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Lake Victoria hazardous thunderstorm study could improve climate forecasts around U.S.

22 September 2016

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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.

Climate scientist Wim Thiery, affiliated with KU Leuven (University of Leuven, Belgium) and ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, Switzerland), was able to provide scientific evidence for why the storms occur in collaboration with colleague Kristopher Bedka of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

"Thanks to new satellite-based storm detection products developed at NASA, we were able to map the number of hazardous thunderstorms and their locations in East Africa – every 15 minutes for a period ranging from 2005 to 2013," Thiery said. "During the day, most storms rage over the surrounding land, especially the typical afternoon thunderstorms that are caused by local upsurges of warm air. At night, these storms concentrate above Lake Victoria."

Source: NASA

Image credit: Wim Thiery