The week in weather

  • Satellite image showing relatively 'normal' conditions along the Indus River on 1st September 2012. Image acquired by MODIS on NASA's Terra satellite.

    This satellite image shows the same region less than two weeks later on 13th September 2012. Torrential rains led to flooding, as seen by the darker shades of blue. More than 100 deaths were reported across the Sindh region alone. Source: NASA.

    Another satellite image, this time of Typhoon Sanba. The system reached super-typhoon status on Friday, with maximum sustained surface winds of 175mph. Source: NASA.

  • The week in weather
    15.09.2012 12:46


    Severe weather has gripped many parts of the world this week, with a particular incidence of devastating rainfall. Whilst there are numerous factors leading to severe weather conditions, an active tropical basin had been a key player.

    On Monday, post tropical storm Leslie ripped off roofs and destroyed trees in Newfoundland with gusts of 137km/h measured. The low pressure system also knocked out power services across the entire Avon Peninsula, with the St John’s area one of the worst affected. Leslie then became caught up in the jet stream midweek, passing by Iceland and reaching the southern Norwegian Sea overnight on Thursday, bringing gales to parts of Scotland.

    Iceland also saw its share of unusual weather a few days prior as a deep low pressure system moved eastwards across the country last weekend. The cold northerly winds that the depression drew dumped heavy snow across north and northeastern parts. Such a snow event is very rare this early in the autumn as between 15-20cm of snow was deposited with drifts of 2 to 3m. Hundreds of sheep are believed to have perished, whilst the Icelandic State Electricity company said damage to power lines was the worst in 17 years.

    Days of monsoon rains have led to flooding in Pakistan, killing 18 people alone on Wednesday and displacing thousands of others from their homes across low-lying areas. Seven districts of upper Sindh - Sukkur, Khairpur, Ghotki, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kashmore and Larkana – have been severely affected. The rains come after a relatively dry July and August.

    Also on Wednesday, heavy rain in parts of Fujairah and the Northern Emirates led to flooding in isolated areas and dams overflowing. The highest rainfall totals were estimated at 180mm, according to the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology.

    Finally, Typhoon Samba has been tracking north-northwestwards this week over the Philippine Sea, reaching super-typhoon status on Friday. This classification, which details maximum sustained surface winds of at least 150mph, is equivalent to a Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane and only around 2% of tropical cyclones reach this strength. Sanba is now at Typhoon status once again and is forecast to gradually weaken further as it tracks north towards South Korea. Despite the loss of strength, Sanba will pose a significant threat to South Korea on Monday as it will bring torrential rain and damaging winds.

    By: Nick Prebble