Effects of Cyclone Hudhud captured by a high altitude Automatic Weather Station in northwestern Nepal

Neckel, Niklas ; Kropáček, Jan ; Schröter, Benjamin ; Scherer, Dieter

Année de publication
2015

Between 13 October and 15 October 2014 many people were trapped by a heavy snowstorm event at Thorong La Pass (5416m amsl) on the famous Annapurna Circuit in northern Nepal, resulting 43 fatalities. In this short communication we show a climate record of an Automatic Weather Station (AWS) which is located at a similar altitude to Thorong La Pass but is 300km to the northwest along the main Himalayan ridge. Additionally, the record of the extent of the snow cover in the region was derived from Landsat 8 satellite images taken before and after the snowstorm event. During the event the AWS recorded a snow accumulation of 0.37m, while the snow cover in the study area increased from 1880km2 on 9 October to 17 44°km2 on 25 October. Our results, and findings from our personal communication with local people, show that the extent of the disastrous snowstorm event affected a much larger area than reported by the media, which concentrated its coverage solely on the Annapurna region.

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