Global Hazards - October 2005


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

Satellite animation of Hurricane Wilma on October 23-24, 2005
Hurricane Wilma Animation (8MB)
Global Hazards And Significant Events
October 2005
Hurricane Wilma became the 21st named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. Wilma broke the all-time minimum pressure record for the Atlantic Basin on the 19th, reaching category-5 intensity in the northwest Caribbean Sea. Wilma brought devastation to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and south Florida in the United States. Additional information can be found below.
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Drought & Heat | Flooding | Storms | Tropical Cyclones | Extratropical Cyclones | Severe Winter Weather
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Drought conditions
Across the United States, moderate to severe long-term drought persisted throughout parts of the Pacific Northwest eastward into the northern Rockies, with extreme drought noted in Washington east of the Cascades. Meanwhile, severe to extreme drought affected areas of the Mississippi Valley, where some of the worst conditions were observed in northwestern Illinois.
Drought Monitor depiction as of November 1, 2005
U.S. Drought Monitor
For comprehensive drought analysis, please see the current U.S. drought report. A summary of western U.S. wildfires can be obtained from the 2005 wildfire season page.
Precipitation anomalies across Africa during October 2005
African Rainfall Anomalies
Long-term drought continued in parts of the Greater Horn of Africa, including southern Somalia, eastern Kenya and northeastern Tanzania. Across southeastern Africa, long-term drought affected parts of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. For the latest African analysis and forecast, see the Famine Early Warning System Network.
Long-term drought in Brazil's Amazon region has resulted in the lowest water levels in at least 30 years along the world's second longest river. Downstream, the city of Iquitos, Peru experienced long delays in the delivery of food as the Amazon River became increasingly difficult to navigate due to the very low water levels (BBC News). Some portions of northern Brazil were experiencing the worst drought conditions in nearly 60 years.
January-October 2005 precipitation anomalies across South America
South America Precipitation Anomalies
Map depicting drought-affected areas in Paraguay
Paraguay Drought
Drought conditions extended further south into neighboring Paraguay, where the northern departments of Boqueron, Presidente Hayes and Alto Paraguay were adversely affected (IFRC).
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Heavy rainfall and flooding
Hurricane Stan in the Atlantic and Typhoon Longwang in the Pacific were responsible for extensive flooding and loss of life during October. Information on these events can be found in the Tropical section of this report .

Across northern China, heavy rainfall in the Shaanxi province during late September to early October 2005 produced extensive river flooding. The most significant flooding in a decade occurred along sections of the Weihe River and Hanjiang River. At least 16 deaths were reported, with flooding prompting the evacuation of over 350,000 people. Direct economic losses were estimated near $239 million (USD) (AFP).
Heavy rainfall totals in the Northeast United States during October 7-11, 2005
Northeast U.S. Rainfall
Torrential rains in the Northeast United States caused extensive flooding in parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey between October 7-12. There were at least 10 reported deaths attributed to the flooding (Associated Press). Rainfall amounts of 150-250 mm (~6 to 10 inches) were common in the affected areas.
Additional rainfall during October 14-16 caused further flooding from New Jersey northward into New England. Totals ranged from 100 to 200 mm (4 to 8 inches) in parts of the region, flooding rivers and streams, and placing considerable strain on reservoir and lake dams (Reuters).
Rainfall across southern New England during October 14-16, 2005
Southern New England Rainfall
It was the wettest October on record in 15 cities throughout the Northeast United States. Five of those cities experienced their all-time record wettest months: Concord, NH, Islip, NY, Newark, NJ, Allentown, PA and Providence, RI.

A complete listing of significant rainfall records in the United States during October can be found on the city and state extremes page.
Heavy rains in Las Vegas, Nevada on the 17th-18th totaled 36.1 mm (1.42 inches), breaking the record for the entire month of October. The old record was 31 mm (1.22 inches) set in 1992. The rainfall overwhelmed flood channels, swamped roadways and knocked out power (Associated Press).
In the United Kingdom, heavy rainfall on the 12th flooded towns along the border between Scotland and England as well as in Wales. A key rail line (West Coast Main Line) was temporarily closed between Carlisle in northwest England and Glasgow. In Keswick, 82 mm (3.2 inches) of rain fell in a 24-hour period (AFP).
Map depicting flood-affected areas of Vietnam in October 2005
Vietnam Flooding
Heavy rains during October across central Vietnam produced flooding that killed at least 67 people (OCHA). The most severely-affected area was the Binh Dinh province where 3,200 houses were damaged and most of the fatalities occurred.
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Severe Storms
No reports of significant severe weather were received during October 2005.
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Tropical Cyclones
Typhoon Longwang developed in the western Pacific Ocean on September 25, reaching typhoon strength by the 27th. Longwang moved across Taiwan on October 2 with maximum sustained winds near 215 km/hr (115 knots or 130 mph). The typhoon crossed the Formosa Strait and reached the southeast China coast in Fujian province later the same day with maximum sustained winds at landfall near 150 km/hr (80 knots or 90 mph). Longwang was responsible for one death in Taiwan and caused a half-million power-outages to homes and businesses. In southeast China, 65 deaths were attributed to the storm (CNN/AFP).
Satellite image of Typhoon Longwang on October 2, 2005
Satellite Image Of Longwang
Satellite image of Hurricane Stan on October 4, 2005
Satellite Image Of Stan
Hurricane Stan developed as a depression to the east of the Yucatan Peninsula on October 1, reaching tropical storm strength before tracking across the Yucatan on the 2nd. Stan emerged into the Bay of Campeche on the 3rd and reached hurricane strength the next day. Stan came ashore to the southeast of Veracruz, Mexico at Punta Roca Partida on the 4th with maximum sustained winds near 130 km/hr (70 knots or 80 mph). Torrential rain (250-400 mm/~10-15 inches) caused flooding and mudslides over portions of Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador around the time of Stan's existence and led to hundreds of deaths. It is impossible to relate the rainfall directly to Hurricane Stan, however.
Tropical Storm Tammy developed just off the U.S. Florida east coast on the 5th, coming inland near Jacksonville with maximum sustained winds near 85 km/hr (45 knots or 50 mph). The primary impact from Tammy was heavy rainfall across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
Satellite image of Tropical Storm Tammy on October 5, 2005
Satellite Image Of Tammy
Satellite image of Tropical Storm Vince on October 9, 2005
Satellite Image Of Vince
Hurricane Vince developed from a non-tropical low-pressure system that acquired tropical characteristics on the 9th approximately 225 km (140 miles) northwest of the Madeira Islands. Vince weakened into a tropical depression before landfall near Huelva, Spain at 0900 UTC on the 11th. Winds at Jerez De La Frontera gusted to 81 km/hr (51 mph) as the depression came ashore. This was the first documented tropical depression to ever make lanfall in Spain.
Hurricane Wilma developed as a depression to the southeast of the Cayman Islands on the 15th. Wilma reached tropical storm status on the 17th and hurricane strength the next day. With the formation of Hurricane Wilma, the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season tied the record for the most named storms for any season (21 storms in 1933), and also tied the record for the most hurricanes in a single season (12 in 1969). Wilma peaked at category-5 intensity on the 19th, with a minimum central pressure falling to 882 millibars (26.05 inches of mercury), the lowest pressure ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin. Wilma also became the most rapidly-intensifying storm on record, with a maximum-sustained surface wind speed increase of 169 km/hr (105 mph) in a 24-hour period (NOAA/NHC).
Satellite image of Hurricane Wilma near max intensity on October 19, 2005
Wilma Near Peak Intensity
Satellite image of Hurricane Wilma near Cozumel, Mexico on October 21, 2005
Wilma Near Cozumel
Wilma reached Cozumel, Mexico on the 21st with maximum sustained winds near 225 km/hr (120 knots or 140 mph, category-4), causing widespread destruction. The hurricane crossed the Yucatan Peninsula near Playa del Carmen on the 22nd with highest sustained winds near 210 km/hr (115 knots or 130 mph). Wilma forced more than 70,000 people into emergency shelters, rendered 300,000 homeless and caused severe damage to the dwellings of nearly 700,000 people. In Mexico, at least 7 deaths were blamed on the storm (OCHA). Wilma entered the Gulf of Mexico late on the 22nd, tracking to the northeast. A powerful storm surge breached the storm wall protecting Havana, Cuba, flooding the coastal highway and inundating Havana's western neighborhoods with waist-high water on the 23rd (BBC News).
Wilma continued to the northeast, reaching the U.S. coastline near Everglades City in Florida on the 24th with maximum sustained winds near 195 km/hr (105 knots or 120 mph). The hurricane accelerated across south Florida and the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, exiting the coast later the same day. Wilma raced to the northeast over open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, becoming non-tropical by the 25th. There were 10 fatalities in Florida, and nearly 6 million people lost power, the most widespread power outage in Florida history (Associated Press). Preliminary estimates of insured losses in Florida were over $6 billion, while uninsured losses were over $12 billion (USD). A complete report on Hurricane Wilma is available.
Radar image of Hurricane Wilma crossing Florida on October 24, 2005
Radar Image Of Wilma Over Florida
Satellite image of Tropical Storm Alpha on October 22, 2005
Satellite Image Of Alpha
Tropical Storm Alpha developed on the 22nd southeast of Hispaniola, crossing the coast of the Dominican Republic near Barahona early on the 23rd with maximum sustained winds near 85 km/hr (45 knots or 50 mph). Heavy rainfall produced flooding that was blamed for 12 deaths in Haiti (Associated Press). Alpha became the 22nd named storm in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, breaking the record for the most storms in a single season (21 storms set in 1933). Exhausting the list of names for the 2005 season after 'Wilma', the NOAA/National Hurricane Center began using the Greek alphabet.
Hurricane Beta formed as a depression in the southwestern Caribbean to the southeast of Nicaragua on the 26th, but reached tropical storm status by the next day. Beta became the 13th hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic season on the 29th, breaking the old record for the most hurricanes in a single season (12 set in 1969), and the 7th major hurricane (category-three or greater) during 2005. Landfall occurred in Nicaragua near La Barra on the 30th as a category-two hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 175 km/hr (95 knots or 110 mph). Although no deaths or injuries were reported, strong winds damaged houses near the coast and heavy rains caused widespread flooding and mudslides across Nicaragua as well as neighboring Honduras (Associated Press/Reuters).
Satellite animation of Hurricane Beta on October 29-30, 2005
Hurricane Beta (Click For Animation)
Additional details on the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season are available from the Atlantic hurricanes page.
Satellite image of Tropical Storm 03B October 3, 2005
Satellite Image Tropical Cyclone 03B
Two short-lived tropical storms which formed in the Bay of Bengal during the month of October brought significant rainfall to eastern areas of India. Tropical Storm 03B affected Orissa and West Bengal states during the first few days of the month. Tropical Storm 04B developed on the 27th and came ashore in Andhra Pradesh state the next day. While maximum sustained winds with both cyclones only reached 65 km/hr (35 knots or 40 mph), torrential rains produced widespread flooding. In the southern portion of the country, 04B caused flooding in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, resulting in at least 100 deaths (Reuters/OCHA).


For 2005 basin tropical cyclone statistics, please refer to the following:
Australian Basin
North Indian Ocean Basin
Western North Pacific Basin
South Pacific Basin
South Indian Ocean Basin
Northeast Pacific Ocean Basin
Atlantic Basin
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Extratropical Cyclones
Satellite image of a Nor'easter affecting the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. on October 25, 2005
Nor'easter Affects U.S. Eastern Seaboard
A powerful extratropical storm system trekked up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States on the 25th, producing a variety of weather conditions. Strong winds gusted to 85 km/hr (52 mph) at Boston's Logan Airport along with heavy rainfall. Rainfall from the storm teamed up with an already wet October to break monthly rainfall records at Providence, Rhode Island and Worcester, Massachusetts. Mount Washington, New Hampshire received 729 mm (28.7 inches) of precipitation during October, or the all-time wettest month. Heavy snow fell throughout interior New England southward into the central Appalachians. Details on the snowfall aspect of the storm can be found below in the Winter weather section of this report.
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Severe winter weather
Snow depth across the Upper Midwest of the United States on October 6, 2005
Upper Midwest Snow Depth
An early-season winter storm dumped as much as 2 feet (61cm) of snow on parts of North Dakota on the 5th. In southeastern Montana, around 28 cm (11 inches) accumulated. At least 11,000 utility customers in the region were affected by power outages from the heavy snowfall (Associated Press). The snow occurred just a few days after high temperatures over 50°C (90°F) in areas of the Dakotas.
Heavy snowfall affected the Colorado Rockies, including the greater Denver area, on the 10th. Snowfall amounts of 25-50 cm (10 to 20 inches) were common, and the heavy amounts of snow were blamed for power outages which affected about 80,000 homes and businesses. There were three fatalities blamed on the early-season winter storm (Associated Press).
Heavy snow fell from parts of interior New England southward into the central Appalachians on the 25th. Accumulations ranged as high as 25-50 cm (10 to 20 inches) in Maine and Vermont, while farther to the south, up to 18 cm (7 inches) fell in parts of the higher elevations of West Virginia. Light accumulations (on the order of 5 centimeters or 2 inches) also occurred as far south as the highest mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.
Snow falling outside of the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, NY on October 25, 2005
Snow In Binghamton, New York

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Hazards for October 2005, published online November 2005, retrieved on April 18, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/hazards/2005/oct.