Weather Log - July 1-10th, 2000
Balkan European Heat Wave: A ridge of high pressure from Saharan Africa brought a scorching heat wave to southeast Europe breaking century-old records, on Wednesday July 5th, 2000. The heat wave claimed at least eight lives across the region. Temperatures reached as high as 111 degrees F (43.9 C ) in locations across Turkey, Greece, Romania and Italy on Wednesday, officials said, and many regions were bracing for even hotter weather Thursday. The hottest station was in south central Bulgaria with a temperature of 113 F (45.0 C). The map above courtesy of Department of Meteorology- University of Cologne depicts temperatures on Wednesday July 5th, 2000. Additional reports on the heat are available here.
Looking for information on how to cope with a heatwave? In a normal year, about 175 Americans succumb to the demands of summer heat. Among weather related natural hazards, only the cold of winter -- not lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or earthquakes -- takes a greater toll. In the 40-year period from 1936 throuuugh 1975, nearly 20,000 people were killed in the United States by the effects of heat and solar radiation. In the disastrous heat wave of 1980, more than 1,250 people died. See the following tips from the NWS Heat Wave Information The NWS has also developed excessive heat outlooks valid for two week periods.
Media reports in China indicate that rainstorms in China's southwest Sichuan province were responsible for the deaths of 10 people, and injuries of at least 68 more since July 1st. Floods and landslides have also resulted in damage to numerous homes, power lines and highways.
A satellite image depicting Kai-Tek and Kirogi which both affected parts of Asia is available. Media sources reported that typhoon Kirogi hit Japan on Saturday (8th) resulting in two deaths. 20,000 homes were temporarily without power and 100 domestic flights were canceled and in the Philippines at least 27 people have died as a result of flooding and landslides associated with typhoon Kirogi and Kai-Tak and 400,000 people were also reportedly displaced from their homes.
Weather Log - July 11-20th, 2000
Meanwhile rainfall and flooding are causing problems in other areas. News reports indicate that at least 137 people have died as a result of the rain-induced garbage slide in Manila. The collapse of garbage onto more than 200 shanties occurred three days ago (10th), more than 150 individuals are still believed to be buried beneath the garbage. Rain has continued to fall causing the region where search teams are focusing their efforts to become flooded, thus hampering rescue efforts and increasing the threat of infection. More rain is expected to fall in the area as weather forecasters have reported a new storm, locally known as Gloring, located 250 miles east-southeast of Manila and heading toward the island of Luzon.
News reports indicate that an extreme rain event occurred on Tuesday evening (11th) caused flooding in Udon Thani, Thailand. The local meteorological office recorded a provincial record high, 174.5mm or 10.8 inches, of rain in the region on Tuesday night. The flooding was worsened by overflow from two reservoirs, and more rain is forecasted for the immediate future. As a result of the flooding streets remain submerged, schools closed, flights on Thai International Airways were cancelled Wednesday, and two deaths have resulted.
Media sources report that days of torrential rains caused a septic tank to flood and then burst, leading to an avalanche of rocks, mud and sewage onto the eastern Bombay suburb of Ghatkopar. The avalanche buried more than 200 hovels, killing at least 58 people with somewhere between 30 and 40 people still missing. Bombay reportedly received nearly 14 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, with forecasts of further heavy rains and strong winds to come. India's western state of Maharashtra has suffered from a week of heavy rains, which have resulted in the deaths of at least 80 individuals.
Media sources report that wildfires, caused by the on-going heat wave occurring in southeastern Europe, continue on the resort island of Samos. Greece has suffered hundreds of fires as a result of the heat wave during the past week, and Samos has suffered most drastically as one-fifth of the island has been burned. An image showing fires and a smoke plume across Athens is available here. The AP reported that as a result of the heat wave occurring in southeastern Europe the Turkish government declared holidays for state offices on Thursday and Friday(13th-14th). The order came following a request by the Health Ministry for offices to be closed from 11am to 4pm - the hottest portion of the day. The heat wave has been responsible for the deaths of at least 12 individuals. Bulgaria has had over 1,500 fires since early July with sporadic fires across Italy, Greece and other places in southern Europe. As of the 13th of July, the heat has abated across parts of Europe but Turkey will still be hot into the weekend (15th-16th). Media reports indicate that the heat wave in Turkey claimed 11 lives, and poultry producers in the country estimated five million chickens died as a result of the heat.
Fatalities due to Heat Wave: It's also quite hot in parts of the south central U.S. and into the western states. Media sources report that the heatwave blanketing the southern United States is responsible for at least 12 deaths in Texas, 10 in Alabama, and an additional 7 are being investigated as heat-related in Louisiana. Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Kansas are also suffering from the 100+ temperatures that have lasted for more than a week. An emergency health alert has been announced for the Dallas-Fort Worth region, and water restrictions have been implemented in 120 cities and towns throughout Texas due to drought conditions.
Drought in the U.S.: Drought continues across portions of the southeast and south in the U.S. An update on how the drought is affecting farmers is available here.
Deadly Tornado in Canada: A strong tornado, unusually strong for Canada, struck a campsite in Alberta on July 14, killing 11 people. A report is available here.
Weather Log - July 21-31th, 2000
Heavy rains and swollen rivers are causing flooding problems in Sweden. Rivers in central Sweden swollen by weeks of heavy rain in the mountains washed away summer houses, roads and railway embankments on Friday the 21st.
Some relief from the heat is expected to arrive in the southern U.S. over the weekend (22-23rd), but forecasters said temperature drops of five to 10 degrees will be temporary and southern states could be baking again in record high temperatures by the middle of next week. Tuscaloosa, Alabama, sweltered through its 16th straight day of temperatures of more than 100 degrees F on Thursday the 20th. A complete news report is available here.
Fires Raging in Western U.S.: The worst fire season in a number of years continued to worsen as 50 active fires in the western U.S. had consumed over 500,000 acres as of July 31, 2000. Two of the fires had burned over 60,000 acres each--one in the Sierra Nevada/ Sequoia National Forest area of California, and another in Nevada about 60 miles northeast of Elko. An estimated 3 million + acres have burned in fires in the U.S. thus far this year, with overall damage/cost estimates not yet available.
Map of fire locations
State, National and Regional Drought Information
Following are national maps which convey the drought situation:
Latest national drought monitor map (showing classes of drought severity).
24-month departure from normal.
24-month precipitation percentile.
24-month standardized precipitation index.
5-month percent of average precipitation.
5-month precipitation percentile.
2-month percent of average precipitation.
A Midwest Regional Climate Center report describes the alleviation of drought conditions in parts of the Midwest by the first of July.
A Southeast Regional Climate Center report describes July weather and climate impacts over the southeast in detail.
For National Drought information: Climate Prediction Center Drought Information and National Drought Mitigation Center.
For updates to the drought in South Carolina, see South Carolina Drought Information Center.
Information for Georgia is available at Georgia Drought Information WWW Page.
Other global highlights for the month can be found at NOAA/OGP Special Global Summary for July 2000.
Note: Hazard event satellite images available courtesy of NOAA OSEI Satellite Images WWW site.