Global Hazards - July 2004


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.


Global Focus

Map of flood-affected areas of South Asia in July from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Flooding From Monsoon Rains Affect South Asia
Global Hazards And Significant Events
July 2004
Heavy monsoon rains brought flooding to portions of South Asia during July, leaving millions stranded. Additional information can be found below.

Drought conditions
In the United States, severe to exceptional drought characterized conditions throughout much of the Intermountain West, with the worst-affected areas in parts of eastern Idaho, eastern Wyoming and adjacent areas of Montana. Heavy June and July rains in much of the Southeast U.S. alleviated incipient drought conditions in this region. Click Here for the Drought Monitor depiction as of July 27, 2004
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For comprehensive drought analysis, please see the current U.S. drought report.

Active wildfires across the U.S. on July 8, 2004
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The long-duration drought throughout much of the western U.S. enhanced wildfire potential, with several large fires scattered across the region during July. Numerous large fires also charred parts of Alaska and the Yukon Territory in Canada.

For comprehensive analysis on the western and Alaska wildfires, see the July 2004 wildfire pages.

Long term drought continued across areas of Africa, including the Greater Horn and parts of southern Africa (WFP). Above average rainfall was focused across parts of eastern Ethiopia and northern Somalia. CAMS precipitation anomaly estimates over Africa for July 2004
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Temperatures across Europe at 1800 UTC, July 3, 2004
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A heat wave that began in late June 2004 across southern Spain persisted into early July, with maximum temperatures reaching 40°C (104°F) in some locations. Seven fatalities were blamed on the heat since late June (AFP).

Hot, dry weather that affected the Iberian Peninsula in late June and early July contributed to brush fires across Portugal's southern Algarve region. Several stretches of the Algarve motorway were closed and homes evacuated due to 9 wildfires which affected the area during June 30-July 1. Additional fires continued during the latter half of July, with over 1,300 firefighters involved in combating the blazes (AFP).

In Japan, a heat wave during mid to late July culminated by the 20th with temperatures reaching a record 39.5°C (103°F) in Tokyo's financial district. This was the hottest temperature recorded in the capital since records began in 1923, breaking the previous record of 39.1°C (102°F) set on August 3, 1994. Oppressively hot weather claimed several lives during July in Japan (AFP/Japan Meteorological Agency).

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Heavy rainfall and flooding
In India, June flooding associated with the onset of the monsoon season continued during July 2004 in northeastern parts of the country. Border areas of Assam and Arunachal states were struck by flooding on the 5th, submerging dozens of villages and rendering 35,000 homeless. Much of the river flooding originated from upstream in Tibet (BBC News). Flooding for the week ending July 24, 2004 from the Dartmouth Flood Observatory
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Rainfall estimates across South Asia from TRMM during July 5-12 2004
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Across South Asia, millions of residents were displaced by late-month, with the Indian states of Assam and Bihar the worst-affected. Throughout India, Nepal and Bangladesh, more than 1,000 deaths were blamed on flooding brought about by heavy monsoon rains. Flooding in Bangladesh was described as the worst since 1998, with water covering an estimated two-thirds of the country during the height of the flooding (Associated Press/AFP/Reuters).

Farther to the southeast, heavy rains in northern Vietnam produced flooding that killed 36 people during mid-July 2004. Most of the fatalities occurred in the Ha Giang province (AFP).

In northern Japan, torrential rainfall brought flooding to Niigata prefecture during July 13-14, forcing nearly 20,000 residents into evacuation centers. More than 430 mm (17 inches) of rain fell in some parts of the region, and the resulting floods were blamed for 18 deaths (Reuters/IFRC/Associated Press).

In the United States, strong thunderstorms dumped upwards of a foot of rain on parts of north Texas during the 28th-29th. In southern Dallas county, around 200 homes were damaged by high water in the suburb of Lancaster. One fatality was blamed on the flooding (Associated Press).

In the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region, strong thunderstorms produced excessive rainfall and severe flooding during the 12th-13th. In central New Jersey, more than 254 mm (10 inches) of rain fell in less than 24 hours. Rainfall estimates across the Mid-Atlantic region for the 24-hour period ending 1200 UTC on July 13, 2004
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For an archive of flood events worldwide, see the Dartmouth Flood Observatory.

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Severe Storms

In eastern China's Anhui province, severe thunderstorms struck Xiao county on the 7th resulting in three deaths and 143 injuries. The storms produced walnut-sized hailstones and strong winds that damaged or destroyed 18,000 homes. Farther west in Sichuan province, a lightning strike on the 4th killed 7 people while injuring 10 others (AFP).

In Canada, severe thunderstorms brought hail and heavy rainfall to parts of Alberta on the 11th, causing damage to crops and businesses. The world's largest shopping mall in Edmonton (West Edmonton Mall) was temporarily closed on the 12th after sustaining damage from flooding and significant accumulations of marble to baseball-sized hail (Reuters).

In the United States, a fast-moving cluster of severe thunderstorms affected parts of the Ohio and Tennessee Valley regions on the 13th. This derecho brought widespread wind damage to portions of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Map of storm reports for July 13, 2004
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Tropical Cyclones

Rainfall estimates and track of Typhoon Mindulle during June 23-July 4, 2004
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Typhoon Mindulle developed in June but affected Taiwan and the southeast China coast with torrential rainfall and strong, gusty winds as it trekked northeastward and weakened during July 1-4. Mindulle was blamed for at least 30 deaths in the Philippines, 26 on Taiwan and 2 in China (Associated Press/AFP/NASA).
Tropical Storm Kompasu formed in the Philippine Sea on the 13th and passed through the Luzon Strait on the 14th. Kompasu moved inland along the coast of China near Hong Kong by the 16th with maximum sustained winds near 65 km/hr (35 knots or 40 mph). Heavy rains accompanied the storm as it dissipated over Guangdong province. Satellite image Tropical Storm Kompasu on July 15, 2004
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Satellite image of Typhoon Namtheun on July 29, 2004
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Typhoon Namtheun developed in the western Pacific Ocean on July 25 and tracked across the island of Shikoku in Japan on the 31st. Namtheun had weakened to tropical storm strength upon landfall, with maximum sustained winds near 100 km/hr (55 knots or 65 mph). The storm also brought locally heavy rainfall to the southern part of Japan.

A table containing the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index for global tropical cyclones occurring during the month of July 2004 is available.

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Extratropical Cyclones
A powerful storm system lashed the southern and eastern sections of the United Kingdom on the 7th, bringing strong winds and heavy rains. As many as 106,000 homes were affected by blackouts as strong winds cut electrical service to the area (AFP). Satellite image of a storm system over western Europe on July 7,2004
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Severe winter weather
Infrared satellite animation depicting winter storm system affecting southern Chile and Argentina
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A series of winter storms affected the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina during late June and into early July 2004. Heavy rains produced mudslides in lower elevations while heavy snow fell across mountainous areas. There were 5 weather-related deaths in Argentina with 4 reported in Chile (AFP).
Across Peru, cold weather and heavy snowfall affected parts of the country during late June through mid-July. The cold was blamed for the deaths of 46 children across the country, with cold weather-related illnesses such as pneumonia the primary cause of death. The cold temperatures killed more than 100,000 farm animals throughout the country and destroyed 300,000 hectares (741,000 acres) of crops. (AFP/OCHA). Map of winter weather-affected areas of Peru in early July from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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References:

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, 78, 2837-2849.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Hazards for July 2004, published online August 2004, retrieved on October 20, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/hazards/2004/7.