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Widespread Storms Drench Sierra Leone, Liberia

May 20, 2014

20 May 2014, 1800 UTC: An upper level area of instability along the Intra-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) moved across the western coast of Africa today, triggering an active and strong area of thunderstorms early in the afternoon.

The PulseRad system displays the very strong storms early in the afternoon as they moved into eastern Sierra Leone and over northern Liberia.

The PulseRad system displays the very strong storms early in the afternoon as they moved into eastern Sierra Leone and over northern Liberia.

The infrared satellite image from 18:00 UTC shows an impulse of energy along the ITCZ in western Africa.

The infrared satellite image from 18:00 UTC shows an impulse of energy along the ITCZ in western Africa.

The storms were tracked by the Guinea Total Lighting Network as they developed and increased in intensity. The alerting system, triggered by the intense rate of lightning detected, issued warnings for parts of interior Sierra Leone for storms producing very heavy frequent lightning (rates over 40 flashes/min) and intense downpours of rain.

The Total Lightning Network generate Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts over Sierra Leone due to the very frequent lightning detected by the system.

The Total Lightning Network generate Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts over Sierra Leone due to the very frequent lightning detected by the system.

The storms had been well forecasted by the ENcast forecast system. Probabilities for thunderstorms and rainfall were over 50% yesterday and increased to near 100% by late morning today. The ENcast forecast for Monrovia in Liberia indicated very high threats for storms today and over the next several days.

The ENcast forecast engine shows the forecast for temperature and thunderstorm probabilities over the next three days. Very high probabilities for thunderstorms were in the forecast during the afternoon.

The ENcast forecast engine shows the forecast for temperature and thunderstorm probabilities over the next three days. Very high probabilities for thunderstorms were in the forecast during the afternoon.

The ENcast forecast engine shows the forecast for temperature and thunderstorm probabilities over the next three days. Very high probabilities for rainfall were in the forecast during the afternoon.

The ENcast forecast engine shows the forecast for temperature and thunderstorm probabilities over the next three days. Very high probabilities for rainfall were in the forecast during the afternoon.

By late afternoon and early evening, the storms had moved to the coast and started to develop in southwest Guinea, but the PulseRad radar system tracking accumulate rain was indicating the storms had dropped significant amounts of rain, specifically in Sierra Leone where 25-50mm of rain was common.

PulseRad shows the strongest storms with the most intense lightning have moved offshore from Sierra Leone by 18:00 UTC.

PulseRad shows the strongest storms with the most intense lightning have moved offshore from Sierra Leone by 18:00 UTC.

PulseRad estimated rainfall for the afternoon indicates rainfall totals ranged between 15 and 50 mm of rain over most of Sierra Leone and northern Liberia.

PulseRad estimated rainfall for the afternoon indicates rainfall totals ranged between 15 and 50 mm of rain over most of Sierra Leone and northern Liberia.

2 Comments
  1. BAH M L DN Meteo permalink

    Dans la soiree du 20 mai 2014 des manifestations pluviorageuses ont ete enregistrees dans la plus part des prefectures situees a l’ouest du massif du Fouta et en Basse Guinee notamment a conakry .
    Des vents violents ont deracine des arbres, decoiffe des maisons a Conakry et a koundara ou la toiutre de la station meteorologique et les toits des mosquees ont ete emportees. Il n’ya pas eu des pertes en vies humaines. Le service meteorologique dans son bulletin avait signale le developpement des orages qui ont longe toute la facade ouest de l’atlantique du liberia au sud de la Guine Bissau.
    Dr BAH M L Directeur National de la Meteo Guinee

  2. Translated:

    In the evening of 20 May 2014 thunderstorm events were recorded in most of the prefectures located west of the Fouta and Lower Guinea in Conakry in particular. Strong winds uprooted trees, houses blown in Conakry and Koundara or the shingles off weather station building and the roofs of mosques have been swept away. There has been no loss of human lives. The meteorological department had reported in its bulletin the development of thunderstorms that runs along the west facade of the Atlantic Liberia south of Guinea Bissau.
    Dr M L BAH National Director of Guinea Weather

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