World weather news, August 2015
- More than 100 people have died and up to 1 million have fled their homes, with areas of Burma declared disaster zones and India also badly hit. Heavy monsoon rains have continued to lash much of southern Asia, threatening further casualties and more destruction after a week of lethal floods and landslides. In India, the chief minister of West Bengal, in the east of the country, described the situation as beyond control. Local officials said 48 people are thought to have died in the state and hundreds of thousands of villagers have been taken to relief camps. The death toll is thought likely to rise. Another 28 deaths were reported in Rajasthan, western India, where rescue workers evacuated nearly 1,000 people to higher ground. Five people were killed in the eastern state of Odisha. The annual monsoon season in the region runs from June to the end of September but, though a lifeline for farmers, often causes hundreds of deaths as well as severe damage to homes and food crops.
- Soudelor is intensifying rapidly over the western Pacific Ocean after raking through Saipan, a U.S. commonwealth in the northern Mariana Islands, Sunday night and early Monday. Super Typhoon Soudelor became the fifth super typhoon of this year Monday after undergoing a replacement of its eyewall, a process which occurs in all intense tropical cyclones. A super typhoon is defined by sustained wind speeds of at least 150 mph. According to Monday's 5 p.m. EDT bulletin from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Soudelor had strengthened into the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 180 mph (one-minute average) with gusts to 220 mph. Soudelor has maintained its strength and as of 11 p.m. EDT Monday, Soudelor continues to have maximum sustained winds of 180 mph and some additional strengthening is possible. Low wind shear and very warm sea surface temperatures have allowed Soudelor to ramp up quickly; the cyclone was just a minimal typhoon 36 hours earlier.
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Last updated 4 August 2015.