Climate of 2007
Annual Review

Significant U.S. and Global Events

National Climatic Data Center
15 January 2008

2007 U.S. Significant Weather and Climate Events2007 U.S. Significant Weather
and Climate Events

NOTE: The information provided in this report was compiled from both NOAA and non-NOAA sources, including U.S. and international news media reports.

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Review of U.S. Events

JAN / FEB / MAR / APR / MAY / JUN / JUL / AUG / SEP / OCT / NOV / DEC

January 2007

Across the United States, extreme drought conditions were observed in areas of Wyoming and Nebraska, as well as northern Minnesota and parts of Texas. Exceptional drought was limited to areas of south Texas. For more detailed drought information, please see the Climate of 2007 Annual Review of U.S. Drought.

In the United States, severe thunderstorms generated tornadoes along the central Gulf Coast region on January 4. In Lousiana's Iberia Parish, there were 2 deaths and at least 15 injuries. As many as ten homes were destroyed (Associated Press).

Ice and snow affected large sections of the United States during January 12-17, from Texas and Oklahoma northward through Missouri, Illinois and northeastward into New England. There were more than 60 fatalities, and hundreds of thousands of residents lost electricity to their homes and businesses (AFP). In Oklahoma alone, 23 people lost their lives (Reuters).

Subfreezing temperatures and snow occurred unusually far to the south in parts of Southern California. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger warned that California's fruit industry was facing its worst-ever crisis due to prolonged low temperatures. Preliminary agricultural losses were estimated at $1 billion (USD)(AFP). In Phoenix, Arizona, low temperatures dipped to -2°C (29°F) on both the 14th and 15th. Previously, the last subfreezing temperature was observed on December 23, 1990.

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February 2007

Across the United States, extreme drought conditions were observed in areas of Wyoming and Nebraska, as well as northern Minnesota and parts of Texas. Exceptional drought was limited to areas of south Texas.

Severe thunderstorms produced tornadoes in central Florida during the early morning of February 2, producing the deadliest outbreak in nine years. Twenty-one fatalities were reported as tornadoes struck portions of Sumter county, ultimately affecting Lake and Volusia counties. This was Florida's deadliest tornado outbreak since the "Groundhog Day Storm" of 1998 killed 42 people in the Sunshine State (AFP).

Intense lake-effect snowfall in the lee of Lake Ontario deposited phenomenal snowfall accumulations in areas downwind of the lake. A ten-day (February 3 - 12) storm total of 358 cm (141 inches) was reported in Redfield in New York's Oswego county.

A tornado struck the New Orleans area on February 13, affecting some of the same neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There was one fatality and 29 injuries. About 21,000 electricity customers in the greater New Orleans area lost power during the storm (Associated Press).

A major winter storm affected portions of the eastern United States during the 13th-15th, depositing significant accumulations of snow and ice from Illinois eastward into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Snow accumulations in areas of upstate New York totaled in excess of 100 cm (39 inches). This storm ranked as a Category 3 event on the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS). The heaviest snow fell in interior regions of the Northeast where amounts over 20 inches were widespread. The winter storm was blamed for 13 deaths, and around 300,000 people lost power during the storm (AFP/CNN).

More severe winter weather occurred during the 24th-26th as snow and ice affected areas from the Plains eastward into the Mid-Atlantic. A total of 58 counties across the eastern two-thirds of Iowa were placed in a state of emergency by Iowa governor Chet Culver, with more than 100,000 Iowa residents without power. Some of the heaviest snow fell in southeastern Minnesota, where as much as 76 cm (30 inches) accumulated (Reuters).

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March 2007

Across the United States, extreme drought conditions were observed in areas of Wyoming and Nebraska, as well as northern Minnesota and parts of the Southwest. For more detailed drought information, please see the Climate of 2007 Annual Review of U.S. Drought.

Severe thunderstorms produced tornadoes that tore through parts of the southern United States on March 1, killing 19 people in Alabama and Georgia (Reuters).

More than 2500 daily record high temperatures were set from the East to the West Coast during the month. On the 13th of March alone more than 250 daily high temperature records were set. The earliest high of 90°F (32°C) occurred in Las Vegas that day and the daily record was broken by 6°F (3.3°C). For the month as a whole more than 200 daily record highs of 90°F or greater occurred in California, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and areas of the Southeast.

Additional severe weather and tornadoes occurred on the 28th, killing 4 people in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas (Associated Press).

Precipitation in southern California was much below average. In Los Angeles, the lack of rainfall during the usually rainy winter season led to the driest water-year to date for the city since records began in 1877. From July 1, 2006 through the end of March downtown Los Angeles had received only 2.47 inches of rain, almost one foot below the normal amount of rainfall for the period.

Texas had the wettest March on record.

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April 2007

Across the United States, extreme drought conditions were observed in areas of Wyoming and Nebraska, as well as northern Minnesota and throughout much of the Desert Southwest and the Southeast region. For more detailed drought information, please see the Climate of 2007 Annual Review of U.S. Drought.

An outbreak of severe thunderstorms including 14 reported tornadoes occurred on the 3rd in parts of the Mississppi and Tennessee River Valley region. There were at least 7 injuries reported, but no fatalities.

A late-season Arctic air mass brought record cold to areas of the Midwest, Plains, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast during April 4-10. Significant damages to crops were reported, including North Carolina which had an estimated $112 million in losses. Temperatures dipped well below freezing, with many areas observing morning low temperatures as low as -6°C (21°F). Additional information can be found on the April 2007 Cold Wave page.

A late season winter storm dumped nearly a foot of snow across areas of Maine on the 5th, snarling traffic and forcing governor Jim Baldacci to declare a state of emergency after at least 275,000 homes and businesses lost power (Reuters). Portland recorded its fifth biggest snowstorm in April for a 24-hour period.

A storm system brought strong winds to southern California, fanning brush fires and producing power outages. At least 76,000 power outages were reported in the greater Los Angeles area on the 12th (AFP).

A major storm system, otherwise known as a Nor'easter, moved up the Eastern Seaboard during the 15th-17th. Strong winds produced power outages that affected hundreds of thousands from South Carolina to Maine, while heavy rainfall generated flooding in areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Rain and wind hampered runners of the Boston Marathon, with a strong headwind causing the slowest race finish since 1977 (Reuters). New York City had its second-rainiest day ever, with 192 mm (7.57 inches) on the 15th. The record for the heaviest daily rainfall is 210 mm (8.28 inches) set on September 23, 1882 (NWS). Higher elevations of northern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire received snowfall accumulations as high as 43 cm (17 inches). A total of 17 deaths were attributed to the storm (Associated Press).

Severe thunderstorms moved across south central Texas producing a devastating tornado on the night of April 24 that killed 10 people along the Texas-Mexico border. The tornado destroyed two schools and damaged hundreds of homes (Associated Press).

Extreme drought in southern Georgia led to one of the largest wildfires on record for the state, and several fires continued to burn in early May. Please see the 2007 Fire Season page for more information.

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May 2007

Across the United States, extreme drought conditions were observed in areas of Wyoming, as well as northern Minnesota and throughout much of the Desert Southwest and the Southeast region. On May 29, 50% of the western U.S. was in moderate to exceptional drought, 83% in the Southeast, and 34% for the contiguous U.S., according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor. For more detailed drought information, please see the Climate of 2007 Annual Review of U.S. Drought.

In the United States, severe thunderstorms produced devastating tornadoes across the Plains on the 4th and 5th. The strongest tornado was reported to have occurred in Greensburg, KS, killing at least 10 people and destroying about 95% of the town. The 1.7 mile-wide tornado was on the ground for 22 miles. The tornado was rated as category EF-5 (Associated Press/USA Today News). For additional information, see the Storm Prediction Center Report. The last F5 tornado occurred in Midwest City, Oklahoma, in May 1999.

Subtropical storm Andrea developed off the southeastern coast of the United States on the 9th, prior to the official Atlantic hurricane season (June 1st), becoming the first named storm in May since 1981. Andrea had maximum sustained winds of 65 km/hr (35 knots or 40 mph) and weakened to a depression on the 10th (Associated Press/CNN News). Storms that occur prior to the official start of the hurricane season are not uncommon. As recently as 2003 a tropical storm developed earlier in the season when Tropical Storm Ana formed on April 22nd.

Extreme drought exacerbated wildfire conditions in Georgia and Florida that charred about 192,000 hectares (474,000 acres) in Georgia and 93,000 hectares (229,000 acres) in Florida, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate the area (NIFC/BBC News).

In the United States, heavy rainfall in parts of Oklahoma and Texas during May 26-27 triggered flash floods which affected more than 1,000 people and were blamed for at least 4 deaths with 2 others missing. Areas in northern Oklahoma experienced the worst flooding in over 50 years, reporting rainfall totals of 76 mm (3 inches) in a 24-hour period (Associated Press/BBC News).

Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee had their driest March - May (spring) on record.

The Southeast region, ranked driest for the March - May (spring) period with a value of 5.88 inches (149 mm). The previous record dry spring was March - May 1914, with a total of 6.77 inches (175 mm).

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June 2007

Across the United States, extreme drought conditions persisted in areas of Wyoming and throughout much of the Desert Southwest. Although Tropical Storm Barry brought much needed precipitation over parts of the Southeast during the first week of June, extreme to exceptional drought persisted in parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. On June 26, 49% of the western U.S. was in moderate to exceptional drought, 68% in the Southeast, and 34% for the contiguous U.S., according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor. For more detailed drought information, please see the Climate of 2007 Annual Review of U.S. Drought.

In the United States, severe thunderstorms affected eastern Iowa on June 1 producing a tornado that resulted in the destruction of 39 homes and approximately $2.7 million in infrastructure damage (Associated Press). For additional information, see the Storm Prediction Center Report.

Across the Upper Midwest of the contiguous U.S., severe thunderstorms produced damaging winds, more than 152 mm (6 inches) of rain, tornadoes, and in some areas up to 4 inch hail on June 7 (Associated Press). For additional information, see the Storm Prediction Center Report.

In the United States, heavy rainfall on June 17-18 produced flooding that destroyed hundreds of homes across northern Texas and led to 5 fatalities. The towns of Sherman and Gainesville were the worst hit. Gainseville recieved a total of 127 mm (5 inches) of rain (BBC News). Severe storms produced persistent heavy rainfall in central Texas during June 26-27, with reports of up to 18 inches (457 mm) of rain in the Marble Falls area on the night of the 26th. Meanwhile, the Dallas area experienced its second wettest June (behind 1928) since records began in 1899 (Reuters).

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July 2007

Across the United States, extreme drought conditions persisted in areas of Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, Nevada and throughout much of the Desert Southwest and the Southeast region. Exceptional drought was present in Alabama and parts of southern Tennessee. On July 31, 63% of the western U.S. was in moderate to exceptional drought, 80% in the Southeast, and 46% for the contiguous U.S., according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor. For more detailed drought information, please see the Climate of 2007 Annual Review of U.S. Drought.

A heat wave affected areas across the western contiguous U.S. during the first week of July. Temperatures exceeded 40°C (104°F) across the region, breaking maximum temperature records in several cities. These dry and hot conditions throughout much of the western U.S. enhanced wildfire potential, with numerous large fires across the Northwest. For more information on July's wildfires, please visit the 2007 Wildfire page.

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August 2007

Across the United States, severe to extreme drought conditions persisted throughout much of the western U.S., the Southeast region, and parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Exceptional drought was present in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and parts of Mississippi, North and South Carolina. On August 28, 64% of the western U.S. was in moderate to exceptional drought, 83% in the Southeast, and 46% for the contiguous U.S., according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor. For more detailed drought information, please see the Climate of 2007 Annual Review of U.S. Drought.

A severe heat wave gripped the South and Midwest during August. The heat led to numerous new maximum temperature records in several cities. The Tennessee Valley Authority reported that a new record was set on August 6 when demand reached 32,095 megawatts. The previous record was set on July 18, 2006 (AFP). Fifty-one fatalities were blamed to the heat (Associated Press). Additional information can be found on the August 2007 Heat Wave page.

Tropical Storm Erin developed as a depression in the Gulf of Mexico on the 14th, reaching tropical storm intensity on the 15th. On the 16th, Erin made landfall near Lamar, Texas with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/hr ( 40 mph or 35 knots). Erin was downgraded to a depression but dropped moderate to heavy precipitation in its path. By the 19th, Erin was over Oklahoma where it re-intensified with maximum sustained winds of 55 km/hr (34mph or 30 knots). Later that same day, Erin dissipated over northeastern Oklahoma. About 254 mm (10 inches) of rain fell across Houston and San Antonio, TX as well as in parts of central Oklahoma, as a result of Erin. According to reports, 13 fatalities were blamed to the tropical storm and many homes were damaged by the floods (Associated Press/BBC News).

In the United States, thunderstorms on August 19-27 brought heavy rain across parts of the Midwest prompting widespread flooding which forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. There were 18 reported deaths across the Midwest due to flooding (BBC News). The American Red Cross said in a preliminary report that in Wisconsin and Minnesota there were approximately 4,200 affected homes (Associated Press). Damages in Wisconsin were estimated to be about $38 million (Associated Press).

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September 2007

Across the United States, severe to extreme drought conditions continued throughout much of the western U.S., the Southeast region, and parts of Minnesota. Exceptional drought persisted in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, North and South Carolina. On September 25, 63% of the western U.S. was in moderate to exceptional drought, 77% in the Southeast, and 44% for the contiguous U.S., according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor. For more detailed drought information, please see the Climate of 2007 Annual Review of U.S. Drought.

Across southern areas of the state of California, 25 fatalities were attributed to a heat wave that prompted temperatures to soar past 40°C (104°F). The excessive heat resulted in the declaration of an 'electrical emergency' by energy officials during the week of September 2 and left about 55,000 people without electricity for two days (BBC News).

In the United States, heavy rain fell at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City on September 10, breaking the previous daily rainfall record. The previous 24-hour record was set in 1925 when 61.0 mm (2.4 inches) of rain fell. This record was easily surpassed in less than an hour when 69 mm (2.73 inches) of rain fell early in the morning. The 24-hour total rainfall for the day was 161 mm (6.32 inches), 100 mm (3.9 inches) more than the previous record (Associated Press).

Hurricane Humberto became the first storm on record to intensify from a tropical depression to a category one hurricane within 16 hours (BBC News). Humberto was classified as a depression in the Gulf of Mexico on September 11, reaching tropical storm intensity on the 12th. Humberto made landfall just east of Galveston, TX on the 13th as a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (137 km/hr or 74 knots) (BBC News) and was the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005 (Associated Press). This hurricane brought heavy rain to the Texas-Lousiana coastline, left about 100,000 residents without power (BBC News), and was responsible for the death of one person (Associated Press). Humberto weakened to a tropical depression on the 13th.

In the United States, severe thunderstorms produced a tornado that affected the southwest Florida city of Cape Coral on September 16. The tornado, with wind speeds estimated to be between 90-110 mph (145-177 km/hr or 78-96 knots), damaged about 150 homes. Only one person was injured (Associated Press).

October 2007

Across the United States, severe to extreme drought conditions continued throughout much of the Southeast region, the western U.S., and some areas in the northern Great Lakes region. Exceptional drought persisted in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina and parts of Kentucky and Virginia. On October 30, 57% of the western U.S., 67% in the Southeast, and 35% of the contiguous U.S. were in moderate to exceptional drought, according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor. For more detailed drought information, please see the Climate of 2007 Annual Review of U.S. Drought.

In the state of Georgia, the exceptional drought has taken a toll on the state's water supplies, forcing the governor to declare a state of emergency across the northern half of the state. Lake Lanier, a 15,380 hectares (38,000 acres) reservoir in the northern part of the state, serves more than 3 million residents with water and it is feared that it might be in total depletion in 3 more months (BBC News).

In the United States, a 100-year-old annual rainfall total record was broken on October 14 when 36 mm (1.4 inches) of rain fell at Will Rogers World Airport, south of Oklahoma City, bringing the annual total rainfall, as of the 14th, to 1,355 mm (53.34 inches). This amount surpassed the previous annual record of 1,322 mm (52.03 inches), set in 1908, by 33 mm (1.31 inches) (Associated Press).

Severe storms affected northern Texas on October 15. The storms produced damaging winds and heavy rain that flooded roads and damaged buildings. About 20,000 customers lost electricity in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. One fatality was reported (Associated Press).

Strong thunderstorms, with gusts as high as 86 mph (138 km/hr or 74 knots), damaged mobile homes and injured more than 30 people in Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 17 (Associated Press).

Severe thunderstorms affected areas across the central and southeastern United States on the 18th (Associated Press). A tornado, spawned from the severe storms, struck Missouri's Monroe County, claiming two lives after tearing apart a mobile home and killing its occupants (BBC News). Another tornado formed in Pensacola, FL which damaged a house, a church, and a shopping mall and injured 4 people. No fatalities were reported (Associated Press/BBC News).

Severe wildfires in southern California, which started on October 21, forced 950,000 residents to evacuate the area, resulting in the biggest evacuation in Californian history (BBC News). The fires charred 209,200 hectares (517,000 acres), destroyed more than 2,000 homes, killed 7 people and injured 40 others. Seven of southern California's counties were declared in a state of emergency by President Bush (BBC News/USA Today).

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November 2007

Across the United States, severe to extreme drought conditions continued throughout much of the Southeast region and the western U.S. Exceptional drought persisted in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina. On November 27, 58% of the western U.S., 76% of the Southeast, and 37% of the contiguous U.S. were in moderate to exceptional drought, according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor. For more detailed drought information, please see the Climate of 2007 Annual Review of U.S. Drought.

New wildfires, which began November 24, charred over 1,860 hectares (4,600 acres) of land in southern California. More than 14,000 residents evacuated their homes and more than 50 homes were destroyed (BBC News).

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December 2007

A Kona Low (a strong extratropical storm in the central Pacific) brought heavy rains, flooding, and gail force winds to Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii the first week of December.

Heavy rains caused widespread flooding in Washington and Oregon during the first week of December. As much as 13 inches of rain fell on areas of the Pacific Coast Range, leading to the closing of Interstate 5 between Portland and Vancouver. In Washington, 30 to 40 percent of residential neighborhoods in Centralia and Chehalis flooded. Record flood levels were reached on the Chehalis, Skokomish, and Elwha rivers. In Vernonia, Oregon some areas outside the FEMA 500-year flood plain were inundated. For additional information please refer to the Dartmouth Flood Observatory.

A severe ice storm struck a large part of the southern Plains and Midwest during the second week of December. Oklahoma was the hardest hit. At its peak on 11 December, approximately 1.5 million customers were reportedly without power, making this the largest power outage in the history of the state.

For more information on Weather and Climate Extremes, refer to ...

The Climate of 2007
Extreme Weather and Climate Events

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Review of Global Events

JAN / FEB / MAR / APR / MAY / JUN / JUL / AUG / SEP / OCT / NOV / DEC

2007 Global Significant Weather and Climate Events2007 Global Significant Weather and Climate Events

January 2007

Heavy rainfall continued in Malaysia during early January, with the number of fatalities at 18 since flooding rains began in December 2006. The flooding was concentrated in the states of Johor and Sabah. The recent flash flooding, described as the worst in decades, was blamed in large part on environmental degradation and poor development planning. At the peak of the flooding, around 110,000 people were sheltering in relief centers (AFP).

In Brazil, heavy rains in the southeastern part of the country resulted in 31 deaths from flooding and mudslides during the first week of January. The majority of the fatalities occurred in the Rio de Janeiro state (Associated Press).

A powerful storm system affected much of northern Europe during the 17th-18th. Torrential rains and winds gusting up to 170 km/hr (105 mph) affected portions of southern Britain, northern France, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Czech Republic. The UK Met Office reported the strongest winds since January 1990 across the country. There were at least 47 deaths across the region, with tens of thousands losing electrical services during the storm (AFP).

In Bangladesh in early January, unusually cold weather affected northern districts of the country, producing temperatures as low as 5°C (41°F), or reportedly the coldest in 38 years. At least 130 fatalities resulted from the cold weather, as well as adverse impacts on winter crops (OCHA).

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February 2007

Australia recorded the second hottest February mean temperature in the 1950-2007 period of record. In Western Australia, the mean maximum temperature in February was warmest on record for the month, or 37.8°C (100°F). For additional information, see the February climate summary from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The record heat also exacerbated drought conditions in parts of the country.

Flooding in Mozambique was described as the worst in 6 years. An estimated 30 people were killed and 120,000 evacuated from the central Zambezi basin, according to the government's disaster-response agency. Additional flooding and loss of life was attributed to landfalling Tropical Cyclone Favio by late-month (OCHA-IRIN/IFRC).

In Bolivia, flooding rains that began in January 2007 continued into early February, affecting nearly 200,000 people. More than 70,000 hectares (173,000 acres) of cropland were also affected (OCHA).

A major winter storm affected portions of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada during the 13th-14th, depositing significant accumulations of snow and ice from Illinois eastward into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Snow accumulations in areas of upstate New York totaled in excess of 100 cm (39 inches). The winter storm was blamed for 13 deaths, and around 300,000 people lost power during the storm (AFP/CNN). In Canada, Montreal received almost as much snow in one day (53 cm or 21 inches) as was received winter-to-date. Until the snowstorm, Montreal had only recorded 70 cm (27.5 inches) of snowfall, or nearly half the normal value (AFP/Environment Canada).

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March 2007

Tropical Cyclone George developed in the Timor Sea as a depression on the 3rd, crossing the northern tip of Western Australia on the 4th. George re-emerged into the open waters of the Indian Ocean on the 5th and made landfall on the 8th just east of Port Hedland in Western Australia with maximum sustained winds near 205 km/hr (110 knots or 125 mph). George generated heavy rainfall along its course, with 394 mm (15.5) inches or rain reported in Darwin during the storm's formative stages. The cyclone was the most destructive cyclone to affect Port Hedland since Joan in 1975, and resulted in 3 deaths and 28 injuries in Western Australia (ABC News).

In northeastern China, a major winter storm affected the Liaoning Province, reportedly producing the heaviest snowfall in 56 years. The snowfall collapsed roofs and produced transportation delays. Drifts as high as 2 meters (6.6 feet) were observed (Shanghai Daily).

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April 2007

A six-year drought, characterized as the worst in the nation's history, continued in Australia. Australian Prime Minister John Howard warned that irrigation in much of the nation's farmland would be banned unless significant rainfall occurred during the next month. There was only enough water in the Murray-Darling river system for drinking purposes (BBC News).

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May 2007

In China, the worst drought since 1940 was concentrated across several Chinese provinces. In the province of Gansu, 1.6 million people faced water shortages and a million of hectares of crops are damaged. Henan was reportedly the worst hit by drought, receiving 30% of expected rainfall since March (BBC News).

A heat wave affected areas across western and central Russia during the month of May breaking several temperature records. In Moscow, temperatures on the 28th reached 32.9°C (91.2°F), the highest temperature recorded in May since 1891 (31.8°C/89.2°F). This is the first time in 128 years that the Russian capital has suffered sustained 30°C (86°F) or higher temperatures. This heat has prompted Russia's energy administrator to restrict the use of non-residential energy for the first time in summer (BBC News/Kommersant).

In early May, Uruguay was hit by the worst flooding since 1959. Heavy rainfall in portions of Uruguay produced floods that affected more than 110,000 people and severely damaged crops and buildings. In Durazno, heavy rainfall triggered the overflowing of the Yi River and flooded the city's water supply. A total of 30,000 people had no access to safe drinking water (OCHA).

Subtropical storm Andrea developed off the southeastern coast of the United States on the 9th, prior to the official Atlantic hurricane season (June 1st), becoming the first named storm in May since 1981. Andrea had maximum sustained winds of 65 km/hr (35 knots or 40 mph) and weakened to a depression on the 10th (Associated Press/CNN News). Storms that occur prior to the official start of the hurricane season are not uncommon. As recently as 2003 a tropical storm developed earlier in the season when Tropical Storm Ana formed on April 22nd.

A cold front that swept across South Africa led to at least 21 fatalities and 54 weather records observed in many areas on May 21-22. Most of the records were for lowest maximum and minimum daily temperatures, with some locations reaching a low minimum temperature of -6°C (21°F) while in some other locations the lowest maximum temperature was 1.7°C (35°F) (Cape Times News). For additional information, see the South African Weather Service report.

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June 2007

A heat wave affected areas across southeastern Europe during late June, prompting electricity demand to soar to record levels. About 40 deaths were attributed to high temperatures soaring past 40°C (104°F). Hot, dry weather experienced in southern Europe contributed to over 130 wild fires which have destroyed thousands of acres of land and killed two people (BBC News/Associated Press). Northern Africa suffered as well, with temperatures over 40°C (104°F) which contributed to the spread of several fires (AFP).

Heavy rains affected areas of eastern Australia during June 7-10 producing the worst flooding in 30 years in the Hunter area of New South Wales. Nine people were killed and about 5,000 people evacuated the area due to fears that the Hunter River would overflow and eventually break its banks. The Hunter area received up to 300 mm (12 inches) of rain (BBC News).

Heavy rainfall in the northern and western parts of United Kingdom brought flooding on June 25 that prompted evacuations and resulted in at least three deaths. Fylingdales, located in North Yorkshire, reported a total of 103 mm (4 inches) in a period of 24 hours (BBC News). Preliminary data from June 2007 suggest it was the wettest such month since records began. The nationally averaged rainfall was 134.5 mm (5 inches), which was 13 mm (0.5 inches) more than the previous record set in 1980 (AFP).

Cyclone Gonu, an unusually strong tropical cyclone, developed in the eastern part of the Arabian Sea on June 1st. The cyclone made landfall in Oman on the 6th with maximum sustained winds near 148 km/hr (80 knots or 92 mph). A few days prior to landfall, Gonu had intensified to a powerful super cyclonic storm with maximum sustained winds near 260 km/hr (140 knots or 162 mph) on the 5th, becoming the first documented super cyclone in the Arabian Sea and tied for the strongest cyclone in the North Indian Ocean. After making landfall in Oman, Gonu moved through the Gulf of Oman making a second landfall in Iran (AP/BBC News). Tropical Cyclone Gonu affected more than 20,000 people and was responsible for 49 fatalities and 27 missing people in Oman. Gonu brought heavy rainfall which caused floods and landslides. Overall damages in Oman were estimated to be over 1 billion U.S. dollars. Meanwhile in Iran 5 fatalities were reported and 9 people remain missing (Reuters). Tropical cyclones as strong as Gonu are rare in the Arabian Sea.

Cold and snowy weather characterized conditions across much of South Africa on June 27, where 25 cm (10 inches) of snow fell in parts of the country. Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city, received its first significant snowfall since 1981. One fatality was attributed to the cold temperatures (SA/Reuters).

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July 2007

Heavy rainfall during July caused the rivers to overflow and triggered flash floods across northern parts of Sudan forcing hundreds of families to evacuate the area. The flood waters destroyed approximately 18,000 homes and were responsible for injuring 100 people and killing more than 50 others. According to residents, the event is Sudan's worst flooding in living memory (BBC News/Reuters).

Heavy rain, which began in June 2007 across parts of China, continued in July. During the first week of July, torrential rainfall generated devastating floods and landslides which affected about 500,000 people in Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Chongqing provinces. About 94 fatalities were reported with 25 others missing. The floods and landslides also destroyed about 49,000 homes and damaged approximately 240,000. During July 15-18, severe storms pounded central and eastern parts of China, killing at least 37 people mainly due to mudslides and lightning strikes. In the city of Chongqing, an intense thunderstorm produced heavy rains which triggered flooding that affected about 113,000 people and destroyed about 10,000 homes. From July 16-17, Chongqing reportedly received 227 mm (9 inches) of rain in a 24-hr period. This amount of rain broke the previous 24-hour record of 206 mm (8 inches) that was set on July 21, 1996 and thus became the largest rainfall in a 24-hr period since records began in 1892. Economic losses have been estimated to exceed $500 million (Associated Press).

Heavy rainfall during July 21-29 brought widespread flooding across parts of the United Kingdom producing the worst flooding since 1947. The heavy rains resulted in the swelling of rivers, forcing thousands of people to evacuate the area. Approximately 48,000 homes in the counties of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire were left without electricity and about 150,000 homes had water supplies cut off since the power station and a Tewkesbury water treatment plant were flooded and became inoperable. According to reports, the Severn River reached its highest level since 1947 (BBC News/Associated Press). On July 26, the UK Met Office reported that, for England and Wales, May to July 2007 was 201 mm (8 inches) above the 1971-2000 mean and ranked as the wettest May-July since records began in 1766. The previous record was set in 1789. A complete summary is available courtesy of the UK Met Office.

Floods triggered by incessant rains affected Burkina Faso's western Bama region during July 28-30. The heavy rains, described as the worst in 16 years, affected thousands of people and destroyed hundreds of homes. According to reports, 165 mm (6.5 inches) of rain fell during the 28th-29th (AFP).

Typhoon Man-Yi developed as a depression in the western Pacific Ocean on the 8th, reaching typhoon intensity by the 10th. Early morning on the 13th, Man-Yi made landfall in the southern island of Okinawa with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph (160 km/hr or 86 knots). The strong winds left more than 60,000 people without power (BBC News). On the 14th, Man-Yi made landfall on the southern part of the islands of Kyushu and Shikoku and immediately weakened as it tracked toward the northeast. Typhoon Man-Yi was responsible for 5 fatalities and was reportedly the most powerful storm to hit Japan in July since records began in 1951 (AFP).

Cold weather in Argentina resulted in snowfall in its capital city, Buenos Aires, on July 9. It was the first major snowfall since 1918 (Associated Press).

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August 2007

Across the United States, severe to extreme drought conditions persisted throughout much of the western U.S., the Southeast region, and parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Exceptional drought was present in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and parts of Mississippi, North and South Carolina. On August 28, 64% of the western U.S. was in moderate to exceptional drought, 83% in the Southeast, and 46% for the contiguous U.S., according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor.

A severe heat wave gripped the South and Midwest during August. The heat prompted numerous new maximum temperature records in several cities. The Tennessee Valley Authority reported that a new record was set on August 6 when demand reached 32,095 megawatts. The previous record was set on July 18, 2006 (AFP). Fifty-one fatalities were blamed due to the heat (Associated Press). Additional information can be found on the August 2007 Heat Wave page.

In areas across northwestern Switzerland, heavy rain fell on August 8-9. According to reports, Switzerland's largest city, Zurich, received its largest daily rainfall amount in 100 years. Only one fatality was reported (BBC News).

Hurricane Dean developed in the Atlantic Ocean, west-southwest of Cape Verde, as a tropical depression on the 13th. Dean moved towards the Caribbean sea and by the 16th it reached hurricane intensity. On the 17th, Dean entered the Caribbean Sea through the St. Lucia Channel as a Category 2 hurricane. Although Hurricane Dean passed to the south of Puerto Rico and the island of Hispaniola as a Category 3 hurricane, Dean's outer rain bands affected the islands as well. During the evening of the 17th, Dean strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane and by the 19th Dean passed south of Jamaica. On August 21, Dean was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 269 km/hr (167 mph or 145 knots), with gusts of up to 322 km/hr (200 mph or 174 knots), and a central pressure of 906 mb before making landfall in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. While interacting with land, Dean downgraded to a Category 1 storm but immediately regained strength as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico. Dean made its second landfall on August 22 near Tecolutla, Veracruz as a Category 2 storm. Dean lost its strength and dissipated over central Mexico.

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September 2007

In Africa, torrential rain triggered widespread flash floods across the continent, affecting over a million people in 22 countries. The heavy rains destroyed thousands of acres of land and prompted an outbreak of Cholera, which killed at least 68 people (AFP). The most affected countries were Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. In Sudan, 64 people lost their lives in what is described as the worst flooding in living memory (BBC News/AFP). Uganda, which suffered from the heaviest rainfall in 35 years, reported 9 fatalities and affected 150,000 people (Associated Press). According to reports, the United Nations declared parts of Ghana and Ethiopia as disaster zones and Uganda's president declared a state of emergency across the country (BBC News).

Typhoon Fitow developed in the western Pacific Ocean on August 28. Fitow reached peak intensity on September 3 with maximum sustained winds near 98 mph (157 km/hr or 85 knots). On September 6, Fitow made landfall southwest of Tokyo, Japan, and became the strongest typhoon to hit Tokyo since October 2002 (Reuters). The typhoon left tens of thousands of residents without power, killed at least 2 people, left 40 others injured (BBC News), and brought heavy rain that surpassed rainfall records in many parts of Tokyo (Reuters).

Hurricane Felix developed as a depression in the eastern Atlantic Ocean on August 31, reaching tropical storm intensity later that day. Felix continued to intensify and was a strong category five hurricane with maximum winds of 168 mph (270 km/hr or 146 knots) by September 3. Prior to making landfall, Felix weakened briefly but then reintensified into a Category 5 storm and made landfall in northeastern Nicaragua by the 4th. The rugged terrain of Central America weakened Felix significantly such that it was downgraded to a tropical depression on the 5th. The most affected area was Puerto Cabezas where heavy rainfall destroyed many homes and left many people dead (BBC News). Hurricane Henriette, which formed in the East Pacific Ocean, and Hurricane Felix made landfall the same day, September 4. This is the first time since records began in 1949 that both Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes made landfall the same day (BBC News).

Hurricane Humberto became the first storm on record to intensify from a tropical storm to a category one hurricane within 16 hours (BBC News). Humberto was classified as a depression in the Gulf of Mexico on September 11, reaching tropical storm intensity on the 12th. Humberto made landfall just east of Galveston, TX on the 13th as a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (137 km/hr or 74 knots) (BBC News) and was the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005 (Associated Press). This hurricane brought heavy rain to the Texas-Lousiana coastline, left about 100,000 residents without power (BBC News), and was responsible for the death of one person (Associated Press). Humberto weakened to a tropical depression on the 13th.

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October 2007

Severe wildfires in southern California, which started on October 21, forced 950,000 residents to evacuate the area, resulting in the biggest evacuation in Californian history (BBC News). The fires charred 209,200 hectares (517,000 acres), destroyed more than 2,000 homes, killed 7 people and injured 40 others. Seven of southern California's counties have been declared in a state of emergency by President Bush (BBC News/USA Today).

Across Central America, heavy rain prompted devastating floods during October 12-15. In Costa Rica, heavy rain that fell during October 10-11 caused widespread floods that washed away over 800 homes and prompted a deadly mudslide on the 11th. The mudslide, according to reports, is the worst weather disaster for Costa Rica in years, claiming 14 lives and burying hundreds of homes in the town of Atenas (AFP/BBC News). In Nicaragua, the heavy rain affected 10,000 people, destroyed homes and crops, and washed away cattle. According to reports, 600 mm (24 inches) of rain fell in a period of four days (BBC News). El Salvador reported 2 fatalities, Honduras reported 4 fatalities, and Panama reported 2 missing people (AFP/BBC News).

Typhoon Lekima formed in the western Pacific Ocean as a tropical depression on September 27. After making its first landfall as a tropical storm in the Philippine island of Luzon, Lekima strengthened to a category 1 typhoon. On October 3, the storm made landfall in Vietnam with maximum sustained winds near 72 mph (116 km/hr or 63 knots). Lekima brought torrential rain and high winds, which triggered landslides, flooded thousands of homes, and destroyed vast areas of rice fields (BBC News/Reuters). Typhoon Lekima was responsible for the deaths of 86 people with 9 others missing (Associated Press). Vietnam suffered its worst flooding in 45 years due to the extensive flooding caused by the typhoon (BBC News). According to reports, Vietnam's Department of Floods and Storms Control estimate damage losses was $131 million (Associated Press).

Typhoon Krosa developed in the western Pacific Ocean on October 1 and reached typhoon strength on the 3rd (BBC News). The storm had maximum sustained winds of 101 mph (162 km/hr or 43 knots) when it made landfall in Taiwan on the 6th, becoming the strongest typhoon to hit the island during this year (AFP/BBC News). Krosa's aftermath led to 7 fatalities and left about 2 million people without power in Taiwan (Associated Press/BBC News). The storm made its second landfall near the border of China's provinces Zhejiang and Fujian with maximum sustained winds near 78 mph (126 km/hr or 68 knots) on the 7th (BBC News). Krosa brought heavy rain to China's southeast region, pouring up to 200 mm (8 inches) of rain on parts of Zhejiang and Fujian (AFP).

Tropical storm Noel developed off the south coast of the island of Hispaniola, composed of Haiti and Dominican Republic, on October 28 and made landfall in Haiti on the 29th with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (80 km/hr or 43 knots). Noel brought heavy rains that caused widespread floods and prompted landslides across the island of Hispaniola (AFP). In the Dominican Republic, 84 people lost their lives and about 14,500 homes were damaged, while 57 deaths were reported in Haiti. Noel's wrath damaged the Dominican Republic's rice, plantain, and cacao plantations leading to an estimated $30 million in losses (Associated Press). After making landfall in Haiti, Noel moved towards Cuba, making a second landfall on October 30 with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph (97 km/hr or 52 knots). According to reports, the heavy rain in Cuba damaged 1,000 homes (Associated Press). Tropical storm Noel became the deadliest storm of the 2007 season (Associated Press).

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November 2007

Torrential rain, which commenced on October 28, caused devastating floods in the state of Tabasco, Mexico. The heavy rain triggered widespread floods, prompted deadly landslides, and caused rivers to flow over their banks, leading to the worst flooding in more than 5 decades (Reuters). Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon, referred to this event as one of the worst natural disasters in Mexico's history (Reuters). Approximately 80% of the state was under water, homes and crops were destroyed, and about half a million people were left homeless (Associated Press). One death was reported (OCHA).

Tropical cyclone Sidr developed in the Bay of Bengal on the 9th and intensified to a very severe cyclonic storm, equivalent to a category 4 in the Saffir-Simpson scale, on November 14. Sidr struck Bangladesh on the 15th with maximum sustained winds near 240 km/hr (150 mph or 130 knots), producing heavy rains and high tidal surges that caused widespread flooding (BBC News/Reuters). About 650,000 people were affected and more than 2,400 were killed (Associated Press). Most of the deaths were attributed to falling trees that flattened many homes made of bamboo and tin (AFP). According to reports, Cyclone Sidr is described as the worst storm to strike Bangladesh since 1991 (Reuters/AFP).

Typhoon Hagibis and Mitag developed in the western Pacific Ocean on the 18th and 20th, respectively. Hagibis crossed the Philippines, as a depression but soon after strengthened to a tropical storm. The storm brought heavy rain in the central and southern Philippines triggering floods and landslides. Hagibis, lying over the South China Sea and moving towards Vietnam, intensified to a typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 157 km/hr (98 mph or 85 knots). Although Hagibis did not make landfall in Vietnam, heavy rain associated with the storm fell over south-central Vietnam, prompting the disruption of coffee and oil production (Reuters). Hagibis made a U-turn and headed towards the Philippines once again. According to reports, this is the first time in 10 years a storm has done a U-turn in the country (BBC News). Hagibis downgraded to a depression on the 26th. Meanwhile, Mitag strengthened to a typhoon on the 21st and made landfall in the northern Philippines on the 25th with maximum sustained winds of 157 km/hr (98 mph or 85 knots). The storm was responsible for 8 fatalities and brought heavy rains which flooded at least 50 villages.

Hurricane Noel, which developed in October, reached Category 1 hurricane strength on November 1, but by the 2nd transitioned to a strong extratropical storm. On November 4, Noel struck the Canadian Maritimes with maximum sustained winds near 135 km/hr (84 mph or 73 knots). The storm produced heavy rain and left about 100,000 people without power (Canadian press/BBC News).

Across much of Europe, an early winter season has prompted many ski resorts to open early this year. Since the week of November 11, snow fell continuously across parts of Europe. According to reports, Austria experienced its earliest arrival of severe winter weather in decades with up to 508 mm (20 inches) of snow falling in Vienna on the 15th. Meanwhile, Switzerland had 635-711 mm (25-28 inches) of snow fall, with Zurich having its heaviest snow fall since 1955. This is the first time in over 5 decades Switzerland has seen such a strong start to its winter ski season (BBC News).

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December 2007

A major heat wave affected Australia during the last week of December. According to reports, the city of Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, experienced its hottest Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But it was not till the 26th that Perth experienced its hottest December day when temperatures reached 44.2°C (111.6°F).

In Sri Lanka, heavy downpours that fell since December 16 triggered floods that displaced 175,000 people and damaged nearly 2,300 houses (Reuters/AFP). On December 23-24, more than 150,000 people were affected in the Batticaloa district, the worst hit, when torrential rains prompted a reservoir to burst its banks, flooding many homes.

Heavy rain, which began on December 25, caused widespread floods that triggered devastating landslides in the island of Java in Indonesia. More than 100 people lost their lives and tens of thousands were affected after a series of landslides engulfed many homes in mud. The worst hit area was the Karanganyar district where more than 60 people were gathered when a landslide hit by surprise. According to reports these landslides were the worst to strike the region in 25 years.

Tropical cyclone Daman developed as a depression in the southern Pacific Ocean on the 4th and intensified into a tropical cyclone on the 5th. On December 7, Daman reached its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 195 km/hr (120 mph or 105 knots). The severe cyclone spared Fiji's second largest island Vanua Levu, which is densely populated, but pounded the smaller islands. Daman produced heavy rain that caused floods in the low-lying areas and triggered landslides. The tropical cyclone was downgraded to a depression on the 9th.

Tropical storm Olga developed as a sub-tropical storm on the 10th, after the official end of the Atlantic hurricane season, over the Virgin islands. Sub-tropical storm Olga moved westward along the northern coast of Puerto Rico with sustained winds near 75 km/hr (47 mph or 40 knots), producing torrential rainfall in the interior of the island. During December 10-12, Olga dumped more than 8 inches (203 mm) of rain on the island. The heavy rain triggered mudslides that killed one person and left thousands without power (BBC/Reuters). During the morning of the 11th, Olga began to lose its sub-tropical characteristics, developing a warm core and transitioning to a tropical storm that same day. The storm reached its peak intensity of 93 km/hr (58 mph or 50 knots) on the evening of the 11th, just before making landfall in the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. The heavy rain produced by Olga caused widespread flooding, including the overflow of rivers. Rapid accumulation of water in the Tavera Dam forced officials to make a drastic decision of releasing the water from the Dam into the Yaque del Norte River and thus inundating seven towns (Reuters/Associated Press) since they feared the dam would collapse and flood Santiago, Dominican Republic's second-largest city. Olga affected more than 34,000 people, killed 20 people and damaged nearly 7,000 homes. Haiti reported two fatalities (Associated Press). According to reports, tropical storm Olga is the 10th named storm to develop in December since records began in 1851.

In Spain, cold conditions were experienced on December 18, prompting a huge surge on electricity demand, exceeding the previous record set on 27 January 2005.

For more information on Weather and Climate Extremes, refer to ...

The Climate of 2007
Extreme Weather and Climate Events

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For further information, please contact:

Jay Lawrimore
NOAA/National Climatic Data center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
fax: 828-271-4328
email: Jay.Lawrimore@noaa.gov

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