki, torrential rainfall caused the river Oakura to burst its banks, inundating nearby houses and buildings with a deluge of water.
Heavy rain began to fall in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with the Taranaki regional council reporting more than 60mm of rain over just four hours. In total the region received 20mm more rain than it normally gets across the entire month of May.
Several schools in the central city of Nelson were closed, as many storm water systems and gutters have been struggling to cope with the quantity of water. Firefighters have been attempting to pump large volumes of water away from residential areas to minimise the damage.
- Temperatures in Moscow have reached record levels for this time of year as temperatures in the city rose to a high of 29.6C.
This is the highest temperature ever recorded in the city on this date, breaking the previous record of 29.5C in 2005.
- It was a wild afternoon for the residents of Minnesota's Twin Cities metro area as severe thunderstorms ripped through the area leaving a trail of destruction.
Heavy rain, strong winds and hail pounded the area damaging buildings, knocking down trees and giving rise to local flash flooding. The hailstones, some of which were the size of tennis balls, caused extensive damage to cars and properties in the area.
There were reports of a tornado which touched down briefly in Goodhue county, southeast of the Twin Cities, which tore down many trees, but there were no injuries or damage to property.
- Several train lines to Madrid were cut after heavy rains hammered central Spain overnight, flooding the capital's main ring road and bringing down trees. Spain's civil protection agency said 30mm fell in parts of the capital in just one hour, turning sections of the motorway into a river and flooding car parks and subway lines. Early reports indicate a fall of 240mm of rain in the 24h ending 0800h on the 24th at Alameda de Cervera.
Spain's wetter-than-normal spring has helped alleviate drought conditions in central and southern Spain. As of Tuesday, Spain's drinking water reserves were 65 percent full but some dams in the southeast were still less than a quarter full.
- Scientists at the US NOAA Climate Prediction Center are predicting a high probability (75 per cent chance) of an above-average 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, with 13-17 named tropical storms. Of those, seven to ten would become hurricanes - and as many as five could become major hurricanes. An average Atlantic hurricane season brings 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, including two major hurricanes.
Hawaii and the rest of the central Pacific face a slightly below-average hurricane season this summer, with just two or three tropical cyclones expected.
- In the United States, heavy rainfall in parts of Oklahoma and Texas triggered flash floods which affected more than 1,000 people and were blamed for at least 4 deaths with 2 others missing. Areas in northern Oklahoma experienced the worst flooding in over 50 years reporting rainfall totals of 76mm in a 24 hour period.
At least six people are believed to have died in stormy weather in the US state of Texas.
More than 25 centimetres of rain fell on parts of central Texas over the weekend, causing the Guadalupe River to swell over its banks and cause minor flooding.
- At least 21 people have died since the beginning of the week in a cold snap which has gripped parts of South Africa. The winter weather has been the result of a cold front which has brought snow, hail and widespread flooding. The Drakensburg Mountains in northern KwaZulu Natal midlands are still blanketed by snow, and some parts of the country have seen the heaviest snow fall in over 20 years.
Many regions have seen up to 70mm of precipitation over the course of a day.
Residents in the southern cape can expect some relief from the icy conditions which have gripped them over the past few days as the South African Met Office predicts a rise in temperatures over the next two days.
- Heavy storms, landslides, flash floods and lightning have killed at least 23 people in Europe and Turkey.
Nine people died in eastern Turkey, including six killed in severe flooding in mountainous Agri province near the Iranian border, where river waters were swollen by melting snows. Two more people were missing.
Six hikers died in Greece while trying to cross a river in the south. They were in a group of 18 people swept away by a flood wave in the rain-swollen Lousios river. Prosecutors charged the hike's organisers with involuntary manslaughter.
In France, two divers and a yachtsman drowned on Sunday off the western coast of Brittany in extreme weather.
The yachtsman fell into the sea from his 21-metre boat in heavy seas. The two divers were part of a group of six who were caught up in strong waves. The others made it safely to shore.
In northern Bosnia, two 11-year-old children, a boy and a girl, died after being struck by lightning on Saturday.
In Germany, three construction workers building a windmill in the eastern state of Brandenburg were killed on Sunday when lightning hit a tractor they were sheltering under.
- A heatwave affected areas across western and central Russia during the month of May breaking several temperature records. In Moscow, temperatures on the 28th reached 32.9C, the highest temperature recorded in May since 1891 (31.8C). This heat has prompted Russia's energy administrator to restrict the use of non-residential energy for the first time this summer.
- Thousands of people have been displaced by flooding in Siberia and eastern parts of Russia; more than 3,000 people from 13 residential areas have had to leave their homes because of the floods.
This includes more than 2,500 people who have been evacuated from just one village in Yakutia, where 900 houses have been flooded out.
Supplies of food, medicine and drinking water are currently being delivered to both the displaced people and those who have chosen to stay in their homes.
- 16 people are believed to have died in Nepal after they were caught up in a freak snowstorm.
The snowstorm and blizzard struck the remote mountainous district of Dolpa, stranding hundreds of people in the area.
Meanwhile in the Nepalese capital, more than 1,000 people were reported to have been stranded in heavy snow.
- Drought conditions in the Ukraine are hitting the country's agricultural output.
Forecasts for grain exports in the forthcoming season have been slashed by one million tonnes, due to smaller yields.
According to meteorologists in Ukraine, almost two-thirds of the country's spring and winter grains have been affected.
The agriculture ministry said that 400,000 hectares of crops have been killed by the dry weather and that more land has suffered damage.
- Thunderstorms throughout Finland have triggered fires in some parts of the country.
Lightning struck several buildings including homes and summer houses, setting some of them on fire.
Kirkkonummi and Joutseno were among the areas affected by the storm and resulting fires, which caused severe damage to a number of properties.
- At least 16 people in Moscow (Russia) have suffered from heat strokes this week.
Temperatures have now exceeded 30C for the past four days, while yesterday was recorded as the hottest May 30th in the city for 116 years.
Despite a surge in demand for electricity by people wanting to use their air conditioning, power supplies have not been seriously affected and no customers have had to be disconnected.
Russian gas producers are set to reduce output over the summer months in response to the lower demand and warmer weather.
- Four Australian states have just experienced a record warm May contributing to the warmest autumn on record for eastern Australia.
May 2007 was the warmest on record for all four eastern states: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania.
Western Australia was also much warmer than normal but did not exceed the exceptional temperatures recorded there in 2005.
Over the entire continent, it was the warmest May since the 1958 record.
The most notable feature of autumn in eastern Australia was the lack of any significant cold weather, either by day or by night.
Canberra had only its second autumn without nights falling below 0C, while Hobart remained above 5C and Launceston above 1C for the first time. Melbourne had only 21 days where the maximum was below 20C during autumn, again a record. In contrast, Georgetown in Queensland reached 30C on every day of autumn - the first time this has occurred.
World weather news, April 2007
- Violent thunderstorms battered a three-state region with hail as big as softballs and wind that damaged several homes and caused power outages.
The storms that hit Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee (USA) marked the leading edge of a mass of cold air that dropped temperatures into the 20s (F) in the central Plains and upper Midwest.
- In Negaunee Township, which is near Marquette in Michigan (USA) saw 24 inches of snow fall in 24 hours. This nearly broke the record for the most snow to fall in a 24-hour period, which is 26.2 inches recorded back on 14 March 1997.
- A freak spring storm blanketed parts of Maine in nearly a foot of snow, snarling traffic and forcing the governor to declare an emergency after at least 275,000 homes and businesses lost power.
The city of Portland received 11.6 inches, making the snow storm the ninth-biggest on record for April.
- Authorities in Cape Town, South Africa have urged residents to reduce their water usage as drought conditions continue.
The demand for water is being boosted by the high temperatures across the area.
However, officials have stated that water levels in the city's dams have dropped by 30 per cent since December last year and are only 53.2 per cent full.
This has prompted water authorities to issue a series of restrictions to local people.
- Extremely heavy snowfall and unusually low temperatures affected Russia yesterday, as Muscovites celebrated the Easter period.
Meteorologists say that this is the heaviest Easter snowfall in Moscow for many years.
- Northern Bangladesh was hit by severe tropical thunderstorms which injured around 45 people and destroyed thousands of homes in the area.
One of the thunderstorms spawned a tornado which ripped through five villages in the Tangail district late on Friday. In the neighbouring district of Jamalpur, 95 miles north of Dhaka, destructive hail hammered down throughout Friday and Saturday.
The storms knocked down trees and electricity poles, leaving many without electricity throughout the weekend.
- Unusually cold weather affected many parts of the eastern United States over the Easter weekend. The cold weather has come as somewhat of a shock and has threatened to destroy vast harvests of fruit, cereal and vegetable crops.
In South Carolina and Alabama, peach and other fruit blossoms were already in the early stage of development after a warm spell in late March. Then, in early April, an arctic air mass pushed down into the north of the country which brought heavy falls of snow. Nearly 49 inches of snow fell in the Great Lakes region, and the arctic blast sent temperatures plummeting far below danger levels as far south as Texas and Georgia.
The extensive damage to many fruit crops across large parts of the United States will likely mean higher fruit prices. Corn farmers in Gibson County, Tennessee could potentially lose more than $10 million in harvests if the cold snap has damaged just 30% of the county's estimated 60,000 acres planted.
- Unusual snowy weather also occurred in North Texas as light snow flurries fell on Saturday morning. The last time spring snow fell here was April 1938, according to the National Weather Service records. On Saturday the maximum temperature in Amarillo was -2C when the long-term average is 21C .
- Severe storms lashed central and eastern states in the USA in the night of 11th-12th, with high winds, heavy rain and hail (hailstones up to 2.5cm in diameter were reported in Indiana) which destroyed buildings and brought down power lines.
- In the Northeast USA snow has caused chaos in some areas. A ski resort re-opened in Vermont. A jet trying to land at Traverse City, Michigan, skidded 15 metres off a runway in the heavy snow. In Chicago more than 550 flights were cancelled at O'Hare International Airport because of poor visibility.
- A major storm system, otherwise known as a Nor'easter, moved up the Eastern USA Seaboard. Strong winds produced power outages that affected hundreds of thousands from South Carolina to Maine, while heavy rainfall generated flooding in areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Rain and wind hampered runners of the Boston Marathon, with a strong headwind causing the slowest race finish since 1977. New York City had the second-rainiest day ever, with 192mm on the 15th. The record for the heaviest daily rainfall is 210mm set on 23 September 1882. Higher elevations of northern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire received snowfall accumulations as high as 43cm. A total of 17 deaths were attributed to the storm.
- High temperatures in W Europe included: Belgium - Ghent 29.1C, Kleine Brogel (Limburg) 30.0C; Holland - De Bilt 28.9C, Westdorpe (Zeeland) 29.7C; France - Lille 27.9C; Germany - Aachen 28.7C, Kalkar 29.2C.
28.7C at Uccle (Belgium) is the highest temperature
ever recorded at Uccle in April in a record going back to 1833. The average maximum temperature at Uccle in the first 15 days of April has been 18.9C - 5.8C above the long-term average. This was also the warmest April day in De Bilt on record.
- Officials in Thailand have declared emergency disaster zones around the three waterfalls in the Trang province after flash floods killed 39 people yesterday; 23 were injured. The flash floods were triggered by heavy rains. Most victims were swimming below the waterfalls which are a popular tourist destination.
- Cairo and the surrounding region were struck by a powerful sandstorm, blanketing some areas in thick dust and reducing visibility.
Two people in the village of Atalia died as a result of a fire exacerbated by strong winds, several were injured in traffic accidents and many suffered breathing difficulties.
The storm forced officials to close the city's airport and several Egyptian ports.
- Freak weather conditions have been pounding Kuwait over the past week including torrential rain, high winds and large hailstones.
The conditions were triggered when cold air arriving from central Europe collided with warm, moist air in the Gulf.
Twice as much rain fell on the 18th than the average level for the whole of the year. The rainfall totals were remarkable and probably unprecedented, with Kuwait airport reporting 302mm and Kuwait City 258mm of rain in 30 hours up to 9am local time on Thursday. The annual average rainfall is about 150mm.
The freak weather conditions have caused widespread flooding with roads, schools and businesses closed and a number of flights cancelled. The rain got so intense that drivers were forced to stop their cars on the motorways amid winds of up to 70mph.
Children squealed with delight as they collected and swallowed the pebble-sized hailstones. The hailstorm fascinated people in Kuwait, as many had not witnessed such a phenomenon before.
- Several people were injured when a tornado battered western Nebraska in the USA, destroying farms and cutting electricity supplies.
The tornado was spawned by a major system of thunderstorms which extended from Texas, through Kansas and into Nebraska.
More than 14,000 homes and businesses were left without power in areas of Texas.
- A series of thunderstorms triggered several flashfloods in areas of eastern Sydney (Australia). Nearly 100mm of rain fell in just a few hours - around 75 per cent of what is usually expected for the entire month of April.
Many regions of Australia are suffering from severe drought however; the resultant hard ground is less able to absorb sudden downpours - factors which often lead to flash floods.
- Temperatures in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, USA, reached 30C on 23 April, beating the date's record of 29.4C set in 1908. Average Boston temperatures in the month of April are around 12C.
The dry warm conditions have increased the risk of forest fires, a number of which have been sparked throughout the state since the weekend.
- Officials say Australia's severe drought may force them to shut down major generating turbines at the Snowy Hydro power scheme - the country's largest renewable energy source. In an effort to keep turbines running, experts have been conducting cloud-seeding operations to artificially prompt rainfall.
Last week, Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, warned that irrigation at the Murray-Darling River basin would be prohibited unless the region received sufficient rainfall over the coming weeks.
The basin is known as the food bowl of Australia.
- Warmer-than-average temperatures have provoked an increase in rodent populations in Peru. The Government has declared a state of emergency for the areas affected, including the capital, Lima.
Higher temperatures assist the rodent's reproductive cycle.
- Lyon is set to have the warmest month of April since the meteorological station of Bron was established in 1922 with a probable average of 15.9C, according to the measurements and forecasts of Météo-France. The previous record was 14C in 1945. Monday set another record for the warmest 23 April with 28.2C (against 28C). The highest April temperature ever recorded at Bron was 30.1C in 1949.
- A tornado killed 10 people, injured at least 180 and left hundreds homeless when it struck along the U.S.-Mexico border and cut a four-mile swath of damage.
Seven people were killed when the storm ripped through Eagle Pass, Texas, on Tuesday and at least three people died in Piedras Negras, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande, where schools, houses and churches were destroyed.
As many as 23 tornadoes were reported in total as warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, collided with cooler air streaming down from the Rockies, creating the tornadic thunderstorms in southern and central areas of the USA.
- Some 80mm of rain swamped roads in New York City and northern New Jersey, USA.
April 2007 has been one of the wettest months of April on record for Central Park, New York, which has received 280mm of precipitation. The Central Park April record dates back back to April 1983, when 356mm fell.
- Severe weather and tornadoes occurred in the USA, killing 4 people in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas
- Firefighters in the USA are battling to contain what has been called the largest wildfire in Georgia's history. Many people were evacuated from their homes over the weekend 28-29 April) and significant stretches of highway closed.
The first fire ignited on 16 April and has since razed some 260km2 of forest and swamp in south-east parts of the state. Lack of rainfall, tinderbox conditions and warm winds have all contributed to the fire's intensity.
Officials say the fire could continue burning for up to a month.
- According to the KNMI, April 2007 has been the hottest, driest and sunniest April ever recorded in the Netherlands. With respect to heat and drought, this month does not fit into the bandwidth of previous April months, in spite of its capricious nature. Global warming has made the high temperatures less unlikely, but the main cause is an extraordinarily persistent high-pressure system that brought dry, sunny and warm weather to a large part of Europe.
- The French National Meteorological Service, MetéoFrance, has said that April 2007 was the country's warmest since 1950. Average temperatures were recorded at 4°C above the April norm (10°C).
- The United Kingdom Met Office has given the provisional average temperature for April as 11.1C, beating the previous record of 10.6C set in 1865.
The provisional figure for May 2006 to April 2007 is 11.6C, beating the previous record of 11.1C for the 12-month period ending October 1995.
Records date back to 1659.
World weather news, March 2007
- The second big winter storm to hit the central United States in less than a week slammed parts of Nebraska and Iowa with near-blizzard conditions and spun off tornadoes that killed a child in Missouri.
Snow piling up at a rate of 2 inches an hour closed Interstate 80, a major transcontinental highway, in southeast Nebraska from Omaha westward, where more than 9 inches of snow had fallen in some areas.
Parts of several Midwestern states and regions as far south as the Gulf Coast to the Florida panhandle were under tornado watches or warnings. In the town of Caulfield in south-central Missouri, a tornado killed a girl in a mobile home and damaged six other homes and two gasoline stations.
Damaging hailstorms struck several states.
Foul weather in other cities snarled air traffic in Chicago, where 250 flights were cancelled at O'Hare International Airport.
- Tornadoes ripped through Alabama (USA) and killed at least seven people, including five at a high school where students became pinned under debris when a roof collapsed. Crews dug through piles of rubble beneath portable lights at Enterprise High School well into the night, looking for other victims.
- The president of Bolivia has officially declared floods in the country as a national disaster.
About 72,000 families were affected, with 35 deaths, leading the United Nations to declare the event as the worst in Bolivian history.
Major rivers have overflowed as a result of persistent rains since December last year, with many rural communities left isolated.
About 22,500 cattle drowned in the flooding with an estimated 200,000 hectares of cropland destroyed.
- A storm approached Vladivostok, Russia, on the 4th bringing heavy snow and stormy winds, with authorities warning businesses and schools to close for the day. The storm left metre-high drifts of snow bringing roads to a standstill as owners abandoned their cars. There was also disruption to other travel services as the ferry line between Popov and Russky had to be cancelled.
A state of emergency was declared over Russia's Primorsky territory on Monday as the snow continued to build. More than two months precipitation was recorded in 24 hours across the southern districts of the Territory and in Vladivostok.
An official of the Vladivostok City Administration reported the snow to be their heaviest since they started keeping records 130 years ago.
Record snowfalls also hit the northeast of China, with the snow reported to be the heaviest in the Liaoning province for more than half a century. This caused disruption to air and road travel, with two metre deep drifts closing up to 11 highways. Many flights also had to be cancelled at the Taoxian international airport in the provincial capital, Shenyang.
- Extremely hot temperatures were recorded near the west coast of Western Australia and adjacent parts due to a spell of persistent northeasterly winds. Several locations recorded their highest March temperature and some experienced their highest temperature on record, whilst Carnarvon equalled the WA and Australian March record.
Carnarvon Airport recorded a maximum temperature of 47.8C on the 6th. This temperature exceeded the previous highest temperature recorded at Carnarvon of 47.7C on 23 January 1953 and also equalled the previous highest March maximum temperature in WA and Australia of 47.8C at Roebourne on 4 March 1998. Records commenced at Carnarvon in 1907.
- Postal workers in Sydney (Australia) have asked to be allowed to stop working during electrical storms.
This comes after a 22-year-old postman was hit by lightning while delivering mail in Ambarvale.
As he went on his round during the thunderstorm, a lightning bolt struck a letterbox and a nearby tree, causing it to burst into flames.
The postman has now been released from hospital.
- Fierce wind and biting cold kept youngsters home from school Tuesday in upstate New York and authorities warned against perilous driving conditions already blamed for at least five deaths.
National Weather Service posted a wind chill advisory for northern New York and Vermont, saying the temperature and wind could make it feel like -35F into Tuesday afternoon.
In those conditions, exposed skin can be frostbitten within 15 minutes or less, the weather service warned.
At the summit of Mount Washington, where temperatures bottomed out at -37F on Tuesday morning, weather observers were throwing pots of boiling water in the air to make snow.
"When it's this cold, it immediately freezes into a cloud of snow," observer Jim Salge said.
Record low temperatures combined with a severe wind chill made Tuesday one of the coldest mornings this winter in Ottawa. Temperatures fell to -24C.
- Communities on Australia's north west coast prepared for a severe tropical cyclone expected to hit the region early on Friday, with mines and oil production shut down and emergency services placed on alert.
Cyclone George was expected to hit the remote coast between Port Hedland and Karratha, bringing heavy rain and winds of up to 235km/h.
A second storm, tropical cyclone Jacob, was also heading toward Western Australia, but was still far off the coast and was 240 km south of the Australian territory of Christmas Island.
Much of the offshore oil production in the area was also suspended as a precaution, affecting about half of Australia's daily oil output.
Emergency services issued a yellow alert -- the second highest -- for the area between Broome and Dampier, warning of destructive winds and advising people to shelter in the strongest parts of their homes.
Cyclones are a regular feature of the Australian summer in the tropical north and the season still has another month to run. The most deadly on record was Cyclone Tracy, which killed 65 people in the northern city of Darwin in 1974.
In the end the cyclone was the most destructive cyclone to affect Port Hedland since Joan in 1975, and resulted in 3 deaths and 28 injuries in Western Australia
- Doctors in South Africa have warned people that heat exhaustion from the current hot weather could be fatal.
The Daily News reports that people such as the elderly and athletes could be at risk of dying, following the death of a cyclist at the weekend.
Mandla Shozi died from multiple organ failure brought on by heat exhaustion, despite doctors' efforts to save him.
Doctors have advised people to limit the amount of vigorous training and outdoor physical activity they undertake if temperatures rise above 30C.
Several schools recently cancelled sporting activities such as cricket and rugby due to concerns that the pupils may suffer from heat exhaustion.
- In Algeria, thunderstorms deposited heavy rainfall in the Djelfa region, about 270km south of Algiers. There were 6 fatalities produced by flash flooding when more than 100mm of rain fell in just a few hours.
- Hot and dry weather in South Africa is encouraging ants to infest people's homes.
Professor Clark Scholtz, an entomologist from the University of Pretoria, said that the heatwave has dried out the land ants usually occupy and prompted them to look elsewhere.
He stated that ants normally live in wet ground where lots of food can be found, but because the land has dried out they are looking elsewhere instead.
"The best place to find these items in the house is the kitchen," he said.
Professor Scholtz added that there is no actual solution to the problem while the hot weather persists.
- Some surprisingly large hail -- up to golfball size in one location -- fell Saturday evening and into the early hours of Sunday morning, in the Texas panhandle and southwest Kansas. The golfball-sized hail fell at Liberal, KS, while ping pong ball-sized hail fell in Armstrong Co TX.
- Storms affected parts of northern India, bringing heavy rain, hail, thunder and with some heavy snow falls too over the higher ground.
The Kashmir Valley has been particularly hard hit, with heavy rain and snow, which triggered landslides forcing the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway. Flights were also cancelled to the valley as more than a metre of snow fell in the higher reaches.
In the capital, Srinagar, an unprecedented two feet of snow was recorded on Tuesday morning. And as the snow continued to fall power lines were bought down, leaving the Kashmir Valley cut off from the rest of the country.
Heavy rain fell across New Delhi on Monday setting a new record. More than 17mm was recorded in seven hours, which outstripped the average rainfall normally seen in the whole month of March (14.8mm).
- Five people have died after torrential rain triggered flash flooding in Fiji. 13 people managed to survive by clinging to a tree top, although a number have been reported missing.
Flood waters hit northern and western areas after weeks of heavy rain, which has also damaged homes, roads and local crop plantations.
- Tropical Cyclone Indlala developed in the southern Indian Ocean on the 12th and reached the northeastern coast of Madagascar on the 15th. Indlala made landfall just south of Antalaha with maximum sustained winds near 105kn. Indlala was the fourth tropical cyclone in as many months to affect Madagascar. There were at least 30 fatalities from the storm and thousands were left homeless.
- A major railway line in the west of Canada has been closed after it was affected by bad weather.
The main route between Edmonton, Alberta and Vancouver has been disrupted by rockslides, mudslides and floods.
Snow melt and continued rainfall has also led to bad conditions on the line, prompting Canadian National Railway to close it completely.
- Earth just experienced its warmest Northern Hemisphere winter on record, according to statistics released today by the National Climatic Data Center. The 3-month Northern Hemisphere winter period December 2006 through February 2007 had an average global temperature +0.72C above normal, beating the previous record set in 2004 by a substantial +0.12°C. The Northern Hemisphere had its warmest winter ever measured, and the Southern Hemisphere (where it was summer) had its 4th warmest summer on record. The record winter warmth did not lead to record minimum sea ice coverage in the Arctic, which recorded its third lowest February coverage on record.
- Oceanographers in Australia have discovered a huge cold water eddy off the coast of Sydney. This has lowered sea levels by 70cm at the centre.
An eddy is an area of water that looks like it is going down a plughole. The water rotates round in a circular motion, going against the flow of the water around it. Unlike a whirlpool, this is a gentle swirling movement and is not threatening to ocean-goers. They can come in all different sizes.
This eddy has a diameter of around 200km and reaches to a depth of 1km. The eddy's centre lies around 100km east of Sydney.
The eddy has been described by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) as 'very powerful', so powerful in fact that it has disrupted the flow of the strong East Australian Current.
- Tokyo experienced its first snowfall of the winter; according to local meteorologists, this is the latest first snowfall in the city since records began in 1876. This beats the previous record for late-arriving snow, which was set in February 1960. The city has experienced a cold snap following an unusually mild season between December and February.
- Organisers of a special St Patrick's Day event in Dublin were forced to cancel due to adverse weather conditions - the Skyfest fireworks display was abandoned because of high winds.
A spokeswoman said that winds were gusting at 60km/h and the River Liffey experienced a one-metre swell.
This meant that the barges used to set up the fireworks could not be operated, leading to the cancellation of the display.
- Unseasonably warm and sunny weather across parts of California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah, has allowed temperatures to hit record highs over the weekend.
Hollister in California reached a high of 27C, falling just one degree short of the record for both days, but these temperatures were still 16C above the average.
Temperatures were close to record breaking in the Valley area of Arizona for the fifth consecutive day. On Saturday the thermometer hit 37C (98F) shattering the previous record for that date set in 1972 by 4C.
However, in New York City many travellers were still stranded at John F. Kennedy Airport, due to an ice storm that cancelled hundreds of flights.
- Severe floods and avalanches left at least 17 people dead in western Afghanistan. This was due to heavy rain falling over the last two days, which triggered the floods, inundating several villages causing considerable losses.
An avalanche on Sunday buried several houses in the town of Chaghcharan, the capital of the western province of Ghor and killed at least 12 people. Neighbouring Badghis province did not escape. On the same day five people and thousands of livestock perished in the flooding.
Floods hit several villages in the southern province of Uruzgan and NATO-led troops have launched rescue operations. Aircraft have been deployed to evacuate hundreds of villagers, as the Helmand River, which runs through Uruzgan was rising.
- Heavy snow in Spain has caused significant travel disruption in some areas.
In the province of Burgos, more than 1,000 lorries were trapped in the snow.
Meanwhile, heavy goods vehicles were not allowed to travel down the N1 road between Navarra and Vitoria.
Minor roads in the north of the country also experienced travel disruption, while many mountain passes on secondary roads have been closed; 20cm of snow fell in the Basque region.
Even in Tenerife heavy snow caused problems; 12 people were trapped in their cars in Las Canada del Teide after heavy snow hit the area.
In parts of Switzerland up to 37cm of snow fell in a matter of hours on Tuesday afternoon. In neighbouring Austria nearly half a metre of snow fell in some parts, cutting power to around 40,000 people as power lines came down.
- Parts of Indonesia have experienced flood waters of up to two metres high.
In the Belu regency, at least 23 villages across three districts have been flooded. Officials have reported no casualties, although several thousand people have been forced to evacuate the area.
- Moscow experienced its warmest 21st March as spring officially got under way.
Since the start of March, Moscow has experienced daily temperatures about 6C above what would be expected for the time of year. On Tuesday this week, temperatures hit 15C, which was just one degree short of the record high for the month of March itself.
On Wednesday 21st March the temperature rose to 13C. This broke the previous record for the date set back in 1990, which was 12.7C, thus making it the warmest start to spring for 125 years. The general director of the Moscow Region Weather Bureau said that the temperatures were more akin to what would be expected in April. The warm weather prompted bears at Moscow Zoo to awake from their winter hibernation this weekend.
- In northern India's Kashmir region, heavy snowfall and cold temperatures were blamed for at least 50 deaths in mid-March. Subsequent flooding from heavy rainfall and snowmelt claimed an additional 8 lives by the 21st.
- Several towns have begun to clear up today after storms triggered a flurry of tornadoes across eastern New Mexico and the Texas border. As many as 16 separate tornadoes are said to have been reported through Friday night and Saturday morning.
The towns of Clovis and Logan suffered the worst damage according, as tornadoes ravaged homes and businesses, toppling power lines and leaving several people injured. In Clovis, one tornado is said to have cut a five kilometre long path of damage.
Officers in Tucumcari had to direct traffic along parts of highway 54 and Route 66 as power outages knocked out the signals. The storm was said to have left a layer of hail three to four inches deep, with one resident saying he had never seen hail like it before.
- In Argentina, heavy rainfall in the Littoral region produced flooding during the last week of March that affected 70,000 people and almost 4 million hectares. There were at least 5 deaths in Entre Rios province.
- A massive Spring storm has been affecting the mid-west of the U.S over the last few days, from the Rockies to the Plains, triggering an outbreak of tornadoes, with as many as 65 being reported across six states, through Wednesday and into Thursday.
A resident from Colorado described one of the tornadoes being as wide as two football pitches. As well as damaging winds, large hail accompanied the storms, some as large as golf balls, even baseball size.
The storm developed on the 'dry line' across the Plains, a boundary between warm moist air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico and meeting with drier, colder air from the northwest.
- Emergency services were swamped with calls today, across Northland, in the far north of New Zealand's North Island, as torrential rains from nearby tropical cyclone Becky continued to hammer the region.
Becky is currently lying to the northeast of New Caledonia, an island sited to the north of New Zealand, having rapidly weakened over the last twelve hours.
However it has brought severe flooding problems across New Zealand's scenic Bay of Islands region with the equivalent of three months rain reportedly falling in 36 hours. Up to 450mm of rain is said to have fallen over Northland causing chaos as the rivers broke their banks and flood waters quickly rose.
- Residents in Moscow have been enjoying the hottest recorded day in March.
Temperatures in the Russian capital rose to 17.2C.
People were observed wearing items of clothing such as lightweight blazers and miniskirts, while many sat outdoors at local bars and restaurants.
The country has recently experienced one of its shortest and mildest winters and an early spring.
- One of the worst sandstorms this year blanketed Korea over the weekend, confining many indoors and causing breathing difficulties for thousands more. It was the sixth sandstorm this year.
Stores had trouble meeting demand for dust masks. Pharmacies were crowded with patients complaining of sore throat and nose problems. One pharmacy said it sold 300 masks in just five hours on Sunday. It usually sells 10 a day.
Northern China also had sandstorms during the weekend, blanketing many cities in floating dust, including Beijing. This is the first sandstorm to affect the capital this year. Floating dust is the mildest form of sandstorms but people are still advised to take precautions such as wearing a scarf when they go outside.
World weather news, February 2007
- Strong winds in Hawaii have caused structural damage to homes and properties across the island.
Strong winds uprooted trees and damaged properties, and the wind also blew trees into power lines, causing outages and loss of power in 1,500 Waimanalo homes.
- A storm moved into the US State of Utah bringing hopes of an end to the smog that has been smothering its northern valleys for several days.
Until yesterday, high pressure across Utah had left the valleys smothered by inversion pollution, which was so thick it was obscuring the mountain peaks from the floor of the Salt Lake Valley.
Since 10 January, Salt Lake and Davis Counties had been under a 'red alert' for the smog, with warnings issued to the elderly or anyone with respiratory problems to avoid breathing in the unhealthy air. Whilst Utah is not a stranger to inversions or smog, this particular smog was thought to be quite intense; in contrast only 3 red alert days were posted for these same counties over last winter.
- The first major global assessment of climate change science in six years has concluded that changes in the atmosphere, the oceans and glaciers and ice caps show unequivocally that the world is warming.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that major advances in climate modelling and the collection and analysis of data now give scientists "very high confidence in their understanding of how human activities are causing the world to warm.
"This report by the IPCC represents the most rigorous and comprehensive assessment possible of the current state of climate science and has considerably narrowed the uncertainties of the 2001 report," said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Progress in observations and measurements of the weather and climate are keys to improved climate research, with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services playing a crucial role."
"While the conclusions are disturbing, decision-makers are now armed with the latest facts and will be better able to respond to these realities. The speed with which melting ice sheets are raising sea levels is uncertain, but the report makes clear that sea levels will rise inexorably over the coming centuries. It is a question of when and how much, and not if".
- Floods blocked roads and railways in Jakarta and thousands of people abandoned their homes in low-lying areas as torrential downpours virtually paralysed the Indonesian capital.
Streets normally jammed with traffic were quiet as floods brought public transport to a near-standstill, preventing many people from getting to work or school.
- Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms that hit the US state of Florida have left 21 people dead.
The storms ripped roofs off hundreds of houses and left thousands without power across a central swathe of the state.
The deaths occurred in Lake County, where some of the worst of the damage was reported.
The tornadoes struck early in the day damaging hundreds of houses and leaving more than 10,000 people without power. In some areas whole streets were wiped off the map as the twister weaved its track of devastation through Lake County. The tornadoes hit the area at the worst time it could, because most people would have still been in their beds and not listening to the radio or watching TV, where they could have been warned about the incoming tornado.
Local reports have said it was the second-deadliest tornado outbreak in Florida's history. On 2 February 1998 five tornados killed 42 people in Central Florida and destroyed about 2,600 homes and businesses.
- Punxsutawney Phil's official Groundhog Day forecast as at 7:28 a.m. at Gobbler's Knob:
- El Nino has caused high winds, heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the west.
- Here in the East with much mild winter weather we have been blessed.
- Global warming has caused a great debate.
- This mild winter makes it seem just great.
- On this Groundhog Day we think of one thing.
- Will we have winter or will we have spring?
- On Gobbler's Knob I see no shadow today.
- I predict that early spring is on the way.
- Winter temperatures in China have reached their highest levels in 30 years.
Today, temperatures in Beijing peaked at 12.8C, prompting ice to melt and flowers to bloom.
Local authorities have launched an ice control scheme to monitoring the ice flows with remote sensing technology, as there are concerns that melting ice could lead to some flooding.
- The Maltese Curia has instructed churches to pray for rainfall.
Since the start of the year, Malta has experienced unusually dry weather, which has affected industries such as the agricultural sector.
As a result, parish priests and church rectors have been instructed to seek divine intervention to bring some rainfall to the island.
According to meteorologists, recent weather conditions have more closely resembled those of a typical April.
Experts stated that Malta has seen the second driest January since it began keeping records in 1922, with only 8.6mm falling.
- Floods in Mozambique have killed 29 people and wrecked thousands of homes after torrential rain and hurricanes swept through the country in the past two weeks. The government had warned thousands of people living by the country's main rivers, including the lower banks of the Zambezi which runs from southern Angola across southern Africa to the Indian Ocean, to evacuate.
- Three people have died in the USA in a wave of cold weather across North America.
Temperatures reached -41.7°C on the 5th in Winnepeg, Canada, a record for that day according to the country's Meteorological Service, while -12.2°C was recorded in Washington, DC, on the 6th.
A deep depression over north-east Canada is responsible for the cold wave.
- Floodwaters in the Indonesian city of Jakarta have been receding and residents began to return home today.
The death toll from the worst case of flooding in the capital in five years now stands at 50.
Flooding was triggered by torrential rain which has since diminished in intensity measures action.
- England and Wales have been blanketed in snow for the second time in two weeks. Six airports and numerous schools were closed; travel was disrupted throughout the country.
According to the Met Office, UK, yesterday's snowfall was the heaviest in a decade.
- At least 30 people have died in Pakistan after heavy rainfall since 9 February. Most of the deaths were reported in the Punjab district and were caused by falling roofs; some 12 people were victims of electrocution.
- A tornado struck the New Orleans area, affecting some of the same neighbourhoods impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There was one fatality and 29 injuries. About 21,000 electricity customers in the greater New Orleans area lost power during the storm.
Intense lake-effect snowfall in the lee of Lake Ontario deposited phenomenal snowfall accumulations in areas downwind of the lake. A ten-day storm total of 358cm was reported in Redfield in New York's Oswego county by the 12th.
- A major winter storm affected portions of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada, depositing significant accumulations of snow and ice from Illinois eastward into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Snow accumulations in areas of upstate New York totaled in excess of 100cm. The winter storm was blamed for 13 deaths, and around 300,000 people lost power during the storm. In Canada, Montreal received almost as much snow in one day 53cm as was received winter-to-date. Until the snowstorm, Montreal had only recorded 70cm of snowfall, or nearly half the normal value. A massive 50 mile traffic jam formed on a road in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night. The National Guard flew in to help deliver supplies to people stranded in their cars. Over 95,000 homes and businesses were without power until early on Thursday in Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia after ice brought down the power lines. Reports spoke of up to 30cm of snow across Pennsylvania, 45cm in Cleveland and 48cm in western Massachusetts. In some parts of the northeast U.S. the snow quickly turned to ice turning towns into massive skating rinks and entombed vehicles. The storm forced airports to close and cancelled hundreds of flights from New York City's three main airports along with flights to and from Portland, Boston, Maine and Washington. At Burlington International Airport in Vermont 25.7 inches of snow fell. This made it the second highest total to fall from one storm. On Thursday morning residents in Hamilton (Canada) woke up to find 40cm of snow, but Environment Canada have said some areas may have received up to 70cm. The snowfall could end up being a record for Hamilton. The previous 24-hour snowfall record was 43.2cm set back in 22 January 1966.
- A German paraglider has spoken of how she was sucked up to an altitude of 9947m by a storm system. Ewa Wisnierska was sucked up higher than the summit of Mount Everest by severe weather in Sydney. According to doctors, she only survived the lightning, hailstones and temperatures of -40C because she blacked out. Speaking to ABC Radio, she said: "It was because that I got unsconscious because then the heart slows down all the functions - it saved my life." However, another paraglider who was sucked into the storm at a different site did not survive. Doctors believe the Chinese flyer died of suffocation and exposure to low temperatures.
- Tropical Cyclone Favio developed in the southern Indian Ocean on the 14th and tracked to the south of the southern tip of Madagascar on the 19th. Heavy rains lashed southern Madagascar, displacing 25,000 people. The cyclone made landfall in Mozambique's Inhambane province near Vilanculos on the 22nd with maximum sustained winds near 110 knots. The Zambezi River basin remained highly vulnerable to additional heavy rainfall after "recent significant flooding events.
- Heavy rainfall has triggered floods in parts of Africa, especially Mozambique where the River Zambezi has burst its banks.
An estimated 68,000 people have been made homeless in the central part of the country and relief organizations say around 280,000 more face evacuation over the next few days.
Experts consider the flooding - caused by a several weeks of rain in neighbouring Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe - to be the worst in the region for six years.
- The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the highest for any January on record, according to scientists from the NOAA NCDC.
The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.85C warmer than the 20th-century average of 12C for January based on preliminary data.
The figures surpass the previous record set in 2002 at 0.71C above average.
Land surface temperature was a record 1.89C warmer than average, while global ocean surface temperature was the fourth warmest in 128 years, about 0.05C cooler than the record established during the very strong El Nino climate phenomenon in 1998.
- Tasmania was hit by massive tropical-style thunderstorms after enjoying a warm afternoon. Temperatures in Hobart reached 34C, with Scotts Peak reaching 35C, sparking off the storms which rumbled into the evening. Large golf ball sized hail damaged cars in the streets and smashed tiles off roofs, while torrents of rain caused flash flooding. The flooding left homes flooded and also trapped motorists in large traffic jams as some roads became impassible. Farmers in the Central Highlands area were celebrating the heavy downpours after suffering drought conditions recently. As much as 60mm of rain fell in just a few hours on Friday evening across the Highlands area. Bothwell's water supply, the Clyde River, had recently run dry and as a result the Government released water from Lake Crescent to replenish supplies.
- People in southern areas of Australia have flocked to local beaches to cool off from the high temperatures. Temperatures on the 16th rose to 36.8C in parts of Victoria, before dropping to 21.5C overnight. Temperatures remained high over the weekend, reaching a peak of 38.9C. According to the Victorian Bureau of Meteorology, some parts of the state have experienced temperatures 17C above average.
- Hong Kong has enjoyed record breaking temperatures during the Chinese new year celebrations. The island saw the warmest lunar new year on record as temperatures peaked at 25.3C.
According to the Hong Kong Observatory, this beats the previous record of 24.6C in 1982. The high temperatures have been accompanied by humidity levels of up to 90%. This has been cited as a possible reason for the arrival of several migratory birds in the area.
- Residents of the Gauteng region of South Africa are baking in a heatwave.
A spokeperson from the South African Weather Service stated that temperatures are up to 35C in some areas; he attributed the high temperatures to a system of high pressure elongating from central areas off the east coast.
- Australian forecasters said Thursday that the El Nino weather pattern blamed for the worst drought in a century had ended, and expressed cautious optimism much-needed rain was on the way. The Bureau of Meteorology said there was no guarantee the drought was over but the end of the El Nino meant there was reason to be hopeful. "The 2006/07 El Nino has ended," the bureau said in a statement.
- Heavy snowfall in Norway has caused a major road to be blocked for almost a day. Snow caused the complete closure of Highway E-18 between Kristiansand and Grimstad. Snow-clearing teams had been unable to carry out their work due to a line-up of stranded cars, prompting police to ban people from going on the road. Several hundred people were trapped for up to 15 hours before police evacuated them, while some local residents have offered them food and shelter.
- A snowstorm swept across Denmark and southern Sweden, causing major traffic disruptions and forcing Copenhagen's international airport to cancel more than 140 flights. Authorities in both countries urged people to stay home and avoid slippery roads where many motorists abandoned their cars after getting stuck in 1m deep snowdrifts. A man in his 40s died late on Wednesday after his car collided with a bus south of Goteborg due to the snowstorm. In southern Sweden, where 5,000 homes were without power, all train traffic to and from Malmo, the country's third-largest city, was cancelled. The snow also crippled trains and public transportation in Denmark, and dozens of Danish schools were closed for the day.
- The remnants of a massive winter storm moved northwards up the eastern seaboard of the USA on the 26th after bringing chaos to many parts and dumping up to 60cm of snow in the Mid-west over the weekend.
Snow and ice coated runways and highways, with hundreds of flights cancelled and eight fatal traffic accidents being reported, seven in Wisconsin and one in Kansas.
Hundreds of thousands sat at home in the cold and dark as the blizzard outside enveloped their houses and brought down power lines. Electricity providers were trying to restore power to their thousands of customers on Sunday afternoon in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio.
Heavy snow was still falling in the New York and Maine areas during the early hours of Monday.
Violent thunderstorms crashed around those living in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana as warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico collided with the polar air from the north. The strong winds and heavy rain which accompanied the storms swept cars off the roads and blew mobile homes around like pieces of Lego. Tornadoes were also reported during Sunday afternoon as the storms moved through the southern states, injuring dozens in Arkansas.
- Denmark and parts of southern Scandinavia continue to experience problems after unexpectedly heavy snowfalls, plummeting temperatures and strong winds left roads gridlocked and led to flight cancellations.
Across Norway, almost unprecedented amounts of snow and blizzard-like conditions led to the closure of the main road between Kristiansand and Grimstad as vehicles became stranded by five feet high drifts. Amongst the gridlock it became impossible for snow ploughs to be mobilised to clear the roads. Those leaving their vehicles had to be rescued by the only means possible, using snow scooters.
As further snow fell on Saturday across Norway it compounded the problems across the region. Large shopping centres had to be closed as customers dwindled and the sheer weight of snow also downed power lines and trees. At most, more than 4,000 households in the Kristiansand and Lillesand areas were left without electricity on Saturday.
On Friday the snowstorm led to 93 flights having to be cancelled at Copenhagen International Airport. The snow and strong winds brought transportation across the country almost to a standstill as train and bus services were left crippled.
- According to MeteoFrance, the passage of cyclone Gamede close to La Reunion resulted in several new world records for rainfall being broken. The previous records were all held by the island.
Over 48 hours 2463mm fell at Commerson Crater, almost as much as the existing world record of 2467mm at Aurère in 1958.
Over 72 hours 3929mm fell at Commerson Crater, the previous record being 3240mm at Large-Ilet in 1980.
Over 4 days 4869mm fell at Commerson Crater, previous world record being 3551mm at the same location.
Other world records were broken for falls of duration 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 days with, respectively, 4979mm, 5075mm, 5400mm, 5510mm and 5512mm at Commerson Crater.
- Nearly 100 people have been injured on Dubai's roads due to thick fog.
Poor visibility and road conditions led to one person dying and eight people being critically injured on the roads.
This led to heavy disruption across the city, affecting travel for workers and schoolchildren.
- Canberra Airport has experienced its stormiest month on record with 14 thunderstorms during February, well above the historic average of 3 storms. The previous highest was 12 thunderstorms in January 1999. The stormy conditions were due mainly to the persistence of a trough of low pressure over south-east NSW. Some storms were severe with flash flooding in the Kambah and Weston Creek areas on the 10th and 23rd and in Torrens also on the 23rd. The central city area of Canberra was hit by a severe hailstorm on the evening of the 27th, where flooding was associated with large amounts of hail, in some places to a depth of about half a metre and varying in size from 2cm to 5cm. Many businesses were closed due to damage from the hail and flash flooding.
- Temperatures in the north of Vietnam have reached their highest February levels in 100 years.
Meteorologist Bui Minh Tanghead said that there has been no large cold air mass over Vietnam since the start of the month.
During February, temperatures have peaked at 31C, while the average low has been 16.5C.
This comes after the region experienced the lowest number of cold January days in more than 50 years.
Last month, only three days were recorded as "chilly".
- An average temperature of 6.6C was recorded during the winter of 2006/2007 at De Bilt, the Netherlands. This makes it the mildest winter since regular temperature observations began in The Netherlands in 1706. The normal winter temperature is 3.3C (1971-2000 average). This winter is 0.6C warmer than the previous record holder, 1990, and more than one degree warmer than the mildest winter in 1706-1900 (1737, 5.3C). Since summer 2006 there has been a spate of warm records and autumn 2006 was by far the warmest on record in large parts of Europe. The predominantly south-westerly flow and global warming appear to explain most of the extraordinarily warm temperatures. These factors may even be interconnected.
- According to MeteoSwiss, winter 2006-2007 has so far been the warmest ever recorded in Switzerland, with average temperatures 3-4C above the norm.
Official measurements began in 1864. In the period since 1931, only the winter of 1989-1990 has produced less snow that the current one.
- Strong winds caused the derailment of a train in China, leading to the death of at least three people.
The train was travelling in the Xinjiang autonomous region when it was blown off the tracks shortly after departure from Turpan.
As many as 11 carriages are believed to have been toppled as a result of the strong winds, which took place in an area often associated with particularly powerful winds.
"Sand and dust cracked the window panes soon after the train left Turpan, and blew some of the cars off the tracks," a passenger said.
More than 30 people were injured in the accident.
World weather news, January 2007
- Over the last month the U.S. state of Alaska has been buffeted with copious amounts of snow, with some records being broken.
The largest city, Anchorage, has been coping well with the snow despite receiving around 56cm above average for December. The city saw nearly 94cm of snow fall during the last month of the year.
The Alyeska ski resort, which is around 40 miles south of Anchorage, has also been blanketed with snow. The mountain resort has seen record breaking snowfall during December with 718cm falling. The previous monthly record was set in January 2001 when 696cm fell.
- Tropical Cyclone Clovis developed in the southern Indian Ocean on 31 December and made landfall along the east coast of Madagascar on the 3rd with maximum sustained winds near 65kn. After heavy rainfall from the passage of a cold front as well as Tropical Cyclone Bondo in December 2006, flooding and mudslides were the primary effects from Clovis.
- In the United States, severe thunderstorms generated tornadoes along the central Gulf Coast region. In Lousiana's Iberia Parish, there were 2 deaths and at least 15 injuries. As many as ten homes were destroyed.
- Cold weather across northern and eastern India has killed at least 80 people in the past week, forcing authorities to close schools and colleges and deliver firewood to the homeless.
In India's most populous state of Utter Pradesh 34 people have died as night-time temperatures plummeted close to freezing, making life a misery for tens of thousands of people, who live on the streets with few ways of keeping warm.
On Friday morning, the minimum temperature in the capital, New Delhi, fell to 4C, the lowest of the winter so far. Lowest temperature in the plains of the country (NW India) was recorded as -2.2C at Adampur in Punjab,
- The remains of ex-Tropical Cyclone Isobel has combined with a strong mid-latitude trough to cause record breaking rainfall and strong winds in the southeast of Western Australia. Several sites broke their highest daily rainfall records including Esperance where the 153.2mm recorded at 9am on the 5th eclipsed the 106.6mm recorded on 7 January 1999. The highest rainfall amount occurred at Esperance Airport where more than 221mm has fallen in the past two days. The rainfall has caused serious flooding in the region.
- Warm weather over the last week brought some early signs of spring to Eastern States of the US, with trees and flowers breaking into early bloom. The unseasonably warm January weather peaked on Saturday when temperatures hit the low 20Cs across parts of the east coast, including New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk International Airport (Virginia).
In Pennsylvania the warm weather saw Cherry trees break into early bloom, while daffodils were seen to be poking from muddy gardens.
A new record was set for the date in Central Park at 22C, breaking the previous record of 17C. It was also the joint warmest January day for the park with the previous high on 26 January 1950.
- A deep area of low pressure slowly moving across the north of Japan over the weekend gave severe winter weather to many parts along with travel chaos.
More than 170 flights in and out of Chubu airport in Aichi, near Nagoya, were cancelled due to the high winds along with many of the high speed 'bullet' trains, as snow buried the tracks.
In Hokkaido on Sunday, winds reached nearly 110mph at times tearing off roofs and bringing down power lines, which left many thousands on the north island without power.
Snowfall also left many towns and villages in Hokkaido buried under several inches of snow.
- Barbadians woke up this morning to the news that a "tornado" touched down in Wildey, on the outskirts of Bridgetown, giving a woman the scare of her life and damaging at least one commercial building.
Eyewitnesses said that heavy rain-laden clouds bellied and a twister came out of nowhere, touching down a stone's throw away from the headquarters of Barbados Telecommunications Service. The "playful" twister then went on to rip off the roof of a commercial building.
- Further rainfall in Brazil has triggered floods and mudslides, taking at least five lives. Around 40 people have died from weather- and water-related events since the beginning of December. Tens of thousands have been made homeless.
The worst affected states are Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais with the latter experiencing heavy downpours over the past two weeks.
Severe flooding has also hit Peru, affecting thousands in the north-eastern provinces of Huánuco and San Martin.
- A powerful storm brought ice, snow, floods and high winds to a large part of the USA from south-west to north-east.
North-western states were also hit by sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow. Freezing rain fell as far south as Texas.
Ice storms (in which rain falls in temperatures so low it freezes) had knocked out electricity supplies to half a million people by Tuesday. More than 300 000 were still without power by the end of the day.
Most of the 50 who died were killed in weather-related accidents.
A new record minimum temperature of -3C was set on the 12th night for Monterey, 1C below the previous mark in 1963. Sacramento equalled its record low temperature (-6C) from 1949. In Phoenix, Arizona, low temperatures dipped to -2C on both the 14th and 15th. Previously, the last subfreezing temperature was observed there on 23 December 1990.
- Whilst most of the UK and Europe have been experiencing a mild winter so far, the usually cold and snowy city of Moscow in Russia has also experienced a particularly mild winter to date. In fact, the first two weeks of January 2007 are being reported as the mildest the Russian capital has seen in 130 years.
January in Moscow is normally the coldest month of the year. However, this year temperatures are averaging above 0C whereas it is normally around -9C. On January 11th, the thermometer climbed to 8.6C, some 4C above the previous record set in 1957.
- The lack of snow in Romania has driven snow lovers in that country to desperation. A group of Romanian snowboarders blocked traffic in front of the country's weather institute, and would only budge when weather officials would agree that their complaints of a lack of snow "would be passed on to a higher authority".
- Officials have evacuated around 95,000 people from their homes in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, after a second month of flooding.
Four days of non-stop rain has caused several major rivers to burst their banks, cutting off a number of villages, some of which have been completely submerged.
- Officials in the US state of California estimate that the cost to the region's citrus crop caused by the recent cold snap will amount to nearly US$1billion.
An estimated 75 per cent of the crop withered after temperatures dipped below freezing in some areas. Most other state agricultural winter produce from avocados to flowers has also suffered in the freeze.
- A powerful storm system affected much of northern Europe during the 17th-19th. Torrential rains and winds gusting up to 105mph affected parts of N and E Europe. The UK Met Office reported the strongest winds since January 1990 across the country.
Storm-related accidents caused the deaths of at least 44 people across Europe, including 10 people in Britain. Eleven people were killed in Germany, seven in the Netherlands, six in Poland, four in the Czech Republic, three in France, two in Belgium and one in Ukraine.
While England experienced high winds, Scotland saw its first major snowfalls of 2007, bringing road and rail disruption. Thousands of homes across the UK were left without power when the storms were at their peak.
People in parts of Surrey, Lancashire and the south Lake District also lost power, as did thousands in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cheshire and Wales.
In Kent, Dover port closed for a period.
Strong winds brought down part of a roof onto a busy shopping street in Hereford city centre.
Twenty-six mariners were rescued from a damaged British container ship in the English Channel, 80km off the Lizard in Cornwall - all 26 crew of the MSC Napoli abandoned ship. There were 192 flights cancelled at Heathrow, 39 cancellations across Scotland, five at Southampton and two at Stansted. Cardiff also saw flights cancelled. More than 80 flights at Manchester were cancelled. Flights from Liverpool John Lennon Airport were suspended for a time.
Network Rail said 50mph speed restrictions were in place across the whole of England and Wales in an attempt to reduce damage to overhead power cables.
London Bridge station closed for the day after glass panels fell onto the concourse.
Virgin Trains cancelled all services on its West Coast route between London and Scotland, and First Great Western was forced to run a shuttle service between Paddington and Reading.
Forecasters said wind gusts reached 99mph at the Needles, Isle of Wight, 84mph in Crosby and 82mph in Rhyl, Wales. There were gusts of up to 78mph at Heathrow.
Winds of almost 105mph were recorded late on Thursday in Germany, prompting the national rail company to suspend all its services, leaving passengers stranded.
The head of German railways said the situation was unprecedented. Air traffic too has been badly affected with many flights cancelled. There were also reports of flooding in Germany.
In the Netherlands, as in Germany, people were advised to stay indoors.
Austria forecast winds of up to 105mph at higher altitudes in the Alps, and officials warned skiers to get off the mountains and seek shelter before nightfall.
Ferries were cancelled or delayed in Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Finland.
On the 19th Poland and the Czech Republic were hit by the storm, and late on Friday high winds reached Russia and Ukraine, with a pipeline carrying Russian oil to the EU via Ukraine being temporarily shut down after power was knocked out. As the storm moved east, a Polish crane operator in the southern town of Katowice was reported killed when his machinery collapsed, and another died in Zaborow, near Warsaw, when the roof of his house fell in. At one point, in the Czech Republic a million people faced power cuts. A million households in Germany also suffered blackouts and tens of thousands of homes in Poland, Austria, northern France and the UK were also hit.
Normal rail operations were resuming in Germany after the entire network was closed down as a precautionary measure for the first time in its history.
The disruption came after Berlin's new central station, the biggest rail hub in Europe, was evacuated after the winds tore off a two-tonne steel girder, which crashed 40m onto a stairway.
- So far hundreds of ski races in Europe - as much as half the season?s schedule - have been cancelled or disrupted due to a lack of snow, including downhill, cross-country and jumping events in Italy, France, Switzerland, Finland and Norway. Italy alone has cancelled 104 races this season, including 35 in the first two weeks of January.
The situation is so bad that race organisers in Kitzbuhel, Austria had to use helicopters last week to dump over 100,000 cubic feet of snow from higher altitudes onto the Hahnenkamm downhill run to save the race from cancellation.
- Around 5,000 people had to be evacuated from an Israeli ski resort due to severe weather.
A snow blizzard broke out in the resort of Hermon, prompting staff to move people to safety.
Heavy fog also proved to be a hazard, although staff were able to escort people away in organised convoys of vehicles.
Hermon is the only ski resort in Israel, while weather conditions usually allow people to engage in various other winter sports such as sled-riding.
- Temperature highs in Bulgaria broke records in many parts of the country. Normally averaging between 2C to 5C in January, today saw the mercury top the 20C mark in some areas with Vratsa hitting 22.5C.
- The Galacia area of northwest Spain was hit by its first winter storm on the 22nd blanketing the region with several inches of snow and bringing chaos to travel. Schools were forced to close and many main roads became blocked with traffic. In Cantabria, the A1 Burgos road was blocked as 300 lorries and some coaches became trapped.
The cold weather has spread to many other areas, including Austria, which experienced heavy snowfall, especially in the south of the country. Nearly 300 lorries were stuck on the roads overnight, while tailbacks of over 5 miles developed in the Drau Valley, near the border with Italy.
Up to a metre of snow fell overnight in the southern Province of Austria, which also left many thousands without power.
Heavy snow also fell overnight in neighbouring Czech Republic, where snow closed the main highway between Prague and the eastern city of Brno.
- That the vast Russian Federation has experienced an abnormally mild winter thus far is not a secret to many weather-watchers. At Shelagontsy, nearly astride the Arctic Circle, a high of 27F occurred. Yet the average high temperature here is -38F. That makes the daily high 65F above normal! Moreover, the morning low, 3F, was 54F above the average low of -49F. While departure from normal temperatures elsewhere in this vast area was not so extreme, values of 40 and 50 degrees above normal were widespread.
- After overnight snow 16 flights were cancelled in the London (UK) area, 13 of them from Heathrow due to problems with de-icing. The deepest snow in southern England was reported at Benson in Oxfordshire, where there was between 4-5cm.
- Fifty-three people have died in Luanda, Angola's seaside capital, in torrential rains that have lashed the city for three days.
- Severe weather warnings were in force across parts of Canada as the country was hit by a major winter storm.
Newfoundland and Labrador received the brunt of the storm, reports CBC News, as they were hit by ice pellets, snow and high winds.
The weather conditions have caused widespread disruption across the region, leading to the closure of schools and universities.
Government offices, banks and businesses also had to be closed, while many flights at St John's International Airport were cancelled or delayed.
- Snow and ice led to travel disruption across Europe, as well as several fatalities.
Police in Germany said that three people died and dozens had been injured in weather-related incidents.
Airline flights were also grounded because of heavy snow, leaving around 1,000 passengers stranded at Stuttgart Airport.
Temperatures dropped to -10C in parts of France, with snow blocking a major motorway and stranding up to 5,000 drivers.
Weather conditions caused disruption to trains in central areas, while around 85,000 homes had their power cut off.
- A tornado swept through Laidley, west of Brisbane (Australia) bringing "large hail" with it. The storm lasted for several minutes and deposited hail of up to eight inches over property. Local forecaster Brett Harrison told ABC News: "We have had reports of hail about 20 centimetres in size as well as very strong winds and heavy rainfall from that same thunderstorm".
- Temperatures plummeted in south-east Spain over the past few days with Granada in Andalucía recording -6C on Friday and Malaga dipping to 1C on Saturday night.
Snow disrupted traffic on a motorway near Almería and Puerto Lumbreras while affecting local roads in the area as well. Some 30,000 people suffered electricity shortages in Andalucía on Saturday after heavy snow and strong winds brought down power cables. The city of Murcia was carpeted with more than half a metre of snow.
- Arctic air has descended across much of the USA, including Florida giving minimum temperatures of 2C in Tampa, and 3C at Fort Myers. In the state temperatures usually range between around 10C and 23C by day and night in January. Further north, -15C was reported in Tronto and -7C in New York.
In the usually sultry Savannah, Georgia dropped to -1C and in Havana, Cuba the temperature dipped to 10C, quite a bit below its 17C average minimum.
- Many European countries had their warmest January on record according to National Meteorological Services.
- The KNMI said January temperatures in the Netherlands were the highest since measurements were first taken in 1706, averaging about 7.1C, 2.8C above average.
- Austria, Germany (equal with January 1975) and Hungary also reported their warmest average January temperatures with Switzerland expected to follow suit.
- Meteorologists at the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute say that January 2007 will be the warmest in the Czech Republic since 1961. The average January temperature is set to be about 3.5C, which is 5.5C above the long-term average.
- The United Kingdom Met Office said January would probably be calculated as the second warmest over England and Wales, with 1916 holding the record.
- January 2007 is certain to be the mildest January ever recorded at the
Brussels Uccle site where observations started in 1833.
Average January temperature will be between 7.1C and 7.3C.
Previous mildest January was in 1834 with an average of 6.9C.
- Ireland was also warm at about 1.5-2.5C warmer than average, but here it was not quite as warm as January 2002 or January 2005 in most places.
If you have a snippet of weather news that you feel merits inclusion, then please feel free to email it to me.
Last updated 9 January 2008.