The Heat Is Online

Extreme Weather Profile: January -- June, 2009


Catalogue of Extreme Weather Events:  1995-2008
A severe deep freeze swept through Europe in early January, leaving 12 people dead -- 10 of whom froze to death in Poland more. . . In Washington state, mudslides and avalanches caused by heavy rains and snowmelt, prompted officials to urge 40,000 people to evacuate their homes more . . .   In Kenya, a prolongued drought has left 10 million people at risk of severe hunger, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency more. . .  One of the heaviest snowfalls in decades closed the Madrid airport and brought traffic in the Spanish capital to a standstill more. . .  In Fiji a series of storms killed at least 10 people and forced the evacuations of thousands of others more. . .  In mid-January, a bitter cold snap in the midwestern US sent temperatures to -37* F. and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights in Chicago more. . .  

A long drought increased its hold on Texas, spreading across more than 70 percent of the state, withering crops and triggering dieoffs of cattle in the western part of the state more. . . In Madagascar, a cyclone killed 3 people and left another 3,000 people homeless more. . .   In California, a third consecutive year of drought has caused many of the state's farmers to stop planting crops more. , .

Several severe storms in southwest France and northeast Spain cut power to 1.7 million people and left at least 12 people dead more. . . In Texas, high winds and a long period of dry weather fueled wildfires that consumed more than 6,000 acres more. . .   A  severe winter storm, stretching from Texas to the mid-Atlantic states, cut power to one million people in Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia, closed airports and left at least 23 people dead more. . .   In late January, southern Australia was hit by its worst heatwave in a century, with temperatures hitting 114* F more. . .  

At the beginning of February, Britain was hit by its worst snowstorm in 18 years. The storm, which dropped up to 10 inches in part of the UK, was estimated to cost the country as much as $2 billion more. . .   At the same time, the worst drought-driven water shortage in 16 years forced officials in Mexico City to cut water supplies to two million people more. . .  In China, severe drought devastated crops and left 4 million people with water shortages. The wheat-growing province of Henan recorded its worst drought 1951, going 105 consecutive days without rain more. . .  

As southern Australia strugged under the worst heatwave in a century, the northern part of the country was inundated by record rains which left 400,000 square miles in Queensland alone -- twice the area of Spain -- under water more . . .   At the same time, wildfires in Australia, fueled by temperatures of up to 117* F, left at least 171 people dead more . . .  In Argentina, a severe drought has left 1.5 million head of cattle dead of hunger more. . .   French officials closed the Paris airports as the country braced for winds up to 75 miles per hour more . . .   In Oklahoma, an extremely rare February tornado killed eight people and injured dozens of others more. . .    In Maine, residents celebrate the state's coldest temperature reading on record -- - 50* F. more. . .  

In late February, a massive storm, stretching from Mexico to Oregon, inundated most of California, flooding highways and triggering evacuation orders due to potential mudslides more. . .   At the same time, officials in Australia announced that country's wildfires had claimed at least 200 lives more. . .   At the same time, parts of Maine were buried under two feet of snow, cutting power to 140,000 people more. . .   Meanwhile, the worst drought in 50 years is devastating crops throughout northern China and also taking a huge toll on drinking water supplies more. . .     

Three years of below-average rainfall in California forced the governor to declare a "drought emergency," including a 20 percent cut in water consumption more . . .   In late March, residents of Fargo, North Dakota manned sandbag lines and began building extra high levees as the Red River crested at almost double the height of the river's flood stage more. . .  Meanwhile, the Korean peninsula's worst drought in 12 years prompted public rage against authorities for failing to provide sufficient water to rural areas more. . .

In late March, the midwestern US was hit by a burst of violent weather, with parts of the area covered by an intense blizzard with two feet of snow driven by winds over 60 miles an hour -- while other areas were hit by a series of tornadoes more. . .   At the same time, a series of violent tornadoes swept through rural Mississippi, destroying homes, injuring 17 people and leaving more than 60,000 without electricity more. . .   Near the end of March, a late blizzard, with winds of up to 60 miles per hour, dumped nearly 15 inches of snow in Wyoming and Colorado, snarling traffic, closing schools and canceling flights more. . .  

In early April, a major spring storm dumped 8 inches of snow in Michigan, cutting power to nearly 125,000 people and leaving four people dead more. . .   In southern Africa, the worst flooding in 50 years inundated the region from Namibia to Mozambique, killing at least 100 people, leaving 100,000 homeless and threatening another half million people more. . .   

In mid-April, a long, severe drought fueled wildfires that destroyed more than 100 homes in Texas and Oklahoma and left at least two people dead more. . .    Meanwhile, a series of deadly storms in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and northern Florida killed two people, uprooted trees and cut power to 250,000 people more . . .  In San Francisco, a severe windstorm cut power to more than 15,000 people, flipped a tractor-trailer rig and pushed a fishing boat into an area bridge more. . .  

The famed marshes in southern Iraq, thought to be the site of the biblical "Garden of Eden," were drained by Saddam Hussein. But after their rehabilitation, the marshes are barren again -- this time because of a prolonged drought more. . .  In mid-April, a 36-inch snowstorm in parts of Colorado and Wyoming closed highways and schools and closed area airports more. . .   Just a week after the southeastern US was battered by a series of deadly storms, a string of tornadoes killed at least two people in Alabama and snarled traffic and downed trees near Atlanta more. . .   

In late April, South Carolina's worst wildfire in 30 years destroyed at least 70 homes more. . .   Following a series of storms and tornadoes in the Houston area, the city was inundated by a 6-inch rainfall that stranded 200 motorists in a parking lot more. . .   At the end of April, an intense heat wave in India killed up to 54 people in a dozen states more. . .  

 

In early May, an intense storm in the northeast Philippines triggered mudslides which destroyed a dozen homes and left some 20 people dead more . . .   In Brazil, intense rains and mudslides killed at least 40 people and left some 300,000 people homeless more . . .   An unseasonably early wildfire forced at least 1,300 people to flee some 5,000 homes in southern California more. . .  

 

A wave of powerful storms in the midwestern US splintered homes, knocked out power to thousands and killed five people more. . .  Near the end of May, eastern Australia was inundated by torrential rains, which left 32 feet of water in some places and displaced thousands of families more. . .  Torrential rains in Haiti destroyed more than 1,000 homes and left at least 11 people dead more. . .   At the same time, residents of Volusia County near Orlando were swamped by two feet of rain in several days more. . .   A cyclone tore through parts of India and Bangladesh destroying thousands of homes, displacing tens of thousands of people and leaving as many as 191 dead more. . .  

 

In late May, torrential rains led to record flooding in the Amazon basin in Brazil, leaving more than 375,000 people homeless. At the same time, the worst drought in 80 years parched crops in the southern region of the country more. . .    In Syria, two years of drought forced residents to abandon more than 160 villages more. . .   Following some 220 days without rain, authorities declared the long drought in Tibet that country's worst drought in 30 years more. . .

 

In late June, a brutal heat wave in the Southern and Midwestern US gave way to a series of violent storms that indundated cities with torrential rain and left thousands without power more. . .  At the same time, a 10 day heatwave in India, with temperatures reaching 120* F., left at least 24 people dead more. . .