Weather of 2004

The following is a list of weather events that occurred on Earth in the year 2004. There were several natural disasters around the world from various types of weather, including blizzards, cold waves, droughts, heat waves, tornadoes, and tropical cyclones. The deadliest disaster was Hurricane Jeanne, which killed more than 3,000 people when it struck Hispaniola, mostly in Haiti. This was just four months after flooding in Hispaniola killed 2,665 people. Jeanne was also the fourth hurricane to strike the United States in the year, following Charley, Frances, and Ivan. Ivan was the costliest natural disaster of the year, causing US$26.1 billion in damage in the Caribbean and the United States.

Flooding in Haiti from Hurricane Jeanne

Winter storms and cold wavesEdit

Palm trees covered in snow in Portland, Texas

In February, a snow storm dropped significant snowfall across eastern Canada.[1]

In December, a snow storm killed 18 people and left US$800 million in damage.[2]

Another winter storm produced snowfall in Texas and extreme northern Mexico, causing the first ever recorded White Christmas for some areas.[3]

Droughts, heat waves, and wildfiresEdit

Alaska's wildfire season was the worst on record in the state in terms of area burned.[4] In California, there were 7,898 fires that burned 311,024 acres (1,258.67 km2) of land.[5]

In July, Tokyo, Japan recorded its highest-ever temperature – 39.5 C (103.1 F).[6]


In May, flooding in Hispaniola killed 2,665 people.[7]

Floods affected Japan in July, causing US$1.95 billion in damage and 20 deaths.[8]


An F4 tornado in Roanoke, Illinois

During the year, there was a record-high total of 1,817 tornadoes in the United States alone, collectively resulting in 35 deaths.[9][10] This included an outbreak related to Hurricane Ivan, which resulted in 120 tornadoes, the most ever related to a tropical cyclone.[11]

In addition to the United States tornadoes, a powerful tornado struck portions of North-Central Bangladesh in April, killing 111 and injuring nearly 1,500 others.[12] Seven people were killed and 207 injured by a tornado that appeared on the evening of April 21 in Hengyang, Hunan, China.[13][14]

Tropical cyclonesEdit

Satellite image of Cyclone Gafilo, one of the strongest and deadliest cyclones to strike Madagascar

As the year began, Cyclone Heta was developing near Fiji,[15] and Tropical Storm Darius was approaching Mauritius in the south-west Indian Ocean.[16] Throughout 2004, a further 18 tropical cyclones developed in the south-west Indian Ocean,[17][18] which included Cyclone Gafilo, the most intense tropical cyclone on record in that part of the world.[19] In March, Gafilo struck Madagascar near peak intensity, killing 363 people.[17][20] A month prior to Gafilo, Cyclone Elita moved across the same country for the third time, dropping heavy rainfall that led to 33 deaths.[17] In the Australian region, there were 14 tropical cyclones throughout the year, including Tropical Cyclone Raymond which lasted into early January 2005.[18][21] The South Pacific Ocean had 15 tropical cyclones after Heta, most of them weak.[22][23]

In addition to the previous tropical cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere, there was an unusual South Atlantic tropical cyclone named Cyclone Catarina, which became the first-ever recorded hurricane off the coast of Brazil. The body of water was previously thought to be hostile to the formation of tropical cyclones. Catarina caused about US$425 million in damage and 12 fatalities.[24][25]

In the Northern Hemisphere, a record ten typhoons struck Japan, part of the active typhoon season, collectively causing 214 fatalities. Among the typhoons was Typhoon Songda, which left an estimated US$12.5 billion in damage.[26] There was a series of tropical cyclones affecting the Philippines in a two-week period from November to early December, resulting in 1,762 deaths.[27] In the north-east Pacific Ocean, there were 17 tropical cyclones, most of which remained away from land.[28][29] In the North Indian Ocean, there were nine tropical cyclones, with the practice of naming storms beginning in October. The season included a deadly cyclone in Myanmar that killed 236 people, and a depression that killed 273 people in India.[30][31]

In the north Atlantic Ocean, there were 16 tropical cyclones, most of which affected land in the Caribbean or the United States.[32] Four hurricanes – Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne – affected Florida in a six-week period, the most to affect the state in a year.[33] Charley left US$16.9 billion in damage when it hit Cuba and Florida.[34][35] Damage from Frances was estimated at US$9.8 billion.[34] Ivan was the season's strongest, killing 92 people and causing US$26.1 billion in damage in the Caribbean and the United States.[36] Jeanne struck Hispaniola, causing 3,029 deaths on the island, mostly in Haiti, and later caused US$7.5 billion in damage in the United States.[35]


This is a timeline of weather events during 2004.














  1. ^ Inc, Pelmorex Weather Networks. "Recalling when Nova Scotia and PEI were hit by Hurricane Juan and 'White Juan'". Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  2. ^[bare URL PDF]
  3. ^ US Department of Commerce, NOAA. "White Christmas Dream Becomes Reality for the Lower RGV, 2004!". Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  4. ^ "2015 wildfire season could be Alaska's worst ever". UPI. Retrieved 2015-11-24.
  5. ^ "2004 Wildfire Activity Stats" (PDF). NIFC. February 14, 2005. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "Tokyo Heat Wave Lasted Eight Days, Doubling All-Time Record; 55 Confirmed Dead in Japan | The Weather Channel - Articles from The Weather Channel |". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  7. ^[bare URL PDF]
  8. ^ OECD (2009-02-25). OECD Reviews of Risk Management Policies: Japan 2009 Large-Scale Floods and Earthquakes: Large-Scale Floods and Earthquakes. OECD Publishing. ISBN 978-92-64-05030-3.
  9. ^ "U.S. Annual Tornado Maps (1952–2011): 2004 Tornadoes". Storm Prediction Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "Annual U.S. Killer Tornado Statistics". Storm Prediction Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  11. ^ US Department of Commerce, NOAA. "Major Hurricane Beulah - September 20, 1967". Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  12. ^ "Microsoft Word - QR169.doc" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  13. ^ "Asian Disaster Reduction Center(ADRC)". Archived from the original on 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  14. ^ "Tornado kills 7, injures 207 in central China". China Daily. 23 April 2004. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  15. ^ "IBTrACS - International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship". Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  16. ^ "IBTrACS - International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship". Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  17. ^ a b c Cyclone Season 2003–2004. RSMC La Réunion (Report). Météo-France. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Southern Hemisphere 2004-2005 Tropical Cyclone Season Review". Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  19. ^ Noaahrd, ~ (2014-03-06). "10th Anniversary of Cyclone Gafilo's landfall". Hurricane Research Division. Retrieved 2022-01-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "At least 5 killed when cyclone hits Madagascar".
  21. ^ "Southern Hemisphere 2003-2004 Tropical Cyclone Season Review". Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  22. ^[dead link]
  23. ^[dead link]
  24. ^ McTaggart-Cowan, Ron; Bosart, Lance F.; Davis, Christopher A.; Atallah, Eyad H.; Gyakum, John R.; Emanuel, Kerry A. (2006-11-01). "Analysis of Hurricane Catarina (2004)". Monthly Weather Review. 134 (11): 3029–3053. Bibcode:2006MWRv..134.3029M. doi:10.1175/MWR3330.1. ISSN 1520-0493.
  25. ^[bare URL PDF]
  26. ^ "Japan's Latest Billion-Dollar Typhoon: Hagibis". Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  27. ^ "Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary November 2004". Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  28. ^ Mariners Weather Log. Environmental Data and Information Service. 2005.
  29. ^[bare URL PDF]
  30. ^ Report on Cyclonic Disturbances Over North Indian Ocean During 2004 (PDF) (Report). India Meteorological Department. January 2005. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  31. ^ Myanmar: Cyclone Rakhine Appeal No. 14/2004 Operations Update No. 1. International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (Report). ReliefWeb. 2004-06-08. Archived from the original on 2015-05-26. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  32. ^ Franklin, James L.; Pasch, Richard J.; Avila, Lixion A.; Beven, John L.; Lawrence, Miles B.; Stewart, Stacy R.; Blake, Eric S. (2006-03-01). "Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2004". Monthly Weather Review. 134 (3): 981–1025. Bibcode:2006MWRv..134..981F. doi:10.1175/MWR3096.1. ISSN 1520-0493.
  33. ^ Pflugradt, Evan. "Four hurricanes in six weeks? Remember 2004, the year of hurricanes". The News-Press. Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  34. ^ a b Eric S. Blake; Jerry D. Jarrell; Max Mayfield; Edward N. Rappaport; Christopher W. Landsea (July 28, 2005). "Costliest U.S. Hurricanes 1900–2004 (adjusted)" (PDF). NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS TPC-1: The Deadliest, Costliest, and Most Intense United States Tropical Cyclones from 1851 to 2004 (And Other Frequently Requested Hurricane Facts). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved October 10, 2007.
  35. ^ a b Twenty-seventh Hurricane Committee (PDF) (Report). World Meteorological Organization. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  36. ^ Stewart, Stacey (May 22, 2005). "Hurricane Ivan Tropical Cyclone Report" (PDF). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
Global weather by year
Preceded by
Weather of
Succeeded by