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Old April 7th 05, 07:13 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default Global Weather Highlights March 205


MARCH 2005


A multi-month period of wet weather across southwestern areas of the
United States ameliorated drought conditions in areas of California,
Arizona and New Mexico. Extreme to exceptional drought persisted
farther north throughout portions of the northern and central Rockies.


Showers and thunderstorms affected the Southeast United States during
March 27-28 with rainfall totals of 50-100 mm (~2-4) inches common in
parts of Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama. Flooding
forced some people from their homes, washing out roads and flooding

A line of strong to severe thunderstorms affected the eastern portions
of North and South Carolina on March 8, with wind damage and a few
tornadoes reported. Winds gusted over 110 km/hr (70 mph) with some of
the stronger storms.


A powerful storm system brought a variety of weather impacts to the
eastern United States on March 8. Strong thunderstorms affected the
eastern Carolinas, while strong winds, heavy rain and heavy snow
affected areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Minimum central
pressure with the storm dropped to near 960 hectopascals (28.35 inches
of mercury) just off the coast of Maine and New Brunswick. Winds gusts
over 95 km/hr (60 mph) were reported, along with heavy accumulations
of snow in some areas.

Greater Horn

Long-term drought continued across areas of the Greater Horn of Africa
and southern Africa. Low water levels on Lake Victoria reduced flows
into the Nile and hydroelectric power generation in Uganda. Farther
north across Eritrea, long-term drought promoted worsening food
shortages throughout the country. Malnutrition in the country was
estimated above 10 percent.


In Algeria, heavy rainfall on the 6th-7th caused flooding in the
Saharan desert region that caused 2 deaths and 9 injuries.


Across Angola, above-normal wet season rainfall caused flooding in the
northern Kwanza Norte province. The flooding was responsible for
rendering at least 10,000 people homeless in the province.


Severe drought conditions affected southern Brazil during March. The
southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, which typically is one of
Brazil's most prolific agricultural states, was the worst-affected.
With little to no rainfall since December 2004, 440 cities and towns
declared a state of emergency due to water shortages, where major
economic impacts were reported.

East coast

Flooding in Madagascar during the first week of March claimed 25
lives, displaced more than 8,000 from their homes, and flooded 35,500
hectares (88,000 acres) of agricultural land.


Heavy rain caused flooding in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan during
March. Flooding which began in February in Pakistan continued in
March, affecting the particularly hard-hit Balochistan province. There
were more than 30 fatalities during the month in southwestern
Pakistan. In neighboring Afghanistan, at least 24 deaths were blamed
on flooding caused from rainfall and snowmelt.

Above average snow cover characterized much of Europe and Asia during
the early part of March, as unusually cold and snowy conditions
throughout the boreal winter season persisted through the 9th. Across
Serbia and Monetnegro, snow depths exceeding 2 meters (6.5 feet) were
reported in some areas, cutting off some residents.


In New Zealand, a tornado tore through the town of Greymouth on the
West Coast on the 9th. While no injuries were reported, the tornado
cut a 300-meter (~1,000 feet) wide path of destruction through the

Tropical Cyclone Ingrid developed in the Coral Sea on the 6th and
reached Australia's northern coast of Queensland on the 10th. The
storm made landfall near the town of Lockhart River with maximum
sustained winds near 185km/hr (115 mph). This was the reportedly the
strongest tropical cyclone to strike the coastline of Queensland in
more than three decades.

Ingrid continued westward into the open waters of the Gulf of
Carpentaria, skirting the northern coast of the Northern Territory
during the 11th-13th, with peak sustained winds during this time
period near 250 km/hr (135 knots or 155 mph). Ingrid passed north of
Darwin and lashed relatively isolated areas of the Arnhem Land region.
Croker Island, located in the Arafura Sea, sustained damage to trees,
powerlines and roofs on buildings, although no injuries were reported
(AFP/Reuters). The cyclone entered the Timor Sea before making a third
and final landfall in the remote northern tip of Western Australia
near Kalumburu on the 15th. Maximum sustained winds near the time of
landfall were around 240 km/hr (130 knots or 150 mph).

Tropical Cyclone Hennie developed in the South Indian Ocean on the
21st and passed just east of Mauritius on the 24th. Maximum sustained
winds reached 120 km/hr (65 knots or 75 mph), although these stronger
winds remained off the coast of Mauritius.


A severe thunderstorm brought significant hail and a tornado to
northern Bangladesh on March 20. The storm destroyed 3,000 houses and
killed at least 56 people in the districts of Gaibandha and Rangpur,
where severe damage was reported in 20 villages.


Typhoon Roke developed across the Caroline Islands on the 13th,
reaching typhoon intensity by the 15th as it tracked westward. The
typhoon reached the central Philippines by the 16th with maximum
sustained winds near 120 km/hr (65 knots or 75 mph). Roke weakened
below typhoon strength as it tracked over land, re-emerging in the
open waters of the South China Sea by the 17th before dissipating.

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