Thursday, September 21, 2017

Deadliest Hurricane, 1900

In 1900, a category 4 hurricane slammed into the city of Galveston, Texas. The damage was astonishing; 3,600 buildings destroyed by winds over 135 miles. Storm surges got up to 15 feet and up to 12,000 people died. The reason that there was so much damage was because the Weather Bureau in Washington had predicted that the storm would pass over Florida and move up to New England, which was really wrong.

At this time, the Weather Bureau, which later became the National Weather Service, was only 10 years old and wasn't very advanced. The bureau's director had shut down communication about weather between Cuba and the united States and told U.S. forecasters that they had to go through Washington in order to issue a hurricane warning, which just made everything more difficult. The regional meteorologists realized that the storm wasn't going to pass them too late and did not have enough time to warn the city.

In the wake of the Galveston Hurricane, the Weather Bureau opened up communication channels, both internationally and within the US. It is because of devastating storms like Galveston that we have such a reliable weather predicting service now.

Library of Congress image of Galveston hurricane damage

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Nuclear Weather Simulator Uses Today's Weather

With so much chaos in the world, scientists have redeveloped a Nuclear test map that any can use.  While it is fun to play around with, it is also extremely frightening.  The new map uses real-time weather forecasts to predict a number of casualties and damage done to a region.  You have the option of picking a bomb, picking the city, and more with this interactive map.

Nukemap is designed to illustrate the damage that can be caused by a nuclear bomb.  By using the weather, it makes the situation even more realistic.  The sheer number of options available for your own bomb is quite frightening as well.  This goes to show how important the weather can be to an entire nation.

nukemap 150 kiloton nuclear explosion san francisco alex wellerstein stevens

Heavy Rain Threatens Midwest

In recent weeks, the lower United States and Caribbean Islands have been greatly affected by four different Hurricanes.  While many have stepped in to help the families living in these areas, one can't help but be relieved that it didn't affect them.  This is just the nature of humans.  But let's not get too comfortable.

According to the Weather Network, severe rainstorms are heading towards the plains and Midwest.  Experts are warning anyone "from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to northern Missouri" to stay safe and prepare shelter.  They say that the cold front will last until Friday, bringing a scatter of wind, rain, and hail.  Hopefully, this does not predict what Fall will be like for the Midwest.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hurricane Katrina, A Storm for the Ages

Hurricane Katrina is quite possibly the United State’s most popular hurricane ever. Katrina started out as a tropical depression when it showed up southeast of the bahamas then worked its way up to a tropical storm, and then a hurricane. By the time Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, it was a category 5 hurricane. The damage it left was wildly devastating to multiple communities.

The official death toll of Katrina is 1,836 casualties, with 1,577 from Louisiana and the rest all coming from surrounding states in the south. Katrina also left behind roughly $108 billion in damage and millions of people homeless. After Katrina, many newer, better, ways to evacuate and alert the public were created as well as a new and improved levee system.

Hurricane Maria, "extremely dangerous" storm, pounds Dominica

Hurricane Maria, an "extremely dangerous" storm, made landfall on the small island of Dominica Monday night as a Category 5 storm, then weakened ever-so-slightly to a Category 4, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said early Tuesday.

The storm had maximum winds at 155 mph as it surged into the eastern Caribbean. 

The Dominica Prime Minister was tweeting about the devastation. One tweet reads "My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding."

The storm was on a path that would take it near many of the islands already wrecked by Hurricane Irma and then on toward Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Maria could hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday, said Ernesto Morales with the U.S. National Weather Service in San Juan.

The NHC forecast Maria's eye would move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday and approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Tuesday night and Wednesday.  

Hurricane warnings were issued for Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat. A tropical storm warning was issued for Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin, St. Lucia, Martinique and Anguilla.

University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy says one key sign of Maria's growing strength is what center forecasters call "the dreaded pinhole eye." Maria's eye has shrunk to 10 miles in diameter -- a smaller, tighter eye makes the hurricane spin faster.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Hurricane Jose: Still Relevant

Hurricane Jose may not hit land -- but its effects were still felt Monday.
The Category 1 storm continued to move away from the U.S. east coast, producing dangerous surf and rip currents. It wasn't predicted to make landfall. 
After the Caribbean was left devastated by Hurricane Irma, there was worry that Jose could do further damage. But it appears to have mainly spared the area.
Hurricane Jose is approximately 230 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and 445 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, the National Hurricane Center’s 8 p.m. ET advisory said Monday. It has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
The NHC said that "the center of Jose is forecast to pass well offshore of the Delmarva Peninsula tonight and Tuesday, and pass well to the east of the New Jersey coast on Wednesday." 
Jose was downgraded to a tropical storm last week, earlier than initially expected by forecasters but then Jose became a Category 1 hurricane again on Friday. 
Image result for hurricane jose 2017

Pacific Coast Hurricane Patricia

Record-breaking Hurricane Patricia had stronger maximum sustained winds at its peak intensity than previously thought, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Thursday.
The NHC report says that maximum sustained winds topped out at 215 mph (185 knots) on the morning of Oct. 23, 2015, when Patricia was spinning off the coast of Mexico in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This is 15 mph higher than the 200-mph winds stated in advisories issued by the NHC when the hurricane was ongoing, which already made it the strongest hurricane on record in either the eastern Pacific or Atlantic Ocean basins.
Patricia rapidly organized and intensified as maximum sustained winds with the storm increased 120 mph in a 24-hour window from 85 mph at 1 a.m. CDT on Oct. 22 to 205 mph at 1 a.m. CDT Oct. 23.
Just 30 hours after peaking in intensity as the most powerful tropical cyclone ever measured in the Western Hemisphere, former Hurricane Patricia degenerated into a weak remnant low over northeast Mexico.
Image result for hurricane patricia 2015
Satellite picture of Hurricane Patricia on October 22, 2015
Hurricane Patricia became the strongest Pacific hurricane on record shortly after midnight CDT early on Oct. 23. Air Force Hurricane Hunters had flown through the eye of Patricia and reported a sea-level pressure of 894 millibars as measured by a dropsonde inside the eye itself. Wind measurements suggested that the pressure measurement was not in the exact center of the eye and was probably not the absolute lowest pressure, prompting NHC to estimate the minimum central pressure at 892 millibars in its special 12:30 a.m. CDT advisory.