Global Hazards - September 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
Persistent heavy rain fell across western, central, and eastern Africa, prompting devastating floods during September. Additional information can be found below.
Across the United States, severe to extreme drought conditions continued throughout much of the western U.S., the Southeast region, and parts of Minnesota. Exceptional drought persisted in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, North and South Carolina. On September 25, 63% of the western U.S. was in moderate to exceptional drought, 77% in the Southeast, and 44% 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.
Across southern areas of the state of California, 25 fatalities were attributed to a heat wave that prompted temperatures to soar past 40°C (104°F). The excessive heat resulted in the declaration of an 'electrical emergency' by energy officials during the week of September 2 and thus left about 55,000 people without electricity for two days (BBC News).
Heavy monsoon-related rainfall, which commenced in June, affected parts of South Asia during September. Nearly 3 million people were affected by the worst floodings in years in many parts of India during September 6-12. Heavy rain produced flash floods in northeastern India, killing at least 10 people. Meanwhile, Bangladesh and Nepal also suffered from landslides and floods prompted by heavy rains during September 7-9. In Bangladesh, 100,000 people were affected by the floods while in Nepal, 15 fatalities were reported (AFP). Since the beginning of the monsoon, more than 2,500 fatalities have been reported across India, 959 in Bangladesh, and 183 in Nepal (Associated Press/BBC News/AFP).
Heavy rain fell during September 22-23 in southern and eastern parts of India, triggering flash floods and landslides that killed more than 60 people and left about 50 villages under water. In the state of Orissa, reportedly the worst hit, 190 mm (7.5 inches) of rain fell in Chandbali during a 24-hr period (BBC News/Associated Press).
Across eastern Romania, flooding during the first week of September affected about 1,400 people and damaged more than 1,000 homes. The floods were responsible for the deaths of 7 people with many others missing and caused the Kleine Ybbs river to reach its highest level in a century (BBC News).
Flash floods caused by torrential rains affected about 5,000 people and led to 4 fatalities in Thailand during the first two weeks in September. In Phetchabun, one of the worst hit areas, whole villages were washed out by landslides (BBC News).
In the United States, heavy rain fell at Will Rogers World Airport, south of Oklahoma City, on September 10, breaking the previous daily rainfall record. The previous 24-hour record was set in 1925 when 61.0 mm (2.4 inches) of rain fell. This record was easily surpassed in less than an hour when 69 mm (2.73 inches) of rain fell early in the morning. The 24-hour total rainfall for the day was 161 mm (6.32 inches), 100 mm (3.9 inches) more than the previous record (Associated Press).
In Africa, torrential rain triggered widespread flash floods across the continent, affecting over a million people in 22 countries. The heavy rains destroyed thousands of acres of land and prompted an outbreak of Cholera, which killed at least 68 people (AFP). The most affected countries were Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. In Sudan, 64 people lost their lives in what is described as the worst flooding in living memory (BBC News/AFP). Uganda, which suffered from the heaviest rainfall in 35 years, reported 9 fatalities and affected 150,000 people (Associated Press). According to reports, the United Nations declared parts of Ghana and Ethiopia as disaster zones and Uganda's president declared a state of emergency across the country (BBC News).
In the United States, severe thunderstorms produced a tornado that affected the southwest Florida city of Cape Coral on September 16. The tornado, with wind speeds estimated to be between 90-110 mph (145-177 km/hr or 78-96 knots), damaged about 150 homes. Only one person was injured (Associated Press).
Severe thunderstorms impacted Andalucía, Spain on September 21. Heavy rain and large hailstones fell across the region prompting flash floods, wrecking hundreds of car windshields, and injuring about 18 people. Only one fatality was reported. According to reports, the heavy rain destroyed 15% of the grape harvest in the Jerez region (BBC News).
Typhoon Fitow developed in the western Pacific Ocean on August 28. Fitow reached peak intensity on September 3 with maximum sustained winds near 98 mph (157 km/hr or 85 knots). On September 6, Fitow made landfall southwest of Tokyo, Japan, and became the strongest typhoon to hit Tokyo since October 2002 (Reuters). The typhoon left tens of thousands of residents without power, killed at least 2 people, left 40 others injured (BBC News), and brought heavy rain that surpassed rainfall records in many parts of Tokyo (Reuters).
Hurricane Felix developed as a depression in the eastern Atlantic Ocean on August 31, reaching tropical storm intensity later that day. Felix continued to intensify and was a strong category five hurricane with maximum winds of 168 mph (270 km/hr or 146 knots) by September 3. Prior to making landfall, Felix weakened briefly but then reintensified into a Category 5 storm and made landfall in northeastern Nicaragua by the 4th. The rugged terrain of Central America weakened Felix significantly such that it was downgraded to a tropical depression on the 5th. The most affected area was Puerto Cabezas where heavy rainfall destroyed many homes and left many people dead (BBC News). Hurricane Henriette, which formed in the East Pacific Ocean, and Hurricane Felix made landfall the same day, September 4. This is the first time since records began in 1949 that both Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes made landfall the same day (BBC News).
Hurricane Humberto became the first storm on record to intensify from a tropical storm to a category one hurricane within 16 hours (BBC News). Humberto was classified as a depression in the Gulf of Mexico on September 11, reaching tropical storm intensity on the 12th. Humberto made landfall just east of Galveston, TX on the 13th as a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (137 km/hr or 74 knots) (BBC News) and was the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005 (Associated Press). This hurricane brought heavy rain to the Texas-Lousiana coastline, left about 100,000 residents without power (BBC News), and was responsible for the death of one person (Associated Press). Humberto weakened to a tropical depression on the 13th.
Typhoon Nari developed in the western Pacific Ocean on the 12th as a tropical depression. Nari underwent rapid intensification, reaching typhoon status in just 18 hours. By the 14th, Nari reached its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 138 mph (222 km/hr or 120 knots) and soon afterwards began to weaken. On September 16, typhoon Nari made landfall on the southern coast of South Korea, killing at least 10 people (BBC News). According to reports, the Korean Meteorological Service estimated that rainfall totals reached a record of 590 mm (23 inches) in the island of Cheju (BBC News).
Typhoon Wipha developed in the western Pacific Ocean as a tropical depression on the 15th. Wipha attained typhoon status by the 17th but reached its peak intensity on the 18th with maximum sustained winds near 155 mph (250 km/hr or 135 knots) (BBC News). Typhoon Wipha made landfall in Zhejian province, located in eastern China, with maximum sustained winds up to 100 mph (160 km/hr or 87 knots) on the 19th (AFP). Wipha brought heavy rain that prompted floods which destroyed about 670 houses and disrupted power to more than 100 communities (Associated Press). Nine fatalities were reported with three others missing (Associated Press). Prior to making landfall, Wipha was expected to be the worst typhoon to strike in a decade. This resulted in the largest evacuations in the provinces of Shangai, Zhejiang, and Fujian since 1949 (BBC News/AFP). Damages from the storm were estimated to be about $880 million (Associated Press).
Tropical Storm Lekima formed in the western Pacific Ocean as a tropical depression on the 27th. On September 28, the storm intensified into a tropical storm and by the 29th Lekima made landfall in the Philippine island of Luzon with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 km/hr or 35 knots). The storm brought heavy rain that triggered flash floods and landslides, affecting about 3,400 people and killing at least 10 (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 September 2007.
No reports of severe winter weather were received during September 2007.