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.
& Heat | Flooding | Storms | Tropical Cyclones |
Extratropical Cyclones | Severe Winter Weather
Across the United States, significant drought amelioration
continued throughout the Northwest and Rocky Mountains, while
worsening drought conditions were observed in the Southern Plains
and Southwest. Exceptional drought classification persisted in the
Arklatex region during early January, where grassfires were also a
major problem early in the month.
African Weather Assessment
Severe drought continued in eastern Ethiopia, southern Somalia,
portions of Tanzania, as well as northern and eastern Kenya. The
president of Kenya declared a state of national disaster in areas
affected by severe shortages of food and water resulting from the
prolonged drought (IRIN). In Burundi, at least $75 million (USD) of
the Burundian government's $168 million (USD) emergency funds for
2006 was earmarked to feed the country's drought-affected
population (IRIN). An estimated 11 million people were faced with
food shortages throughout East Africa and the Horn of Africa due to
drought and other non-meteorological factors (IFRC). For the latest
African analysis and forecast, see the Famine
Early Warning System Network.
Strong winds and high temperatures fanned bushfires in southern
Australia on the 26th. One large fire in the Grampians National
Park in the state of Victoria burned more than 120,00 hectares
(300,000 acres), destroyed 24 homes and killed 59,000 sheep.
Wildfires in Victoria killed three people this month (Reuters).
Very warm weather, concentrated in the eastern part of Australia,
contributed to the sixth-warmest January on record for the country
as a whole
(Australian Bureau of Meteorology).
Across Indonesia, heavy rains in mountainous central Java on
the 4th produced a deadly mudslide in the village of Cijeruk. The
slide buried 120 houses, with around 200 people feared dead (AFP).
Along the north coast of Java by late-month, flooding and
landslides claimed at least 7 additional lives (AFP).
seasonal rainfall in Africa brought flooding to parts of
southern Malawi, Namibia, northern Botswana, southern Angola,
southern Mozambique and northern areas of South Africa during
January 2006. In southern Malawi, nearly 1,800 dwellings and over
24,000 hectares (59,000 acres) of crops were destroyed by flooding
since the beginning of December 2005 (IFRC).
In Bolivia, heavy rainfall produced flooding along most of the
major rivers in the country, including the Rio Grande, Guanay,
Tipuani, Mapiri and Challana. Approximately 17,500 people were
affected. Landslides and road obstructions caused some rural
communities to be isolated, especially in the areas of Los Yungas
and San Borja in La Paz and Beni departments (OCHA).
In Brazil, flash flooding caused by heavy rains killed 4 people
in Rio De Janeiro on the 27th. The fatalities occurred when a
shopping mall parking garage became flooded (Associated
Flooding In Guyana
Heavy rains since December 2005 in Guyana caused flooding,
especially along coastal areas of the country. An estimated 3,500
families were affected, including significant agricultural impacts
Tropical Storm Zeta
Tropical Storm Zeta, which developed
at the end of December 2005, weakened below tropical storm strength
by January 6th without affecting land areas. Zeta closed out the
2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season as the unprecedented 27th named
Tropical Cyclone Clare developed in
the Indian Ocean off the northwest coast of Western Australia on
the 8th. The storm made landfall in Western Australia on the 9th
near Dampier, or about 1200 km (750 miles) north of the state
capital of Perth. Maximum sustained winds were near 110 km/hr (60
knots or 70 mph), with gusts as high as 185 km/hr (115 mph). Up to
1,500 people were evacuated from the area ahead of the cyclone
Tropical Cyclone Daryl
Tropical Cyclone Daryl developed in
the Indian Ocean off the northwest coast of Western Australia on
the 19th. Daryl paralleled the coastline without ever making
landfall in Australia, although coastal areas did receive
significant amounts of rainfall. The cyclone dissipated on the
Tropical Cyclone Boloetse formed
in the southern Indian Ocean on the 25th, crossing Madagascar
during the 29th-30th. The primary impact across Madagascar was
heavy rainfall, with satellite rainfall estimates exceeding 150 mm
(5.9 inches) in northern and central portions of the country. The
storm emerged into the Mozambique Channel by month's end.
Tropical Cyclone Jim
Tropical Cyclone Jim developed in the
South Pacific Ocean off the coast of northeast Australia
(Queensland) on the 28th. Jim passed just north of New Caledonia on
the 30th-31st, brushing the islands with strong winds and heavy
In the United States on the 18th, a powerful extratropical
storm system brought heavy rains and strong winds to the
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, with heavy snow across interior
sections. Strong winds gusted to near 100 km/hr (60 mph) in the
Boston and New York City metropolitan areas, causing significant
travel disruptions and knocking out power to more than 440,000
homes and businesses in the region. The strong winds were blamed
for two deaths (Associated Press).
Animation (large ~8MB file)
Asia/Europe Snow Cover
Periods of heavy snowfall that began in Japan during the month
of December 2005 persisted into mid-January. Areas of the country
were buried under some of the deepest drifts on record (~4 meters
or 13 feet), with 82 fatalities since the period of severe winter
weather began. Injuries relating to the heavy snowfall totaled
around 1,900. Nagano and Niigata prefectures, located to the
northwest of Tokyo, were the worst affected. Tokyo received 7 cm
(2.8 inches) of snowfall on the 21st, or the heaviest snowfall
since January 27, 2001 (Reuters).
Across northwestern China in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous
region, cold weather and heavy snowfall was blamed for the deaths
of more than 9,000 head of livestock (IFRC).
In India, frost was observed in New Delhi for the first time in
70 years as cold air sweeping in from the Himalayas produced a low
temperature of 0.2°C (32.3°F) on the 9th. The previous
record occurred on January 16, 1935, when Delhi reported -0.6°C
(31°F). There were 180 deaths blamed on cold weather in India
since early December 2005. In neighboring Bangladesh, unusually
cold weather was blamed for 100 fatalities during the same time
In Russia, a severe cold wave which arrived during January
17-18 brought some of the coldest temperatures to the region in
decades. Moscow temperatures plummeted to -30°C (-22°F), or
the coldest readings since the winter of 1978-1979, when
temperatures dropped to -38°C (-36°F). The coldest
temperature on record is -42.1°C (-44°F), set in 1940.
There have been numerous cold-related deaths, primarily the
homeless (Reuters). Snow and cold weather penetrated unusually far to
the south in eastern Europe, with heavy snow forcing the
closure of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece on the 25th. Cold
weather was blamed for 66 deaths in Ukraine, 27 in Romania, 14 in
Poland, 10 in the Czech Republic and three in Bulgaria (Reuters).
Temperatures in eastern Europe dipped to -35°C (-31°F) in
mountains of northeast Italy.
Russian/European Temperatures on January
In Tajikistan, heavy snow was blamed for an avalanche near
Dushanbe on the 31st that killed 18 people (IFRC). Across
Afghanistan, a severe winter storm accompanied by heavy snowfall
occurred in the Faizabad province on the 31st. The storm was blamed
for 17 deaths (IFRC).