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Three Tropical Storms causing concern
Which regions of the globe are being threatened?
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2011 10:48
Tropical Storm Arlene caused widespread flooding when it hit eastern Mexico at the end of June [EPA]

It's quite an active time for Tropical Storms. There are three storms in existence, one in the Atlantic and two in the Pacific.

The storm in the Atlantic is Tropical Storm Bret, the second storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. The first one, Arlene, hit eastern Mexico on the last day of June, causing widespread flooding and leading to the deaths of 22 people.

Bret is not likely to cause as much damage as Arlene. Initially the storm did form close to the Bahamas, but has since tracked steadily away from land. It's now harmlessly drifting northeast, at just 13kph, halfway between the east coast of the US and Bermuda.

On the other side of Mexico is another storm, Dora, which is more intense. With winds of over 119kph, this storm is classed as a type of Tropical Cyclone. Tropical Cyclones have different names depending on where in the world they form, around the seas of the Americas, they're called Hurricanes.

Hurricane Dora is still intensifying as it runs parallel to the Mexican coastline, but the eye of the storm isn't expected to hit land. It's currently 240km offshore, which should ensure that the heaviest of the rains stay away from land.

The third and final storm that is currently in existence is in the western Pacific, called Ma-On. In this part of the world, Tropical Cyclones are called Typhoons, and Ma-On was Typhoon in strength when it originally made landfall.

It brought down trees and power lines, and forced road closures and flight cancellations. In the south, on the island of Shikoku, the village of Umaji recorded the most rain from this storm: 850mm rain in just 24-hours. This is over three times the rainfall expected in the whole month, and easily enough to cause severe flooding when it falls in such a short time-period.

As Ma-On moved across land, it began to lose energy and was downgraded to a tropical storm.

Ma-On is now over the Pacific Ocean again, so may well strengthen into a Typhoon once more. Although the storm itself looks unlikely to make landfall again, but the outer bands of its rainfall will bring some heavy rain to the southeastern parts of Honshu in the next few days.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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