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Old February 7th 06, 06:32 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default January 2006 Global Weather Highlights



West and southern Plains

Significant drought amelioration continued throughout the Northwest and
Rocky Mountains, while worsening drought conditions were observed in
the southern Plains. Exceptional drought classification persisted in
the Arklatex region during early January, where grassfires were also a
major problem.

Tennessee Valley and the Southeast

An outbreak of severe thunderstorms affected areas of the Tennessee
Valley into the Southeast on the 2nd. Hail, damaging thunderstorm
winds, and several tornadoes were reported, with most of the adverse
weather occurring in the states of Kentucky and Georgia.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

A powerful extratropical storm system brought heavy rains, strong winds
and interior snowfall to Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the
United States on the 18th. Strong winds gusted to near 100 km/hr (60
mph) in the Boston and New York City metropolitan areas, causing
significant travel disruptions and knocking out power to more than
440,000 homes and businesses in the region. The strong winds were
blamed for two deaths (Associated Press).


Severe drought continued in eastern Ethiopia, southern Somalia,
portions of Tanzania, as well as northern and eastern Kenya. The
president of Kenya declared a state of national disaster in areas
affected by severe shortages of food and water resulting from the
prolonged drought (IRIN). In Burundi, at least $75 million (USD) of the
Burundian government's $168 million (USD) emergency plan for 2006 was
earmarked to feed the country's drought-affected population (IRIN). An
estimated 11 million people were faced with food shortages throughout
East Africa and the Horn of Africa due to drought and other
non-meteorological factors (IFRC). For

Heavy seasonal rainfall brought flooding to parts of southern Malawi,
Namibia, northern Botswana, southern Angola, southern Mozambique and
northern areas of South Africa during January 2006. In southern Malawi,
nearly 1,800 dwellings and over 24,000 hectares of crops (59,000 acres)
were destroyed by flooding since the beginning of December 2005 (IFRC).

Tropical Cyclone Boloetse formed in the southern Indian Ocean on the
25th, crossing Madagascar during the 29th-30th. The primary impact
across Madagascar was heavy rainfall. The storm emerged into the
Mozambique Channel by month's end.


Strong winds and high temperatures fanned bushfires in southern
Australia on the 26th. One large fire in the Grampians National Park in
the state of Victoria burned more than 120,00 hectares (300,000 acres),
destroyed 24 homes and killed 59,000 sheep. Wildfires in Victoria have
killed three people this month (Reuters).

Tropical Cyclone Clare developed in the Indian Ocean off the northwest
coast of Western Australia on the 8th. The storm made landfall in
Western Australia on the 9th near Dampier, or about 1200 km (750 miles)
north of the state capital of Perth. Maximum sustained winds were near
110 km/hr (60 knots or 70 mph), with gusts as high as 185 km/hr (115
mph). Up to 1,500 people were evacuated from the area ahead of the
cylone Reuters).

Tropical Cyclone Daryl developed in the Indian Ocean off the northwest
coast of Western Australia on the 19th. Zaryl paralleled the coastline
without ever making landfall in Australia, although coastal areas did
receive significant amounts of rainfall. The cyclone dissipated on the

Tropical Cyclone Jim developed in the South Pacific Ocean off the coast
of northeast Australia (Queensland) on the 28th. Jim passed just north
of New Caledonia on the 30th-31st, brushing the islands with strong
winds and heavy rainfall .


Heavy rains in mountainous central Java on the 4th produced a deadly
mudslide in the village of Cijeruk. The slide buried 120 houses, with
around 200 people fgeared dead (AFP). Along the north coast of Java by
late-month, flooding and landslides claimed at least 7 additional lives


In Bolivia, heavy rainfall produced flooding along most of the major
rivers in the country, including the Rio Grande, Guanay, Tipuani,
Mapiri and Challana. Approximately 17,500 people were affected.
Landslides and road obstructions caused some rural communities to be
isolated, especially in the areas of Los Yungas and San Borja in La Paz
and Beni departments (OCHA).

In Brazil, flash flooding caused by heavy rains killed 4 people in Rio
De Janeiro on the 27th. The fatalities occurred when a shopping mall
parking garage became flooded (Associated Press).

Heavy rains since December 2005 in Guyana has caused flooding,
especially along coastal areas of the county. An estimated 3,500
families were affected, including significant agricultural impacts


Tropical Storm Zeta, which developed at the end of December 2005,
weakened below tropical storm strength by the 6th without affecting
land areas. Zeta closed out the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season as the
unprecedented 27th named storm.


Periods of heavy snowfall that began in Japan during the month of
December 2005 persisted into mid-January. Some areas of the country
were buried under some of the deepest drifts on record (~4 meters or 13
feet), with 82 fatalities since the period of severe winter weather
began. Injuries relating to the heavy snowfall totaled around 1,900.
Nagano and Niigata prefectures, located to the northwest of Tokyo, were
the worst affected. Tokyo received 7 cm (2.8 inches) of snowfall on the
21st, or the heaviest snowfall since January 27, 2001 (Reuters).

Across northwestern China in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, cold
weather and heavy snowfall was blamed for the deaths of more than 9,000
head of livestock (IFRC).


Frost was observed in New Delhi for the first time in 70 years as cold
air sweeping in from the Himalayas produced a low temperature of
0.2°C (32.3°F) on the 9th. There were 180 deaths blamed on cold
weather in India since early December 2005. In neighboring Bangladesh,
unusually cold weather was blamed for 100 fatalities during the same
time span (IFRC).

RUSSIA and eastern Europe

A severe cold wave which arrived during January 17-18 brought some of
the coldest temperatures to the region in decades. In Moscow,
temperatures plummeted to -30C (-22F), or the coldest readings
since the winter of 1978-1979. There have been numerous cold-related
deaths, primarily the homeless (Reuters). Snow and cold weather
penetrated unusually far to the south in eastern Europe, with heavy
snow forcing the closure of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece on the
25th. Cold weather was blamed for 66 deaths in Ukraine, 27 in Romania,
14 in Poland, 10 in the Czech Republic and three in Bulgaria (Reuters).
Temperatures in eastern Europe dipped to -3C (-31F) in mountains of
northeast Italy.

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