This Weather Watch indicates recent activity only, since 1995. Data is summarized by year,
with more detail and a cumulative extreme weather map available on the year's individual
page. The trends can therefore be seen if one year and then the next is examined, in turn. This
Weather Watch only reports activity that can be considered truly unusual. Typical weather,
no matter how extreme, is not listed here. This is to show the recent trends, without clutter.
Weather Watch stopped at the end of 1999, when the trend had become obvious.
- During 1995 the millennium trends of weather extremes began in ernest, with more
severe drought, rain, snow and cold. Antarctica's Larsen ice shelf disintegrated. More
hurricanes were named than ever before. It was the hottest year on record, following the
hottest decade, with over 500 dying in a Chicago heat wave. Record snowstorms were
recorded from Scandinavia to Buffalo, NY. Australia's Big Dry broke records while
the deserts in the Sudan continued to encroach, while many areas worldwide such as
New Jersey were experiencing drought for the first time. Deluges, such as the one
washing away 10,000 head of cattle in China's Guangxi province, occurred.
- During 1996 world records on all fronts were broken. There were more major
hurricanes than ever before recorded. Heat records were broken across the US. China's
Qinghai province was devastated by the century's worst blizzard, while the US East
Coast was also buried in record snowfalls, the wettest year on record. Drought
continued to be experienced for the first time in many places worldwide, such as
Slovenia. Record breaking deluges occurred, such as the 17 inch rainfall in Chicago
and deluges causing horrendous flooding over many provinces in China.
- During 1997 a pattern of large areas being affected by severe weather, happening
simultaneously in many parts of the world emerged. Deluges continued, with the US
West Coast and North Dakota battered by record flooding in the spring, while Europe
suffered extreme cold. Antartica continued to melt at a dramatic rate. Crop shortages
caused by the erratic weather had become a trend. Simultaneous drought in Alaska's
interior and record snowfall in Santiago, Chile occurred during early summer, while
farmers in Romania were struck dead by sudden hail and lightning storms.
During mid-summer, the Nordic countries and US Midwest and Argentina all
experienced unusual and extreme heat waves, and record breaking flooding occurred in
central Europe while both Bangladesh and China's Quandong Province struggled with
severe floods, for the Quandong Province the second to strike within the same summer.
By fall, the strongest El Nino in memory was causing simultaneous torrential rainfall in
Somalia and Brazil and intractable drought in Indonesia. Year end found 1997 the
hottest on record, with the most rain forests destroyed ever due to drought induced fire.
- During 1998 severe weather tightened its grip, becoming the norm, battering nearby
locales in different ways. Example: on the same day on the East Coast of the US, the
Northeast was being deluged, high winds tore through North Carolina, and half of
Florida was on fire. Ice storms in Quebec caused the province to borrow power for the
first time ever, and bitter cold swept many parts of the world such as Mexico, breaking
records, while England sweltered in record heat. El Nino continued into 1998, the
strongest ever recorded, with record breaking flooding in Peru and San Francisco. This
El Nino was then followed by the strongest La Nina ever.
Fires raged out of control in the jungles of Indonesia, the Amazon and Florida. Crop
failures began to total, a devastation. Kenya rain was 500% above normal. A record
number of 1008 tornadoes tore through the US, Mechanicville, New York and Alabama
experiencing a level 5 on two different occasions, the strongest tornado possible, the
hail in Louisiana 1/2 foot across. During July, Korea, China, and Slovakia experienced
record breaking deluges, almost simultaneously. Where 1997 had been the hottest year
on record, 1998 broke that record.
- During 1999, the hurricane season ran late and southern hemisphere cyclones came
early. Hurricanes lined up, one behind the other, and marched across the Atlantic. The
entire globe seemed under attack at the same time, with Hurricane Dennis threatening
South Carolina, Tropical Storm Cindy ravaging West Africa, Tropical Storm Wendy
striking Hong Kong, and Hurrican Greg assaulting the west coast of Mexico almost
simultaneously. The unprecedented west-east Hurricane Floyd, a Category 5, came late
in the season. Super-Cyclone 05B devastated India in November, and an unprecedented
Hurricane Lothar battered Europe in December.
The entire globe likewise seemed to be battling floods and mudslides, with flooding
along the Caspian Sea in July, in New York City and South Carolina and Russia's
North Caucasus in August, in Uganda and India's Manipur and Somalia and Bulgaria
and South Korea and Ghana and Spain and Honduras in September, in Mexico's
Tabasco and the Congo and Nepal and India's West Bengal and South Africa and
Cambodia in October, in Ethiopia and Greece and Peru and Italy and Vietnam and
Columbia and Brazil and New Zealand in November, and in Thailand and Yemeni and
Bosnia and Venezuela and Indonesia and Nigeria and the Philippines in December.
An entrenched drought on the East Coast of the US threatened to be the worst in
memory, with seven states issuing drought advisories and 3/4 of all streams and rivers
registering record or near record lows. More than 18 wildfires swept across Idaho,
Montana, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and California. At the same time, the Manitoba
region of Canada had wildfires out of control, and 2,000 brush fires burned out of
control across Brazil. Israel had 7 months of drought with the Sea of Galilee at its
lowest level in at least a century. Heat waves broke records in Europe and North
Africa, and the warming trend created melting in the Artic as well as the Antarctic.