Hurricane Odile makes landfall in Mexico

An approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red). Source: NOAA

An approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red).
Source: NOAA, National Hurricane Centre

Tropical hurricane Odile has hit the Los Cabos resort in western Mexico. The category three hurricane made landfall on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. Maximum sustained wind speeds are up to 185 km per hour (115 miles per hour) with higher wind gusts. The centre of the storm is currently moving to the NNW at a speed of 16 miles per hour.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warns that Odile is a large hurricane with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 85 km (50 miles) from the centre. Tropical storm force winds are expected to extend outward up to 295 km (185 miles).

The hurricane is expected to continue heading NNW up the Baja California Peninsula over the next few days with steady weakening energy.


Wind – Hurricane conditions will continue to spread northward through tonight.

Storm surge – A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding.  Near the coast the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Rainfall – Odile is expected to produce rainfalls of 15-31 centimetres across much of the Baja California Peninsula through to Friday. These are likely to result in flash floods and mud slides.

Infrared image of hurricane Odile in its current location. Source: Odile

Infrared image of hurricane Odile in its current location.
Source: NOAA

More information:

[1] Keep up to date with warnings and the status of Odile on the NOAA website:




Friday Fact – 12 Sept 2014


The most common causes of tsunamis are earthquakes that move the ocean floor. However large landslides can also cause tsunamis. The tallest tsunami ever recorded occurred due to a landslide in Alaska. The wave produced was 524 metres high! For reference, the maximum tsunami height after the 2011 earthquake in Japan was around 40 metres.

More information:



Landslides in the UK

In the UK we have thousands of landslide events every year. These can be very costly financially and occasionally result in loss of life. This is a great video explaining what they are and how they affect people and communities.

Japan Landslide kills tens of people

As of this morning, Wednesday 20th August, 32 people have been confirmed dead after heavy rainfall last night resulted in multiple landslides in the Japanese city Hiroshima.

The unexpected large low pressure over the region last night resulted in 10 inches of rainfall falling in just a few hours. The rain initiated a series of landslides that swept down the mountain towards Hiroshima.


More information:
[1] BBC news:

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How can we weigh a cloud?

JimCGS air quality expert Dr Jim McQuaid has been filming a BBC two-part documentary Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets of the Skies. The documentary follows a team of scientists as they explore the earth’s atmosphere, travelling in an airship. The expedition begins with an examination of clouds and how we can determine the weight of an average cloud.You might be surprised at the result!

You can watch the first episode on BBC iplayer.