As reported at the IHT, much of the world has experienced record-breaking weather events this year, from flooding in Asia to heat waves in Europe and snowfall in South Africa, says the United Nations weather agency.
“The start of the year 2007 was a very active period in terms of extreme weather events,” Omar Baddour of the agency’s World Climate Program said in Geneva. South Asia’s worst monsoon flooding in recent memory has affected 30 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, destroying croplands, livestock and property and raising fears of new health crises in the densely populated region.
England and Wales this year had their wettest May and June since records began in 1766, resulting in extensive flooding and more than $6 billion in damage, as well as at least nine deaths. Germany swung from its driest April since country-wide observations started in 1901 to its wettest May on record. And torrential rains have followed weeks of severe drought in northern Bulgaria.
In May, Uruguay had its worst flooding since 1959. In June, the Arabian Sea had its first documented cyclone, which touched Oman and Iran. Temperatures also strayed from the expected this year. Records were broken in southeastern Europe in June and July, and in western and central Russia in May. Argentina and Chile saw unusually cold winter temperatures in July while South Africa had its first significant snowfall since 1981 in June.
Meanwhile right now hurricane Dean, which is currently stronger than hurricane Katrina with 150mph winds, is heading for Mexico and the US.