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Correlation Between Climate Change and Tectonic Activity by Lake Rukwa, Tanzania

8S 32.4E

June 26th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Lakes MODISAqua

Tanzania – June 26th, 2013

Scientists have found a correlation between climatically induced lake level change in Lake Rukwa, seismo-tectonic activation of the regional fault network (underneath Lake Rukwa and the Kanda fault between Lakes Rukwa and Tanganyika) and the timing of the recent strong volcanic eruptions in the Rungwe Volcanic Province.

This relation is explained taking into account that Lake Rukwa is very sensitive to climate change as it occupies a flat depression and its overflow outlet is 180 m above its present-day level. Its lake level rises rapidly when the climate becomes more humid. Increases in lake level mean an increase in the load in the basin and perturbation of the ambient tectonic stresses (click here for more information).

Fires West of Lake Tanganyika, DRC and Tanzania – June 26th, 2013

7.7S 29.0E

June 26th, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day MODISAqua

DRC, Tanzania, Zambia – June 26th, 2013

Dozens of fires are burning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Zambia, in central Africa in late June. The fires, most of which are burning in grass or cropland, are indicated by red markers. Separating the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania is the large Lake Tanganyika. More smoke is visible west of the lake than to its east.

Fires Blazing Across Tanzania and DRC

6S 29.5E

June 19th, 2013 Category: Fires MODISAqua

DRC and Tanzania – June 19th, 2013

Hundreds of fires can be seen burning in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (left) and Tanzania (right), west and east of Lake Tanganyika. Such blazes are set every year during the dry season in Central Africa. Residents burn away scrub and brush annually in the woody savanna to clear land for farming and grazing.

Tropical Storm Dumile (07S) Tracking Southwestward Towards Madagascar

11.1S 53.6E

January 1st, 2013 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm 07S – December 30th, 2012

Enhanced image

Track of Tropical Storm 07S - January 1st, 2013 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 07S

On December 28 a low pressure area continued to organize, with a significant increase in convection, located just to the west of an anticyclone. Tropical Cyclone Dumile (07S), located approximately 525 nm north of La Reunion, has tracked southwestward at 03 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 21 feet.

Animated multispectral satellite imagery shows a well defined low level circulation center (LLCC) with a primary band of deep convection wrapping from the southern periphery into the northern half of the LLCC. The convection remains strongest near the center and in the northern half of the system.

The organization remains well defined but has struggled over the last 24 hours to intensify. Upper level analysis indicates the mesoscale anticyclone continues to provide good equatorward outflow, but has been weak on the poleward side of the system. This lack of strong dual outflow channels appears to be the main factor limiting stronger development.

The current intensity is estimated at 45 knots. Animated water vapor imagery shows the poleward outflow channel has started to improve in the past six hours and should help to intensify the system as it tracks south- southwestward along the northwestern extension of a deep layered subtropical ridge (STR) located to the southeast.

A mid-latitude trough, to the south of Madagascar, will track eastward weakening the western extent of the STR over the next 24 hours. As the trough tracks to the south of the STR, the STR itself will shift, bringing the track for TC 07S more southward.

In the extended forecast, a second mid-latitude trough will cross over southern Africa into the Indian Ocean and again weaken the STR, allowing the track for TC 07S to shift to the southeast. By TAU 96 the system is expected to begin weakening due to increasing vertical wind shear, decreasing sea surface temperatures and interaction with the second mid-latitude trough. Extra-tropical transition is expected to begin by TAU 120. Model guidance is in good agreement through TAU 48 but begins to differ in the timing of the recurvature to the southeast.

Dust Storm in Bodélé Depression, Chad

16.7N 16.4E

November 22nd, 2012 Category: Dust Storms, Lakes

Chad and Mali – November 22nd, 2012

The whitish streak in the upper right quadrant is sand from the Bodélé Depression blowing southwestward. The depression is located at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in north central Africa, and is the lowest point in Chad. Dust storms from the Bodélé Depression occur on average about 100 days per year.

The bright green area visible in the lower left quadrant is Lake Chad, a large, shallow, endorheic lake surrounded by Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria, on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Due to its shallowness, the size of the lake fluctuates frequently.