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Old April 6th 06, 06:42 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default March 2006 Global Weather Highlights


GLOBAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

MARCH 2006

UNITED STATES
Southwest and southern Plains

Significant drought extended from the Desert Southwest eastward through
the Southern Plains. Exceptional drought classification was noted
across Deep South Texas.

Severe wildfires/grassfires charred more than 340,000 hectares (840,000
acres) in Texas, killing 11 people and approximately 10,000 cattle and
horses (Associated Press).

Southern Plains

Severe weather affected parts of the U.S. Southern Plains and Midwest,
with over 100 reported tornadoes in 5 states from Oklahoma to Illinois
during the 11th-13th. There were 10 fatalities (AFP).

Plains

A major winter storm affected the parts of the U.S. Great Plains during
March 17-20. Heavy accumulations of snow affected a large area from
parts of Colorado and Wyoming eastward into North and South Dakota and
Kansas. Nebraska was particularly hard-hit, with snow accumulations of
up to 76 cm (30 inches). The snow caused many travel disruptions and
closed many schools and businesses (Associated Press).

HAWAII

Exceptionally heavy rain since February 2006 in Hawaii caused flooding
and a dam failure in Kilauea on the 14th, forcing the release of around
1.1 million cubic meters (300 million gallons) of water. There were at
least two fatalities and seven reported missing (CNN).

AFRICA
West-central

A severe long-term drought continued throughout areas of Ethiopia,
Somalia and Kenya. In Kenya, an estimated 3.5 million people were in
need of food aid (Associated Press). Rainfall during the first week of
March in Kenya did little to alleviate long-term dryness. In southern
Somalia, nearly 2.1 million people were in need of critical food
assistance as the drought was characterized as the worst in ten years.
Similarly, nearly 2 million people in neighboring southern Ethiopia
were in urgent need of food assistance due to drought (OCHA).

SOUTH AMERICA
Western

Heavy rain/thunderstorms and strong winds occurred in areas of Peru
during late February and early March 2006. By early March, over 65
houses had been destroyed displacing an estimated 325 people in
northern Peru's Tumbes department. In the southern part of the country,
additional flooding and mudslides were reported (IFRC).

In Ecuador, heavy rainfall which began in February 2006 continued into
the first week of March through coastal sections of the country. Over
11,000 families totaling over 50,000 people were severely affected by
flooding. There were nine reported fatalities (OCHA).

AUSTRALIA

In Australia, heavy rainfall along the east coast stranded thousands of
people on the 3rd. Around 2,500 residents of the city of Bellingen in
northern New South Wales were temporarily isolated by river flooding
(AFP).

INDIA

In Bangladesh, a severe thunderstorm produced a deadly tornado that
affected six villages of Bagerhat District in the southern part of the
country on the 4th. The tornado destroyed approximately 500 dwellings
and uprooted hundreds of trees. More than 500 families were affected,
with 4 deaths and more than 50 injuries reported (IFRC).

EUROPE

In Germany, two people were killed and 80,000 homes suffered power
outages when a tornado struck the northern city of Hamburg late on the
27th. The storm ripped off roofs and overturned several cars. Around
300,000 people in Hamburg spent the night without electricity (AFP).

A major storm system that affected southeastern Europe during March
12-14 brought a variey of inclement weather to sections of Bulgaria,
Romania and Greece and Turkey. In the Romanian capital of Bucharest,
one person was killed and two injured when strong winds uprooted a
tree. Around 50 automobiles were damaged due to downed trees caused by
gusty winds. Strong winds cut power to over 300 towns across the
country. Flooding also affected the region, with thousands of homes
flooded in parts of Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey (AFP/BBC News).

In the United Kingdom, an outbreak of cold, Arctic air affected
northern sections of the country on the 1st. Snow fell across Northern
Ireland, Wales and Scotland where accumulations of up to 12 cm (5
inches) were observed, forcing the closure of many schools and
businesses. Temperatures fell to -6C (21F) at Sennybridge in Wales
(BBC News).

TROPICAL

Tropical Cyclone Diwa developed in the south Indian Ocean east of
Madagascar on the 4th, passing approximately 230 km (140 miles) to the
west of Reunion Island (France) on the 5th. Heavy rainfall and winds
gusting as high as 120 km/hr (65 knots or 75 mph) occurred on the
island, producing power outages to 10,000 homes and water utilities
interruptions to 20,000 (AFP).

Tropical Cyclone Larry developed in the Coral Sea on the 18th, reaching
Australia's Queensland coast just south of Cairns near Innisfail on the
20th. Maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall were at least 185
km/hr (100 knots or 115 mph) with gusts as high as 290 km/hr (155 knots
or 180 mph). While there were no fatalities, there were 30 injuries
with damage to over 55 percent of the homes in Innisfail (Associated
Press). The cyclone was described as one of the most powerful cyclones
to hit Australia in decades, wiping out nearly 90 percent of the banana
crop in the center of Australia's banana production region (Reuters).

Tropical Cyclone Glenda developed in the Timor Sea off the northern tip
of Western Australia on the 27th. Glenda reached the coast of Western
Australia on the 30th, making landfall near Onslow (located about 1,390
km or 860 miles north of Perth) with maximum sustained winds near 195
km/hr (105 knots or 120 mph). The cyclone prompted evacuations, closed
oil fields and raised concerns of signficant flooding in the region
(Reuters).


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