Sunday, March 16, 2008

Something out of my usual topic, but a very interesting picture I came across and thought I must put it up:

This rare and meteorologically interesting image was taken while the International Space Station was located over western Africa near the Senegal-Mali border, showing a fully formed anvil cloud with numerous smaller cumulonimbus towers rising near it. The high energy levels of these storm systems typically make them hazardous due to associated heavy precipitation, lightning, high wind speeds and possible tornadoes.

Appearing almost as a mushroom cap, the anvil cloud was actually at the highest level that moisture lifted by the heat of solar radiation could have reached given the meteorological conditions on 5th.February in the tropics.

Another important weather event worth mentioning is the Adeleide heat wave.

Unusually high temperatures continued to scorch the southern Australian city, setting a record for the longest lasting heatwave to affect any major Australian city.On the 12th., as afternoon temperatures peaked at 35.1C (95.2F), a new record was broken as Adelaide reached its 11th consecutive day. According to The Bureau of Meteorology, the length of this heatwave has surpassed the previous record of 10 days above 35C (95F) which was recorded in Perth in February 1988.

The highly unseasonable autumn heatwave across Adelaide has been caused by a strong high pressure system which has brought a steady northerly flow of hot air from the central Australian deserts.Acoording to the BoM, the heatwave is expected to continue into the start of next week as high pressure dominates southern and eastern Australia. Also, rain and a low pressure trough is expected to hit the north Australian region in the second half of March, according to BoM. That means , the South Indian Ocean region is still far from developing a "high", and the ICTZ is hovering around N. Australia as acyclone may still form there next week.

I make a mention of this as Australian regional pressure and weather as this is the forerunner for the sub continent monsoon. But, it is still too early to watch this region. The time to start observing the sea pressure west of Australia ,and the rain pattern in the north of Aust. is from the first week of April.

In the northern sub continent, the heat has started building up, after a brief respite. The first 40c was recorded at Nawabshah (Pakistan). Elsewhere, in the north and west/central areas, the heat will slowly increase from the 17th. and 40c is expected in Gujarat/Vidharbh by the 18th.(almost on normal time).

But down south, the easterly wave has produced some unexpectedly heavy rains. Rainfall ranging from 9- 19cms/day has been recorded in the last few days. The page at shows the huge excess amounts of rain in the region.

Almost all models show the rains continuing all over the south peninsular upto the 20th. Subsequently a low pressure is predicted to emerge in the Arabian Sea around the 18th. off the Kerala coast. It has to be now watched.

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