Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tornado hits India

You may have heard on the news that a powerful cyclone hit Northeast India Tuesday Night killing over 100 people. In actuality what appears to have hit this area of the world was a tornado. This area of the world is no stranger to severe weather and tornadoes, many times called cyclones in this part of the world. Based on archived satellite images it does appear a broken line of strong thunderstorms, possibly supercells, developed as moist southerly winds off the Bay of Bengal were forced vertically along the front range of the Himalayan Mountains. I do not know for sure if these were indeed true supercells as the nearest Doppler radar site is over 400 km away and I could not find any archived data. Based on the latest information from the Regional Meteorological Center in Alipore a tornado did indeed move across Northeast India from the northeast corner of the Bihar State into West Bengal. Top winds were estimated around 125 km/hr or78 mph which would be an EF-0 tornado in the U.S. Lack of warning and poor construction can be attributed to the loss of life, over 120 at last count, many of which lived in mud shacks.

Below is a satellite loop I made from archived images.

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