Global Weather Highlights October 2006
GLOBAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
West and Plains
Significant drought affected areas of the Plains and Rocky Mountains.
Extreme drought was also concentrated in northern areas of Minnesota.
Heavy rainfall in parts of southern Alaska totalled 75-125 mm (3 to 5
inches) during the 8th-12th. Subsequent flooding and mudslides washed
out sections of the Richardson Highway, closing a 106-km 66-mile)
stretch of highway north of Valdez (Associated Press).
Across southeastern Texas, heavy rainfall on the 22nd-23rd produced
flooding that destroyed about 40 homes. The flooding was concentrated
along the swollen Neches River. Texas Governor Rick Perry declared nine
southeastern Texas counties disaster areas (Associated Press).
Temperatures In the United States, the season's first blast of cold air
affected areas of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. In addition to
subfreezing temperatures across a large area, snowfall was common
throughout the region. The unseasonably cold air traversing the
relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes generated significant lake
effect snowfall during October 12-13. In western New York, record
October snowfall occurred in Buffalo, with 57.4 cm (22.6 inches)
recorded at the airport. This broke the monthly record for a single
snowfall event, and also was the 6th heaviest snowfall on record.
Nearly one million people lost power during the event. Heavy snow and
strong winds created blizzard conditions in parts of Colorado on the
26th. Parts of the Rockies received as much as 46 cm (18 inches) of
snow (Associated Press).
Severe drought affected large areas of the southeastern part of the
country during October. New South Wales recorded its driest October on
record, Victoria its second driest, with South Australia and Queensland
both ranking in the bottom ten years. Averaged across the country as a
whole, it was the 11th driest October on record (Australian Bureau of
Meteorology). Australian Prime Minister John Howard characterized the
drought as the "worst drought in living memory" (New Zealand Herald).
Long-term drought persisted in areas of Somalia and Ethiopia, mostly
beneficial rainfall was noted in areas of Ethiopia, Sudan and into
areas of West Africa. Localized areas of flooding occurred in parts of
the Ethiopian Highlands. More
extensive flooding occurred in the Jubba and Shabelle River basins,
where at least 67 people were killed in southeastern Ethiopia. Of those
fatalities, at least ten were killed by crocodiles from the swollen
In Thailand during early October, heavy rainfall in the wake of the
remnants of Typhoon Xangsane was responsible for 32 deaths across the
country, and affected 1.8 million people. In neighboring Myanmar
(Burma), at least 10 people were killed in the city of Mandalay in some
of the worst flooding in recent memory (AFP/Royal Thai Government). In
southwestern China, torrential rainfall during October 6-12 in the
Honghe prefecture of Yunnan province triggered flooding and
landslides in the mountainous region, killing 20 people. The forced the
evacuation of 20,000 people and caused the destruction of 2,000 homes
In Sri Lanka, monsoon-related rainfall prompted flooding that was
blamed for at least 23 deaths (OCHA). Two Greek Aegean islands and a
portion of northwestern Crete were placed in a state of emergency after
heavy rainfall produced flooding and mudslides during the
17th-18th(AFP). More heavy rainfall affected southern Greece on the
Across Turkey, flooding on the 31st was blamed for 38 deaths. Fourteen
of the fatalities occurred when a mini-bus was swept away by
floodwaters near the town of Cinar in Diyarbakir province (Associated
Hurricane Paul developed as a depression in the eastern Pacific Ocean
on the 21st, reaching hurricane strength by the next day. Paul weakened
considerably prior to landfall near La Reforma, Mexico on the 26th,
coming ashore as a tropical depression. Heavy rainfall was the primary
impact from this system.
Typhoon Cimaron developed in the Philippine Sea as a depression on the
26th, reaching typhoon intensity by the next day. Cimaron crossed
northern Luzon in the Philippines on the 29th with maximum sustained
winds near 260 km/hr (140 knots or 160 mph). There were at least ten
reported fatalities in the Philippines from the typhoon (Reuters).