- Reuters reported on January 8, 1998 that the blackout in Quebec caused by a
massive ice-storm forced Hydro-Quebec to summon help from utilities outside the
province for the first time in its history, as more than 1/3 of the 7.3 million residents
- The Associated Press reported on January 18, 1998 that Meteorologists have
recorded rainfalls at 500 percent above normal in Kenya.
- CNN reported on January 29, 1998 that President Alberto Fujimori stated the
flooding in Peru is far worse than the El Nino-induced floods of 1983, the previous
- Reuters reported on February 13, that the Meteorological Office reported the
highest February temperature recorded in Britain during this century.
- The Associated Press reported on February 20, 1998 that San Francisco also broke
a 120-year-old record for the most rain in February as El Nino dumped rain, washing
houses down soaked hillsides and flooding highways.
- The Associated Press reported on March 7th that hail a half-foot in diameter fell
during continuous lightning and thunder in Louisiana.
- Reuters reported on March 9 that The first two months of 1998 were the warmest
and wettest on record for the lower 48 U.S. states, based on 104 years of weather
data, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. The
national average temperature during the January-February period was 37.5 degrees
Fahrenheit, compared with a normal 32.1 degrees. Precipitation averaged 6.01
inches during the period, almost two inches above normal.
- Reuters reported on March 13th that intense fires in the Amazon never before seen,
per Roraima Governor Neudo Campos, have raged out of control, following one of
the most prolonged droughts ever in Brazil's northernmost territory.
- Associated Press reported on March 30th that the620-mile trip along the Pan
American Highway from Lima to Tumbes near the Ecuadorean border now takes 4
days, compared to the day and a half it formerly took, due to floods and landslides in
more than 30 places due to El Nino.
- On April 22, 1998, MSNBC reported that the U.S. Ice Data Center and the British
Antarctic Survey have predicted that the entire Larsen B Ice Shelf, which covers
more than 4,000 square miles, is nearing its limit of stability. A 75 square mile piece
of Antartica's ice shelf recently broke off.
- On May 27, Associated Press reported that a jumbo jet struck clear air turbulance
south of New Guinea, tossing passengers out of their seats. This was similar to
another incident in December where a United jet struck clear air turbulance enroute
to Hawaii, killing a passenger. The pilots reported absolutely no warning.
- Reuters reported on June 7 a level 5 tornado (the worst possible) tore through
Mechanicsville, NY, reminiscent of the movie Twister.
- Vice President Al Gore stated that the first five months of 1998 have been the
warmest on record, per MSNBC on June 8, 1998. The New York Times stated that
the temperature jump was rather spectacular and to see every month breaking the
record is rather significant. For the five months as a whole, the average global
surface temperature was 1.76 degrees above a benchmark average of 61.7 degrees
set between the years 1961 and 1990.
- Florida was ravaged by record wildfires consuming over a million acres across the
state. The Washington Post reported on July 3 that a 125 mile stretch of interstate
highway 95 was closed, the flames leaping over highways. 4,500 fire fighters from
38 states arrived to help fight the blaze.
- CNN reported on June 29 that the 1997-1998 El Nino had been the strongest ever
- A front page article in the July 1st Washington Post reported that a record number of
1,008 tornados had occurred during 1998.
- Reuters reported on July 8 that the first six months of 1998 were the warmest first
half of a year globally since records began, per Dr. Phil Jones of the University of
East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit in Britain. The warmest full year so far was
in 1997, when temperatures were 0.43 degree Celsius higher than the long-run
average. By comparison, the global average temperature in 1877/78, when there was
a powerful El Nino, was 0.5 degree below today's average.
- Reuters reported on July 9 that a more intense La Nina is developing, more quickly,
than ever before, per Dr. Lars Olsson, acting director of WMO's World Climate
- On July 13 the Associated Press reported that the spring quarter was the worst on
record for property damage claims, per the Property Claims Services unit of
Insurance Services Office.
- New Millennium reported on July 17 that record triple-digit temperatures occurred
across the south and west in the US. The Salt River Project utility in Arizona
reported breaking records for almost a week. Temperatures at Winslow, elevation
4,850, was 105, breaking the previous record of 102.
- Reuters reported on July 21 that Fidel Castro announced to Cuba's National
Assembly that the current drought was the worst in the century, possibly the worst in
- CNN reported on July 22 that water levels on the Yangtzerose to 1.25 meters above
danger levels in the Wuhan Province, with the heaviest deluge since records began.
- On July 23, the Sabinov district of eastern Slovakia experienced flash floods that
caused local streams to rise about 6 1/2 yards in a matter of hours, per the
- On August 1, the Associated Press reported that the Chiri Mountains in South
Korea received more than 5 1/2 inches of rain in an hour.
- The Washington Post reported on August 9 that July was the hottest month the world
has seen since reliable record-keeping began more than a century ago, per a newly
completed analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
- Reuters reported on August 10, 1998 that a massive crest of water swept through
Hubei toward the provincial capital of Wuhan in China. The Xinhua news agency
said the crest had pushed water levels at Honghu up to 113.6 feet (34.63 meters), far
past the previous record of 102.3 feet (31.17 meters) set in 1954. "These are the
worst floods this river has ever had," said an official in Qiqihaer city, referring to
the Nen river near the border with Mongolia.
- The Associated Press reported on September 4, 1998 that the Sudanese radio issued
a flood alert Friday for citizens living along the Nile, saying the upper reaches of the
river had risen to unprecedented levels, saying, "Water volumes in the upper parts of
the river branches, particularly the Blue Nile, have reached levels that exceeded all
previously recorded levels."
- The Associated Press reported on September 5, 1998 that Manama, Bahrain
experienced its hottest summer month this century, with mean August highs of 106 F.
The previous mean high record was 103 set in August 1962 and August 1996.
- The Times Foreign News reported on September 10, 1998 that Bangladesh battled
yesterday to save Dhaka, the capital, from being submerged by floodwaters after
two months of unremitting rain - the longest natural disaster in a country ceaselessly
battered by calamities. Two-thirds of the nation is under water.
- On September 15, 1998, Reuters reported that 849 corpses had been washed away in
a sea of mud from floods in Mexico in the deadliest natural disaster to date, worse
than previous hurricane and earthquake deaths. In Motozintla up to two feet of rain
was received in just a few days.
- On September 23, 1998, USA Today reported that a record number of 55 tornadoes
had touched down in Minnesota. The old record was 47 in '93 and '97, per the
National Weather Service.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that September
was the hottest September on record, per the Associated Press on October 14, 1998.
The average worldwide temperature for the month was 59.98 degrees Fahrenheit,
1.08 degree above the 1880-1997 global average of 58.9 degrees.
- On October 12, 1998, the Associated Press reported that forest fires in Israel were
the largest series of fires in the country's history.
- Brasilia, Brazil, received rain three times heavier than usual, per the Associated
Press on October 14, 1998.
- By October 15, 1998, typhoons had gone through the alphabet, with typhoon Zeb,
starting over with typhoon Alex.
- Hurricane Mitch in October, 1998 reportedly dropped two meters of rain in some
areas, swelling every river in Honduras and northwestern Nicaragua to ten times
their normal size and washing out the bridges.
- The previous record breaking El Nino is going to continue, per CNN on October 27,
1998, continuing to battle with La Nina for dominance in the tropical Pacific Oceans.
- Associated Press reported on October 28, 1998 that Berlin has received more rain in
24 hours than is normal for the entire month of October.
- British Experts say 1998 is the warmest year on record so far, per Reuters on
October 28, 1998, with the first six months of 1998 the warmest first half of a year
globally since records began. The global average temperature in 1877/78, when
there was a powerful El Nino, was 0.5 degree below today's average.
- The Associated Press reported on November 7, 1998 that record floods and
landslides in the Ukraine caused Emergency Situations Minister Valery
Kalchenko to state "There has never been such a disaster in Ukraine before."
- A new winter storm warning system patterned after hurricane and tornado alerts may
become the nationwide standard, per the Associated Press on November 9, 1998.
The system was devised by a National Weather Service meteorologist in
- MSNBC reported on November 11, 1998 that gusts up to 95 mph, unprecedented
gusts in some areas such as Wisconsin, accompanied a snowstorm across the
midwest, toppling semi-trailers.
- 1998 was the most destructive hurricane season on record, but worse might be on the
way, per MSNBC on November 25, 1998. Colorado State University professor
William Gray, a scientist whos been issuing hurricane forecasts for 15 years, noted
that more hurricanes were reported from 1995 to 1998 than in any other four-year
period of hurricane activity this century.
- The Associated Press reported on November 27, 1998 that violent weather cost the
world a record $89 billion during 1998, more money than was lost from
weather-related disasters in all of the 1980s, per the Worldwatch Institute and
Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer.
- The Associated Press stated on November 29, 1998 that the last four years have been
the most active ever for hurricanes in the Atlantic basin. With the gradual fading of
the latest cycle of the El Nino phenomenon, which tends to suppress Atlantic
hurricanes, 1998 saw nine hurricanes and five tropical storms. In September, there
were four hurricanes at once - Georges, Ivan, Jeanne, and Karl.
- The Arkansas Nashville News reported on December 3, 1998 that apple trees and
tomatoes are still bearing fruit and vegetable gardens are still producing, a first in the
memory of all. The Georgia Alpharetta News reported on December 7, 1998 that the
spring blooming plant azaleas are blooming, along with dandelions and morning
glories, confusing unseasonable warmth with spring.
- The journal Nature reported on December 9, 1998 that Dian J. Gaffen and NOAA
colleague Rebecca J. Ross reported humidity on the increase during heat waves,
boosting the temperature past the apparent temperature threshold. They cited a 67 %
increase since 1949 in the number of days that exceeded the threshold for daily
average apparent temperature, a 78 % increase in nighttime temperatures being
above the threshold, and a 88 % increase in the number of heat waves where the
threshold level was exceeded for at least three days.
- The New York Times reported on December 18, 1998 that the surface temperature
during 1998 was the highest since measurements began in the mid 19th century, per
the World Meteorological Organization, an agency of the United Nations. Seven
of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1990. New monthly
high-temperature records were set in each of the 18 consecutive months ending in
- The Associated Press reported that the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season was one of
the deadliest on record, with 14 named storms - Alex, Bonnie, Charley, Daniel, Earl,
Frances, Georges, Hermine, Ivan, Jeanne, Karl, Lisa, Mitch, and Nicole.
- On May 28, 1999 the Associated Press reported that the earth registered a record
annual average temperature of 14.57 degrees Celsius (58.23 degrees Fahrenheit) in
1998, with a cost from storm damage up a staggering 53 percent to $92 billion for
1998, and 300 million people were driven from their homes by storms and flooding.
- Discovery News reported on June 25, 1999 that natural disasters in 1998 were the
worst ever recorded, according to a report issued in Geneva on Thursday by the
International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Hurricane
Mitch was responsible for at least 10,000 fatalities in the Caribbean and Central
America. El Nino caused numerous fires, droughts and floods, and claimed 21,000
Below is the Weather Watch extreme weather map as 1998 progressed.