Globally, the big weather story this weekend was a gigantic hurricane moving from the Bay of Bengal into Bangladesh and Myanmar. The center of the storm came ashore in Rakhine State/Sittni Township in Myanmar. As I write this, authorities were reporting 5 fatalities, though that number was expected to climb.
Worldwide, the greatest weather disaster of the last 60 years was the Bangladesh (at time of incident, East Pakistan) Cyclone of 12-13 November, 1970. This notorious tropical cyclone is sometimes referred to as the ‘Great Bhola Cyclone’ with an estimated 300,000 (low end) to 500,000 (high end) storm-related fatalities (mostly the result of a large storm surge overwhelming the islands and tidal flats along the shores of the Bay of Bengal).
Peak winds at landfall were estimated to be 120 mph at the coast. Storm surge was estimated to be 6-12 feet to the east of where the eye of the storm came ashore. Five deaths were blamed on the storm, but that toll was expected to climb. Thirteen hundred shelters were destroyed at the world’s largest refugee camp, which had been evacuated. Up to 500,000 residents were estimated to have evacuated to higher ground inland.
The storm brought heavy rain, flooding, strong winds and landslides. Cell phone towers were knocked down, disrupting communication to the hardest hit areas.
Of the 36 deadliest tropical cyclones in world history, only one has occurred in the last 30 years.
In the U.S., severe thunderstorms are possible today from Iowa into Illinois and from Oklahoma to the Lower Rio Grande – where heavy rain is likely.
We should have tolerable weather for the RiverBank Run and the Tulip Time Parade today. I’ll be in the Tulip Time Parade, so wave when I go by. I can’t rule out an isolated shower, but most of the day will be dry and mild. Apple blossoms are near peak in Kent Co.
ALSO: Gigantic turtle livin’ the good life in the Chicago River.