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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate-Watch, March 1999

National Climatic Data Center - March 24, 1999
Political Map of Hungary
Note area ( * ) with greatest flooding

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In eastern Europe, snow melt combined with rainfall have resulted in a series of floods and landslides. Hungary has declared a state of emergency as a result of the flooding caused by rains and melting snow. Flooding is greatest in Szabolcs - Szatmar - Bereg county in Hungary (see starred ( * ) county location on above map) and has resulted in the evacuation of 550 people, while 3,000 houses in 202 settlements have been affected as well as 800,000 acres of farmland inundated. In Romania, the flooding situation has caused a dozen landslides, 110 homes destroyed, 279,110 acres of farmland flooded, and railways and roads were also damaged. Flooding was also reported across the Ukraine, due to warm weather melting heavy snowfalls of the winter.

Flooding also caused some problems across Brazil and the Phillippines. In contrast, drought continued in portions of Vietnam, Somalia, Israel, parts of China, Kiribati and the United Kingdom. The failure of the winter rains in the Middle East have brought the worst drought in 50 years. Israel has cut the supply of water to Jordan. In Amman, the Jordanian capital, people are turning on their water taps to find only a trickle of grey liquid. Intense Tropical Cyclone Vance also moved across portions of western Australia during March 17-24, 1999. Complete details are available from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Special Tropical Cyclone Vance Report

In the U.S. a memorable storm around the 9th- 10th of the month dumped heavy snow from Iowa eastward across West Virginia, Maryland, then into the Washington D.C. area - additional details and a snowfall map of this storm are given below. Storms continue to pound away at the Pacific northwest coast bringing copious amounts of rain, snow, and strong damaging winds. As of the end of the month, the Mt. Baker, Washington ski area reported an unofficial snowfall for the season of 1071 inches or 89.25 ft, with a snow depth on the ground of 306 inches or 25.5 feet ! The official reporting site at Paradise-Mt. Rainier, Washington site reported 940 inches with 283 inches on the ground at the end of the month. The national record for seasonal snowfall occurred at Paradise, in 1971-1972 with 1122 inches. In contrast, extreme southern California and the desert southwest showed a deficit in terms of precipitation received from winter storms. Details of this and other global extremes can be found at the following NOAA Special Global Summary for March 1999.

Top of Page Summaries of Extreme Events

NOAA NWS Baltimore/Washington Climatology Page
March 1999 Radar Picture of the Month from State College, PA. NWSFO
Australian Bureau of Meteorology Special Tropical Cyclone Vance Report
Naval Research Lab Tropical Cyclone Page-Cyclone Vance
NOAA Special Global Summary for March 1999

Top of Page Selected U.S. City and State Extremes

The Selected U.S. City and State Extremes gives a listing of new records that were set across the U.S. during March 1999.

Top of Page Snowfall Summary and Highlighted Map

A storm system moved from the Great Lakes southeast to off the south central Atlantic Coast during the middle of the month. The storm brought heavy snow to parts of the eastern Plains, the Ohio Valley and then eastward across the mountains of West Virginia, across portions of Maryland and the Washington D.C. area. The storm dumped up to a foot of snow in parts of north central Virginia into the D.C. metro area on March 9-10, 1999. This was the heaviest snowfall recorded in the Washington D.C. area since the 1995-1996 snowfall season when a total of 45.0 - 65.0 inches of snow fell across the region. Additional heavy snowfall fell across this region into the northeast during three separate occasions during the month. NWS Washington D.C. Local Snowfall Map.

Top of Page Additional Resources

For further information, contact:

Tom Ross
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
phone:828-271-4994 ext 181
fax: 828-271-4800

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