The Heat Is Online

Extreme Weather Profile: January - June, 2005

At the beginning of the year, ane area around Los Angeles was hit with two feet of snow which snarled highways and triggered small landslides more . . . In early January, an intense storm system left highways iced-over and buried communities in snow from the Great Plains to New England more . . .  In northern England, intense flooding stranded one ferry, closed roads and and left more than 100,000 people without power more . . .  In January, record rains pounded California, with the state receiving more rain in the first 10 days of 2005 than its yearly average -- while a record 19 feet of snow piled up in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The storm also triggered a massive mudslide in the southern California community of La Conchita that destroyed some 15 homes and killed at least 10  people more . . .  The same storm system played havoc in the Midwestern US, flooding the Ohio River and driving people from their homes in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia more . . .  At the same time, Northern Europe was battered by near-hurricane force winds which closed nuclear plants, left hundreds of thousands without power in Scandinavia and Latvia and killed at least 11 people more. . .  Winds up to 124 miles per hour battered England and Ireland leaving tens of thousands without power more. . .

In mid-January, the famed German ski resort, Garmisch- Partenkirchen, languished for lack of tourist dollars as receding snow lines and increased rain has cut deeply into the ski business more. . .  In Mauritania, a protracted drought, which triggered the largest locust infestation in 15 years, left nearly half million people in urgent need of food aid more . . .  At the same time, torrential rains triggered mudslides in the Pacific Northwest, leaving cattle in the area floating in swollen rivers more . . .  Officials of Guyana appealed for food, boats and generators after the country was inundated by the heaviest rains in more than 100 years more. . .  In late January, a storm system that had inundated the Ohio River Valley moved to the east coast, burying Boston under more than two feet of snow -- and parts of Cape Cod under three feet more . . . 

In late January, in the Saudi Arabian city of Medina, the worst flooding in 20 years left 29 people dead more . . .  On Jan. 27, officials in Boston announced the city had received more snow in January than in any other January in the last 113 years more . . .  In Algeria, the heaviest snowfall in 50 years paralyzed traffic, killed 13 people and isolated a third of the country's population more. . .  A cyclone ripped through southern Madagascar, leaving more than 1,000 people homeless and more than 80 fishermen missing more . . . A rare ice storm battered Georgia, closing airports, stranding travelers and leaving some 300,000 homes without power more . . . 

At the beginning of February, severe winter storms spread ice and snow across the length of Japan, derailing a train, closing airports and causing hundreds of traffic accidents more . . .  A bitter winter storm roared through Europe, cutting off villages in Greece, closing roads in Austria and leaving Bulgaria in a state of emergency more. . .  In Venezuela, unseasonal rains killed another eight people, bring the total to 21 fatalities from floods and mudslides more . . .  In Pakistan, the worst flooding in more than a decade, aggravated by a dam break, caused the deaths of about 300 people more . . .  Intense, unseasonal downpours in Colombia and Venezuela drove more than 40,000 people from their homes and left more than 80 dead more . . .  In late February, Southern California's miseries continued as torrential rains, mudslides and a sinkhole killed at least nine people more . . .  By late February, Singapore's long drought had become the country's most prolonged dry period in nearly three decades more. . .  At the end of February, search teams struggled to find survivors in parts of Afghanistan and Kashmir after snows and avalanches killed hundreds of people during the region's coldest winter in decades more. . .

At the beginning of March, one of the most severe cyclones on record devastated the Cook Islands, leaving only 10 buildings intact more . . .   A severe drought has ravaged much of east Asia, cutting crop yields and even water supplies in countries from India to China to Thailand to the Philippines more. . .  Meanwhile a prolonged drought up the upper Midwestern U.S. has dried the Missouri River to unprecedented low levels in North and South Dakota and Montana more . . .   In early March, heavy flooding in Madagascar left thousands homeless and destroyed that country's rice crop for the second year, raising concerns about serious food shortages more. . .    In late March, torrential rains and melting snow killed more than 200 people and destroyed thousands of homes in Afghanistan more . . .  At the same time, a violent storm tore through Bangladesh injuring 700 people and flattening hundreds of homes more . . .  In mid-April, a surprise snowstorm dumped two feet in parts of Colorado, closing roads, forcing airport shutdowns and filling overflowing truckstops more . . .   Following one of its bitterest winters in memory, Afghanistan was hit by unseasonal snows in late April which killed 21 children more. . .

By late April, a two-year killer drought -- the worst in Australia's history -- had returned, threatening the country's wheat, cotton and sugar crops more . . .   In late April, officials announced that Portugal was suffering through its worst drought in 25 years more . . . In mid April, parts of the Midwest here buried by an unusually late snowstorm which dropped up to 8 inches on parts of Ohio and Michigan more . . .   In western Romania, the worst flooding in 50 years destroyed homes and left some villages under seven feet of water more . . .  Further south, 84 people died in Ethiopia when intense rains burst the banks of a major river more . . .  Ten people were killed and acres of agricultural land were destroyed in Yemen by several days of heavy rain and floods more . . .  In the Georgian city of Tbilisi, the worst flooding in more than a decade damaged rail and power lines and drove villagers from their homes more . . .  while, at the same time, intense flooding in Romania drove thousands of people from their homes more. . .   At the end of April, officials announced the Spain had suffered through its driest winter on record, with the season's rainfall 37 percent below normal more . . . As Australia experienced its hottest April on record, scientists suggested the unseasonal heat was due to climate change more. . .

In early May, the most intense rains in 15 years left eight people dead in the Mexican state of Oaxaca more . . .   In mid May, a freak combination of blizzard and sandstorm killed 15 people in China, in a weather event officials said was unlikely to occur once in a century more . . .  In late May, an unseasonal blizzard left 23 Chilean soldiers dead and another 20 missing more. . .  In Spain, the country's worst drought on record cut grain yields by nearly 30 percent more . . .  In late May, much of Sao Paolo was inundated by some of the heaviest rainfall in Southern Brazil on record more . . .  By the end of May, the six New England states had experienced the third coldest May on record, as the biggest Nor'easter in 30 years stalled over the area for six days more . . .  As New Englanders shivered at the end of May, Seattle residents received their first-ever heat warning, as rising temperatures broke a 58-year-old record more. . . By the end of May, officials announced that the severe drought in parts of Spain had cut many crop yields more than 50 percent more . . .

At the beginning of June, following record rains earlier in the year, a landslide in southern California devastated 18 luxury homes and forced the evacuation of about 1,000 people more . . .  while in southern China, torrential rains left 200 people dead or missing and another 10,000 people homeless more. . .   At the same time, wildfires spread through the forests of Siberia, increasing ten-fold in volume over the last 20 years more. . .  

In early June, Somalia received what was claimed to be the first snowfall in the country's history.  The storm, which blanketed the region, was accompanied by intense windstorms more . . .   At the same time, intense storms and tornadoes cut power to tens of thousands of people in Michigan, Indiana and Oklahoma more . . .   While the killer drought in southern Australia, which entered its third year, has triggered a wave of suicides among farmers who have seen their crops fail and their farms go under more . . .   In Europe a freak cold snap in early June, highlighted by a 16-inch snowfall in Austria,  disrupted life from Scotland to Italy more. . .   After an area in northern New York was inundated by 6 inches of rain in several hours,  a huge mudslide closed one of the major highways between New York and Montreal more . . . 

In New Zealand, forecasters warned that the trend toward increasingly frequent droughts could cripple that country's agriculture in the coming decades more . . .   In Anchorage, an unusually mild winter followed by unseasonal spring rains triggered an explosion of mosquitoes never previously experienced by Alaskan residents more. . .   A massive mudslide in the highlands of Guatemala killed 23 people and left nearly 50 more missing more . . .

In one weekend in late June, intense downpours destroyed hundreds of homes in Afghanistan more. . ., forced mass evacuations in Calgary, Canada more . . . , triggered mudslides that killed 14 people in Taiwan more . . . and  washed away roads, cut off villages left more than 2,500 homes without power in Britain more. . .   Hundreds of people died from sunstroke, heat-stress and dehydration as south Asia endured one of the hottest Junes on record more. . .   In late June, massive rains and mudslides left more than 530 people dead in China and forced the evacuation of 1.4 million others more . . . 

Near the end of June, Spain's worst drought on record triggered forest fires, prompted water rationing and raised fears that it was a harbinger of future drought and desertification in that country more . . .  At the same time, intense rainstorms in El Salvador overflowed rivers and triggered mudslides leaving 29 people dead more . . .  While in southwestern Utah, wildfires consumed some 8,000 acres within 12 hours and triggered evacuations more . . .  At the same time in Italy, where temperatures approached 100 degrees F., officials warned that a million people were at risk from heat-related ailments, a number that could top the country's 8,000 heat-related fatalities in 2003 more . . .  In eastern Australia, intense rains and flooding drove 6,000 people from their homes. The downpours punctuated one of the area's worst droughts in history more . . .