Archive | May 29, 2017

Deadly floods in Sri Lanka and Cyclone Mora nearing Bangladesh

Heavy early season rains have killed at least 151 people and left 111 missing across Sri Lanka this past week in some of the worst floods in 15 years.  The rains are coming right on time as far as the south west monsoon is concerned, so to see precipitation this time of year is not uncommon. The problem is the amount of rainfall that has fallen. In Rathnapura 591mm was reported in the past week, to put that in perspective the average for the month of May is 456mm.


The above average totals have a lot to do with Cyclone Mora to the north east which enhanced these rainfalls over the island during its development. Now that Mora is moving away the rains should taper off slightly but given we have just entered the south west monsoon the relaxation of the precipitation will not be all that much.


The monsoon season or Sri Lankas “wet season” runs from May to September”.


Cyclone Mora is tracking north as well and will be a major threat for the low lying country of Bangladesh. According to JTWC (the US Military) Mora should make landfall Tuesday evening with winds possibly gusting over 65kts (typhoon strength). This could result in coastal flooding as well as damage to thatched homes and non-sturdy buildings. The big issue though will be rainfall, up to 300mm is possible with more than that in isolated coastal areas as the storm heads inland. This will surely result in river flooding along the Padma and Meghna rivers.


In Bangledesh Cyclones have a historical track record of causing serious damage and deaths. In fact the deadliest tropical cyclone and tornado on record both occurred in this region. Good news in recent years warning advancement and preparations have led to fewer deaths in these storms but they are still very dangerous.