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

STH Stormwatch (11Oct2014) : The Eye of the Storm, Very Severe Cyclone 'Hudhud'

For the first time since 07Oct2014, when 'Hudhud' appeared as a low pressure area near the Andaman Islands, the eye of the storm is clearly visible now, in the IR images.
Updated tracks and information on Very Severe Cyclone 'Hudhud' will be posted here from time to time

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

STH Stormwatch (08Oct2014) : Cyclone 'Hud Hud' forms in the Bay of Bengal


The depression in the Bay of Bengal has been upgraded to a cyclone named 'Hud Hud' or TC03B (JTWC).
'Hud Hud' would intensify in a very severe cyclonic storm and proceed along the track forecast .

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

STH Stormwatch : Update on depression in Bay of Bengal


  • IMetD has upgraded the well-marked low pressure into a depression which would further intensify into a deep-depression within 24h and eventually become a cyclone.
  • The JTWC predicted tracks are shown on top.
  • The latest IR photo is shown above.
Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

STH Stormwatch 07Oct2014 : the first cyclone in Bay of Bengal of 2014?

Excerpt from IMetD
'The well marked low pressure area over north Andaman sea and neighborhood has concentrated into a Depression and lay centred at 0830 hours IST of today, near lat.11.5°N / long 95.0° E, about 250 km east of Port Blair.
It would move in a west­ northwesterly direction and intensify into a deep depression within 24 hours and further intensify into a cyclonic storm thereafter.'


Updates and tracks of the storm will be posted as required.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling.