Writing for Quartz, meteorologist Eric Holthaus says that the super typhoon Haiyan about to hit the Philippines is the worst storm he has ever seen. With sustained winds of 190mph (305km/h) and staggering gusts of 230mph (370km/h), its “intensity has actually ticked slightly above the maximum to 8.1 on an 8.0 scale.” Updated: It broke 235mph. Videos of the impact added.
Holthaus says that Yolanda—its Filipino name—beats “Wilma (2005) in intensity by 5mph—that was the strongest storm ever in the Atlantic,” which makes it a member of the select club of Worst Storms Ever in the Planet. Only three other storms since 1969 have reached this intensity.
That’s certainly foreboding enough, but the humanitarian disaster that may Read more…
The chances that a 15-inch rainfall might hit Central Texas in any given year have long been about 1-in-1,000. But with the warming of air that scientists expect over the century, some predict those chances might jump to 1-in-50.Kerry Emanuel, a prominent Massachusetts Institute of Technology meteorology professor, will lecture on the topic in Austin on Tuesday. The talk, titled “Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico: The History and Future of the Texas Coast,” is free and open to the public, part of the University of Texas’ Hot Science-Cool Talks series.
“We expect hurricane-related rainfall is going to get worse over next 100 years,” Emanuel said in an interview.
While that news might seem welcome in drought-stricken Central Texas — especially since moister, hurricane rain-saturated soils are likely to Read more…
Astronaut, Ron Garan, snapped this photo of Hurricane Irene from aboard the International Space Station on August 22, 2011. NOAA averages are based on data from 1981-2010.
AccuWeather’s 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecasts 12 named tropical storms, five named hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
The 2012 hurricane forecast is near-normal for the Atlantic Basin.
Potential Impact This Year
Predicting exactly where storms will make landfall in the U.S. would be extremely difficult, but there are some indications of areas where storms may brew and coasts that may be vulnerable based on Read more…
AccuWeather.com reports tornadic thunderstorms ravaged parts of the Plains Saturday and Saturday night, killing six people and leaving behind incredible destruction.
According to the Storm Prediction Center, over 100 tornadoes were reported from Oklahoma through Kansas, Nebraska and southern Iowa on Saturday.
The deadliest of the tornadoes ravaged the town of Woodward, Oklahoma, where six people were killed and 30 injured.
The tornado ripped through the northwest side of the city, destroying or damaging dozens of homes.
Another tornado tore through the southern portion of Wichita, Kan., causing significant damage but no major injuries.
Wichita, Mid-Continent Airport recorded a wind gust of 84 mph just after the control tower evacuated.
Damage was recorded at the Boeing and Spirit Aerosystems plants. Six buildings at Spirit Aerosystems were heavily damaged while four others had major damage.
According to the Kansas City Star, damage in the Wichita area is estimated at as much as $283 million.
A tornado ripped through the town of Thurman, Iowa, Read more…
Tornado season is only just beginning, but already this year has seen dozens of destructive twisters from Illinois to Texas, where up to 18 might have touched town on Tuesday alone in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The numbers show just how unusual: March saw 223 twisters, up from an average of 80 from 1991-2010, according to the National Weather Service. February saw 63, compared to an average of 29; and January saw 97, compared to an average of 35.
So what’s behind the outbreak?
“We’ve had record heat,” weather.com meteorologist Greg Forbes told TODAY, and “that warmth is a big ingredient that provides the instability for the storms.”
Last year started off slowly but then saw a record 758 tornadoes in April 2011, noted Roker. “Hopefully we’re not on track for that this year.”
U.S. forecasters have predicted a Read more…
by Kate Taylor
So-called ‘storms of the century’ like last August’s Hurricane Irene could become almost commonplace, thanks to climate change.
A team from MIT and Princeton University says that such storms could make landfall far more frequently, causing powerful, devastating storm surges every three to 20 years.
The group simulated tens of thousands of storms under different climate conditions, and concluded that the sort of severe floods which now hit every five hundred years or so could, with climate change, start happening once every 25 to 240 years.
MIT postdoc Ning Lin says that planners should take the findings into account when designing seawalls and other protective structures.
“When you design your buildings or dams or structures on the coast, you have to know how high your seawall has to be,” Lin says. “You have to decide whether to build a seawall to prevent being flooded every 20 years.”
To simulate present and future storm activity, using New York City as a case study, the researchers combined four Read more…
The deluge, which has sparked dozens of rescues and left about 7,275 people isolated in various parts of New South Wales state has also impacted Queensland to the north where homes have reportedly been inundated.
“From the air it looks like an inland sea,” New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell said after visiting the region.
Evacuations have been ordered from some houses and businesses in the New South Wales town of Moree, where more than 600 people have registered with an evacuation shelter as the Mehi River peaked, the State Emergency Service said.
“The town of Moree is inundated with water — so north Moree is not only cut off, but Read more…