10 Oct 2013

India and the Philippines braced for storms

Both India and the Philippines are braced for storms in the coming days, with heavy rain, damaging winds and flooding likely.

In the past few weeks, numerous storms have formed over the North Pacific Ocean, with China, Japan and South Korea feeling their effects.

Storms of a tropical origin need sea surface temperatures of 26C and above in order to thrive, feeding off warmth and moisture to develop into typhoons, tropical cyclones or hurricanes.

Typhoons, tropical cyclones and hurricanes are actually the same thing, with the name used to describe them dependent on the ocean basin in which they form.


Tropical Cyclone Phailin

This storm is currently in the Bay of Bengal but moving north westwards very slowly at just 7mph.

As the storm is moving slowly, this means it is spending more time feeding off the warm ocean water – gaining strength.

Phailin is forecast to make landfall in the north east Indian state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) on Saturday local time.


The Indian Meteorological Department have issued cyclone warnings in preparation for the storm’s arrival, which when makes landfall could have steady winds of 110mph and gusts of 130mph.

As well as damaging winds, heavy rainfall of around 25cm is expected, which will bring a significant risk of flooding. Also, a storm surge of up to 2 metres is predicted along the coast, enhancing the flood risk for low-lying areas.

Once Phailan makes landfall, the strong winds will weaken, but there’ll still be a lot of heavy rain pushing northwards in the coming days towards Utter Pradesh.

Typhoon Nari

This typhoon is currently sitting around 100 miles west of the Philippines, drifting westwards toward the island at a speed of 15mph.

The latest forecast takes the typhoon across the north of the Philippines during Friday local time, with steady winds of 90mph and gusts 115mph as it makes landfall.


Not only will this storm provide a lot of wind, there’ll also be copious amounts of rain – some places seeing in excess of 25cm in just a day.

Such a large amount of rain falling so quickly will bring a strong risk of flooding and mudslides, with coastal areas seeing a storm surge of around a metre.

After hitting the Philippines on Friday, the typhoon is expected to move over warm ocean water and strengthen again, before making a second landfall in Vietnam early next week.

I’ll be keeping an eye on any developments in the paths of these storms in the next 48 hours and posting updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

Tweets by @liamdutton