Global Hazards - April 2008
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
Typhoon Neoguri was the season's earliest typhoon and perhaps the strongest early season typhoon to strike China since 1949. Additional information can be found below.
Across the United States, rainfall during April led to improving drought conditions in much of the Southeast region, but as of April 29, moderate to extreme drought remained over 43% of the region. Moderate to severe drought conditions persisted in most of the central U.S., while drought conditions in southwestern Texas worsened as a lack of precipitation led to further depletion of moisture. As of April 29, 37% of the western U.S., 30% of the South, 34% of the High Plains, and 27% of the contiguous U.S. were in moderate to exceptional drought, 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 China, moderate to severe drought conditions affected parts of south-central Tibet. Moderate drought was present across the northern Heilongjiang and the northeastern Inner Mongolia provinces (Beijing Climate Center).
Wildfires developed across much of the south-central states during mid-April. In Ordway, Colorado, a wildfire fueled by 80 km/hr (50 mph or 43 knots) winds, charred nearly 3,602 hectares (8,900 acres) of land and forced all 1,200 residents to evacuate the area (Associated Press). The fire destroyed 8 homes, 24 additional buildings, and was responsible for at least 3 fatalities: 2 volunteer firefighters and a pilot on a firefighting plane battling a blaze (Associated Press). For more information on April's wildfires, please visit the April 2008 Wildfire page.
In California, Santa Ana winds brought warm air across parts of the state, prompting new daily maximum temperature records on the 12th. According to reports, El Cajon and Vista, California, suffered temperatures that rose to 34.4°C (94°F), surpassing the previous record of 31.7°C (89°F) set in 2000 and 30°C (86°F) set in 1994, respectively (BBC News).
A strong sand storm affected Baghdad, Iraq's capital, on April 17. According to reports, this was the worst spring storm to affect the city in years. Many people were taken to hospitals after sustaining breathing problems (BBC News).
Regina, the capital of the Canadian prairie province of Saskatchewan, saw a new daily maximum temperature record on April 14 when temperatures hit 28°C (82°F). The previous record was set in 1963 when temperatures soared to 26.7°C (80°F) (BBC News).
In Brazil, widespread floods caused by heavy rains during March 30 - April 11 killed 15 people and displaced more than 30,000 in the northeast part of the country. The floods destroyed corn and bean crops in the Piaui state (Associated Press/BBC News).
In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, heavy rain caused a deadly mudslide on the 24th that crushed a house, killing 3 children and injuring two people (Reuters/BBC News).
According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Perth had the wettest April since records began in 1876. As of April 29, the Western Australia's capital had a total of 152.4 mm (6 inches) of rain, surpassing the previous record set in 1926 by 3.6 mm (0.1 inches). Perth also had the second wettest January-April period on record with a total of 214.2 mm (8.4 inches) of rainfall. Perth's wettest January-April was set in 1955 when a total of 296.9 mm (11.7 inches) of rain fell. A complete summary is available courtesy of the Australian BoM.
In Sri Lanka, flash floods from torrential rains killed at least 7 people and affected more than 60,000 families during April 27-28. The heavy rain also triggered landslides that destroyed houses and blocked roads (BBC News).
Across the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada, rapid snow melt and heavy rain led to the overflows of rivers and consequently forced hundreds of people to evacuate the area. In Maine, the St. John River exceeded its flood stage and flooded the Fort Kent downtown area on April 30 (BBC News). The river rose to 9 meters (30 feet), 1.5 meters (5 feet) above its flood stage. According to reports, it is described as the worst flood since records began 80 years ago (Reuters). The river's previous record crest was 8.3 meters (27.3 feet), 1979. That same day, the town of St-Andre-Avellin in Quebec, Canada was inundated by water from a nearby river. The town was reportedly affected by the highest water level in a century (BBC News).
A strong storm system, which progressed through the eastern U.S., produced severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across portions of the south-central and southeastern states on April 3-4. On the night of the 3rd, a tornado ripped through central Arkansas. The tornado struck a mobile home park and the North Little Rock Airport, destroying a hangar and several small planes. On the 4th, the system affected several southeastern states, resulting in 21 reported tornadoes across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and North and South Carolina. In Mississippi, the tornadoes brought down nearly 400 electric poles, leaving 94,000 homes without power (Associated Press). No fatalities were reported.
A second strong storm system affected the central, midwestern, and eastern states on April 9-11, producing damaging winds, heavy rain, hail, and 62 reported tornadoes. The severe weather affected Texas and Oklahoma, causing nearly 180,000 homes and business to be without power in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and more than 11,000 homes in Oklahoma. These dangerous conditions also resulted in two fatalities and numerous damaged homes and buildings (Associated Press). The storm brought heavy rain to Missouri and caused widespread flooding when 76-102 mm (3-4 inches) of rain fell in just a few hours (BBC News). Across Kentucky and Tennessee, 56 homes were damaged by a possible tornado, while in Hoover, Alabama a roof collapsed at an apartment complex prompting the evacuation of nearly 20 units (Associated Press).
During the week of April 20, severe storms affected parts of the U.S., causing widespread damages across parts of the nation. A severe tornadic storm affected the Washington, D.C. area, specifically parts of Prince Georges and Charles counties, on the 20th. The storm spawned two tornadoes, which uprooted trees and damaged roofs. No fatalities were reported. The tornadoes were rated an EF-0 and EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Severe storms brought heavy rain across Iowa on the 21st, along with hail aearly seasonnd lightning. According to reports, parts of Des Moines and Boone saw nickel size hail (Associated Press). On April 23, severe weather lashed northern Texas with 113 km/hr (70 mph or 61 knots) winds, baseball size hail, and possible tornadoes. Power lines and trees were uprooted and several buildings had damage (Associated Press/BBC News). On April 24, severe storms swept through Kansas. The storms spawned a tornado, produced 129 km/hr (80 mph or 70 knots) winds, and 4.5 inch (11 cm) hail. Downed power lines and roof damages were reported with these storms (Associated Press).
In the Dominican Republic, severe storms spawned tornadoes that caused damages to houses and crops such as tobacco, rice, and plantain. About 700 people were forced to seek shelter. One fatality was reported (Associated Press).
Severe storms swept through the midwestern U.S. on April 25, producing tornadoes, golf ball size hail, and winds near 129 km/hr (80 mph or 70 knots) (BBC News). The storms left over 1,000 residents without power (BBC News). On April 28, three tornadoes were spawned from severe storms that affected central and southeastern Virginia. There were 200 injured people, along with more than 3,000 people left without power and multiple damages to houses. No fatalities were reported (Reuters/Associated Press).
Typhoon Neoguri, the season's earliest and perhaps the strongest early season typhoon to strike China since 1949 (AFP/Reuters), developed in the South China Sea on the 15th, rapidly intensifying to typhoon strength by the 16th. The typhoon reached its peak intensity on April 18 with maximum sustained winds near 176 km/hr (109 mph or 95 knots). As Neoguri approached China, more than 120,000 people were evacuated from Hainan (BBC News), while nearly 3,000 people were stranded on the island as the storm forced the cancellations of multiple flights (Associated Press). Hainan saw heavy rains that prompted flash floods across low-lying areas (BBC News). Neoguri weakened to a tropical storm prior to making landfall in the province of Guangdong in southern China. Three fatalities were attributed to the storm. Torrential rains produced by the storm caused a mudslide that killed 2 people and strong winds blew an aluminum sheet that killed another person (AFP). According to reports, 40 fishermen were missing (AFP).
For 2007/2008 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 April 2008.
Across southern Canada, a winter storm swept through on April 11, leaving heavy snow accumulations. Calgary, the largest city in the province of Alberta, saw a new daily snowfall record when the storm left more than 23 cm (9 inches) of snow, surpassing the 88-year old previous record of 15 cm (6 inches) (Calgary Herald Newspaper). High winds accompanied the snow, prompting the drifting of snow and poor visibility. This was not the first time Calgary had seen large daily amounts of snow during April. According to the Calgary Herald Newspaper, Calgary received 45.7 cm (18 inches) of snow on 21 April 1932.