The Heat Is Online

Extreme Weather Profile: July - December, 2010

 


2010 -- The Year Nature Struck Back


 

In early-July, an intense typhoon in East Asia left at least 37 people dead in the Philippines,  triggered the evacuation of some 300,000 people in Japan and drove some 24,000 fishing boats to seek shelter off China  more . . .    At the same time, a blistering heat wave in Europe withered crops, ignited forest fires and melted roads more . . .    In mid-July,  officians in China announced that flooding in the first half of 2010 had claimed more than 700 casualties, left 347 people missing and created tens of billions in damages in the worst flood season in more than a decade more . . .   In Kansas, an intense heat wave left more than 2,000 head of cattle dead more. . .   

Meanwhile, the apparent worldwide increase in flash floods proceeded when Milwaukee was inundated with 8 inches of rain in two hours more . . .     In late July, Russia suffered a multi-week heat wave with temperatures topping 100* F. and a rash of wildfires which prompted mass evacuations more . . .  Following weeks of intensely hot, dry weather, parts of California suffered more than 180 wildfires more. . .   At the same time, the deadliest flood in Pakistan's history left more than 1,100 people dead  more. . .  Meanwhile, in China's Jilin Province, intense floods and landslides left more than 100 people dead or missing more . . .   At the beginning of August, Russia was struggling through its most severe heat wave since records began to be kept 130 years ago. The heat triggered wildfires which consumed hundreds of thousands of acres and prompted a state of emergency in the worst hit regions more. . .     In Kashmir, a series of flash floods destroyed homes, cut communications, inundated the airport and left at least 103 people dead more . . .      

In Russia, a long drought, punctuated by hundreds of wildfires, prompted a government ban on wheat exports, triggering panic in world grain markets more. . .     In China, a massive mudslide killed more than 700 people and left 1,000 more unaccounted for more . . .     Meanwhile, the unprecedented flooding in Pakistan left nearly one million people stranded as officials worried about widespread outbreaks of waterborne diseases more . . .   In southern Mexico, prolonged rains prompted a state of emergency as some 200 towns were flooded more. . .  In Guatemala, intense rains triggered mudslides which left at least 136 people dead more . . .      In late September, the worst typhoon of the year triggered floods and landslides killing 54 people in China and dumping up to 40 inches of rain on Taiwan more . . .   At the same time, torrential rains triggered widespread flooding in northern India, killing 17 people and forcing the evacuation of two million others more . . .   In late September, a sudden heat spike drove the temperature in downtown Los Angeles to a record-setting 113-degrees F. more . . .     At the end of the month, North Carolina was drenched by 21 inches of rain in 5 days, breaking an 11-year-old record more. . .     During the same period,  the worst flooding in 50 years in south China forced the evacuation of more than 230,000 people more. . .

In late October, a super typhoon slammed into the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand, killiing at least 100 people, destroying much of the Philippines' rice and corn crops and driving thousands of people from their homes more. . . At the end of October, Illinois was ravaged by a the most powerful windstorm in 70 years, which spawned numerous tornadoes, forced the cancellation of 300 flights at O'Hare Airport and left thousands without power more . . .  From the Dakotas to North Carolina, the mid-section of the US was hit with 56 tornadoes in two days more . . .            

In early November, a massive cyclone hit Myanmar, killing 45 people, leaving more than 80,000 others homeless and leaving some 200,000 people dependent on food aid for at least three months  more . . .   On Nov. 8, a second storm triggered large-scale flooding and mudslides in the Philippines -- just weeks after a super typhoon inundated the country. The new storm affected nearly one-half million people and killed 13 others more . . .    In the Cornwall region of southern England, intense flash floods drove hundreds of people from their homes more . . . 

In late November, an early wintry blast dropped 16 inches of snow on Scotland and parts of northern England, the heaviest such snowfall in 17 years  more. . .      At the beginning of December, a deep-freeze paralyzed parts of Europe, killing 40 people and driving temperatures down to minus 20* F. in Sweden.  Further south, the same storm created the worst flooding in a century in Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro more. . .      

Ini early December, torrential rains associated with a strong La Nina inundated Colombia, killiing 174 people and leaving another 1.5 million people disrupted more . . .        In mid-December, intense rain and windstorms battered the Middle East, leaving one person dead in Lebanon, sinking a cargo ship off the coast of Israel, dropping snow on Syria  and generating intense sandstorms in Egypt and Jordan more . . .    Meanwhile, halfway around the world, an intense deep freeze clenched the Midwestern US, dropping the temperature below  zero in Minnesota and collapsing the Minneapolis Superdome under nearly two feet of snow  more . . .  

In late December, the winter from hell continued in Europe, with intense snows cancelling 800 flights in Germany and elsewhere,  triggered more than 150 traffic accidents, caused  300 miles of traffic jams in ther Netherlands,  killed two people and left dozens injured more . . .     Toward the end of December, a huge storm system has dumped record amounts of rain on southern California. Streets flooded, residents were evacuated and authorities were on alert for landslides in the wake of the torrential downpour. The deluge came at the end of a week that saw Los Angeles receive half its annual rainfall in just six days more. . .   Early estimates suggest the damages from the storm could approach $100 million more. . .       Near the end of the year, a massive blizzard swept through the US East Coast, dropping as much as 20 inches of snow on New York and parts of New England   more . . .  At the end  of December, torrential rains swamped an area in Queensland, Australia, larger than France and Germany,  leaving some communities under water for up to 10 days more . . .

In 2010, natural disasters ended up killing 290,000 people and leaving $130 billion in damages, according to insurance giant Swiss Re more. . .