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Old November 8th 03, 07:27 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default October 2003 Global Weather Highlights




A storm system aided by a powerful Pacific jet stream brought heavy rains and
flooding to areas of Washington and British Columbia during mid October.
Numerous daily rainfall records were broken across western Washington on
October 20-21. The 21st was the wettest day in Seattle weather history since
1891, with 5.02 inches.

Devastating wildfires affected southern California during the latter half of
October, prompted by dry Santa Ana winds.

Much of the region, severe to extreme drought was widespread. The most
concentrated areas of extreme to exceptional drought classification were across
the Northern Rockies. Very dry conditions along with Santa Ana winds created a
deadly wildfire emergency across southern California by late in the month. More
than 13,000 firefighters fought blazes across San Diego, Los Angeles, San
Bernadino and Ventura counties. As of October 30, the fires had destroyed at
least 2,400 homes, charred more than 650,000 acres and killed 20 people.


Severe thunderstorms accompanying a strong cold front produced scattered wind
damage in areas of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region on the 14th.

A strong low pressure system brought showers, thunderstorms and strong winds to
much of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region of the United States on October
15. In Maine, gusty winds knocked down trees and power lines which left about
110,000 homes and business without power. Farther south, thousands of residents
in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania also lost electricity. Wind gusts
of 50-70 mph were reported in parts of the area.


Tropical Storm Larry developed in the southern Gulf of Mexico on the 1st and
trekked slowly southward into the Bay of Campeche, making landfall just east of
Coatzacoalcos, Mexico on the 5th with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph.
Larry brought heavy rain to areas of Tabasco and Veracruz states, and prompted
the temporary closure of two oil export ports of Dos Bocas and Pajaritos.

Hurricane Olaf formed as a tropical depression on the 3rd in the eastern
Pacific Ocean south of Acapulco, Mexico. Olaf peaked with maximum sustained
winds near 75 mph before weakening prior to landfall


Long-term drought continued across much of the Greater Horn of Africa, where
September 2003 precipitation was around half of normal across parts of
Across Tanzania, drought caused livestock prices to tumble while maize prices
rose steadily since August 2003. Food shortages have been caused by below
normal rainfall during the 2002/2003 agricultural season.

Showers and thunderstorms brought flooding to Algiers, the capital of Algeria
during the 14-17th. At least thirteen people were swept away and killed by
flood waters, with most of the fatalities occurring in the cities of Saida and


In Haiti, heavy rains during the 5th-6th in the capital city of Port-au-Prince
triggered landslides that collapsed homes in four neighborhoods. The flooding
was responsible for at least 13 deaths.


In northern China, flooding along the Yellow and Wei Rivers forced the
evacuation of 238,000 people in the northern province of Shaanxi. In east
China's Shandong province, dike breaks along the Yellow River forced 11,000
people to be relocated. Flooding was also observed in Henan province, with a
combined death toll of 36 people in Henan and Shaanxi provinces.

Flooding in Malaysia's northern states on the 6th displaced 25,000 people
from their homes and resulted in 2 deaths. In Sumatra, Indonesia, a landslide
following heavy rain killed 5 people on the 4th.

In Vietnam, flooding and landslides in the central part of the country claimed
44 lives. Tens of thousands of homes were submerged and thousands of hectares
of crops washed away from flooding that affected Binh Dinh and Quang Nam
provinces during October 14-21.

Tropical Cyclone 23W developed in the Gulf of Thailand on the 23rd and crossed
the Malay Peninsula on the 24th as a tropical depression. The cyclone brought
train traffic and other transportation to a halt and forced the evacuation of
more than 700 people across southern Thailand. Thousands of people were
by torrential rains, and two fishing vessels were capsized in the Gulf of
Thailand on the 22nd as the storm was in its developmental stages.


Heavy snowfall affected the west coast of Finland during October 19-20. Across
the southern and western parts of the country, temperatures fell to 16F.
According to statistics from the Finnish Meterological Institute, October
temperatures fall this low only 5 times every 100 years.

A cold outbreak across parts of Europe brought record cold temperatures to
parts of southern Germany on the 25th. Temperatures in the Bavarian town of
Oberstdorf fell to 10F, or the coldest October temperature since 1936.
Snowfall in parts of the Bavarian region accumulated to 8 inches.

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