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Extreme weather

Extreme weather is weather phenomena indicative of an unstable climate; that is, weather that is at the extremes of historical patterns, especially severe or unseasonal weather.

The combination of extreme weather and high population density has led to dramatic weather catastrophes.

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  • January: floods killed 12 and left thousands homeless in Brazil
    • 15 inches of snow fell in Israel, the most in 50 years
  • February: the worst avalanches in decades prompted the governor of Alaska to declare a state of emergency
    • floods killed 11 and left 20,000 homeless in the Philippines
    • a tornado in Georgia kills 22
    • a month of floods in Southern Africa, particularly Mozambique, kill 400 and displace 250,000
  • October/November: Britain experiences the country's worst flooding decades after a prolonged period of heavy rain. The historic city of York and the towns of Shrewsbury, Lewes and Uckfield are among the worst hit areas. Up to 10,000 homes and businesses are affected.


  • Record drought in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states led to declarations of emergency in 6 states.
  • Summer: a prolonged heat wave killed 271 people in the Midwest and Northeast.
  • Fall: Hurricane Floyd[?] caused billions of dollars of damages in North Carolina
  • November: a super-cyclone in Orissa, India, killed 10,000 people
  • December: torrential rains and mudslides in Venezuela killed 15,000 people
    • hurricane-force windstorms in Northern Europe caused over $10 billion in damages in France alone
  • Boston experienced a record 303 consecutive days without snow, until January 13, 2000


  • January: an ice storm in northern New England and Quebec left 4 million people without power, some for up to a month
  • Spring: fires in Brazil and Mexico rainforests and Florida
  • Summer: extreme heat waves in Texas, the Middle East and India, killed more than 4,000 people
  • The worst drought in 70 years was followed by extreme floods in September in Mexico
  • September: floods left 14 million people homeless in China
  • October: floods left 30 million people homeless in Bangladesh

See also global climate change, global warming, extreme value theory

External links and references

The Heat is Online: Extreme Weather Events (http://www.heatisonline.org/weather.cfm)

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