[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
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
join our mailing list