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imperialism & war

Weather window is closing fast

Sandstorms, already hampering the invasion, are likely to become more frequent during the "40-day shamal", a period from late May when a persistent north-westerly wind blows in from Turkey as a side-effect of low pressure which causes the Indian monsoons. The storms, with winds of some 30mph, reduce the invading forces' technological superiority, threaten to clog up rifles and heavy artillery and prevent helicopters from flying.
Weather window is closing fast

ALASTAIR DALTON
 http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/international.cfm?id=378982003

THE so-called "weather window" for British and US forces in Iraq is closing fast, amid warnings that the onset of some of the world's highest temperatures could have a major impact on their effectiveness. Heat exhaustion is likely to impede fighting ability as temperatures climb towards a peak of 43C (109F), while sandstorms decimate visibility .

A military analyst said if the war dragged on into Iraq's hottest months, it would not deal a decisive blow against the invading forces.

However, Lt-Col Stuart Crawford, a retired veteran of the last Gulf war, said having to fight in the heat was likely to increase considerably the length of the conflict and the need for extra troops.

The recent torrential rain that has hampered coalition forces is expected to give way soon to intensified and prolonged sandstorms as temperatures rise until August. No rain is likely to fall between June and October.

Basra is expected to remain at 25C this week, but Baghdad is forecast to hit 30C by Thursday and An Nasiriyah, north of Basra, 35C. However, rising temperatures and humidity levels in one of the hottest countries on Earth will create extremely difficult conditions for troops unaccustomed to such severity.

Soldiers have been told to drink about one litre of water per hour - requiring almost 300,000 litres a day for British forces alone. In Basra, average temperatures increase from 24C in March to 29C next month, 35C in May, 38C in June, 40C in July and 41C in August. The city's record for July is 51C (123.8F), which equals the world's highest ever.

Baghdad's average temperatures are even higher, from 22C this month to 29C in April, 36C in May, 41C in June and 43C in July and August. The city's record is 49C, in July.

It will also stay much hotter at night, with April's average minimum of 14-17C in the two cities climbing to 24-27C by mid-summer.

The BBC lists discomfort levels from heat and humidity by June in Baghdad as "high" and in Basra as "extreme".

Sandstorms, already hampering the invasion, are likely to become more frequent during the "40-day shamal", a period from late May when a persistent north-westerly wind blows in from Turkey as a side-effect of low pressure which causes the Indian monsoons. The storms, with winds of some 30mph, reduce the invading forces' technological superiority, threaten to clog up rifles and heavy artillery and prevent helicopters from flying.

Lt-Col Crawford, who served in the 4th Royal Tank Regiment in 1991, said: "The longer the war goes on, the more difficult it will become, and it could prolong the conflict significantly.

"The weather window is closing rapidly. If we get to May - and there is every indication that we will - people will begin to get concerned.

"There will be a greater danger of heatstroke, and if that affects a significant number of troops, everything will have to be done more slowly."

Lt-Col Crawford said that although coalition forces would have been trained in hot conditions, they would not be naturally acclimatised to the heat like Iraqi troops.

He said the heat would also reduce the payload of weapons that aircraft could carry when taking off from ships.

homepage: homepage: http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/international.cfm?id=378982003

Translation 30.Mar.2003 22:37

Mark

Can someone please translate these temperatures for
us? How hot is 25 degrees C? What is that in F?

The hottest day here in Portland last summer was about
100 degrees f. How does this compare to Iraq temperatures?

Thank you

Fahrenheit - Celsius converter 30.Mar.2003 22:42

plug your number, get a result

 http://www.agribiz.com/agInfo/FahrCel.htm

25 degrees Celsius = 77 degrees Fahrenheit

100 degrees Fahr = 37.8 degrees Celsius

etc.


more conversions 30.Mar.2003 22:46

heat index, relative humidity, etc.

 http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pub/metcon.shtml

Common Meteorological Conversions

Convert Temperature

Calculate Heat Index

Calculate Relative Humidity


No comparison 31.Mar.2003 09:40

David B.

<blockquote>
The hottest day here in Portland last summer was about
100 degrees f. How does this compare to Iraq temperatures?
</blockquote>
There's no comparison between summers in southern Iraq and summers in Portland. Not only are the <em>average</em> highs ten to fifteen degrees hotter than out <em>hottest</em> days of the year, the humidity is much higher.
<p>
When Portland gets a heat wave, it's because of hot dry desert air funneling east through the Columbia Gorge. The Pacific Ocean never gets very warm, so any moist ocean air is cool air that breaks the heat wave. Iraq's heat is fortified by humidity from water evaporating from the Persian Gulf, which being shallow warms up perhaps more than any other part of the world's oceans.
<p>
There's simply no comparison between a few days of dry heat that still cool down to tolerable levels at night, and weeks on end of some of the worst heat and humidity indices imaginable with little or no relief at night. Iraq makes the heat in New Orleans or Houston look like a picnic.

Portland, OR

No comparison 31.Mar.2003 09:40

David B.

The hottest day here in Portland last summer was about 100 degrees f. How does this compare to Iraq temperatures?
There's no comparison between summers in southern Iraq and summers in Portland. Not only are the average highs ten to fifteen degrees hotter than out hottest days of the year, the humidity is much higher.

When Portland gets a heat wave, it's because of hot dry desert air funneling east through the Columbia Gorge. The Pacific Ocean never gets very warm, so any moist ocean air is cool air that breaks the heat wave. Iraq's heat is fortified by humidity from water evaporating from the Persian Gulf, which being shallow warms up perhaps more than any other part of the world's oceans.

There's simply no comparison between a few days of dry heat that still cool down to tolerable levels at night, and weeks on end of some of the worst heat and humidity indices imaginable with little or no relief at night. Iraq makes the heat in New Orleans or Houston look like a picnic.


Portland, OR