The Heat Is Online

Extreme Weather 2001 -- Part II (July-Dec.)

In early July, one of the worst typhoons in memory left 55 people dead in the Philippines and Taiwan before bearing down on Hong Kong and China more... Meanwhile, in Strasbourg France 11 people were killed, 85 injured and thousands of basements flooded by a storm packing winds of 93 m.p.h. more... While in in the worst flooding in the history of West Virginia, a series of torrential rainstorms left millions of dollars and displaced scores of families more... While in central Washington, the deadliest wildfires in seven years killed four firefighters and burned thousands of acres more... In late July, more than 150 people were killed in some of the most torrential rains seen in Pakistan for decades more... The same flooding killed hundreds of people and left more than a million without homes in India's Orissa state more... At the same time, firefighters in Wyoming battled more than six days to protect homes from a 3,000-acre wildfire more... In late July, the U.N. reported that a protracted drought in Central America, the region's worst disaster since Hurricane Mitch, had left more than a half million people short of food more... At the same time, intense flooding drove the evacuation of hundreds of residents from their villages in southern Poland more... while the worst typhoon to hit Taiwan in several years killed as many as 200 people and left hundreds missing more... In Iran, a devastating drought has dried up lakes, destroyed ecosystems and left more than $2.5 billion in agricultural losses more... while a strong heatwave stretched from Texas to Minnesota at the beginning of August. The heat claimed the life of Korey Stringer, a football player for the Minnesota Vikings, and left Austin, Texas reeling after 21 consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures more... The heat wave ended in Chicago when a torrential downpour dropped four inches of rain on the city in one hour, flooding homes, snarling traffic and paralyzing the city more... Hot, dry conditions in the western U.S. triggered wildfires in seven states, spurring concerns about a second consecutive summer of extensive forest fires more... In early August, days of torrential rain triggered mudslides in Indonesia which killed 60 and swept away entire villages more... while flash floods left hundreds homeless in Tennessee, North Carolina and western Virginia more... The heat wave that swept the Midwestern US returned with a vengeance in early August, killing scores of people, setting new records and stressing the nation's power supplies more...while in drought-stricken Iran, the worst flash flooding in 200 years killed as many as 300 people more... Meanwhile, dried-up wetlands, shrinking aquifers and persistently low lake levels have led to concerns about a crisis in fresh-water supplies in the next 20 years in many areas of the US more... Wildfires ravaged parts of Nevada in what was their driest summer since 1872 more... while in Washington, D.C., an intense storm left the worst storm damage in 30 years more... In mid-August, officials called in the military to help fight wildfires in the western U.S. which had spread to more than a half million acres more... while in Tokyo, one of the worst typhoons in memory dropped 8 inches of rain, snarled traffic, grounded planes and led to the deaths of seven people more... In late August, the U.N. announced that protracted drought followed by intense, destructive rains had put millions at risk of food shortages in Sudan, adding that extreme weather and political conflict had generated food emergencies in 17 Sub-Saharan African countries more... By late August, the prolonged drought in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador had left more that 1.5 million farmers with no crops to harvest and no food to sell more... By the end of August, wildfires in the western U.S. had consumed more than 200,000 acres more...

In early September, Typhoon Janas left nearly 10,000 travelers stranded in Japan as strong rains, lashing winds and mudslides wracked the country more... A week later, scores were killed and injured as Taiwan was inundated by what officials called "unprecedented" rainfall more... By mid September, the worst drought in 30 years in Iran had dried up lakes, turned breezes into sandstorms and triggered water rationing in 30 cities more... In northeastern China, a prolonged drought, following intense blizzards, has spawned a plague of locusts that is destroying grasslands for herders more... In late September, as millons of refugees fled their homes in Afghanistan, officials worried that a four-year drought would leave them without sufficient drinking water more... While in Florida, long periods of dry weather punctuated by intense downpours, inflated the normal mosquito population and triggered a West Nile Virus alert for 75 percent of the state more... As the drought stretched into October, more than 1.5 million people were suffering food shortages in Central America more... At the same time, some of the worst flooding in memory killed 200 in Vietnam and left 1 million people in need of relief more... In Hawaii, the first outbreak of dengue fever infected at least 39 residents more... while, in Belize, the strongest hurricane in 40 years wiped out that country's banana crop more... In mid-October, officials in Brazil announced that 50 million people would be put on four-day-a-week electricity rationing because of a prolongued drought that affected hydropower supplies in the northeastern region more... In coastal India, the heaviest rains in 40 years killed 31 people and caused the evacuation of more than 26,000 people more..., while in the U.S. meteorologists documented a new record of 92 tornadoes in October, normally a quiet month for twisters more... In Argentina, a month of rain caused the worst flooding in memory, triggering the evacuation of some 4,000 families more... Further north, more than 100,000 people were forced from their homes as Honduras and Nicaragua were battered by tropical storm Michelle. The storm strengthened as it reached Cuba, where it forced the evacuation of more than 700,000 people more... At the same time, flash floods sent volcanic boulders rolling down hillsides and officials worried that torrential rains had left more than 350 people dead in the Philippines more... In early November, delegates to the Kyoto climate negotiations saw one aspect of climate change in the form of a four-year drought in Morocco which has depleted water tables, crippled the country's hydroelectric resources and ruined farms -- during what was traditionally that country's rainy season more...

While drought crippled Morocco, the worst flooding in decades in Algeria killed as many as 1,000 people, left more than 5,000 families homeless and created a crisis for the government more... At the same time, the government declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico when storms dumped up to 20 inches of rain on the island more... In Vietnam, the strongest typhoon in 15 years uprooted trees, destroyed homes and forced the evacuation of thousands of people more... Meanwhile, in the eastern U.S., one of the worst fall droughts in memory fueled wildfires and raised concerns about water supplies more... In Kentucky blackened skies caused motorists to drive with headlights on as fires consumed 150,000 acres more... While in Texas, flash flooding stranded hundreds and washed away cars more... In Colorado, following one of the warmest Novembers in history, officials canceled the World Cup ski tournament due to lack of snow more... In late November, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that October, 2001 was hottest October on record more... In late November, while Boston was experiencing a string of 60-degree days, violent weather swept through the South, Midwest and West Coast, killing at least 12 people in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, leaving record snows in South Dakota and plunging parts of California into power outages more... The following day, freak heavy snowfalls killed at least 14 people in Texas and Oklahoma and caused traffic accidents and power outages in the area around Puget Sound more...

At the end of November, Canadian officials announced that four years of unusually warm winters had spurred an 80 percent increase in the population of pine beetles which have ravaged more than 20 million acres of forests more... In early December, the New York Times reported that the drought in Ishfahan in northwestern Iran had left 100,000 farmers out of work, led to drinking water rationing and drained the river that gives the city's its identity more... At the same time, record rainfalls inundated thousands of homes and businesses in the Seattle area more... While in Europe a bitter cold snap left more than 200 dead in Russia and stranded trains in Greece more... In late December, five days of torrential rains killed nearly 50 people in Brazil more... while days of dry, intense heat sparked hundreds of fires around Sydney, Australia, driving at least 1,000 families from their homes more... At the end of December, Buffalo was inundated with more than 82 inches of snow in 5 days, as cold wind crossing over Lake Erie's unusually warm waters triggered a five-day downpour that collapsed buildings, isolated families and shut down the city. more...