Wednesday, May 27, 2020

An event of Note : Call of the Mountains (on 30May2020 at 3.00pm IST)

The Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative (DHI) which is the W Bengal state chapter of Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) observes 30May each year as 'Call of the Mountains' day where we hold a day's event on an environmental issue of import for us living in the mountains.
This year we have invited Prof Dave Petley of Sheffield University, one of the foremost authorities on Landslide Hazards for a discourse on 'Landslide Risk in the Himalayas' 

Date/time : 30May2020/ 3.00pm - 4.30pm IST
Platform : ZOOM
Link :


The ZOOM workshop conducted beteen 3.00pm and 4.20pm went off wonderfully well with approx 74 people attending. Link is placed below:

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Rainfall data of some towns in Darjeeling -Sikkim Himalaya: April 2020

My thanks to Shreya for her help

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Super Cyclone Amphan makes landfall in the vicinity of Kolkata: 20May2010 (1430hrs onwards)


Tracking the Beast

Was declared a Cyclonic Storm 'Amphan' on 16May2020, after which it rapidly intensified in Severe Cyclone. STH posted continuous updates on the tracks of the storm

RSMC, Delhi and JTWC issued some 33 advisory bulletins and 18 warnings respectively from 15May until the storm made landfall exactly as predicted on 20May near Kolkata
First track forecast and the final track observed are placed below:

Fact Sheet:
·        * Landfall process started at around 1430hrs/20May2020 between Digha and Hadia islands as predicted and passed thru the Sunderbans between 1530hrs to 1730hrs.
·       *  Wind speed at the time of landfall and crossing coast 155kmph and going up to 185kmph in gusts. Max recorded windspeed in Kolkata, from observatory at Dum Dum was 130kmph at 1855hrs on 20May.
·        * Windspeeds in Kolkata started increasing from around 1700hrs, max windspeeds were around 1900-1920hrs after which the speeds became less. Max winds were felt between 17-2100hrs.
* Approx 5000 trees uprooted by the storm.
·        * Most impacts on South 24 Parganas and East Midnapur and then Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly districts.
·        * Was tracked continuously by DWR along the East Coasts which could give accurate information on intensity, landfall point and time, associated weather, storm surge, heavy rain and winds at different districts.
·       *  Heavy to extremely rain was observed in all the affected areas. 24 hrs rain in Kolktata (Alipore) 240mm, Dum Dum 200mm.
·       * After hitting Kolkata, the storm moved in a NNE direction and crossed the Bangladesh border at 2330hrs and became a deep depression in Bangladesh on 21May2020.
·       * Windspeeds in Meghalaya were 60kmph on 21May2020 and affected the NE States thereafter.
 STH cautionary advice (printed by media days prior to the storm):

 Images from the SUNDERBANS


           Praful Rao
     Kalimpong district
     Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya

Thursday, May 14, 2020

First CYLONE of 2020 in the Bay of Bengal?

As per IMD (NWP), we might be heading for our second brush with a cyclone in the month of MAY after a gap of 11 years. I still have vivid memories of CYLCONE AILA which hit us in May2009 and left scars which have not healed till date.
Placed below is the forecast of the storm from the NWP:

We r watching the developments closely and have already alerted concerned departments. CYCLONE AILA was bad but this time it's worse, because over and above the cyclone we have another unwelcome visitor - COVID19 is doing the rounds among us.
Do remember that these are NWP charts and by 16May2020 we are likely to get much more detailed forecast tracks from IMD as well as other websites such as JTWC
Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district
Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya

Update 1
From Cyclone in Bay of Bengal (May2020)
Update 2 (1200h/16May2020)
Above track has now been formally announced by IMD in a RSMC bulletin
Update 3
Warning No 1 from the JTWC
Update 4
Cyclone 'Amphan' was born yesterday as the depression strengthened and it has since become a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) which is supposed to make landfall near DIGHA on 20May2020 as a VSCS. STH has been conducting awareness workshops on the cyclone both on social networks as well as on local TV.
PS: That's my dog, Kaali in the photo. She follows me like a shadow :)

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district,
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya