Ground-breaking scientific research will make it easier to predict the path of some of the world’s most powerful storms, enabling communities to better protect themselves from severe flooding.
Mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are ‘megastorms’ that affect large parts of the world, including Africa, Australia, Asia and the Americas, causing human and livestock deaths plus major damage to infrastructure. They can potentially:
- last from several hours up to two days
- release energy equivalent to the UK consumption for an entire year
- be bigger than the size of England and travel 1,000kms in distance
- unleash over 100mm of rainfall in just an hour
- In Sahelian Africa, these extreme storms have tripled in frequency since the 1980s due to global warming.
Until now, it was thought that the path of these complex weather systems was largely unpredictable. However, a new study by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) has found that land surface conditions frequently affect the direction and intensity of megastorms after they have formed.
Continue reading at UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Image via UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology