Environment

Destructive flash floods, rare tornado hit Algeria


Severe weather conditions hit northern parts of Algeria on April 14, 2018, bringing heavy rain, flooding, and hail. A rare tornado was spotted in Batna Province. Rainfall of 25 – 50 mm (1-2 inches) was reported across north-central Algeria through the afternoon of April 14. Severe weather conditions persisted into April 15.

“The biggest threat for northern Algeria will be flash flooding,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.

Algiers typically records 37 mm (1.45 inches) for the entire month of April. While a surplus of rain is good for the region’s water supply as Algeria is heading into its drier summer months, that amount of rain in a short amount of time can easily trigger flash flooding, according to AccuWeather.

Roys is also concerned for mudslides across the mountains of northern Algeria. The greatest danger will lie along the northern slopes, where the heaviest rain totals can be measured.

“For northeastern Algeria and northern Tunisia, the biggest threats will be flash flooding, hail and damaging winds with a low chance for a tornado or two to occur,” Roys said.

In Batna province, a massive tornado was witnessed on April 14.

These thunderstorms may threaten Tunis and Sfax in Tunisia with tree damage, power outages and travel disruptions.

A number of flights of national airline Air Algerie that were due to land on April 14 in the airport of Algiers and Bejaia were diverted to Oran because of the bad weather, Air Algerie said, according to DZBreaking.

Flooding will remain a concern across northern Tunisia on April 15 as the storm tracks eastward and delivers downpours to end the weekend.

The storm will struggle to deliver rain to southern Tunisia, central Algeria, and western Libya. These areas may instead face blowing dust kicked up by strong winds.

Featured image: Flooding in Batna province, Algeria / Fëŕháát Badaoui



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