Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane’

2011 Was A Year of Weather Extremes, With More to Come

February 2, 2012 Comments off

The global average temperature in 2011 was 14.52 degrees Celsius (58.14 degrees Fahrenheit). According to NASA scientists, this was the ninth warmest year in 132 years of recordkeeping, despite the cooling influence of the La Niña atmospheric and oceanic circulation pattern and relatively low solar irradiance. Since the 1970s, each subsequent decade has gotten hotter — and 9 of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the twenty-first century.

© Earth Policy Institute

Each year’s average temperature is determined by a number of factors, including solar activity and the status of the El Niño/La Niña phenomenon. But heat-trapping gases that have accumulated in the atmosphere, largely from the burning of fossil fuels, have become a dominant force, pushing the Earth’s climate out of its normal range. The planet is now close to 0.8 degrees Celsius warmer than it was a century ago. Hidden within Read more…

US east coast on hurricane alert- New York City in direct path

August 24, 2011 Comments off


The United States is on a high alert as Hurricane Irene builds momentum along its path from the Caribbean towards the US east coast.

“We’re going to have a very large tropical cyclone move up the eastern seaboard over the next five to seven days,” Bill Read, director of the National Hurricane Center, said on Wednesday.

But Read said it was too early to be certain where Irene would hit the coastline.

Latest data showed the hurricane strengthening back into a category two storm as it moved closer to Read more…

Fierce forecast: Feds predict up to 10 Atlantic hurricanes in 2011

May 19, 2011 Comments off


Federal forecasters Thursday called for an “above-normal” hurricane season this year. They predict anywhere from 12-18 named storms to form in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Earl spins in the Atlantic Ocean last September. Although it didn't make landfall, Earl came the closest to hitting the USA of any 2010 hurricane.Hurricane Earl spins in the Atlantic Ocean last September. Although it didn’t make landfall, Earl came the closest to hitting the USA of any 2010 hurricane.

Of those named storms, six to 10 should become hurricanes, including three to six “major” hurricanes, with wind speeds above 111 mph.

Tropical storms are given a name when wind speeds reach 39 mph. They are upgraded to hurricane status when their sustained winds reach 74 mph. An average Atlantic hurricane season sees 11 named storms, including six hurricanes; two become major hurricanes.

Forecasters do not predict the number of storms that will make landfall.

Climate factors in this outlook include unusually warm Atlantic Ocean water and temperatures two degrees above average, reports Gerry Bell, lead seasonal forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. Additionally, the impacts of the La Nina climate pattern, such as reduced wind shear, are expected to continue into the hurricane season.

“In addition to multiple climate factors, seasonal climate models also indicate an above-normal season is likely, and even suggest we could see activity comparable to some of the active seasons since 1995,” Bell said.

Since 1995, Bell says the Atlantic is in an era of increased hurricane activity. There are consistently favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions for storm formation.

Thursday’s NOAA forecast is similar to earlier predictions by researchers at Colorado State University and the AccuWeather commercial weather service. The Colorado State team, led by Read more…

Forecasters expect 5 big hurricanes

April 8, 2011 Comments off

Hurricane seasonAt least five major hurricanes with winds of more than 111 miles per hour are expected to develop in the Atlantic during the 2011 storm season, Colorado State University forecasters said yesterday.

Overall, some 16 named storms are likely, with nine of them reaching hurricane status — an above-average season, said the forecasters led by William Gray and Phil Klotzbach. The forecast reduces by one the group’s preliminary December outlook for 17 named storms.

There is a 72 percent chance that one of the major storms will strike the US coast, above the 52 percent average for the past century, they said, and a 47 percent chance of a Gulf Coast hit. The East Coast’s odds are 48 percent.

“We reduced the number of storms but our statistical models are still calling for an active Read more…

Tropical Cyclone Yasi Headed Toward Queensland, Australia

January 31, 2011 Comments off

NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Yasi on Jan. 30 at 23:20 UTC (6:20 p.m. EST/09:20 a.m., Monday, January 31 in Australia/Brisbane local time). Although the image did not reveal a visible eye, the storm appears to be well-formed and also appears to be strengthening. Credit: NASA Goddard / MODIS Rapid Response Team

Tropical Storm Anthony made landfall in Queensland, Australia this past weekend, and now the residents are watching a larger, more powerful cyclone headed their way. NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of the large Tropical Cyclone Yasi late yesterday as it makes its way west through the Coral Sea toward Queensland.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured an image of Cyclone Yasi on Jan. 30 at 23:20 UTC (6:20 p.m. EST/09:20 a.m., Monday, January 31 in Australia/Brisbane local time). Although the image did not reveal a visible eye, the storm appears to be well-formed and also appears to be strengthening.

Warnings and watches are already in effect throughout the Coral Sea. The Solomon Islands currently have a Tropical Cyclone warning for Read more…

Storms hit Western Australia southwest as cyclone nears

January 29, 2011 Comments off

Saturday afternoon’s storms caused damage in parts of Perth and regional towns to the east, including Toodyay, Northam, York and Wongan Hills.

State Emergency Service volunteers have responded to 20 calls for assistance in Perth for rain damage, localised flooding and roof collapses, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) said.

In Northam and York, east of Perth, around 30 buildings were badly damaged, many with roofs torn off, and powerlines and other structures were also hammered, it said.

Between Northampton and Jurien Bay, north of Perth, there had been 18 calls for assistance for damaged roofs.

The stormy weather cut power to around 55,000 homes in WA’s south on Saturday as the category three cyclone Bianca approached across the Indian Ocean. Read more…

295,000 Deaths :950 Natural Disasters in 2010

January 5, 2011 Comments off

By: Munich RE

Jan. 3, 2011 – Several major catastrophes in 2010 resulted in substantial losses and an exceptionally high number of fatalities. The overall picture last year was dominated by an accumulation of severe earthquakes to an extent seldom experienced in recent decades. The high number of weather-related natural catastrophes and record temperatures both globally and in different regions of the world provide further indications of advancing climate change.

Altogether, a total of 950 natural catastrophes were recorded last year, nine-tenths of which were weather-related events like storms and floods. This total makes 2010 the year with the second-highest number of natural catastrophes since 1980, markedly exceeding the annual average for the last ten years (785 events per year). The overall losses amounted to around US$ 130bn, of which approximately US$ 37bn was insured. This puts 2010 among the six most loss-intensive years for the insurance industry since 1980. The level of overall losses was slightly above the high average of the past ten years.

“2010 showed the major risks we have to cope with. There were a number of severe earthquakes. The hurricane season was also eventful – it was just fortunate that the tracks of most of the storms remained over the open sea. But things could have turned out very differently”, said Torsten Jeworrek, Munich Re’s Reinsurance CEO. “The severe earthquakes and the hurricane season with so many storms demonstrate once again that there must be no slackening of our efforts to analyze these risks in detail and provide the necessary insurance covers at adequate prices. These prices calculated by the insurance industry make it possible to assess the economic consequences of these otherwise difficult-to-evaluate risks.”

Major catastrophes dominate the list of losses

In all, there were five catastrophes last year assignable to the top category of “great natural catastrophes” based on the definition criteria of the United Nations: the earthquakes in Read more…

Are you prepared for a emergency?

December 28, 2010 Comments off

The Council for Excellence in Government and American Red Cross conducted a poll that found that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita did not motivate a plurality of Americans to prepare for an emergency. Only 12 percent say they’ve done a great deal to prepare for a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or other major emergency.

The poll shows that most Americans yawned and went back to sleep (Table 1).


We are our own first responders, and it is up to each of us to create a family communication plan, put together emergency supplies, and practice evacuation plans. We are an optimistic, generous nation, which opened its hearts and wallets to those whose lives were turned upside down. We are willing to help others. Now we’ve got to help ourselves.

Patricia McGinnis is president and CEO of the Council for Excellence in Government (

Table 1. Is It Time to Wake Up?

It won't happen to me.       More than half say that one reason they
                             have not done more to prepare is because
                             they do not think another disaster is
                             likely to happen to them. We seem to
                             believe that the tragedies of Katrina and
                             Rita were terrible events with horrific
                             consequences--but the devastation was
                             someplace else--not in my community,
                             home, or business.

I don't mind inconvenience   Since the 9/11 attacks, we have given our
as long as I don't have to   leaders wide latitude to protect our
do anything.                 Nation. For the most part, we have been
                             more than willing to sacrifice some
                             privacy for safety and preparedness.
                             After July's London subway bombings, a
                             Fox News poll found that 85 percent would
                             not mind a bag search before entering
                             public transportation, which would not
                             require any extra effort on our part.

I don't know what to do.     Two months after Katrina, the Americans
                             who said they hadn't prepared because
                             they didn't know what to do actually
                             increased by 9 percent. We saw and heard
                             the desperate pleas of family members
                             separated by Katrina, yet most of us
                             still have no plan on how to communicate
                             with family members during or after a
                             disaster. Just 36 percent report that
                             they have prepared a communications plan
                             to contact loved ones in an emergency if
                             they get separated. Only one-quarter have
                             established a specific meeting place in
                             the event that they or their family are
                             evacuated or cannot return home. Only one
                             in three have stored extra food or
                             bottled water for emergencies.
Some Americans have gotten   More than half of Southerners say that
the wake up call.            the hurricanes gave them motivation to
                             prepare for a disaster. But others are
                             still hitting the snooze button: just 35
                             percent of people in the West, 31 percent
                             of people in the East, and only 21
                             percent of Mid-westerners have been
                             motivated to prepare.

We demand that our leaders give us better and more effective emergency
plans for our communities, yet only 18 percent of Americans are
familiar with their city or town's emergency plan. Even fewer are
aware of their state's plan. We know significantly more about plans
for our workplaces (45 percent) and local schools (28 percent), but
we're nowhere near ready.

The Home Survival Kit

Store everything here in sealed plastic bags or containers, and keep in a place that is fairly accessible. This probably won’t cost as much as it might seem, and you probably have most of it already. Still, if price is an issue, buy this stuff a little at a time (maybe when it’s on sale?) and eventually you will have a truly epic survival kit.

1. Water: 1 gallon per person per day. For a family of 4 that makes 12 gallons. The best way is to buy gallon jugs of drinking water, because they are pre-sanitized and sealed to prevent any nastiness from getting in. If you decide to fill your own jugs, read this for instructions on how. Also, keep a bottle of non-scented bleach – 12 drops in a gallon of water makes it drinkable, and tea bags can make it taste better.

Word to the wise: As a last resort, there is a handy backup reserve of water – in your hot water heater. Open the drain valve at the bottom to get some water of last resort. Don’t forget to sterilize it with bleach!

2. Food: Go ahead and plan out 3 days worth of meals, using non-perishable food that does not need to be heated. Canned tuna, veggies, and fruits are great, as well as canned beans and potatoes, and dried fruit and nuts. They may not taste great cold, but they will work. Peanut butter is a high-calorie food with a long shelf life. Freeze dried camping meals and MRE’s are nice too, but they can get a little pricey. Stay away from foods that will make you thirsty, like high-sodium crackers or soups, and go for whole grains as much as possible. Don’t forget to add in some comfort food. You may be stuck inside for days, and a little candy or other snacks can go a long way.

Word to the wise: Don’t forget to pack a manual can opener!

3. First Aid Kit: You can buy one for about $25, (here is a good one from the Red Cross) or you can make your own. Check out this list of suggested first aid items. Don’t forget to include any prescription medication!

4. Clothes: A full change of clothes, including warm outer layers and sturdy comfortable shoes, for each person under your roof.

5. Flashlight: A crank powered led light with a built in emergency radio is my personal favorite, but a cheapo dollar-store version will work. Don’t forget the extra batteries!

6. Plastic Sheeting: Fiber-reinforced, laminated polyethylene film, 0.006 inches thick. You can buy 1,200 square feet of Dura Skrim DS2 for about $100. Or get a tarp — for covering broken windows or roofs.

7. Zip Ties and Duct Tape: These DIY favorites are great for attaching the aforementioned plastic sheeting, or even making compression bandages or splints.

8. Protective Wear: Waterproof and cut resistant Kevlar gloves and N95 face masks. Get one face mask for each person, at least.

9. Tools: A crowbar to pry debris that might stand between you and a loved one. An adjustable wrench. Screwdrivers. A staple gun. Rope. Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type.

10. Matches: Strike-anywhere, waterproof, and windproof. Keep them in a plastic bag. In another bag, hoard some dryer lint for kindling.

11. Sanitation: Toilet paper, soap, liquid detergent, feminine supplies, personal hygiene items (travel-sized, please), plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses), plastic bucket with tight lid, disinfectant, household chlorine bleach.

12. Radio