Global Hazards - June 2007
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 Hazards and Significant Events
Tropical Cyclone Gonu was the strongest cyclone to strike the Arabian Peninsula since records began in 1945 (BBC News). Additional information can be found below.
Across the United States, extreme drought conditions persisted in areas of Wyoming and throughout much of the Desert Southwest. Although Tropical Storm Barry brought much needed precipitation over parts of the Southeast during the first week of June, extreme to exceptional drought persisted in parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. On June 26, 49% of the western U.S. was in moderate to exceptional drought, 68% in the Southeast, and 34% for the contiguous U.S., according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor.
A heat wave which commenced in late May 2007 across areas of South Asia continued into early June. During the first half of June, a total of 37 fatalities were reported in India with 110 in Pakistan as a result of temperatures reaching 45°C to 52°C (113°F to 126°F). Minimum temperatures rarely fell below 30°C (86°F) in India providing little relief (BBC News/DPA). Extremely hot weather and associated fatalities are common in India during late spring preceding the climatological onset of the monsoon season in June.
A heat wave affected areas across southeastern Europe during late June, prompting electricity demand to soar to record levels. About 40 deaths were attributed to high temperatures soaring past 40°C (104°F). Hot, dry weather experienced in southern Europe contributed to over 130 wild fires which have destroyed thousands of acres of land and killed two people (BBC News/Associated Press). Northern Africa suffered as well, with temperatures over 40°C (104°F) which contributed to the spread of several fires (AFP).
Heavy rains from June 6-10 affected areas across southern China. Flooding affected over 13.5 million people in sections of Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Jiangxi, and Fujian. There were a total of 128 fatalities due to floods and landslides with 24 others missing. In China's central province, Hunan, the heavy rains prompted the swelling of the Xiangjiang river to its highest mark in 20 years (about 4.6 meters above the 'warning' mark). The floods and landslides produced by torrential rainfall damaged approximately 480,000 hectares of farmland and 144,000 homes and buildings, while 69,000 homes were completely destroyed. Authorities in the province of Guandong, reportedly the worst hit, channeled the water away from their most important cities, but economic losses due to the disaster have been estimated to be about 606 million U.S. dollars (AFP/Reuters).
Heavy rains affected areas of eastern Australia during June 7-10 producing the worst flooding in 30 years in the Hunter area of New South Wales. Nine people were killed and about 5,000 people evacuated the area due to fears that the Hunter River would overflow and eventually break its banks. The Hunter area received up to 300 mm (12 inches) of rain (BBC News).
Floodings and landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains affected parts of Bangladesh causing at least 135 fatalities with many others missing. On June 11, the port city of Chittagong, reportedly the worst hit, received 275 mm (11 inches) of rain (BBC News/Associated Press).
In the United States, heavy rainfall on June 17-18 produced flooding that destroyed hundreds of homes across northern Texas and led to 5 fatalities. The towns of Sherman and Gainesville were the worst hit. Gainseville recieved a total of 127 mm (5 inches) of rain (BBC News). Severe storms produced persistent heavy rainfall in central Texas during June 26-27, with reports of up to 18 inches (457 mm) of rain in the Marble Falls area on the night of the 26th. Meanwhile, the Dallas area experienced its second wettest June, behind 1928, since records began in 1899 (Reuters).
In northwestern Pakistan, heavy rain during June 16-18 caused flooding that was responsible for 22 deaths and the destruction of hundreds of homes. Most of the deaths were due to collapsing houses (Associated Press/BBC News).
Heavy rainfall in the northern and western parts of United Kingdom brought flooding on June 25 that prompted evacuations and resulted in at least three deaths. Fylingdales, located in North Yorkshire, reported a total of 103 mm (4 inches) in a period of 24 hours (BBC News). Preliminary data from June 2007 suggest it was the wettest such month since records began. The nationally averaged rainfall was 134.5 mm (5 inches), which was 13 mm (0.5 inches) more than the previous record set in 1980 (AFP).
In the United States, severe thunderstorms affected eastern Iowa on June 1 producing a tornado that resulted in the destruction of 39 homes and approximately $2.7 million in infrastructure damage (Associated Press). For additional information, see the Storm Prediction Center Report.
Across the Upper Midwest of the contiguous U.S., severe thunderstorms produced damaging winds, more than 152 mm (6 inches) of rain, tornadoes, and in some areas up to 4 inch hail on June 7 (Associated Press). For additional information, see the Storm Prediction Center Report.
Severe thunderstorms, associated with an outer band of the tropical cyclone Yemyin (03B), produced heavy rains and winds that killed about 230 people in the city of Karachi, located in the Sindh province in southern Pakistan during June 23-25. The fatalities were mainly due to collapsing houses, snapped power lines which electrocuted many people, and flying debris. The storms produced heavy rains which caused floodings and destroyed thousands of homes (AFP/BBC News).
Cyclone Gonu, an unusually strong tropical cyclone, developed in the eastern part of the Arabian Sea on June 1st. The cyclone made landfall in Oman on the 6th with maximum sustained winds near 148 km/hr (80 knots or 92 mph). A few days prior to landfall, Gonu had intensified to a powerful super cyclonic storm with maximum sustained winds near 260 km/hr (140 knots or 162 mph) on the 5th, becoming the first documented super cyclone in the Arabian Sea and tied for the strongest cyclone in the North Indian Ocean. After making landfall in Oman, Gonu moved through the Gulf of Oman making a second landfall in Iran (AP/BBC News). Tropical Cyclone Gonu affected more than 20,000 people and was responsible for 49 fatalities and 27 missing people in Oman. Gonu brought heavy rainfall which caused floods and landslides. Overall damages in Oman were estimated to be over 1 billion U.S. dollars. Meanwhile in Iran 5 fatalities were reported and 9 people remain missing (Reuters). Tropical cyclones as strong as Gonu are rare in the Arabian Sea.
Tropical Cyclone Yemyin (03B) developed as a depression in the Bay of Bengal on the 21st and made landfall in India's southern state, Andhra Pradesh, on the 22nd. Yemyin (03B) brought heavy rain in the southern parts of India, leaving over 254 mm (10 inches) of rain in Andhra Pradesh. The cyclone was responsible for at least 150 deaths mainly due to floodings and collapsing houses. After crossing over India, Yemyin (03B) moved into the Arabian Sea and began moving towards the northwest. On June 26, the cyclone intensified and maximum sustained winds reached 93 km/hr (50 knots or 58 mph) prior to its second landfall in southwestern Pakistan. The cyclone was responsible for at least 21 fatalities in the Baluchistan province. Meanwhile in Afghanistan, Yemyin (03B) produced heavy rainfall which prompted floods that were responsible for 56 deaths and left thousands of people homeless (AFP).
For 2006/2007 basin tropical cyclone statistics, please refer to the following:
North Indian Ocean Basin
Western North Pacific Basin
South Pacific Basin
South Indian Ocean Basin
Northeast Pacific Ocean Basin
No reports of significant extratropical cyclones were received during June 2007.
Cold and snowy weather characterized conditions across much of South Africa on June 27, where 25 cm (10 inches) of snow fell in parts of the country. Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city, received its first significant snowfall since 1981. One fatality was attributed to the cold temperatures (SA/Reuters).
Unseasonably cold temperatures affected areas of Australia during June 17-22, with many locations breaking their all-time record daily low maximum temperatures. A complete summary is available courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.