The Heat Is Online

Extreme Weather Profile: July - December, 2006

Intense flooding in Romania near the Ukrainan border inundated some 15,000 acres, damages more than 3,500 homes and killed nine people in early July more. . .  while, at the same time, intense rainstorms and mudslides killed at least 36 people in China more . . . Several weeks later, another typhoon hit China, driving thousands from their homes and killing at least 115 people more . . .   In mid-July, as most of the US struggled under 90+ degree heat, wildfires erupted in nine states, scorching up to 120 square miles in California more . . .  Meanwhile, battered by a succession of torrential rainfalls, officials in South Korea declared a disaster emergency in that country more. . . In July, NOAA announced that the first six months of 2006 were the hottest on record for the US, with widespread drought and record rainfall more. . .  As temperatures hit 100 degrees for only the second time in Britain's history -- and much of Europe was blanketed by a brutal heat wave -- many in the UK blamed the ferocious heat wave on global warming more . . .   In mid-July, an intense tropical storm swept through the interior of China leaving nearly 500 people dead more. . .  At the same time, torrential rains washed away hundreds of thousands of homes and left hundreds of people dead in North Korea more. . .  In California, temperatures hit 115 degrees just east of San Francisco leading to blackouts, several deaths and a state of emergency more . . .   A typhoon which blasted Taiwan also shut down schools and markets in Manila more . . .  As the death toll in California's heat wave reached 56, a heat wave in Europe left 40 people dead in France and crippled the Czech electrical supply system more. . . That same heatwave has raised fears of forest fires in Poland, sent electricity prices rocketing in Germany and caused the suspension of shipping on major rivers as water levels dwindle more. . .  The same heat wave warmed river water, forcing restrictions on nuclear generation in France, Spain and Germany more . . .  By late July, California's heat wave had claimed at least 130 lives more. . .  

In northern Ohio, the skies opened and dropped more than 10 inches of rain, overflowing rivers, flooding homes and driving evacuations of more than 300 people more. . .  Elderly residents were evacuated into "cooling centers" in Chicago and grid operators braced for problems in the Northeast as a brutal heat wave moved eastward from the midwestern to the eastern US  more . . .  An intense typhoon swamped parts of south China forcing the evacuation of nearly a half million people more. . .    As much of the rest of the world sweltered, South Africa was caught in the grip of a deep freeze, with Johannesburg receiving a record eight inches of snow more. . .  Thousands of families were displaced and at least 200 people killed as floodwaters poured through eastern Ethiopia in early August more. . .   Three consecutive days of monsoons left one  million people homeless in  India and more than 170 people dead in Pakistan  more . . .  

In mid-August, southern China was rocked by the strongest typhoon in 50 years which capsized ships, blew down buildings and forced the evacuation of about 1.5 million people more. . .   At the same time, further north, one of the worst droughts on record destroyed millions of acres of crops around Sichuan province in northern China more. . .  In late August, aid groups estimated that the intense flooding in July in North Korea had left more than 54,000 people dead and about two and a half million people homeless more. . .  At the same time, the governor of Washington State declared a wildfire emergency, deploying 3,000 firefighters to fight a spate of fires, one of which spread to 25,000 acres more . . . 

In the midwestern US, a spate of storms and tornadoes destroyed 70 homes, crushed silos and left dozens injured more . . .  While in Spain, one of the worst droughts on record turned water reservoirs into sludge pits more . . .   In the Western U.S., wildfires consumed an area the size of Maryland, as firefighters from as far away as Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico joined American fire fighters to try to contain the blazes in mid-September more. . .   In Bangladesh, fierce storms which washed the bodies of about 50 fishermen ashore, killed more than 100 people and left another 180,000 homeless more. . .   The Midwestern US suffered its second bout of extreme weather in two weeks as storms and tornadoes drove scores from their homes cut of power to thousands and killed 12 people more. . .  In Vietnam, the strongest typhoon in 11 years, with winds exceeding 100 miles an hour, disrupted the lives of more than 60,000 people more. . .   In the UK, meteorologists declared that September, 2006, was Britain's hottest September in at least 277 years more . . .  In mid-October, Richmond, Virginia was inundated by a 9-inch rainfall, causing large scale evacuations and the deaths of at least two fishermen more . . .

Drought, heat and insect infestations in Australia, Argentina, Ukraine and the US have raised wheat prices to 10-year highs and depressed supplies around the world more . . .  Two months after suffering the worst spate of wildfires in its history, parts of Greece were ravaged by torrential rains which washed away roads, bridges and homes more . . .   The worst flooding in 11 years in Thailand and Myanmar swept away roads and bridges and killed at least 13 people more. . .  In mid-October, a freak snowstorm dropped two feet on Buffalo, closing schools, snarling traffic and cutting power to more than 150,000 people more . . .  The following week, the Houston area was paralyzed by a storm that dropped more than 11 inches of rain, closing schools, snarling roads and leading to the deaths of four people more . . .

As Australia's worst drought in a century enters its sixth year, farmers are committing suicide at the rate of one every four days more . . .  In late October, intense wildfires scorched 38 square miles in California, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of families and leaving at least four fatalities more. . .  At the same time, Kansas was pummeled by 24 tornadoes within a two-hour period more . . .  At the end of October, an intense windstorm, with gusts up to 80 miles per hour, cut power to 100,000 people in New England and the northeastern US more . . . At the same time, the Philippines were battered by the worst typhoon in eight years, which blew away homes, closed roads and forced the evacuation of thousands of families more. . . 

At the beginning of November, following a long drought, Ethiopia was inundated by intense rains which left 67 fatalities more . . .  A three day storm in the Hyderabad region of southern India killed 23 people and displaced more than 100,000 others more . . .  In southern Turkey, 33 people perished in flashfloods more . . . while, at the same time, a three-day rainstorm in Hawaii dropped 22 inches on the main island of Oahu more . . .  Hundreds were evacuated and one person was killed when Washington state was inundated by eight inches of rain in one day more. . .  Meanwhile, Australia suffered through a five-year drought that affected more than half the country's farmland and stressed drinking water supplies more . . .  While in Japan, the deadliest tornado in that country's history killed nine people more . . .   Following a week of some of the most intense rainstorms in the region's history, the Pacific Northwest was hit with an unseasonably early snowstorm, with winds gusting to 100 miles per hour more. . .  At the same time, intense flooding on the southeastern coast of Kenya displaced 60,000 people and left 10 dead more . . .

In mid-November, a series of intense thunderstorms ripped through the southeastern US, reducing a skating rink in Alabama to a hunk of twisted metal and dropping an inch of rain on Little Rock in 20 minutes more. . .  The same front spawned an intense tornado in North Carolina where it smashed houses, overturned tractors and left eight people dead more . . .  In Afghanistan, intense flooding in the northwestern region of the country killed 56 people and drove scores from their homes more. . .  Meanwhile, the flooding in east Africa intensified, with flood waters killing hundreds of people in Kenya and displacing scores of thousands more. . .  In late November, Washington state was socked by a two foot snowfall -- bringing the state's precipitation total to a near all-time high for one month more. . .   As that storm moved east, leaving a new precipitation record in Seattle, it battered the Midwestern US, dumping a foot of snow on Kansas more . . .

At the beginning of December, a massive typhoon hit the Philippines, killing an estimated 1,000 people more. . .  Two days later, the same typhoon killed at least 47 people in Vietnam more. . .  In an especially rare, freak event, a small tornado tore through a neighborhood in north London injuring six people and destroying several buildings more. . .  At the same time, the worst drought in the history of Victoria State in Australia has triggered wildfires that have destroyed nearly half-million acres of land more. . .   While in Moscow, mid-December temperatures reached their highest level in 108 years more . . .  In the gulf state of Qatar, an unprecedented chill and the heaviest rains in 40 years played havoc with a tournament of Asian athletes more. . .   In mid-December, a massive storm pummeled the Pacific Northwest, leaving four people dead and cutting power to more than 1.5 million people more. . .  

In late December, Malaysia was inundated by the heaviest rainfall in 100 years, driving more than 30,000 people from their homes more . .    In Denver, a two-foot snowfall closed Denver International Airport for more than 2 days, orced the cancellation of some 3,600 flights, disrupting about 375,000 passengers snarling traffic, and stopping Christmas mail delivery more . . .   At the same time, a massive three-day fog shut down air travel in Britain, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports, as well as in airports as far north as Glascow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen more. . .    While in New Orleans, disheartened Katrina survivors were inundated by rains which dropped between 6 inches and one foot in southern Louisiana more. . . 

As an intense drought in Australia entered its sixth year, it has prompted widespread discussions about the role of climate change more. . .  On Christmas, a violent storm tore through north Florida, dropping more than five inches of rain near Jacksonville, the heaviest rainfall in that region since 1897 more. . .