Weather Log - March 1 - 10, 2001
East Coast Storm
A strong storm system hammered portions of the eastern U.S. during the first week of March, 2001. The storm dumped 9.21 inches of rain in Georgianna, Alabama in a four-day period ending at 8 AM CST on March 4th, 2001. The storm also dumped heavy snows on portions of the northeast. The heaviest snows were across interior sections of Pennsylvania, New York and New England on March 5th and 6th with 2-3 feet amounts quite common. The heavest reported amount fell at Nottingham, New Hampshire with a storm total of 40 inches. Winds also gusted to 97 MPH at Mt. Washington with areas along the New England coast gusting over 60 MPH. A cold flow behind the storm brought heavy snows across the backbone of the Appalachians from the Carolinas to Pennsylvania. Snowfall amounts in these areas ranged from 5-20 inches, with Avery county North Carolina reporting up to 18 inches of snow.
California was also hit by torrential rains during the first week of March 2001. The heaviest rains fell across portions of Santa Barbara county, with coastal areas receiving about 7 inches of rain, and automated high mountain stations picking up over 19 inches of precipitation.
See the following data summaries for details on these storms.....
Southeast Rainfall, March 1-4, 2001
California Rainfall, March 1-7, 2001
Nor'easter Storm Reports, March 5-7, 2001
The AP reported that the rain-swollen Tisza River, which rose to 25 feet at the village of Zahony, Hungary, reached its highest level in 100 years on Friday. The previous record, set on March 15th, 1888, was less than half an inch lower. In addition, CNN reported that more than 30,000 individuals have fled their homes in two dozen villages, 65 square miles of land have been inundated and 136 houses in the northeast region have collapsed. Twenty villages have been evacuated and 11,000 people are reportedly living in temporary shelters in Hungary during what is the third consecutive year of flooding in the region. A total of 7 individuals have reportedly died as a result of the floods in Eastern Europe. The flooding was quite severe in March 1999.
Weather Log - March 11 - 20, 2001
Various media sources reported that much of New South Wales has been declared a natural disaster zone, and 3 deaths have occurred as a result of the recent flooding. This is reportedly the third time since October that major floods have hit Australia. Floods are also affecting the province of Queensland where some 29,000 homes lost electricity when power lines were knocked down.
As mentioned in earlier Climate Watch reports, various media sources reported that the on-going drought is killing hundreds of people in Afghanistan's northeastern province of Badakhshan. In the past week 300 individuals have reportedly died from hunger and various diseases. This 3-year drought has reportedly wiped out most crops and forced residents to either kill or sell their livestock. Food supplies have reportedly been exhausted by the long and bitterly cold winter, and thus famine is affecting 800,000 individuals in several districts of Badakhshan. The drought is reportedly affecting most of Afghanistan as approximately half of the population, 12 million people, is suffering. In the past 3 months more than 1,000 individuals have reportedly died in the badly affected regions of Shari Bozourg, Yaftalha and Ragh districts. See the 10 day forecast for precipitation for this region.
Weather Log - March 21 - 31, 2001
A strong storm system hit the eastern seaboard during the week of March 20, with heavy snows in parts of the southern Appalachians. As this storm continued north-northeastward, New England received more snow on top of the heavy snows of the past several weeks.
Media reports indicated that according to U.K. government meteorological office, in the past year, England and Wales have received more rain than in any other year on record. The average rainfall between April 1st, 2000 and March 20th, 2001 was 51 inches - the most since records began in 1766; the previous record was 50 inches was set in 1872. The country also set records for the wettest April, with an average of 5.6 inches during April 2000, and the wettest fall season with an average 18 inches of precipitation.
The AP reported that rain swollen rivers burst their banks, flooding several villages and overflowing town centers and blocking roads on March 21st in northeast and central France. According to a meteorologist at the national weather service Meteo France, the rain amounts over the past few months were 2 to 3 times as high as in other years. Additional further flooding submerged more of western and northern France on Sunday (25th). In addition, the BBC reported that traffic disruptions continued throughout much of the western and northern parts of the country, and schools were closed on Monday (26th) in parts of Brittany where roads were impassable.
Media reports that flooding has caused problems in Zimbabwe-- more than 30,000 individuals have reportedly been affected, and 13 people have died. The worst affected areas are the northeastern provinces. The National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) reported in Mozambique, that the number of displaced individuals in all 4 affected provinces (Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia) has risen to 235,000 - of whom 180,000 are in temporary accommodation centers where malnutrition is a problem. In addition, 2366 km of roads were damaged in Zambezia province. The 2000/2001 rainy season was an unprecedented heavy one in parts of Zambia. Certain areas in the north received up to 44% above the normal rainfall. The overall situation in Zambia was compounded by drought conditions in the southern part of the country.
In contrast, severe drought continuing in Burundi contributing to food insecurity in the Great Lakes region of that country. Drought is also causing problems in southern Zambia.
Additional reports indicate that thousands of houses and hundreds of hectares of paddy fields in East Java have become inundated following a week of incessant rains in Central and East Java.
Mongolia is suffering from its second straight severe winter disaster. According to an official report by the Mongolian State Civil Defense Board, the number of dead livestock is 1.5 million as of March 15th, 2001.
Media reports indicated that a tornado moved through Pakistan's eastern Punjab province on Wednesday (28th), killing four people, injuring dozens and destroying 100 homes. Two women and two children died when the tornado hit, and hundreds of others were left homeless in the village of Chak Miran which is about 120 miles southeast of Islamabad. The tornado struck during the first heavy general rains to hit this parched nation of 140 million people in nearly one year. Most of central and northern Pakistan received heavy rains. Some areas were hit with hailstorms as well.
Other global highlights for the month can be found at NOAA/OGP Special Global Summary for March 2001.
Note: Hazard event satellite images available courtesy of NOAA OSEI Satellite Images WWW site.