At the juncture of the border between China and Russia sits Lake Khanka, also known as Lake Xinghai. “Having this precipitation data sampled every half hour, we're able to see storms grow and propagate across the lake,” said Bedka. Martin Richardson Recommended for you. Story by Kasha Patel. (Reuters) Thunderstorms at Lake Victoria in east Africa causes more than 5,000 deaths every year. When the Sun goes down, the land cools but Lake Victoria stays warm (water retains heat longer than land). Climate change could transform East Africa's Lake Victoria into a dangerous thunderstorm hotspot, threatening some 200,000 fishermen who ply its waters at night, according to a study released Tuesday. “Almost every night, you see these intense thunderstorms and sometimes even water tornadoes developing over the lake because it’s a really favorable environment for storms.”. “Having nearly a 20-year record helps us focus on average long-term patterns, as opposed to year to year variability,” said Jackson Tan, a researcher with USRA at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center who recently published a paper on the latest IMERG product. Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. “You would never know or understand this complete process unless you had this frequent sampling across such a long data record.”. The Contribution of Lake Victoria Fisheries to National Economies. “We don't have too many large lakes located across the tropical belt like Lake Victoria to observe this weather behavior,” said Kris Bedka, a climate scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center. Why This Lake is the Deadliest in the World - Duration: 6:00. The lake in eastern Africa is known for its intense nighttime thunderstorms, which are influenced by the lake's location, size, and nearby topography. 2 The data come from the newest Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) algorithm, which was released in late 2019 and provides one of the longest continuous records of high-resolution precipitation data. “A longer record is more representative of a region’s climatology.”. When the breezes blow from the land toward the lake at night, they carry that extra moisture, which provides more fuel for thunderstorms. Where are the lightning hotspots on Earth? Yahoo is part of Verizon Media. “Lake Victoria is special because these storms are so repetitive and a daily occurrence during some times of the year.” In general, thunderstorms here form through the interaction of cold and warm air masses. However, these storms mostly hover above the water surface of the lake rather than striking the city of Kampala. Due to their importance to plant and animal species, the lake and the surrounding wetlands are protected by the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the protection and sustainable use of wetlands. Lake Victoria in East Africa will become a hotspot for hazardous thunderstorms due to climate change. Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has warned fishermen and individuals with small boats to avoid some parts of Lake Victoria due to bad weather, Chimp Corps report. The temperature difference between the lake and the air over the land causes breezes to develop and blow toward the lake. The northern Lake Victoria of Kampala in Uganda experiences the maximum number of thunderstorms, at 242 days per year on average, compared to any other country in the world. Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and an economic and food security lifeline for roughly 30 million people living near its shores in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. To enable Verizon Media and our partners to process your personal data select 'I agree', or select 'Manage settings' for more information and to manage your choices. The thunderstorm continues to develop as long as it has warm air fueling it from below. 1, K. Bedka. Two Decades of Rain, Snowfall from NASA’s Precipitation Missions. The animation above shows rainfall patterns around Lake Victoria across a typical 24-hour period during the wet season (March, April, and May). Hazardous thunderstorm intensification over Lake Victoria, The impact of the African Great Lakes on the regional climate, Mapping Storm Patterns Over Lake Victoria, NASA Goddard Space The study focuses on March–May (MAM) and September-October (SON) seasons which recorded high thunderstorm occurrences. Land An international study has determined that Lake Victoria in East Africa will become a hotspot for hazardous thunderstorms due to climate change using techniques that could improve regional climate and weather forecasts around inland bodies of water in the United States. But you need the uplift of warm air to trigger a thunderstorm,” said Bedka. The lake in eastern Africa is known for its intense nighttime thunderstorms, which are influenced by the lake's location, size, and nearby topography. Lake Victoria, Uganda. The warm air over the land rises higher into the atmosphere; as it cools, water vapor condenses into small water droplets and clouds. In general, thunderstorms here form through the interaction of cold and warm air masses. The cooled air sinks lower in the atmosphere to compensate for updrafts. They average about 242 days with thunderstorms in a year, meaning there is a good chance that you will see a thunderstorm while visiting. Early warnings of hazardous thunderstorms over Lake Victoria. 1, S. I. Seneviratne. According to Thiery and Bedka, stronger afternoon storms lead to stronger nighttime storms. But it also takes lives. Daytime breezes flow from the relatively cool surface of Lake Victoria toward the hotter, sun-baked land. Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and an economic and food security lifeline for roughly 30 million people living near its shores in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Lake Victoria Storm - 29 December 2014 - Duration: 1:08. Daytime breezes flow from the relatively cool surface of Lake Victoria toward the hotter, sun-baked land. Lake Victoria is divided among Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. 1, E. L. Davin. The afternoon thunderstorms also cool the land surface, which creates an even larger temperature difference between the land and lake, leading to stronger land breezes at night. Land Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa with thunderstorms and lightning a common occurrence. Cyclical, daily weather patterns around the lake create violent nighttime thunderstorms that kill roughly 3,000 to 5,000 fishermen per year. “The converging air flows set things in motion.”, “We are actually able to predict a lot of these extreme nighttime thunderstorms by looking at the afternoon conditions on land,” said Thiery, who co-authored a study with Bedka that demonstrated the ability to predict the nighttime storms. In the animation, precipitation peaks over land at around 4:30 p.m. (16:30) local time, when thunderstorms are typically most active due to afternoon surface heating from the Sun. 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