The Heat Is Online

Extreme Weather Profile: Jan. -- June, 2011

At the beginning of 2011, a week of intense flooding, overflowing creeks and landslides forced thousands from their homes in Brazil and left at least 20 people dead  more. . .    In Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri, a rare string of winter tornadoes left towns in shambles, destroyed houses and left seven people dead more . .   Following a week of intense rains in  Australia,  some 4,500 people were stranded in New South Wales -- while an "instant tsunami," driven by a flash flood, killed 10 people in Brisbane, the country's third largest city, and left another 78 residents missing more. . .  The flash flood follows prolonged rains earler in January which left billions of damages in Australia more. . .   In Brazil, torrential rains dropped about 10 inches in 24 hiours in Rio De Janiero state, killing some 600 people -- bringing the total number of casualties in southeastern Brazilians from natural disasters since Chrismas to about 2000  more. . .    At the same time, the region's third storm of the new year dropped two feet of snow on parts of New England more. . .       That same day, Sri Lanka dispatched thousands of troops to rescue nearly one million people who had been made homeless or otherwise affected by severe flooding more. . .   In mid-January, an 8-foot snowfall in Japan shuttered factories and snarled traffic, slowing the country's famed bullet trains more. . .    At the same time, intense flooding in South Africa displaced about 6,000 people, caused nearly $150 million in agricultural damages and left 40 people dead more. . .  

At the beginning of February, a monster blizzard, 2,000 miles long, swept across the US from Oklahoma to New England, grounding flights, closing highways and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power more . . .    At the same time, northeastern Australia braced for the strongest cyclone in the country's history, which began by ripping roofs off buildings and plunging nearly 100,000 people into darkness as its winds neared 190 miles per hour  more. . .     At the same time, a deep freeze caused the cancellation of 1500 flights in Texas, triggered 200 auto accidents in Houston in one morning, fouling plans of travelers to the Super Bowl,  and dropped nearly 20 inches of snow on Oklahoma more . . .   In Somalia, an extended drought pushed up food prices in some areas by 80 percent and triggered a big jump in malnutrition among Somali young people more . . .         

In early February, officials announced that China's worst drought in 60 years threatened to play havoc with the world's grain markets more . . .      Meanwhile, the city of Tulsa braced for more snow after the city was paralyzed for a week by a storm that dropped 14 inches of snow  more. . .     Days after the snow,  Oklahoma and Arkansas suffered through the lowest temperatures on record -- reaching minus 31* F and minus 17* respectively more . . .   In late February, the midwestern US was hit by yet another massive snowstorm, with as much as 19 inches falling on parts of Minnesota more . . .

At the beginning of March, wildfires ravaged parts of the Texas panhandle as well as Brevard County in Florida more . . .     The following week, an intense storm dropped up to 27 inches of snow on parts of the northeastern US  more. . .   As the world's attention was riveted on the earthquake and nuclear radiation releases in Japan, Brazil was inundated by torrential rains which left more than 20,000 people homeless in the country's south  more . . .

By mid-April, a prolongued drought in west Texas triggered wildfires which consumed more than 100,000 acres  more. . .     Prolonged seasonal rainsi n northern Namibia --  the most intense since record keeping began in 1891 -- have led to the drowning of 80 people and affected nearly one half million people overall more. . .     In the US, A furious storm system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as softballs has left at least 45 people dead on a rampage that has stretched for days as it barreled from Oklahoma to North Carolina and Virginia  more . . .   In Colombia, months of heavy rain, fueled by an intense La Nina, have cut off towns and left 400 people dead in what the country's president called "the worst disaster in memory" more . . .  

In April, the southern and southeastern US was walloped by a record 292 tornadoes which destroyed large patches of the country stretching from Oklahoma to Virginia  more. . .       The tornadoes were followed by intense rains which dropped up to 15 inches in four days in parts of southern Missouri more . . .      By late April, the string of violent tornadoes had left 337 people dead, and more than a million people without power, most of them in the southeastern US   more . . .   In early May, residents of Memphis, Tenn. braced for flooding as the Mississippi River, swollen by heavy snow melt and protracted rains,  crested at 47.8 feet, the highest level since 1937, triggering evacuations and inundating thousands of acres of farmland  more . . .      At the same time, parts of Texas, having not seen rain for some nine months,  were suffering extreme drought more . . .          Next door, in New Mexico, officials evacuated residents from several towns while firefighters battled with 27 wildires in four days more . . .      

In late May, the midwestern US was hit with another outbreak of at least eight tornadoes from Oklahoma to Michigan-- the most severe of which, with winds up to 190 miles per hour,  destroyed up to 30 percent of the city of Joplin, Missouri and left at least 116 people dead. It was the deadliest tornado to hit the US in at least 50 years  more . . .    Just days after the killer tornado hit Joplin, Mo., three more killer tornadoes left 13 people dead in Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas more. . .   As workers combed through the tornado rubble, a fresh blast of flooding and high winds battered the Eastern US , killing three people in Georgia, triggering flash floods in New Hampshire and dumping more than 5 inches of rain near Montpelier, Vermont more . . .   With 523 recorded deaths, officials declared 2011 to be the deadliest tornado year in the US in 50 years -- a declaration they made in June before the end of the tornado season more . . .   

In central and eastern China, a prolongue drought is killing rice crops and destroying fish farms and forcing people to scramble for adequate drinking water more . . .   Heavy rains and a deep melting snowpack from a snowy winter have led to historic water levels in the Missouri River basin and nearby river systems ranging from Idaho to North Dakota and down through South Dakota.and forcing the evacuation of a quarter of the North Dakota capital of  Minot more . . .     In western Massachusetts, a rare series of tornadoes left three people dead, 200 other injured and several hospitalized more. . .   

In early June, in drought-parched Arizona, largest wildfire in the state's history consumed more than 733 square miles, spreading a blanket of haze as far away as Iowa and requiring the mobilization of 2,500 firefighters. The fires threatened power supplies to three states. more. . .        In northern Europe, farmers struggled with a severe drought, the region's second worst such dry period since 1910 more. . .       In Mexico, President Felipe Calderon noted that climate change was aggravating the country's worst drought in 70 years more . . .   In the northeastern US, a record heat wave buckled pavements, closed schools and left at least five people dead more. . .

While wildfires raged in Arizona, the snowpack in Utah reached a reacord  775 inches due to an usually heavy winter snowfall and wet spring, a total which officials said was 525 times above normal more . . .     In the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, the worst flooding since 1955 leave 170 people dead more. . .       In the spring of 2011, Florida experienced one of his worst wildfire seasons in memory, with more than 1,500 fires consuming more than 200,000 acres just in the months of May and June more . . .    In Minot, North Dakota, intense rains and melting snowpack forced the evacuation of the entire city as river levels exceeded record highs set back in 1881 more . . .       

In late June, the Midwestern US was raked by intense storms packing winds of up to 100 miles an hour, grounding planes and leaving nearly one half million homes and businesses without power in the Chicago area more. . .   The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has created growing food shortages and malnutrition for more than 10 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda more . . .