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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate-Watch, August 2000

National Climatic Data Center - (last update Aug 29, 2000)

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Basin Activity
Cumulative Frequency of Tropical Systems

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Weather Log - August 1-10th, 2000

The above figure describes the progress of a typical hurricane season in terms of the total number of tropical systems and hurricanes produced throughout the year in the Atlantic basin. The curves in the figure represent the average cumulative production of all named tropical systems, all hurricanes, and those hurricanes which were category 3 or stronger in those basins. As seen on the above chart, frequencies of all three types of storms increase in August, and by the beginning of September in an average year we would expect to have had four named systems, two of which would be hurricanes and one of which would be of category 3 or greater in strength.

See the following table which lists benchmark dates when a given number of tropical systems, hurricanes, or category 3 storms should have been generated. Additional information including the latest updates in the tropics are available from the NOAA National Hurricane Center.

Elsewhere around the globe, floods and landslides have done major damage and resulted in loss of life in many areas. In India, media reports indicate that heavy rain caused the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries to overflow. Reuters reported that torrential rains have caused flooding resulting in 2.5 million homeless individuals and hundreds dead or missing. According to the government, 20 have died, 1 million are displaced, 1,015 villages and 4,000 homes have been inundated, and the road and rail links have been washed away in the state of Bihar. In the northeastern state of Assam, 18 deaths and 1.6 million homeless have been reported. In the Northern Indian state Himachal Pradesh, 115 have died as waters begin to recede. Deadly flooding also resulted in the loss of life and property across Nepal, Bhutan, and parts of Bangladesh. Heavy rains were also causing problems in China, Brazil, Japan, and Cameroon.

In contrast, a heatwave occurred from the 6th to the 8th in Morocco. The heatwave caused approximately 4 million chickens to die as temperatures reached 51C (124 F) in some regions.

Wildfires in the Western U.S.: In the U.S., according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, wildfires continued during this period--64 large fires were active on more than 900,000 acres across 11 western states on Sunday (6th). Wildfires have now burned more than 3.9 million acres in 63,242 blazes so far this year.

Fishy Weather ! It frequently rains "cats and dogs" in Britain, as any local will tell you, but Sunday the 6th was different -- it rained fish. Britain's Meteorological Office said a shower of dead but still fresh sprats rained down on the fishing port of Great Yarmouth, in the east England county of Norfolk, after a thunderstorm. Retired ambulance driver Fred Hodgkins said: "I thought at first I might have had something wrong with my eyes. The whole of my back yard seemed to be covered in little slivers of silver." Meteorological Office spokesman Sean Clarke said the fish shower would have been caused by a small tornado out to sea, known as a waterspout, which trawls up water and any fish near the surface.

At least 10 people have died this week (6th-9th) in floods in northeastern Iran, a newspaper reported on Wednesday. Floods caused by torrential rain killed seven people in two villages in Samalqan, in northern Khorasan province. The unseasonal rain hit in the midst of a severe drought and lasted only about 20 minutes. But it damaged farms and totally destroyed crops in Khorasan.

Weather Log - August 11-20th, 2000

Wildfires in the Western U.S.continue as of August 18th, more than 5.2 millon acres have burned in 68,316 blazes. See the National Fire News for historical fire information and statistics for the nation and by state.

Flooding rains hit the State of New Jersey. According to media reports , rain and thunderstorms dumped 14 inches of rain at Sparta, New Jersey, other locations in the northwest part of the state reported as much as 10 inches of rain. Sparta was one of the hardest-hit areas but the rains washed out bridges, flooded roads, caused mudslides and trapped motorists elsewhere in the region. The record 24 hour maximum precipitation amount for New Jersey is 14.81 inches which fell at Tuckerton, N.J. on August 19th, 1939. A map showing each states 24 hour record maximum amount is available here . These values are also available in a state list which gives amount, location and date (PDF file) . Additional extreme information are available at the NCDC Extreme Weather and Climate Events WWW page. Preliminary flood damage estimates, are expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars from Saturday's (12th) torrential rains, will be announced on Monday (14th), said a spokesman for New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman.

Tropical Storm Ileana churned past the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula Tuesday (15th) and headed out to sea and dissipated on the 16th. Meanwhile Tropical Storm Beryl weakened as it moved inland from the Gulf of Mexico. See the following Media reports for more information.

Weather Log - August 21-31st, 2000

Fires continued to burn mainly over the West this period. The combination of cooler temperatures and less-than-anticipated wind helped crews to contain some fires around the 21st. In the United States, as of the 29th, over 72 thousand fires burned nearly 6.2 million acres, or 9.687 square miles so far this season. The total area burned is slightly smaller than the state of Maryland. Total acres lost to fires have been the worst in the states of Idaho, Montana, and Nevada, each of these states have have over half a million acres burned this season. See the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho for more information.

Smoke Plumes from Fires across Montana and Idaho
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The enhanced NOAA satellite image to the left shows some of the smoke plumes associated with the forest fires across Montana and Idaho. The image shows both the visible smoke plumes and hot spots. Hundreds of fires can be seen on the image as evidenced by the whitish plumes rising from blackened areas. The numerous black dots on the image indicate burning or smoldering fires.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Debby weakened as it moved across the Carribbean for the latest update see, NOAA/NHC Tropical Prediction Center. As of 11AM EDT on the 24th, Debby was downgraded to a trough or open wave.

SuperTyphoon Billis crossed Taiwan and dissipated in southeast China on Thursday. Bilis devastated Taiwan on Tuesday (22) and Wednesday (23), claiming 11 lives, injuring at least 80 others, trapping 18 in mudslides and leaving 10 people missing. There were no storm-related causalities reported in China but Bilis caused mudslides and widespread flooding in both countries, and a mudslide damaged sections of a railway in southern China. The complete media report is available here.

In Nepal, landslides and flash floods triggered by heavy rains have killed seven more people in central Nepal taking the monsoon season's toll across the Himalayan kingdom since June to 122, an official said on Wednesday (23rd). Floods and landslides are common in Nepal during the annual monsoon season that continues through September. The complete media report is available here.

This summer's dry spell in north Texas became one for the record books Sunday (27th). It's been 50 years since the state last went 58 consecutive days without measurable rainfall. With no noteworthy rain on Sunday (27th), the region (Dallas - Ft. Worth area) tied that record, and forecasts showed it likely would break it on Monday (28th). The current dry spell began July 1, and more heat and sunshine are forecast for the region, said Joe Harris, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The complete media report is available here.

Monsoon rains washed away homes, roads and villages in eastern India during the past week, leaving people to drink contaminated flood water and eat snails and tadpoles. More than 300 people have died since the monsoon season began last month. Millions of people in three eastern states were left homeless by the rains, which had been typical of India's July-September monsoon season until recent days, when they became extremely heavy. In southeastern Andhra Pradesh state, meteorologists recorded 24 centimeters (10 inches) of rain -- the highest amount in more than five decades. The complete media report is available here.

Flooding had also taken its toll in South Korea during the last week (24th-28th) when useasonably heavy rain storms drenched most of South Korea. The hardest hit region was in the southwestern region where rainfall reportedly measured up to 22.8 inches.

The Bangkok Post reported on Friday (25th) that flash floods resulting from depression Kaemi hit several northeastern Thailand provinces yesterday (24th). Surin was reportedly badly hit, with several of its areas inundated with floodwaters, and two villagers swept away by currents - their bodies have not been found. Heavy rains reportedly occurred over Tha Tum, Chom Phra, Samrong Thap, Sikhoraphum, Sangkha and Muang districts, and many evacuations occurred. In Ubon Ratchathani, 8 districts were reportedly inundated, many roads became impassable and hundred's of rai of farmland were submerged. In the Warin Chamrap district 4 homes were reportedly swept away, while 10 other homes and 2 temples were damaged. According to a report by the Local Administration Department's Civil Defense Division flooding killed 2 people in the Trat province, while a total of 19,632 lives were affected and 8,932 rai of farmland and 8,160 rai of fruit orchards were ruined. The initial damage estimate for this province was reportedly 179,355,460 baht. In Trang 855 people were reportedly affected, schools were closed, and thousands of rai of rubber plantations were damaged. In Nakhon Ratchasima 40,000 rai of agricultural areas were reportedly damaged. Kaemi will now reportedly enter the province of Maha Sarakham, and according to the Northeastern Meteorological Centre flooding will occur in 10 more provinces. Flash floods have reportedly been predicted in Mukdahan, Amnat, Charoen, Yasothon, Roi-Et, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani. A total of 41,219 people in 6 coastal provinces have reportedly been affected by flash floods over the past 7 days. The region has been quite wet during the last two months.

Fires also are making news in parts of Europe. The BBC reported Friday (25th) that a state of emergency has been declared in 2 southern districts in Bulgaria as nearly 70 wildfires have reportedly broken out in the past 24 hours. The fires are reportedly a result of an on-going heat wave and high winds. According to the Croatian Interior Minister (CIM) a loss of 150 million kuna, or 17.75 million dollars U.S., has occurred as a result of the hundreds of fires that have occurred this year in that country. According to the CIM high temperatures and drought are responsible for the fires, and they are reportedly continuing to spread as a result of bad weather. Various media sources reported that officials have declared a state of emergency for the southern Arcadia province as more than 80 wildfires burn out of control in Greece. Heat and high winds are reportedly responsible for fires that killed 2 people Thursday (24th) near the northern village of Aghia Marina, and 5 more individuals, in 3 other villages, on Friday (25th) . The blaze responsible for these deaths reportedly originated in Albania and had a front approximately 25 metres long. In addition, the fires in Arcadia have reportedly been burning for 5 days, and are threatening a hydroelectric plant as well as destroying thousands of hectares of forest and farmland, and engulfing numerous homes.

Media reports indicated on Monday (28th) that Iraq is suffering from a severe water shortage and has endured 2 successive years of drought, with this year reportedly believed to be worse than last year. It was reported that this year is believed to be the most severe drought recorded in the past 100 years. In contrast, floods have occurred in Russia's Primorye region (the Maritime territory) in the Far East. A total of 627 houses have reportedly been submerged in the cities of Bolshoi Karmen and Dalnegorsk, as well as 8 other districts.

For U.S. National Drought information: Climate Prediction Center Drought Information

Other global highlights for the month can be found at NOAA/OGP Special Global Summary for August 2000.

Note: Hazard event satellite images available courtesy of NOAA OSEI Satellite Images WWW site.

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

The Selected U.S. City and State Extremes provides a list of new records that were set across the U.S. during August 2000.

Top of Page Additional Resources

NNDC Climate Data Online (for long-term climate data)
NCDC Climatic Extremes and Weather Events
Tracking Drought-National Drought Mitigation Center (CNN-News Report)
Additional NOAA OSEI Satellite Images(Western Fires, Tropical Storms, etc)
NCDC Storm Event Database
Links to Numerous Natural Disaster Web Sites

For further information, contact:

Tom Ross
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
fax: 828-271-4328
Specific requests for climatic data should be addressed to:

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