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Old May 5th 06, 04:33 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default April 2006 Global Weather Highlights


APRIL 2006

West and Plains

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


Heavy rainfall in across coastal and valley areas of California
produced flooding during April 3-5. Streams and creeks rose out of
their banks, and an
earthen dam near Valley Springs was in danger of rupturing on the 5th,
forcing the evacuation of about 100 homes (Associated Press). Heavy
snow fell throughout mountainous areas. By the 13th, California
governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared nine counties a disaster area
due to heavy rainfall and flooding since the beginning of the month
(Associated Press).

Southern Plains and the Tennessee Valley

Northwestern Tennessee was the hardest-hit area, with 19 confirmed
deaths in two counties (Dyer and Gibson). At least 23 deaths were
attributed to the storms across the region (Reuters). Additional severe
weather occurred in the Tennessee Valley on the 7th, with 91 reported
tornadoes. Nine people were killed in Sumner County, TN just north of
Nashville as a tornado rated F3 on the Fujita Scale tore through
(Associated Press).


On April 13, severe thunderstorms produced a tornado that ripped
through eastern Iowa, including Iowa City and the University of Iowa
campus where significant damage occurred. There was one fatality in the
state (Associated Press).

In the United States, a late season winter storm dumped heavy snow on
the Black Hills of South Dakota and adjacent states during the
18th-19th. While the heaviest snowfall was rather localized, a report
of 151 cm (59.4 inches) of storm total snowfall was received at Lead,
South Dakota.

Great Horn

A severe long-term drought continued throughout areas of Ethiopia,
Somalia and Kenya. The most severely affected areas included the Gedo
region of Somalia, the Somali region in Ethiopia and the Mandera
district in Kenya (ICRC). The beginning of the rainy season brought
limited relief to the region by mid to late month.


A sandstorm originating along the China/Mongolia border affected
Beijing on the 17th. It was the eighth sandstorm of 2006 for the
Chinese capital, and reportedly the worst so far this year. Reduced
visibilities also spread eastward to the Korean Peninsula (BBC News).

In Indonesia, monsoon-related rainfall produced flooding in East Java
during mid-April. At least 23 deaths were reported by the 20th, with
most of the fatalities occurring in the Bendungan subdistrict (AFP).


In Australia, flooding in the outback town of Katherine forced the
evacuation of nearly 600 people. Days of heavy rainfall caused the
Katherine River to rise above the flood stage. The town of Katherine,
population 2,000, is located about 300 km (185 miles) south of Darwin
in the Northern Territory (Reuters).


Thunderstorms in Yemen produced flash flooding during the 3rd-5th. At
least 25 people were killed from the storms and flooding, including a
number lightning-related deaths (AFP).


Flooding in Colombia was prompted by heavy rainfall that began in early
March 2006 and continued through much of April. At least 70 people were
killed by flooding and mudslides since the rains began. The worst
disaster occurred along the Pacific coastline near the city of
Buenaventura, where a landslide killed 31 people on the 13th. More than
225 homes were destroyed and 2,000 damaged (AFP).

Across northern Argentina, heavy rainfall produced flooding in the
northern provinces of Salta, Jujuy and Formosa. By late in the month,
at least 150 homes and several bridges were destroyed, displacing as
many as 6,000 people (IFRC).


Heavy rainfall and snowmelt produced extensive flooding along the
Danube River in April. The river surpassed the flood stage, reaching
its highest level in 111 years (Xinhua). Areas of Hungary, Bulgaria,
Serbia and Romania were the hardest-hit, with many roads and bridges in
the region damaged and expansive areas of farmland flooded. Thousands
of people were displaced from their homes (Reuters, Associated Press).


In eastern India, strong thunderstorms produced heavy rainfall and
strong winds in the city of Kolkata and surrounding districts on the
25th. Winds gusting as high as 109 km/hr (68 mph) temporarily knocked
out power to much of the city. There were nine fatalities (AFP).


Tropical Cyclone Hubert developed in the southern Indian Ocean on the
5th, reaching the coast of Western Australia near Onslow on the 7th.
Maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall were near 100 km/hr (55
knots or 65 mph), with heavy rainfall the primary impact.

Tropical Cyclone Monica developed in the Coral Sea on the 17th and
reached Australia's Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland near
Cape Sidmouth by the 19th with maximum sustained winds near 150 km/hr
(80 knots or 90 mph). Monica was the fourth tropical cyclone to strike
Australia since the beginning of March 2006.

Monica re-strengthened over the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria,
reaching maximum sustained wind speeds of 290 km/hr (155 knots or 180
mph) before landfall in the vicinity of Maningrida on the 24th. Strong
winds and heavy rains
lashed the region. Monica contributed to a record amount of April
rainfall at Darwin, where 383 mm (15.1 inches) was recorded through the
27th. The old April rainfall record was 357 mm (14.1) observed in 1953
(News Limited)

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