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Posts Tagged ‘extreme weather’

Super typhoon Haiyan just broke all scientific intensity scales

November 8, 2013 Comments off

gizmodo.com

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…

Not Even Close: 2012 Was Hottest Ever in U.S.

January 10, 2013 Comments off

nytimes.com

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A dry section of the Morse Reservoir in Cicero, Ind., in July.

The numbers are in: 2012, the year of a surreal March heat wave, a severe drought in the Corn Belt and a huge storm that caused broad devastation in the Middle Atlantic States, turns out to have been the hottest year ever recorded in the contiguous United States.

How hot was it? The temperature differences between years are usually measured in fractions of a degree, but last year’s 55.3 degree average demolished the previous record, set in 1998, by a full degree Fahrenheit.

If that does not sound sufficiently impressive, consider that 34,008 daily high records were set at weather stations across the country, compared with only 6,664 record lows, according to a count maintained by the Weather Channel meteorologist Guy Walton, using federal temperature records.

That ratio, which was roughly in Read more…

Typhoon Sanba With 170-mph Winds to Threaten Japan

September 14, 2012 Comments off

accuweather

Satellite image of Super Typhoon Sanba Friday afternoon, local time, Sept. 14, 2012, is from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).

Super Typhoon Sanba poses a growing threat to southwestern Japan and South Korea.

As of Friday evening, local time, Sanba remains a super typhoon, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, according to The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). A super typhoon is a storm with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph or higher.

The Japan Meteorological Agency estimates Sanba’s central pressure to fall to 26.58 inches (900 mb), which would allow Sanba’s strength to rank in between Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina from the Atlantic. Only one typhoon in the western Pacific, Super Typhoon Megi, had a lower pressure in the past 10 years.

Sanba’s movement to the north and northwest is expected to continue through at least Saturday.

The projected path brings Sanba close to Okinawa, Japan, by Saturday night, local time. While the island is well-prepared for typhoons, damage, power outages and flooding are likely.

“It will be a life-threatening situation for the Read more…

In U.S., 2012 so far is hottest year on record

September 11, 2012 Comments off

reuters.com

(Reuters) – The first eight months of 2012 have been the warmest of any year on record in the contiguous United States, and this has been the third-hottest summer since record-keeping began in 1895, the U.S. National Climate Data Center said on Monday.

Each of the last 15 months has seen above-average temperatures, something that has never happened before in the 117 years of the U.S. record, said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at the data center.

Winter, spring and summer 2012 have all been among the top-five hottest for their respective seasons, Crouch said by telephone, and that too is unique in the U.S. record. There has never been a warmer September-through-August period than in 2011-2012, he said.

“We’re now, in terms of statistics, in unprecedented territory for how long this warm spell has continued in the contiguous U.S.,” Crouch said.

He did not specify that human-spurred climate change was the cause of the record heat. However, this kind of warmth is typical of what other climate scientists, including those at the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have suggested would be more likely in a world that is heating up due in part to human activities.

Alyson Kenward of the non-profit research and journalism organization Climate Central said in a statement, “Extreme heat is closely tied to climate change, Read more…

‘Very unusual’ start to tornado season

April 4, 2012 Comments off

msnbc

18 Wheelers thrown into the air in Dallas

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.

 “We’re at just the beginning of a very unusual” tornado season, NBC weather anchor Al Roker said on TODAY.

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…

Extreme Summer Temperatures Occur More Frequently

February 16, 2012 Comments off

nanopatentsandinnovations.blogspot.com

Extreme summer temperatures are already occurring more frequently in the United States, and will become normal by mid-century if the world continues on a business as usual schedule of emitting greenhouse gases.

The white colored rock (approximately 100 feet high) shows the drop in the water level of Lake Mead as a result of the ongoing 10-year drought along the Colorado River.

Photo courtesy of Guy DeMeo , U.S. Geological Survey

By analyzing observations and results obtained from climate models, a study led by Phil Duffy of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory showed that previously rare high summertime (June, July and August) temperatures are already occurring more Read more…

Climate change threatens tropical birds

February 16, 2012 Comments off

sciencecodex.com

Rainbow-billed toucans like the one shown here normally are confined to lower elevations in Costa Rica, but global warming is allowing them to colonize mountain forests, where they compete with resident birds for food and nesting holes, and prey on their eggs and nestlings. (Photo Credit: Cagan Sekercioglu, University of Utah)

SALT LAKE CITY — Climate change spells trouble for many tropical birds – especially those living in mountains, coastal forests and relatively small areas – and the damage will be compounded by other threats like habitat loss, disease and competition among species.

That is among the conclusions of a review of nearly 200 scientific studies relevant to the topic. The review was scheduled for online publication this week in the journal Biological Conservation by Çağan Şekercioğlu (pronounced Cha-awn Shay-care-gee-oh-loo), an assistant professor of biology at the University of Utah.

There are roughly 10,000 bird species worldwide. About 87 percent spend at least some time in the tropics, but if migratory birds are excluded, about 6,100 bird species live only in the tropics, Şekercioğlu says.

He points out that already, “12.5 percent of the world’s 10,000 bird species are threatened with extinction” – listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (http://www.redlist.org).  Şekercioğlu’s research indicates about 100 to 2,500 land bird species may go extinct due to climate  Full article here