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Climate-Watch, January 2001

National Climatic Data Center - (last update Feb 05, 2001)

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White Christmas Proability Map

Climate Atlas of the Contiguous United States
(Click on the image for a larger view)
* These are just two of the 737 color maps available on the new NCDC Climate Atlas. This atlas replaces the popular paper atlas published in 1968.

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NCDC's new Climate Atlas gives instant access to 737 color maps which feature various climate variables. Do you need to know the mean monthly snowfall, mean number of days with thunder, fog or high winds? These are just several of the map options that are offered on this new CD-ROM product. See NCDC's "In the Spotlight" for ordering this product.

Weather Log - January 1-10, 2001

In the U.S., various media sources reported that approximately 70,000 people in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas were still without power on Wednesday (3rd) as the effects of the Christmas day ice storm continue to linger. At least 57 deaths have reportedly been blamed on the winter storms, including a New Year's storm that dumped up to 8 inches of snow. Northern Louisiana received up to 5 inches of snow on New Year's Eve--the deepest accumulation for some spots there in 15 years, and up to 3 inches of snow fell in Mississippi on Monday (1st). Various media sources reported that heavy snowfall brought down power lines in northeast Poland on Monday (1st), cutting electricity to some 12,000 homes. Up to 40cm (16in) of snow reportedly fell overnight Sunday into Monday morning. The greatest snowfalls occurred around the town of Suwalki.

Various media sources reported that up to 60,000 herders in Inner Mongolia are at risk of starvation following the freak blizzard that lasted three days which began on December 31st. The blizzard was followed by intensely cold weather, with temperatures as low as -60F. Thirty-nine individuals, approximately 220,000 cattle and numerous sheep have died and traditional grasslands are reportedly covered with frost and snow.

The BBC reported that 2 individuals died and several are missing following heavy snowfall and an avalanche that caused havoc in the Alps over the weekend (6th & 7th). The bodies of two Italian hikers were found in northern Italy on Sunday (7th) after a rise in temperature reportedly turned the glacier they were walking on into a swamp.

Australia is a study in contrast early in 2001. Tropical moisture has plagued the northern sections of the country. Media reports indicate that authorities began airlifting food, medical supplies, and mail to communities isolated by floods in northern Australia. Meanwhile, in southeast Australia, dozens of bushfires burned across the region. The heatwave begain in December when temperatures were in excess of 40 C (104 F) .

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Thursday (4th) that La Nina weather in 2000 produced the 2nd wettest year in Australia since 1900. In addition, a new record was reportedly set in 2000 for the highest annual rainfall recorded at an Australian weather station - with 12,461mm (490in) of rain falling at Mount Bellenden Ker (1,555m high), compared to the previous record of 11,852mm (467in) set in 1999. See the NCDC Global Measured Extremes of Temperature and Precipitation WWW page for more information.

Reuters reported that a fresh snowfall Tuesday (9th) forced the cancellation of almost all domestic flights and caused delays for several international flights in South Korea. In addition, property damage as a result of this past weekend's snowfall - the heaviest in 20 years - is estimated to be 149 million dollars. This weekend's snowfall also reportedly resulted in one death, and according to police, icy road conditions caused 10 other deaths and resulted in 270 injuries.

In contrast, the BBC reported that hospitals have been inundated with frostbite cases in Siberia around the 10th. Temperatures reportedly dropped as low as -57C. The cold weather has reportedly caused power failures across the region. More than 6,000 individuals are reportedly without heat in the central Siberian cities of Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and Poligus.

Weather Log - January 11-20, 2001

Various media sources reported that the worst storm in 3 years has dumped more than 7 inches of rain on parts of southern California. The state's emergency regulator reportedly declared a State Three power alert - the highest-level power emergency - and considered ordering scattered blackouts Thursday (11th) night as electricity reserves dropped below 1.5%. In Los Angeles nearly 4 inches of rain reportedly fell late Wednesday and early Thursday. The storm had dumped nearly 3 feet of snow in some coastal mountain areas, and the heavy rains reportedly caused mudslides and road closures along much of California's central coast. Authorities have reported one death as a result of the storm as a motorist died in a storm-related accident in San Jose.

Kenya's meteorological office said it had recorded 128 mm (five inches) of rain in nine hours on Saturday (13th). Heavy rain has been falling on Nairobi for most of this month, and meteorologist Gitutu Mungai said it was the wettest January's in 40 years. Meteorologists said a cyclone off the east African coastline combined with a pressure gradient caused by extremely low pressure over the Indian Ocean and high pressure over the Atlantic had caused the unseasonable rainfall. Kenya is only just beginning to recover from one of the worst droughts in its history, and substantial rain had not been expected until March. See the complete media report on this event. The Bolivian Civil Defense Director indicated that heavy rains over the last two weeks have caused flooding leaving more than 60,000 individuals homeless. In addition, 13,500 families have reportedly been affected, and these are partial figures as they do not include the remote communities located near the flooded rivers. The provinces of La Paz, Beni, Cochabamba and Oruro have been particularly affected, and rains on the high plains have reportedly caused flooding of the Desaguadero River and its tributaries.

In Australia, various media sources reported that one individual died and at least 27 were injured following another storm that hit the eastern Australian coast. It was the third major storm to hit eastern Australia in the past 10 days. It has been reported that the bill for all three storms has reached an estimated 80 million Australian dollars (45 million US dollars).

Weather Log - January 21-31, 2001

Cold winter weather continues to grip a large portion of Russia. Media reports indicate that 104 people have died of hypothermia in the Moscow region since October 10. Officials have said most were homeless people or alcoholics who passed out in the freezing weather.

In the town of Khingansk in eastern Russia, eight apartment buildings lost heat as temperatures dropped to -50 Celsius (-70 Fahrenheit) on Sunday (21st). Other Russian regions are mired in an energy crisis prompted by a cycle of debts that has left thousands cold and in the dark for weeks at a time this winter.

Media reports also stated that North Korea received record snowfall and bitter cold temperatures as low as -37C over the weekend (20th & 21st) . The Korean entral News Agency reported that traffic was paralyzed, communication lines were downed and snow slides occurred in the southeastern region of the country.

Media reports indicate that an emergency situation has been declared in parts of the Zambezi Province in central Mozambique following a tropical storm that brought 3 days of torrential rains to the area. Approximately 260 families have lost their homes, and 1 child has reportedly died. The areas of the Zambezi province covered by the emergency declaration are the provincial capital Quelimane and the coastal districts of Chinde, Nicoadala, Maganja da Costa and Namacurra. Rains also reportedly inundated Quelimane suburbs forcing residents to seek shelter, and many roads in coastal Zambezi are impassable.

According to media reports, the worst drought in 30 years continues to affect Afghanistan. According to the UN, the drought and fighting in Afghanistan have driven more than 100,000 people to flee to Pakistan in the past 5 months.

See the Global Map hightlighting these events.

For a contrast in global extremes, see:
Graph 1, Graph 2, Graph 3, Graph 4, Graph 5, Graph 6
For additional global climate graphs, by user selection, see:

Other global highlights for the month can be found at NOAA/OGP Special Global Summary for January 2001.

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

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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 January 2001.

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Top of Page Additional Resources

Midwest Climate Watch
Southeast Climate Watch
Northeast Climate Watch
Southern Climate Watch
NNDC Climate Data Online (for long-term climate data)
NOAA Historical Visible Imagery Library
NCDC Climatic Extremes and Weather Events
Tracking Drought-National Drought Mitigation Center (CNN-News Report)
NOAA Office of Global Programs (OGP) Rapid Response Project WWW Site
Additional NOAA OSEI Satellite Images(Western Fires, Tropical Storms, etc)
NCDC Storm Event Database
Links to Numerous Natural Disaster Web Sites

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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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NOAA Bullet NCDC / Climate Research / Climate-2001 / January / Climate-Watch / Search / Help
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