|Beneficial rain and
snow fell throughout much of the Intermountain West, bringing
significant drought relief to areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Despite wetter weather, severe to extreme drought persisted
throughout much of the Rockies through May.
For detailed drought information across the United States, see
||Temperatures in mid to
late May soared across South Asia, with high temperatures in many
areas of India and Pakistan well over 38°C (100°F). In the
Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, over 1,200 people died in the heat
wave which began in mid-May (BBC News/OCHA). Temperatures in India
during the week of May 24th reached as high as 40°C (122°F)
across the worst-affected areas near the Bay of Bengal coast.
Excessive heat quickly exacerbated drought conditions across
parts of India. In the city of Hyderabad in the state of Andhra
Pradesh, no precipitation fell during the month of May. Normal
monthly rainfall is 40 mm (1.58 inches).
||In American Samoa, the
heaviest rainfall in nearly 20 years affected the islands during
the 18th-20th, causing mudslides that killed 4 people and prompted
a state of emergency declaration from Governor Togiola Tulafono
(Associated Press). Rainfall at Pago-Pago on the 19th totaled 27.1
cm (10.68 inches).
|Heavy rainfall during
late April through mid-May resulted in significant flooding across
parts of the Greater Horn of Africa, specifically southeastern
Ethiopia, southern Somalia and much of Kenya. At least 55 people
died in Kenya and 106 in Ethiopia with well over 100,000 people
displaced due to the flooding (Associated Press/OCHA). Flooding
also damaged the water treatment system in Nairobi, Kenya's capital
While heavy rainfall is common across the Horn of Africa in the
two annual rainy seasons (October-December and April-June), this is
reportedly some of the worst flooding since 1997 (OCHA/GVA).
torrential rains that produced severe flooding at the end of April
continued into early May, exacerbating conditions in the provinces
of Santiago del Estero, Entre Rios and Santa Fe. At least 23
fatalities were reported and 28,000 houses were damaged or
destroyed by the floodwaters (OCHA/GVA). As of May 8, 25 percent of
the city of Santa Fe remained under water.
|Rainfall in Rosario,
Argentina was above normal for the March-May period, with 313 mm
Seasonal flooding in China was responsible for at least 45
deaths in the Hunan and Guangdong provinces, forcing 200,000 from
their homes during May. (Associated Press).
Torrential rainfall associated with Tropical
Cyclone 01B in the Bay of Bengal brought the worst flooding and
landslides in over 50 years to Sri Lanka, killing at least 300
people (OCHA/GVA). Government officials reported that 350,000
people were left homeless during the flooding which occurred during
the 16th-17th (Associated Press).
On May 2 in Papua New Guinea, heavy rainfall triggered a
landslide in the Southern Highlands province along the Tagali
River. The landslide killed 13 people and seriously injured 21
In Azerbaijan, heavy rain and snowfall during early to mid-May
produced flooding and landslides in 11 districts throughout the
||Heavy rains in the
southeast United States brought significant flooding to south
Florida on the 27th, with over 254 mm (10 inches) reported at Fort
Lauderdale. In central North
Carolina, four earthen dams burst when as much as 150-200 mm
(6-8 inches) rain fell over parts of the area (Associated
For an archive of flood events worldwide, see the
Dartmouth Flood Observatory.
||The exceptional period
of severe weather in the United States continued during May 6-10.
In Oklahoma City, damaging tornadoes occurred on both the 8th and 9th,
prompting President Bush to declare all of Oklahoma a federal
disaster area (Associated Press). A total of 42 storm-related
deaths were reported during the 1st-10th (USA Today, Associated
May 1-10 had more reported tornadoes (412) than any other
ten-day period since records
began in 1950 (NOAA/SPC).
A severe thunderstorm affected eastern Bangladesh on the 5th,
claiming at least 22 lives (OCHA/GVA). Winds gusting as high as 120
km/hr (75 mph), hail, and heavy rain hit remote villages in
Brahmanbaria district, flattening hundreds of mud houses. A tornado
tore through several villages in northern Bangladesh on the 21st,
killing three people and destroying nearly 100 houses (Associated
Press). More severe weather occurred on the 25th, as thunderstorms
destroyed hundreds of houses and killed 4 people in the Rangpur
district in the northern part of the country (Associated
developed in the Indian Ocean on the 3rd and made landfall along
the eastern coast of Madagascar on May 9 with maximum sustained
winds of 140 km/hr (75 knots or 85 mph). Wind gusts along the coast
were reportedly much higher, with speeds up to 200 km/hr (~110
knots or 125 mph) observed in the city of Vatomandry (IFRC/OCHA).
There were 265 fatalities and 85 percent of the buildings were
destroyed in the District of Vatomandry (OCHA/GVA).
in the Bay of Bengal on the 11th and drifted slowly northward.
Locally heavy rain bands affected Sri Lanka
northward across the east central coast of India during May 12-17.
The cyclone made landfall along the west central
coast of Burma on the 19th with maximum sustained winds near 85
km/hr (45 knots or 50 mph).
developed in the South China Sea west of the Philippines on the
25th and crossed Luzon island during the 27th-28th with maximum
sustained winds of 100 km/hr (55 knots or 60 mph). Torrential rains
were blamed for 37 deaths across the northern Philippines
(Reuters/Associated Press). Linfa crossed into Japan during the
30th-31st, along with flooding rains and winds gusting to 80 km/hr
(45 knots or 50 mph).
No reports of significant extratropical cyclones received during
||Snowfall in the United
States was primarily confined to the Rocky Mountains, with locally
over a foot (30 cm) of snow across the higher elevations of
Colorado during May 1-14.
|By the end of May,
snow cover across Europe and Asia was confined to a small area of
Siberia, as the seasonal retreat of snow cover continued.
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,