World weather news
World weather news, January 1997
- Relentless rain pushed several
northern California rivers over their banks, flooding
homes and businesses and turning fields and vineyards into muddy
- South Korean maritime police
recovered two bodies from a Thai cargo ship almost cut in half after
high winds blew it on to rocks. Police say 24 of 29 crewmen have been
rescued and the search is still on for three missing crew despite high
winds and icy waters at the crash site 320 km
southeast of Seoul.
- 5,000 rail passengers were stranded in
southern France overnight when snow and ice stuck to
overhead power lines, blocking about 10 trains including some
- Thousands fled their homes,
gambling casinos were sandbagged and 2,300 people were stranded
in Yosemite National Park as floods and mudslides hit the
rain-soaked western United States.
- The freeze closed the rail link between Lyon and Marseille
until further notice.
The main A7 Autoroute du Soleil partly
reopened south of Lyon with traffic running on one lane in each
direction, after snow stranded up to 5,000 people overnight.
Amsterdam's zoo kept its
penguins indoors to protect them from the bitter winter
cold outside; the birds had
acclimatized to the normally temperate Dutch weather and might
not survive current temperatures.
- Three people have been
killed and four injured when tons of earth and rock collapsed on an
Andean village in southeastern Peru.
The mudslide was caused by heavy rain in the region.
- More than 150 people have died across
Europe as the coldest weather in up to 30 years was experienced.
The Danube river remained closed to all shipping traffic all
the way from Germany through Austria to Slovakia and barges were
stuck throughout Benelux and Germany with operators in northern
Germany waiting for ice breakers to free their boats.
Bonn's gravediggers complained that they were having to use
pneumatic drills to get through the frozen earth. To make
matters worse, many cemeteries had more burials than usual to
cope with because of a post-holiday backlog.
And in Belgium a truck driver trapped by some of the coldest
weather in years ended up making a vast chocolate fondue after
trying to unfreeze his fuel tank with a blow torch.
Police said the diesel fuel caught fire, melting tons of
Belgian chocolates which the truck was carrying.
- Cities across Illinois set temperature
In Chicago, the previous record high for Jan. 4, 59F, had
stood for 117 years. The reading today was 64F.
- Heavy rains in the Brazilian
states of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro have left at least 63
people dead and nearly 20,000 homeless.
Minas Gerais has been worst hit after several days of rains
that led to widespread flooding and mudslides.
- Some 115,000 Northern Californians
have been ordered from their homes after five straight days of rain have
caused rivers to flood and resulted in major damage to homes and
- A rarely held, 200km skating marathon linking
11 mediaeval Dutch towns went ahead after the cold snap brought
ice of at least 15 cm thickness to the canals.
Henk Angenent, a 29-year-old sprout farmer, won the event -
last held in 1986 - with a final sprint.
Across Europe, the death toll due to the cold is now put at over 200.
- A winter storm bringing up to 6ocm of snow and strong winds is paralyzing Minnesota and North Dakota,
as well as parts of the Upper Midwest, which are suffering through their
harshest early winter in years.
- The death toll in southern Brazil due to heavby rains and flooding has now risen to at least 76.
- As California's worst floods in
recorded history recede, officials are concerned that failing levees
along the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will cause more
flooding and put water supplies in danger.
- Heavy snow storms and ice
caused traffic chaos in the usually sunny U.S. Southwest with at
least three people dying in weather-related accidents.
Tucson, Ariz. had its first snow showers in five years and
the mountains around Albuquerque, N.M., were blanketed with up
to three feet of snow.
- Tropical Cyclone Rachel crossed the Western Australian coast at Port Hedland
yesterday soon after 16.00 WST. The town experienced wind gusts variously
reported as 170 and 190km/h and power was lost to a reported 80 per cent of Port
Hedland and South Hedland.
- A rare cold wave in northern Mexico has
killed seven people and forced schools to close.
- About 20 radio fans raised
temperatures in ice-bound Munich by running through the city
wearing little or nothing in the hope of winning a free
An independent radio station offered flight tickets
to any fans who claimed them from the station's roving
reporter. It told listeners that whoever was wearing least had
the best chance of winning.
Swiss student Fabian Kummer claimed the top prize of a trip
to Malaysia by stripping completely naked with the air
temperature at 21.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Former Tropical Cyclone Rachel has been bringing relatively heavy falls of rain
to one of the normally driest parts of Australia. In the 24 hours to 09.00
WST this morning, Wiluna in central Western Australia recorded 72mm, 40annual rainfall. In the same rainfall area, Earaheedy reported 78mm and
Lorna Glen 122mm.
- New Zealand weather forecasters
warned campers to pack up and flee as the country
braced for its second tropical storm in two weeks at the height
of the summer holiday season.
The Meteorological Service said Cyclone Drena would bear
down on the North Island on the 10th, bringing winds of up to 130
km/hour and dumping up to 350 mm of
rain in less than 24 hours.
- Fierce snowstorms have killed 15
herders in China's westernmost Xinjiang region and 26 were still
Storms that blanketed parts of the region up to 2.4 metres
(yards) deep in snow over the New Year period had killed more
than 10,000 head of livestock.
- A major winter storm has buried much of the
Midwest under snow.
The Chicago area was expected to get 6 to 8 inches of snow by
- The worst floods in Yosemite
National Park's recorded history destroyed several bridges, knocked out
sewer lines and left behind acres of wrecked campsites, picnic areas and
trails within the scenic park.
Several bridges have vanished and roads are buckled as if from an
earthquake, but the main problem is the water and sewers knocked
out when the Merced River overflowed its banks.
- Insured losses from Washington
state's severe snow and ice storms in December are now estimated at $135
million - the second worst weather event in Washington's history.
- A Civil Defence state of
emergency was declared in the North Island town of Thames
as New Zealand reeled under its second tropical storm
in as many weeks.
Tropical storm Drena brought high and intense
rainfalls in the Corommandel area east of Northland. The
highest recorded was a massive 406mm in 24 hrs which caused
extensive flooding and slippage.
- Five people were killed when a
landslide caused by two days of torrential rain swept cars off a
coastal road near Sorrento, southern Italy.
- Large areas of northern
and central California remain underwater and some rivers are still above
flood stage, but there are no reports of new breaks in the levee system.
- At least three people were killed
when storms lashed Greece, causing heavy damage, cutting
power and sweeping scores of cars through town streets in floodwater.
- Exceptionally heavy snowfall in
Lapland has brought some reindeer herds to the brink of
Reindeer calves have starved to death as exceptional
fluctuations in temperature have covered the lichen they
eat under an almost impenetrable layer of snow and ice.
- Today was the 24th consecutive ice-day in Munich. This is now the
longest spell of continuous freezing since January-February 1963 when 33 days
in a row were recorded. The previous record in more recent years was a 23-day
spell during the 1984-85 winter.
- The National Aeronautics and Space
Administration gave an
optimistic 10-year weather forecast for the Sun, which could
mean cooler temperatures on Earth.
NASA predict a decrease in sunspots on the solar
surface, as well as a decrease in magnetic storms, cosmic rays
and ionosphere disturbances.
Such conditions could signal cooler
weather on Earth, fewer power blackouts and less interference
with radio waves.
- Several airline flights have been diverted
from Bangkok's Don Muang International Airport due to heavy
fog and forced to land at the nearby U-tapao air base.
Airport officials describe the fog as the heaviest to hit Bangkok in
- The fiercest snowstorms in 30 years have
blanketed parts of China's far-west Xinjiang region, killing 34
people and nearly a million sheep and cutting off 100,000
- Fossilized emu eggs have
given scientists a surprising peek into Earth's ancient climate.
The temperature-sensitive eggshells provide tell-tale new evidence
that Australia's interior cooled by more than 16 degF
during the last ice age 45,000 to 14,000 years ago, hinting that
dramatic temperature drops associated with the glacial formations at the
poles and in the Northern Hemisphere extended worldwide. (see Nature)
- Northwest winds sent regional wind chills plunging to -40F to -50F
from Iowa to Michigan and the sixth blizzard of the
season paralyzed the Dakotas. Blowing snow reduced visibility to zero
near Fargo, N.D., and temperatures plunged to -12F.
- Two months of unusually frigid winter
weather have claimed 205 lives in Mexico.
The northern states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and
Nuevo Leon were the hardest hit by the coldest December and
January in three decades. Temperatures fell to -20C.
- The village of Montague in northern
New York state Friday celebrated a new U.S. record for the most
snowfall in a single day, nearly 6 1/2 feet that fell during a
storm last week.
The record 77 inches came down during a 24-hour period in
the middle of a massive storm that started last Friday and ended
Tuesday, National Weather Service meteorologists in Buffalo
Just 64 people live in the town, which is the country's
leading producer of Philadelphia brand cream cheese. The
residents decided to commemmorate the record by sending a case
of cream cheese packed in snow to the people of Silver Lake,
Colorado, the town that previously held the record.
Silver Lake recorded 76 inches in April 1921.
'Our volunteer observers kept track of the snowfall and all
our checks on it bear them out,' Buffalo meteorologist Steve
Mclaughlin said. 'This is as official as a record that you can
He said the previous New York state record was 69 inches
in Watertown in January 1940.
- Wave after wave of blizzard conditions
and bitter cold have taken their toll on cattle and livestock in the
wide open Great Plains of South Dakota.
A spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture said
thousands of cattle have died, many entombed in mounds of snow and ice.
- Eight people have been killed in western
Saudi Arabia because of heavy rains.
The two regions of Makkah and Medinah have been hit by heavy
rains and floods that caused damage and uprooted electricity pylons.
Helicopters have been sent to rescue isolated people and recover bodies.
- Somaliland, the self-declared
republic that split from Somalia in 1991, appealed for
urgent assistance to counter drought affecting large areas of
the Horn of Africa.
Neighbouring Ethiopia and Somalia, and nearby Kenya are all
affected by the latest drought, which aid workers say is already
raising fears of famine.
- A cold wave sweeping
northern Bangladesh has killed at least 33 people over the past
Fourteen people died of exposure in Dinajpur as the
temperature dropped to 5C.
- Officials estimate freezing
temperatures (as low as 19F) in Florida over the weekend caused at least $300 million in
damage to crops.
Growers of winter
vegetables suffered losses of up to 75 percent of their crops.
- Overnight temperatures in excess of 10 degrees above average
were the norm in Victoria, southeastern South Australia (SA) and parts of Tasmania and New South Wales
last night. Melbourne City's minimum of 28.8C was the
warmest ever January minimum. In SA, 29C at Keith was 16degC above normal.
- Twenty-eight houses have already been destroyed in a major
bushfire burning out of control in the Dandenong Mountains 50km east of
Melbourne, Australia. Most have been lost in the Ferny Creek - Tremont area, where
700 firefighters are trying to contain the fire in the face of strong northerly
winds and temperatures in the high 30s. Two South Australian water bomber
aircraft have joined the fight. Temperatures rose to 41C at Avalon, Victoria.
- The latest blizzard to strike the Northern Plains (USA) made roads
impassable and heightened the hardships suffered by residents
who have been buried in towering snowdrifts.
In Minnesota, the weekend deaths of six snowmobilers brought
to 23 the number of deaths this winter on the machines, with
most of the accidents attributed to alcohol.
- The tail end of hot northwesterlies in eastern Victoria,
and the following band of heavy, widespread rain which affected Tasmania,
Victoria and parts of South Australia yesterday, made it a day of great temperature
variation in the southeast of Australia. At Orbost, the temperature
reached 38C, 13degC above normal, before cooler weather arrived late
in the day. Stations in the west of Victoria and New South Wales reported maxima as much as 15C below average.
- Hobart's 24-hr rainfall of 73mm
was its second heaviest January fall, and the heaviest since 1916.
Hobart's minimum temperature on the 21st of 22.4C was its highest January minimum, breaking the 1973 record
by 0.4 degC. Meanwhile, Hobart's maximum of 38C on Tuesday was its hottest since
- Heavy rainfall from a fierce
winter storm is once again bringing the San Joaquin River dangerously
close to flood levels and causing several levees to give way in Northern
- A series of tornadoes skipped
through central Tennessee, ripping the roof off a grocery
store, rupturing gas lines and trapping some people inside
At least 15 people were treated in a hospital in
Murfreesboro, about 30 miles south of Nashville, for injuries
ranging from mild to serious. One person died.
- At least 500 ice fishermen and
snowmobilers were trapped on a lake about 45 miles north of
Toronto, stranded by shifting ice.
A seven-mile-long crack about 30 yards wide stranded the
people, along with their fishing huts and vehicles, on Lake
Some had to endure hours of waiting in strong winds and
- Madagascar slowly mounted a
rescue operation on after 100 people were declared dead
or missing and up to 30,000 made homeless by one of the most
powerful cyclones to strike the island in living memory.
Cyclone Gretelle hit the island's
southern tip on Friday night.
When it made landfall, Gretelle, was 600 km wide and packing 130 kn sustained winds.
- Heavy snows coupled with high winds
caused four avalanches in the mountains in Utah, USA, in the past four days,
leaving one person dead and injuring two.
- The latest in a series of Pacific
storms sent several northern California rivers above flood stage
while overflowing streams flooded homes and streets.
- An Australian couple are dead
after being struck by lightning while picnicking in a park with family
21 people at the picnic were thrown in all directions
when the lightning stuck at the park in Geelong (72km SW of Melbourne).
- Heavy snow shut dozens of
schools across the Kansas City area in a storm that
spread winter misery across parts of the Midwest.
Freezing rain caused hazardous travel in the central part of
Missouri; 19 states were under winter storm watches.
- Massive convergence of moist air into a low in the monsoonal
trough over the Kimberleys in northern Western Australia appears to be the cause of exceptionally
heavy rain in Broome overnight. Broome Airport recorded 477mm in the 24
hours to 09.00 WST on the 30th, with 435mm in 5 hrs to 2 am, and
in one 80 minute period. Climatological normals for Broome are 208mm in January and 613mm for the entire year.
World weather news, February 1997
- Munich has had its driest start to any year on record. With a rainfall total
of just 0.8mm, January 1997 has been by far the driest January since continuous
rainfall observations began in the city in 1848. The previous driest January was
that of 1873 with 6.8mm, while the driest of this century was 1992 with 7.3mm.
Not only that, January 1997 has also been one of the driest calendar months of
any kind on record. Only one month in the history was definitely drier (April
1893, 0.3mm), while two other months were similarly dry (October 1920 and
- Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early
Phil's prediction came as he
failed to see his shadow as the sun rose in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
According to legend, if Phil had seen his shadow there would be
another six weeks of winter.
Since 1980, Phil (of Groundhog Day film fame) has accurately predicted winter's course 10 times.
- Bogota's eight million citizens may be
faced with emergency water rationing within a week as an
indirect result of torrential rains, which have lashed the city
since early January.
Freak conditions have brought as much as six times the
average rainfall to Bogota during what is normally Colombia's
dry season. Earlier this month, a mudslide blocked a tunnel that
brings water from the city's main reservoir.
- New measurements of the eastern Sierra
snowpack (in the USA) show the water content is about double the normal amount for
this time of the year.
- Nicosia (Cyprus), used to
almost year-round sunshine, experienced a covering osf snow.
The last time there was snowfall in Nicosia was in 1983.
- Greenpeace says
global warming has caused at least four ice shelves in the Antarctic to
collapse and break off from glaciers feeding them.
An ice shelf some
300 metres thick that joined James Ross Island to the
continent has completely disappeared.
The collapse was first recorded by satellite in 1995, when the ice
shelf broke into numerous icebergs, many of which have since
- According to the Institute of Hydrology, the 22 month-period ending 31
January 1997 was the driest such period since 1853-55. The England and
Wales rainfall total for the last 22 months has been 1268.9mm
(according to Philip Eden) -- marginally drier than Nov. 1974 -
Aug. 1976 (1272mm).
- Two jaguars, a pheasant and a
monkey have frozen to death in Ukraine after a touring zoo got
stuck in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains.
The zoo of 20 animals, including lions, bears and donkeys,
had been heading for the Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod.
But it stopped at the western town of Ivano-Frankivsk in
November and heavy snow falls and black ice in the treacherous
mountain roads have kept it there ever since.
- A winter storm moved into
Missouri and Illinois, a day after it snarled traffic and
shut schools and businesses in Kansas.
The brunt of the storm's snow hit in central
Kansas, with as much as seven inches reported in some areas.
Authorities said the weather played a role in at least three
traffic deaths across the state.
- The death toll from the 24 January Cyclone Gretelle in Madagascar
is now put at 200.
- High winds at Japan's Kagoshima
Space Center forced officials to delay the launch of a radio telescope that
is the largest astronomical instrument ever built.
Lift-off for the rocket carrying the Very Long Base Interferometry
Space Observatory Program satellite was rescheduled.
- A storm killed at least 15 people in
Tropical depression Josie in the last few days
killed 15 people including four hit by falling debris after
heavy rain storms led to severe flooding in some areas of the
The worst-hit town in the vanilla-producing region was
Maroantsetra, where residents took to
small boats because its streets were completely flooded.
- Tropical Cyclone Gillian developed out of
a tropical low in the central Coral Sea on the 10th and
drifted slowly WSW, crossing the coast in Bowling Green Bay, just SE of
Townsville (Queensland, Australia) late yesterday afternoon. The
system had little impact other than to cause marine gales
close to its centre and brief heavy rain and minor flooding on the coast
around Mackay. Up to 200mm fell in 8 hours.
- Sri Lankan weathermen said they feared no repetition of last year's crippling
drought despite only a trickle of rainfall last month.
Rainfall in January (usually a very dry month) was just 1.3 mm compared
with 157.3 mm in January 1996 in Nuwara Eliya, the
main central hill and reservoir district.
According to current weather patterns, intermonsoon rains and
the southwest monsoon were expected to come on time.
- The Bolivian government has declared a state of
emergency because of torrential rain that has left more than 6,000
- The USA
government has declared 16 counties in Florida disaster areas following
the freeze last month that caused an estimated $300 million in crop
- More than 30 people waiting for a ski championship to start,
escaped unharmed after an avalanche crashed down into the
race area, in the Taeli area, Malbun (Liechtenstein).
- Five people were killed in a flash flood in towns near Abancay, in
Peru's southeastern Andes; three rivers overflowed
in torrential rains.
The period between January and March is the rainy season in
Peru's Andes when mudslides and flash floods, known locally as
'huaycos', are common.
- Floodwaters isolated about
2,000 people in the Australian town of Wee Waa in New South
Wales state while heavy rain swelled rivers in other
parts of outback Australia.
In Queensland state the town of Goondiwindi
remained cut off after floodwaters rose around the town on the 14th,
but there were no plans for evacuations or food
Alice Springs Airport recorded 96mm in thunderstorms
between 21.00CST Friday and 06.00 Saturday - more rain than it received
during the whole of 1996!
- Tens of thousands of
people have been left homeless by flooding in three southern
In Malawi and Mozambique, which share the same eastward-running rivers, food and blankets have
been airdropped to villages isolated by floods - possibly some of the
worst in Malawi since 1947.
In Zimbabwe, seven weeks of non-stop rain have swept dams
away and destroyed crops and villages, mostly in the east and
north-east -- the rains have flooded many untarred roads.
- A truck driver was struck by lightning and
killed in a Dallas suburb during a thunderstorm that is causing flash
flooding across portions of north Texas, USA.
- Five people were killed and
several injured when fierce gales and torrential rain lashed
The London Weather Centre said the gales reached up to 80
mph in some parts of Britain.
Some major road bridges were closed because of the danger of
vehicles being blown over the side. Flood warnings were issued
in several areas.
- At least four people have died in weather-
related accidents in Texas, where heavy rains are creating dangerous
flooding in the Dallas-Fort Worth area south to San Antonio.
- The state of South Australia, except the far southeast, together with southwest
New South Wales and northwest Victoria had a continuation of daytime temperatures 8
to 15 degC above normal, with the top reports to 15.00 EDST being 44C
at Cook, Nullarbor, and Kyancutta.
In Melbourne, train services have been disrupted by the electrical overheads
which supply power to trains sagging, catching on train pantographs and
being brought down. In Adelaide, the city's power resources have been unable
to keep up with the demands of airconditioning. On the Adelaide plains
and hills, heat stress is damaging fruit crops now in peak season, and
has damaged over 50% of leaf crops, whilst in Victoria's Goulburn Valley,
an antrax outbreak among cattle which has so far seen 116 cattle die over
56 properties is being exacerbated by the heat in which the bacteria thrive.
- A winter storm dumped heavy rain and snow
across the central United States, flooding roads and
Nearly three inches of rain had fallen in Chicago by
mid-morning, the most ever recorded in any one day in February.
At least 14 people are reported dead in weather-related incidents
after severe thunderstorms swept across the southern and midwestern
sections of the USA.
- A winter storm that blasted much of the
Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec with freezing rain and
blowing snow wreaked havoc for motorists and left tens
of thousands of residents without electricity. 3 people died.
In Ottawa, a popular winter festival was all but washed out
as rain and high winds ruined outdoor ice sculptures and ended
ice-skating on the city's Rideau Canal. The snowstorm dumped about 19.7 inches of snow in the Quebec
- Wet season downpours in northern Peru have caused
floods and mudslides in the Amazon region, leaving hundreds of
families homeless and many people missing.
- Eight Palestinians died in
the Qalqilya area of the West Bank after their minivan was swept away by raging flood waters
caused by unusually heavy winter rains.
Three others are missing.
More than 130mm of rain has dropped in some areas
in the region in a 24-hour period, ending fears
of a water shortage following an unusually dry winter but wreaking havoc
in low lying areas of Israel and the West Bank.
- In, Jordan 49 people were hurt in accidents caused
by heavy rain, thick fog and winds up to 60 mph. In the
capital Amman, 11 homes were destroyed.
- Six people died in two road accidents
as rain and gale-force winds lashed the southern half of
Three people died in an accident involving four vehicles on
the M5 motorway near Bristol.
Another three people died in a crash on a main road in
King's Lynn. Gusts reported from 15GMT/24-06GMT/25th
included 57kt at Tiree, 58kt at Brize Norton, 62kt at Manston, 59kt at Lyneham, 65kt at Culdrose and 61kt at Plymouth.
- At least five people died and 15 others were
missing in southern Peru when thunderstorms triggered
severe flash-flooding in the Andean city of Arequipa.
The deaths followed a massive mudslide last week in the
Apurimac region of Peru's southern Andes which obliterated two
entire villages and killed up to 300 people.
Deforestation and erosion in Peru's north
have left village dwellers more exposed then ever to disaster.
- In Australia, the minimum of 29.0C was
Perth's fourth hottest night on record, and the maximum of 44.5C
was its fifth hottest day. To make the night more uncomfortable, relative
humidity hovered just under 60% between 03.00 and 05.00. With all airconditioner
running to capacity, an all time record for electricity usage was recorded.
- A storm-system moving rapidly across north Germany helped bring
outstandingly high temperatures to Munich, aided by strong
Foehn winds reaching Beaufort Force 6. The maximum temperature of 18.4C
was the highest in February for 7 years, and the following night was
the warmest February night for 7 years, with a minimum temperature of 10.1C.
- Drought in East Africa has
severely eroded efforts to improve coffee output and could
undermine overall economic growth, senior coffee industry
officials and agencies said.
- Rivers swollen by heavy rainfall
spilled over their banks in several southwestern German towns, blocking roads and disrupting traffic.
One day after authorities suspended shipping on three major
Rhine tributaries, water from the Neckar river flooded into the
historic town center of Heidelberg.
Flooding along the Saar river prompted police to close a
motorway between Saarbruecken near the French border and
Voelklingen. Banks in the center of Saarbruecken have been
urging customers to empty safe deposit boxes in underground
- Floodwaters spilled over the banks
of some Midwestern USA rivers, forcing some
residents out of their homes while others piled sandbags to try
to keep the rare winter floods at bay.
This month's near-record rainfall of more than five inches
in northern Illinois has swollen area rivers, breaking through
levees and swamping several towns.
World weather news, March 1997
- Tornadoes touched down in
several areas of Arkansas (USA), damaging and destroying
homes and overturning trailer trucks. 25 people died.
An undetermined number of injuries were reported and damages
were being assessed.
- Record rains swamped the Ohio
Valley (USA), killing at least 10 people in Kentucky and Ohio and
forcing evacuations of towns.
Twelve inches of rain fell in Louisville and other parts of
Kentucky from late Friday night through Sunday morning. The
total included 9.6 inches over a 24-hour period, the most
recorded in one day in the city.
- On 2nd March, a SW airflow brought yet more very mild air to southern Germany.
In Munich, clear skies and Foehn helped the temperature to climb to an
outstanding 21.2 C, the warmest weather on record for the first week of March.
The only comparable events occurring early in the second March week in recent
decades were those of 9th March 1967 (21.3 C) and 8th March 1991 (21.6 C).
- With nearly two months of the official wet season still
to come, Darwin (Australia) has exceeded its previous all time record wet season rainfall
record of 2381.6mm. The wet season officially runs for 7 months from October
to April, and the previous record was set in 1974/75, the year of Cyclone
- The Ohio River crested at various points in Ohio and West
Virginia after swelling to its highest levels since 1964. At least 26
people have now been confirmed dead this week in floods resulting from heavy
rains across the Ohio River Basin.
- Heavy rain fell overnight on the coast north of Brisbane
and on the New South Wales mid-north Coast (Australia)
thanks to a generously moist onshore stream
converging into a trough lying to the west of the area. Heavy falls in the 24 hours to 09.00 EST in Queensland
included 255mm at Cooran.
At Nambour, 145mm fell in the 6 hours to 21.00,
- The town of Wajir, 310 miles from Nairobi, is
suffering like the rest of Kenya from its worst drought since
For two years rainfall has been inadequate in North Eastern
Province and the short rains failed completely last December.
- Heavy snow and blizzards have cut
off roads to dozens of mountain villages in northwest Iran where
tens of thousands of people were made homeless by an earthquake
- Along the flooded Ohio River, small towns and rural areas are being inundated
as the river's crest makes it way toward the Mississippi.
In Lousiville the river was forecast to crest 15 feet above flood stag
on Friday night.
- More rain plagued the
flood-stricken Ohio River valley, causing some streams to rise
again and slowing the monumental clean-up from the worst deluge
in more than three decades.
At least 31 deaths have been attributed to flooding across the Ohio
- A Gulf Air jet with 122 passengers aboard was blown off the runway by
strong winds while about to take off from Abu Dhabi International
The Airbus A320 bound for Bahrain and Cairo was
accelerating for takeoff when it was caught by a gust
that blew it into the desert sand.
The nose was buried in sand, causing minor cuts and bruises among
cabin crew and passengers.
- A cyclone causing strong
winds and high waves along Australia's northeast coast forced
Australian and U.S. authorities Monday to scale down their
biggest wargames since World War II.
Tropical Cyclone Justin is causing wind gusts up to 105 mph
and waves up to 15 feet around Australia's Great Barrier Reef,
where operation Tandem Thrust started.
- Rescuers pulled two more bodies from the
wreck of a minivan swept down a cliff by a mudslide, bringing
the death toll to 14 in the latest disaster caused by heavy
rains in the Peruvian Andes.
The mudslide hit the van packed with teachers on a
Sunday outing near the mountain town of Abancay, 600 miles
southeast of Lima.
- Hoping to enliven
reports of isobars and sunny spells, many of the world's weather
forecasters are enlisting high-tech show business and a splash
Presenters who use humor won many of the top awards at the
weather forecasters' equivalent of the Oscars in a Paris suburb
in late February, regaled by French meteorologists who came on
stage to perform 'Singing in the Rain.'
In Israel, Channel 2 uses a computer-generated frog that
gets frazzled by lightning, for instance, if a storm is looming.
On one British video channel, a
dwarf bounces on a trampoline below a weather map.
Asked for an example of his humor, de Bellefeuille, who
works for Canada's 24-hour weather channel Meteomedia, said that
one chill winter day, he and two other colleagues decided to
have a beard-growing competition to keep their faces warm.
- Heavy thunderstorms dumped up to five
inches of rain across southeast Texas, causing
widespread street flooding and forcing the evacuation of a
- Philippine disaster officials are rushing relief supplies to several provinces in the south where flash
floods have left at least 17 people dead and one missing.
Heavy rains from February 7 through this week caused three main
rivers to overflow, innundating some 192 villages and displacing more
than 26,000 families.
- Utility crews were scrambled to restore
power to more than 360,000 homes and businesses blacked out by a major
ice storm in southern Michigan.
Up to a half-inch of ice brought down power lines and tree limbs in a
wide area from Kalamazoo to Detroit.
- At least 35 people were killed
when a triple-decker ferry boat capsized on the Irrawaddy River
in northern Burma during a sudden storm.
- Tanzania's worst drought in 40 years has left many parts of
Dar es Salaam without water for weeks. Three quarters of the
city's three million people rely on water from the Ruvu
catchment, now at perilously low levels.
- At 12.30 today a lightning strike severed the Cardington (UK) balloon
cable, leaving the balloon flying free with around 1000m of
cable attached. Latest information (at 13.50) was that it was over the M11
With that amount of cable still attached it is unlikely that the
balloon will rise high enough to burst.
- Cyclone Hina tore roofs from houses, felled trees
and power lines and ravaged crops but caused no human
casualties as it passed Tonga on Sunday.
Power was restored to the central business district of the
capital, Nuku'alofa, on Tuesday but it was expected to take more
than a month to restore it to villages and outlying areas.
The storm, which had gusts of over 80 knots, snapped most
concrete power poles off at their bases. Part of the roof of the
wooden parliament building was blown off.
The cyclone was the latest of several to sweep through the
South Pacific. Last week Cyclone Gavin left 10 people dead and
17 missing in Fiji, while Cylone Justin killed six people in
southeast Papua New Guinea and 21 people were reported missing.
- Rains battered most food
growing areas of East Africa for the first time since December
brightening hopes of a better 1997/98 food crop,
weather and crop officials said.
Coffee growers reported showers in northern Tanzania,
weather officials reported heavy rains in western Kenya while
farmers spoke of torrents in Uganda's growing Soroti district.
- Heavy rains continue to drench Western
Washington state (USA), where overflowing rivers and saturated hillsides have caused
Several people were injured when a section of a
hillside slid onto a busy Seattle road and buried several cars.
- Two people, including a
12-year-old boy playing in floodwater, were killed in
the aftermath of a tropical cyclone that passed through Queensland, Australia.
- Runoff from melting snow flooded
hundreds of homes across North Dakota, USA, as ice jams sent
rivers pouring out of their banks.
Several residents had to evacuate Beulah and Hazen, North
Dakota, two small towns roughly 50 miles northwest of Bismarck
where the Knife River spilled over its banks.
- Floodwaters continued to surge
down the Mississippi River, USA, forcing evacuations in
low-lying areas as the river's crest approached Baton Rouge.
- At least six people were killed when gales
of up to 75 miles an hour struck several parts of Poland,
felling trees and tearing roofs from buildings.
An evening television news program put the death toll at
seven. It also reported that a tree had struck a train bound
from Germany to Warsaw, but no one aboard was injured.
- Tornadoes struck central Kentucky (USA), killing one person and damaging property in
several areas. 14 were hurt in central Kentucky and more than
20 were injured in southern Tennessee; the tornadoes and intense storms
also affected Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio.
- A spring storm lashed the East coast of the USA, from Maine to Maryland, with snow,
rain, hail, and howling wind and leaving one dead and thousands
More than 18 inches of wet snow fell in New York state,
where the death of a 36-year-old man in a Catskill mountain
region traffic accident was blamed on the storm.
- The pollen count this week surged to the highest mark in
metropolitan Atlanta (USA) since record-keeping began 15 years ago,
according to the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic.
World weather news, April 1997
- Over the next 25 years, the number of deaths resulting from hot
weather is expected to rise significantly in many of the 44 largest
metropolitan areas in the United States, according a new study by
Laurence Kalkstein of the University of Delaware Center for Climate
During the summer heat wave of 1995 in Chicago more than 700 died.
Such events are likely to become
far more common over the next 60 years, Kalkstein said, with death
tolls increasing by as much as two-fold by 2050.
- In the USA New Englanders are digging out from the third
largest blizzard ever to hit the region.
Massachusetts bore the brunt of the April 1st blizzard, which
dropped 2 to 3 feet of snow in some areas, including Boston.
The 24 inches measured in Boston was the most ever in April.
The storm ranked just behind the record of 27.1 inches in the
February Blizzard of 1978 and the 26.3 inches that fell in February of
- A spring snowstorm has hit Colorado, leaving up to 16 inches of snow in the foothills west of
Denver, causing a school bus to slide off a road and down an embankment.
No serious injuries were reported in that crash but authorities say
at least one person has died in a mishap on a slippery highway near Denver.
- Colorado State University's
hurricane forecasters are sticking with their prediction of an above-
average hurricane season with seven hurricanes, three of them major.
The prediction by the team led by Professor William Gray means this
would be a record third straight active hurricane season.
Gray said if the forecast holds true, the period
from 1995-97 would become the most active three-year hurricane span in
history, contrasting with 1991-94 which was the least active four-year
period since detailed records have been kept.
- One of the casualties of this week's blizzard
in the Northeast is the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, regarded as one of
the greatest botanical preserves in North America.
Officials say hundreds of 'irreplaceable' trees - many of them a
century old or more - were destroyed by the storm's heavy, wet snow and
- Snow amounts of up to 14 inches in North Dakota (USA)
have combined with winds
blowing in excess of 40 miles per hour to produce blizzard conditions in
the western and central parts of the state, closing interstate highways
and producing zero visibilities.
The new moisture added to the concerns of residents already beset by
flooding from a record 110 inches of melting snow.
- Up to 3 feet of snow accompanied
by flooding and widespread power outages affected the northern
plains (USA), after a huge spring storm struck over the
Roads and many major highways were closed across the region
that included the Dakotas, and parts of Nebraska and Minnesota.
The federal government declared a state
of 'major disaster' in the states of North Dakota and South Dakota in
response to the past several weeks of heavy storms and flooding.
- Water levels in Sri Lanka's
depleted hydropower reservoirs rose substantially over the
weekend for the first time since January after heavy rains, an
official of the state power utility said.
- Thousands of college students in North Dakota joined
sandbagging efforts ahead of the expected record crest
of the Red River.
The river was forecast to crest at 39.5 feet, which could
have water spilling over some sandbagged levees that now range
from 38.5 to 39 feet, said emergency personnel.
Frigid temperatures have slowed the river's rise and created
ice jams that made it difficult to estimate when the river would
- French weather forecasters added
to mounting fears of drought in Western Europe with a warning on
of another bone-dry week.
The meteorological service said rainfall had been as much as
50 percent below normal since January in the north of France and
even lower in the south, where some regions had not seen a
single drop of rain last month.
The news comes just days after French authorities called on
farmers to turn down the taps two days a week in a clampdown on
irrigation, and after similar predictions for Britain and
- Tornadoes, baseball-sized hail
and torrential rain battered northwest Texas, killing one man
and wrecking several homes.
- Snowy conditions stretched over a wide area Friday, from Colorado to
northern Indiana, forcing the cancellation of number of baseball games
and producing visions of endless winter. Wind chill readings were
- The overflowing Red River crested in
Fargo more than 20 feet above flood stage, and officials said
the dikes and sandbags holding back the floodwaters
were largely intact.
- Authorities have evacuated more than 300
people who were driven from their homes by flooding along the Don River
in southern Russia.
18 settlements in the
Rostov region have been flooded, but no injuries have been reported.
Heavy spring rains have swamped the Don.
- All bets are off for a dry April
after a trace of rain was detected in London on Monday, British
bookmakers William Hill said on Tuesday.
But the month is still on track to be the driest on record
as Britain's long-running drought continues.
The Meteorological Office (Met) has so far recorded just one
millimetre of rain in April, compared with a previous record low
of eight millimetres in 1938 and below averages of 60
- Researchers say we are seeing
the possible consequences of global warming and the so-called greenhouse
effect - spring came a week earlier this year than in the early 1970s.
They say satellite data suggest increased plant growth, which they
think is caused by a longer growing season.
Reporting in the journal Nature, Ranga Myneni of
Boston University says the effect has been global - but particularly
strong in high northern latitudes north of a line running roughly
through Boston, Bordeaux and Vladivostok.
- Chilean officials cut power voltage
to combat a severe energy crisis caused by drought and
said that rationing may be imposed.
The measures will stay in effect for at least a month and
could be followed by rationing in two or three weeks.
Chile, with almost no oil reserves, depends on hydroelectric
power for about 70 percent of it energy needs. Drought in
central and southern regions has cut water levels at dams to a
trickle and caused irrigation and water supply problems in some
- Unusually low levels of ozone over the Arctic were measured
during March by satellite-based monitoring instruments operated by
"These are the lowest ozone values ever measured by the
TOMS instruments during late-March and early-April in the Arctic,"
said TOMS Project Scientist, Dr. Pawan K. Bhartia, of NASA's Goddard
Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD. "However, these low ozone
amounts are still nearly a factor of two greater than the lowest values
seen by TOMS in the Antarctic during Southern hemisphere Spring."
The minimum in total column ozone fell to 219 Dobson units
on March 24, 1997, from values near 280 units earlier in March.
- Several thousand people were
evacuated in the Red River valley after dozens of houses were
flooded by swollen waters that breached a dike in Fargo, North Dakota, USA.
At nearby East Grand Forks, Minnesota, officials reported a
serious breach in one dyke and ordered a wide area of downtown
and nearby neighbourhoods evacuated.
- Four thousand people
evacuated their homes in the town of Peace River, Alberta, Canada as the Peace River flooded the region.
Peace River's town council declared a state of emergency after an ice jam on the river caused it to rise
quickly and the Heart River to overflow its banks.
- One person was killed and hundreds of
others were forced to flee Sunday after floodwaters overcame
sandbags and dikes and rushed into downtown Trail, British
The provincial government has warned towns throughout
British Columbia to prepare for spring flooding, since the
snowpack is much heavier than normal.
- Early wheat is said to be
yellowing in parched fields in eastern England even as late
frost threatens sugar beet in Serbia.
Rain started in Spain last Thursday and continued over the
weekend, although the effect on parched crops in the south has
been minimal. The dry weather followed floods that reduced the
amount of land sown.
French weather forecasters, officials and farmers have so
far to refused to talk of a full blown drought, despite
irrigation bans in some areas after a prolonged dry spell.
France's bread basket Beauce region has received only 90
millimetres of rain this year, half of what normally falls.
Growing conditions for Russia's winter grain crop were ideal
in many regions this season, and early forecasts for the summer
suggest good conditions will continue on the whole.
In Siberia, however, where temperatures have been very high
during the latter part of March and in early April, cold air
over the coming weeks could lead to some crop damage.
In the Balkans, Serbia's producers fear more frost could be
a real disaster for the sugar beet crop. 'Low temperatures in
the past weeks have already destroyed newly emerging plants on
In Italy, drought conditions have been to some extent eased
by rainfall in recent days, although alarm over frost continues.
- Tornadoes, rain and hail hit
most of peninsular Florida, leaving downed trees, power lines and
Early in the day cool air moved southeast into
the peninsula, meeting very warm, moist air that spawned thunderstorms,
and a tornado near the Florida-Georgia border that knocked out power to
the town of Callahan.
- Authorities in Manitoba, Canada ordered 17,500 people
to evacuate their homes as the Red River surged up to four feet
in the past 24 hours and a third person was presumed drowned in
the rising flood waters.
- The Red River, swollen with
runoff from melting snow, inundated vast stretches of U.S. and
Canadian prairie as floodwaters slowly receded from
devastated Grand Forks.
- The Anzac day march in Hobart (Tasmania) got off to a brisk start
this morning as the city's temperature fell to 0.7C at Hobart Airport. This
is equal to the lowest ever April minimum temperature recorded at Hobart
City, recorded on 14 April 1963. South of Hobart, Geeveston recorded a
record low April minimum of -2.5C, 9degC below average.
- Thousands of people remained
out of their flooded homes along the Red River, with
recovery only just beginning across much of the flood-ravaged
- France's largest farm union (the FNSEA) said that cities and industries and not just farmers must
be made to limit the amount of water they can use in the face of
mounting drought fears.
Rainfall has been as much as 50 percent below normal since
January in the north of France and even lower in the south.
- Some 17,000 people headed for
high ground as the Red River spread into a 500 square mile lake
and soldiers worked around the clock to build a 15-mile
dike southwest of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Officials said the flooding, caused by quickly melting snow
in the northern plains, could be the worst in 145 years.
- The US Coast Guard battled against high winds
and 12-foot waves to rescue 11 people from disabled
tugs, fishing boats and a car as storms stalked the Gulf Coast
from Mississippi to Texas.
- One of the worst winter droughts
in the last 150 years has destroyed an estimated 50 to 70
percent of Portugal's winter cereal crops.
Irrigated spring and summer cereals have not been affected
by the drought because dams are full.
- At least three people have died and more
than 1,000 have been evacuated because of flooding in the
Krasnoyarsk region of western Siberia.
Tass said blocks of ice had built up in a dam on the Yenisei
River, making the water rise by more than 30 feet and flooding
houses up to their roofs.
- Heavy ice in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence
and the Northumberland Strait is delaying the start of the lobster
fishing season in Canada.
The pack-ice extends along the western shore of Prince Edward Island
from the town of Pictou on Nova Scotia's north shore to Cape Breton
- The French Environment Minister
said water conservation measures would
be extended to seven new French departments due to a persistent
lack of rain across much of the country.
The decision means 23 of France's 95 departments are now
subject to water use restrictions.
- Northern Maine (USA) residents dug out from a late-season storm that left some communities with
more then 15cm of heavy wet snow.
The storm, which moved eastward into New Brunswick, caused
scattered power cuts but no major traffic accidents were
World weather news, May 1997
- Some 9,000 people are being told
they may have to leave their homes in a hurry, as the Red River crests
at Winnipeg in flood-hit southern Manitoba.
- The mean temperature in April 1997 in Munich was lower than that of the
preceeding March: a quite rare occurrence. It is only the 7th time that this
has happened over the last 216 years in the Munich area.
Yet, it is becoming more and more common in recent decades, eg 1990, 1994 and 1997.
- The swollen Red River has crested
at Winnipeg, Manitoba's capital city, but the dykes are holding, as
brown water swirls past at three times the river's normal depth.
- The strongest sandstorm in 30 years, moving at over 50kn, hit
Egypt Friday, killing 18 and disrupting air traffic at Cairo
The mid-afternoon storm plunged Cairo into complete darkness
for about one hour.
The storm blowing from the Western Desert reduced visibility
to less than 50m.
Egypt usually suffers from sandstorms at this time of the
year. They are called Khamasin (fifty) because they blow
intermittently for about 50 days.
- A 9-year-old girl
was killed and three other people were injured when a tornado touched
down in a mobile home park about six miles SSW of
Chickamauga, Ga. (USA).
- Since mid-April, drought has struck large areas across
northern China, including main grain growing regions in the
northeast, and southwestern Sichuan province, the
People's Daily said.
The China Meteorological Administration said last month that
drought in north China was having an unfavourable influence on
spring sowing and the growth of seedlings.
- Dykes in Canada's
flood-ravaged Red River Valley took a battering from high winds
but withstood the challenge without any major breaches.
- A tornado struck China's southern
province of Hainan, killing two children. Nine people were missing.
The tornado hit Wuchang harbor, a major fishing port on the
island, capsizing seven of the 60 vessels
anchored in the harbour.
- Experts warned that
rain-spawned mud flows from Mt. Pinatubo will threaten low-lying areas
in the Philippines until the year 2006.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology says the flows
and floods are expected to continue for the next 10 years, with
increasing intensity and frequency.
Mt. Pinatubo erupted erupted June 15, 1991.
- Western Europe, where farmers are
more used to worrying about drought than cold, has seen snow in
places and widespread frost in the last 24 hours. -4C was reported from Oxfordshire, with
-2C in East Anglia.
Freak winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour and scattered
hail hit the north of Spain on Tuesday, damaging cereal crops in
the Catalan province of Lleida.
central parts of the former Soviet Union.
- A remarkable temperature fall was recorded in Munich on 7th May following the
passage of a cold front. As an area of low pressure approached from the west, a
strong Foehn was set up. By 2pm, the temperature had climbed rapidly
to 24.5C. It became overcast and the
temperature began to tumble rapidly: to around 12C by 4pm and to 5.3C just after 8pm.
This temperature drop of 19.2C in just over 6 hours is
certainly amongst the greatest ever recorded in such a short space of time in
the Munich area.
- Thailand is suffering through an intense heat
wave, with temperatures soaring above 40C. 41.5C was noted in the northern province of Mae
The heat wave is the result of a low pressure ridge covering
northern, northeastern and central Thailand.
- More rain and wind in southern
Manitoba overnight have put additional stress on dikes withholding flood
waters from Winnipeg, but forecasters say the Red River should continue
- Cold weather in moderate climates appears more
deadly than the cold of more severely frigid locales.
A study today in the British medical journal, The Lancet,
finds winter death rates of people over age 50 higher in warmer European
regions than in the more northern European nations.
- Lunchtime thunderstorm apparently produced a tornado
and golfball sized hail at Arborfield, 2 miles south of the University
Also, 6 other tornadoes across S. England were reported on the 12:30
am forecast next day.
- Wind, rain and hail pounded China's
southwestern Yunnan province last week, and 39 people are feared
dead. Elsewhere, over 50 died.
The storm dumped 4.8 inches of rain in Yunnan's Da'guan
county, triggering floods and mudslides.
Hailstones with a diameter of 2.4 inches battered the
county, destroying crops.
- Residents of the southern Manitoba
town of Emerson, on the U.S. border, began returning home today, some
three weeks after a rising Red River flood forced them to flee.
- Up to 40 people have been
killed and 20,000 displaced by floods in 10 provinces in
northern Afghanistan. The provinces cover
percent of the country.
- Authorities in the city
of Gaspe, at the northeastern tip of Quebec, say they are keeping a
close watch on more than a dozen rivers after heavy rains have caused
the rapid melting of snow.
Several streets and basements in Nouvelle, on the northern coast of
Chaleur Bay, have already been flooded, and authorities fear the high
water levels may spread across the region rapidly.
- Manitoba Premier Gary Filmon says
it will cost at least $250 million to repair the damage caused by floods
in the province's southern region.
- The Whit Holiday weekend brought extremely contrasting weather across Germany.
As a spell of unusually hot May weather, which had started in mid-week, came
to an end, severe thunderstorms and torrential downpours led to widespread
flash floods. Goettingen had 63mm of
rain in one of the storms, meanwhile a station in the hills of Lower Bavaria
reported 122mm. Temperatures exceeded 30 C somewhere in Germany for 5 days in
a row, with 31.9 C at Ingolstadt on 15th. Munich's spell of 4 consecutive days of 27 C or more was the longest
hot spell in May there for 44 years. Meanwhile, on the coastal fringes of the
north at Kap Arkona, cold east winds prevented the temperature from rising
much above 13 C throughout the whole period.
- Hundreds of people were reported
dead on in a cyclone that battered coastal areas of
Bangladesh and triggered a nationwide disaster alert.
This low-lying South Asian nation, already on a virtual
'war footing,' launched a massive rescue and relief operation
in areas devastated by high winds and tidal seas.
Many stricken villages remained isolated so official figures
were incomplete, with the early confirmed death toll put at 95.
But local newspapers said the cyclone, roaring in from the
Bay of Bengal, had killed hundreds and damaged crops near
- A blanket of snow covering Canada's
Prairie province of Alberta has left Canadians wondering if the winter
is ever going to end this year.
Emergency crews are working full out today to restore power to 22,000
homes in Edmonton, Alberta, as the city recovers from an overnight
snowfall of five inches (12 cms).
Last week temperatures rose to 28C in the city
prompting a rush on green house bedding plants. Gardeners now fear most
of the plants will be lost to the snow and nearly sub-zero temperatures.
- Storms lashed
coastal Bangladesh and slowed a disaster-relief battle
four days after a cyclone made over a million people homeless,
with a feared deathtoll of nearly 1,000.
Strong winds and heavy rain blasted Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar
resort and nearby islands in the Bay of Bengal in a lower-key
rerun of Monday's devastating impact.
- It's still winter on mile-high Mount Washington in northern New Hampshire.
New England's highest peak just got another 15 inches of snow, and
it's now so deep near the 6,200-foot summit that forest rangers are
warning climbers about the dangers of an avalanche.
The mountain has received more than 400 inches of snow this season
(about twice the normal).
- India's annual monsoon rains,
crucial to farm production and the health of the overall
economy, are likely to be normal for the 10th successive
year in 1997, the Meteorological Department said.
The department said in a statement that nine of 16 measures
used to predict the monsoon were favourable and "there is a very
good probability of a normal monsoon this year".
It said the monsoon rains were expected to hit the southern
state of Kerala a few days after the normal arrival date of
- A string of tornadoes, heavy
winds and baseball-sized hail battered southern Oklahoma and
north Texas on Sunday night, destroying homes and pulling down
Police said at least seven people were treated for cuts and
bruises when four tornadoes touched down briefly near Purcell,
Oklahoma, wrecking several homes and ripping heavy branches off
- Hundreds of Philippine families
have abandoned their homes in villages
surrounding Mt. Pinatubo as torrential downpours triggered treacherous
- More than 120,000 Filipinos have fled
their homes after the heaviest rains in a decade triggered
massive flooding in the northern Philippines, killing 36 people.
President Fidel Ramos placed Manila and four provinces,
which bore the brunt of three days of torrential rains, under a
state of calamity.
- 27 people were killed
and a dozen more were injured when a tornado ripped
through the small town of Jarrell in central Texas.
with a broad base and generating wind speeds of 260 mph
(classified an F-5 tornado on the Fujita scale)
swept away a neighbourhood.
The tornado, one of several that battered the region
throughout the afternoon, swirled along Interstate 35 and
flattened dozens of homes as it tore through Jarrell in
Williamson County, about 40 miles north of Austin.
At least six tornadoes, accompanied by baseball-sized hail
and torrential rain, were reported across four counties and two
people were killed in the state capital of Austin.
- The surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean
near the equator is higher than usual and may trigger the so-called 'El
Nino' phenomenon by the end of the year, causing abnormal global
Japan's Meteorological Agency says the average temperature of the sea surface off Peru
was 0.1C higher than usual for March, the first time since July
1995 that a monthly average has exceeded normal temperature levels.
The anomaly for April was 0.4C and is expected to be about 1C higher in May.
Toshio Yamagata, a professor of Earth science at
Tokyo University, says that considering data indicating that the sea
temperature at a depth of 150 meters in the area is about 6C above
normal, the 'El Nino is now growing up and could become a very
- A tropical cyclone caused disruption to norther New Zealand.
People once again left the threatened area and as forecast roads were
closed by flooding and fallen trees. In Gisborne and
Northern Hawke Bay it caused a state of emergency with closed roads
and serious erosion of farm land, as up to 250mms rain fell in 12-24 hr periods.
This is the 4th major tropical cyclone to hit the areas
this season and local bodies are facing serious funding difficulties
with regard to reconstruction of facilities. This frequency is
unprecedented in NZ tropical cyclone history.
World weather news, June 1997
- Heavy rainfall in the Basque
area of Spain led to many communications, electricity and road
cuts, as well as extensive property damage.
- Flooding across most of northern Ohio (USA)
has pushed numerous waterways from their banks, prompting Gov. George
Voinovich to declare a state of emergency in at least one county.
- Persistent drought in north China threatens
to disrupt autumn crop planting in one of the nation's most fertile
Among the hardest hit areas are northwest Xinjiang
province and northeast Liaoning, where 150,000 people
are struggling to find adequate drinking water.
- Steady rains that have soaked
the mid-Atlantic region (USA) for nearly a week eased briefly,
but a stubborn storm system continued to linger over the region,
Several inches of rain have caused localized flooding from
western Ohio to Maryland, pushing up rivers and streams and
driving hundreds of people from their homes.
- Tropical Storm Andres, the first of
the season's storm systems, churned slowly toward Mexico's
southern Pacific coast and was expected to make
landfall later in the day.
- Heavy rain plunged parts of
mainland Hong Kong into chaos, killing a child in a
mudslide. Floods disrupted traffic and schools and courts were
forced to close.
A mudslide in Kwai Chung in the rural new Territories area
ploughed into a wooden hut where a family of six was living.
Firemen rescued five alive but a four-year-old boy died.
In the urban business district of Mongkok on the Kowloon
Peninsula knee-deep floodwater sloshed through shopping streets
bringing many vehicles to a halt and causing long traffic jams.
- More than 2,000 people were forced from
their homes, at least four were killed and neighbourhoods were
flooded when a severe rainstorm hit Chile.
The storm, which ended a year-long drought in much of the
country, tore off roofs and caused flash floods in parts of
Santiago and as far south as the city of Puerto Montt.
In the northern desert city of La Serena the storm brought
the first rain in four years, and in the southern city of
Concepcion the wind uprooted big, centuries-old trees in the
- Jamaica remained under a severe
weather alert after torrential rains ended the island's
worst drought in 70 years.
The rains were blamed for the disappearance of at least one
The rains ended a drought - Jamaica's worst since 1927 -
during which parts of Kingston, the capital, were rationed to
six hours of water per day for several weeks as water levels in
reservoirs dropped to critically low levels.
- Heavy rain has destroyed more than 26
homes in central and eastern Cuba and damaged about 625 more.
23 homes were
destroyed in Ciego de Avila province and 400 houses suffered
some damage after nearly a week of rain in the region. Two
hundred people had been evacuated.
- Two people were killed and around 40
injured and one woman was missing after a freak storm battered
the Netherlands, capsizing boats, uprooting trees and
disrupting train services.
The storm, packing force 10 winds and lashing rain, broke
suddenly Saturday afternoon in the south-west of the country. It
swiftly moved northeastwards, reaching Amsterdam and leaving a
trail of destruction across the country.
Coast guard boats and helicopters were alerted to rescue
people thrown overboard in more than 100 separate incidents.
In other parts of the country, trains were severely
disrupted and traffic across the main bridge in the port city of
Rotterdam stopped due to an overturned car. Witnesses there
reported debris and uprooted trees littering the streets.
At Rotterdam airport four small planes were badly damaged by
the high winds.
- A thunderstorm in central China killed 20
people, left eight missing, destroyed more than 66,000 buildings
and cut the main railway line from southern Guangdong to
The storm disrupted traffic and power supplies in some areas
of central Hunan province and floodwaters rose to the third
story of some buildings in the provincial capital, Changsha.
- Heavy rains in central and eastern Cuba
have ended a serious drought but also damaged more than 7,000
homes and forced the temporary evacuation of nearly 7,000
- Four people
have been killed in Salvador and thousands flooded out of their homes by rain
brought by tropical depression Andres.
Several days of torrential rain caused rivers to burst their banks at
the weekend, leaving thousands of people homeless.
- A huge landslide in rural southwest China has
buried four villages, leaving nearly 150 people missing and feared dead.
Forestry officials in Sichuan province say the
landslide was caused by heavy rain pummeling the region and poor flood
- Torrential rains triggered
a series of powerful landslides in the Himalayan mountains in
northeastern India and killed at least 50 people, burying many
victims in their sleep.
140 people were injured overnight in at least nine landslides in the
Sikkim capital Gangtok.
- India's annual southwestern monsoon rains, which broke over
the southern and northeastern regions of the subcontinent on
Monday, arrived 10 days later than usual.
- Neighbourhoods were flooded and streets
closed around Miami (Florida, USA) after up to 16 inches
of rain fell overnight.
- Several dozen homes were damaged in
western Cuba when heavy rains caused by a tropical depression
spread from eastern and central areas of the island.
Since rain hit eastern Cuba last week, hundreds of people
have been evacuated from their homes for brief periods as a
precaution or because their houses were flooded.
- A 17-year-old girl was swept to her
death when heavy rainfall flooded several Austin-area (Texas, USA) creeks, prompting
several evacuations and the rescue of a motorist caught in rushing
The flooding was the result of thunderstorms that moved through the
Austin area early today.
- It's been hot and humid in Germany of late. On 11th, Freiburg had a night minimum
temperature of 21C, while some low-lying areas of Bavaria became very hot during the day.
Roth near Nuremberg reported a max of 32.3C.
- El Nino warm water currents
could threaten crucial monsoon rains in India but it is too
early to predict their impact on crop production,
meteorological officials and analysts said.
The publication Oil World reported that the development of El
Nino in the southern Pacific had increased the chance of
drought across southeast Asia, Australia and India, threatening
oilseeds and grain crops.
Each day's delay in the arrival of the monsoon
meant the loss of about 0.25 percent of India's crop
production. As the rains this year broke 10 days late, the crop
loss can currently be forecast at about 2.5 percent, he said.
- The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's climatic prediction centre said ocean
temperatures to the west of South America were the highest since
August 1983 and an El Nino was in progess.
- The French Bourse said trading had
been suspended from 1440 GMT after a sudden storm
caused problems with the price publication system.
Freak hailstorms damaged some of
the vineyards producing Muscadet wine in western France
as storms hammered the north of the country.
Hail bigger than cherrystones fell up to three inches thick
in some areas near the city of Nantes and triggered flooding.
The local chamber of agriculture said some wine producers
had complained hailstones had damaged up to 60 percent of their
vines, especially near the Grandlieu lake. The region is known
for flinty white Muscadet wines, a complement for oysters.
- A powerful tornado, with
baseball-sized hail and torrential rain, battered Shamrock, northwest
Texas , injuring at least six people as it tossed
trailers and cars into the air.
- The El Nino weather pattern
forming in the southern Pacific raised concerns about drought
in Indonesia, but a local expert said he did not
expect any serious damage to crops.
"Temperatures are quite normal now in Indonesia, which is
already experiencing the seasonal drought that will last
through September or October," said Istiklal Amin of the
agriculture ministry's Land and Agriclimate Research Centre.
- London cocoa futures climbed amid
heavy turnover to a 10-week high on on worries that
developing weather patterns could affect next year's crops.
Traders saw the catalyst for the buying spree in fears that
the developing 'El Nino' weather pattern could produce damaging
dry weather in key cocoa producing countries.
- Widespread flooding is causing
damage in parts of Montana, Idaho and Washington, and all three states
are expecting more by the end of the week.
- Strong thunderstorms pounded
central and southeast Kansas this morning, cutting power to
thousands of residents and stranding dozens of motorists in
- Widespread flooding in parts of Idaho and Montana has damaged roads
and houses, washed out at least one bridge and forced a third of the
residents in one small town to evacuate their homes.
Rain and a heavy snowpack melt in both states have filled resevoirs
to capacity and forced officials to release the excess water into
already flooded rivers.
- Three people died and 76 were injured
when strong winds lashed southern Brazil, bringing down several
buildings and leaving hundreds of families homeless.
- Twelve people drowned in
western Romania when flash floods swept through
several villages near the Hungarian border.
- Rain and cool weather have helped douse or
slow down forest fires that began in northern Ontario (Canada) about ten days
ago, but several are still ablaze.
The towns of Timmins and Kirkland Lake, seriously threatened by
infernos last week, are now considered out of danger.
Firefighters are also still battling a total of 83 forest fires in
neighboring Quebec province, but they too are said to be under control.
Some 1,300 fire fighters have been battling more than 50 fires in
Most of the fires are believed to have been ignited by lightning
during hot dry weather in northern Canada earlier this month.
- A drought that had dried up reservoirs
and shriveled fruit crops in central Chile came to a symbolic
end when the government lifted strict electricity
conservation measures after torrential rains.
- A deep upper level trough and associated pool of cold upper
air brought some heavy rain and flooding to the New South Wales (Australia)
coast, north of ther Hunter coast.
Logan's Crossing received
295mm of which 53mm fell in one hour late Monday morning.
- A toxic rain of mercury falls on the Arctic
every spring just when the Earth's ecosystems are preparing for
their first burst of activity of the year, Canadian researchers
The researchers at
Environment Canada, writing in New Scientist magazine, said the
reason for the rain of mercury, one of the most poisonous
substances known to man, was unclear.
But they said the pattern almost exactly mimics the timing
of ozone depletion and suggested that similar processes drive
both phenomena. Mercury, alone among heavymetal pollutants, has
a boiling point low enough for it to be blown around the world
as a gas.
One theory is that the gaseous mercury combines with
chlorine and bromine to form particles that fall to earth.
- Typhoon Opal, with maximum
winds of 126 kph (79 mph), was expected to hit southern Japan
later today, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
- Chilean authorities say a rainstorm in the
northeastern portion of the country has left a girl dead, two people
injured and 140 homeless.
So far this year, the capital, Santiago has
received three times more rain than the annual average.
Two people were injured and 140 were left homeless in the area, which
has suffered a drought for the past five years.
- European Union environment
ministers, hoping to spur momentum in U.N. climate change talks,
adopted a 2005 target for curbs in polluting gases
that are thought to warm the earth's atmosphere.
The deal means the EU will urge all industrialised countries
at world climate talks later this year to cut emissions of such
gases by 7.5 percent on 1990 levels by the year 2005.
- Typhoon Opal, which has been raging over
central Japan, has claimed one life and triggered flooding.
The Japan Meteorological Agency says storm winds topped 60 mph
and the typhoon dropped 250mm of rain as it passed over the Tokyo-Yokohama conurbation.
- Peru declared a state of emergency in nine
of its 24 regions to speed preparations for the natural
disasters the El Nino weather pattern is expected to cause later
in the year.
A decree in the official daily El Peruano said the emergency
measure applied to the northern regions of Tumbes, Piura,
Lambayeque, La Libertad and Ancash and the southern regions of
Arequipa, Moquegua, Tacna and Puno.
The last time Peru was seriously affected by El Nino was in
1982-83, when at least 300 people died in floods and landslides
and the economy shrank 12 percent because of widespread damage.
- Over 200 people have been trapped by a
blizzard for over 24 hours at two border stations high in the
Andes on the Argentine-Chilean frontier, with all roads to them
cut by over four feet of snow.
- Hailstorms in southwest
Romania killed four people and damaged thousands of hectares
of crops, with some of the hailstones hurtling to the
ground as big as tennis balls.
Four farmers were killed by hailstones of up
to 7cm in diameter during the storms which hit
several villages in the western Oltenia region.
The worst-hit areas were around the region's main city of
Craiova, where rescue services worked to clear local roads
blocked by trees felled during the storms.
- Severe thunderstorms swept across the
upper Midwest (USA) during the evening, generating high winds, hail and
lightning that killed a Chicago man in a suburban forest.
- Greece's environment ministry
issued a smog warning to Athenians after hundreds of
people were rushed to the hospital with pollution-related
'Because weather conditions favoring air pollution are
expected to continue tomorrow, the public is urged to limit car
transportation and avoid physical labor outdoors,' the ministry
said in a statement.
- Heavy rain has left Milwaukee and
parts of southeastern Wisconsin (USA) swamped.
The thunderstorms that began on Friday dumped nearly 10 inches of rain
on parts of the region, forcing dozens of people from their homes.
The flooding is being described as the worst in 20 years.
- At least 3 people died and dozens
of people have been forced out of their homes in central and south
central Texas (USA) by heavy rains that have pushed rivers over their banks,
flooding homes and roads.
Some areas have reported as much as 20 inches of rain since Friday
night, forcing closure of many roads.
- Three members of an
Omani family were killed and a three-year-old child was reported missing
after their car was swept away by flash floods in a mountainous area on
the Oman-United Arab Emirates border.
- Western Austria has
received an unseasonal blanket of snow, with up to 16 inches
falling over the weekend in the Alpine state of Tyrol, the
Innsbruck weather service said.
The snow wreaked havoc in certain parts of Tyrol, triggering
landslides and floods. It centered on the glacial areas of the
Oetz and Ziller valleys, with the snow line edging down as low
- The progress of southwest
monsoon rains is satisfactory over most of India but the rains
are inadequate for sowing operations to start in some oilseeds
Monsoon rains had covered most of the southern
states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and
most regions in the central state of Madhya Pradesh and the
western state of Gujarat.
- Liberia launched a 10-day voter
census despite torrential rainas a crucial step on the
road to July 19 national elections to end seven years of civil
The tropical downpour in the coastal West African state
disrupted the start of voter registration in the capital,
witnesses said, but electoral officials were confident that they
would complete the exercise in time for the presidential and
- Twelve people were killed in
Ukraine and Belarus in a fierce summer storm that felled trees,
ripped off roofs and tore down power lines.
In Ukraine, some 850 towns and villages were left without
electricity and hundreds of coal miners were rescued after
spending the night underground because of power cuts.
In neighboring Romania 12 people were killed last week in
flash floods which followed heavy rains and hail.
The storms also damaged seasonal crops, mainly wheat and
maize, on almost 100,000 hectares. The Agriculture Ministry put
losses at $28 million.
- Peruvian authorities say at least 40 children
have died this month in the southern province of Puno as a result of
- The first heat wave in the Midwest (USA) this
summer was partly blamed for four deaths in Chicago and
the authorities urged people to take special precautions in the
- The fury of monsoon-related floods
continues unabated in India's western state of Gujarat,
killing at least 29 more people and leaving thousands homeless.
So far 87 people have died in the flooding since last week.
- Researchers from Florida State
University believe they have identified Pacific Ocean climate
fluctuations that determine if a region from Alabama to Michigan is a
target for more tornadoes than usual each spring.
Meteorology/oceanography professor Jim O'Brien and undergraduate
researcher Mark Bove discovered that El Viejo - cooler wintertime waters
off Peru - increased the number of tornadoes recorded in Georgia,
Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan from March
- Scorching temperatures from Washington to
Connecticut (USA) have sent people indoors and kept emergency services busy,
but utility services are coping with increased energy demands.
As rush-hour got underway today in Washington, D.C., the mercury hit
a record-high (for this date) of 100F at National Airport, passing the previous
record of 98F set in 1981.
- The American Lung Association says smog
has returned with a vengence to the Northeast USA.
Since Saturday, health standards for ozone air pollution
have been violated in at least seven states. Smog is reportedly the
worst it has been in some places in the past five years.
- England & Wales rainfall figure for June up to
18GMT on the 26th (i.e. mean of 30 stations, areally weighted according to
the scheme devised by Wigley et al in Int.J.Clim):
100mm which is 155 per cent of the 1951-80 mean for the whole of the month.
Highest regional percentages to date appear to be in Sussex, Cornwall, at
Aberporth (SW Wales) and Leeming (N.Yorks), all approaching 250 per cent.
- One of the most extraordinary maxima of the day in the UK was 8.8C at Dunkeswell
Aerodrome in southeast Devon, located at 251m above sea-level. Also
Birmingham Airport with 9.6C - probably the
lowest max in the last week of June since 1974.
- Japanese weather authorities say a
strengthening typhoon (Peter) is moving northward past the southern Japanese
island prefecture of Okinawa, the second tropical storm to batter Japan
in a week.
The typhoon season normally occurs between August and October and if
Peter hits Kyushu, it will be the first time since 1951 that two
typhoons have struck Japan in the month of June.
Weather officials say the typhoon has dropped nearly 5 inches (118
millimeters) of rain on the Okinawan capital of Naha.
- More than 4,500 people have
been left homeless by violent storms on South Africa's southern
tip around Cape Town.
Over the last week unusually high tides and strong winds
have sent surf crashing through the plate-glass patio doors of
luxury sea-front homes in the Cape Town area.
- Typhoon Peter stormed through
southwestern Japan, killing one person, disrupting
air, rail and road traffic and triggering landslides.
- Extreme temperature contrasts were experienced across Germany. Hot air was advected from the Mediterranean across eastern districts ahead of
a slow moving cold front straddling the centre of the country. Preschen, near the
Polish border, recorded a maximum of 34.6C.
Meanwhile, much cooler air had flowed in to western regions with afternoon
temperatures of just 16 Cin places. Along the front, severe thunderstorms and
flash floods occurred in places. 54mm of rain fell in Osnabruck and 46mm in Bremen.
- Some 80 hikers were stranded in mountain refuges in
the Pyrenees as snow
fell above 4,300 feet, the first time in three decades residents
saw snow at such a low altitude in late June.
Holidaymakers skied down the road from the 6,900 feet
Tourmalet Pass which was under eight inches of snow and closed
- The fury of monsoon-related floods
continues unabated in India's western state of Gujarat,
killing at least eight more people and leaving thousands homeless.
Thousands of people have been rendered homeless as hundreds of houses
in the low-lying area of several cities across the state are submerged
World weather news, July 1997
- The Hong Kong government issued a
flurry of warnings to the public after pounding rain swept
the territory, threatening to douse a multi-million-dollar series of
celebrations to mark the territory's return to Chinese rule.
100mm of rain fell in the two hours after dawn,
drenching 4,000 troops of the People's Liberation Army who had
poured across the border to move into barracks vacated at midnight
by the British garrison.
The government issued a "red" rainstorm warning and later raised
it to "black" status before downgrading it. An alert was similarly
issued for flash floods, which was later withdrawn, as well as for
landslips and thunderstorms.
- Britain has had the wettest June
since 1860, after the worst dry spell in 200 years earlier this
year, according to the U.K. Meteorological Office.
A total of 133.7 millimetres of rain fell in June compared
with 150 millimetres in 1860 and the June average of 65
- Abnormal weather in South
Africa has flooded a desert, blocked roads with snow and delayed
harvesting of maize crops, government and agriculture officials
The Namakwaland semi-desert region of Northern Cape province
had some of its heaviest rains since 1925, with one area
recording in one week the amount of rain it received in an
- Dry weather is wreaking havoc in
Thailand on top of the country's worst economic slump in over a
decade, farm industry sources said.
They said the Thailand's corn and sugar cane production was
certain to be hit hard by the late arrival of the rainy season.
- The French and Italian-speaking
parts of Switzerland, including the lakeside city of Geneva, had
two and three times the normal level of rain in June, the Swiss
Meteorological Institute reported.
Flooding has damaged grain crops, including wheat and colza,
vineyards and fruit orchards, especially in the agricultural
cantons (states) of Vaud and Valais, according to Swiss
The average rain fall in June is 80 mm, but reached double
that level around Lake Geneva and triple in parts of Ticino
canton, according to the Zurich-based Institute.
Hail the size of ping-pong balls on Sunday caused several
million swiss francs (dollars) in damage in Fribourg canton.
- Tropical storm Ana has developed out of the
first tropical depression of the 1997 hurricane season as it headed away
from the North Carolina coast with top winds of 45 mph.
- With summer temperatures
nearing 90F, raging wildfires in Alaska grew
by 30,000 acres in the past day, officials said.
The largest fires were separate blazes raging over 167,000
acres and 40,000 acres in the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge,
said the Alaska Interagency Coordinating Center, a federal-state
consortium in charge of wildfire management.
- Storms lashed
Hong Kong, injuring eight people buried in a
landslide and forcing cancellation of a huge carnival procession
to celebrate reunion with Beijing.
- Powerful thunderstorms lashed the
upper Midwest (USA), knocking out power for 50,000 people,
swamping streets and delaying plane flights.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul area was hit by heavy rains late
Tuesday and into the night. At one point 3 inches) of rain fell
in 30 minutes.
- Local officials are calling for calm in the
wake of tornadoes and powerful thunderstorms that have ripped through
the Detroit (USA) area, smashing scores of homes and businesses and killing at
least three people.
- Hong Kong's heaviest rains in
50 years sowed havoc on the territory's first working day under
Chinese rule, with floods and landslides blocking roads and
badly disrupting public transport as people returned to work.
Rescue services had to contend with 102 landslides since
early Wednesday, and 129 flooding incidents since midnight on
Monday when the territory reverted to China.
- Ecuador's President Fabian
Alarcon declared a national emergency to give his
government special powers to cope with the El Nino weather
- Tornadoes and heavy
thunderstorms caused widespread damage in western
Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire (USA), officials said.
No deaths were reported but the storms knocked trees into
houses and blocked roads, causing some minor injuries.
- Twenty-seven people have died in
accidents while trying to cool off in a heatwave sweeping the
southeast of Turkey for the last two weeks.
Eighteen people have drowned as spiralling temperatures of
more than 40C have sent the
population heading for rivers and lakes.
A further nine have died and seven have been injured after
falling off roofs in their sleep. They, like many in the area,
decided to spend the night on top of their houses in an effort
to stay cool.
- The heaviest rains on record in Hong
Kong pelted the region, washing away residues of a
festive handover mood, and forecasters warned of more storms to
The coastal territory received over 12.5 inches of rain in
the first three days of July, the highest fall since records
began in 1884.
In some places more than 19.5 inches have fallen in less
than five days.
Sub-tropical Hong Kong's rainy season starts around June and
runs through September, often bringing typhoons that can suspend
ferry services and force companies to send staff home.
- Torrential rains in northern
Taiwan took eight lives, with two still missing.
The island has suffered heavy torrential rains since early
A cabinet statistics agency on Saturday estimated the June
rains caused total losses of US$58.3 million.
- Heavy flooding in the far
southeast of Turkey has killed four people with another two
missing feared dead.
It said two women were washed away while cleaning carpets on
the side of a stream near Altinsu village in Hakkari Province.
The floods followed two days of heavy rain in Hakkari, which
borders Iran and Iraq, and led to landslides blocking transport
in the area.
Flooding in neighboring northwest Iran killed seven
villagers and derailed three cars of a train connecting the
provincial capital of Tabriz to Tehran, injuring 18 passengers.
- A Vienna-Warsaw express
train derailed into floodwaters near Ostrava in the Czech
Republic and 64
passengers were injured.
Flooding from torrential rain since the weekend was believed
to have killed a total of five people in the central European
Numerous towns and villages lining tributaries to the Opava
and Morava rivers have been swamped.
Officials feared flooding could start affecting tributaries
of the Elbe and Upa rivers in the eastern Bohemia.
- Heavy snowfall has killed more than
3,000 sheep in the southern Argentine region of Patagonia.
Snowstorms have also cut off road access to about 1,000
people in Neuquen, Rio Negro and Chubut provinces, where the
main industry is livestock, they added.
Weather reports said temperatures dropped to the
year's lowest levels of minus -17.4C in wide areas of northern Patagonia.
- Four people have been killed in floods in
southern Poland after days of heavy
rain swelled some major rivers to danger levels.
The PAP news agency said some 400 people were evacuated in
Opole Province and over 120 houses were flooded in Katowice
- Heavy rain for the last four days
has wreaked havoc throughout Austria, triggering floods and
mudslides and crippling road and rail traffic.
The situation was most serious in the east of the Alpine
republic around Vienna where hundreds of people in the flood
plains needed to be evacuated.
Some areas, with water levels already touching the roofs of
houses, were completely cut off.
One person has drowned and another is missing.
- The death toll in floods in
southern Poland rose to seven, after two more people
were killed in Jelenia Gora province and one drowned in the city
- Rescue teams scrambled to
evacuate people from inundated areas throughout the eastern
Czech Republic as the worst flooding this century
Torrential rains began battering the Northern Moravia region
Saturday and showed no signs of relenting as flood waters from
the Morava and Opava rivers and tributaries pushed downstream,
forcing thousands from their homes.
- Weary of weeks of crummy (sic), rainy and chilly
weather, the Seattle City Council (USA) has decided to do something about it.
The council unanimously passed a resolution directing the weather to
improve immediately - or else.
The resolution by Councilwoman Margaret Pageler expresses hope that
'at some point Mother Nature will bless the Pacific Northwest - or at
least Seattle - with what we vaguely recall is called summer.'
The resolution goes on to read that, 'the Council resolves that the
weather is directed to immediately start acting like summer or the City
Council, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and all sun-screen
manufacturers will move their teams to Arizona.'
The resolution now goes to Mayor Norm Rice for his signature.
- The worst floods to strike southern China in
20 years have killed 21 and damaged more than 20,000 homes.
The official China Daily says more than 2 million people have been
affected by the floods which swept through Guangdong
province last week.
- An exceptionally widespread surge of polar air has moved
over much of the southern third of Australia today bringing varied winter
weather to the southern states.
Tasmania has had the worst of it, with snow falling
to sea level today, strong to galeforce winds, and low daytime temperatures
rare even for July. Hobart City and Palmers Lookout at Port Arthur on the
east coast both reported light snow during the morning, with midday temperatures
of 4.6C and 2.7C respectively.
- Torrential rain sweeping Japan's
southern island of Kyushu has killed at least 19 people and
left about 20 missing.
The rain caused a number of rivers and streams to overflow
their banks and there were a number of landslides.
Most of the casualties were around the city of
Izumi in northern Kyushu. They included elderly people who were
unable to escape from floodwaters in time.
A Meteorological Agency spokesman said the area had received
800 millimetres of rain in the past few days,
one-third of the area's normal rainfall for an entire year.
- Floods in Poland and the Czech
Republic unleashed by days of torrential rain have killed at
least 32 people and forced tens of thousands to flee their
homes, civil defense officials said.
- Floods caused by
torrential rains have killed at least 25 people in southeast
At least 30 people were injured, hundreds could be
missing and tens of thousands were made homeless in Chittagong,
Cox's Bazar and the nearby hill districts.
- 3 children and a man were feared dead,
swept away by a raging river after three days of downpours in
the central Venezuela.
Houses were washed away and a bridge collapsed in the rising
waters and mudslides that have left more than 150 families
homeless in the Valles del Tuy area.
- Tropical storm Bill has formed quickly in the
North Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, but is moving
away from the United States and is forecast to miss Bermuda.
- A surge of high water raging north
along the Odra River from flooded southern Poland swamped
suburbs of Wroclaw Saturday and menaced the historic city
A local government spokesman said authorities were moving to
blow breaches in flood walls south of Wroclaw to free some water
into the countryside and save the center from the horror endured
by some 50 Polish towns and 300 villages.
- A family of four died in a
landslide in the latest tragedy caused by torrential rains while
authorities warned of more flooding in central and
- Algeria's cereal harvest will fall
to a 20-year low of about 1.05 million tonnes in the 1996/97
season from a record of 4.9 million tonnes the previous season,
the official Algerian news agency APS said.
Drought scorched 65 percent of the country's 3.5 million
hectares (8.75 million acres) sown with cereals.
- The third tropical storm of the 1997
Atlantic hurricane season formed east of the U.S. coast,
a day after the season's first hurricane, Bill, faded in the
As of 5 p.m., the weather system spinning west of Bermuda
had strengthened enough to become Tropical Storm Claudette, the
National Hurricane Center said.
- Floodwaters in central Venezuela swept
away homes and bridges, leaving about 9,000 people homeless and
killing at least one.
Three days of torrential rain sent river levels soaring and
turned valleys into rivers of mud, sweeping away about 1,800
homes in the densely populated Valles del Tuy, 40 miles
southeast of Caracas.
- Floods sweeping
Bangladesh killed 16 more people today, raising the
confirmed death toll to 80.
- North China is suffering its worst drought
in recorded history as the Yellow River is parched by scorching sun and
drained by rampant development.
The official Xinhua news agency says the drought has
already affected millions of acres of farmland and led to direct
economic losses of $175 million.
- Devastating floods have killed
at least 101 people in eastern and southern China so far in July
and have forced the closure of 10,000 mines and factories in
just two provinces.
- Floods that have ravaged the
eastern Czech Republic for more than a week receded further in
many areas but emergency teams found more bodies in
their wake, raising the death toll to 31.
- The unofficial death toll has risen to 36 in
flooding across Poland.
Polish Radio 1 says more than 230,000 hectares
are underwater with Wroclaw the hardest-hit city. The
report, monitored by the BBC, says 120 towns and cities are totally
submerged and 138 are partly flooded.
- Highway crews in British
Columbia (Canada) say the only road leading to Wells Gray Provincial Park, where
30 campers and 200 permanent residents have been stranded since Friday,
won't reopen until Wednesday after being washed out by heavy rains.
- Flash floods have hit the Montreal suburbs
of Chambly and St. Hubert after heavy overnight rain, exactly one year
after a similar downpour caused flooding in large parts of the city.
Officials say more than 5.1 inches of rain fell overnight,
affecting at least 500 homes and involving up to 1,800 residents.
- Floods have killed at
least 104 people in Bangladesh, including 19 who drowned after a
boat capsized in a swollen river, officials and police said.
- Czech industry suffered an
estimated loss of up to 10 billion crowns ($293.3 million) in
flooding which hit the east of the country last week, an
Industry and Trade Ministry spokesman said.
- As tropical depression Claudette spins
harmlessly out in the Atlantic Ocean, a new depression with 35 mph winds
and a potential for making trouble formed 230 miles southwest of New
The National Hurricane Center said the season's fourth tropical
depression was expected to become tropical storm Danny late in the day.
- An oppressive heat wave smothering the
populous Northeast USA is breaking records for electricity demand
and straining the multistate power grid.
It is also pumping up air pollution levels, as utilities
turn to old coal and oil-burning power plants in a bid to keep
pace with demand from millions of air conditioners.
- Despite high temperatures, deep snow is
still hampering search teams probing for the remains of a
warplane that mysteriously crashed in the Rockies in April.
'Although the melting snow reveals more scrap metal from
the aircraft daily on the lower debris field's surface,
searchers still contend with varying snow depths of up to 20
feet,' the Air Force said in a statement.
- One man is dead and some 35,000
homes are without power after severe thunderstorms swept Wisconsin (USA).
The storms had crossed from north-central Wisconsin to the Milwaukee
area by Wednesday night, leaving a wake of fallen tree limbs and damaged
buildings. There were two confirmed reports of tornadoes touching down
and several more uncomfirmed reports.
- Erratic weather patterns in
Thailand will force farmers to change crop planting schedules
and habits, a senior agriculture ministry official said.
The government was campaigning to persuade farmers to
change their planting habits so as to maximise their gains.
Thailand's rainy season normally starts in April or May,
followed by a brief dry period in June. It then resumes in July
But in recent years, the dry spell during the rainbreak has
become more severe.
- Tropical storm Danny with its 60 mph top winds
is moving slowly toward Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico 80 miles from
shore, and is expected to make landfall early Friday.
- Large parts of Austria were on
flood alert on as heavy rains swept across the country
and swollen rivers threatened to burst their banks.
The situation was critical in the regions of Lower Austria,
Styria, Salzburg and Upper Austria.
- Rain swept across the Czech
Republic, raising fears that storms forecast for the
weekend could trigger a new wave of the flooding that has killed
more than 40 people.
- Bad weather which hit
Yugoslavia in June and July has seriously damaged crops on some
200,000 hectares causing a $75.8 million
loss, a senior government official said.
'Heavy rains and hailstorms from June 17 to 20 and in the
first decade (10 days) of July have caused enormous damage to
crops in Vojvodina and the central part of Serbia.'.
- Hurricane Danny crept across the
northern Gulf of Mexico after spending most of the day
stalled off Louisiana, pounding the coast with gale-force winds
and torrential rains.
Danny, a minimal hurricane, first made landfall along the
tip of Louisiana earlier in the day, flooding highways and
flattening power lines with winds gusting up to 100 miles an
hour before stalling off the coast, officials said.
- Strong thunderstorms and
possible tornadoes moved through northern Illinois and southern
Wisconsin this evening.
One man was struck by lightning, roofs were torn off buildings, winds
of up to 70 miles per hour were recorded and 150,000 homes were left
without electricty, some of which won't have their power restored until
later this weekend.
- Hurricane Danny lashed the U.S.
coastline from Mississippi to the Florida Panhandle with high
winds and torrential rains Saturday, as it crept towards a
second landfall near Mobile.
Tornado watches were in effect for the Florida Panhandle,
southern Alabama and southwestern Georgia.
officials said they feared dykes may not stand up to
the strain of a wave of floods which has already claimed scores
lives in neighbouring Poland.
The floods have left areas close to the Oder river bodering
Germany and Poland under water.
- Danube shipping was suspended in
Austria after days of torrential rain swelled the river.
The river, which flows from the Alps to the Black Sea, was
closed to traffic along a 90 km stretch between Linz
The northern province of Upper Austria and the Danube basin
have so far been worst hit by Austria's worst floods this
- A whirlwind swept through
the small beach town of Bibione, north of Venice,
injuring some 50 people and causing severe damage.
Most of the injured, who were brought to a nearby hospital,
had been sleeping in camping grounds or in boats that were hit
by the strong wind. The gusts also blew down pine
trees onto cars and buildings.
- Tropical storm Danny was downgraded
to a tropical depression late Sunday morning. The storm had been
downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm late Saturday as
the weather system drifted eastward across coastal Alabama
toward the Florida Panhandle.
For more than 12 hours on Saturday, Danny was nearly stationary
at the southern end of Mobile Bay, inundating areas of the
Alabama coast with accumulated downpours of 40 inches or more,
according to the unofficial estimates.
- The latest rain over Poland is
making rivers overflow in parts of the southwest but overall
damage will not be as bad as during floods caused by downpours
two weeks ago, Poland's crisis committee said on Sunday.
- Water levels along the
Hungarian section of the river Danube rose steadily,
with low level flood warnings issued for the towns of Komarom,
Esztergom, Dunaremete and Rajka.
- Nine people were
electrocuted on Monday as monsoon rain lashed the industrial
port city of Karachi, doctors and police said.
A power line over a mud house snapped and fell, killing
three children, a young girl and five people, police said.
- North Korea has made a rare release of
official news on a crippling drought contributing to a food shortage
that aid agencies say is reaching famine proportions in the isolated
The official (North) Korean Central News Agency monitored in Tokyo
says Monday, 'Crops are being damaged by a long spell of drought
without precedent in Korea.'
- Emergency workers fought to repair dykes to prevent the River Oder along Germany's
border with Poland breaking its banks and flooding thousands of
- Incessant monsoon rains triggered a
landslide in southern India, killing at least 12 people and injuring 23
At least five people are
reported missing as huge mounds of earth and blocks of rocks rolled down
from a hilltop on a settlement in Idukki district of
- Flood alerts were still in force
on some Czech rivers on but fears of a repeat of the
severe flooding which has killed more than 45 people appeared to
- A dry spell, believed to have
been triggered by the El Nino weather pattern, is beginning to
bite on Indonesian coffee farms and may disrupt the current tree
flowering for next year's crop, traders said.
- German authorities are evacuating
residents living along the rising Oder River which has killed more than
100 people and caused an estimated $55 million in damages.
- A railroad trestle over a creek
collapsed in North Carolina, sending five rail cars plunging into
floodwaters caused by heavy rain from the remnants of Hurricane
Floodwaters in Little Sugar Creek collapsed the rail
trestle's supports, sending five CSX Corp railcars into the
- One woman was killed and two
people were injured as a slow-moving front produced violent
thunderstorms, high winds and hail overnight in North Dakota.
A wind gust of 90 miles per hour was recorded in Granville.
- Tropical storm Danny, which has doused Alabama
and the Carolinas with more than 20 inches of rain this week, has popped
back out over water and redeveloped.
It is churning east-northeast over the Atlantic with top winds of 50
mph, spawning a number of tornadoes in Virginia.
- Thousands of
soldiers started mass evacuations in eastern Germany
after a second dike burst overnight, flooding parts of the Oder
In Germany's largest peace-time military operation since
World War Two, 3,000 soldiers shored up banks of the river to
prevent more of the flooding that has devastated parts of
- At least 95 tonnes of snow is
forecast to fall on Brazil's world famous Ipanema beach in
September - when the world's top snowboarders will mingle with
Rio's surf and sun crowd.
Brazilians, many of whom have never seen snow, will be able
to lounge on the beach while watching snowboarders fly across an
icy ramp with a tropical backdrop.
The Ipanema 'snowstorm' is the dream of Rio orthopedist
and snowboarding fan Leonardo Metsavaht, 33, who has been
scheming and planning for 18 months to stage the world's first
international snowboarding competition on a tropical beach.
- Tropical storm Danny is dumping heavy, wind-driven rains on southeastern New England as it passes east of Nantucket
Island with 60 mph winds.
Danny is being described as the storm that won't die. As a hurricane,
it lashed southern Alabama for nearly a day and a half last weekend as
it slowly moved north from the Gulf of Mexico.
Though at one point downgraded to a tropical depression, Danny
retained many of its tropical characteristics as it moved inland through
Georgia and the Carolinas before redeveloping into a full-fledged
tropical storm after emerging in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday.
- A strong typhoon struck
southwestern Japan, killing two people and
disrupting air, rail, road and ocean traffic.
Typhoon Rosie, described by Japan's Meteorological Agency as
a 'medium-sized but powerful' typhoon, had winds up to 144 kph
(90 mph) and was expected to dump up to 800 mm of
The typhoon landed on Japan's southwestern island of
- Floods receded in southwestern
Poland as rain, which had threatened to renew flood
surges, proved less heavy than forecast, officials said.
- Hundreds of people were treated for
heat-related health problems as the U.S. Midwest
sizzled under oppressively hot weather.
- A third dike
reinforcing the Oder river between Germany and Poland burst
early on Sunday, flooding German villages and forcing the
evacuation of 67 people, local officials said.
The latest dike to burst flooded the area around the German
villages of Brieskow-Finkenheerd and Wiesenaau near another
which broke last week just south of Frankfurt an der Oder.
- Typhoon Rosie headed out to sea on Sunday
after killing five people and injuring more than three dozen in
its weekend hammering of southwestern Japan.
The typhoon brought winds of up to 90 mph as it moved into
the Sea of Japan away from southwestern regions of Japan's main
- More than 15,000 people were
evacuated on Sunday from the Polish town of Slubice on the
German border as the surging River Odra nearly swamped the area,
but floods receded in other regions of southwestern Poland.
- Eastern Germany's
flood-threatened Oderbruch farming region was kept on red alert
for possible evacuation but many residents vowed to
Officials said around 12,000 people were working to repair
dozens of weak points in dikes across the region while hundreds
more raced to raise the level of a second flood wall behind the
main dike in the Oderbruch area.
- Rivers throughout Romania
spilled their banks at the weekend, killing one man and
prompting the evacuation of thousands of people.
Three days of incessant rain pushed up the levels of 17
small rivers in the western Banat region near ex-Yugoslavia,
Crisana near the Hungarian border, in central Transylvania and
in eastern regions near Moldova and the River Danube.
- Floods sweeping through
central Europe could cause damage of more than 10 billion marks
($5.4 billion), the world's leading reinsurer Munich Re
- Heavy rain dumped more than 6 inches of rain
in some parts of Colorado (USA), flooding homes and forcing firefighters to
rescue three children from a swollen ditch near Denver.
Lory State Park west of Fort Collins received 6.20 inches of rain in
less than 24 hours, while a neighborhood in the Denver suburb of Aurora
was immersed in 2.7 inches in 55 minutes.
- Floodwaters fell further in the
Czech Republic, with only a few villages left on alert
after torrential rains earlier this month caused the worst
floods ever recorded in the country.
The floods, which have devastated parts of central Europe
causing billions of dollars of damage, were responsible for 49
deaths in the Czech Republic, most from the initial flooding
during the first week of July.
- Famine-stricken North Korea said
on that a record heatwave in July has seriously damaged
crops and other parts of its hard-hit economy.
The average noon temperature in July was
above 35C in Pyongyang
and some other areas - up to 10degC higher than normal in some places.
- The most severe drought in more
than four decades has hit China's northern province of Hebei,
affecting over half the region's farmland.
- Floods caused by heavy rains have
hit Lvov region in western Ukraine, leaving 50 villages and
small towns partly under water.
- Rivers swollen by days of rain
inundated more Romanian towns and villages, hitting
the region of the River Danube delta near the border with
Ukraine particularly badly.
- Floods damaged roads and
washed away two small bridges in northern Sweden.
Rescue workers evacuated around 20 people, most of them
elderly, from their homes by helicopter after the flooding
outside the northern Swedish city of Pitea.
Flooding in central Sweden also closed some minor roads near
the town of Flen.
- A depression over the eastern
Indian coast is likely to bring plentiful rains in some regions,
but overall monsoon progress remains 'unsatisfactory", officials
and crop analysts said.
World weather news, August 1997
- A family that had been camping in northern
Ontario, Canada, is recovering after nine of its 11 members were struck by
The group, aged 11 to 79, had been
camping in Algonquin Park when a bolt of lightning struck just
outside the campsite.
- The toll in the monsoon related incidents has so far risen to 421
this year in India.
Western state of Gujarat is the worst hit state where 244 people lost
lives in this year's floods.
- Southern California has been hit with another round of record-
breaking high temperatures for the fifth day in a row, sending
thermometers in some areas above the 110-degree mark and prompting
record demands for electricity.
- In the midst of Colorado's wettest summer in
recent years, snow flurries were spotted along well-traveled Interstate
70 at the Eisenhower Tunnel.
August snow flurries in Colorado (USA) are more surprising to the eye than
they are unusual, forecasters say, and more common than the unusually
heavy rain of the past few weeks.
- Floods killed 13 people and injured scores
of others in two eastern Turkish provinces.
The floods hit three townships in the province of Agri bordering
Armenia, causing the deaths of 10 people and damaging more than 100
- Tropical storm Winnie rumbled
toward Guam, threatening to disrupt the investigation of
the Korean Air crash, officials said.
The storm, bearing 60-knot winds and gusting at 75 knots, was
moving northwest and set to pass about 50 nautical miles north of
Agrihan in the North Marianas on Tuesday, sparing Guam from a direct
- Helicopters worked to evacuate as many as
400 tourists and residents from a remote canyon on an Indian
reservation in northwestern Arizona (USA) after floods swept
through the area.
Authorities estimated that 200 to 300 tourists - many there
for the annual Peach Festival activities - would have to be
plucked from the Havasupai Indian Reservation following heavy
rains that hit the area.
- Six people froze to death in Peru
inside vehicles trapped on roads covered in as much as two metres
At least 800 people in some 50 vehicles were still trapped on
roads that have been battered by a violent snowstorm for four days.
Officials said that buses, cars and trucks have been trapped
since dawn on Thursday by heavy snows on a stretch of the
Puquio-Abancay highway, some 840 km from Lima
and some 3,800 m above sea level.
- Flooding last month in the southern
Chinese province of Yunnan killed more than 300 people and left more
than 18,000 injured.
- German authorities have called
off a three-week alert in the eastern Oder valley after devastating
floods which made 5,000 people homeless.
All 5,000 evacuees will be able to return to their homes.
- A violent thunderstorm hit the
Denver (Colorado, USA) area, packing heavy rains, 60 mph winds and what one TV
weather foreecaster called 'jawbreaker-sized hail.'
Cars, some already dimpled by hail, spun their tires on 3-inch
accumulations of hailstones as motorists tried to drive through standing
water up to four feet deep.
- Torrential rain in northern Sudan has
levelled hundreds of houses and caused widespread damage to
The rains on Monday night left 400 families homeless in the
Bawga area, 350 km north of Khartoum. Farms and
other property were damaged but there were no deaths.
- At least 135 people died in flash
floods triggered by cloudbursts in the north Indian state of Himachal
- At least seven people died as
torrential rains lashed the Pakistani twin cities of Rawalpindi and
Rawalpindi received 70 mm of rain and
Islamabad recorded 60 mm on Tuesday and early on Wednesday.
Monsoon rains started in Pakistan in early July and since then
more than 50 people have died, mostly in house collapses.
- Twenty-six hikers were
helicoptered off a mountain in the French Alps after being
caught by flash flooding in a storm.
The rescue was mounted after the hikers were cut off by a
torrent above the French resort of Cluses, officials said.
- Hong Kong's historic handover year has
already become the wettest on record.
The running rainfall total at the Hong Kong Observatory since
January reached 2,611.3 mm,
breaking the previous annual record of 2,610.4 mm from 1973.
A wet spell generated by the moist southwest monsoon, in
addition to the rain brought by typhoon Victor earlier in the month,
meant that rainfall this month had already exceeded the August
average of 391.4 mm.
This followed an exceptionally wet June and July whose monthly
totals were both more than twice the normal figures.
The combined June and July rainfall total of 1,529.6 mm
had already gone into the record books as the highest
The normal annual rainfall for Hong Kong is 2,214.3 mm.
- The Philippines, fearing that it
could soon face a severe drought, plans to use giant plastic
sheets to catch rainwater so it can be directed to farms, an
"This is part of our preparation for the El Nino," said Mai
Araneta Flor, executive director of a presidential task force on
water development and management.
- In a freak of nature, a late night
storm pelted northern Missouri with hail the size of baseballs.
The National Weather Service says the storm struck about 10:20 p.m.
local time Friday and hit the Unionville, Mo. area with hail up to 2.75
The storm was accompanied by wind gusts as high as 70 mph.
- Typhoon Winnie approached Taiwan and
threatened shipping around the island, prompting weathermen to issue
The tropical storm was 980 km east of Taipei
at 5:00 p.m. (0900 GMT) and was moving west-northwest at a speed of
Packing winds of 155 km/h.
- Typhoon Winnie made landfall on the
Chinese mainland at Wenling, some 300 km south of Shanghai at around 9:30 p.m. (1330 GMT).
It then moved northwest as its winds reduced in intensity to 32m/s in coastal areas, compared with 40 m/s earlier.
Earlier predictions by the meteorological bureau indicated the
storm would be the worst to hit Shanghai in 90 years.
- The Taiwanese government has launched
an inquiry into two major landslides and flooding caused when
Typhoon Winnie ripped into the island leaving a trail of death and
destruction, it was reported Tuesday.
The typhoon left 32 dead across the island, among them 13 people
buried alive when a retaining wall collapsed unleashing a torrent of
mud and rubble on a housing complex in Taipei county.
- Thunderstorms that drenched parts of the
Chicago area (USA) with up to five inches of rain have driven thousands of
rats out of their burrows and into the streets.
Rodent control teams are reporting increased sightings of vermin
throughout the city since the severe storms Saturday night and Sunday.
But the Department of Streets and Sanitation today says there is a
silver lining in the storm clouds in that the torrents of rain disrupted
- The Philippines was mopping up
after some of its worst floods in memory left 15 people dead and
brought chaos to Manila and surrounding provinces.
Banks, offices, schools and businesses reopened and Manila
airport struggled to clear a backlog of delayed flights after about
36 hours of non-stop monsoon rains which displaced nearly half a
The floods submerged 80 percent of the capital.
- Typhoon Winnie killed at least 241
people in China's eastern Zhejiang province which bore the brunt of
the storm which hit China this week.
Up to 400mm of rain fell during the storm in places.
- The US Air Force said it had
delayed deployment of B-2 stealth bombers abroad because they
need special shelters to protect them from bad weather that
damages their ability to remain invisible to radar.
The GAO said in its report that testing indicated that B-2
were sensitive to extreme climates, water and humidity and
that 'exposure to water or moisture can damage some of the
low-observable enhancing surfaces on the aircraft.'
- Strong tidal waves have hit the western
coast of North Korea, leaving nearly 30,000 people homeless, the
country's official news agency reported Wednesday.
The waves, which were "the highest ever in scores of years,"
affected 20 cities and counties of the provinces of South Phyongan,
North Phyongan and South Hwanghae.
- The hottest temperature of all during the hot spell in the UK
was recorded in Worcester, where on August 10 32.6C was recorded.
According to Britain's Met Office, the average temperature
during the first half of August was 19.6C - 3.5C higher than the seasonal average.
For vine-growers the heat-wave could salvage a harvest battered
by rain and late frost in June.
In addition to the new crops, certain butterflies, insects and
birds, previously untempted by the climate, have made their
appearance on British soil.
Herons, who normally prefer to live further south, have been
sighted, as have sea spiders and even an octopus, caught off the
Even safely inside, away from the ozone-ridden atmosphere,
offices tend to lack the air-conditioning which has suddenly become
necessary, leading trade unions to demand a minimum office
temperature of 16C to be fixed by
- Torrential rain swept Hong Kong, triggering flooding, landslips and traffic chaos, after the
territory was brushed by the tail of a typhoon that passed to the
south on its way to the coast of mainland China.
In the space of two hours, more than 100 millimetres of rain fell.
- Pounding rains toppled a building
killing a child and paralysing transport services in
- Power lines went down and
motorists were stranded overnight as heavy snow, rain and
wind lashed New Zealand's central North Island.
Truck driver Tony Burling, who has driven in the region for 15
years, said it was one of the heaviest snowfalls he had ever seen in
- At least 18 villagers have died of
snake bites in the flooded eastern Indian district of Midnapur.
Some 400 others have also been bitten by the snakes during the
monsoon season which started in June. The snakes were washed into
their mud huts by flood waters.
- Two people have died in severe flooding
in southern Thailand, triggered by record rainfalls spawned by a
tropical storm which left several provinces inundated.
- Thousands of lambs died on New
Zealand's North Island over the weekend after heavy snow and rain
which took weathermen by surprise.
Farmers on the ordinarily mild east coast claimed an
earlier snow warning could have saved hundreds of sheep and lambs
that died after the heaviest snow in the area in 50 years.
Weather forecasters Metservice said heavy rain had been forecast
but the snow caught them by complete surprise.
- Typhoon Zita killed three people and
injured 345 in Zhanjiang city when it tore into the coast of south
China's Guangdong province, the official China Daily reported
The storm, which made landfall on the Leizhou peninsula on
Friday afternoon, dumped more than 100 mm of
rain in Zhanjiang, Maoming and Yangjiang in three hours, flooding
the cities' streets.
- Burma's official press said
severe flooding was worse than anything seen for several years with
more than 6,600 families made homeless.
The flooding in Pegu Division north of here has caused record
property losses and inundated rice paddies.
- As Germans were sweltering in
the scorching August sun, with Frankfurt reporting 35C on Monday, taking a dive in Baltic Sea
waters proved hardly refreshing.
The normally cool waters off Germany's northeastern island of
Ruegen warmed up to 25C, a temperature not recorded "at least since the Middle Ages,"
said Hans-Joachim Stigge of the federal agency for sea shipping and
hydrography at Rostock.
- It has been an exceptionally warm August in Germany, especially
in the North and West. Berlin reported a all-time record spell
of 26 consecutive days with maximum temperatures above 25C.
The heatwave reached its climax on Monday 25th with 34.C in
Karlsruhe. Severe thunderstorms followed on Tuesday with flash
floods causing havoc in Hamburg where over 50mm of rain fell.
It has also been an exceptionally sunny August, especially along
the north coast. As a result, sea surface temps locally in both
the North Sea and Baltic are up to 5C above normal with some harbours
reporting values as high as 24C.
- Indonesian authorities are planning to
make artificial rain to help farmers cope with drought if the
current dry season persists by October.
The rains are usually induced by spraying chemicals and radio
signals over the sky of the areas in an effort to form heavy clouds.
- Incessant monsoon rain related floods
have killed 12 people across India, taking the toll to more than 100
The toll in the monsoon related incidents has so far risen to more
than 700 this year.
- The government called in the
army as torrential rains wreaked havoc in central
Punjab province, claiming 61 lives and leaving thousands of people
- India, Indonesia and Australia are
bearing the brunt of the mysterious "El Nino" warming phenomenon as
it unleashes drought across the entire Asian monsoon region.
Indian rainfall in July was 10 percent to 12 percent below
normal, dryness in Indonesia has cut coconut production and
Australia is bracing itself for a severely parched autumn, Jagadish
Shukla, president of the US-based Institute of Global Environment
and Society, told journalists.
- The Scottish capital Edinburgh suffers
its worst winter storms when volcanoes violently erupt thousands of
miles away, according to research published here
Thursday in New Scientist.
And the city could expect another buffeting if the volcano on
the Caribbean island of Montserrat - currently rumbling loudly and
emitting gas and ash - exploded with similar force.
Two earth scientists compared Edinburgh's meteorological records
from 1770 to 1988 with volcanic activity around the world.
They found that the city, famed for its strong winds,
encountered its strongest storms in winters that followed three of
the biggest eruptions.
- Floods in the Mekong delta in the south of
Vietnam began a month earlier than usual this year with floodwaters
already hitting many parts of the country's main rice growing area.
- About 100 people were taken ill over the
past two days as the year's worst heat wave gripped Bangladesh.
Temperatures in Dhaka hit a high of 37.5C on Wednesday, the weather service said. The humidity was
about 70 percent.
- Typhoon Amber hit the east of
Taiwan, with one person reported missing feared dead as
it hurtled through leaving a trail of damage.
The winds were so strong that the state-run Taiwan Power Co.
(Taipower), the sole power supplier on the island, was forced to
operate two nuclear power stations at lower speed, Taipower
- At least 35 people were buried
alive in a landslide in northern Pakistan raising the death toll in
torrential rains wreaking havoc in the country this week to 115.
- Flooding in southern Thailand which has
claimed nearly 30 lives has caused 2.1 billion baht (62 million
dollars) of damage to private property and infrastructure.
Ten provinces have been severely affected by the flooding since
late last week, when torrential rains from tropical storm Cidra
swept across the south of the country, affecting almost 190,000
people, a ministry statement said.
- Fearing the powerful "El Nino", Bolivia
has launched an international plea for help to pay its 300,000
dollars debt to a weather watch institute so that some 500
meteorological stations in the poverty-stricken country can be put
back into commission.
Bolivia, one of the poorest nations in South America, has failed
to pay its fees to the Global Meteorological Organization for the
last four years.
World weather news, September 1997
- Torrential rains and flooding
unleashed by Typhoon Cass left four people dead in Taiwan.
Three of the four people were washed away by floods in southern
Taiwan by the typhoon, the third to hit
the island in three weeks, which also left one person injured.
- Torrential rain killed one person while
five were badly injured when their houses collapsed in poor
districts of Niamey, capital of Niger.
An AFP correspondent at the scene saw many wrecked buildings in
the district where the storm raged on Sunday evening for four hours,
with renewed heavy rain throughout Monday morning.
The rainy season in the sub-Saharan country was due to begin in
May and draw to a close around now, but some regions have seen only
a month of rainfall, leading to fears for the harvest.
- The worst drought in two decades is
threatening to decimate China's autumn harvest, sparking calls for
emergency preparations to combat a potential disaster.
- Four people have died after frosts hit
Papua New Guinea's highlands, just south of the equator.
There have now been a total of 25 deaths due to droughts
On New Britain Island 16 people have died from drought related
- Pigs flew through the
air in England when a freak tornado crossed a
Forty pigs were hurled through the air for over a
quarter-of-a-mile as the tornado crashed into a farm at
Sutton-on-Trent, near Newark, in central England.
"We looked up and saw these pig-huts swirling around 100 feet
up in the air," said witness Allison Reed.
- A Vietnamese jet which crashed while
attempting to land in the Cambodian capital went down because of bad
weather leaving only two child survivors, a transport official in
Phnom Penh said.
The Russian-built Tupelov-134 twin-engined jet ploughed into the
ground short of Phnom Penh's international airport while making its
second approach to land in a squall.
- The sixth tropical depression of the Atlantic-
Caribbean hurricane season has formed in the mid-Atlantic Ocean with top
winds of 35 miles an hour.
This follows an August when there were no Atlantic tropical depressions, storms or hurricanes - the first August devoid of tropical activity since 1961; 1929 was likewise a quiet month.
- Warm currents from a growing El
Nino effect have brought tropical and subtropical fish to the
normally cold waters off northern California.
Mahi mahi, a voracious game fish found in equatorial waters,
have been caught about 30 miles south of the Farallon Islands,
which lie off the California coast near San Francisco.
Swordfish, another warm-water species, have been seen as
well. Sport fishermen near the Farallon Islands have caught
thousands of albacore, a long-finned mid-Pacific tuna that
usually stays 100 miles or more offshore, where the water is
- About 300,000 people are on the edge of
starvation in Papua New Guinea's Highlands because of a severe
drought and bizarre frosts in the country just south of the equator.
Concerned leaders in the Highlands observed that the dry spell
has affected gardening with the people delaying new plantings
because of the dry weather and the Highlands region is faced with an
acute shortage of vegetables.
- With no measurable rain falling at
the Los Angeles Civic Center since Feb. 17, the city broke a
70-year record dry spell, the National Weather Service said.
The 198-day period of warm, sunny weather broke a record set
in 1927 when no rain fell from April 12 to Oct. 27.
- Mayor Yury Luzhkov, whose grand projects
have transformed Moscow in time for the city's 850th anniversary, is
determined to brighten up Muscovites' lives, literally - by
dispersing the wintry clouds over the city as the festivities get
Eight planes and two helicopters were ready to start their
cloud-busting operation today, armed with hundreds of canisters of
The aim is to push the rain out to the suburbs of Moscow and
away from the centre, where Luzhkov will head a parade on Saturday.
- Up to a million people are
facing starvation in Papua New Guinea because of severe drought and frosts caused
by the El Nino weather phenomenon, Papua New Guinea's emergency
services officials warned.
- Hurricane Erika dumped rain on
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands but veered away from a
direct hit on the Caribbean islands.
Erika, with sustained winds of 85 mph was moving over the Atlantic in a west-northwest direction
some 220 miles northeast of Puerto Rico, US
- Residents of Southern Ontario (Canada) are cleaning
up after a tornado and a number of severe thunderstorms hit the
Police say no one was injured by the twister that swept through the
town of Drayton, just west of Orangeville, late on Saturday.
- Malaysia began an eight-day
cloud-seeding exercise to relieve a worsening haze smothering
the capital, blamed on forest fires on the neighbouring Indonesia
island of Sumatra.
But sceptics said the exercise failed to attack other causes of
pollution such as cars, and warned it could lead to flash floods in
low-lying areas while increasing the problem of acid rain.
- Two people were killed and 14 were
missing in a landslip sparked by torrential rain in China's
southeastern Fujiang province.
- Rain drenched towering flames around Peru's
Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and virtually put an end to a five-day-old fire that devoured huge swathes of
mountain forest, officials said.
As 400 firefighters fought to beat back the blaze, which was
sweeping toward the highland jungle town of Aguas Calientes, or
Hot Springs, a torrential deluge began late on Wednesday and
saved the homes of about 1,000 people.
- The Philippines plans to import rice
and corn to prepare for a long drought expected to be caused by the
El Nino weather pattern, the National Food Authority said.
The agency said the country planned to import around 300,000
tonnes of corn this year and between 300,000 and 400,000 tonnes of
rice for the first quarter of 1998.
- Incessant rains, lightning and house
collapses have killed at least 30 people over the last three days in
- Indonesian authorities plan to induce
rains over the drought-stricken West Java province on September 23
to safeguard the present crop harvest, an official said.
The current harsh dry season had reduced the water
levels in three water catchment dams in West Java, including the
Jatiluhur dam, threatening the irrigation of 120,000 hectares
(296,400 acres) of fields.
- Malaysia Airlines System
called off more than 10 local flights within eastern Sabah state
amid worsening haze, but officials assured the situation was under
Officials and environmentalists say the smog highlights the
local air pollution problem, caused mainly by the country's 7.2
million cars and millions of motorcycles.
- Southern Africa can expect near
normal rains early in the rainy season which starts in October,
but this should be hit somewhat in the southern parts as the El
Nino weather phenomenon grows, regional experts said.
Southern Africa's northeastern areas should experience
normal to above-normal rainfall in December through March - the
second half of the season -experts said in a report after a
week-long conference in Zimbabwe.
'In October through November, rainfall is not expected to
depart significantly from normal throughout much of the rest of
the region," with northern Tanzania forecast to get above-normal
rains, the statement said.
'December through March is the main rainy season for much of
southern Africa. During this period, northeastern regions are
expected to experience normal to above normal rainfall," it
The northeastern region includes Tanzania, Malawi and
- Hurricane Linda, one of the mightiest
storms seen in the eastern Pacific, was raging off the Mexican
Linda, packing winds of 175 to 210 miles per hour off
Mexico's Pacific Coast, was deemed by the U.S. National Weather
Service to be the strongest hurricane ever seen in the eastern
- Eleven people have been killed by
monsoon season flooding in Thailand's northern and northeastern
provinces, the Interior Ministry said.
Six provinces have been afflicted with severe flooding since
early last week as torrential rains from a tropical storm swept
across the country and the Mekong River overflowed its banks.
- Flooding hit the streets of the Thai
capital Bangkok with up to 50cm of water
covering dozens of city blocks and snarling traffic in several
Monsoon rains lasted for only about an hour in Bangkok, but
clogged drainage pipes caused chaos, Thai television reported.
- Typhoon Oliwa slowly eased across
Kyushu island in southern Japan on Monday having killed a
62-year-old man and disrupted air and marine traffic.
Oliwa, the 19th typhoon to hit Japan this year, was 110
kilometres (70 miles) north of Amami Oshima island, late Monday, the
meteorological agency said.
- Torrential rains in Pakistan have
claimed 223 lives in this year's monsoon flooding, a government
- Typhoon Oliwa pounded Kyushu Island in
southern Japan with heavy rain and winds of up to 110 mph, leaving at least six people dead
and five more injured.
The storm was expected to bring up to 350 mm of rain to many areas in southern and western Japan in the
next 24 hours, the meteorological agency said.
- Torrential rains in Sri Lanka caused
flash floods and mud slips that left at least three people dead and
- The health-threatening haze
shrouding most of Malaysia is God's punishment to his people for
ignoring him, a Moslem fundamentalist leader was quoted Wednesday as
Nik Aziz Nik Mat, chief minister of the northeast state of
Kelantan - the country's sole opposition-led state - said God was
also angry for the "vice the people have committed," the Daily Star
- Powerful Typhoon David is skirting Tokyo
and its vicinity, the meteorological agency said, after
earlier fears that the Japanese capital would be hit by the storm.
The typhoon, the season's 20th, was located in the Pacific Ocean
off Choshi, east of Tokyo, and moving north-northeast at a speed of
30 kilometres (19 miles) per hour, the agency said.
- Drought-ravaged regions of Papua
New Guinea have appealed for 300 million kina (210 million US dollars) in
750,000 people were now believed to be affected by the harsh
conditions and frosts brought by the El Nino weather pattern.
The four-month-old drought that has reportedly already claimed
80 lives was expected to last until next year, making it the worst
ever experienced in Papua New Guinea.
- Officials in Irian Jaya are reporting
that 138 people have died there from a scarcity of food and clean
water as well as cholera since the beginning of the drought in
- The Singapore government will set off
sirens and make emergency radio broadcasts if smoky haze from forest
fires in Indonesia reaches threatening levels, according to
guidelines published Saturday.
The guidelines were issued after the east Malaysian state of
Sabah declared an emergency Friday when the pollutant index surged
past the emergency level of 500, forcing the airport to close and
business to grind to a halt.
- An intense heat wave and powerful storms
blamed on El Nino has led to five deaths in Bolivia in the past
week, officials said.
- Life has slowed to a crawl in
this eerily gray city of Kuching, Malaysia, after blinding haze from bush fires in
neighbouring Indonesia prompted the Malaysian government to declare
an emergency situation.
The pollution index in Kuching, a city of more than 400,000 people,
reached a staggering 658 late on Friday, forcing government offices and
private establishments except those providing essential services to
close down. Schools had been shut down earlier.
- The National Hurricane Center in Miami says a
hurricane warning remains in effect for Socorro Island and the nearby
Revillagigedo Islands off the Mexican Pacific coast as Hurricane Nora
Hurricane Nora's pounding of the
Pacific resort city of Acapulco eroded 9 km
of beach and destroyed 34 restaurants and four homes, its
restaurateurs association said. It was the first time in 47 years that a hurricane did
substantial damage to the seaside playground.
- The haze from raging forest fires in
Indonesia that has already spread to the southwestern Philippine
island of Palawan, could reach Manila in three days, the Philippine weather
A tropical cyclone brewing in the South China Sea could induce
the southwest monsoon winds to carry the haze from Indonesia further
into the Philippines.
- Many parts of Britain remain drought
stricken because of little rainfall so far this month, water
- Five people were killed and 20 went
missing when floods and whirlwinds swept through most Vietnamese
central provinces at the weekend, local officials said.
- Streets across the Bangladesh capital
Dhaka were flooded for a second day paralysing the city,
amid fresh warnings of more rains after a record downpour.
The metereolgical department said it recorded 112 mm
of rain in just over two hours on Tuesday, the heaviest
downpour of the current monsoon season.
- At least 19 people have
died and 15,000 have been evacuated as a cyclone bears down on the
southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, officials said.
They said the cyclone was heading inland from the Bay of Bengal,
some 360 km east of the state capital
- Hurricane Nora, defying
predictions that it would die down, slammed into Mexico's barren
Baja California peninsula, dumping heavy rain and headed
toward the Gulf of California channel which separates Baja from
the Mexican mainland, weather experts said.
Nora made landfall at Puerto Eugenia and Puerto Canoas,
half-way down the peninsula, some 240 miles southwest of this
cruise ship resort near the U.S. border, Mexico's National
Weather Service said.
Meanwhile, the rains that helped increase the number of highway
accidents to almost four times the average number of accidents on a dry
day have all but ended in Southern California.
The rainstorm today broke Los Angeles' record 219-day dry spell at
the official collection station located at the downtown Civic Center,
where it last rained Feb. 17. The previous record of 197 dry days was
set in 1927.
- Air pollution in Kuala Lumpur
worsened as winds blew smoke from Indonesia's forest fires to
the Malaysian capital and the government moved ahead with measures
to contain the problem.
The choking haze Kuala Lumpur climbed to the "very unhealthy"
level due to a slight change in wind direction that brought clouds
of thick smoke from the forest fires in Indonesia, a government
A Garuda Indonesia Airbus crashed into a smog shrouded
Indonesian mountainside, killing all 234 people on
board. Two ships collided in the Strait of Malacca, also in the
smog, with 28 seamen missing.
- A British water company is examining
whether it can tow giant icebergs from the Arctic circle to bring
water to Britain's drought-stricken south.
Essex and Suffolk Water, which provides water to 1.4 million
consumers in eastern Britain, is in talks with a Scandinavian
company to examine whether the project is feasible.
- A severe cyclone made landfall in
The cyclone, which had been expected to hit Chittagong in the
southeast, veered round to the west, fortunately crossing land at
low tide, the reports said, sparing low-lying coastal areas.
The cyclone had previously killed 32 people in India. In Bangladesh
at least 51 people were
killed and around 1000 fisherman were missing.
- The death toll rose to 73 in
Papua New Guinea's worst drought in half a century as the consumer
affairs commission warned against profiteering amid reports
of starving people being forced to pay huge food price increases.
- Five people died and eight were
missing in the southern state of Chiapas (Mexico) in landslides caused by
torrential rains accompanying tropical storm Olaf, officials said.
In drought-stricken Nicaragua, one person was reported dead and
12 were missing after Olaf battered the nation's north, causing
flash flooding, local authorities said.
- Heavy rain and changing winds
brought relief to Malaysia from choking smog, but officials
warned the haze would still not totally clear until the monsoon in
Downpours in Kuala Lumpur forced the Air Pollutant Index down to
109 points at midday, from 155 a day earlier. But the Kuala
Lumpur skyline remained grey.
- More than 40 people were killed in flash
floods and mudslides caused by torrential rain overnight in
mountainous central Morocco.
Officials quoted witnesses as saying most of the victims were in
about 50 cars and five buses washed away when a wadi, or
watercourse, overflowed near the town of El-Hajeb, near Meknes.
The area was lashed by five hours of torrential rain, creating
mudslides which swept all before them.
- Five people, including two
children, have died in southeastern Spain during serious flooding
caused by a heavy deluge, local authorities said.
Reporting that several districts of Alicante were cut-off by the
flooding, the authorities warned that the death toll could rise as
hundreds remained trapped in their homes and roads were cut by the
The neighbouring regions of Valencia and Murcia have also been
affected by flooding following several days of heavy rain in the
southeast of the country.
World weather news, October 1997
- Changing winds will soon chase the
choking smog covering much of Southeast Asia away from Indonesia and
its neighbours, the head of the Indonesian meteorology service said.
- A large section of embankment that
surrounds Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temple has collapsed after
being weakened by heavy rains, officials said.
About 50 metres of ancient stone bank separating the main
portion of the 12th-century temple from moats slid into the water
last week, the officials said, adding that the damage was still
being assessed in order to begin restoration work.
- Cook Island's officials were battening down
at the weekend for what they believe could be the country's worst
cyclone season in years.
"I'm not saying we will definitely get a huge cyclone, but the
chances are we will," Meteorological Office manager Arona Ngari said.
Usually cyclone awareness does not start until November, just
before the season starts, but officials were so concerned they have
been working on a report for the last few months and have already
started cyclone awareness.
Tahiti especially has bad memories. The last time the weather
patterns were like this, they were hit with five cyclones in a row.
The signs include warm waters pushed from the equator to the
east which is a bad sign for the Cook Islands.
Usually cyclones start around New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the
But the recent sea temperature points to cyclones starting in
this part of the region.
- Air pollution in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
worsened as winds changed direction and blew smoke from
Indonesia's forest fires.
"Strong southeasterly winds from Sumatra island are blowing the
haze to the central and southern part of peninsula Malaysia," a
meteorological department spokesman said.
- Unprecendented flooding in Cambodia's
central Kampong Thom province has prompted authorities to issue a
Overflow waters from the Sen River have already submerged 40,000
hectares of rice fields and destroyed 15 bridges
along National Route Six in the northeastern quadrant of the
Kampong Thom deputy governer Chin Sothea said that heavy rains in northern Cambodia along the Thai border where
the river begins were responsible for the flooding.
- The seventh tropical depression of the
Atlantic-Caribbean season has formed in the open Atlantic east of
Bermuda with top winds of 35 mph.
It was headed away from the resort island and is no threat to land.
(The depression later became short-lived tropical storm Fabian.)
- At least nine people have been
killed in the wake of torrential rains and floods sweeping Guatemala since September 27, rescue groups said.
The rains have intensified in the last few hours as Hurricane
Pauline heads for Mexico's Pacific Coast, meteorologists said.
- President Fidel Ramos said his
government has alloted 1.5 billion pesos (42 million dollars) for
short-term remedies to drought induced by the the El Nino weather
phenomenon forecast to hit Philippine agriculture.
The money would be used for "short-term intervention" such as
small water-impounding reservoirs and community irrigation projects
designed to help small farmers.
- Coffee prices rose as Hurricane
Pauline churned closer to the Mexican coastline, stirring up
concerns that rains and heavy winds would damage the crop or
Corn futures also jumped as commodity hedge funds stocked up
on supplies for a second consecutive session, banking on
expectations that El Nino would wreak havoc on world weather
- Famine caused by prolonged drought in
Indonesia has killed another 12 people in Central Sulawesi, taking
the toll in remote Irian Jaya to well over 400, a report said.
- Hurricane Pauline pelted
southern Mexico with its full fury, swelling rivers
that washed away several people, destroying homes and bridges
and forcing mass evacuations. At least 122 people died.
The hurricane hit the poorer coastal areas of Acapulco, Huatulco,
Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido, and
Chilpancingo, particularly hard. Pauline was described as the worst hurricane to hit Acapulco in 20 years.
According to Mexico's National Meteorological Service,
Pauline had sustained winds of 115 mph with some stronger gusts.
Rainfall totals of 6 to 12 inches, with locally higher amounts to
near 20 inches, are possible along the path of the hurricane and could
cause flash floods and mudslides.
Tides of 9 to 12 feet above normal levels can be expected along the
coast. These tides will be accompanied by large and very dangerous
- Three people, including a child, were
killed in northern Iran in flooding caused by torrential rain.
The flooding has mainly hit a sparse region north-east of
Bojnurd, the location of a huge earthquake in May that left more
than 1,000 people dead and tens of thousands of others homeless.
- The first major storm of northern
California's wet season has come early with chilly temperatures, an inch
or more in the valleys and up to 1 foot of snow in the Sierra.
The National Weather Service has posted storm advisories above 6,500
feet, and chain controls are in effect on Interstate 80 and other routes
to Lake Tahoe.
- First, El Nino brought
unseasonably sweltering temperatures in the dead of Brazil's
Now the shifting in the massive Pacific Ocean current and the
weather changes it brings is wreaking havoc anew, creating a huge
undertow that has stripped the famed Copacabana beach of its sand.
About a hundred metres of coastline has been swept
away, to be replaced in sections by large stones and pebbles.
- An Argentine Austral airliner
crashed into a swamp in neighboring Uruguay after a heavy
thunderstorm, killing all 74 people on board.
- Severe storms bringing high winds
across southeastern Colorado forced the temporary evacuation of an
Amtrak passenger train in La Junta, 50 miles east of Pueblo.
The Chicago-bound train was halted Saturday night after authorities
became concerned about possible tornadoes in the region. Police led passengers to municipal shelters in
- The weather has cleared after
13-15 inches of rain fell in three days near Corpus Christi, Texas.
Residents in some south Texas communities are returning to their
homes after entire towns were evacuated ahead of floodwaters.
- A tornado swept through the industrial town of Tonga,
near Dhaka, killing 15 people and injuring more than 400
others at a Moslem religious gathering.
- The 1997 season in 'hurricane alley' in the Atlantic,
Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean has been the quietest in years.
With only six tropical storms and hurricanes, most of them
weak, a year that was expected to be busy could go down as one
of the Atlantic basin's quietest hurricane seasons ever.
- Weekend rain pushed Hong Kong to its
wettest year on record, with 3,249 mm
registered so far for this year, the Hong Kong Observatory said.
The record high was reached when another 46.4 mm of rain was recorded on Sunday, making 1997 the wettest year
since records began in 1884.
- Snowfalls of 30 cm,
the first this season, fell in south and west Austria, compelling
motorists in certain areas to fit tyre chains, Austrian
Police said numerous car accidents were caused on Monday by icy
roads in the south.
More snowfalls are expected over the next few days above
altitudes of 700 metres, fuelling western Austrian
hoteliers' predictions of a healthy tourist season this year.
- Temperatures sank below freezing
across much of the northern Midwest USA behind a rapidly
moving cold front that dumped the season's first snow.
Slippery roads in parts of Minnesota were blamed for traffic
accidents Monday that killed three people in northwest
Minnesota, and may have been a factor in another fatal accident
in suburban Minneapolis.
The same surge of cold air triggered heavy rain that caused
flooding in Texas. Forecasters said it would bring a drop of 10
to 20 degrees along the East Coast which has been experiencing
- The death toll from a drought in eastern
Indonesia has climbed to 445 people, with malaria and cholera
ravaging the population as well as lack of food, reports said.
- Flooding caused by heavy rains in
Istanbul, Turkey, has killed up to seven people,
damaged hundreds of homes, caused power outages, cut phonelines, and
- Tropical storm Grace has formed from an
Atlantic gale northeast of Puerto Rico with top winds of 45 mph
but forecasters said it was no threat to land.
- The ozone hole over Antarctica
remains worryingly big and could be moving toward New Zealand,
Brian Connor, a scientist with New Zealand's National Institute
of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), told AFP there was "a
severe hole" this year over the South Pole.
"We appear to have just past the worst point, the most severe
depletion of ozone, but it appears to have been one of the worst,"
Normally at this time of year there would be 300 DU of ozone
over Antarctica. But NIWA scientists at Scott Base in Antarctica
have in the last week recorded ozone levels of 136 DU, just short of
the record low of 129 DU.
- Parts of Newfoundland (Canada) are
still under water following a heavy downpour which dumped
70 mm of rain on the province overnight.
The rain, in the northeastern section of the Avalon peninsular, left
dozens of basements im St. John flooded and storm sewers were reported
to be still backed up today, hours after the downpour had eased to a
- A taxi passenger was killed, her toddler
disappeared and 13 other people were injured in accidents during a
violent rainstorm in Egypt.
Wissam Mohammad Hassan, 30, was killed Saturday when the taxi
she was riding in was swept away by flood waters and mud on a
coastal road near the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.
Heavy rains also hit northern Egypt and the Sinai desert on Friday,
while sandstorms whipped Sohag, 500 km south of
Traffic on the Nile river between Luxor and Aswan was halted on
- Torrential storms in Israel
killed five people and pounded the West Bank town of Jericho,
wrecking 74 homes and causing millions of dollars in damage.
Israel radio said three people died when their car fell into a
ravine at Ein Gedi in Israeli territory at the Dead Sea, after the
- The northern Philippines battened down
against Typhoon Ivan, the strongest typhoon in the country in two
years, with military units going on standby just hours before the
storm was due to make landfall.
- One woman has died and more than 15 people
were injured in torrential rains which struck Jordan overnight.
The 35-year-old woman died when she was swept away by flooding
in a suburb of Amman.
- Gale-force winds and torrential rains
have killed at least one person in Portugal while another went
missing at the weekend.
In the southern Algarve region, resuce workers suspended the
search for a man, who fell from a cliff in gale-force
- At least 13 people have been killed and
two are missing after torrential weekend rains and flash floods in
southern Israel, police said.
The floods also cut the road linking central Israel with the southern
resort town of Eilat.
- The death toll from flashfloods and
violent rainstorms pounding several Egyptian regions since Friday
has risen to four.
A state of emergency has been imposed on Red Sea coastal areas
as torrential rains continued to lash several areas from the eastern
region of Suez to the southern border with Sudan.
- Changing wind patterns have brought
smog back to Malaysia but meteorologists said on Monday the haze would
end with the arrival of monsoon rains next month.
- Torrential rain has provoked the
worst flooding in recent memory on Kenya's Indian Ocean coast,
resulting in the deaths of at least 16 people.
Traffic is restricted at Mombasa's international airport.
The airport at the tourist resort of Malindi, north of
Mombasa, was inoperative due to flooding.
The Mbogholi River bridge, which links the major city of Mombasa
with resorts to the north was impassable Sunday.
- Typhoon Ivan pounded the northern
Philippines with storms killing one man, blacking out two
provinces and flooding crops and roads, relief agencies said.
A man drowned in the town of Tuguegarao while 4,454 other people
were displaced by floodwaters in the adjacent towns of Penablanca
and Iguig, the Philippine National Red Cross said.
- Hundreds of thousands of
Alaskan seabirds are thought to have starved to death because of
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said clues to the killer
of seabirds washed ashore from the Gulf of Alaska to the Chukchi
Sea this summer all pointed to El Nino.
The birds appear to have died because warmer sea
temperatures forced their normal food sources - zooplankton and
small fish - deeper into the ocean beyond their reach.
In 1983, a previous El Nino year, hundreds of thousands of
short-tailed shearwaters and black-legged kittiwakes were found
dead in western Alaska.
- Copacabana Beach, famed
around the world for its picturesque views and wide, sandy shore, is
taking a beating because of El Nino.
Hundreds of workers using trucks and cranes are trying to replace
sand that has vanished because of hurricane-force winds and high waves
that have hit Rio de Janeiro in the worst series of storms to strike the
area in decades.
The harsh weather is being blamed on El Nino.
- One fisherman died and two were missing
after being thrown into the sea as a powerful typhoon
passed by islands south of Tokyo.
They were among five people aboard a fishing boat at Futami on
Chichijima island, some 1,000 km south of Tokyo.
Typhoon Joan, packing winds of up to 145 km/hr, was moving northeast and away from the island.
- News reports say the death toll from
drought-triggered famine and disease in the easternmost Indonesian
province of Irian Jaya rose to 467.
- Flooding from the swollen Parana
and Uruguay rivers prompted officials to evacuate nearly
12,000 people from northeast Argentina.
Officials warned that the weather could cause the worst flooding
some areas of the country have ever experienced.
- Indonesia is unlikely to see much
rainfall in the next two to three months, weather experts said,
describing a battle between the drought-producing El Nino
phenomenon and Asian monsoon forces.
"This (EL Nino) event is so intense it's hard to see the
rainfull in the Western pacific being normal for the next two to
three months," said Michael Coughlan, the World Meteorological
Organization's world climate programme director.
- As many as 25 million people in
southern Africa may be hit by severe drought as the El Nino
weather phenomenon grows, the U.S. Agency for International
- Nearly two months before the first day of
winter, heavy snow and stiff winds moved into Colorado, USA with mid-winter
snowfall amounts and tricky driving conditions.
Rush hour commuters in the Denver area were slowed by wet pavement
that began icing Friday afternoon as temperatures slipped toward 30
degrees while motorists in the foothills and mountains had a tougher
- A blizzard has paralyzed much of Colorado,
dumping hip-deep snow in some areas, stranding thousands of people and
prompting state police to order motorists to stay home.
Hundreds - maybe thousands - of vehicles were stuck on snow-clogged
highways through the night and at least 2,500 people were stranded at
Denver International Airport.
- Air pollution in most populated
parts of Peninsula Malaysia eased slightly but remained at
unhealthy levels as winds blew smoke in from Indonesia's forest and
peat fires, officials said.
- One of the worst
snowstorms in years has hit Colorado, disrupting air and road
traffic and closing down most of the eastern part of the Rocky
Although no fatalities were reported, the heavy snowfall trapped
dozens of people inside their vehicles, where they were pulled out
by rescue workers.
The storm dropped anywhere up to 48 inches
of snow; this total recorded at Palmer Lake.
- Colorado residents dug themselves out after one of the worst snowstorms in 15 years, with some
roads still in bad shape and travelers struggling to leave.
The national weather service estimated up to two feet of
snow fell in Denver and surrounding areas, making it the worst
storm in the region since Dec. 24, 1982, when two feet fell on
the city in a 24-hour period.
- More than 200,000 homes and
businesses in Michigan's lower peninsula (USA) are without power after a
combination of heavy, wet snow and high winds snapped power lines from
Kalamazoo to Saginaw.
Parts of the state are blanketed with 8 inches of snow.
- At least six deaths
are being blamed on the arctic weekend storm.
The National Weather Service said in a statement that the storm
dumped 50.5 cm of snow in Colorado Springs,
fourth-largest amount on record.
- El Nino is adding to a storm of worry
buffeting the Nagano Winter Olympic organisers who have failed to
prepare a downhill course long enough to satisfy the world's skiing
With the 100-day Olympic countdown starting on Thursday, they
are faced with prospects of a warmer winter in the Japanese Alps as
they keep up their fight against international pressure to extend
the men's downhill track.
- A tornado hurtled through northeast
Argentina this morning, killing two people, injuring twenty
others and jeopardizing agricultural production in the provinces of
Corrientes and Entre Rios provinces.
- Germany is currently experiencing its coldest October weather
for over 50 years. A spell of Arctic northerlies brought the
first snowfalls of the winter, with snowdepths accumulating
to a few cms in the north-east. Exceptionally severe frosts
followed. On the night of 27th/28th, minima below -8C were
widespread in central and northern areas with -11C at
- Minima overnight included -8.1C at Rederdale (Northumberland) and
-7.5C at Benson (Oxfordshire), as cold and very dry air pushed across
England from the continent.
- At least 57 people died in Ethiopian floods triggered by five days of
torrential rain, the Ethiopian press reported.
Nine victims were reported in the north and seven in the west,
more than 1,500 were left homeless in the northeast and some 1,000
head of cattle were drowned.
World weather news, November 1997
- The UN World Food Programme said
it has began a series of joint aerial surveys to assess the damage
being caused by severe flooding in Somalia's southern Juba River
In a statement, it said initial surveys undertaken last week
indicated that floods had destroyed homes and irrigated crops of
thousands of families and washed away many roads, trapping people in
the vicinity of their inundated villages.
- Hundreds of troops and firemen dug
through a mountain of mud and rubble in Portugal's Azores
islands, searching for survivors buried under a
mudslide triggered by flash floods on Thursday.
Civil protection officials said they feared that 32 people
had been killed, but hoped that rescue workers would still find
survivors trapped in the debris 24 hours after the floods struck
the village of Ribeira Quente on Sao Miguel island.
- A 10-year-old boy and his father are
feared dead after high waves generated by Cyclone Martin
swept over the Pacific black pearl atoll of Manihiki.
Cyclone Martin, which has been growing in strength, caused major
damage to Pukapuka on Friday and is now lashing Manihiki and
- A tornado tore through
New Smyrna Beach (Florida, USA) early today
injuring dozens of people and destroying more than 120 homes,
- Hundreds of fishermen are feared
drowned after a fierce tropical storm ripped through waters off
southern Vietnam and sank at least 700 fishing boats.
Preliminary estimates suggested more than 100 people had
drowned after Tropical Storm Linda lashed the southern provinces
- Three people have been found dead on the remote Manihiki atoll flattened by Cyclone
Twenty-two people were reported missing after Cyclone Martin
hit the Cook Islands and officials said several
people might have been swept away by high seas.
A statement from the Cook Islands government said reports
indicated that about 90 percent of property had been destroyed
on Manihiki and Rakahanga, two tiny atolls on the South Pacific
nation's northern fringe.
- A "super-typhoon" packing winds of
125 mph edged toward southeast Asia, with experts warning of massive destruction with landslides
and flooding if it makes landfall.
Super-typhoon Keith was some 2,000 kilometres east of the
Philippines and moving slowly towards the main island of Luzon.
- At least two people died and many
others were missing off Cambodia's southern coast after Typhoon
Linda battered cargo and fishing vessels in the Gulf of Thailand.
- Residents of Thailand's southern coastal
regions were warned Monday to move out of flood-prone areas in
the path of Typhoon Linda, which was moving west after raking
southern Vietnam at the weekend.
- Typhoon Linda has claimed at least
three lives with 80 more fishermen missing after the storm's assault
on southern Thailand.
in Vietnam the death toll has risen to 178 and
nearly 1,000 people are reported missing as Vietnam's army and navy
led rescue operations.
- At least 85 people have died in
rain-related accidents in the past two weeks in the southern Indian
state of Tamil Nadu, the Press Trust of India said.
- A 60-year-old man drowned in waves
caused by Typhoon Keith in the Pacific on Wednesday, bringing the
death toll in Japan to five in two days.
- Vietnam's biggest-ever search and rescue
operation has saved some 900 fishermen whose boats were swamped by a
deadly typhoon last Sunday.
The death toll from what has been called th country's worst
storm of the century has risen to 336 and 1,864 fisherman are still
missing and feared dead.
- At least 31 people were killed and others
were missing in flash floods that crippled parts of
Some of the victims drowned in their homes as streams and
rivers overflowed their banks in the province of Badajoz,
sending walls of water sweeping through towns and villages.
The rains Wednesday night were the heaviest in memory to hit
the southwest corner of the Iberian peninsula.
- The death toll five days after Typhoon
Linda struck the southern coast of Vietnam has reached 358 and
another 1,945 fisherman are still missing, officials said on
Figures obtained from the offices of Storm and Flood Control
Committees in 12 provinces of the Mekong delta show that 607 people
were injured and hundreds of millions of dollars of damage was
- A New Zealand air force search for 13
people missing after Cyclone Martin Manihiki atoll was called off
with nobody being found, government officials said here.
Manihiki cannot receive cyclone warnings over the national radio
station if they are made during the day time. Radio Active manager
Teararoa Mani said the station broadcasts on an AM frequency which
is hard to pick up in the northern group.
The radio station is facing a formal complaint from the
Meteorological Office after it refused to broadcast a cyclone update
Saturday morning. The station had an outside broadcast at the time
of a local band who had paid for air time.
- A bolt of lightning killed
six elephants in Kruger Park, South Africa's largest game reserve,
as they tried to shelter from a storm.
South Africa is among the countries of the world most severely
affected by lightning.
- Torrential rains in the southern
Indian state of Tamil Nadu have claimed 108 lives over the past 20
days, a minister told the Press Trust of India Friday.
Tamil Nadu revenue minister Nanchil Manoharan said 45 men, 45
women and 18 children had died due to lightning, house collapses and
electrocution during monsoon rains since the middle of last month.
- Production of tea in Kenya is
likely to fall by 30 to 35 percent next year due to erratic weather
conditons, East African Tea Trade Association chairman Eustace
- Torrential rain and flooding in
southwest Somalia over the past two weeks has resulted in the deaths
of 23 people, the radio of north Mogadishu strongman Ali Mahdi
Mohamed reported Saturday, quoting community leaders.
- Tropical storm Rick has been upgraded to a
hurricane as it gains strength 115 miles southwest of Mexico's Pacific
- Hurricane Rick pounded Mexico's
Pacific coast, cutting off villages, closing ports and forcing
the evacuation of hundreds of people.
The storm touched land about 12 miles west of the tourist
center of Puerto Escondido after forming over the Pacific Ocean.
- Some 600 people are in immediate danger
of being drowned by flooding in Somalia, the Red Cross warned.
They are further threatened by crocodiles, snakes, hyenas and
- Three women and three children were found
dead in flooding and storms across the country, the
official news agency KUNA said.
One of the women was struck by lightning and the five other
Air traffic at Kuwait's international airport has been seriously
disrupted and more than 100 car accidents have been registered as a
result of the heavy rains.
- Water services in the Philippine capital
may be drastically cut because of a drop in levels at the city's
main reservoir, a report said.
Areas that enjoyed 24-hour service will be see it cut to 12
hours, while those having 12-hour water service will see it cut to
six hours with other areas also seeing reductions.
- Malaysia plans to use Russian
satellite technology to create man-made cyclones to clear the haze
which has often shrounded the country since July, reports said
Science, Technology and Environment Minister Law Hieng Ding said
the technology would be a cheaper and more effective alternative to
the current cloud-seeding operations.
Rain from an artificial cyclone was capable of clearing a high
volume of particulate matters in the air over a sizeable area, Law
was quoted as saying in the New Straits Times daily.
- The death toll from widespread flooding
in southern Somalia has risen to 516, and food is running out amid
an epidemic of malaria, aid agencies reported.
- High winds and snow have been
lashing Atlantic Canada for several hours, disrupting ferry services in
some parts of the region.
The blizzard, which began early today, has already dumped heavy snow
on parts of Labrador and Newfoundland.
Weather officials says more than 8 inches of snow have fallen
in Labrador, and the bad weather is continuing.
- Indian meteorologists
dismissed fears that the smog from Indonesian forest fires was
spreading across the Bay of Bengal towards the country's southern
The experts said the present wind pattern ruled out such a
The reaction came a day after Sri Lankan metereological
department warned that smoke over Colombo and other parts of the
island was actually part of the Indonesian smog, and which was also
spreading to India.
- Sudden heavy snowfall in southern Ontario
and parts of eastern Canada has caught local officials unawares and
temporarily disrupted airports and traffic in major cities.
Weather officials had said earlier that Canada should expect a mild
winter because of the warming effect of the El Nino phenomenon in the
Pacific, but had also warned that sudden cold waves were possible.
- Want a cyclone named after you? All you
have to do is write to the World Meteorological Organization in
Geneva and your request will be passed on to the right circles.
"The WMO gives the names to storms. It's a serious affair, and
part of the public warning system. That way, people pay more
attention to the alert," WMO spokeswoman Eirah Gorre-Dale said.
- Record cold temperatures in
northeastern Mexico have left 12 people dead, authorities reported.
In the northern state of Sonora, where four of the deaths
occurred, some 470 people have been hospitalized with respiratory
infections and other ailments attributed to the cold.
- Tourist arrivals to the resort island of
Bali fell 10 percent in October following extensive international
coverage of the haze coming from forest fires around Indonesia,
reports said Sunday.
- A snow storm shut down municipal
transport and the airport in Russia's economically-depressed far
eastern outpost of Vladivostok, ITAR-TASS reported.
The city of more than one million people was "shut off from the
outside world," the ITAR-TASS said, due to heavy snow falls and high
Authorities told ITAR-TASS that as much as three months' snow
had fallen in one day.
- Thousands of people were
starving in the town of Beletwein in central Somali town after being marooned by
raging floods when the Shabelle river burst its banks following
weeks of torrential rains.
- Rescue officials said there was
little hope of finding 3,200 people still missing some two weeks
after Typhoon Linda ravaged the southern coast of Vietnam.
- The south of Ireland was put on full
flood alert after rivers burst their banks and a train was
derailed by a landslip following more than 24 hours of rain.
Meteorological officials said more than 55 millimetres of rain had fallen.
The worst flooding was reported in the southeast around
Waterford, Kilkenny, Clonmel and Tullow.
- Global rainfall has risen about two
percent since the start of the century, according to a new study
from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Published in the Journal of Climate, the study says rainfall has
increased 2.4 millimeters (0.096 inch) per decade since the start of
- The smoky haze which choked Southeast
Asia for months is virtually gone with the onset of the monsoon
season and a sharp reduction in forest fires in Indonesia, regional
- Aid agencies helping relief work for
flood-stricken Somalia said that the country's two
main rivers had merged in places, causing floodplains over eight
'Our reports say the Juba and Shabelle rivers have merged,
flooding huge areas,' said Elizabeth Kramer of UNICEF.
Over 1,200 people have been killed and tens of thousands
been made homeless by fierce rains which have caused rivers and
streams to burst their banks in the past four weeks.
- The El Nino phenomenon is expected
to cause the worst drought in 100 years in the southern African
region this summer and create severe food shortages for an estimated
five million people, a World Food Programme (WFP) official said
"About 27 million people live in the high risk countries of
Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zambia," WFP
executive director Cathrine Bertini told a press conference here.
- A devastating cyclone which roared
through the Cook Islands earlier this month decimated the center of
the lucrative black pearl industry, but pearlers are optimistic
their fragile oysters will survive.
The cyclone caused around 3.7 million US dollars of damage to buildings on Manihiki, the center of the black
- El Nino has
brought drought to nearly half the Philippines, with 36 provinces
suffering a severe rain shortage, the government weather bureau said.
Rainfall was less than 40 percent of the normal rate over the
past three months in large swathes of the main island of Luzon, the
central islands of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Panay, Negros,
Samar, and parts of the southern island of Mindanao, the bureau
- At least 40 people have been injured in
the town of Covington (near New Orleans, USA) after a tornado struck.
- Hyenas competing for dry ground are
attacking Somalis marooned by the worst floods in living memory.
The American Refugee Committee said the hyenas were competing
with 6,000 to 10,000 people for dry land around the southern town of
Hagar, on the Juba River.
Another area, it said, was "hippo-infested," and other agencies
say crocodiles are a major menace.
More than 1,300 Somalis are confirmed dead since the Juba broke
its banks on October 18, and close to 230,000 people have fled
- Heavy rains lashed much of Italy, causing road accidents which killed 15 people.
More than 100 road accidents occurred in the Rome area within 24
hours, causing the death of one man, while most of the other fatal
accidents occurred near Campobasso and Caserta.
Firefighters received hundreds of calls for flooding, damages to
homes or uprooted trees.
The bad weather may have also caused the crash of a helicopter
in which four people died near Salerno on Friday.
- Torrential rains continue to pound east
Africa, but relief agencies said that the first rescue boats
had reached some of the most inaccessible areas in southern
- Torrential rains in Athens and Corinth
caused flooding in around 130 apartment blocks, disrupted traffic
and sowed widespread panic in both cities at the weekend.
The heavy rains threw the Greek capital into chaos, blocking
traffic in and around the centre.
More than 100 apartment blocks were flooded in Corinth, 80
km from the capital, after torrential rains hit
the city late on Sunday.
The harsh weather led port authorities in Piraeus and Rafina to
cancel crossings to the Greek islands.
- Torrential rains attributed
to El Nino left two more dead here and flooding was disrupting daily
activities including commerce and transportation.
Two peopledrowned when the Chimbo river crested east Guayaquil (Ecuador),
bringing to 32 the number of people who have died in Ecuador this
year because of weather blamed on El Nino.
- Two children were killed and several
people were injured as a storm dumped torrents of water, whipped up
60 mph winds and forced officials to cut off
electricity in Asuncion (Paraguay).
- Thousands of people in northeastern
China suffered a severe water crisis following a several-month-long
disappearance of flow in the lower reaches of the Yellow River.
Tens of thousands in the northeastern Shandong province had
difficulty drawing drinking water after a 220-day dry spell, which
ended November 21, forcing Chinese authorities to open the
reservoirs in the river's upper reaches.
- Two days of torrential rains attributed to
El Nino left five dead and forced 5,000 to evacuate, leaving a
bedraggled landscape of ruined crops and destroyed power lines in Peru.
- Asian typhoons will be given Asian
names under a proposal to end the use of American names and give the
storms a more regional identity.
A week long meeting of Asian weather experts started in Hong Kong
to draw up a new system for naming typhoons.
- Cyclone Osea caused extensive damage
on Bora Bora and Maupiti islands in French Polynesia.
Up to 95 percent of houses and
infrastructure on Maupiti island were destroyed.
In the neighbouring Bora Bora island, 30 percent of the houses
were destroyed by cyclone Osea. Its city hall, hospital and a road
girding it have been completely destroyed. re destroyed.
- El Nino
flattened the 1997 Atlantic hurricane season but was
unlikely to have the same effect in 1998. Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University also said in a
season-ending report that the slow 1997 season capped the
busiest three-year period of hurricane activity on record.
The season, which officially ends Sunday, produced seven
named storms, three of which became hurricanes.
- This year is set to be the world's
hottest on record.
A report from the British Metereological Office and the
University of East Anglia
predicted the earth's surface air temperature will be about 0.43C
warmer than the 1961-90 average.
Up to now, 1995 was the warmest year on record - 0.38C above normal.
- El Nino drought conditions have already
hit the Pacific Marshall Islands and are expected to worsen in the coming
months for a country that is almost entirely dependent on rain for
The peak of the expected drought will be January
through March, when forecasters predict there will be less than one
inch of rain per month.
- Water supplies in the Philippine capital
will be rationed from Monday owing to drought caused by El Nino.
"Essentially, some areas will have tap water in the day time and
the rest will have theirs at night".
- Uncontrolled bush fires fueled by
a relentless heat wave are raging across the southeast Australian
province of New South Wales.
A weekend forecast for more hot weather, high winds and sudden
thunderstorms has heightened concerns that the fires could encircle
The fires began Wednesday, when lightning strikes from thunderstorms
triggered blazes along the eastern seaboard.
- The death toll from diseases linked to
the severe drought in Indonesia's easternmost province of Irian Jaya
has risen to more than 600, with a further 103 casualties reported,
- Meteorologists at the National Hurricane
Center in Miami say the 1997 Atlantic-Caribbean hurricane season ends
Sunday as one of the weakest in years.
For the first time since 1961 there were no named tropical storms or
hurricanes in the peak months of August and September.
The Atlantic was hit by seven named storms, three hurricanes and one
intense hurricane during the season, compared to an average of 10
storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
In August, long-range forecaster William Gray's team at Colorado
State University predicted an active year of 11 named storms, six
hurricanes and two intense hurricanes for the season, which runs from
June 1 through Nov. 30.
- Many in southern Colorado woke up
today under a thick, wet blanket of snow.
Storms dumped more than three feet of snow over the Rocky
Mountains' southern foothills.
- The death toll is still rising after
more than a month of torrential rains over east Africa, aid
In Somalia, the worst-hit country, the death toll from drowning
and disease had increased by 13 between Thursday and Friday,
boosting the total to 1,487 dead.
World weather news, December 1997
- At least 44 people died and 100 were
injured when a powerful storm lashed two northern Indian states.
The newspaper said the storm hit parts of Uttar Pradesh and the
neighbouring province of Bihar, affecting about 35
villages, destroying 1,000 homes and disrupting electricity and
- Provinces in Atlantic Canada
have received a second major snowfall in the past two weeks.
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have received
about 40 cm of snow, forcing the closure of many of
The snow, accompanied by high winds, has led to the cancellation of
ferry service between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
- Early winter snow caused air and road
traffic chaos in France, closing Paris's second airport,
Orly, for six hours and causing mammoth traffic jams on main roads.
At one stage, 170 miles of traffic jams built
up around the capital and authorities banned trucks from motorways
leading to and circling the capital.
- Venezuelan public health officials should be
bracing for an epidemic of malaria next year brought on the warm dry
weather of El Nino.
Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
say that malaria cases increase by about one third following years of El
Nino, which are marked by unusually warm, dry weather.
The researchers analyzed statistics from 1910 to 1935 and then from
1975 to 1995, looking at both disease rates and the years when there
were El Ninos.
- The permanent snowcap on Peru's highest
peaks has been melting slowly over the course of the century, a
glacier expert warned.
The Broggi glacier in north-central Peru has receded 766 metres,
the Uruashraju 650 m and the
Yanamaruy glacier 530 m in the past 100 years,
said Benjamin Morales Arnao of the Andean Institute of Glaciology.
Morales Arnao warned that the melting could bring natural
disasters that would dirupt agriculture, industry and water supplies
- Snow and ice brought traffic to a
standstill over much of Spain early today, leaving hundreds of
motorists stranded, particularly in the central and northeastern
Traffic officials said the Civil Guard, the Red Cross and rescue
teams had distributed food and blankets to motorists trapped in
their cars, hundreds of which were strewn across the roads and
blocked in snowdrifts, notably in Castille and Aragon regions.
- Philippine President Fidel Ramos is to
declare a "state of calamity" in Manila due to a severe water
shortage which has forced the city's utilities to ration tap water.
- Rain along Australia's eastern
seaboard on Friday brought relief to thousands of weary,
soot-faced firefighters battling bushfires that have killed two
men, but unless the rain continues relief could be short-lived.
- Snow caused traffic chaos in Romania, forcing hundreds of motorists to spend the night in their
cars after unusually heavy falls of snow.
The worst snow fell around the regions of Botosani, Suceava and
- The Cook Islands was Saturday facing
its third cyclone in just over a month.
Officials declared Cyclone Pam was 225 km
southwest of the northern atoll of Rakahanga and was moving
south-southeast and slowly intensifying.
- The El Nino weather system is being
blamed for rain and thunderstorms that have dumped more than five inches
of rain in some areas of Southern California, USA, creating a traffic
nightmare and driving residents from flooded homes.
Portions of Interstate 5 and the Pacific Coast Highway south of Los
Angeles have been shut down because of up to two feet of rain on the
- A Japanese freighter grounded
off the Aleutian port of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, has spilled up to
100,000 gallons, nearly 10 times the amount originally
estimated, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The Kuroshima, a cargo vessel that slammed into a rock last
week, has been hammered by Aleutian storms for days, causing it
to leak more oil.
The 386-foot Kuroshima struck a rock Nov. 26 after its
anchor was snapped in a severe storm. Two crew members were
killed in the collision, and the remaining 16 on board were
rescued by the Coast Guard.
- Aitutaki islanders were confident they
would come through Cyclone Pam without serious problems as rain
lashed the island, pushed by winds gusting up to 150 kilometres an hour.
The islands of Rurutu and Rimatara, to the east along the
Austral oceanic ridge, were put on alert after meteorological
reports monitored in French Polynesian capital Papeete warned the
cyclone could hit there.
Rarotonga residents meanwhile were throwing rope over their
roofs and tying them to coconut trees or heavy objects, including in
one case an old diesel engine.
- Heavy unseasonal rains have killed
at least six people and destroyed crops in the southern Indian state
of Andhra Pradesh.
Several houses were damaged in coastal areas following the
downpour over the past few days.
- Scientists say new satellite photos
show that the volume of warm water linked to El Nino has receded over
the past month, but they're not ready to say the powerful weather
phenomenon is over.
Chief project scientist Dr. Lee-Luenge Fu at NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., says the photos taken from space show
the amount of warm water has decreased 10 to 20 percent since November.
The photos were taken by NASA's Topex/Poseidon satellite, which was
launched five years ago to measure how changing temperatures affect the
- A wind-whipped snowstorm moving through
Colorado, USA, piled six-foot-deep drifts in some areas but residents are
relieved to hear that temperatures will approach 60F this
- Dozens of flights were canceled at
O'Hare International Airport and Chicago commuters slogged
through heavy wet snow Wednesday as a moderately powerful storm
swept across the Midwest USA.
As much as eight inches of snow blanketed parts of Missouri
and central Illinois, although many areas received a messy blend
of snow and rain that made driving hazardous and walking
- Around 4,000 people have been trapped on
a dyke for a month by floods in Somalia, the International Committee
of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.
The ICRC said more than 100,000 people have been affected by the
floods in southern Somalia, which is also wracked by civil war.
- The El Nino weather pattern is
still growing in the eastern Pacific, outpacing the last major
event in 1982-83 and threatening serious storms along the coasts
of North and South America, scientists said.
'This is already an extremely strong, mature El Nino,'
Gerry Bell of the National Weather Service told a news
conference at a American Geophysical Union meeting.
- Typhoon Paka, with winds gusting to 240
kilometres per hour, slashed its way through the western
Marshall Islands, bringing flooding which has damaged
hundreds of homes.
Several islands on the remote Ailinglaplap Atoll, where about
2,000 islanders live, reported that 70 percent of local houses had
been blown down or had lost their roofs, while most of the coconut
trees were damaged or destroyed.
- A frigid Arctic cold wave has left
11 people dead in northern Mexico and snowstorms have paralyzed much
of the area.
Temperatures have plummeted to -14C sending people to shelters to escape the cold.
In the state of Nuevo Leon three people have died and many roads
remain closed because of up to 40 cm of snow
that has blanketed the region.
The cold spell that some experts linked to the El Nino weather
phenomenon brought historic snowfalls to cities as far south as
Guadalajara. It snowed in the city for the first time since
1881, radio reports there said.
- A rough storm bringing high winds
and flooding has killed at least two people and forced the
evacuation of more than 1,000 in central Argentina.
In the province of Cordoba at least 1,000 people were left
homeless by flooding.
- The fetid carcasses of tiny seal and sea lion corpses dot the
beaches of San Miguel Island, California, birds picking at the bodies, as dozens of other abandoned
California pups in varying stages of dying wait for their mothers.
Scientists say they are victims of the "El Nino" climate
phenomenon that has warmed the ocean enough that squid, herring,
anchovies and sardines - the seals' and sea lions' usual prey -
have moved further north to deeper and cooler waters.
San Miguel Island normally has the largest population of seals
and sea lions south of Alaska, due to a phenomenon called
"upwelling" that produces nutrient-rich waters for plants and fish.
- Four people were killed and 22 injured in
torrential rains and flooding in the Delta in northeastern Egypt and
the Sinai peninsula.
- Village food crops are dying and water
borne diseases are on the rise in Fiji as a drought caused by the El
Nino weather phenomenon intensifies.
The dry spell which began in September is now "quite critical",
said Fiji's Director of Meteorology, Rajendra Prasad.
Last month Nadi, in Fiji's west, recorded only 4mm
of rain, lower than the record 7mm set in 1953.
- The deep South (USA) got a surprise taste of
winter, as up to 8 inches of snow fell in central
Mississippi and 2 to 3 inches was reported in other parts of the
The National Weather Service said 8 inches of snow fell in
Linwood, Philadelphia, and near Clinton, Miss., Sunday. Jackson
received almost 5 inches of unexpected snow, the heaviest since
1982 and the second largest December snowfall on record.
- An unusual snowfall has blanketed some
western and central areas of Mexico after a sudden cold spell chilled
the country and surprised its residents.
The lowest temperature in Mexico City overnight was 3C
while some mountainous areas in the
northern states of Durango and Chihuahua, which lies along the West
Texas border, reported temperatures as low as -19C.
Most people in Mexico have never seen snow as light snow only falls
in high areas in Mexico, around Mexico City, and in mountains in the
Experts of the National Meteorological Service said the unusual
snowfall might be linked to 'El Nino' climate phenomenon as thick
humidity mixed with the cold front coming from the north.
- Temperatures in the Russian capital fell
overnight to minus -27.3C, experts
said Monday, breaking a record set more than 100 years ago.
Anatoly Yakovlev, a spokesman for the State Hydrometeorological
Committee, told the ITAR-TASS news agency that Monday was the
coldest December 15 on record, colder than the minus 26.5C
recorded in 1882.
- Record cold continued to grip much of
Russia, killing at least five people overnight in
Moscow, officials said.
Overnight temperatures fell to -28.8C
in central Moscow and -32C outside the
center, breaking a 1902 record of -28C for December 16.
- The southern Russian town of Sochi was
plunged into crisis Tuesday after a cold snap cut power supplies to
apartment blocks, ITAR-TASS reported, quoting local emergency
Ice caused a breakdown of power lines in remote mountain areas,
and electricity supplies were only reaching the town's boilers,
water pumping stations and essential social services, ITAR-TASS
- Temperatures plunged below freezing
across Britain Tuesday as a cold snap fed by Siberian winds swept
In London and around southern England temperatures fell as low
as minus -6C while snow falls
were recorded on high ground.
- The death toll in flooding in Somalia
hit 1,827 as cholera swept through east Africa and aid
agencies said they would provide food for more than 600,000 Somalis
- A bitter Arctic cold has claimed the
lives of at least 19 people across western Russia, Ukraine and
eastern Europe, with tempertures plunging to -45C in places, officials said Tuesday.
Cold, heavy snowfall and strong winds caused havoc in Russia,
Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, causing power outages and
forcing roads, schools and cinemas to close.
A state of emergency was declared in Ukraine's Donbass region.
- Icy cold weather and snow have
disrupted traffic in the eastern and southwestern parts of
Yugoslavia, while the state electricity supply company has called on
consumers to moderate their use of power.
Temperatures have fallen below -10C,
icing up the capital Belgrade and higher
regions in particular.
- Ice and snow gripped much of
Europe on Wednesday as the death toll from a vicious cold snap
climbed to around 50.
Fifteen people have died from the cold in Poland as
temperatures have plummeted to around -20C.
Seven frozen corpses were collected from the streets of the
Romanian capital on Tuesday.
In southwestern Germany, a sudden warm front brought rain
that fell upon frozen ground and created a sheet of ice that
caused hundreds of accidents. Police said several cars and
trucks on the motorway near Freiburg had skidded and flipped off
- Heavy overnight snowfalls and freezing
rain disrupted traffic in France, with huge traffic jams
around Paris and roads blocked in both the west and east of the
Reported tailbacks around the French capital totalled 160 miles.
- More than 60 llamas died in western
Argentina when unusually low temperatures and freezing rain arrived
just after the animals had been sheared.
More than 200 mm of rain fell on the
area in La Pampa province where the ranch is located.
- The U.S. territory of Guam in the Western
Pacific has woken up to plenty of devastation from Typhoon Paka, but
fortunately no deaths have been reported.
Maximum wind gusts of 220 mph were reported in the slow-moving storm that
pounded the island for much of Tuesday night as some 1,200 people spent
the night in public shelters.
- More than 60 people have died in a
wave of savage winter weather that has struck most of Mexico, news
- At least five people have died from
a cold wave sweeping northern India, press reports said Thursday.
Three of the deaths took place Tuesday and Wednesday in the
northern desert state of Rajasthan while two men froze to death
while sleeping on the pavement of the national capital.
- Icy weather has killed at least 13
people in Romania, most of them homeless men in the capital
Bucharest where temperatures sank to a 20-year low.
Temperatures hit minus -20C in
Bucharest - the lowest since 1977 - and sank to -22C in the Danube ports of Alexandria
and Bechet on the border with Bulgaria.
- The Minnesota (USA) tourism industry today is scrambling to come up with
alternatives since Mother Nature has failed to provide the usual blanket
of snow for skiiers, snowmobilers and others.
Organizers of this weekend's snowmobile race in Brainerd say they are
trucking in 2,000 yards of snow for the event. They've also asked Spirit
Mountain to put the snow-making machines on standby, just in case.
Temperatures in Minnesota have been way above normal lately, with
Wednesday's high of 45F, about 20F above normal.
As of Wednesday, Minneapolis had received only 1.2 inches of snow for
the month and only 9.8 inches for the season. Normally, Minneapolis
receives 19 inches of snow in December.
- Panama will restrict the depth of
ships passing through the Panama canal next year because of a drought
related to the El Nino weather phenomenon, officials announced.
- Cholera continued to spread in east
Africa as torrential rain cut the main road linking
landlocked Uganda with Kenya and the Indian Ocean.
The official cholera death toll in Uganda - previously free of
the disease for 25 years - rose to 77.
- Six days after Typhoon Paka struck, the
Pacific island of Guam is still in darkness as residents clean up debris
scattered by the most powerful winds recorded in 20 years.
Typhoon Paka roared across Guam on Dec. 16, packing winds of up to
- Floods have left nearly 300 Malawians
homeless in the lakeshore and central district of Nkhotakota, 200
k north of the administrative capital Lilongwe.
Heavy rains, described as the worst for 10 years, have pounded
the normally dry region since Thursday, causing rivers to break
their banks and flooding the mud-and-thatch homes of locals.
- A cold wave has claimed six more lives
in northern Indian, taking the death toll to 11.
Large parts of northern India, at the lower reaches of the
Himalaya mountains, are experiencing a bitter winter.
- A snowstorm moved into New England, USA from the
southwest, dumping an inch an hour in some places.
- The Congo River has burst its banks,
flooding parts of the city and region of Kisangani in the east of
the country and rendering water supplies undrinkable.
Six children died from consuming unclean water, the official
radio of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported.
- At least 20 people died from flooding in Tanzania, the Kiswahili newspaper
The paper said that 17 people died when their houses collapsed
following heavy rain in the northern Tanzanian town
- Floods have killed four people and left
some 1.500 Malawians homeless in the lakeshore central and northern
districts of the tiny nation.
- High winds caused the crash-landing at
Amsterdam airport of a Boeing-757 owned by the Dutch airline
Transavia on a flight from the Canary Islands.
The plane, which was carrying 205 passengers and eight crew, was
on a flight from Las Palmas, on Gran Canaria island, when it
crash-landed in force eight winds.
- Four people died and tens of thousands of
people were left without electricity after a violent storm lashed
Britain and Ireland, with winds reaching 100 mph.
Three people were killed in road accidents in Britain blamed on
the weather. Two women in the northern city of Liverpool died when
trees fell on their cars while a motorcyclist was killed in Wales
when his bike was destabilised by the wind.
Coastguards said late Thursday they had suspended the search for
a French trawler with five men on board, which disappeared in the
- Thailand will resort to making rain next
year as it braces for what is expected to be its worst drought in 50
More than 70 aircraft borrowed from the air force and the
private sector will take to the skies from February to October to
sow clouds in an effort to boost badly depleted reservoirs, the
Bangkok Post reported.
- As many as 10 people may have died and
thousands of others were left without power after devastating winds
swept across much of Great Britain during the past two days.
Weathermen say the storm is the worst to hit the British Isles in
Authorities say the bad weather was responsible for a number of road
accidents in which at least four people were killed. Hurricane-force
winds of up to 111 mph were recorded in North Wales.
One man was killed when a dance hall collapsed on him.
- The death toll during a cold snap in
Bangladesh has risen to at least 38 in the past week.
Most people stayed indoors as the temperature fell below 10C
in the region. The lowest
temperature of 8.2C was recorded in the northeastern
district of Iswardy on Thursday.
- The Papua New Guinea drought remains at
crisis point with 15 children dying in recent days and almost
700,000 people still in extreme danger, an aid organisation said.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo has
declared its eastern Kisangani region a disaster area after more
than 7,000 people were left homeless by flooding from the Congo
- Two tornadoes have hit central
Florida, injuring at least eight people and damaging nearly 100 mobile
homes and permanent residences.
The injuries, all at Haines City, Fla., were not considered life-
- A cyclone in Australia's Gulf of
Carpentaria had intensified and was heading for coastal and island
communities in Queensland state, the Bureau of Meterology said
Tropical Cyclone Sid, now a category two cyclone, was located in
the middle of the gulf in Australia's far north.
- California hydrologists say precipitation
is about 110 percent of normal for the water year that began Oct. 1, and
the El Nino weather pattern promises further storms.
The Department of Water Resources says the pattern will likely
persist into next spring.
- The Deep South (USA) awoke to a dusting of snow that sent cars careening into each other and forced
airlines to delay flights.
The storm blew through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and
South Carolina before heading north up the East Coast.
Temperatures hovered near freezing.
- A heavy snowstorm has hit eastern Ontario and
parts of Quebec provinces (Canada), after bypassing southern Ontario where it had
been earlier forecast.
High wind and heavy snow began hitting Ottawa overnight, also
blanketing Cornwall, Kingston and Belleville in Ontario, and Montreal in
- Icy roads triggered numerous accidents
across Indiana (USA), killing two people, while upstate New
York was paralyzed by heavy snow and a cargo ship sank in
storm-tossed seas off Florida.
- The nor'easter that dumped almost two
feet of snow on East Tennessee has covered central New York with the
A state of emergency has been declared in the Syracuse area, and the
airport has been closed. Further south in Ithaca, traffic is prohibited
and even plows have gotten stuck in the snow.
- Temperatures rose in 1997 to give England
its third warmest year since records began more than 300 years ago,
according to a report by Britain's Meterological Office.
The Central England Temperature - the longest running
temperature record in the world, dating from 1659 - was 10.57
degrees centigrade, according to the study.
There have only been two warmer years than 1997: 1990 with a
mean CET of 10.63 degrees C and 1949 which was 10.62 degrees C.
- Tibet is suffering from its heaviest
snowfalls on record which have claimed the lives of 100,000 cattle,
the official Chinese press said Wednesday.
The heavy snow storms which began in September and which have
worsened in the past three weeks are the worst since records began
34 years ago, the Xinhua news agency said.
Average temperatures were between -30 and -40C with 10 cm
of snow every 24 hours in some areas.
- The El Nino weather phenomenon could be
causing an unseasonal outbreak of the mosquito-borne dengue fever in
Thailand, a senior health official was reported saying.
Cases of dengue fever, which are usually restricted to the rainy
season, have been reported in the dry season which began in October,
according to the public health ministry.
If you have a snippet of weather news that you feel merits inclusion, then please feel free to email it to me.
Last updated 28 September 2015.