U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
World Meteorological Organization: Extreme Weather is Increasing
August 15, 2007
People throughout the United States that are dealing with heat waves
and hurricanes may take some slight comfort in the fact that they are
not alone. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO),
the weather and climate in many parts of the world have reached record
extremes this year. Global land surface temperatures hit records in
January and April, while extremely heavy precipitation caused severe
flooding in many parts of the world. Cyclone Gonu formed in June as
the first documented cyclone in the Arabian Sea, making landfall in
Oman and Iran. England suffered extremely heavy rainfall in June,
causing flooding in both England and Wales. In July and August,
stronger-than-normal monsoons caused flooding in India, Pakistan, and
Other parts of the world are suffering through heat waves, as well.
Two extreme heat waves affected south-eastern Europe in June and July,
breaking the previous records with temperatures exceeding 104°F.
On July 23rd, temperatures in Bulgaria hit 113°F, setting a new
record. The WMO notes that the Fourth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted an increasing
trend in extreme events observed during the last 50 years and
projected it to be very likely that hot extremes, heat waves, and
heavy precipitation events will continue to become more frequent. See
the WMO press release.
While heat is the issue for much of the United States, Hurricane
Flossie was expected to brush by Hawaii's Big Island on Tuesday night, August 14th, skirting the rest of the island chain on August 15th and 16th. In the
Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Dean is heading for the Dominican
Republic and is expected to reach hurricane intensity by August 17th.
See the forecasts from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and the
National Hurricane Center.