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Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project Regional Subprojects for the Bay of Bengal and for Southeast Asia – Training Workshop on Severe Weather Forecasting and Warning Services. Macau – China 8 – 19 April 2013. Maldives Meteorological Service. The MALDIVES. 19 Atolls. 1200 Islands.

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Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project Regional Subprojects for the Bay of Bengal and for Southeast Asia – Training Workshop on Severe Weather Forecasting and Warning Services

Macau – China 8 – 19 April 2013

Maldives Meteorological Service

the maldives

19 Atolls

severe weather types
Severe Weather types

FLASH FLOOD ……… 2012

STRONG WINDS ……… Frequent


TIDAL OR SWELL WAVES ……. 1987, 2007

STORM ……… 1991



21 October to 06 November 2012

  • Low pressure systems/ depressions and cyclonic activity “Murjan” (18 to 21 Oct 2012) and “Nilam” (21 to 31 Oct 2012) resulted severe weather phenomenon in Maldives and caused damages at many islands.
weather drivers features
Weather Drivers’ Features

Source: Indian Meteorological Department

impact of weather drivers on synoptic features
Impact of weather drivers on synoptic features
  • Under the influence of weather drivers described above, two lows were seen 20 October 2012 18 UTC and 27 October 2012 18 UTC which caused the heavy rainfall episodes during 21 to 31 October 2012.
  • Low seen on 20 October 2012 18 UTC near southern Maldives caused heavy rainfall during 22 October 2012 in southern and central part of Maldives. This low intensified and moved west of Maldives and manifested as cyclone ‘MURJAN’ made a land fall at Somalia Coast on 25 October.
  • Further, another Low developed near northern Maldives during 27 October 2012 18 UTC brought heavy rainfall episodes in Northern part of Maldives.
Source: Thai Meteorological Department. Figure 1: TMD Weather Chart on a) Top panel - 20 October 2012 18 UTC b) Bottom panel – 27 October 2012 18 UTC
imd reports
IMD Reports….

“Depression formed over southeast and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal at 06:00 UTC of 28 October 2012 near latitude 9.5°N and longitude 86.0°E moved westwards and intensified into a deep depression in the morning of 29th October over southwest Bay of Bengal near latitude 9.0°N and longitude 83.0°E, and continued to move westwards and intensified into a Cyclonic Storm, ‘NILAM’ in the morning of 30th October over southwest Bay of Bengal off Sri Lanka coast. The Cyclonic Storm, NILAM then moved northwestwards, crossed north Tamilnadu coast near Mahabalipuram, south of Chennai between 1600 and 1700 hrs IST of 31st October 2012. After the landfall the cyclonic storm, NILAM moved west-northwestwards and weakened gradually into a deep depression and then into a depression over south Interior Karnataka in the morning of 01st November 2012”

Under the influence of synoptic scale weather systems described above the Maldives experienced 82 mm of rain to GAN - ADDU CITY on 22nd October and since then the severe weather system remained active over the country. It became more enhanced on 24th October by causing heavy rain over southern and central atolls. KADHDHOO – LAAMU ATOLL received 119 mm of rain on that day. The trough further oscillated south to central to north and rain showers were distributed through many atolls during next few days.
Rainfall at KADHDHOO – LAAMU ATOLL and HANIMAADHOO – HAADHAALU were 62 – 65 mm on 27th followed by 115 and 145 mm recorded at HANIMAADHOO on 29 October and 30 October, respectively. The October monthly mean rainfall at Hanimaadhoo is 199 mm. Even a much higher intensity/ amount of rainfall is expected in its neighbourhood.
  • HOARAFUSHI and NOLHIVARANFARU reported most destruction due to floods on the same day. Considering the impact level and recorded rainfall nearby (Hanimaadhoo & Kelaa 128mm), Maldives Meteorological Service estimate 200mm of rainfall for Hoarafushi’s flooding .
  • In the south, KAADEHDHOO – HUVADHU ATOLL recorded 120 mm on 31 October 2012. The October monthly mean rainfall at Kaadehdhoo is 253 mm.
As the trough gets intensified the low level winds begin to pick-up from 28th October onwards. Strong winds were prevalent to central atolls and approximately 7 hours of steady 20knot wind were reported at the National Meteorological Centre for 28th October.
The first tornado hit HULHUMEEDHOO – ADDU CITY on the afternoon hours of 29th October and the second one around 6 pm in FEYDHOO – ADDU CITY. Both funnel clouds brought successive damages and huge losses.

The strong winds duration was prolonged further until end of October and part of southern atolls also reported strong wind on 31st October.


Forecasting at MMS

  • Products of various numerical weather prediction (NWP) models and dynamical-statistical models received through internet
c oordination with rimes
Coordination with RIMES

RIMES shared its experimental forecast on 29th October 2012 for NILAM Cyclone about the characteristics of the cyclone, The landfall of Cyclone NILAM on 31 October 2012 was well predicted by RIMES WRF experimental forecast.

The six hourly forecast simulations for wind speed and rainfall parameters were shared to MMS.

  • The observed impacts during the period reported by Atoll/ Island Councils, National Defense Force (MNDF), Police, NDMC and media were ‘huge and fairly widespread’.
  • The cost of the damage caused by flooding and tornado are expected to rise to millions.
devastating f lood fuvahmulah 6 november 2012
Devastating Flood Fuvahmulah– 6 November 2012

The Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) shifted southwards close to equator on 5th November and very intense convective clouds formed over southern Maldives.

devastating f lood
Devastating Flood …………

Torrential rain measured 132 mm in SIX hours caused severe flood in Fuvahmulah - 6 November 2012 .

devastating f lood1
Devastating Flood …………

Creatures from the Sea

The impact of this flooding was widespread!Affecting many households, crops and water sewerage systems
preparedness and warning

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3


Maldives Meteorological Service is mandated for issuing advisories and warnings related to meteorological, hydrological, tectonic and oceanographic disasters. MMS formulated a Project to be complete in 3 phases in establishing a full fledge Early Warning System.

Upgrading of GTS,

-Installation of Doppler

Weather Radar,

Satellite Receiving System.

-Two Automatic Weather

Stations install at



One short-period seismo-

meter installed in

Gan- Addu Atoll.

  • Doppler Weather Radar
  • in Gan - AdduAtoll
  • 11 Automatic Weather
  • Stations in atolls.
  • - Agro & Marine AWS
  • Lightning Detection
  • System.

2 Broadband Seismometers

install in Hanimaadhoo &


-Internet service 5mbps

to 10mbps and a redundant

VSAT internet service is

in place.

-10 Automatic Weather

Stations to be installed.


To act upon any likely event of meteorological, hydrological, tectonic and oceanographic disasters, National Early Warning Centre prepared the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)


alert green for cancellation

Alert Level 3


Alert Level 2


Alert Level 1



Alert Levels

Alert GREEN for Cancellation


preparedness and warning1
  • MMS issued 42 WHITE Alerts, 7 YELLOW Alerts and 1 RED Alert during 2012 Monsoon Season.
  • Briefing to sea travelers, fisherman, National Defense, Police, NDMC and interviews to various media were conducted.
  • Warnings were additionally dispatched through cooperate SMS and Hotlines to designated authorities as per SOP.
challenges and concerns
  • Delivery of Advisories and Warnings to end users.
  • Varying international media reports.
  • Lack of trained personnel in MMS and stakeholder agencies.
  • No safe shelters.