Drought continued to impact parts of Australia, specifically
areas of New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. As
a result, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource
Economics reduced its crop production estimates for 2002 by 40
percent (CIP report). However, some heavy rains did fall in parts
of New South Wales during the week of September 16th.
|Drought impacted the
northern Hebei province of China, with
nearly 900,000 people affected by water shortages. Around
163,000 acres of crops have failed and 160,000 machine operated
wells have been shut down to prevent the over extraction of ground
water (CIP report).
|Severe to exceptional
drought continued across parts of the western United States as well
as the Southeast in September. Tropical moisture brought
significant rainfall to parts of Georgia and the Carolinas, which
provided some relief to drought conditions. Beneficial rains across
parts of the Four Corners region also helped to relieve some
exceptional drought in the Southwest. During the first ten days of
September, wildfires were
scattered throughout much of the western United States.
affected the northwest African nation of Mauritania. On September
1st, the Mauritanian government declared a state of emergency as at
least 60,000 people faced serious, imminent food shortages
Drought in Papua New Guinea has resulted in the adoption of
water conservation measures across the Highlands regions. Power
cuts occurred in the National Capital District as water rationing
affected hydro-electric facilities (CIP report).
|Warm weather across
the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia (east of the Black Sea)
was responsible for glacial melt that produced a deadly mudslide in
the village of Karmadon, located in North Ossetia-Alania
(Associated Press, CIP report). At the end of September,
over 100 people remained missing.
|Flooding along the
lower stretches of the Mekong River during the last week of August
into early September was extensive across parts of Vietnam,
Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. River flooding was responsible for
over 150 deaths across Indochina, with around 120,000 people in
Cambodia evacuated to emergency shelters (Reuters/AP/CIP report).
This is the third consecutive year that the Mekong Delta region has
experienced serious flooding.
In Vietnam, heavy rain during September 19-23rd resulted in
flooding across the Ha Tinh and Nghe An provinces, which caused up
to 55 deaths (CIP Report). Preliminary
damage estimates were around $19.6 million (USD).
|A slow moving storm
system which tracked across the Mediterranean was responsible for
heavy rains across Albania during September 21-26. Nearly double
the normal September rainfall occurred in less than a week, causing
severe flooding across parts of the country. The Prime Minister
declared a "State of Natural Disaster" in nine Albanian provinces,
where over 15,000 houses were flooded and over 26,000 hectares
(64,000 acres) of agricultral land submerged.
Thunderstorms which produced heavy rainfall caused a landslide
in the Guatemalan town of San Lucas Toliman on September 13. The
landslide was responsible for 18 deaths and the destruction of 10
thunderstorms which developed along a cold front affected much of
southern France during September 7-9. The storms caused flooding
that claimed 26 lives, including at least one lightning fatality
(Associated Press). The hardest hit area was near the southern
French city of Nimes.
Courtesy of UCAR
ripped through northern Wisconsin on Labor Day (September 2, 2002)
tornadoes, hail and wind damage. A tornado rated F-3 on the
Fujita scale struck Ladysmith, Wisconsin on the afternoon of
the 2nd. The storm caused extensive damage, leveling several
downtown buildings and knocking down the town water tower. The
storm was responsible for 40 injuries and caused $40 million (USD)
in damage in the town of 4,000 people (Associated
A tornado struck the Utah town of Manti on September 8th and
caused an estimated $1 million (USD) in damage (Associated Press).
Tornadoes in Utah are relatively rare, with an average of about 2
per year in the state.
preceding a strong cold front brought severe
weather and tornadoes on the 20th to areas of Ohio and Indiana.
Of at least 50 homes that were destroyed in Indiana, 20 of those
were in the town of Martinsville where a tornado struck (Associated
Press). According to the state emergency management agency, this
was the worst outbreak of severe weather in Indiana since June
Severe thunderstorms ahead of a cold front brought large hail,
damaging winds and at least 2 confirmed tornadoes to three
provinces of eastern South Africa on September 9th.
Courtesy of UCAR
developed as tropical depression in the western tropical Atlantic
and tracked northwestward across the Caribbean Sea reaching
tropical storm strength on the 18th as it passed near Jamaica.
Isidore reached hurricane status on the 19th as it brushed the
Cayman Islands and crossed into western Cuba by the 21st, locally
dumping over 600 mm (24 inches) of rain along with maximum
sustained winds near 165 km/hr (~90 knots or 105 mph). Isidore then
moved westward, making landfall along the northern Yucatan
Peninsula in Mexico on the 22nd with maximum sustained winds near
205 km/hr (~110 knots or 125 mph).
At least 2 people were killed in Mexico from Isidore, and over
300,000 left homeless as strong winds and flooding rains caused
significant damage (Associated Press). Isidore weakened to a
tropical storm while over land, and remained below hurricane
strength as it made its final landfall in the
United States on the 26th along the southeast coast of
Louisiana. Rainfall in New Orleans locally exceeded 500 mm (~20
inches), resulting in widespread flooding. Wind speeds exceeding 95
km/hr (~50 knots or 60 mph) were observed early on the 26th in
coastal areas of Louisiana causing power outages to over 30,000
households. Widespread heavy rains locally exceeding 50-100 mm
(~2-4 inches) spread well inland, affecting much of the Tennessee
developed as a tropical depression in the central tropical Atlantic
Ocean on the 21st and became a tropical storm on the 23rd as it
passed through the Windward Islands. On Barbados, 139 homes were
badly damaged and 275,000 people lost electric power as maximum
sustained winds were near 95 km/hr (~50 knots or 55 mph)
(Associated Press). Lili dissipated south of Haiti on the 26th but
regained its intensity and skirted the north coast of Jamaica on
the 29th. Lili reached hurricane strength on the 30th, passing near
the Cayman Islands and crossing western Cuba on October 1. Lili was
the second hurricane in less than 2 weeks to strike western Cuba,
and it forced the evacuation of thousands of people.
Tropical Storm Julio developed
as a tropical depression about 165 km (100 miles) south of
Zihuatanejo, Mexico on the 25th. Julio became a tropical storm
later the same day before making landfall near Lazaro Cardenas.
Maximum sustained winds were near 65 km/hr (~35 knots or 40 mph) as
the storm came ashore, along with torrential rains.
developed as a tropical depression in the South China Sea on the
23rd and became a tropical storm on the 24th with maximum sustained
winds near 100 km/hr (55 knots or 65 mph). The storm crossed over
the island of Hainan on the 25th before re-emerging in the Gulf of
Tonkin on the 26th. Mekkhala crossed into Guangxi province of
southeastern China on the 27th as a minimal tropical storm.
developed as a tropical depression in the eastern Gulf of Mexico on
September 12th and became a tropical storm the following day.
Maximum sustained winds reached 45 knots (52mph) on the 14th just
prior to landfall. The storm was very quickly downgraded to a
tropical depression as it moved ashore near Mobile, Alabama on the
14th. Extremely heavy rain accompanied the storm as it moved to the
northeast and led to some areas of flooding, especially in parts of
southwest Georgia. Donalsonville in Seminole County, Georgia
received 14.59 inches (370mm) of rain in a 24 hour-period, most of
which fell on Sunday morning (15th) according to the National
|Typhoon Rusa developed in
the western Pacific Ocean on August 22nd and became a typhoon by
the 24th. Rusa crossed the Japanese island of Amami O Shima on
August 29th with maximum sustained winds near 150 km/hr (~80 knots
or 90 mph).
Rusa recurved northward across the East China Sea before making
landfall along the south coast of South Korea on August 31st with
maximum sustained winds of 130 km/hr (70 knots or 80 mph). The
typhoon was the worst to strike South Korea since 1959, causing 200
deaths and dumping between 300 and 500 mm (11.8 and 19.7 inches) of
rain on parts of South and North Korea in less than 12 hours (ENS).
Rusa was the most costly storm in South Korean history, causing an
estimated $200 million (USD in damage. The typhoon damaged more
than 20,000 buildings and washed away at least 200 bridges and
developed in the East Mariana Basin on August 28 and became a
typhoon on the 30th. Sinlaku crossed the Japanese island of Okinawa
on September 4th with maximum sustained winds of 175 km/hr (95
knots or 110 mph). Winds in the city of Kadena gusted to 183 km/hr
(99 knots or 114 mph) as the typhoon passed by. Sinlaku tracked
into Zhejiang province on the 7th, making landfall near the city of
Wenzhou. The storm prompted the evacuation of over 300,000 people
and was blamed for at least 9 deaths (Reuters).
originated in the South China Sea on September 10th and tracked
into China's Guangdong province on the 11th with maximum sustained
winds of 85 km/hr (~45 knots or 50 mph). In the city of Hong Kong,
government offices and the stock exchange were closed as heavy
rains and gusty winds affected the city. In the Jiangxi province,
flooding associated with the storm destroyed 4,000 houses and
flooded 159 villages. Approximately 180,000 people were affected by
Tropical Storm Hagupit and over 270,000 acres of farmland destroyed
|Hurricane Gustav developed
as a subtropical depression northeast of the Bahamas on the 8th
before reaching subtropical storm strength later the same day.
Gustav affected eastern North Carolina on the 10th, dumping 76-152
mm (3-6 inches) of rain and producing wind gusts over 65 km/hr (40
mph or 35 knots). The storm became a hurricane on the 11th as it
pulled away from Mid-Atlantic coast. As Gustav approached the
Canadian Maritimes, it merged with a low pressure system
approaching from New England. Very heavy rains and strong winds
gusting over 85 km/hr (45 knots or 50 mph) affected Nova Scotia and
Newfoundland during the 11th and 12th.
developed off the Texas coast on the 5th and made landfall between
Houston and Corpus Christi on the 7th. The heaviest
rainfall occurred south of Houston and Galveston, where locally
more than 10 inches of were reported.
developed off the east coast of Florida on the 1st and became a
tropical storm on the 2nd. The storm came ashore on the 5th across
the northeast Florida coastline with gusty winds and locally heavy
downpours of rain. Edouard had weakened into a depression as it
moved into the northeastern Gulf of Mexico by late on the 5th and
dissipated on the 6th.
For the latest official advisories and information on tropical
systems in the western Pacific, please refer to the Joint Typhoon Warning
Center. In the central Pacific, the latest information can be
obtained from the Central Pacific Hurricane
Forecast Center, while the latest advisories on Atlantic and
eastern Pacific systems are available from the National Hurricane Center.
|A low pressure system
that affected the Iberian Peninsula brought heavy rain to parts of
Spain during the 17th-23rd. Heavy rain on the 17th produced street
flooding in Seville, with over 100 mm (~4 inches) in Moron de la
Frontera. This is more than 75 mm (3 inches) above average for the
entire month of September.
No reports received during September 2002
Basist, A., N.C. Grody, T.C. Peterson and C.N. Williams, 1998:
Using the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager to Monitor Land Surface
Temperatures, Wetness, and Snow Cover. Journal of Applied
Meteorology, 37, 888-911.
Peterson, Thomas C. and Russell S. Vose, 1997: An overview of
the Global Historical Climatology Network temperature data base.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society,