Tropical Storm Allison produced rainfall amounts of over 30 inches in some portions of Louisiana and southeast Texas. Occasionally, tropical systems moving inland from the Gulf of Mexico stall or move very slowly along the upper Texas Gulf coast, resulting in flooding rains. Tropical Storm Allison was no exception with Port of Houston, Texas receiving 36.99 inches of rain as a storm total, and Houston Heights in Harris County reporting 19.58 inches in a 24-hour period.
The Houston Intercontinental airport (IAH), TX received 16.47 inches of rain as of June 10th, 2001, which is roughly four times their normal June precipitation. This rainfall amount of 16.47 inches makes June 2001 the wettest June on record. The previous wettest June occurred in 1989 when 16.28 inches of rain fell and most of the rain was associated with another tropical storm named Allison !
The latest estimates indicate that Allison caused approximately $4.8 billion dollars in damages in the Houston area, making it the most expensive tropical storm in U.S. history. Additional damage in other states which have disaster declarations (Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Pennsylvania) will probably push the damage total to over $5 billion. The damages in the Houston area included:
- $2.04 billion to public facilities, especially to the Texas Medical Center
- $1.76 billion to residential properties
- $1.08 billion to businesses
- Nearly 13,000 homes either destroyed or with major damage
- Over 43,000 homes with some damage
See the latest NOAA News Report on Allison for more information.
Flooding, lightning and tornadoes associated with the storm system have claimed at least 41 lives and left at least 13 others injured. Figures compiled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency confirm 23 deaths in Texas; 8 in Florida; 7 in Pennsylvania; and one each in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia. In addition, nine people died in North Carolina in vehicle accidents that were in part blamed on the rains, bringing the total number of fatalities related to the storm to 50.
For further information and data, see:
Allison Storm Summary
NWS Rainfall Reports (Gulf coast)
NWS Rainfall Reports (Northeast)
Additional Rainfall Reports (Gulf coast)
Houston NEXRAD Storm Total Estimate (GIF image)
Lake Charles NEXRAD Storm Total Estimate (GIF image)
Slidell NEXRAD Storm Total Estimate (GIF image)
Philadelphia NEXRAD Storm Total Estimate (GIF image)
Harris County, TX Rainfall Reports (GIF image)
Southeast Texas Rainfall Reports
Houston Chronicle News Reports
Texas State Emergency Management
Weather Log - June 1 - 10, 2001
These storm totals amounts (35.00 inches +) still pale in comparison to the rainfall totals produced from Tropical Storm Claudette in 1979. The Unites States 24-hour record rainfall occurred at Alvin, Texas with 43.00 inches recorded on July 25-26, 1979. Alvin is located on the flat coastal plain about 25 miles south of Houston. In contrast, the world's greatest 24 hour rainfall is 72 inches recorded on La R'eunion Island on January 7-8, 1966. La R'eunion island is located about 400 miles east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean and holds all the greatest observed point rainfall records for the periods from 9 hours to 8 days (Chagger, 1984). The island is about 30 by 40 miles in extent and very mountainous with steep slopes to 10,000 feet. The orographic effects caused by the high mountains greatly intensifies the heavy rainfall associated with tropcal storms. See the NCDC Global Measured Extremes of Temperature and Precipitation web site for additional records.
Media reports indicate that nearly 100,000 Bangladeshi islanders were stranded in water up to their chests on Wednesday (6th) following heavy monsoon rains. Rainwater reportedly swept away a small railway bridge disrupting train services between northeastern Sylhet district and Chittagong port city. Several villages in Sylhet were also reportedly inundated after a flood protection embankment was breached. The heavy monsoon rains have reportedly left 3 rivers swollen above their danger levels in northeastern Bangladesh.
Hong Kong and South China are already feeling the force of the monsoon season, with torrential deluges and even tornados wreaking havoc across the region. According to media reports, along Hong Kong's border with the mainland, more than 200 millimeters (eight inches) of rain was recorded on Sunday (10th) alone. In Guangdong province, at least 25 people were dead or missing and tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes. Officials estimate losses at nearly 50 million US dollars and Chinese state media say the storms, which also caused blackouts and disrupted communication lines, were the worst since authorities began keeping records. Rainfall is usually heavy in this region from early May until late September. Typhoons moving northwards from the South China Sea usually bring heavy flooding rains, violent winds, severe weather and cause property damage and the loss of life particularly between July and September.
Drought is causing problems across Brazil, northern China and western Asia. In the state of Pernambuco in northeast Brazil, a state of emergency was declaired on Monday (4th) due to the on-going months-long drought that is being blamed for widespread hunger and looting. The drought in northeastern Brazilian state - the poorest in the country - has reportedly made food scarce for some one million residents.
Most of northern China, except the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, is still suffering severely from drought. By the end of May approximately 22.7 million hectares of fields had reportedly suffered from the drought with 4.2 million hectares unavailable for planting. Approximately 15.8 million people and 11.4 million head of livestock are reportedly having difficulty getting potable water.
The rice-growing belt of northern Iran (the Caspian Province of Gilan, which is typically a semi-tropical region that is lush and green) is also being affected by the drought. According to the Iranian Deputy Energy Minister, water reserves at 3 dams near Tehran have reportedly fallen to half of last year's levels because of low rainfall.
Also, various media sources reported that an unusually long spell of drought and heat is causing severe damage to North Korea. The drought has persisted for 90 days since early March, reportedly the second longest drought in the country's history. According to the latest information released by the Central Forecasting Institute of the Hydrometeorological Bureau of DPRK, the longest drought was from July 11 - October 11, 1727.
Weather Log - June 11 - 20, 2001
As of 3:00 AM CDT, on June 11th, 2001, the center of former Tropical Depression Allison was located over eastern Lake Pontchartrain, LA. The low pressure area was moving slowly east-northeast. The bulk of the precipitation has moved into southeast Louisiana, southern Mississippi and Alabama, and parts of the Florida Pandhandle.
In contrast, drought conditions are still affecting parts of the United States. Portions of the southeast continue to suffer from hydrological drought, with streams and lakes far below normal levels. Short-term soil moisture deficits have impacted many agricultural interests, such as the planting of cotton, which has been delayed or cancelled in some locations, such as the low country of South Carolina.
Media reports also indicate that South Korea is facing its worst dry spell in 90 years, which is causing a threat to the staple food - rice. As a result South Korea has reportedly mobilized one-fifth of its total military force to farms. In total, approximately 130,000 troops have reportedly been dispatched to 90 hard-hit regions in order to dig wells and draw water from reservoirs.
Severe thunderstorms, hail and 72 tornadoes were reported mainly in the midwestern portion of the U.S. during the June 12-13, 2001 period. See preliminary damage reports and location information courtesy of the NOAA/NWS/NCEP Storm Prediction Center for June 12, 2001 and June 13, 2001.
More Information on Tropical Storm Allison Flooding:
As of the 18th, media reports indicate that at least four people are dead and two missing after an explosion caused a flooded apartment building to collapse and catch fire in suburban Philadelphia, where the remnants of Tropical Storm Allison dropped heavy flooding rains. The cause of the explosion has not been determined, but emergency management officials stated that given it occurred in the wake of the flooding, a gas explosion is a possibility. The remnants of Allison dumped about 3 inches of rain in most areas on the evening of the 16th, but over 10 inches was recorded in the hardest-hit areas of Doylestown and Willow Grove which are north of Philadelphia, PA.
For further information and data, see the detailed report above, along with:
NWS Rainfall Reports (Northeast)
Philadelphia NEXRAD Storm Total Estimate (GIF image)
Allison Storm Summary
A tornado hit the town of Siren - population 900 - in northwestern Wisconsin late Monday (18th). Three
individuals died and eight were injured, approximately 100 buildings were estimated to be destroyed or heavily damaged. See the NOAA-15 satellite image showing the severe thunderstorm which spawned the tornado.
Weather Log - June 21 - 30, 2001
NOAA and NASA to launch a new environmental satellite to detect Solar storms in July 2001. Forecasters will soon be able to better detect solar storms that could adversely impact technological systems on Earth thanks to an instrument called a Solar X-ray Imager that will be carried into space aboard a new NOAA satellite.
In Ecuador, reports indicate that 41 individuals have died, 6 remain missing, and that 5,400 hectares of farmed land and approximately 4,000 livestock have been lost due to the floods and landslides so far this month. The landslides caused by heavy rains have reportedly blocked several roads, and a total of 36 bridges have been damaged/destroyed, cutting off access to several communities such as Paland and Chinchipe in the Zamora-Chinchipe province. The road between Papallacta and Baeza still remains blocked, and the country's pipeline that was hit and damaged by a landslide was reportedly fixed on June 17th, but the total loss accumulated during the 8 days in which oil exports were suspended is reportedly 17 million dollars.
Various media sources reported that according to the Chinese Vice Minister of Water Resources this year's drought is the second most widespread in China since 1949, surpassed only by the 1978 dry spell. The drought has caused a shortage of water supplies in 364 Chinese cities, home to 21.98 million people. Lack of rain has reportedly affected 73 million hectares of farmland, and in some places rainfall is 40% less than normal. The dry conditions are especially severe in northern China, and the dry spell is reportedly a result of much less rainfall, above normal temperatures, frequent sandstorms, and lower water levels in the lakes and reservoirs. The average rainfall for this year is reportedly 10-20% less than the same period of the previous year, and the temperature is 2-3 degrees Centigrade higher - particularly in the cities of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province. In addition, sandstorms reportedly hit the area in north China 18 times during the March to May period.
In contrast, in southeast Asia across Taiwan and mainland China, preliminary media reports indicate that Typhoon Chebi has killed at least 73 people in China's southeastern province of Fujian, and at least nine people were killed and 15 declared missing after the typhoon crossed southern Taiwan. On the mainland, an official with the Fujian Flood and Drought Relief Command said the typhoon hit the coast on Saturday night (23rd) and stayed over land for only 10 hours. This is the second major storm to hit south China this month.
The media reported that on the 22nd and 23rd a heat wave in southern Pakistan killed at least 16 people, as temperatures reached nearly 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). The hot spell is reportedly aggravating the on-going severe drought in the area, which is already causing widespread water shortages in the province of Sindh and Punjab.
Various media sources reported that at 35 people were killed in landslides and floods on the 26th in Satya Devi village of Dhading district in Nepal. At least 28 people who were seeking refuge from rain in a house, died when the house collapsed as a result of a landslide caused by the incessant rains. In addition, five individuals reportedly drowned in the Kakhet River.
Media reports indicate that heavy rains are affecting parts of Ghana and Cameroon. In the Ghana capital of Accra emergency workers said floods on the 27th killed at least five people and forced an estimated 100,000 people from their homes. Floods also swept through southern Cameroon killing at least 19 people.
Other global highlights for the month can be found at NOAA/OGP Special Global Summary for June 2001.
Note: Hazard event satellite images available courtesy of NOAA OSEI Satellite Images WWW site.