Global Hazards - March 2005

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
Satellite image of powerful Tropical Cyclone Ingrid along the northern coast of Australia on March 15, 2005
Tropical Cyclone Ingrid
Global Hazards And Significant Events
March 2005
Severe Tropical Cyclone Ingrid made historic multiple landfalls in Australia during early to mid-March. Additional information can be found below.
This is a break in the document
Drought & Heat | Flooding | Storms | Tropical Cyclones | Extratropical Cyclones | Severe Winter Weather
This is a break in the document
Drought conditions
A multi-month period of wet weather across southwestern areas of the United States ameliorated drought conditions in parts of California, Arizona and New Mexico. Extreme to exceptional drought persisted farther north throughout portions of the northern and central Rockies.
Drought Monitor depiction as of March 29, 2005
Larger Image
For comprehensive drought analysis, please see the current U.S. drought report.
Precipitation anomaly estimates across Africa during March 2005
Larger Image
Long-term drought continued across areas of the Greater Horn of Africa and southern Africa. Low water levels on Lake Victoria reduced flows into the Nile and diminished hydroelectric power generation in Uganda. Farther north across Eritrea, long-term drought promoted worsening food shortages throughout the country, with malnutrition estimated above 10 percent (OCHA). For the latest African analysis and forecast, see the Famine Early Warning System Network.
Severe drought conditions affected southern Brazil during March. The southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, which typically is one of Brazil's most prolific agricultural states, was the worst-affected. With little to no rainfall since December 2004, 440 cities and towns declared a state of emergency due to water shortages, where major economic impacts were reported (Associated Press/CNN).
Precipitation anomaly estimates across Brazil during January-March 2005
Larger Image
Top of Page

Heavy rainfall and flooding
In Algeria, heavy rainfall on the 6th-7th caused flooding in the Saharan desert region resulting in 2 deaths and 9 injuries (AFP).
Flood map from the Dartmouth Flood Observatory
Larger Image
UN OCHA situation map for Afghanistan
Larger Image
Heavy rain caused flooding in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan during March. Flooding which began in February in Pakistan continued into March, affecting the particularly hard-hit Balochistan province. There were more than 30 fatalities during the month in southwestern Pakistan. In neighboring Afghanistan, at least 24 deaths were blamed on flooding from rainfall and snowmelt (Associated Press/AFP).
Across Angola, above-normal wet season rainfall generated flooding in the northern Kwanza Norte province. The flooding was responsible for rendering at least 10,000 people homeless in the province (OCHA).
UN OCHA situation map for Angola
Larger Image
Flooding in Madagascar during the first week of March claimed 25 lives, displaced more than 8,000 from their homes, and flooded 35,500 hectares (88,000 acres) of agricultural land (OCHA).

For an archive of flood events worldwide, see the Dartmouth Flood Observatory.
24- hour rainfall totals ending March 28, 2005 at 7AM Eastern Time
Larger Image
Showers and thunderstorms affected the southeastern United States during March 27-28 with rainfall totals of 50-100 mm (~2-4) inches common in parts of Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama. Flooding forced some people from their homes, washing out roads and flooding rivers (Associated Press).
Top of Page

Severe Storms
Radar animation of severe thunderstorms affecting eastrern North Carolina on March 8, 2005
Click For Radar Animation
A line of strong to severe thunderstorms affected the eastern portions of North and South Carolina on March 8, with wind damage and a few tornadoes reported. Winds gusted over 110 km/hr (70 mph) with some of the stronger storms.
In New Zealand, a tornado tore through the town of Greymouth on the West Coast on the 9th. While no injuries were reported, the tornado cut a 300-meter (~1,000 feet) wide path of destruction through the town (AFP).

A severe thunderstorm brought significant hail and a tornado to northern Bangladesh on March 20. The storm destroyed 3,000 houses and killed at least 56 people in the districts of Gaibandha and Rangpur, where severe damage was reported in 20 villages (AFP/BBC/OCHA).
Satellite image of severe thunderstorms over Bangladesh on March 20, 2005
Larger Image
Top of Page

Tropical Cyclones
Tropical Cyclone Ingrid developed in the Coral Sea on the 6th and reached Australia's northern coast of Queensland on the 10th. The storm made landfall near the town of Lockhart River with maximum sustained winds near 185 km/hr (115 mph). This was reportedly the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the coastline of Queensland in more than three decades (CNN/BBC).
Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Ingrid just east of the coast of Queensland on March 8, 2005
Tropical Cyclone Ingrid
Satellite image of powerful Cyclone Ingrid along the northern coast of Australia on March 15, 2005
Larger Image
Ingrid continued westward into the open waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria, skirting the northern coast of the Northern Territory during the 11th-13th, with peak sustained winds during this time period near 250 km/hr (135 knots or 155 mph). Ingrid passed north of Darwin and lashed relatively isolated areas of the Arnhem Land region. Croker Island, located in the Arafura Sea, sustained damage to trees, powerlines and roofs on buildings, although no injuries were reported (AFP/Reuters). The cyclone entered the Timor Sea before making a third and final landfall in the remote northern tip of Western Australia near Kalumburu on the 15th. Maximum sustained winds near the time of landfall were around 240 km/hr (130 knots or 150 mph).
For a comprehensive summary on Tropical Cyclone Ingrid, please see The Australian Bureau of Meteorology's report.
Typhoon Roke developed across the Caroline Islands on the 13th, reaching typhoon intensity by the 15th as it tracked westward. The typhoon reached the central Philippines by the 16th with maximum sustained winds near 120 km/hr (65 knots or 75 mph). Roke weakened below typhoon strength as it tracked over land, re-emerging in the open waters of the South China Sea by the 17th before dissipating.
Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Roke just east of the Philippines on March 16, 2005
Typhoon Roke
Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Hennie near Mauritius on March 23, 2005
Larger Image
Tropical Cyclone Hennie developed in the South Indian Ocean on the 21st and passed just east of Mauritius on the 24th. Maximum sustained winds reached 120 km/hr (65 knots or 75 mph), although these stronger winds remained off the coast of Mauritius.
For 2005 basin tropical cyclone statistics, please refer to the following:
Australian Basin
North Indian Ocean Basin
Northwest Pacific Basin
South Pacific Basin
South Indian Ocean Basin
Top of Page

Extratropical Cyclones
Satellite image of a powerful storm system along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States on March 8, 2005
Larger Image
A powerful storm system brought a variety of weather impacts to the eastern United States on March 8. Strong thunderstorms affected the eastern Carolinas, while strong winds, heavy rain and heavy snow affected areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Minimum central pressure with the storm dropped to near 960 mb (28.35 inches of mercury) just off the coast of Maine and New Brunswick. Wind gusts over 95 km/hr (60 mph) were reported, along with heavy accumulations of snow in some areas.
Top of Page

Severe winter weather
Above average snow cover characterized much of Europe and Asia during the early part of March, as unusually cold and snowy conditions throughout the boreal winter season persisted through the 9th. Across Serbia and Montenegro, snow depths exceeding 2 meters (6.5 feet) were reported in some areas, cutting off some residents (IFRC).
Snow cover across Europe/Asia during March 1-9, 2005
This is a break in the document


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 March 2005, published online April 2005, retrieved on January 16, 2018 from