Tropical Storms Season Commences

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Pathway of Hurricane Rita 2005

The beginning of July 2014 marked the commencement of the hurricane cycle in the North Atlantic Ocean with Hurricane Arthur slamming in to North Carolina. Shortly after, weather activity intensified in the Pacific Ocean where Typhoon Neoguri hit Japan.

Every ocean on our planet undergoes a timed cycle within every year where they experience a great frequency of tropical storms. Tropical depressions transformed in to tropical storms have different names in different oceans. All tropical storms are accompanied by torrential rain, thunderstorms and strong winds exceeding 119km/h.

North Atlantic: Hurricanes
The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea are also subject to Hurricanes.
Cycle: May to November with the highest peak in August and September

 

The North Atlantic’s worst hurricanes

Magnitude: Hurricane Allen was a category 5 hurricane that reached a wind speed of 305 km/h (190mph) and maintained its strength for 72 hours. It was considered to be as one of the most powerful hurricanes that struck the Carribean, Nort and Eastern Mexico then Southern Texas.

Fatalities: The storm surging of Lake Okeechobee was the main cause of deaths during Hurricane Katrina’s torment in Louisiana. The disastrous hurricane resulted in the most recorded death, 1200 fatalities.

Damage: The Great Miami Hurricane in 1926 posed as the most destructive Hurricane with a loss of +$100 billion in damages.

Click on the following for a descriptive reading of the buildup of the Great Miami Hurricane

The following link shows the top 10 disastrous Hurricanes
http://www.esri.com/services/disaster-response/hurricanes/top-ten-hurricanes

Indian Ocean: Cyclones
The Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea are also subject to Cyclones.
Cycle: April to June and September to November

The Indian Ocean’s worst Cyclone
Cyclone Phailin

Affected over half a million inhabitants in India

http://theconversation.com/super-cyclonic-storm-phailin-the-strongest-cyclone-ever-in-the-north-indian-ocean-basin-19128

Pacific Ocean: Typhoons
Cycle: November to April

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The trails of past typhoons from 1970 to 2005

The Pacific Ocean’s worst Typhoon
Typhoon Haiyan

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/08/typhoon-haiyan-biggest-storms

REFERENCES
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Allen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1926_Miami_hurricane
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_katrina
http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/factsheet/tropicalcyclones.html

 

Storm Leon

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The cold wave which froze majority of Canada and the northern region of the U.S. has continued to move down south and has now turned in to a winter storm called Leon.

The storm did not create as much snowfall in comparison to the cold wave, however it bought about a great build up of ice which caused a lot more damage and traffic within large cities such as Atlanta, Georgia.

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Click the link below to watch a video elaborating on the anatomy of Storm Leon

http://bcove.me/0vjqf794

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A live coverage replay of Storm Leon and furture upcoming snow storms

http://www.weather.com/news/winter-storm-leon-live-updates-snow-ice-storm-20140127

 

This is an informative video which mentions the impacts  occurring within every southern and Midwest state in the USA caused by Storm Leon.

REFERENCES

http://www.mail.com/sports/basketball/2606682-storm-postpones-pistons-hawks-alabama-auburn.html

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20781031,00.html

Winter Storms Take Over the Northern Hemisphere

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This winter has seen a series of unequivocal extreme weather events firstly starting with Egypt going white.

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Winter storm Alexa overcoming Europe

The Middle Eastern storm, Alexa, created precipitation in the form of snowfall in Egypt overnight on the 11th of December. This weather phenomenon was named the ‘Middle East Cold Snap.” It was the first time in 112 years that the Egyptians had experienced a white Christmas with temperatures falling as low as 28 degrees. Although the heavy snowfall caused 4 ports to close down, two at the Mediterranean and another 2 at the Red Sea, the snowy weather surely bought about excitement within the residents as many were seen outside enjoying the snow and beauty as it covered the pyramids with a white blanket of snow.

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The Egyptiain Pyramids covered in a blanket of snow

Other parts of the Middle East experienced snowfall as well including Israel, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria. Lebanon received more than 3 feet of snow where 5 inches fell in Syrian refugee camps in the northern and eastern region. The snowfall in Syria affected many including the tens of thousands of refugees who stay in plastic tents with no access to a heating ventilation system. The 3 inches of snowfall in Homs furthered discomfort for the war-torn city.

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The holy snowy city of Jerusalem

The holy city of Jerusalem, Israel experienced snow for the first time in 5 decades with Gaza experiencing snowfall for the first time in a decade. Their armed forces were required to aid 35,000 homes of which went out of power. Public transport was at a halt as the city was covered deep in 20 inches of snow. The worst hit communities were West Bank and Gaza of which were aided by UN relief teams. 500 people were evacuated. At a lower elevation Alexa produced precipitation in the form of rain causing flooding. Further south east of the map, northern Vietnam too experienced some strange snowfall. December and January are considered to be the dry season for Vietnam, however they experienced heavy rainfall of 142 mm within 24 hours causing inundated houses due to flooding. Parts of China and Laos experienced this heavy rainfall, yet in Sa Pa and the mountainous areas of Vietnam received snow. The snow attracted more than 5000 civilians causing a five hour traffic jam within the mountainous province of Lao Cai. Arable and livestock farms were destroyed with 900hectares of vegetables buried within the snow and 60 buffalos and cows dying due to the lack of adaptation to the frost.

An Arctic cold front travelled southwards affecting majority of North America currently experiencing a cold wave and a series of snowstorms. Jet streams were exceptional stronger than normal as there was a great difference in pressure creating strong winds. Temperatures have fluctuated and due to the front they have fallen to unprecedented levels within the region with some areas as low as temperature records occurring in the Antarctic, for example New York had a temperature high of 21°C and Miami experienced its highest temperature low of 57°F. Over 200 million within a distance of the Rocky Mountains in the west to the Atlantic Ocean along the east coast and further south in to the United States a 187 million people were furthermore affected by the snowstorm.

Canada was hit first by the winter storm producing a 10 to 30mm build up of ice. This led to 11 deaths with hundreds of thousands without power and electricity. Mass cancellation of flights occurred in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The eastern Prairie Provinces, Ontario, Quebec, and the Northwest Territories. Winnipeg remained the coldest city during the cold wave with temperatures reaching as low as −36 °C (−33 °F) on January 7th. Other areas experienced major low records with Southern Ontario breaking temperature records. Emergency warm-up centers were opened in Toronto for those of whom were without power.

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Weather forecast of Low temperatures and wind chill in North America

In the US the cold wave stretched and even effected parts of the south including Central Florida as well as Northeastern Mexico. Over 400,000 people in Michigan, New York and New England were without power. The cold wave also set off  flooding with heavy rainstorms in Kentucky killing four people and tornadoes in Arkansas.

All in all unprecedented weather has been experienced all around the world raising questions as to whether the Earths global temperature is rising or cooling. The arrival of Storm Leon in North America has made it clear that the occurrence of these extreme weather events are not yet over.

REFERENCES

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2535029/Coldest-morning-decades-Millions-wake-record-low-temperatures-final-blast-POLAR-VORTEX-barreling-U-S-creating-coldest-temperatures-recorded-20-years.html#ixzz2rawZiTnn

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_North_American_cold_wave http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_wave

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex

http://www.weather.com/maps/maptype/severeusnational/index_large.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2535029/Coldest-morning-decades-Millions-wake-record-low-temperatures-final-blast-POLAR-VORTEX-barreling-U-S-creating-coldest-temperatures-recorded-20-years.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2535029/Coldest-morning-decades-Millions-wake-record-low-temperatures-final-blast-POLAR-VORTEX-barreling-U-S-creating-coldest-temperatures-recorded-20-years.html

http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/national/weather-forecast-maps?day=2

Typhoon Haiyan – PHILIPPINES

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Fantastic coverage of Typhoon Haiyan from the landfall in Tacloban to the clearing up of the super storm

‘Super Typhoon HAIYAN (YOLANDA) in Tacloban City, Philippines’

On November 8th Typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest storms to ever occur in South East Asia, made landfall in Central Philippines. 

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The arrival of the storm was of no surprise, however the impact it made left behind nothing but dismantled and blown away houses along with the fatalities and misplacement of humans. The speed at which the category 5 storm was moving may have spared many more lives than expected as it made its way from the Philippines further south to Vietnam.

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The Philippines is located within the tropical belt [5°N -20°N] and so it experiences 20 typhoons on average within a year. It does not go through an official typhoon season as there is none and so typhoons form throughout the year with June-November receiving the most frequent amount of typhoons.

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According to the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor they have recorded and estimated Typhoon Haiyan’s winds to be at 190 to 195 mph, with gusts to 230 mph nearly attaining the maximum speed for a typhoon due to its warm seas. Waves reached 12 to 15 feet in Samar and Leyte.

The unprecedented storm simply left the government unprepared to handle the aftermath. 18 million people were in the storm’s path and according to Filipino authorities the death toll has now official raised to 6000, however local officials in the province of Leyte have reported more than 10,000 dead. Neighborhoods are now deserted with death tolls in remote areas doubling overnight, where populous cities like Tacloban, which had 220 000 residing in it now has remnants of denuded hills and rubble from torn down buildings of which can no longer stand.

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However, authorities were praised as they managed to evacuate 1 million people before the storm hit the nation. The unprecedented storm made damages worth $15 billion. The 7.2 magnitude that hit the province of Bohol on October 15th still currently has 350,000 people temporarily residing in shelters. Fortunately, they were not located within Typhoon Haiyan’s path and so were not as affected in comparison to civilians residing within the island of Leyte.

Six ships had sailed ashore due to the large waves. Rooftops were blown away along with houses of which were secure and well-constructed. Many believed that the intensity and magnitude of the storm was too massive and severe to handle. Civilians and authorities did not anticipate that the aftermath would be as devastating as it appeared to be. The main impact Typhoon Haiyan had on the Philippines apart from the resulting death toll was that it cut off telecommunications, closed airports and pathways to islands such as Samar, Leyte, Cebu and Panay. Reviving telecommunications and power is said to even take months with the extent of the damage. This will inevitable slow down rescue effort and the delivery of aid.

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung personally saw to it that preparations for Haiyan were carried out accordingly. He declared the highest level of alert.

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Infrastructure is expensive and so are national preparedness programs. Unfortunately, the Philippines are ranked 165 in the world by GDP Capita just under the Republic of Congo and so it is considered to be in poverty. The infrastructure created by the government was poorly built resulting to why many families have lost their homes and have been displaced. Tacloban was completely inaccessible after the storm had passed leaving people struggling and waiting for aid, food and shelter.

After landfall in the Philippines it immediately made its way across the South China Sea eventually making landfall in Vietnam. Vietnam experienced less damage in comparison to the Philippines as the typhoon surprisingly weakened as it travelled across the South China Sea. Authorities were aware of the extent of the damage it caused the Philippines and so they prepared beforehand. 6.5 million People out of 90 million were supposed to be affected by the storm. They managed to evacuate 800,000 people; however there were only 14 deaths. They received praise from the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies for the plans they successfully managed to carry out.

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It is easy to say that when a nation falls it can stand back up. In the Philippines case it is possible, but with the amount of damage the unprecedented storm had left behind the Philippine’s aim to recover as quickly as possible will be just as difficult. Aid is currently being provided to areas hit and safety and recovery has been initiated. The death toll continues to rise with families having to undergo mass body burials. Typhoon Haiyan left a scar for all Filipinos affected not just in the Philippines but all over the world.

‘The “miserable” situation in Tacloban, Philippines’

‘Super Typhoon Yolanda Hits Philippines – CNN Report’

‘Oxfam worker describes ‘devestation’ in the Philippines’

Aid for the Philippines – Typhoon Haiyan

Inspiring Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda Stories That Caught My Heart

REFERENCES

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/11/world/asia/typhoon-haiyan/

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/13/world/asia/philippines-typhoon-haiyan/

 http://www.thenation.com/blog/177119/typhoon-haiyan-global-poor-bear-deadly-brunt-climate-change#

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon_Haiyan

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/11/typhoon-haiyan-bears-down-vietnam-201311111135204425.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25051606

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24985592

http://weather.com.ph/announcements/super-typhoon-haiyan-yolanda-update-number-007