by Douglas Le Comte
1) Tropical Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar (Burma) on May 2, causing catastrophic destruction and killing more t han 100,000 people. This was the country’s deadliest natural disaster in recorded history.
2) Torrential monsoon rains during July-August caused massive flooding in northern India and Bangladesh, displacing millions of people.
3) Heavy rains from four tropical cyclones (Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike) inundated parts of Haiti in August and September, leaving nearly 800 dead and affecting an estimated 1 million people.
4) For the first time on record, 3 major hurricanes (Gustav, Ike, and Paloma) struck Cuba in a single season, resulting in tremendous wind and wave damage and estimated property losses of $10 billion.
5) Severe winter weather in January stranded millions of travelers in China, as heavy snow and ice and the coldest weather in 100 years hit south-central areas..
6) Unusual cold and snow covered many parts of the Middle East and south Asia in January and February, with snow falling as far south as Baghdad, snarling traffic in Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel.
7) Drought affected a vast area extending from the eastern Mediterranean to Afghanistan, curtailing water supplies and slashing crop production.
8) An historic drought damaged crops in Argentina.
9) A strong La Nina disrupted global weather patterns during the 2007-2008 winter and showed signs of redeveloping at the end of 2008.
10) Although heavy monsoon rains caused some flooding, the ample moisture resulted in a bumper crop harvest across western Africa, with above-average harvests expected in every Sahelian country.