Global Weather Highlights October 2005
GLOBAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
Moderate to severe long-term drought persisted throughout parts of the
Pacific Northwest eastward into the northern Rockies, with extreme
drought noted in Washington east of the Cascades. Meanwhile, severe to
extreme drought affected areas of the Mississippi Valley, where some of
the worst conditions were observed in northwestern Illinois.
Northeast U.S. RainfallTorrential rains in the Northeast United States
caused extensive flooding in parts of Maine, New Hampshire,
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey between October
7-12. There were at least 10 reported deaths attributed to the flooding
(Associated Press). Rainfall amounts of 150-250 mm (~6 to 10 inches)
were common in the affected areas. Additional rainfall during October
14-16 caused further flooding from New Jersey northward into New
England. Totals ranged from 100 to 200 mm (4 to 8 inches) in parts of
the region, flooding rivers and streams, and placing considerable
strain on reservoir and lake dams in the region (Reuters).
It was the wettest October on record in 15 cities throughout the
Northeast United States. Five of those cities experienced their
all-time record wettest months: Concord, NH, Islip, NY, Newark, NJ,
Allentown, PA and Providence, RI.
Heavy rains in Las Vegas, Nevada on the 17th-18th totaled 36.1 mm (1.42
inches), breaking the record for the entire month of October. The old
record was 31 mm (1.22 inches) set in 1992. The rainfall overwhelmed
flood channels, swamped roadways and knocked out power (Associated
Tropical Storm Tammy developed just off the U.S. Florida east coast on
the 5th, coming inland near Jacksonville with maximum sustained winds
near 85 km/hr (45 knots or 50 mph). The primary impact from Tammy was
heavy rainfall across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
A powerful extratropical storm system trekked up the Eastern Seaboard
of the United States on the 25th, producing a variety of weather
conditions. Strong winds gusted to 85 km/hr (52 mph) at Boston's Logan
Airport along with heavy rainfall. Rainfall from the storm teamed up
with an already wet October to break monthly rainfall records at
Providence, Rhode Island and Worcester, Massachusetts. Mount
Washington, Vermont, received 672 mm (26.44 inches) of precipitation
during October, or the all-time wettest month. Heavy snow fell
throughout interior New England southward into the central
Heavy snow fell from parts of interior New England southward into the
central Appalachians on the 25th. Accumulations ranged as high as 25-50
cm (10 to 20 inches) in Maine and Vermont, while farther to the south,
up to 18 cm (7 inches) fell in parts of the higher elevations of West
Virginia. Light accumulations (on the order of 5 centimeters or 2
inches) also occurred as far south as the highest mountains of eastern
Tennessee and western North Carolina.
An early-season winter storm dumped as much as 2 feet (61cm) of snow on
parts of North Dakota on the 5th. In southeastern Montana, around 28 cm
(11 inches) accumulated. At least 11,000 utility customers in the
region were affected by power outages from the heavy snowfall
(Associated Press). The snow occurred just a few days after high
temperatures over 50°C (90°F) in areas of the Dakotas. Heavy snowfall
affected the Colorado Rockies, including the greater Denver area, on
the 10th. Snowfall amounts of 25-50 cm (10 to 20 inches) were common,
and the heavy amounts of snow were blamed on power outages which
affected about 80,000 homes and businesses. There were three fatalities
blamed on the early-season winter storm (Associated Press).
African Weather AssessmentLong-term drought continued in parts of the
Greater Horn of Africa, including southern Somalia, eastern Kenya and
northeastern Tanzania. Across southeastern Africa, long-term drought
affected parts of Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Long-term drought in Brazil's Amazon region has resulted in the lowest
water levels in at least 30 years along the world's second longest
river. Downstream, the city of Iquitos, Peru experienced long delays in
the delivery of food as the Amazon River became increasingly difficult
to navigate due to the very low water levels BBC News). Some portions
of northern Brazil were experiencing the worst drought conditions in
nearly 60 years.
Paraguay DroughtDrought conditions extended further south into
neighboring Paraguay, where the northern departments of Boqueron,
Presidente Hayes and Alto Paraquay were adversely affected (IFRC).
Across northern China, heavy rainfall in the Shaanxi province during
late September to early October 2005 produced extensive river flooding.
The most significant flooding in a decade occurred along sections of
the Weihe River and Hanjiang River. At least 16 deaths were reported,
with flooding prompting the evacuation of over 350,000 people. Direct
economic losses were estimated near $239 million (USD) (AFP).
Heavy rains during October across central Vietnam produced flooding
that killed at least 67 people (OCHA). The most severely-affected area
was the Binh Dinh province where 3,200 houses were damaged and most of
the fatalities occurred.
Typhoon Longwang developed in the western Pacific Ocean on September
25, reaching typhoon strength by 27th. Longwang moved across Taiwan on
October 2 with maximum sustained winds near 215 km/hr (115 knots or 130
mph). The typhoon crossed the Formosa Strait and reached the southeast
China coast in Fujian province later the same day with maximum
sustained winds at landfall near 150 km/hr (80 knots or 90 mph).
Longwang was responsible for one death in Taiwan and caused a
half-million power-outages to homes and businesses. In southeast China,
65 deaths were attributed to the storm (CNN/AFP).
Hurricane Stan developed as a depression to the east of the Yucatan
Peninsula on the October 1, reaching tropical storm strength before
tracking across the Yucatan on the 2nd. Stan emerged into the Bay of
Campeche on the 3rd and reached
hurricane strength the next day. Stan came ashore to the southeast of
Veracruz, Mexico at Punta Roca Partida on the 4th with maximum
sustained winds near 130 km/hr (70 knots or 80 mph). Stan produced
massive amounts of rain (250-400 mm/~10-15 inches) that caused
widespread flooding and mudslides that killed 23 people in Mexico,
Nicaragua and Honduras, and 69 in El Salvador. The hardest-hit area was
Guatemala, where as many as 2,000 people were killed
Hurricane Wilma developed as a depression to the southeast of the
Cayman Islands on the 15th. Wilma reached tropical storm status on the
17th and hurricane strength the next day. With the formation of
Hurricane Wilma, the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season tied the record for
the most named storms for any season (21 storms in 1933), and also tied
the record for the most hurricanes in a single season (12 in 1969).
Wilma peaked at category-5 intensity on the 19th, with a
minimum central pressure falling to 882 millibars (26.05 inches of
mercury), the lowest pressure ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin.
Wilma also became the most rapidly-intensifying storm on record, with a
maximum-sustained surface wind speed increase of 169 km/hr (105 mph) in
a 24-hour period (NOAA/NHC).
Wilma Near CozumelWilma reached Cozumel, Mexico on the 21st with
maximum sustained winds near 225 km/hr (120 knots or 140 mph,
category-4), causing widespread destruction. The hurricane crossed the
Yucatan Peninsula near Playa del Carmen on the 22nd with highest
sustained winds near 210 km/hr (115 knots or 130 mph). Wilma forced
more than 70,000 people into emergency shelters, rendered 300,000
homeless and caused severe damage to the dwellings of nearly 700,000
people. In Mexico, at least 7 deaths were blamed on the storm
(OCHA). Wilma entered the Gulf of Mexico late on the 22nd, tracking to
the northeast. A powerful storm surge breached the storm wall
protecting Havana, Cuba, flooding the coastal highway and inundating
Havana's western neighborhoods with waist-high water on the 23rd (BBC
News). Wilma continued to the northeast, reaching the U.S. coastline
near Everglades City in Florida on the 24th with maximum sustained
winds near 195 km/hr (105 knots or 120 mph). The hurricane accelerated
across south Florida and the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, exiting the
coast later the same day. Wilma raced to the northeast over open waters
of the Atlantic Ocean, becoming non-tropical by the 24th. There were 10
fatalities in Florida, and nearly 6 million people lost power, the most
widespread power outage in Florida history (Associated Press).
Preliminary estimates of insured losses in Florida were near $10
billion (USD) (Bloomberg).
Tropical Storm Alpha developed on the 22nd southeast of Hispaniola,
crossing the coast of the Dominican Republic near Barahona early on the
23rd with maximum sustained winds near 85 km/hr (45 knots or 50 mph).
Heavy rainfall produced flooding that was blamed for 12 deaths in Haiti
(Associated Press). Alpha became the 22nd named storm in the 2005
Atlantic hurricane season, breaking the record for the most storms in a
single season (21 storms set in 1933). Exhausting the list of names for
the 2005 season after 'Wilma', the NOAA/National Hurricane Center began
using the Greek alphabet. Hurricane Beta formed as a depression in the
southwestern Caribbean to the southeast of Nicaragua on the 26th, but
reached tropical storm status by the next day. Beta became the 13th
hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic season on the 29th, breaking the old
record for the most hurricanes in a single season (12 set in 1969).
Landfall occurred in Nicaragua near La Barra on the 30th as a
category-two hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 175 km/hr (95
knots or 110 mph). Although no deaths or injuries were reported, strong
winds damaged houses near the coast and heavy rains caused widespread
flooding and mudslides across Nicaragua as well as neighboring Honduras
In the United Kingdom, heavy rainfall on the 12th flooded towns along
the border between Scotland and England as well as in Wales. A key rail
line (West Coast Main Line) was temporarily closed between Carlisle in
northwest England and Glasgow. In Keswick, 82 mm (3.2 inches) of rain
fell in a 24-hour period (AFP).
Hurricane Vince developed from a non-tropical low-pressure system that
acquired tropical characteristics on the 9th approximately 225 km (140
miles) northwest of the Madeira Islands. Vince weakened into a tropical
depression before landfall near Huelva, Spain at 0900 UTC on the 11th.
Winds at Jerez De La Frontera gusted to 81 km/hr (51 mph) as the
depression came ashore. This was the first documented tropical
depression to ever make lanfall in Spain.
Tropical Cyclone 03B and 04B were short-lived tropical storms which
formed in the Bay of Bengal during the month of October brought
significant rainfall to eastern areas of India. Tropical Storm 03B
affected Orissa and West Bengal states during the first few days of the
month. Tropical Storm 04B developed on the 27th and came ashore in
Andhra Pradesh state the next day. While maximum sustained winds with
both cyclones only reached 65 km/hr (35 knots or 40 mph), torrential
rains produced widespread flooding. In the southern portion of the
country, 04B caused flooding in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and
Andhra Pradesh, resulting in at least 100 deaths (Reuters/OCHA).
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