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FANTALA-Very Intense Tropical Cyclone: Record Breaker.

 Scientific Loopholes, But Best Prediction.

 (PART TWO- ASSESSMENT)

(You are requested to read PART ONE before Proceding Click Here)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/ Climate Prediction Center (NOAA/CPC) released its update on 05 April 2016, ‘Valid: 04.06.16 - 04.19.16:

'A fast moving intraseasonal signal, evident in the RMM MJO Index and the upper-level velocity potential field, remains active, with the enhanced phase currently over Africa and the far western Indian Ocean...

Statistical guidance such as the Constructed Analog model depict a much more robust Indian Ocean MJO event; however, these tools are not accounting for the current West Pacific convection.'Therefore, the MJO is anticipated to become increasingly incoherent during the next two weeks, and will not play a substantial role in the global tropical convective pattern.'  

{jcomments on}

Scientific Loopholes

 

In fact, as mentioned above, the chart does not show the formation of any Tropical Depression or Cyclone for the periods of 06-19 April, 13-26 April and 20-26 April 2016. See pictures.    

   

         

These depict an inconsistency in the Predictions of the formation and evolution of Cyclone FANTALA- technically from its naming on 11 April 2016 and onwards. In fact, these seem to be contradictory and are recurrent loopholes in the Forecasts. Similar situations have been noticed and highlighted in various articles published here.

 

NOAA/National Centres for Environmental Information (NOAA/NCEI) mentioned in the ‘LAND & Ocean Temperature Percentiles Mar 2016’ dated Fri April 15 2016, that the South-West Indian Ocean is found in the zone of ‘Warmer than Average’ and ‘Much Warmer than Average’. It means that the El Nino is still in the Enhanced Phase. So, Tropical Depressions and Cyclones are nearly inevitable. See picture.

 

Example: The Tropical Depression which originated, as from 04 March 2016, in the South of Cocos Island, was evolving far to the South-East of Diego Garcia in Latitude 11.0 degrees South and Longitude 85.7 degrees East. It was named by the Mauritius Meteorological Services as Moderate Tropical Storm EMERAUDE on 16 March 2016.

 

JTWC identified a series of Low Pressure Systems but declared their phasing out. Cyclone FANTALA originated from the same area. Scientifically speaking it has had High Confidence to evolve rapidly into a Very Intense Tropical System. Moreover, FANTALA has proved to be a Record-Breaker.

 

In addition, NOAA stated regarding the Madden-Julian Oscillation; ‘Dynamical model MJO index forecasts generally favor weakening of the intraseasonal signal during the next two weeks... MJO activity is anticipated to continue playing a substantial role in the global tropical convective pattern during Week-1, while uncertainty increases during Week-2.Valid: 03.23.16 - 04.05.16’.

 

But, the question is why, JTWC/ NRL, Météo-France and the Meteorological Services of Mauritius made such atimid Forecast Track limiting it to Agalega and North-East of Madagascar? At the same timeUncertainty and/or Low Confidence were also mentioned? The main reason seems to be, too much reliance on Numerical Models.

The tracks were, thereafter, adjusted by all, as shown in PART ONE.  In contrast, the Forecast Track uploaded at this Website is better than all others.  Refer to pictures and suggestions below.

              

 

                          

 

NB: Satellites, managed by NOAA, NASA, EUMETSAT, JAXA and others, are harnessed with sophisticated sensors, radars, tools and equipment. These provide live and real-time data/information to their respective stations, as soon as Natural or Man-made Hazards are identified. Scientists and Forecasters work out and disseminate all these data/information world-wide, almost freely, so that responsible institutions may activate the Early Warning Systems. This is a very laudable effort and every recipient is bound to make optimum and timely use of these data/information for the Protection and Safety of the population. This process should continue relentlessly.

 

Suggestions:

All the International Centres mentioned above-NOAA/CPC/NCEI, NASA JAXA, Météo-France, MMS, Météo-Madagascar and all those in other countries, should adopt internal, regional and international coordination. These will result in better consensus on Scientific matters:

  • All centres demand a decentralization process so that data/information are easily accessible;
  • More research should be carried out in the Southern Indian Ocean;
  • The Numerical Models demand serious review and
  • Furthermore, all of the centres should also ‘INNOVATE’ with the adoption of Traditional, Indigenous and Local Knowledge/Practices, as well as Observations of Clouds from the Ground.  This strategy constitutes a complementary component to Scientific Forecasts of Natural Calamities. See below.

 

 

Scientific Data and Traditional Knowledge applied for Best Prediction

You should have noticed that the birth of Cyclone FANTALA has been disseminated on this Website as from 18 March 2016. The article, though brief in content at first, has hit more than 1242 readers before any newsletter has been sent to the 400 recipients. This constitutes a record made by FANTALA in the dissemination of the issue in itself. Check out  the HITS on top of the page of PART ONE .

 

NB: the newsletters from this Website reach 120 WMO Members world-wide (+ HQ, Geneva) and the rest to others: local, regional and international subscribers, including international scientists.

 

The headline released, as from 18 March 2016 (one month in advance), in the Breaking News ‘FANTALA visiting Madagascar’ should have aroused curiosity and also apprehension of this Phenomenal Weather System. The main reason behind this perfect Cyclone Prediction and Forecast Track is based on the outcome of combined factors of Scientific data/information, Traditional Knowledge and Cloud/Atmosphere Observations from the ground of Mauritius.

 

Scientific explanation 

  1. The Advisories released in the publications of NOOA/CPC/NCEP give lots of indications regarding the MJO, El Nino, SST, Kelvin Wave, etc.                                                                                                                                                                                
  2. The Sea Surface Temperature (SST)  in the Pacific for March-April 2016 reached 300 C. It is well known that the Heat Wave enters the Indian Ocean through the window of northern Australia and Southern Asia. El Nino has, therefore, continued to interfere with the MJO. The NOAA/NCEI confirms this status.                                                                                                                  
  3. Some other sources have been stating the Neutral Phase of the ENSO, which was not considered in this context.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  4. Bill Patzert, a Climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory stated ‘suspects February and March 2016 could still be very active months for El Niño-driven weather along the western coasts of the Americas.’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  5. At the time when Low Pressure Systems continued in the Pacific Ocean, in spite of 19 March marking the Winter Equinox for the Southern Hemisphere, Weather Systems continued to form. An example is Cyclone JENA in Fiji last week. Other pockets of Depressions have continued taking birth Eastwards of Australia.                                                                                                          
  6. According to JTWC Advisories issued on 22-23 April 2016: Tropical Cyclone AMOS with Wind Speed of 185 km ‘HAS RAPIDLY INTENSIFIED OVER THE PAST 24 HOURS, INCREASING ABOUT 35 KNOTS FROM 55 KNOTS TO 90 KNOTS...TC AMOS IS TRACKING OVER AN AREA OF VERY WARM SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES (SSTS) NEAR 30 DEG CELSIUS... EXPECTED TO INTENSIFY OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS.’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  7. Red Alert on Storm Surge regarding TC AMOS in Samoa has been initiated by Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System/UN/EU (GDACS).                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  8. It is well known that year 2015 has been recognized as the Hottest in this decade, wherein lots of records have been broken in almost all continents cyclone-wise, heat-wise and in Precipitations. Africa, India and America are still under the onslaughts of drought. It is obvious that the ENSO has not yet phased out, but may prolong its life globally during the oncoming months.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  9. NASA stated on 20 April 2016: ‘In late April 2016, record rainfall fell in the Houston area, and some areas received nearly a season’s worth of rain in one night. The deluge led to deadly flooding, and nine counties were declared to be in a state of disaster.’                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  10. Latest information reveals that the Arctic and Antarctic continents are melting dramatically, because of the Global Warming process.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  11. In addition, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) carries heat and bands of clouds from the East to the West of the Tropic of Capricorn. The South East Trade Wind (SETW) usually brings Low Altitude Clouds from the South-East of the Indian Ocean and ‘dumps’ them in the North-West of this Basin. The Land and Sea Surface Temperatures, ship pollution and solar radiation and other ingredients have contributed to the formation and evolution of Cyclone FANTALA.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  12. Moreover, the MJO, as observed from Mauritius, brings Precipitations more than Cyclones when it prevails in an enhanced phase for the South-West Indian Ocean. The MJO has weakened since a month or so. Consequently, the El Nino gets the possibility to interfere with the MJO dynamically.                                                                                                                                    
  13. The Mozambique Channel, apart being a Hot Spot of the South-West Indian Ocean, is also a Zone of Convection wherein the ITCZ, MJO and SETW intersect or fuse with each other. Moreover, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (Oceanic and Atmospheric) interferes with the three Systems mentioned above. As a result, Fronts, Ridges and Troughs emerge and accelerate the Dynamics of Weather in the South-West Indian Ocean Basin.                                                                                       
  14. Normally, the South Indian Ocean (SIO) is visited by 10-12 Cyclones each Season. Up to now, there are only six which have taken birth in this zone and one (URIAH: 15-18 February 2016) originated from Cocos Island in the North-East. Usually, 40 % of all cyclones are formed in the Mozambique Channel, wherein so far, no Cyclone has taken birth. DAYA (10-14 February 2016) associated with Flood Storm emerged in the South-East of Madagascar. In addition,one Low Pressure System (0720152016) as per Météo-France, has passed through eastern zone of SIO. So, in one sense FANTALA’s Track from the South-West of Diego Garcia towards North-East of Madagascar, is thus plausible. All these prove that the Weather System has undergone a change in the Southern Indian Ocean.                                                                                              
  15. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), though prevailed in a robust phase before and during the evolution of FANTALA, could not neutralize it. The main reason is that FANTALA has been churning and moving mostly along the Sub-Tropical and Equatorial Ridge. The tracks support this view.                                                                                                                                 
  16. The movement of FANTALA until its reverse phase also explains that the SST over the Mozambique Channel was still 290 C. The Advisories of JTWC mention this. Besides, the tandem Gutro-Jenner cited earlier: An interesting note is that the change of the ridge position during El Nino cycles changes tracks of tropical cyclones that form in this area.’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  17. The main and common consensus in the different Advisories of NOAA, JTWC, NASA and Météo-France regarding FANTALA were:
  1. The rapid intensification, ‘TC FANTALA WILL INTENSIFY OVER THE NEXT 12 HOURS AT A SLIGHTLY FASTER RATE THAN CLIMATOLOGY’...11 April JTWC;
  2. The Uncertainty- ‘INCREASINGLY UNCERTAIN IN BOTH SPEED AND TRACK IN THE LONGER RANGE FORECAST TAU'S LEADING TO LOW CONFIDENCE IN THE JTWC FORECAST TRACK’...11 April JTWC and
  3. DYNAMIC MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN POOR AGREEMENT WITH THE PRECISE TIMING AND LOCATION OF THE TURN TO THE NORTHWEST AND THE EXTENDED FORECAST TRACK POSITION’...20 April JTWC.

 

All these indicate once more that FANTALA has been Phenomenal and a Record-Breaker gusting with 345-355 kph according to some source, thereby, causing trouble and apprehension to forecasters and to those people who were ‘affected’.

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