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Old October 20th 11, 10:56 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default September 2011 Global Weather Highlights

GLOBAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

SEPTEMBER 2011


UNITED STATES

Strong winds from Tropical Storm Lee, combined with record heat,
drought, low humidity, and continued lack of rain, sparked numerous
wildfires in Texas during the beginning of September. Dozens of fires
burned across the state, including the most destructive fire in the
state's history. The Bastrop County Fire burned over 34,000 acres
(13,760 hectares) and destroyed almost 1,600 homes, dwarfing the now
second most destructive fire that occurred this past April near Possum
Kingdom Lake, which charred 168 homes. The Bastrop County Fire covered
an area of 24 miles by 20 miles (39 kilometers by 32 kilometers). Two
people were killed in that blaze on September 5th. Since November
2010, more than 3.6 million acres (1.46 million hectares) have been
burned across Texas, including over 135,000 acres (54,600 hectares)
during the first week in September. All but 3 of the 254 counties in
Texas reported burn bans during the month.

During September 1st-11th, slow moving Tropical Storm Lee made
landfall in southern Louisiana and dropped copious amounts of rain
over parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee as it
weakened and tracked up into the northeastern U.S. Lee brought more
rain to regions are already waterlogged and still recovering from the
effects of Hurricane Irene. New Orleans, Louisiana received more than
a foot of rain. According to NOAA's Storm Prediction, there were 54
preliminary tornado reports related to the storm across eight states
from the 3^rd through the 7th. The tornadoes damaged hundreds of homes
and hundreds of thousands of residents lost power. After recording its
all-time driest month in August with just 0.01 inches (0.25 mm) of
precipitation, Chattanooga, Tennessee received 9.49 inches (241.0 mm)
of rain on September 5th, breaking the previous daily record of 1.59
inches (40.4 mm) set in 1959. In the Northeast, river and streams
burst their banks, leading to major flooding. More than 100,000 people
living along the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania were
evacuated as the river rose to record levels. In Wilkes-Barre, the
river crested at almost 42.7 feet (13.0 meters), higher than the
previous record level of 40.9 feet (12.5 meters) set in 1972 due to
Hurricane Agnes. In total, 14 people were killed due to effects of the
storm.

The sweltering heat that gripped the southern United States throughout
the summer continued to set records into the first half of September.
On the 13th, Wichita Falls, Texas recorded its 100th day of 100F
(37.8C) temperatures in 2011, shattering the old record of 79 days set
in 1980. This is the first time in recorded history that any Texas
locale has achieved this distinction. That same day, Dallas/Fort
Worth, Texas recorded its most 100°F days in a calendar year, 70,
breaking the previous record set in 1980. It is interesting to note
how that record was broke the temperature reached 107F (41.7C) on the
70th day, surpassing the previous daily record set in 1965 by a full
7F (4C). For the summer (June through August), the state of Texas
recorded the hottest summer for any state since records began in 1895.
Neighboring Oklahoma had the second hottest summer for any state on
record. At least 46 deaths in Texas and 20 deaths in Oklahoma were
attributed to the heat.

ASIA

Seasonal monsoon rains led to major flooding in southern Pakistan's
Sindh province in early to mid-September. The districts of Badin,
Tandoallahyar, Sakrand, and Ghotki were among the hardest hit. From
August 10th through mid-September, floods killed an estimated 347
people, according to Pakistan's disaster authority, and destroyed or
damaged almost one million homes. More than 7.5 million people were
impacted. Additionally, 4.2 million acres (1.7 million hectares) of
land have been affected by the floods, including 1.6 million acres
(647,000 hectares) of cropland. Catastrophic flooding also occurred in
Pakistan in 2010, due concentrated rains in the north flowing
southward along the Indus River and its tributaries. This year, the
flooding occurred due to widespread heavy rainfall across the region.
In India, more than a week of heavy rains in mid-September impacted
about 2,600 villages in the eastern state of Orissa, leaving 16 people
dead and 61,000 residents forced to evacuate their homes. Since the
beginning of the South Asian Monsoon season this year, at least 335
people were killed across five states by the end of September.

In northern and northeastern Thailand, monsoon rains and related
flooding and landslides led to at least 224 deaths since late July
when Tropical Storm Nock-Ten hit the country. More than 300,000 homes
were either damaged or destroyed across 29 provinces and 3 million
acres (1.2 million hectares) of cropland were submerged. The monsoon
season lasts from August to October in Thailand.

In China, more than a week of heavy rains during mid-September led to
at least 57 deaths and affected 12.3 million residents in the
southwestern and central provinces of Sichuan, Henan, and Shaanxi.
According to Xinhua, the floods were expected to be the worst in
Sichuan since records began in 1847. More than 120,000 houses were
destroyed and economic losses were initially estimated to be $2.7
billion U.S. dollars.

TROPICAL CYCLONES

Typhoon Talas, the deadliest cyclone to hit Japan since 2004, was a
slow moving system that dumped copious rainfall across western Japan
on September 2nd. Wakayama and Nara prefectures sustained much of the
damage. At least 59 people were killed and about 50 remained missing
with thousands more stranded by the storm. A U.S.-based catastrophe
modeling company estimated that damages may range from $150-600
million U.S. dollars. Talas was the 12th named storm and 5th typhoon
of the Pacific typhoon season.

In the North Atlantic, Hurricane Katia avoided North America and
instead impacted the northern United Kingdom on September 12th, with
winds gusting higher than 80 mph (129 km/hr) across Scotland, Northern
Ireland, northern England, part of Wales, and the Republic of Ireland.
One person was killed in Northern Ireland due to the effects of the
storm. The winds were the highest recorded in the region since
Hurricane Lili tore through in 1996.

Typhoon Roke struck Japan near the city of Hamamatsu on September 21st
and made its way northeastward past Tokyo. The storm exited the
northern island of Hokkaido on the 24th but not before dropping up to
17 inches (420 mm) of rain in some areas. The torrential rains
triggered flooding and mudslides that left at least 16 people dead or
missing. There was fear that the storm would hit the Fukushima nuclear
site, which was damaged in March 2011, but fortunately the storm was
of little consequence in that area.

Typhoon Nesat (locally referred to as Pedring) made landfall on the
northern Philippine island of Luzon on September 27th. Just prior to
striking the island, Nesat was equivalent to a Category 3 storm on the
Saffir-Simpson scale http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/sshws_table.shtml, with
sustained winds of 121 mph (195 km/hr). According to NASA TRMM
satellite analysis, the highest rainfall amounts of about 14.8 inches
(375 mm) occurred over the central eastern Luzon coast. Large portions
of the island received more than 5.9 inches (150 mm) of precipitation.
Water was waist high in the streets of Manila, the nation's capital.
At least 39 people were killed and more than 100,000 families were
affected. Preliminary crop and infrastructure damage was estimated at
$76.8 million U.S. dollars. The storm then moved into the South China
Sea and headed toward the southern Chinese island province of Hainan.
On September 29th, Nesat made a second landfall on the island's
eastern tip, with wind speeds up to 94 mph (150 km/hr). Little damage
was reported. The storm made a third and final landfall over Vietnam,
where 4,000 residents were evacuated and the storm quickly weakened.
Nesat lost all tropical storm status on September 30th.



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