Global Hazards - April 2004

Please note: Material provided in this report is chosen subjectively and included at the discretion of the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). The ability to report on a given event is limited by the amount of information available to NCEI 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
Flooding in northern Mexico in Coahuila state during April 4-5, 2004
Northern Mexico Flooding
Global Hazards and Significant Events
April 2004
Severe flooding affected portions of the state of Coahuila in northern Mexico during early April 2004. Additional information can be found below.

Drought conditions
In the United States, significant precipitation during the winter season alleviated drought conditions along the immediate West Coast, although severe to extreme drought classification continued in April throughout the Intermountain West, the Northern Rockies, and southward into New Mexico. Exceptional drought classification was noted through parts of Montana and Idaho. Moderate drought conditions developed in parts of the Southeast by the end of the month. Click Here for the Drought Monitor depiction as of April 27, 2004
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For comprehensive drought analysis across the United States, please see the U.S. regional drought pages.

CAMS precipitation anomaly estimates across Africa during April 2004
CPC Africa Hazards Assessment
Long term drought continued across areas of Africa, including the Greater Horn and parts of southern Africa (WFP). In Zimbabwe, an estimated 5.5 million people will require emergency food aid during 2004 (AFP). The onset of seasonal rains brought at least short-term relief to many areas during April.
In China, a significant dust storm affected northwest China's Ningxia Hui and Inner Mongolia Autonomous regions on the 25th. Visibilities were severely reduced in the city of Shizuishan, keeping many local residents in their homes. Another dust storm was detected via satellite across the Taklimakan Desert on the 28th. Satellite imagery depicting dust storm over China on April 28, 2004
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Temperatures across California on April 26, 2004 at 2300 UTC
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In the United States, record heat affected areas of California during April 26-27. Records broken for the month of April included 100°F (37.8°C) at Yorba Linda on the 26th and 27th, 98°F (36.7°C) at Sacramento on the 26th and 99°F (37.2°C) at Paso Robles on the 27th.
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Heavy rainfall and flooding
Rainfall estimates for the 24-hour period ending April 6, 2004
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A strong storm system in the upper levels of the atmosphere brought showers and thunderstorms to areas of the southwestern U.S. and adjacent areas of northern Mexico during April 1-6. In the Coahuila state of northern Mexico, a deadly flash flood occurred along the Escondido River in Piedras Negras where locally 125-180 mm (~5-7 inches) of rain fell late on the 5th and early on the 6th. At least 36 people were killed by the early morning flooding which damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes, prompting a state of emergency declaration by Mexican president Vicente Fox (Reuters/AFP). Coahuila governor Enrique Martinez described the flooding as some of the worst in the history of the U.S.-Mexico border region (AFP/Associated Press). Heavy rain and flooding also affected areas of New Mexico and Texas.

Heavy rains in Angola produced flooding along the river system which flows into neighboring Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. Extensive flooding along the Zambezi River threatened more than 20,000 people in northeastern Namibia, and was characterized by local officials as the worst flooding since 1958 (Reuters).

Heavy rains caused flooding and landslides in the Peruvian city of Aguas Calientes during April 8-11. Hundreds of tourists were stranded visiting the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu as flooding destroyed 15 homes and blocked transportation routes (AFP). Flood affected areas courtesy of the Dartmouth Flood Observatory during mid-April 2004
Areas Affected By Flooding

In the Greater Horn of Africa, at least 50 people drowned as a result of flooding in Djibouti's capital city. Torrential rains during the night of April 12-13 were reportedly the heaviest in 10 years in Djibouti. The heavy rain cut electricity and washed away part of a railway line into neighboring Ethiopia. The majority of the flooding surged along the dry Ambouli riverbed between the cities of Djibouti and Balbala (Reuters/AFP).

In Russia, at least ten people were killed and thousands displaced as flooding affected the Kemerovo region of Siberia on the 17th. More than 20 towns and villages were affected by flooding in the Kemerovo, Altay and Tomsk regions (Associated Press/OCHA)

Map depicting flood-affected areas of Bosnia during April 2004
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In Bosnia, heavy rains caused extensive flooding along the country's river system, affecting as many as 300,000 people. More than 120,000 hectares (300,000 acres) of agriculural land was also flooded (OCHA)

In Saudi Arabia, 5 people were killed from floodwaters in the southern part of the country as heavy rains affected the area around Jizan City on the 19th (

In northeastern India, flooding affected the state of Manipur during mid to late April. Approximately 1,000 houses were submerged, and there was significant damage to paddy fields which were in the early part of the harvest cycle (IFRC). Map of flood-affected area of northeastern India
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In the United States, flooding affected parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma during the 24th-25th, resulting in at least 5 deaths (Reuters).

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

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Severe Storms
Colorized infrared satellite imagery depicting severe thunderstorms in Bangladesh on April 14, 2004
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Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes hit northern Bangladesh on the 14th, flattening villages, uprooting trees and killing at least 76 people (Reuters/IFRC). The worst-affected areas included Netrokona and Mymensingh. In Netrokona, nearly 3,000 people were injured (Reuters/IFRC). Additional tornadoes affected the capital of Dhaka on the 19th, killing at least 7 people (
Severe thunderstorms spawned 52 tornadoes in the United States on the 20th, with the majority of these occurring in the states of Illinois and Indiana. Photograph of tornado near Jamesville, Indiana on April 20, 2004
Photo Of Tornado Near Jamestown, Indiana On April 20
Radar Image of severe tornadic thunderstorms over Illinois on the evening of April 20, 2004
Radar Image Of Tornado-Producing Thunderstorm
Eight people were killed in Utica, Illinois as an F-3 tornado affected the downtown area (Reuters/Associated Press).
Satellite image depicting tornadic thunderstorms over central China on April 21, 2004
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In China, severe thunderstorms produced a tornado and "fist-sized" hail in parts of central China on the 21st. The tornado was responsible for 7 deaths in Hengyang city (Hunan province), destroyed 2,000 homes and 1,100 hectares (2,700 acres) of crops (AFP).
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Tropical Cyclones
Typhoon Sudal developed in the western Pacific Ocean on the 4th as a tropical depression and reached typhoon strength by the 6th. Sudal passed just southeast of Yap Island on the 8th-9th with maximum sustained winds near 205 km/hr (110 knots or 125 mph). The typhoon damaged more than 90 percent of public utilities and property, while also damaging more than 90 percent of lowland and upland crops (OCHA). The last typhoon to affect Yap State was Typhoon Lupit in November 2003. Satellite image of Typhoon Sudal
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Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone 22P just off the coast of northern Australia on March 18, 2004
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Tropical Cyclone 22P developed in the South Pacific Ocean on the 7th and moved across Fiji during the 8th, producing very heavy rainfall. Maximum sustained winds were near 65 km/hr (35 knots or 40 mph). There were at least 9 deaths on Viti Levu island attributed to the tropical cyclone (AFP).

A table containing the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index for global tropical cyclones occurring during the month of April 2004 is available.

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Extratropical Cyclones

No reports of significant extratropical cyclones were received during April 2004

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Severe winter weather
An unusual late-season snow fell across parts of southern Indiana and the western parts of Kentucky and Tennessee on the 13th. In Jackson, TN, it was the latest measurable snowfall on record. In Kentucky, there were 6 fatalities in traffic accidents caused by slick driving conditions. Visible satellite image depicting snow cover from snowfall on April 13, 2004
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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 April 2004, published online May 2004, retrieved on January 18, 2018 from