High-impact of weather and climate events in January 2008


The information summarized has been culled from international press reports and is indicative only. For official information, including final statistics, readers are advised to contact the National Meteorological Service of the country in question.

Heavy rains, floods, flash floods, landslides
Malawi, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, Zambia

Heavy rains caused floods that killed four, left about 70 000 people homeless and destroyed farmland.

Sri Lanka
More than 30 000 people were forced from their homes by monsoon flooding in the east, with many taking refuge in temporary shelters.

United Arab Emirates
One person was killed in heavy rain.

United Kingdom
Heavy rain drenched much of England and Wales, disrupting traffic.

Flash floods in northern Indiana destroyed at least 184 homes and damaged 700 others.

Seventeen people were drowned when a canoe capsized in heavy rain.

High wind, gale
Australia, Poland, United Arab Emirates

Several homes and businesses were damaged in Sydney by gale force winds of more than 100 km/h.

At least one person died when strong winds toppled trees, downed power lines and disrupted road and railway transport.

United Arab Emirates
Gale force winds wrecked a ship and damaged property in Dubai and the northern Emirates.

Heat wave, drought, desertification
Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Nigeria

Temperature in Melbourne hit 40.2°C, forcing people to rely on air conditioning for night comfort.

An unseasonable heat wave in central Ontario and Quebec generated unusual high temperatures and flooding as snow melted.

As a result of severe drought, reservoirs were less than 10 per cent full, inciting the government to contemplate importation of water from Greece.

Several homes and farms were buried by sand in the arid region of the north-east.

Severe cold, snow/ice, cold wave, avalanche
Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Greece, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Italy, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Spain, USA

At least 100 people and more than 35 000 heads of cattle were killed by cold weather and heavy snow.

Bulgaria and Romania
Heavy snow blanketed Romania and Bulgaria, cutting power to hundreds of towns and villages, blocking roads and forcing some Black Sea ports to close.

At least one skier died near Lake Louise, Alberta, in an avalanche.

The worst winter in more than 50 years paralysed transport. Over 6.87 million hectares of farm crops were damaged.

Heavy snowfall and gale-force winds in the Aegean Sea grounded dozens of flights and forced ships to remain in dock.

Fifteen people were killed near the border with Pakistan in avalanches triggered by heavy snow.

Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Heavy snowfalls forced schools to close in Teheran and most cities in the north of the country. Several roads were blocked and domestic flights cancelled.

A heavy snowstorm forced the closure of schools and businesses and grounded public transportation.

An avalanche in northern Italy killed one person and injured six; another five were reported missing.

Saudi Arabia
Frost damage to crops caused the price of vegetables to rise.

Three skiers were killed in an avalanche.

At least two people died and there were widespread power outages in western California as a result of strong winds with heavy snow.

Severe storm

Cyclone Fame

Cyclone Fame killed at least two people and caused widespread damage.

Cyclone Gene

At least four people were killed and half of the country left without power, forcing several schools to shut down for several days.

Cyclone Funa

Funa brought heavy rain and storm-force winds to northern portions of the archipelago and disrupted communication links.

Cyclone Helen

At least 15 000 homes were without power as a result of fallen power lines.


A tornado killed at least two people, destroying houses and causing a locomotive to veer off the tracks in central Arkansas.


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