- Atypical mid-winter thaws were experienced across the US, with Washington DC reaching 75 degrees on January 3,
- The Associated Press reported on January 3, 1997 that repeated storms deluging California, Oregon, and Washington
on the West Coast of the US and the western states of Idaho and Nevada, had created the worst flooding in California's
- Reuters reported on January 4, 1997 that more than 150 people died across Europe in the coldest weather in 30 years.
- The Associated Press reported on February 6 in an article titled Antartica Ice Breakup that deep holes and cracks
several miles long are visible in the Antartic Peninsula ice shelf. Lakes have formed from the melt, some larger than
- The Associated Press reported in March that record winds up to 123 mph roared through the Chech Republic.
- The New York Times reported on April 19, 1997 that England and Wales have experienced the driest 24 month period
since record keeping began 230 years ago, with no end in sight.
- During April, The Associated Press and NCB News reported that the Red River in North Dakota reached record
levels, cresting at 39.5 feet as a record 13 blizzards and more than 100 inches of snow melted on the flat planes.
- Earth Week reported on April 19, 1997 that the honeybee population in Bosnia, which had come out of hibernation,
was devastated by an unseasonable cold spell, and that the sudden spring frost destroyed up to 100% of the vineyards
in southern France.
- The Associated Press reported on April 17, 1997 that a recent analysis published in the journal Nature indicates that
spring arrives 8 days earlier in the Arctic than it did a decade ago, a conclusion based on several climatology
- A exceptionally severe sandstorm engulfed much of Egypt on May 2, 1997. Per the Associated Press, Sherif Hamad,
head of the Egyptian Meterorological Service, stated "we've never experienced such a powerful one".
- The Miami Herald reported that on May 13, 1997 a freak tornado slashed through Miami, uprooting trees and
shattering the glass fronts of several buildings.
- The Associated Press reported on May 16, 1997 that intense rainfall, which the UN Department of Humanitarian
Affairs stated happens only once every 500 years, caused flooding in southern China's Guangdong province.
- Violent hailstorms killed 4 farmers and lightning killed 3 in eastern Romania, according to the Associated Press on
June 22, 1997 while scores of others were injured. The storm was unusual in that it was sudden, so that there was no
time to seek shelter. In the Ukraine and neighboring Belarus, the high winds uprooted centuries-old trees and "snapped
them like matchsticks", the Belarus Emergency Situation Ministry spokesperson Alexander Zuyev stating "It is hard
to remember such a disaster".
- The Kalamazoo Gazette reported on June 23 that the Michigan shoreline was melting under the influence of severe
wind and rain. Susan Brown of Grand Rapids peered into a 90 foot wide gorge that opened up suddenly after torrential
rains, a pace not experienced in memory by the local residents.
- Reuters reported on June 24, 1997 that travelers were blocked by 18 feet of snow near Santiago, Chile, while
torrential rains created flooding. The extreme weather was linked to El Nino.
- Reuters reported on June 29 that british explore Robert Swan, a Special Envoy to the Director General of
UNESCO, was planning tours to show people how Antartica is melting, as he is now able to sail around islands in
Antartica formerly blocked by ice.
- The interior of Alaska experience a record setting drought going into July 4, 1997, per the local Fairbanks newspaper,
while Argentina experienced 86 degrees in the middle of their winter.
- Officals are referring to the flooding in central Europe as the worst in centuries, saying there is no record of any on this
scale, per the Associated Press on July 26, 1997, with record hight water breaking dikes on the Oder river threatening
Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.
- The Associated Press in Helsinki, Finland reported on August 10, 1997 that the Nordic countries experienced the
summer to be the hottest on record, with some parts of Finland notching a record 39 heat wave days per the Finnish
- The U.S. Climate Analysis Center reported on August 14, 1997that British birds are now laying their eggs more than
a week earlier than normal. Humphrey Crick and his colleagues at Britain's National Center for Ornithology in
Thetford came to this conclusion after studying the records of 1,000 volunteer bird-watchers that go back to 1975.
- The Independent in London reported on August 26, 1997 that polar bear populations are threatened in the Arctic due to
loss of sea ice and the collapse of ice caves that expose or crush and kill the cubs.
- The Fresno Bee reported on September 5, 1997 that the 1997-98 El Nino was the strongest ever recorded with ocean
temperatures at 9-12 degrees F greater than normal, and achieved this record temperature in half of the time taken by
the previous record holder in 1982-83.
- The New York Times reported on September 9, 1997 that on the night of August 20-21, 1997, an unprecedented nine
inches of rain fell in New Jersey within three hours.
- The Schroeder/Bassett DOE report stated on September 22, 1997 that Hurricane Linda achieved a status as the
strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Eastern Pacific, exceeding even the highest Category 5 with winds up to 220
- Paris authorities issued a smog alert on September 30, 1997, for the first time as weak winds and unseasonably warm
weather led to a dangerous buildup of nitrogen dioxide.
- Agence France-Presse (Perth) reported on October 7, 1997 that Australia is experiencing the worst bushfires in
memory rage in remote northwest. The West Australian Bushfires Board reported that brushfires were raging out of
control. Some of the fires had been burning for weeks in an area the size of Britain.
- The Associated Press reported on October 21, 1997 that Kenyas coast received almost 18 inches of rain in a 2 day
period, where Mombasa normally averages 6.8 inches for a 3 month period. Heavy flooding also occurred in eastern
- Reuters reported on October 22, 1997 that southern Brazil experienced torrential rainfall and flooding blamed on El
Nino. 9,000 cattle were swept away. Brazil's rainy season normally peaks during January to March.
- Reuters reported on October 27 that smog from fires in the rain forests of Indonesia have triggered alarms in
Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and as far away as the Philippines and Thailand. U.N. climate experts in Geneva said
Friday stated that the dry spell in Indonesia could continue for three months, far beyond the normal start of the monsoon
due to the El Nino. Normally the monsoons start in September.
- The Associated Press stated on November 27 that the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research, part of
Britains Meteorological Office, predicted that 1997 will prove to be the hottest year on record, with records dating
back to 1860.
- Reuters reported on December 14, 1997 that historic snowfalls fell on Mexico as far south as Guadalajara.
- On December 17, 1997 the Associated Press reported that Guam recorded the highest winds every recorded, 236 mph,
during Typhoon Paka.
- The London based World Wide Fund for Nature reported on December 20, 1997 that more tropical forests were
destroyed during 1997 than any other time in recorded history.
- The Met Office in London estimated that globally 1997 was the warmest year on record, per a Reuters reported on
December 30, 1997.
The Weather Watch extreme weather map at the end of 1997 looked like this:.