Segments in this Video

European Heat Wave (02:59)


For two weeks in August 2003, temperatures remained above 104 degrees Fahrenheit in France. Hospitals were overwhelmed with heatstroke patients and mortuaries with the deceased. After an initial slow response, the government took emergency measures—but 35,000 people died across Europe.

Heat Wave Definition (02:19)

High pressure areas prevent cloud formation, causing periods of prolonged sun. Learn about atmospheric conditions leading to Chicago's 1995 heat wave.

Chicago Heat Wave (03:17)

Witnesses recall the 1995 event that caused hundreds of fatalities and overwhelmed hospitals and emergency services. Scientists predict more frequent and intense heat waves in North America and Europe, due to climate change.

Ethiopia Drought and Famine (02:13)

In October 1984, the Western media showed footage of starving adults and children. Crops had failed in spring, causing hundreds of thousands to starve.

Famine and Civil War (02:51)

Extreme weather caused Ethiopia's famine, exacerbated by political unrest. Western governments were reluctant to send aid; much of NGO money was diverted to troops. Refugees fled to Sudan, and countries made food drops.

Live Aid Campaign (02:33)

Rock star Bob Geldof organized a benefit concert and shamed governments into pledging aid to Ethiopia, reversing the famine in 1985. In 2002, another prolonged drought caused crop failure and tribal resource conflicts.

Storm of the Century (03:02)

Extremely cold weather can wreak havoc in the Northern Hemisphere. Learn about atmospheric conditions creating a low pressure area in the Gulf of Mexico that caused a super storm in 1993. Computer models enabled the NWS to issue advance warnings—saving lives.

Extreme Cold (03:37)

Tornadoes struck Florida and blizzards and hurricane force winds hit the Eastern Seaboard as the storm moved north. Roads, railways and airports were closed and power outages were widespread. Witnesses recall 14 foot snow drifts.

Storm of the Century Aftermath (02:21)

Snowfall during the 1993 super storm broke U.S. records, caused $6.6 billion in damages, and affected nearly half the population. In 2003, another storm caused travel chaos on the Eastern Seaboard.

Extreme Winter (02:31)

In December 1962, a series of blizzards hit Southwest England. Storms spread throughout the U.K., halting transportation and trade. After four months, a thaw brought flooding.

Extreme Wind (02:18)

In October 1987, 120 mph gales hit the U.K., damaging buildings, felling trees, and sinking boats. Meteorologists thought the storm would bypass England, but it changed direction.

Great Storm Formation (02:52)

A meteorologist explains why gale force winds hit the U.K. in October 1987. Warnings were issued too late, but the storm hit at night, when most people were relatively safe in their homes.

Manmade Extreme Weather (01:36)

In the 1930s, farmers plowed up grassland protecting topsoil from erosion in the American Midwest. Wind carried dust across the region and the soil became arid and infertile. People migrated west until the area recovered in the 1940s.

Hurricane Grace (04:05)

After Hurricane Bob in August 1991, Eastern Seaboard residents believed the hurricane season was over. Learn about atmospheric conditions leading to a storm off New England in October. Gloucester fishermen were caught at sea and the Andrea Gail sank with six crew members.

Flooding (02:41)

Located at the confluence of three rivers and at low elevation, Bangladesh is flooded each year. In 1998, heavy monsoon rains combined with Himalayan snow melt to cause a 67 day flood, destroying 21 million homes and burying entire villages.

Bangladesh Disaster (02:12)

1998 floods led to an outbreak of waterborne diseases and caused rice crops to fail; millions lost their homes and livelihoods. Rivers are nearly impossible to control, particularly in developing countries. Extreme weather can take many forms and is difficult to predict.

Credits: Extreme Weather: The World's Worst Disasters (00:41)

Credits: Extreme Weather: The World's Worst Disasters

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Extreme Weather: The World's Worst Disasters

Part of the Series : The World's Worst Disasters
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



Weather is uncontrollable. Over time we have learned to live with storms, heat waves, droughts, and prolonged periods of extreme cold. As this documentary explains, they are all examples of extreme or unusual weather—nature at its deadliest and most destructive. In March 1993, the US Eastern Seaboard was hit with a massive snow storm that became known as the Storm of the Century. Two years later, Chicago was caught up in a five-day nightmare of heat and humidity. In 1998, prolonged floods contaminated water and ruined crops in Bangladesh, and months of drought can result in devastating famines and thousands of deaths in countries like Ethiopia or the Sudan. Extreme weather can take many forms, and has the power to wreak havoc on a huge scale. A BBC Production.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL95247

ISBN: 978-1-68272-350-0

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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