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Deep Depression in South-West Sri Lanka

Intensifies as Very Severe Cyclonic Storm OCKHI

India Meteorological Department (IMD), the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) of Southern Asia, has issued its Advisories regarding the formation, since 29 November 2017, of a Deep Depression in the zone between Bay of Bengal and Sri Lanka. The System is highly likely to intensify during a few days and serious damages are forecast for Sri Lanka, India and Comorin-Laksdweep Archipelago in the Arabian Sea. 

PKANHYE  Uploaded 12.30 pm Thursday 30 November 2017.

 

India Meteorological Department Delhi

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) which is the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for Southern Asia released itsAdvisories at 10,00 am 30 November 2017 are as follows: 

{A depression formed over southwest Bay of Bengal near southeast Sri Lanka coast in the morning of 29th November, 2017. It moved nearly westwards and intensified into a deep depression in the early hours of today and lay centred at 0530 hrs IST of today, the 30th November, 2017 over Comorin area near Latitude 6.7º N and Longitude 78.3º E, about 240 km west-northwest of Galle (Sri Lanka), 170 km southeast of Kanyakumari and 600 km eastsoutheast of Minicoy. The system is very likely to move west-northwestwards and intensify further into a cyclonic storm during next 12 hours. The track and intensity forecast of the system is given in the table below:

Date/Time(IST) Position (Lat. 0N/ long. 0E)

Maximum sustained surface wind speed (kmph)

Category of cyclonic disturbance

 

30/0530 6.7/78.3 50-60 GUSTING TO 70 DEEP DEPRESSION

30/1130 7.0/77.5 55-65 GUSTING TO 75 DEEP DEPRESSION

30/1730 7.4/76.7 60-70 GUSTING TO 80 CYCLONIC STORM

30/2330 7.8/75.8 70-80 GUSTING TO 90 CYCLONIC STORM

01/0530 8.2/75.0 80-90 GUSTING TO 100 CYCLONIC STORM

01/1730 9.2/73.5 90-100 GUSTING TO 110 SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM

02/0530 10.2/72.0 95-105 GUSTING TO 115 SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM

02/1730 11.2/70.5 100-110 GUSTING TO 120 SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM

03/0530 12.2/69.0 110-120 GUSTING TO 130 SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM 

Warning:

(i) Heavy Rainfall Warning:

Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over south Tamil Nadu & south Kerala during next 24 hours and isolated heavy falls during subsequent 24 hours.

Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls very likely over Lakshadweep area during next 48 hours.

(ii) Wind warning:

Squally winds reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph very likely along & off South Kerala during next 48 hours and along & off south Tamilnadu during next 24 hours.

Squally winds speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph very likely along & around Lakshadweep Islands during next 24 hours and gradual increase in wind speed becoming 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph during subsequent 24 hours.

(iii) Sea condition:

Sea conditions would be very rough to high along & off South Kerala during next 48  hours and along & off south Tamilnadu during next 24 hours.

Sea conditions would be very rough to high along & around Lakshadweep Islands during next 24 hours and high during subsequent 24 hours.

(iv) Damage Expected over Lakshadweep Islands: 

Damage to power and communication lines due to breaking of tree branches and

uprooting of trees. Damage to thatched houses: Major damage to kutch houses and minor damage to pucca roads. Damage to paddy crops, banana, Papaya trees and orchards.

(v) Action suggested:

Lakshadweep Islands: Fishermen along & off Lakshadweep Islands are advised not to venture into the sea during next 48 hours.

South Tamil Nadu and South Kerala: Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea along & off South Tamil Nadu coast during next 24 hrs and along and off South Kerala coasts during next 48 hours.}

 PKANHYE  Uploaded 12.30 pm Thursday 30 November 2017.

 

 The Sri Lanka Department of Meteorology released its Weather Forecast at 12.00 hrs on Thursday 30 November 2017 as follows:

tWEATHER FORECAST FOR 01st DECEMBER 2017

(Issued at 1200 noon on 30thNovember 2017):

[The deep depression in the Arabian Sea, to the west of Sri Lanka is now located at 300km to the west of Colombo. It is likely to develop in to a cyclonic storm within next few hours and moving further away from the island. Hence it’s effect for the country is expected to be lessen gradually by tomorrow.

Showers or thundershowers will occur over most parts of the island.

Heavy falls (above 100mm) can be expected at some places in the Northern, North-central, Uva, Southern, Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces.

Fairly heavy falls (above 75 mm) can be expected at some places elsewhere.       

There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers. General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.] 

(Update: 2.30 pm 30 November 2017)

 

The IMD Press Release 2  of 12.30 pm 30 Nov. 2017 was published as mentioned below, after the Deep Depression intensified and named Cyclonic Storm OCKHI:

{Orange message.

The deep depression over Comorin area moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 38 kmph during past 06 hours and intensified into a cyclonic storm ‘OCKHI’ and lay centred at 0830 hrs IST of today, the 30th November, 2017 over Comorin area and neighbourhood near Latitude 7.5º N and Longitude 77.5º E, about 340 km west-northwest of Galle (Sri Lanka), 60 km south of Kanyakumari, 120 km southeast of Thiruvananthapuram and 480 km east-southeast of Minicoy. The system is very likely to move west-northwestwards towards Lakshadweep Islands and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 24 hours’}

 

Except some slight increase of 10 kph in Wind Speed, the Forecast is almost the same as mentioned previously. Media in India is currently showing roads Flooded by Rains in Chennai. However, the Forecast Tracks which were very Timidly Drawn, have been reviewed and is aligned to that of JTWC. Refer to pictures.                    

 

 WMO and El Nino

The WMO El Nino/La Nina update of July 2017 states the following: 

[Although sea surface temperatures have been near the threshold of El Niño, the tropical atmosphere has been unresponsive, and therefore ENSO-neutral conditions continue;

  • Models surveyed and expert opinions suggest ENSO-neutral conditions are likely to continue through the remainder of 2017. Chances of ENSO-neutral are in the predicted range of 50-60% during the second half of 2017, while El Niño development is the next most likely scenario, with only a very small chance for La Niña.
  • The state of ENSO will continue to be carefully monitored. More detailed interpretations of regional climate variability will be generated routinely by the climate forecasting community over the coming months and will be made available through National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.]

 

The Northern Hemisphere of the Pacific Ocean has been experiencing more than a dozen Weather Systems, representing an unprecedented Summer Season. Typhoons, Tropical Disturbances and Weather Systems have been causing havoc with Strong Winds, Floods, Heavy Rainfalls, Storm Surges and other misfortunes in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Philippines and Vietnam mainly.

 Extreme Rainfalls during 08-15 August 2017 of the South-West Monsoon System experienced by India and Nepal after 70-90 years, have been very remarkable. The Record in Temperature reached 47.40 Celsius in a few parts of India.

Indonesia encounters 3 natural events; ‘Mount Agung eruption, tropical cyclone Cempaka and now… since 7 pm, 29th November 2017, Indonesia once again is attacked by another tropical cyclone, named Dahlia’. See Forecast Track by JTWC.

 

The Northern Hemisphere of the Indian Ocean is known as the Window of El Nino. The Sea Surface Temperatures in the Bay of Bengal and of the Arabian Sea have shown to be Warm- 28-300 Celsius. All these indicate that the El Nino Phenomenon has been evolving in an enhanced phase. Therefore, WMO update of July 2017 as mentioned above, does not stand correctly. So, it is in this zone that the El Nino seems to have shifted. There were at least four active Systems which were formed since about a week. Two have been named-DAHLIA and OCKHI.   

Joint Typhoon Warning Center

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has been monitoring Weather Events of all the Oceans and Lands in a dynamical wayThe formation of the Tropical Depression was indicated as from 28 November 2017. See pictures. 

              

Besides, the Forecast Track of OCKHI has been Perfectly drawn by JTWC, as compared to IMD. Nevertheless, Severe Cyclonic Storm OCKHI has also shown a rapid development. 

The latest Advisories of JTWC are as mentioned below:

REMARKS:
301500Z
POSITION NEAR 8.6N 75.2E.
TROPICAL CYCLONE (TC) 03B (OCKHI), LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 100 NM SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF COCHIN, INDIA, HAS TRACKED WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 12 KNOTS OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. PEAK INTENSITY HAS BEEN INCREASED TO 90 KNOTS WITH THE PEAK INTENSITY EXPECTED TO OCCUR LATER IN THE FORECAST PERIOD (TAU 48 TO TAU 72)...

ANIMATED ENHANCED INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGERY DEPICTS A RAPIDLY CONSOLIDATING LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER WITH TIGHTLY CURVED BANDING WRAPPING INTO THE CENTER. A 301319Z SSMIS 37GHZ COLOR IMAGE DEPICTS A THICK CYAN RING SURROUNDING A WELL-DEFINED MICROWAVE EYE FEATURE, WHICH SUPPORTS THE INITIAL POSITION WITH GOOD CONFIDENCE AND ALSO SIGNALS AN IMMINENT RAPID INTENSIFICATION PHASE…

TC 03B IS FORECAST TO TRACK POLEWARD ALONG THE SOUTHWEST PERIPHERY OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE (STR) THROUGH TAU 72...

AFTER TAU 72, TC OCKHI WILL RE-CURVE NORTHEASTWARD AS IT INTERACTS WITH A DEEP MIDLATITUDE SHORTWAVE TROUGH AND BEGINS EXTRA-TROPICAL TRANSITION. TC 03B IS FORECAST TO INTENSIFY THROUGH TAU 48 BUT WILL MAINTAIN FAVORABLE, ENHANCED POLEWARD OUTFLOW THROUGH TAU 72…

AFTER TAU 72, INCREASING VWS AND INTERACTION WITH THE BAROCLINIC ZONE WILL SERVE TO WEAKEN THE SYSTEM AS IT APPROACHES NORTHWEST INDIA. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HWRF, DYNAMIC MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT, THEREFORE, THERE IS HIGH OVERALL CONFIDENCE IN THE JTWC FORECAST TRACK. MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT AT 301200Z IS 14 FEET.

  

Media as a Main Stakeholder in Early Warning Systems

The Role of the Media in India, Nepal and Mauritius, just like in other countries, is very Poor. Besides, it is contrary to the Framework of Disaster Resilience, as specified by WMO and UNISDR. Concerning OCKHI, one Indian television station has been releasing news and video recordings/footages since this morning-01 December. It mentioned regarding Southern India and Lakshadweep: ‘9 persons dead, 38 fishermen recued of whom 2 dead, about 160 others stranded at sea, 4,000 power poles damaged, 500 trees broken, 250 families affected by Storm Surge’.

It seems that the Media has not played its role properly. The Early Warning Systems urge every stakeholder to disseminate the Warnings at Real-Time. It is noticeable that the television station in question has been disseminating outdated Warnings and/or information. Moreover, the news released is much targeted as a ‘Scoop’ and a Tamassa’ rather than the ‘Prevention of Loss of life, of Livelihood and of Property’. Instead of sticking as ‘paparazzi’, the reporters should have taken note and acted in sensitizing the population about the formation of a Weather System in the Bay of Bengal. It would have been an indication that other Systems may likely to follow in the nearby zone.

I stated, in my presentation on Disaster Resilience at Jaipur, India in July 2017, that the whole Media-Television, Radio and Newspapers distort the information released by IMD. So, I gave a guideline on dissemination to the Media, to Scientist Mr. Charan Singh of IMD Delhi on 29 June 2017. The same was given to Scientist Mr Anand Shankar of IMD Patna on 06 September 2017. Given, that the Doppler Radar Station of IMD at Patna has no Website for Dissemination of Bulletins, I also initiated Mr Shankar on the construction of a Website.

NB: The IMD Press Release, dated 16 November 2017, has been mentioning about a Depression identified in the Bay of Bengal and which was Forecast to move towards the North North-East:

<<The depression over westcentral Bay of Bengal off Andhra Pradesh coast moved northnortheastwards with a speed of 10 kmph during past 6 hours and lay centred at 0530 hours IST of today, the 16th November, 2017 near latitude 17.5º N and longitude 84.1 º E, about 80 km eastsoutheast of Visakhapatnam and 210 km southsouthwest of Gopalpur. The system is very likely to move further northnortheastwards off north Andhra PradeshOdisha coasts during next 24 hours maintaining its intensity. Thereafter, it is very likely to continue to move northnortheastwards and weaken gradually.>>

 

Severe Cyclonic Storm OCKHI has originated near the same zone- Sri Lanka-Bay of Bengal. The IMD released its Alert number 14 at 10.00 am on 30 November 2017. Upon the intensification of OCKHI, the ORANGE MESSAGE’ was issued by IMD at 12.30 am 30 November. Usually, there are about two dozen recipients of the Bulletin, which also reaches the national television station. The Forecast Track and probable disastrous impacts were properly mentioned for Southern India and Lakshadweep Archipelago. The precautions were also stated clearly.

Unfortunately, the Collector of Thiruvananthapuran (Southern India) stated to the television station that the fishermen of Lakshadweep were not aware of the presence of the OCKHI in the regionShe should have remembered that the ‘13 October Disaster Reduction Day-2017’ was marked by by UNISDR as ‘Reducing the Number of People Affected’.

 

The questions are:

  • ü  why so many people have lost their life, despite the Navy and NRDF rescue operations?
  • ü    Mobile Telephony is a very lucrative business in India with 1.3 billion population, who were supposed to receive ALERTS. What has happened to the governmental project-Digital India?

The answer is that there are many loopholes and shortcomings in the Early Warning Systems.‘Disaster Resilience is Remote in India’ as mentioned in article: 'International Day for Disaster Reduction- 13 October 2017: ‘Reducing the number of affected People.’

 

IMD has revised its Forecast Track and upgraded the status of OCKHI in ‘RED ALERT’, with a Forecast of further intensification within 48 Hours.

<<Sub: Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘OCKHIover Lakshadweep area and adjoining Southeast Arabian Sea and Cyclone Warning for Lakshadweep Islands- RED message.

 

The severe cyclonic storm OCKHIover Lakshadweep area and adjoining Southeast Arabian Sea continued to move west-northwestwards with a speed of 11 kmph during past 06 hours and lay centred at 1130 hrs IST of today, the 01st December, 2017 over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea near Latitude 9.0º N and Longitude 73.4º E, about 80 km north-northeast of Minicoy and 240 km south-southeast of Amini Divi. The system is very likely to intensify further during next 24 hours. It is very likely to continue to move west-northwestwards across Lakshadweep Islands during next 24 hours and then move north/ northeastwards during the subsequent 48 hours.>>

 

NB: According to the Press Release Number 4 of 12.00 hrs 02 December 2017, IMD has upgraded the System as Very Severe Cyclonic Storm OCKHI.

 

<<Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘OCKHI’ over Lakshadweep area and adjoining Southeast Arabian Sea and Cyclone Warning for Lakshadweep Islands- RED Message

 

Yesterday’s Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘OCKHI’ over southeast Arabian Sea moved west-northwestwards and intensified into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm around noon of 1 st December. Continuing, it’s west-northwestward movement, it lay centred at 0830 hrs IST of today, the 02nd December, 2017 over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast Arabian Sea near Latitude 9.7º N and Longitude 71.2º E, about 260 km west-northwest of Minicoy and 230 km southwest of Amini Divi. The system is very likely to intensify further during next 24 hours. It is very likely to continue to move west-northwestwards during next 24 hours and then recurve northeastwards during the subsequent 48 hours.>>

 

CLICK Here to Watch Live with IMD.

Or CLICK  START Here for ANIMATION.

 

 (Click here to read more VSCS OCKHI Brief Assessment Disaster Resilience in India)

Keep Watch for more.

PKANHYE    Uploaded: 5.25 pm Saturday 02 December 2017.

 

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 International Day for Disaster Reduction- 13 October 2017: ‘Reducing the number of affected People.’;

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