The Heat Is Online

Extreme Weather Profile: July -- December, 2008

In late July, a tornado accompanied by a powerful storm tore through New Hampshire leaving thousands of people without power more . . .   At the same time, a powerful typhoon slammed into Taiwan, stalling air traffic, triggering floods and mudslides and leaving at least one person dead more. . .  Intense flooding in the Ukraine killed 22 people and left at least $800 million in damages more. . .  By early August, the heat wave in the southwestern US  reached perilous proportions, with Texas sweltering under the 11th straight day of triple digit temperatures more . . .   An intense storm tore through the Chicago area, tearing off roofs, triggering tornadoes and cutting power to more than a million people more. . .   In Vietnam, torrential rains stranded tens of thousands of people, washed out roads and left at least 82 people dead and another 37 missing more. . . 

In Cyprus, an epic drought has reduced the country's reservoirs  by 95 percent more. . .  In Spain, a prolonged drought is creating a slew of political battles, with several factions divided over whether to invest in desalination plants or spend the same money importing water from other sources more. . .  In Ireland, record August rains snarled roads, flooded homes and damaged crops more. . .    In August, the WMO announced that a strong La Nina had made the first half of 2008 was the coolest such period globally in five years more . . .   In late August, tropical storm Fay traveled from the Caribbean up into Florida, where it set a record by making landfall four separate times, dropping as much as 30 inches of rain along the coast and forcing snakes and alligators into the streets more. . .  

In the African country of Chad, intense flooding drove 10,000 people from their homes more. . .  while in northern India, flooding from intense monsoons made one million people homeless more. . .   As the flooding in India intensified, it displaced more than two million people and triggered widespread riots over food shortages more. . .  In Phoenix, a storm generated winds of 100 miles an hour, cutting power to tens of thousands of people and tearing the roof of a new athletic facility more. . .  In Haiti and the Dominican Republic, at least 71 people were killed when Hurricane Gustav tore across the island in late August more. . .

Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall just west of New Orleans on Sept. 1, triggered the evacuation of 2 million people from the Gulf Coast -- the largest such evacuation in U.S. history more. . .  


Scientific Findings Link Global Warming to Hurricane Intensity
A freak hailstorm turned a large section of central Kenya white more . . .  Hot on the heels of Hurricane Gustav -- and followed by Hurricane Ike, Tropical Storm Hanna triggered rains in early September that left 163 people dead in Haiti more. . .  As it moved up the Atlantic coast, Hanna inundated the Carolinas, leaving some 25,000 homes without power more. . .  At the same time, a series of flash floods battered northern England, triggering more than 100 severe flood warnings more. . .  A week of hurricanes and tropical storms left at least 312 people dead in the Caribbean nation of Haiti more. . .   Australia's prolonged drought broke a 117-year old record, shrinking crops and threatening the country's Eucalyptus trees more. . .   

As Hurricane Ike approached Galveston and Houston in mid-September, more than 1 million people had evacuated the area. The storm destroyed some 100,000 homes, left nearly 4 million others without power and left some $14 billion in damages, according to reports  more . . .  More than 200,000 residents were evacuated and at least 163 others were killed when the Mahanadi River flooded in Orissa state in India more. . .   In late September, a strong typhoon slammed into Taiwan, killing two people and leaving at least 30 others injured more. . . 

In Argentina, a long drought destroyed tens of thousands of cattle and cut the country's wheat harvest by nearly 25 percent more. . .  Torrential downpours in the Algerian Sahara killed 29 people and displaced hundreds of others more. . .    In early October, authorities announced that the death toll from four storms that raked Haiti in August and September had risen to nearly 800 people more. . .  

In early October, officials declared the long drought in southern Australia to be the longest on record -- and without historical precedent more . . .    In mid-October, after a long period of drought, southern California was charred by a series of wildfires that destroyed some 13,000 acres near Los Angeles and San Diego more. . .   In Honduras, intense rains killed 13 people, destroyed 62 bridges and caused the evacuation of more than 12,000 people more. . .   In Yemen, a rare tropical storm left at least 58 people dead and destroyed more than 1,700 homes more . . .   In late October, a deadly snowstormed dropped 25 inches on Tibet, killing at least 6 people and leaving some 1,700 others stranded more. . .   In drought-stricken California, authorities cut water deliveries by 85 percent -- their lowest level since 1982 more. . .  

At the beginning of November, the worst flooding in more than 20 years swamped Vietnam, killing at least 92 people and leaving large parts of Hanoi under water more. . .   At the same time, a second round of rainstorms inundundated Honduras, killing at least 8 people and forcing the evacuation of about 3,000 others more. . .   In Cuba, a monster hurricane with winds of 145 miles-per-hour forced the evacuations of nearly 400,000 people more. . .  

In mid-November, a series of wildfires north of Los Angeles destroyed at least 1,000 homes in southern California more. . .   In India's Orissa state, weather extremes have contributed to 300 deaths,   caused crop damages which affected 11 million people and inundated 25 of the state's 30 districts in the last four years more. . .   In Australia, the state of Queensland was battered by high winds, downpours and large hailstones which cut power to more than 230,000 people more. . .  At the same time, two feet of snow swept across Michigan and New York state closing schools and snarling highways more. . .   In North Carolina, an outburst of violent storms, including at least one tornado, left two people dead  more . . .  

The Australian government deployed troops to rescue people when a storm dumped nearly 10 inches of rain in six hours on Brisbane more. . .  In late November, intense triggered multiple mudslides which killed at least 60 people in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela more. . .  In Venice, intense rains flooded the city and raised sea levels to 61 inches, the highest in more than 20 years more. . .   As the death toll from Brazil's relentless rains reached 116, the country's president prayed for a halt to the downpours more. . .   In New England, an unseasonal ice storm blanketed parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, leaving more than one million homes without power more. . .    A rare snowfall blanketed south Louisiana and parts of Mississippi, triggering crashes on major highways and leaving thousands of people without power more. . . 

In late December, a massive snowstorm dumped two feet of snow on Spokane and moved across the country, setting records in Las Vegas, causing major power outages in Indiana and closing schools from Ohio to Massachusetts more. . .  

More than 50 days of nearly nonstop rain throughout Italy caused extensive flooding, 10 deaths and millions of euros worth of damage more. . .   In the US, a deep freeze paralyzed much of the country, with storms dropping more than 40 inches of snow on the town of EustisMaine more. . .