Global Climate Report - Annual 2011
2011 Global Top 10 Weather/Climate Events

« Global Climate Report - Annual 2011

2011 Global Top 10 Weather/Climate Events

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2011 Global Top Ten List

Rank Event When Occurred Event Description More Information
?1 Drought, eastern Africa Throughout 2011 Drought in Horn of Africa including Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, and Djibouti was one of the worst in decades. Estimated 10-11 million people affected. Famine was declared in parts of Somalia for first time since 1992. July Global Hazards Report
2 Flooding, Thailand July-October, 2011 Worst flooding since 1942, affecting 9 million people. Floodwaters made their way from north to south, eventually reaching Bangkok. October Global Hazards Report
3 Flooding, eastern Australia Austral Summer (Dec 2010-Feb 2011) Frequent and persistent heavy rain events led to severe flooding across eastern Australia. The flooding was among the most significant in Australia's recorded history. January Global Hazards Report
4 Double-Dip La Nina Throughout 2011 2011 began the year in the midst of a relatively strong and lasting La Nina. It weakened into an ENSO-neutral state (by NOAA's metrics) by mid-year. However, by year's end, La Nina had re-established itself. Many climate outcomes in 2011 were consistent with those expected during La Nina. NOAA CPC's ENSO page
5 Flash Floods, Brazil January 6-12, 2011 Heavy rainfall caused severe flash floods and landslides across southeastern Brazil. This was one of the worst natural disasters in Brazil's history. At least 830 people killed. January Global Hazards Report
6 Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong) December 16-17, 2011 Tropical Storm Washi struck the southern Philippine island of Mindanao and killed at least 1,250 people. Initial damages were estimated at nearly $23 million US dollars. Between 1978 and 2010, only 15 tropical cyclones occurred in this (Western Pacific) basin during December and only two made landfall. Western North Pacific Tropical Storms
7 Arctic Sea Ice Extent September 2011 The 2011 minimum sea ice extent (9 September, 4.33 million square km) was the second smallest (to 2007) of the satellite era. The five smallest Arctic ice extents have occurred in the past five years (2007-2011). The September Arctic sea ice volume (which incorporates extent and thickness) was the smallest on record. September Global Snow & Ice Report
8 Rain & Floods, Colombia March-May Unusually heavy rains killed at least 425 people across Colombia and caused billions of dollars in damages. Three million people were affected. Colombia received at least 5 times the average rainfall for the season. May Global Hazards Report
9 Drought, Mexico Throughout 2011 Drought that began in late 2010 worsened throughout 2011, particularly across northern and central Mexico. By late October, more than half the country was in severe to exceptional drought, considered Mexico's worst drought in 70 years. Initial estimates: 2.5 million people affected, 2.2 million acres of cropland destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of livestock lost. November N. American Drought Monitor
10 Drought, Europe Autumn (Sep-Nov) Much of Central and Eastern Europe experienced major drought conditions in autumn. Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic each had their driest November on record. Many locations on the Danube fell to record low levels. In some areas, shipping was forced to a halt due to shallow waters. Unexploded bombs resurfaced in several rivers after being underwater since World War II November Global Analysis

2011 Global Honorable Mention

Event When Occurred Event Description More Information
China Floods mid-September A week of heavy rains led to at least 57 deaths and affected 12.3 million residents in the southwestern and central provinces of Sichuan, Henan, and Shaanxi. Floods expected to be the worst in Sichuan since records began in 1847. Economic damages estimated at $27 billion U.S. dollars. September Global Hazards Report
New Zealand Snowfall August 14-16, 2011 An Antarctic polar blast brought frigid temperatures and rare snowfall on August 14th-16th to parts of New Zealand that are not accustomed to this extreme type of weather. On the North Island, the country's largest city of Auckland saw its first snowfall since 1939 and recorded its all-time lowest maximum temperature of 8.2 degrees C (47.8 degrees F) on August 15th. A New Zealand MetService forecaster described the harsh weather as a "once-in-a-50-year" event for the South Pacific island nation. August Global Hazards Report
Global Tropical Activity Down 2011 In 2011 the global tropical cyclone activity was well below average for a second consecutive year. All of the basins, with the exception of the Atlantic Basin, experienced below average activity. The Atlantic Basin had above-average activity with 19 tropical storms, 7 strengthening to hurricane and 3 becoming major hurricanes. Annual Tropical Cyclones Report
Heavy Snowfall in Chile July 7, 2011 Heaviest snowfall (up to 32 inches or 81.2 cm) in 2 decades in Atacama Desert, which is considered one of the the 'driest places on earth'. July Global Hazards Report
Sri Lanka Floods December 2010-January 2011 Heavy monsoonal rains in eastern Sri Lanka the first two weeks of 2011 were the heaviest to occur over such a short period of time, on record, causing widespread flooding across the island nation. The heavy rains began in December, with the city of Batticaloa, receiving 63 inches (1.6 meters) of rain between December 1st, 2010 and January 12th, 2011. Over one million people were displaced due to the flooding - more than during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Media reports claim that 40 were killed due to the flood waters. January Global Hazards Report
Flooding in Manitoba, Canada May Snowmelt and heavy rains created incredible flooding in Manitoba, Canada. Flooding reached 1 in 300 year levels. Damages estimated to be $1 billion U.S. dollars. May Global Hazards Report
Tornado in Russia July 7, 2011 Heaviest snowfall (up to 32 inches or 81.2 cm) in 2 decades in Atacama Desert, which is considered one of the the 'driest places on earth'. July Global Hazards Report
Armenian Temperature Record July 31, 2011 Temperatures soared to 43.7 degrees C (110.7 degrees F) and broken an all-time national record. Previous record was 43.1 degrees C (109.5 degrees C) and was set on August 11, 2005. WMO Annual Report
Heatwave across Europe August 23-24, 2011 Heatwave across Europe left at least ten people dead. Local media reports that Cape Carbonara, Italy reached a record-high 117 degrees F. Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Croatia, and Greece also affected. August Global Hazards Report
South Korea Snowfall February 11, 2011 Between February 11th and 14th, a strong storm grazed the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula, dropping over 3 feet (91 cm) of snow. Samcheok, South Korea measured 39 inches of snow (100 cm), the largest storm accumulation measured in South Korea since records began in 1911. It was reported that one rural town received 31.5 inches (80 cm) of snow in 24 hours - potentially a new South Korean record for snowfall in a single day. Property damages were estimated at 4.3 million U.S. dollars. February Global Hazards Report
Monsoonal Flooding in Pakistan August 10 to mid-September Monsoonal flooding in southern Pakistan's Sindh province killed almost 350 people, destroyed or damaged approximately 1 million homes, 4.2 million acres of cropland, and affected about 75.7 million people. September Global Hazards Report
Central America Floods October 10-20, 2011 Two separate storm systems brought widespread flooding and landslides, which killed at least 105 people across Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. One million people were affected. October Global Hazards Report

?Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi February 3, 2011 Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi hit northern Queensland. Landfalling wind gusts were as high as 177 mph. Damages exceeded 1 billion U.S. dollars. Yasi was the most intense system at landfall on the east coast of Australia since at least 1918. February Global Hazards Report

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Climate Report for 2011, published online January 2012, retrieved on December 10, 2018 from