Rogue Storm From Bay of Bengal Caused 2010 Pakistan Flooding


All photos: Baba.Ali/Creative Commons

We know that illegal logging contributed to the devastation caused by last summer's flooding in Pakistan, when up to 20% of the nation was underwater. New research now sheds light on how so much rain fell: A rogue storm that formed in the Bay of Bengal traveled across Bangladesh and India, and continued unusually far west, until it dumped abnormal amounts of rain over the Himalaya. When the high amounts of rain hit the dry mountainsides along the Indus River--which is where the illegal logging comes in, with great areas of mountainside cleared of trees--in caused rapid flooding.

Such heavy amounts of rain are not unusual during the monsoon in eastern India and Bangladesh, but storms in Pakistan, normal produced over the Arabian Sea, generally only trigger locally heavy rainfall.

Robert Houze, of the University of Washington, explained that in examining 10 years of satellite data, his team never came across anything like this storm (Science Daily).

If there's a silver lining in this, Houze's research found that the storm was associated with a particular wind pattern, which could make it possible for meteorologists to detect similar conditions in the future and forecast when such powerful storms could happen in the future.

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More on Pakistan Flooding:
Illegal Logging by Pakistan's Timber Mafia Increase Flooding Devastation
Pakistan Timber Mafia & Climate Change Caused Much of Summer's Flooding
At Least 20% of Pakistan is Underwater
Global Warming Increases South Asian Monsoon Downpour Intensity = Increased Risk of Flooding
If We Can Attribute Natural Disasters to Climate Change, Who Could Victims Sue For Damages?

Tags: Global Climate Change | Natural Disasters | Pakistan