Deadly Storms Hit Egypt
Last week severe storms hit Upper Egypt and areas along the Red Sea coast on October 26 and 27, 2016. Egypt normally receives relatively little rain and the heaviest rainfall usually occurs along the Mediterranean coast. Heavy rainfall from intense storms led to flooding in parts of Egypt including the Sohag and Bani Suef in Upper Egypt, the Southern Sinai and the Red Sea. At least 26 deaths and 72 injuries were attributed to the storms.
The GPM core observatory satellite routinely passes above that area with a very informative pass occurring on October 27, 2016 at 0541 UTC. Data collected by GPM clearly showed heavy rainfall within storms along the satellite's path. Data collected by GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments show that one strong storm moving over the Red Sea was dropping rain at a rate of over 41 mm (1.6 inches) per hour.
A 3-D examination using GPM's radar (Ku Band) data collected at that time shows that some storms near the Red Sea were powerful and had fairly high storm tops. Storm top heights are shown reaching heights above 14 km (8.7 miles) in these 3-D radar slices that used GPM's radar data. Radar reflectivity values of over 52 dBZ were measured by GPM radar within heavy downpours in one stormy area.
The Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM or IMERG is used to make estimates of precipitation from a combination of passive microwave sensors, including the GMI microwave sensor on board the GPM satellite, and geostationary IR (infrared) data. This analysis shows IMERG rainfall estimates for the period from October 24 through October 28, 2016. IMERG data showed that much of the area of the southern Sinai and northern Red Sea received rainfall. Some rainfall was unusually heavy for this area with IMERG indicating that places (light brown) received over 24 mm (.9 inches). IMERG estimates also indicated that intense storms in some areas dropped over 32 mm (1.25 inches) of precipitation (orange).