A tornado, hail storms and driving rain killed at least 78 people and injured some 500 people 200 of them critically in eastern China on Thursday June 23rd.
Seen on images from local media the storm flattened wide swaths of structures including homes, business and stripping trees from their routes.
The storm struck mid-afternoon near Yancheng city, a few hours’ drive north of China’s commercial capital, Shanghai, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.
At the time of the storm a violent rotating super cell was seen on Visible satellite imagery.
— Dan Lindsey (@DanLindsey77) June 23, 2016
Plus the seasonal rainy season front was still dominating the region combined with an abundance of upper level support. Where this storm took place in the upper levels was the base of a short wave trough with a Jet Max well over 120kts overhead around 300mb. In short this mean plenty of support to get this storm rotating and supplying it with sufficient outflow and inflow.
The storm came with little warning as tornadoes are not very common in China and adequate warning systems are not in place for this type of event. The initial images of the tornado show it may have not been a massive F4 to F5 twister but a smaller one in a area that was by no means built for these type of winds.
Power and communications are down in the worst hit areas, Beijing has dispatched relief supplies including 1,000 tents to help those who have been left homeless in the Beijing suburb.
Mean while the rainy season front has also been bringing torrential rainfall across China and Japan this past week leaving at least 22 dead due to floods in China and 6 dead in Japan with another 22 missing following wide spread rainfall topping 600mm in some areas.
Since last Saturday Southern China has been pounded by these heavy rains forcing thousands to evacuate their homes. In Hunan province a dam broke in the town of Liye prompting a swift evacuation of 18,500 people on Monday.
In Xingyi City Guizhou eight people became trapped in a coal mine when the tunnels became flooded in rising waters.
In a separate instance search and rescue operations for seven miners missing after a landslide in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region continued into a second day on Tuesday.
According to the Xinhue news agency the storms have damaged or collapsed 10,500 homes across southern China this past week. This could also be one of the first billion dollar disasters of 2016 topping 1.1 billion dollars according to the same news agency.
Each year the rainy season brings floods to the region but this year coming off the El Nino last year and the incoming summer season we have been seeing a extra strong rainy season in China.
The question for some is what is the rainy season?
In the episode above of Westpacwx 101 we discuss the rainy season.
There are a few tips to remember if you are in any of the places that get this annual drencher. Every day ideas that you should keep in mind before heading out and about.
Lastly I do want to note the rainy season is all apart of a bigger process with the North East and South West Monsoons. The video below breaks down what both of them are and how they impact the seasons across East Asia and the Western Pacific.
Its not all gloom though in the rainy season, of of the symbols of the time is the Hydrangea, a flower that blooms in June and July during the peak of the wet season in Japan.