Please note: Material provided in this report is chosen subjectively and included at the discretion of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The ability to report on a given event is limited by the amount of information available to NCDC at the time of publication. Inclusion of a particular event does not constitute a greater importance in comparison with an event that has not been incorporated into the discussion. Data included in this report are preliminary unless otherwise stated. Links to supporting information are valid at the time of publication, but they are not maintained or changed after publication.
|Severe to exceptional
drought continued throughout much of the western United States. Two
months of above average precipitation in the eastern U.S. brought
significant relief to long-term drought conditions.
|Unseasonably warm and
dry weather continued during September-November across much of
Australia, with much of New South Wales
recording the driest October on record. Temperatures during
November were 2-4°C (3.6-7.2°F) above normal across New
South Wales, which exacerbated existing dryness. Although some
rainfall was received in the far north and east part of the country
during November, much of the nation still escaped enough moisture
to ease long-term drought conditions.
|Drought in Australia
was expected to reduce the economic growth by one percentage point
this year, mainly through declining agricultural output (BBC News).
Nationally, Australia recorded the driest October 2002 on
Dry, hot weather exacerbated the threat for wildfires across
eastern Australia. By the 25th, at least 55 separate
wildfires burned in New South Wales, with 1,500 firefighters
battling blazes which had charred over 470,000 hectares (1.2
million acres) (Reuters).
Ethiopian government officials reported that nearly 6 million
people are threatened by drought (AFP), with nearly 1.4 million
under immediate risk of starvation (Reuters). In Zambia, drought
that has destroyed grazing pastures threatened the country's rare
white rhino population (Reuters). Six consecutive poor harvests due
to a lack of rainfall in Mauritania has adversely impacted farmers
and decimated livestock herds (BBC News).
||In North Africa, a
strong cold front trekked across Morocco during November 17-18 and
produced severe flooding which resulted in at least 60 deaths
(ENS). Flood damage also ignited a fire at a large oil refinery in
the industrial town of Mohammedia. The flash flooding was
characterized as the worst to strike the country in 30 years
extended northward across southern Europe, where flooding and
mudslides were reported through much of northern Italy and the
Swiss Alps. Wet weather throughout much of November caused numerous
rivers and streams to rise above flood stage, flooding thousands of
homes and businesses (ITV News).
|In southeast Asia,
flooding that began in September
with the onset of the monsoon season continued into early November
across parts of Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.
Heavy rains during November 19-24th across northern Sumatra in
Indonesia caused severe flooding in the province of Nanggroe Aceh
Darussalam, killing at least 26 people and inundating around 2,000
flooding along the Blanco River in the Amazon jungle region
killed 4 people on the 10th. The river brought flooding to four
towns near the city of Satipo, about 280 km (175 miles) east of
Lima (Associated Press).
For a description of other flood events worldwide, see the
|A major outbreak of
severe weather and tornadoes occurred across the U.S. Tennessee and
Ohio valley region on November 10-11, 2002, producing damage in 13
states. A total of 75 tornadoes touched down on Sunday 10th,
resulting in at least 36 deaths (ENS).
Courtesy of UCAR
moved across southeastern Alabama and the Florida panhandle on
November 5th, producing wind
damage and several tornadoes. A tornado struck the Alabama town
of Abbeville killing 2 people and injuring 25 (Associated Press).
Alabama governor Don Siegelman declared the town a disaster area,
as the local high school was damaged along with several homes.
developed in the southern Indian Ocean on the 6th and moved slowly
westward, making landfall near the Mozambique/Tanzania border on
the 12th. Maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall were near
65 km/hr (35 knots or 40 mph), accompanied by locally heavy
|Hurricane Huko developed in the
open waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean, well south of the
Hawaiian Islands, on October 24. Huko strengthened into a hurricane
by the 28th as it tracked slowly westward. Huko passed west of the
dateline on the 3rd and was subsequently renamed a typhoon. Huko
passed near Wake Island on November 5th, producing heavy rains and
wind gusts over 75 km/hr (40 knots or 45 mph). Huko weakened and
lost its tropical characteristics by the 7th as it accelerated to
A strong cyclone (the remnants of tropical cyclone 03B) which
impacted the coast of India and Bangladesh on November 17th has led
to the deaths of at least 49 Indian and Bangladeshi fishermen. One
hundred and eleven fishermen were still missing as of the 15th
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 preliminary summary of 2002 tropical
storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin is available.
|In the southwestern
United States, strong Santa Ana
winds affected much of southern California during November
20-26th. Winds on the 26th gusted to over 95 km/hr (50 knots or 60
mph), producing over 75,000 power outages to customers. Several
small wildfires were also reported in the mountains east of Los
Angeles and across the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Powerful Storm System Affects Western U.S.
Click for Loop (3.2MB)
|The first significant
storm system of the season for the western United States affected
much of Washington, Oregon and California during November 7-8.
Rainfall amounts exceeded 50 mm (2 inches) across many coastal
areas, with more than a foot of snow (30 cm) reported across higher
elevations. Strong winds gusting to over 75 km/hr (40 knots or 45
mph) were reported along the Oregon coast, with wind gusts near 110
km/hr (60 knots or 70 mph) observed in the San Francisco Bay area,
which caused over 300,000 power outages. A meteorological buoy
located several hundred miles offshore reported wave heights of
over 12 meters (40 feet).
|The eastern Pacific
storm system was responsible for the issuance of numerous weather
advisories and warnings across the western United States on the
7th, as heavy precipitation and strong winds affected a wide
A strong storm occurred in Spain and Portugal during November
13th. The storm led to several deaths as construction cranes
toppled over in the high winds in 2 separate incidents on mainland
Spain. The storm and high seas also contributed to the sinking of
an oil tanker off the Spanish coast, resulting in an extensive oil
spill. Winds gusted to around 130 km/hr (70 knots or 80 mph) in
Portugal and trees and power lines were torn down by the high winds
in both nations.
For current weather advisories in the western U.S., please refer
to the National
temperatures prevailed across northern Scandinavia during late
November. Low temperatures at Nikkaluokta in northern Sweden dipped
to -30°C (-22°F) on the 23rd which is over 17°C
(30°F) below normal for this time of year.
|November began with
unusually cold temperatures across much of the United States, with
daily average temperatures over 5°C (9°F) below normal in
many areas. In contrast, temperatures across Alaska were over
10°C (18°F) warmer than normal across some sections of the
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,