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Old October 5th 05, 07:47 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default Global Weather Highlights September 2005


GLOBAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

SEPTEMBER 2005

UNITED STATES
West and Plains

Moderate to severe long-term drought persisted throughout parts of the
Pacific Northwest eastward into the northern Rockies. Meanwhile, severe
to extreme drought affected areas of the Mississippi Valley, where some
of the worst conditions were observed in northwestern Illinois.

Central

Severe thunderstorms in the central United States on the 13th resulted
in numerous reports of wind damage and as many as four tornadoes in
Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Hurricane Ophelia initially developed as tropical depression near
Freeport, Bahamas on the 6th, reaching tropical storm strength by 7th.
While remaining offshore, the storm brought gusty winds and heavy rains
to the east-central coast of Florida before moving to the northeast.
Ophelia reached category-one hurricane status by the 8th, and skirted
the North Carolina coast during September 14-15, with hurricane-force
wind gusts along the coastline from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout. Around
100,000 people lost power, and rainfall amounts of 250-305 mm (10-12
inches) were common along the immediate coastal areas.

Hurricane Rita developed as a depression just east of the Turks and
Caicos islands on the 18th, reaching tropical storm strength later the
same day. Hurricane intensity was achieved on the 20th as Rita tracked
through the Florida Straits and just south of the Florida Keys. Winds
were sustained at tropical storm force at Key West, where peak winds
gusted to 122 km/hr (66 knots or 76 mph). Rita emerged into the Gulf of
Mexico on the 21st, undergoing a period of rapid intensification. By
0300 UTC on the 22nd (11PM EDT on the 21st), the pressure dropped to
897 millibars (26.49 inches of mercury), or the third-lowest pressure
on record in the Atlantic. The two lowest pressures were recorded in
the eye of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 (888 millibars) and in the Labor
Day Hurricane of 1935 (892 millibars). This marked the first time in
the historical record that two hurricanes have reached category-five
intensity in the Gulf of Mexico in a single season (Katrina and Rita).
Rita continued to the northwest and weakened, but reached the
Texas/Louisiana border area near Sabine Pass early on the 24th as a
category-three hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 195 km/hr
(105 knots or 120 mph). A storm surge of at least 4.6 meters (15 feet)
flooded parts of Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Terrebonne and Vermilion
parishes, where sugar cane crop losses were estimated near $300 million
(Reuters). A 2.4 meter (8-foot) storm surge in New Orleans overtopped
the provisionally-repaired levees (from Hurricane Katrina damage) and
caused additional flooding. A total of 10 fatalities were reported, and
preliminary damage estimates ranged between $4-5 billion (AFP).

AFRICA
Great Horn

Long-term drought continued in parts of the Greater Horn and southern
Africa, including southern Somalia southward into Mozambique, southern
Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe. Water levels on Lake Victoria were 88 cm
(~3 feet) below normal as of mid-September, due to below normal
rainfall during the past year.

EUROPE

A multi-month drought continued into September in much of western
Europe. Since the beginning of October 2004, rainfall has been less
than half of normal in areas of the United Kingdom, France, Spain and
Portugal.

INDONESIA

In West Sumatra, Indonesia, heavy rainfall produced landslides near
Padang on the 2nd. There were 16 fatalities and at least 10 injuries.
Over 200 people were evacuated from their homes (OCHA). Days of heavy
rainfall during mid-September from a storm system in the Bay of Bengal
caused extensive flooding along the east coast of India northeastward
into Bangladesh. There were at least 66 fatalities in the Indian state
of Andhra Pradesh (Reuters).

CENTRAL AMERICA

In Costa Rica, heavy rains in the latter half of the month produced
flooding that resulted in 8 fatalities (OCHA). In Myanmar, heavy
monsoon-related rainfall affected the southern coastal areas during the
second week of September. Flooding and landslides affected the
Thanintaryi division during the 14th-15th,
resulting in at least 27 deaths (IFRC).

ASIA

Typhoon Talim developed in August and affected Taiwan before making
landfall in southeast China's Fujian province on the 1st as a tropical
storm. Maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall were near 100
km/hr (55 knots or 65 mph). The storm caused significant flooding
across the provinces of Fujian, hejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan and
Hubei during September 1-3. There were at least 129 deaths from the
storm and over 100,000 housing units destroyed. The storm and its
associated flooding was responsible for the evacuation of 1.84 million
people and the loss of over 260,000 hectares (640,000 acres) of crops
(OCHA).

Typhoon Nabi developed in the western Pacific Ocean on August
29,reaching typhoon strength by 31th. Nabi reached Kyushu in Japan on
September 6 with maximum sustained winds near 165 km/hr (90 knots or
105 mph). The storm weakened below tropical storm strength on the 7th,
but very heavy rain fell along its path before dissipation over the Sea
of Japan.

Typhoon Khanun developed as a depression in the western Pacific Ocean
before reaching typhoon intensity on the 8th as it tracked to the
northwest. Khanun moved into the East China Sea on the 10th, making
landfall in China's Zhejiang province on the 11th with maximum
sustained winds near 165 km/hr (90 knots or 105 mph).

Thphoon Damrey developed east of the northern Philippines in the
Philippine Sea on the 20th, skirting the northern part of that country
on the 21st. Typhoon status was achieved by the 24th as Damrey moved
across the South China Sea. The typhoon moved across Hainan island on
the 25th, reaching the coast with maximum
sustained winds near 160 km/hr (85 knots or 100 mph). Chinese officials
described Damrey as the worst typhoon to strike Hainan in decades (BBC
News). Damrey continued westward, making a second and final landfall as
a tropical storm in northern Vietnam on the 27th near Thanh Hoa with
maximum sustained winds near 100 km/hr (55 knots or 65 mph). Flooding
was responsible for the majority of the loss of life, with a total of
122 deaths from the storm (36 in Vietnam, 16 in the Philippines, 16 in
southern China, 3 in Thailand and 51 in Nepal) (AFP).

Typhoon Saola developed in the western Pacific Ocean on the 20th,
reaching typhoon strength the next day. Saola passed about 160 km (100
miles) northeast of the island of Iwo Jima on the 22nd with maximum
sustained winds near 140 km/hr (75 knots or 85 mph). Saola curved just
east of Japan during the 25th-26th.

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