Global Hazards - August 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
Hurricane Dean was the first category five hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic basin since Andrew in 1992. Additional information can be found below.
Across the United States, severe to extreme drought conditions persisted throughout much of the western U.S., the Southeast region, and parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Exceptional drought was present in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and parts of Mississippi, North and South Carolina. On August 28, 64% of the western U.S. was in moderate to exceptional drought, 83% in the Southeast, and 46% for the contiguous U.S., according to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor.
For a complete drought analysis across the United States, please see the U.S. drought page.
A severe heat wave gripped the South and Midwest during August. The heat prompted numerous new maximum temperature records in several cities. The Tennessee Valley Authority reported that a new record was set on August 6 when demand reached 32,095 megawatts. The previous record was set on July 18, 2006 (AFP). Fifty-one fatalities were blamed due to the heat (Associated Press). Additional information can be found on the August 2007 Heat Wave page.
A heat wave affected Japan on August 16 prompting new record high temperatures. In the city of Tajimi temperatures reached 40.9°C (105.6°F) breaking the previous record of 40.8°C (105.4°F) that was set in 1933. Ten fatalities were attributed to the heat (Reuters).
Heavy monsoon-related rainfall, which commenced in June, affected parts of South Asia during August. About 25 million people have been affected by the floods in South Asia and more than 2,000 people have been killed since the heavy rains began in June. According to reports, Northern India, Bangladesh, and Nepal have been the most affected by the worst monsoonal rains in decades. The Darbhanga district, located in northeastern India, experienced it heaviest rain in 30 years. It received 876 mm (34.5 inches) of rain in a 15-day period, breaking the previous record of about 600 mm (23.6 inches). These heavy rains have destroyed thousands of homes, thousands of acres of land, and have prompted waterborne diseases (Associated Press/AFP).
During the first week of August, areas across China suffered from heavy rain which triggered flash floods that killed 78 people and left 18 others missing. In the province of Henan, the flash floods destroyed about 6,000 houses and about 6,700 hectares (16,560 acres) of crops (Reuters). During August 22-27, heavy rainfall affected China's southwest region prompting flooding and triggering landslides that killed 17 people in the Sichuan province (BBC News).
Tropical Storm Chantal was responsible for heavy rain and extensive flooding in the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland on August 1. The worst flooding occurred in the southern areas of the Peninsula where many houses were flooded. According to reports, damages are estimated to be about $4 million.
In Vietnam, flooding triggered by Tropical Storm 06W killed at least 70 people in central Vietnam and affected thousands more on the 7th, becoming the worst tropical storm since the start of 2007 (BBC News). According to reports, more than 48,000 homes and 65,700 hectares (162,300 acres) of agricultural land were submerged under water (Reuters). In the province of Dak Lak, 610 mm (24 inches) of rain fell in a 24-hr period (Associated Press).
During August 5-12, North Korea suffered from heavy rains that prompted flash floods which were responsible for destroying thousands of homes, about 540 bridges, and thousands of acres of agricultural land. The floods affected about 63,000 families. According to the Korean Meteorological Agency, the worst hit areas received 672 mm (27 inches) of rain during the 7th-12th (BBC News).
In areas across northwestern Switzerland, heavy rain fell on August 8-9. According to reports, Switzerland's largest city, Zurich, received its largest daily rainfall amount in 100 years. Only one fatality was reported (BBC News).
Floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains brought by two consecutive tropical storms resulted in at least 14 fatalities in the Philippines, which affected over 10,000 people (BBC News).
In the United States, thunderstorms on August 19-27 brought heavy rain across parts of the Midwest prompting widespread flooding which forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. There were 18 reported deaths across the Midwest due to flooding (BBC News). The American Red Cross said in a preliminary report that in Wisconsin and Minnesota there were approximately 4,200 affected homes (Associated Press). Damages in Wisconsin were estimated to be about $38 million (Associated Press).
During July 3-5, severe thunderstorms struck Myanmar (also known as Burma) resulting in two deaths and many other injuries. The storms spawned a strong tornado that was responsible for two deaths and the destruction of 160 houses. Heavy rain triggered flash flooding which affected about 800 families and flooding many homes (BBC News).
Typhoon Usagi developed in the western Pacific Ocean on July 27. Usagi reached typhoon peak intensity on August 1 with maximum sustained winds near 138mph (222 km/hr or 120 knots). On August 2, Usagi made landfall in the island of Kyushu, Japan with maximum sustained winds of 112 mph (180 km/hr or 97 knots). Typhoon Usagi was the second strongest storm to hit Japan in less than a month. It left 16 people injured and about 20,000 homes without electricity (Reuters/Associated Press).
Typhoon Pabuk developed as a depression in the western Pacific Ocean on the 4th, reaching typhoon intensity on the morning of the 7th with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph (120 km/hr or 65 knots). Pabuk was downgraded to a tropical storm prior to making landfall in southern Taiwan. Pabuk disrupted power supplies in southern Taiwan while it strengthened monsoonal rains in the Philippines resulting in floods and landslides that killed 11 people (BBC News). After passing Taiwan, Pabuk made a second landfall in China on the 12th. Pabuk triggered floods and was responsible for destroying about 3,000 houses in China's Guangdong province. Meanwhile, in the cities of Zhanjiang, Maoming, and Meizhou, Pabuk reportedly caused $170 million in economic losses and destroyed more than 3,500 homes.
Tropical Storm Wutip developed as a depression in the western Pacific Ocean on the 6th, reaching tropical storm intensity on the 8th. On the 9th Wutip made landfall in Taiwan and immediately weakened into a depression. Wutip is responsible for at least 3 deaths and 17 others injured in the Philippines (BBC News).
Hurricane Dean developed in the Atlantic Ocean, west-southwest of Cape Verde, as a tropical depression on the 13th. Dean moved towards the Caribbean sea and by the 16th it reached hurricane intensity. On the 17th, Dean entered the Caribbean Sea through the St. Lucia Channel as a Category 2 hurricane. Although Hurricane Dean passed to the south of Puerto Rico and the island of Hispaniola as a Category 3 hurricane, Dean's outer rain bands affected the islands as well. During the evening of the 17th, Dean strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane and by the 19th Dean passed south of Jamaica. On August 21, Dean was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 269 km/hr (167 mph or 145 knots), with gusts of up to 322 km/hr (200 mph or 174 knots), and a central pressure of 906 mb before making landfall in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. While interacting with land, Dean downgraded to a Category 1 storm but immediately regained strength as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico. Dean made its second landfall on August 22 near Tecolutla, Veracruz as a Category 2 storm. Dean lost its strength and dissipated over central Mexico.
Hurricane Dean was the first major hurricane for the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season and the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic basin since Andrew in 1992. Dean had a central pressure of 906 mb becoming the 9th lowest on record for the Atlantic Basin but ranked third lowest at landfall in the Atlantic basin since records began, behind the 1935 Labor day hurricane and Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Dean was responsible for at least 20 fatalities across the Caribbean and 10 fatalities in Mexico. Dean destroyed agricultural crops across Mexico and severely damaged its major cruise ship port and hundreds of homes. Insured losses were estimated to be about $300 million (Associated Press).
Tropical Storm Erin developed as a depression in the Gulf of Mexico on the 14th, reaching tropical storm intensity on the 15th. On the 16th, Erin made landfall near Lamar, Texas with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/hr ( 40 mph or 35 knots). Erin downgraded to a depression but dropped moderate to heavy precipitation in its path. By the 19th, Erin was over Oklahoma where it re-intensified with maximum sustained winds of 55 km/hr (34mph or 30 knots). Later that same day, Erin dissipated over northeastern Oklahoma. About 254 mm (10 inches) of rain fell across Houston and San Antonio, TX as well as in parts of central Oklahoma, as a result of Erin. According to reports, 13 fatalities were blamed to the tropical storm and many homes were damaged by the floods (Associated Press/BBC News).
Typhoon Sepat developed as a depression in the western Pacific Ocean on the 12th, reaching typhoon intensity on the 14th. By the 16th, Sepat had maximum sustained winds of up to 259 km/hr (161 mph or 140 knots) and a minimal central pressure of 910 mb. On August 18, Sepat made landfall in eastern Taiwan producing heavy precipitation which resulted in mudslides. Only one fatality was reported but agricultural damages were estimated to be about $34.5 million. Although Sepat didn't make landfall in the Philippines, the outer bands of the typhoon affected the islands enhancing monsoonal rains that were responsible for 3 fatalities. Sepat made its second landfall along the coast of the Fujian province, southern China, with maximum sustained winds near 120 km/hr (75mph or 65 knots) on the 19th. Up to 200 mm (8 inches) of rain was produced by Sepat in most provinces in eastern China which killed 36 people and affected 1.53 million people. Sepat spawned a tornado that killed 13 people and left about 60 more injured. The heavy precipitation prompted landslides which left at least 12 people missing. Damages were estimated to be about $663 million (Associated Press/BBC News/Xinhua). By the 20th, Sepat had dissipated.
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 August 2007.
No reports of severe winter weather were received during August 2007.