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Old June 10th 04, 05:00 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default Global Weather Highlights May 2004


MAY 2004


Torrential rains brought massive flooding to Haiti and the Dominican
Republic during May 18-25.

A low-pressure system originating from Central America crossed the Caribbean
and affected Hispanola during May 18-25, bringing exceptionally heavy showers
and thunderstorms to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Rainfall amounts
exceeding 19.7 inches were common across the border areas of Haiti and the
Dominican Republic during this time period. Flooding was extensive in the town
of Jimani in the southwestern Dominican Republic, where 10 inches of rain fell
in just 24 hours, causing the Soliel River to overflow its banks. Widespread
flooding and mudslides in the two countries were blamed for more than 900


In the United States, significant precipitation during the winter season
alleviated drought conditions along the immediate West Coast, although severe
to extreme drought classification continued in early April throughout the
Intermountain West, the Northern Rockies, and southward into Arizona.
Exceptional drought classification was noted through parts of Montana and
Idaho. Moderate drought conditions developed in parts of the Southeast by the
end of April and continued into May.

The western wildfire season got off to an above average start by early May with
fire danger at unprecedented high levels in parts of California (NIFC). Several
large fires affected the southwestern part of the state, where the Eagle and
Cerrito fires charred more than 28,000 acres and destroyed more than a dozen

Southern Plains

Showers and thunderstorms brought torrential rains and flooding to parts of
Texas during May 1-2. Flooding affected northern and coastal sections of the
state, resulting in 6 deaths.


Strong thunderstorms produced damaging winds, hail and a few tornadoes through
parts of Minnesota on the 9th. More than 22,000 customers lost electricity in
the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

A significant outbreak of severe weather and tornadoes affected portions of the
U.S. Great Plains during May 21-24, 2004. There were 179 reported tornadoes
during this period, along with many reports of hail and wind damage.


Severe weather spread into the Tennessee Valley and Mid-Atlantic states by the


Rain and late season snow blanketed areas of Canada's main grain-growing region
on the 12th, including areas of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The storm
dumped 0.4 to 1.6 inches of water on some parts of the prairie provinces, where
prolonged drought plagued the region.


In France, unseasonably heavy snow fell on the 9th in the northeast areas of
the country. Heavy snow accumulation on the order of a foot was observed at
elevations above 2,970 feet. The snow caused road closures and power outages,
with some 5,000 householdslosing electricity.


Long term drought continued across areas of Africa, including the Greater Horn
and parts of southern Africa. Seasonal rains brought relief to some areas
during late April and into May.

Flooding that began at the beginning of 2004 along the Zambezi River affected
over 21,000 people living in Zambia. Western and northern provinces of the
country were the worst affectedAreas Affected By Flooding

In Kenya, several thousand people were displaced by flooding in early May,
mostly in the western part of the country. There were 15 fatalities reported
due to the flooding.


Flash floods were responsible for 8 deaths in western Iran on the 2nd. Heavy
rainfall along the Deleshir River in the Kermanshah province caused the river
to quick rise above the flood stage, resulting in the fatalities.


Near record to record rainfall totals in the Jiangxi Province of eastern China
during May 11-15 caused flooding and landslides killing seven people.

Typhoon Nida developed as a tropical storm in the western Pacific Ocean on the
14th and quickly reached typhoon strength the same day. By the 16th Nida
developed into a Super Typhoon. Typhoon Nida made landfall in the Philippines
as a category 4 storm on the 18th. Maximum sustained winds were 161 mph causing
between 20-30 deaths. The typhoon forced the evacuation of thousands of people,
and caused a ferry to overturn that was carrying 168 passengers off the central
Camotes islands. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a disaster in eight
eastern provinces (Associated Press). Nida is the fourth typhoon to hit the
archipelago this year.


Tropical Cyclone 01A developed in the Arabian Sea on the 5th and dissipated off
the west coast of India by the 10th. Maximum sustained winds at the storm's
reached 50 mph. Although the storm never made landfall, there were 23 fishermen
from India reported missing off the coast of the southern state of Kerala.
Heavy rains pounded that pounded coastal areas badly damaged around 1,500

An unusual late-season snow fell across the Kashmir region along the border of
India and Pakistan during early May. Indian defense ministry officials reported
that the army was dispatched in an effort to rescue some 20,000 nomads trapped
in the Himalayan areas of Kashmir, where heavy snow had effectively cut off the

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