On Saturday, July 16th, the first cyclone of the year formed in the Southern Indian Ocean. Tropical cyclones in this part of the world are quite rare during this time of year as it is currently winter in the Southern Hemisphere. However, this year warmer than normal water temperatures have persisted throughout the entire basin setting the stage for Tropical Cyclone Abela to form. NASA's RapidScat instrument, which is aboard the International Space Station (ISS), measured Abela's wind speed on July 17th and recorded the strongest winds on the eastern side of the cyclone near 65 mph. This would classify the tropical cyclone as a strong tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the Saffir-Simpson wind speed scale. This makes Abela just shy of hurricane status by about 10 mph.
Tropical Cyclone Abela poses no threat to any land in the near future as the storm begins to slide further southwest into cooler waters. Unfavorable atmospheric conditions and the cooler waters will lead to the eventual destruction of Abela. The Southern Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season runs from July 1st to June 30th of the following year. A typical season averages 10 tropical cyclones, with the first storm usually appearing in mid-November. To learn more about other high-impact weather across the Indian Ocean, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As severe thunderstorm blossomed to the east of a low-pressure center moving across parts of Eastern China, some of these storms moved through areas characterized by particularly high vertical wind shear as well as very strong convective instability. As a result of this dangerous storm conducive combination, one particular storm (as captured in the scary footage below) turned quite deadly as it produced a destructive tornado in and around the region of Jiangsu, China (located just to the north of Shanghai, China). Unfortunately, there was tremendous destruction of entire villages within Jiangsu, China and some fatalities as well. In the video below you will note the propagation of what are referred to as suction vortices near the ground which are essentially very small-scale vortices of violently rotating air which tears apart various structures in their path. Sadly, this is another example of how dangerous severe weather events in densely populated areas can quickly turn deadly if advanced warning(s) are not issued in a timely manner. To learn more about other high-impact weather from across Asia, be sure to click here!
INTENSE THUNDERSTORM AS SEEN FROM AN AIRCRAFT OVER CHINA! (credit: Christiaan van Heijst via Severe Weather Europe)
DISCUSSION: As strong thunderstorms erupted over parts of Central and Eastern China yesterday afternoon (local time), some of these storms became particularly strong with the presence of intense vertical updrafts which were evidently capable of producing copious amounts of cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-ground, and as seen here in the image attached below a great example of intra-cloud lightning demonstrated the intense nature of this particular thunderstorm updraft. Note how beautifully the top of the thunderstorm is lighted as a result of the lightning in the upper parts of this thunderstorm as seen from the cabin of a commercial aircraft over Eastern China! Typically, commercial aircraft try to avoid these stronger thunderstorms, though in this particular case it clearly was required to move close to this storm without going straight through the core of the storm! To learn more about other high-impact weather from across Asia, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As the beginnings of the Indian Monsoon gets into action over the last 5 to 10 days or so, there has been increasing amounts of deep tropical convection blossoming over central and eastern portions of the Bay of Bengal! Note how in the image below (courtesy of the IMD Weather Prodigy Twitter page) you can clearly see the large area of deep thunderstorm activity centered across the Eastern Bay of Bengal. This is a tell-tale sign that the Indian Monsoon is beginning to likely kick into full-throttle in the near future with very persistent, heavy rainfall producing widespread flooding across much of the Southern and Central India as well as some nearby areas outside of those regions of the Subcontinent! Additionally, attached below is another graphic which helps to visually illustrate the typical timeline associated with the onset of the Indian Monsoon Circulation! To learn more about other high-impact weather content from across the rest of Asia, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As a weak low-pressure system slowly moves off to the west across several islands within the South Pacific Ocean, there will be a rather complex convective forecast unfolding with scattered, discrete convective storms being the main theme. As a result of the weak low-pressure system dragging warm/moist air into the region, there will be greatly enhanced buoyancy in place which will aid in the development of typical deep tropical convection. As seen in the graphic below courtesy of the National Weather Service office in Barrigada, Guam there is no question that this forecast is littered with complications based on the number of factors which will have an influence on how the forecast for the next few days unfold! To learn more about other high-impact weather content from across Asia, click here!
DISCUSSION: As strong thunderstorm rapidly increased in intensity earlier today, a few of the storms which moved across parts of Central to Eastern Singapore became particularly intense and produced a plethora of lightning! For example, here is a great perspective of one thunderstorm which was found to be particularly photogenic between a clear capping inversion at the top of the storm which prevented the updrafts from ascending any further. To look at other high-impact weather content from across Asia, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As of earlier this morning, very deep convection was firing just east of Eastern India which has already produced tremendous amounts of rainfall across the Subcontinent region. That being said, as this previously discussed tropical low-pressure system continues sliding slowly off to the north, the threat for heavy rainfall and associated flash flooding will persist for another few days moving forward. In addition, there will be a corresponding threat for mudslides and/or landslides as the topsoil on mountain/hillsides continues to become less stable due to all of the excessive rainfall occurring over the last 48 to 72 hours! Note how in the short satellite imagery animation below how you can identify the areas of deeper convection based on the locations of the more "bubbly" appearance of the cloud structure close to the center of the animation and even a few surrounding areas near the end of the loop! For other high-impact weather content from across Asia, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As a weak tropical low-pressure system continues to slowly move northward as it remains positioned just offshore from Southern India and Eastern Sri Lanka, the largest heavy rainfall threat will continue to shift northward over the next 24 to 48 hours. As seen in the latest regional forecast data trends, this tropical low-pressure system will likely continue to slowly ride up the Eastern Indian coastline; producing heavy/persistent rainfall for 48 to 72 hours across a good portion of the subcontinent region! This will likely prime many regions within India and Bangladesh for flash flooding and subsequently life-threatening mudslides and landslides. For more neat high-impact weather content from across Asia, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As a weak tropical low-pressure system continues to slowly move to the north just offshore from Southern India and Eastern Sri Lanka, the rainfall threat will be shifting northward over the next few days. Note (as seen in the attached graphic below courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com via Levi Cowan) how the low-pressure is expected to slowly ride up the Eastern Indian coastline; producing heavy/persistent rainfall for 48 to 72 hours across much of the subcontinent region! This may also set the stage for destructive flash flooding and life-threatening mudslides and landslides. For more neat high-impact weather content from across Asia, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As multiple low-pressure systems made their way across Eastern Asia and out over the waters of the North Pacific Ocean over the last 7 to 10 days, a plethora of intense atmospheric water vapor transport has unfolded. As you can see in the short animation attached below (courtesy of the Earth Facebook venue), the aforementioned low-pressure systems acted to vigorously transport tons of warm/moist air all the way from the tropical/subtropical regions of the Central and Western Pacific Ocean towards the Southern periphery of the North Polar regions to the north of Alaska over the course of several days! For this and other neat weather content from across Asia, be sure to click here!
IMPRESSIVE SATELLITE VIEW OF LOW-PRESSURE SYSTEM WHICH RECENTLY PASSED JUST TO THE NORTH OF JAPAN! (credit: Met Office)
DISCUSSION: In looking towards the Western Pacific Ocean just a few days ago, there was clear evidence on visible satellite imagery of a strengthening extratropical low-pressure system moving passed the island of Japan with rain and snow impacting the lower and high elevations respectively throughout many parts of the country. Note how you can clearly identify the classic occluded "comma-head" structure of this maturing low as it quickly moves away from Japan in a northerly to northeasterly direction over the past 48 hours! It is always awesome to see textbook atmospheric cyclone wrap-up structure as originally defined by the Norwegian Cyclone Model schematic back in the early 20th Century by Vilhelm Bjerknes! For more current and recent high-impact weather content from places throughout Asia, click here!
AN UNUSUAL PRESENCE OF A HAIL OBSERVED YESTERDAY AFTERNOON IN SAUDI ARABIA! (credit: Youssouf Ali Al Taher via Cyclone of Rhodes)
DISCUSSION: Much earlier yesterday afternoon, a weak low-pressure system moved east of the Mediterranean Sea and headed towards Western Saudi Arabia. As deep convection flared up across parts of the Middle East earlier yesterday, a few isolated storms such as this one observed over Eastern Saudi Arabia generated impressive amounts of hail! See the video below to see just the density of hail falling at the time!
A MAJESTIC NORTH-ATLANTIC HIGH-RESOLUTION SATELLITE ANIMATION! Here is a satellite loop showing the rapid intensification of a N Pacific low which has deepened to 954 hPa east of Japan! (credit: NWS Ocean Prediction Center)
NEAT SATELLITE IMAGERY OVER JAPAN! Here is an awesome satellite image from 17 March depicting snow cover anywhere from Hokuriku to Hokkaido, Japan! (credit: Weather Mizumoto or @hepomodeler)
GORGEOUS SATELLITE IMAGERY OVER THE WESTERN PACIFIC! Aside from the current U.S. winter storm threat, here is a great example of a rapidly strengthening low-pressure well east of Japan! (credit: NWS Ocean Prediction Center)
GORGEOUS SATELLITE IMAGERY OF A RAPIDLY INTENSIFYING LOW OVER THE WESTERN PACIFIC! Click the link below to see the full satellite animation! (credit: NWS Ocean Prediction Center)
A STRONG MICROBURST WHICH OCCURRED EARLIER TODAY IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES! Here is an awesome microburst with wind speeds of 130+ km! (credit: Youssouf Ali Al Taher via Cyclone of Rhodes on Facebook)
A MESMERIZING TIME-LAPSE VIDEO! As captured in this timelapse video, the evolving clouds are visually similar to a waterfall moving over mountains in Jiujiang, China! (courtesy: The Weather Channel via @weatherchannel)
A SPECTACULAR VIEW OF KELVIN WAVES! Just an awesome Kelvin wake generated downwind of Heard Island in the Southern Indian Ocean earlier today local time! (courtesy: Anthony Sagliani or through Twitter at @anthonywx)
VERY DENSE FOG BEING SEEN OVER IN DUBAI!! Check out the attached image depicting unusually dense fog occurring over in Dubai, United Arab Emirates! Impressive for the east side of the Persian Gulf! (courtesy: Meteo Europe)
AN IMPRESSIVE VIEW OF TROPICAL CYCLONE URIAH AS OF EARLIER TODAY! Attached below is an incredible view of Tropical Cyclone Uriah via the day/night band of the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite! (courtesy: NASA/NOAA)
TROPICAL CYCLONE URIAH STRENGTHENING! Recent Suomi NPP satellite imagery depicts thunderstorms wrapping around a developing eye. Note, this storm will have minimal land impacts! courtesy: Joint Typhoon Warning Center
DISCUSSION: Here is something fairly unusual! Snowfall over in portions of northern Saudi Arabia! Attached below is a neat article which contains both pictures and videos which reflect the situation that unfolded! To learn more about this and other high-impact weather events from across Asia, be sure to click here!
~Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz