Saturday, November 1, 2014

Upcoming event, 14Nov2014 : Seminar on 'Urban planning and DRR' at Kalimpong

Kindly intimate us if you intend to attend the seminar and sorry, we do not have accommodation/transportation arrangements for the same.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling.

Friday, October 31, 2014

STH stormwatch : Death of a cyclone (31Oct2014)


The top IR images placed clearly shows the death of 'Cyclone Nilofar'.
As per IMetD, the depression shown on the image on the right is expected to 'move northeastwards and weaken into a well marked low over the northeast Arabian sea off north Gujarat coast during the next 12 hrs'.
JTWC also has issued its final warning for the cyclone (below)

Which brings into question what about predicted landfall on 01Nov2014?

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

STH Stormwatch(28Oct2014) : Updated track and timeline of Very Severe Cyclone 'Nilofar'


'Nilofar' has now been upgraded to a 'Very Severe Cyclone' and has 'moved north- northwestwards in the past 6hrs'.
Landfall is expected on 01Nov2014 between north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast (around Naliya).

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Sunday, October 26, 2014

STH Stormwatch (26Oct2014) : Cyclone 'Nilofar' is born in the Arabian sea.

Excerpt from IMetD (All India Weather Bulletin)
'The deep depression over westcentral & adjoining southwest Arabian sea moved slightly northwestwards, intensified into a Cyclonic Storm, "NILOFAR" at 1130 hours IST and lay centered at 1430 hours IST of today, 26thOctober, 2014 near lat.14.1°N and long. 62.0°E, about 1270 km west-southwest of Mumbai and 910 km east south east of Salalah (Oman). It would move initially north-northwestwards during next 48 hours and then recurve northeastwards towards north Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan coast during subsequent 72 hours.
It would intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 24hours'
The forecast tracks shown above are from JTWC.

STH will continue monitoring this storm and will post salient updates from time to time, however we will not be posting detailed tracks and movements as we do for storms in the Bay of Bengal which impact the Darjeeling-Himalaya directly.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Saturday, October 25, 2014

STH Stormwatch : Cyclone formation alert in the Arabian sea


IMetD is reporting a well-marked low pressure (see IR image on top of 6.30am today) in the south eastcentral Arabian sea, which is likely to intensify into a cyclone in the next 48h.
JTWC tracks are shown below.
It is amazing that a storm brewing so far away can spew clouding which is affecting us today - as I write it is turning cloudy in the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya (see cloud trail in the IR image on top)

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Friday, October 17, 2014

STH activities : Mapping rainfall in the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

Since most landslides in our region are rain induced, it is vital to obtain and record rainfall data. STH has been acutely aware of this and rainfall data from 2009 for some of the major towns are available in this blog.
In this regard, what we found is that there is actually no shortage of rainfall gauges with most tea gardens having some sort of meteorological observatory and many government departments also maintaining precipitation records - however, gaining access to this data is a labyrinthine process, full of bureaucratic red tape (applications in writing, payment for rainfall data etc).
In this connection, many of IMetD's superb AWS stations are sadly not maintained and as such either give erroneous data or no data (and no amount of complaining to concerned authorities seems to set things right!)
To obviate this STH (along with a few NGOs) has decided to set up our own network of rainfall gauges in Darjeeling district and in Sikkim. Over the past 3 months we have procured 17 manual (Symon's type) rainfall gauges which will be positioned at various locations in this region. In addition, STH already has 3 automatic rainfall gauges available Darjeeling, Mangan (North Sikkim) and Kalimpong.
Therefore, for the monsoons of 2015 we will have rainfall data from 20 stations in the Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya displayed on this blog - it will be available for free and without any red tape.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Sunday, October 12, 2014

STH Stormwatch (12Oct2014) : Very Severe Cyclone 'Hudhud' makes landfall

As I write, the eye of the storm has just crossed Vishakapatnam and fortunately not much damage has been done (tho 2 rain related deaths are being reported) - however, as in the previous cyclones which have hit this area, the flooding and devastation often takes place AFTER the cyclone/depression has moved inland releasing huge amounts of precipitation.
Thus, the worse may be yet to come.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Saturday, October 11, 2014

STH stormwatch: Slideshow of Very Severe Cyclone 'Hudhud' in the Bay of Bengal (07Oct2014 till date)


Almost exactly to the day, a year after Very Severe Cyclone Phaillin
(07Oct-15Oct2013) battered the eastern coast of India, and as if resurrecting its ghost Very Severe Cyclone ‘Hudhud’ will be making landfall around Vishakapatnam tomorrow, exactly on the same date that Phaillin did so one year ago.
STH as a part of its stormwatch series maintains, a close watch on the weather activity in the Bay of Bengal and has tracked and plotted all major weather events in the Bay and elsewhere (Uttarakhand cloudburst) over the past few years.
All are recorded on this blog.
STH first reported the formation of a low pressure in the Bay of Bengal on 07Oct2014 and has thereafter maintained a close watch on the development of the cyclone which, today is the full blown 'Very Severe Cyclone Hudhud' which is breathing fire, off the coast of Andhra Pradesh.
This slide show (which is being updated on a daily basis), shows the formation and movement of the weather system from 07Oct2014 and offers other related information.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling