[QODLink]
Weather

Kalboishakhis - Bangladesh's deadly storms

Not much is known about these major storm systems but they can be as lethal as anything that occurs in Tornado Alley.

Last updated: 29 Apr 2014 09:58
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Although not well understood, kalboishakhis form in hot humid air ahead of the monsoon season. [Getty Images]

On Sunday night, what was reported as a ‘severe storm’ tore through northern Bangladesh, killing 16 people and destroying 1,000 homes.

Those familiar with the climatology of the region will not have been entirely surprised by the occurrence of such a massive storm system.

April is the peak of the ‘dry storm’ season ahead of the monsoon rain which usually arrives in June.

Tornadoes pose the deadliest threat at this time of year and hundreds or even thousands of fatalities may occur.

Yet Sunday night’s deaths were not the result of a tornado outbreak but a kalboishakhi.

Although not well understood, kalboishakhis tend to form in hot humid air ahead of the monsoon season. The warm, moist air at low levels is carried aloft where it meets cold, dry air which originates over Iran and Turkmenistan, and which is forced around the southern side of the Himalayas.

The contrasting air masses provide the energy required for these storms to form, often to the northwest of Kolkata in India, before moving across the border into Bangladesh during the evening. The storms are characterized by strong northwesterly winds, and they tend to move in a southeasterly direction.

Sunday’s storm seems to have followed this pattern.  The north of the country was worst hit with nine people being killed in Netrokona, six in neighbouring Sunamganj and one killed by lightning in Naogaon.

The winds were apparently strong enough to derail a train carrying 500 passengers across a railway bridge, although they appear to have had a lucky escape as there were no reports of any fatalities.

276

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
Palestinians in Gaza have been shocked by the scale of Israeli destruction, as long-term truce efforts continue.
The Positive Action Foundation Philippines, manned by HIV-positive staff, provides care to those who have no one else.
A former rebel's museum keeps alive memories of the July 26, 1953 veterans who launched Cuba's revolution.
A revolutionary new treatment is halving hospitalisation rates for severe asthma sufferers.
join our mailing list