Provisional WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 2016

The most damaging wildfire in Canadian history occurred in May in the city of Fort McMurray in Alberta. The fire ultimately burned an area of about 590,000 hectares and was Canada’s most costly natural disaster. It led to the total evacuation of the city and ultimately destroyed 2,400 buildings, causing 4 billion Canadian dollars (US$3 billion) in insured losses and several billion more in other losses.

Major droughts affected several parts of the world, most of them associated with the El Niño event, which had a big influence on precipitation. Southern Africa experienced a second consecutive bad rainy season in 2015-16. Most of the region normally receives little rain between May and October, and the World Food Programme estimates that 17 million people will require assistance during the “lean season” ahead of the next harvest in early 2017.