Global Hazards - June 2003

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
June 2003 Temperature Anomalies Across South Asia South Asia Heat In June
Global Hazards and Significant Events
June 2003

A pre-monsoon heat wave affected much of India and Pakistan during June, with monthly temperatures 1-3°C (1.8-5.4°F) above average. Additional information can be found below.

Drought conditions
Much above normal temperatures and drier weather maintained severe to extreme drought conditions throughout much of the Rockies during June 2003. Wildfire activity increased by the end of June, especially through drought areas of the Southwest. Click Here for the drought depiction on June 24, 2003
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For complete drought information for the United States, please see the U.S. drought pages.

Temperature estimates across South Asia at 1200 UTC on Jun 5, 2003
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A 20-day heat wave in southern India continued into early June, with maximum temperatures reaching as high as 45-50°C (113-122°F). More than 1,500 deaths were reported in India, with the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh the hardest hit (BBC News/Associated Press). In neighboring Pakistan, the city of Jacobabad reached 52°C (126°F) on the 5th; normal highs in early June are near 44°C (111°F). Hot temperatures exacerbated drought conditions in the region, with a later-than-normal onset of summer monsoon rainfall.
Drought continued across areas of Ethiopia, where increased variability of rainfall has produced poor agricultural output. Since 1984, there has been declining trend for annual rainfall across the Eastern Highlands and Midlands of Ethiopia (USAID). Click Here for the precipitation anomaly estimates across Ethiopia during June 2003
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Heavy rainfall and flooding
In Venezuela, heavy rains caused flooding which killed 16 people and forced the evacuation of 450 others in the southwestern state of Merida (Associated Press). The flooding and mudslides occurred near the mountainous border with Colombia, about 600 km (360 miles) west of the capital city of Caracas. Flash flooding is common during the rainy season in Venezuela, which runs from mid-May through November. Click Here for the 7-day precipitation estimates from the NASA TRMM satellite
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More flooding affected parts of Colombia around the 15th, causing 5 deaths and rendering 4,000 people homeless (

Click Here for the 7-day precipitation estimates from the NASA TRMM satellite
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Flooding in Bangladesh affected the Khowai and Dhalai rivers, stranding nearly 50,000 people in the northeastern part of the country. The most severe flooding occurred in an area located 160 km (100 miles) northeast of the capital city of Dhaka (Associated Press). On June 27, a landslide in the Chittagong district of Bangladesh killed 65 people (Reuters/IFRC). The onset of monsoon rains by mid-month also produced flooding in the adjacent northeast Indian state of Assam. The Indian government deployed army units to the region as flooding left around 440,000 homeless (OCHA/Reuters.)

Flooding from Typhoon Soudelor impacted the northern Philippines during June 14-17, causing 11 deaths (OCHA). More heavy rains impacted parts of Japan and South Korea as the storm accelerated northward and weakened by the 19th.

In the United States, heavy rainfall occurred in areas of the central and southern Appalachians, with 7 deaths attributed to flooding in Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina (Associated Press). Rainfall during June 13-19 locally exceeded 125 mm (5 inches) in some areas. Click Here for the 7-day precipitation estimates from the Charleston, WV radar
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Rainfall in the Northeast was much above normal during June. In New York City, over 250 mm (~10 inches) of rain fell at Central Park during the month, breaking the old June monthly rainfall record of 248 mm (9.78 inches) set in 1903.

For an archive of flood events worldwide, see the Dartmouth Flood Observatory.

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Severe Storms
Storm reports on June 4, 2003 from NOAAs Storm Prediction Center
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Severe thunderstorms produced hail and wind damage, along with several tornadoes, over parts of west Texas and extreme eastern New Mexico late on the 4th.
More severe weather occurred in southeastern Nebraska and northern Kansas on the 22nd. A tornado was responsible for one fatality near Deshler, Nebraska. This was the first tornado death in Nebraska since 1988 (Associated Press). Click Here for the radar animation over southeast Nebraska on June 23, 2003
Radar Animation (Courtesy UCAR)
Record hailstone near Aurora, Nebraska on June 22, 2003
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Very large hail was observed near Aurora, Nebraska on the 22nd. A hailstone measuring 7.0 inches (17.8 cm) in diameter with a circumference of 18.75 inches (47.6 cm) was discovered by the National Weather Service.

This was the largest hailstone ever recorded in the state of Nebraska, and may be the largest hailstone ever documented in the U.S. and globally. The existing record is held by the Coffeyville, Kansas hailstone (September 3, 1970) which weighed 1.67 pounds (0.76 kg) and had a circumference of 17.5 inches (44.5cm). This hailstone assessment is ongoing and a final decision will be made in the coming months.

Severe thunderstorms in Bangladesh on the 7th and 10th resulted in 6 fatalities. A tornado injured about 100 people on the 7th as it affected the farming district of Noakhali, located 120 km (75 miles) east of Dhaka (Associated Press).

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Tropical Cyclones
Tropical Storm Nangka developed in the South China Sea on the 1st and passed just south of Taiwan on the 2nd before dissipating by the 3rd. Locally heavy rains and gusty winds affected southern areas of Taiwan and adjacent areas of the northern Philippines as the storm moved through the Luzon Strait. Click Here for an infrared satellite image of Tropical Storm Nangka on June 2, 2003
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Tropical Cyclone Gina developed in the South Pacific Ocean on the 4th and passed 60 km (45 miles) west of Tikopia in the Solomon Islands on June 7, affecting the island with winds up to 100 km/hr (55 knots or 60 mph) along with torrential rains. Click Here for a satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Gina on June 7, 2003
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Visible satellite image Tropical Depression #2 in the central tropical Atlantic Ocean on June 11, 2003
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Tropical Depression #2 formed about 1,990 km (1,235 miles) east of the Windward Islands on the 10th. The depression dissipated over open Atlantic waters on the 12th. Climatologically, this is only the third tropical depression since 1967 to form east of the Lesser Antilles in June.
Typhoon Soudelor developed in the western Pacific Ocean on the 11th and attained typhoon strength by the 16th. The storm brought excessive rains to parts of the Philippines, before moving into the East China Sea by the 17th. While over open waters on the 18th, maximum sustained winds peaked at 215 km/hr (115 knots or 130 mph). Soudelor weakened as it recurved into the Sea of Japan, bringing locally heavy rains to parts of Japan and South Korea by the 18th-19th. In Japan, there were 21 injuries attributed to the storm, and nearly 10,000 homes were left without electricity (Associated Press). Click Here for a satellite image of Typhoon Soudelor near maximum intensity over the South China Sea on June 18, 2003
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Colorized Infrared satellite image of Tropical Storm Carlos on June 26, 2003
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Tropical Storm Carlos developed in the eastern Pacific Ocean on the 25th about 320 km (200 miles) south-southeast of Acapulco. Carlos made landfall along the Mexican coast near near Puerto Escondido on the 27th with maxiumum sustained winds near 100 km/hr (55 knots or 65 mph). After making landfall, Carlos quickly dissipated, but produced locally heavy rainfall over coastal areas.
Tropical Storm Bill developed in the central Gulf of Mexico on the 29th. Bill made landfall along the coast of Louisiana on the 30th in Terrebonne Bay about 50 km (30 miles) east of Morgan City with maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall near 95 km/hr (60 mph). The storm caused power outages to around 220,000 homes and businesses in southeastern Louisiana (Associated Press). Click Here for a radar animation of Tropical Storm Bill as it made landfall in Louisiana on June 30, 2003
Click For Radar Animation
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Extratropical Cyclones
Visible satellite image of June 1st Nor'easter that affected the Northeast U.S.
Click For AVI Loop (~1.9MB)
An unusually strong storm system affected the Northeastern United States on June 1st, with heavy rainfall, strong gusty winds and cool temperatures. Winds at Nantucket, Massachusetts gusted over 95 km/hr (50 knots or 60 mph).
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Severe winter weather
A rare June snow fell in Moscow on the 4th, although warm ground temperatures prevented any accumulation. This was the first June snowfall in Moscow since 1963 (ROSHYDROMET). Unusually cool temperatures were observed throughout much of western Russia on the 4th. Click Here for surface temperature estimates across Europe on June 4, 2003
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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 Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Hazards for June 2003, published online July 2003, retrieved on September 21, 2017 from