This is the Department of Commerce Homepage

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Climate-Watch, November 2001

National Climatic Data Center - (last update December 14, 2001)

NOAA Homepage
Hurricane Michelle and TN/NC forest fires

Two November 2001 events (Category 4) Hurricane Michelle & U.S. forest fires

separation bar

Top of Page Review - Hurricane Michelle

Tropical Storm Michelle at the beginning of the month brought flooding rains and associated mud slides to parts of the northern coast of Honduras. Four people were confirmed dead and others were listed as missing after rivers overflowed their banks in coastal areas of Honduras following several days of heavy rain. The storm then became a hurricane and moved toward Cuba over the weekend (3 & 4th). Cuba's Civil Defense Authority evacuated more than 600,000 people, the majority were in Pinar del Rio and Havana. Those deemed at greatest risk were in low-lying areas near the sea because of the expected storm surge. Cuban state radio and television reported five people died in the province of Matanzas, one of the areas most hard hit by the storm. The broadcasts said one person drowned and four people died when buildings collapsed on them, heavy loss of crops and property were reported in the island's central provinces. Cayo Largo - which is a small group of islands south of Cuba - reported a storm surge of 18 feet with Hurricane Michelle. After battering Cuba, a weakened Hurricane Michelle moved across the northwest Bahamas on November 5th. Large battering waves along the north coast of Cuba subsided as the storm continued to move steadily northeastward.

Meanwhile as of the evening hours of November 5th, hurricane Noel was moving at about 10 mph (17 km/h) toward Newfoundland in the north Atlantic. Noel weakened to a tropical storm on the 6th and should become extratropical.

This is the first time that two hurricanes have formed in November in the Atlantic/Carribbean Ocean basin since Hurricanes Florence and Gordon in 1994.

See the National Hurricane Center's Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information about Hurricanes and Tropical Storms.

Weather Log - November 1 - 10, 2001

The featured image in this months report was Hurricane Michelle. The storm is moving northeast from the Bahamas into the open Atlantic Ocean.

Weather Log - November 11 - 20, 2001

According to media sources, Algeria's worst floods in nearly 40 years have killed at least 618 people, with 577 dead in the capital, Algiers, alone, state media reported on the 12th. Poor planning and worse maintenance, not the wrath of nature, explain the high death toll from flash flooding in Algeria, experts said on Tuesday (13th) . El Watan daily newspaper, in an unconfirmed report, said the floods killed 1,000 people in Algiers. It quoted a volunteer as saying: "There are cars buried underground with their occupants. We need heavy machinery to get them out." Experts said flash floods swept away hundreds in Algiers' poor Bab el Oued neighborhood because safe construction practices were disregarded and sewers not maintained. Some existing drains, dating from the French colonial era, were sealed by the authorities three years ago after it was found they were being used as hide-outs by Islamic insurgents. Meteorologists said the amount of rain that drenched Algiers in a few hours was exceptional. "More than 100 millimetres (4 inches) of rain fell in a few hours in central Algiers" Saturday, said Abdeslem Chougrani of the state-run National Meteorology Office. "This compares with an average 93 mm (3.7 inches) the city normally receives in one month in that time of the year."

Typhoon Lingling roared into central Vietnam, killing at least 18 people, knocking out power and destroying hundreds of homes. The storm has been downgraded but still is causing flooding problems on the 13th. The storm, which left 171 confirmed dead and another 118 missing in the Philippines, brought 130 kilometer per hour (83 mph) gusts when it hit Vietnam between Phu Yen and Binh Dinh provinces, the National Center for Hydro Meteorology said. Additional media reports indicate, Lingling was the first typhoon to hit central Vietnam this year, although a tropical low-pressure system last month brought torrential rains and floods to eight central provinces, killing at least 44 people. Meteorologists warned that Lingling could bring more rain to upstream parts of the Mekong River in Cambodia and the lower areas of Laos. A swelling of the Mekong River upstream could slow the receding of floodwaters downstream in the rice-growing Mekong Delta which have killed at least 366 people since August, 286 of them children, but done only slight damage to crops. Flash floods and landslides in Vietnam's central region in October and November 1999 killed more than 730 people. See the image of Typhoon Lingling when the storm was between the Philippines and coastal Vietnam.

Meanwhile, conditions as of mid-November, are dry and getting drier across parts of the eastern United States. Precipitation has been lacking across a large area of the region -- especially the southeastern United States. Frontal systems have had little or no precipitation associated with them, and tropical rains were mainly restricted to Florida this season. See the analysis of the last 36 months accumulated precipitation for the region. Areas shaded in orange to purple indicate large 36 month accumulated precipitation deficits. Forest fires in tandem with drought are occurring as well. See the Eastern Tennessee/Western North Carolina GOES satellite image three forest fires with trailing smoke plumes from November 15th, 2001.

Up to 13 inches of rain fell in parts of Texas on the 15th and 16th, breaking daily extreme rainfall records in Austin and San Antonio, swelling creeks and waterways. Media reportes indicate than ten people died in southeast Texas from the storm.

Weather Log - November 21 - 30, 2001

Three people died and up to 142 were rescued after a flash flood swept through a national park in Spain's Canary Islands, officials said on the 21st. There were warnings of further heavy rain in the islands on the 21st as well. Storms and strong winds in the Straits of Gibraltar kept fishing boats in port and interrupted ferry services between southern Spain and North Africa.

Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes spawned by a powerful storm system ravaged Mississippi Delta communities in Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi, killing at least 12 people and injuring about 190 others, local officials said on the 24th.

After a warm start to the ski season, snow has piled up in parts of the Rockies and resorts have opened their slopes in relief and in anticipation of the upcoming the Winter Olympics. Utah's Park City resort, a key venue in the games, opened on Saturday (24th) after a heavy Thanksgiving snowfall. Heavy snow in the 1-3 feet range fell on these areas over the weekend (24-25th).

According to media reports, a double-dose of ice and rain socked Arkansas as storms wreaked havoc across the South, dropping up to 14 inches of rain and causing at least two traffic deaths. Eight to 14 inches of rain fell in some areas from Wednesday night (28th) through Thursday (29th) in Tennessee. In Memphis, repeated downpours dumped 10 inches on Tennessee's biggest city from Monday night (26th) through Thursday (29th) evening. Farther west, the southern Plains began to recover from freezing rain and more than a foot of snow left behind by the same storm system. The region's first snowstorm of the season was blamed for hundreds of traffic accidents and at least 18 deaths in Texas and Oklahoma. At least 9 inches of snow fell in Aspermont, Texas, about 100 miles northwest of Abilene.

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

separation bar

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

The Selected U.S. City and State Extremes provides a list of new monthly or unusual records that were set across the U.S. during November 2001.

separation bar

Top of Page Additional Resources

separation bar 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:

Top of Page Top of Page