The Heat Is Online

Extreme Weather Profile: July - December, 2009

In early July, intense flooding in southern China destroyed dams, snarled roads and drove 700,000 people from their homes more. . . At the same time, torrential downpours in India destroyed at least five villages and left 500,000 people homeless more. . .   At the same time, south and central Texas struggled through its driest 22-month span in 125 years more . . .  Below-average rainfall and insufficient water in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers have left Iraq bone dry for a second straight year more. . .   In northern India, the driest June in 83 years triggered water wars among struggling residents more. . .   In central Europe, a series of violent storms left at least 10 people dead in Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic more. . .  In south Texas, where a relentless drought contined to intensify, some 230 water systems were under mandatory restrictions with another 60 under voluntary cutbacks more. . .    In China's Sichuan province, intense rains and a landslide left 22 people dead more. . .  

In late July, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, received 13 inches of rain in 12 hours during that country's worst rainstorm in 53 years more. . .   At the same time, the northwestern US was hit by a record heat wave which saw temperatures in Vancouver, Portland, Olympia and Seattle all reaching100 or more degrees more. . .   

In mid August, one of the worst typhoons on record killed scores of people in Taiwan and displaced more than one million Chinese residents more. . .  Two days later, the Taiwanese military reported it had rescued more than 1,000 people in the flooding following the typhoon which was estimated to have killed at least 500 people  more. . .   In sweltering south Texas, a number of counties are struggling through the most severe drought ever recorded more . . .  A persistent, severe drought has endangered food supplies to more than one million residents of Kenya more. . .  

In drought-stricken Greece, more than 100 wildfires forced the evacuations of thousands of residents from suburbs north of Athens more. . .   At the same time, wildfires north of Los Angeles sent flames 100 feet into the sky, raged out of control, consuming more than 164 square miles and caused the deaths of two firefighters more. . .   The heaviest floods in 90 years in West Africa left some 159 people dead and drove some 600,000 people from their homes in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mauritaina, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone more . . .  

In mid-September, Turkey's heaviest flooding in 90 years flipped buses, stranded people in cars and left at least 20 people dead more. . .   Southern Brazil was pounded by 24 cubic inches of rain in one month which knocked out electricity to more than one million people and left at least five people dead more. . .   In late September, the southeastern US was inundated by "historic" rains which exceeded 100-year predictions and which left at least six people dead more. . .   In Australia, the worst dust storms in 70 years blanketed Sydney, grounding air traffic and creating respiratory problems for thousands of residents more. . .   Intense flooding in the Philippines which dropped a month's worth of rain in six hours left at least 280 people dead and forced the evacuation of thousands of others more. . .    Heavy rains in Sicily swept away cars, collapsed buildings and left 17 people dead more . . .  

In India, intense flooding killed more than 270 people and drove at least one million others from their homes more. . .  The flooding left people in south India with widespread food shortages more. . .    In early October, a second storm hit the flood ravaged Philippines raising that country's death toll to nearly 600 within 10 days more. . .   In Kenya, a severe drought which has afflicted parts of the country for three years, has killed cattle and left some 28 million people struggling with acute food shortages more. . .      The same drought is decimating Kenya's wildife, causing unprecedented deaths of elephants, hippos, buffalo and zebras more . . . In Arizona, farmers struggled with the worst drought in a century which withered crops and triggered a population boom of bark beetles more. . .  

In late October, a major storm canceled flights, closed schools and dropped up to 36 inches of snow on parts of Colorado and Wyoming more. . .   At the end of the month, the Phillipines were inundated by the 4th typhoon in one month, washing away houses, cutting power to thousands and leaving at least 20 people dead more. . .   In Vietnam, a tropical storm forced the evacuation of 15,000 people and left 91 fatalities in its wake more. . .   In Ecuador, which relies largely on hydropower for electricity, the worst drought in four decades triggered repeated blackouts more. . .  Intense flooding along the Gulf Coast of Mexico drove 200,000 people from their homes more. . .

In early November, three days downpours triggered flooding and landslides that left at least 160 people dead and another 13,000 homeless in El Salvador more. . . At the same time, extended drought triggered water rationing in Venezuela for the first time in many years more. . .  A series of intense storms knocked out power to some 60 million people in Brazil and darkened neighboring Paraguay for a short period as well more. . .   At the same time, a prolongued drought killed hundreds of thousands of cattle in Argentina, triggering wildfires and prompting fights over access to water more. . .  An unusually early  snowstorm in northern China killed 40 people, destroyed a half million acres of crops and collapsed thousands of homes more. . .  In late November, one of the heaviest rains on record in the UK and Ireland collapsed bridges, stranded hundreds and required military helicopters for rescue operations more . . .

On a day that Saudi Arabia was jammed with pilgrims on the first day of a hajj, intense rainstorms killed 106 people more . . .  In Houston, the city was hit with the earliest snowfall in record in early December more. . .        In Moscow, residents experienced the warmest December day on record, pushing mushrooms out of the ground and preventing bears from hibernating more . . .   In mid-December, intense rains dropped seven inches of rain in one day on New Orleans, and flooded roads and homes in Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama  more. . .       Millions of people in east Africa are facing malnutrition and starvation due to a prolongued drought, which cut November's rainfall by 95 percent of normal levels more. . .  

In late December, a brutal winter storm in western Europe left more than 80 people people dead,  snarled traffic, and stranded some 50,000 train passengers in the tunnel beneath the English Channel as severe weather in France knocked out power to the trains more. . .  At the same time, a massive snowstorm swept up the U.S. East Coast, dumping up to two feet in places, causing thousands of accidents and power outages and triggering declarations of emergency in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky more. . .    An unusually high tide flooded most of  Venice, forcing tourists and residents to wade through knee-high waters. The waters reached a peak of 56.6 inches above average sea level, putting around 60 percent of the city's streets and piazzas under water more. . . 

Two days before Christmas, a massive snowstorm from Texas to Minnesota set records in Oklahoma, snarled traffic, closed airports, caused five-foot snow drifts and left at least 19 people dead more. . .  In western Australia, a long drought fueled fires that destroyed nearly 40 homes more. . .    At the end of the year, heavy rains triggered mudslides near Rio de Janeiro killing 18 people in Brazil more. . .  In northern India, an unusual cold snap left 16 people dead more. . .