conditions in the western U.S. continued during July, with dry
weather exacerbating wildfire conditions throughout the
region. In Montana, two large fires affected the Flathead
National Forest and Glacier
National Park. Nationally, the number of acres burned through
the end of July was far less than at the same time in 2002.
For comprehensive coverage on U.S. drought conditions, see the
||A heat wave
affected much of Europe during July, with daily temperatures
between 30-37°C (90-99°F) across many areas from France and
Switzerland southeastward across the Mediterranean region. In
Switzerland, boulders in a rock face on the Matterhorn were
released by the accelerated melting of ice at a height of 3,400
meters (11,220 feet), causing a huge rockfall that required the
rescue of 40 climbers and the closing of the entire mountain to
climbers for five days (WMO/MeteoSuisse). Across Italy,
temperatures reached 36°C (96°F) on the 15th, where hot,
dry weather intensified drought conditions. The hottest weather had
shifted east across southern and eastern Europe by the 17th.
temperatures and dry weather worsened drought conditions throughout
much of southern and central Europe, from France eastward through
Romania and Croatia. Wildfires broke out from Portugal to eastern
Russia, with 5 fatalities attributed to fires that burned in parts
southern France (BBC News).
Croatia's major rivers, including the Sava, Drava, Kupa and
Danube, were reported at their lowest levels ever. In neighboring
Serbia, the ecology minister reported that the country's rivers
were at their lowest levels in 100 years (Associated Press).
||In Afghanistan, major
sandstorms affected more than 12,000 people and were described as
the "worst sandstorms in living memory" (AFP). Sandstorms began in
the region during early June and continued during July. Up to 20
villages had to be evacuated because they were completely covered
in sand, and many irrigation canals and waterways had also been
|In contrast to the
heat wave that affected much of Europe in July 2003, temperatures
across Oman were much below normal. A series of rare easterly
disturbances that traversed westward from Pakistan and India and
across the Arabian Sea brought scattered rain and thundershowers to
the country. There was a significant reduction in air temperature
over almost all of Oman, due to the clouds, rainfall and a cold
current which moved into the Gulf of Oman (DGCAM).
|Seasonal monsoon rains
brought flooding to areas of South Asia, including parts of India,
Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, with more than 200 fatalities
(Reuters). Some hardest-hit areas included much of Bangladesh and
the states of Assam and West Bengal in northeastern India. On the
16th, flooding in the Shilagarh village in Himachal Pradesh,
located about 400 km (250 miles) north of Delhi, killed at least 19
people at a construction site (BBC News). In China, heavy rains
that began in late June continued into early July, bringing floods
to Guizhou, Hunan, Sichuan and Guangxi provinces in the south
central part of the country. Flooding in China has been blamed for
more than 300 deaths since it began in late June (AFP).
Flash floods in Mongolia struck the capital city of Ulaanbaatar
and surrounding provinces during July 18-25, killing 15 people
Across Africa, flooding in eastern Uganda around July 7 produced
landslides and brought the Manafa River above the flood stage.
There were 20 deaths reported in Bubulo county, along with loss of
livestock and crops (Disasterrelief.org). A rain-induced landslide
in southern Cameroon on the 20th killed at least 20 people
||The remnants of
Tropical Storm Bill brought heavy rains to the southeast United
States, where over 200mm (8 inches) fell locally along the Gulf
Coast and up to 100 mm (4 inches) in parts of the southern
weakened remains traversed westward into Texas during the 15th-16th
producing locally heavy rains. Moisture from the storm's remnants
brought rainfall to parched areas of south Texas, adjacent areas of
northern Mexico and into the U.S. Desert Southwest by the
||A pair of typhoons in
the western Pacific (Koni and Imbudo) brought locally heavy,
flooding rains to parts of the Philippines, southeastern coastal
China and Vietnam during July 15-24.
For an archive of flood events worldwide, see the
Dartmouth Flood Observatory.
||Clusters of severe
thunderstorms affected parts of the United States, primarily from
the High Plains eastward through the Ohio Valley, during July 2-9.
Numerous reports of wind damage and hail were received during this
associated with a frontal system affected areas of western and
southwestern France on the 15th. Damaging winds, large hail and
lightning were blamed for 4 fatalities and 70 injuries (AFP/BBC
News). Some of the worst damage was in the southwestern city of
Bordeaux, where winds reached as high as 150 km/hr (94 mph),
damaging roofs and knocking down many trees.
Animation Also Available (~2.2 MB)
||In the United States,
severe thunderstorms brought strong winds to the Memphis, TN area
early on the 22nd, and caused widespread power outages and 4 deaths
(Associated Press). Winds in the metropolitan area gusted as high
as 100 mph as the storms moved through (Associated Press). By early
August, more than 15,000 people remained without power in the
Memphis area from the late-July thunderstorms (Associated
developed in the Caribbean Sea on the 9th and moved across the
northern tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on the 11th with maximum
sustained winds near 90 km/hr (50 knots or 55 mph).
then tracked northwestward into the Gulf of Mexico, attaining
hurricane status. Claudette made landfall along the Texas Gulf
Coast near Port O'Connor on the 15th with maximum sustained winds
near 120 km/hr (65 knots or 75 mph). The storm caused considerable
damage, left tens of thousands without power, and was responsible
for two deaths (AFP). Heavy rainfall and localized flooding
occurred well inland.
|Typhoon Koni developed in
the western Pacific Ocean on the 15th and tracked through the
southern and central Philippines on the 17th as a tropical storm.
Koni attained typhoon status on the 20th as it moved through the
South China Sea. Koni struck the island of Hainan on the 21st at
minimal typhoon strength with maximum sustained winds of 120 km/hr
(65 knots or 75 mph). Th storm then crossed the Gulf of Tonkin and
into northern Vietnam on the 22nd.
||Typhoon Imbudo developed
in the western Pacific Ocean on the 16th and reached typhoon
strength by the 18th. Imbudo made landfall across Luzon in the
northern Philippines on the 22nd with maximum sustained winds near
240 km/hr (130 knots or 150 mph). The typhoon was the strongest to
hit the Philippines in 5 years, causing 10 deaths, and producing at
least $18.5 million (USD) in damage to crops (Reuters).
Imbudo then tracked westward through the South China Sea and
ashore in southern China near Yangjiang (about 190 miles
southwest of Hong Kong) on the 24th. Maximum sustained winds were
near 165 km/hr (90 knots or 105 mph) and it was one of the
strongest typhoons to impact the region in several years, causing
20 deaths (Reuters). The Hong Kong Observatory reported that it was
the strongest typhoon to hit Guangdong province since Typhoon Sally
devastated the region in 1996. Typhoon Sally caused 123 deaths and
4,300 injuries (Reuters).
|Cold and snowy weather
characterized conditions across much of New Zealand during the
first week of July, where locally 30 cm (12 inches) of snow fell in
parts of the country. The snowstorm was described by local media as
the worst in 50 years, causing thousands of power outages to homes
and businesses and stranding hundreds of motorists (New Zealand
In Peru, a series of strong cold fronts ushered in cold air and
strong winds that affected the highlands of the southern
departments of Arequipa, Puno, Moquegua, Tacna and Cuzco with
temperatures falling as low as -20°C (-4°F). At least 25
deaths were attributed to the cold, with hundreds of livestock
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,