With hurricane Sandy fresh in the United States, the following is some great info and short videos explaining the ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ etc of these ‘perfect storms…
http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-hurricane.htm Contains what a hurricane needs to form, stages of a hurricane, and safety tips.
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/forces-of-nature-kids/hurricanes-101-kids/ Find out how hurricanes can be so destructive. … National Geographic Kids. Tiger Get the Facts · Kids Home …
http://theweatherchannelkids.com/cool-clips/ How much can you learn about hurricanes in just 60 seconds? A whole lot!
- Hurricane Sandy and SEC Filings (securitiesnewswatch.com)
- Mitt Romney Deliberately Impedes Hurricane Response (theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com)
- Was Hurricane Sandy supersized by climate change? (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
- VIDEO: Hurricane Sandy bears down on US (bbc.co.uk)
- Global Warming and Hurricane Sandy? (bigthink.com)
- 11 Resources to Teach about Hurricanes (educatorstechnology.com)
- The Size Of Hurricane Sandy – How Does It Compare? (pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com)
- How to Help Families in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy (praiserichmond.com)
- Weather Underground’s ‘Weather Weenies’ Electrified By Hurricane Sandy (huffingtonpost.com)
A hurricane is a huge storm! It can be up to 600 miles across and have strong winds spiraling inward and upward at speeds of 75 to 200 mph. Each hurricane usually lasts for over a week, moving 10-20 miles per hour over the open ocean. Hurricanes gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters. Evaporation from the seawater increases their power. Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around an “eye” in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere. The center of the storm or “eye” is the calmest part. It has only light winds and fair weather. When they come onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and large waves can damage buildings, trees and cars.
If you live an area that’s prone to hurricanes, then an emergency kit can be a big help for you. A hurricane survival kit is designed to give you all the basic things you need to survive and be safe, from a way to get clean water for yourself to first aid kits and other helpful tools.
How do hurricanes form?
Hurricanes only form over really warm ocean water of 80°F or warmer. The atmosphere (the air) must cool off very quickly the higher you go. Also, the wind must be blowing in the same direction and at the same speed to force air upward from the ocean surface. Winds flow outward above the storm allowing the air below to rise. Hurricanes typically form between 5 to 15 degrees latitude north and south of the equator. The Coriolis Force is needed to create the spin in the hurricane and it becomes too weak near the equator, so hurricanes can never form there.
Click Here to learn more about hurricanes from UCAR.
What is storm surge?
Storm surges are frequently the most devastating element of a hurricane. As a hurricane’s winds spiral around and around the storm, they push water into a mound at the storm’s center. This mound of water becomes dangerous when the storm reaches land because it causes flooding along the coast. The water piles up, unable to escape anywhere but on land as the storm carries it landward. A hurricane will cause more storm surge in areas where the ocean floor slopes gradually. This causes major flooding.
As you watch the storm-surge animations, notice the effect that the physical geography of each coastline has on storm surge. Also, note the waves on top of the ocean’s surface. Wind, waves, and sea-level rise all contribute to storm-surge damage.
With technology the way it is, there are computer models that allow forecasters to predict the amount of storm surge that will affect a coastal area. These are called Slosh Models and take into account a storm’s strength, its path, how the ocean shallows, and the shape of the land. Then it calculates how much storm surge a hurricane will probably cause.
When does hurricane season start?
The Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30, but most hurricanes occur during the fall months. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season is from May 15 to November 30. (Below is a graphic that shows you when hurricanes are most active across parts of the world.)
Who names hurricanes?
From 1950 to 1952, tropical cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean were identified by the phonetic alphabet (Able-Baker-Charlie-etc.), but in 1953 the US Weather Bureau switched to women’s names. The rest of the world eventually caught on, and naming rights now go by the World Meteorological Organization, which uses different sets of names depending on the part of the world the storm is in. Around the U.S., only women’s names were used until 1979, when it was decided that they should alternate a list that included men’s names too. There’s 6 different name lists that alternate each year. If a hurricane does significant damage, its name is retired and replaced with another.
Atlantic Hurricane Names
Eastern Pacific Hurricane Names
What is the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon?
Nothing except geography. Tropical storms occur in several of the world’s oceans, and except for their names, they are essentially the same type of storm. In the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Eastern Pacific Ocean, they are called hurricanes. In the Western Pacific Ocean, they are called typhoons. In the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal, and Australia, these types of storms are called cyclones.
(This is a satellite animation of Hurricane Georges, which struck the Mississippi Gulf coast in 1998.)
Who are the “Hurricane Hunters”?
The brave “hurricane hunters” work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Each mission lasts about ten hours, with the crews passing four to six times through the storm. The planes carry radar, sophisticated computers, and weather instruments that determine characteristics such as temperature, air pressure, wind speed, and wind direction inside the hurricane. The crews also release instruments that measure temperature, air pressure, and wind at different levels as the devices drop through the hurricane toward the ocean. By mission’s end, NOAA can warn everyone in the hurricane’s path. (Below is a satellite image of Hurricane Mitch back in October 1998. The Hurricane Hunters flew into the eye of Mitch just as this Category 5 hurricane with winds of 155 mph smacked right into Central America.)
What is coastal beach erosion?
Coastal beach erosion is the wearing away of land, the removal of beach or dune sediments by wave action, tidal currents, wave currents, or drainage. Waves are generated by storms, wind, or hurricanes and can cause coastal erosion. This may take the form of long-term losses of sediment and rocks, or merely the temporary redistribution of coastal sediments.
Hurricanes…Past and Present
Tropical Tracks: Click to see the tracks of this year’s storms.
Past Hurricane Info: Click to find all the data and information about a specific hurricane by just knowing the year.
Know the Lingo
TROPICAL STORM WATCH - Tropical Storm conditions with sustained winds from 39 -74 mph are possible in your area within the next 36 hours.
TROPICAL STORM WARNING - Tropical Storm conditions are expected in your area within the next 24 hours.
HURRICANE WATCH - Hurricane conditions with sustained winds of 74 mph or greater are possible in your area within the next 36 hours. This WATCH should trigger your family’s disaster plan, and protective measures should be initiated. Especially, those actions that require extra time such as securing a boat and leaving a barrier island.
HURRICANE WARNING - Hurricane conditions are expected in your area within 24 hours. Once this WARNING has been issued, your family should be in the process of completing protective actions and deciding the safest location to be during the storm.
COASTAL FLOOD WATCH - The possibility exists for the inundation of land areas along the coast within the next 12 to 36 hours.
COASTAL FLOOD WARNING - Land areas along the coast are expected to become, or have become, inundated by sea water above the typical tide action.
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY - A small craft advisory is a type of warning issued by the National Weather Service, most frequently in coastal areas. It is issued when winds have reached, or are expected to reach within 12 hours, a speed marginally less than that which is considered gale force, usually 25-38 mph.
Click Here to see if there are any active warnings in your area.
|Tropical Wave||A low pressure trough moving generally westward with the trade winds.|
|Tropical Disturbance||An organized area of thunderstorms that usually forms in the tropics. Typically, they maintain their identity for 24 hours and are accompanied by heavy rains and gusty winds.|
|Tropical Cyclone||A generic term for any organized low pressure that develops over tropical and sometimes sub-tropical waters. Tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes are all example of tropical cyclones.|
|Tropical Depression||An organized area of low pressure in which sustained winds are 38 mph or less.|
|Tropical Storm||A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained wind speeds that range from 39 to 73 mph.|
|Hurricane||A tropical cyclone with sustained winds of at least 74 mph.|
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
|Category||Winds (MPH)||Pressure (Millibars)||Pressure(Inches)||Storm Surge
To learn more about hurricanes, Click Here to watch a variety of videos teaching you the ins and outs of nature’s fury. I would like to give a special thanks to Pinellas County Emergency management for putting these instructional videos together.
Hurricane Safety Tips
BEFORE A HURRICANE: Have a disaster plan and a pet plan ready. Before a storm threatens, contact your veterinarian or local humane society for information on preparing your pets for an emergency. Board up windows and bring in outdoor objects that could blow away. Make sure you know which county or parish you live in and know where all the evacuation routes are.
Prepare a disaster supplies kit for your home and car. Include a first aid kit, canned food and a can opener, bottled water, battery-operated radio, flashlight, protective clothing and written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water. Have a NOAA weather radio handy with plenty of batteries, so you can listen to storm advisories. Have some cash handy as well, because following a hurricane, banks and ATMs may be temporarily closed.Make sure your car is filled with gasoline.
DURING A HURRICANE: Stay away from low-lying and flood prone areas.Always stay indoors during a hurricane, because strong winds will blow things around. Leave mobile homes and to go to a shelter. If your home isn’t on higher ground, go to a shelter. If emergency managers say to evacuate, then do so immediately.
AFTER A HURRICANE: Stay indoors until it is safe to come out. Check for injured or trapped people, without putting yourself in danger. Watch out for flooding which can happen after a hurricane. Do not attempt to drive in flooding water. Stay away from standing water. It may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines. Don’t drink tap water until officials say its safe to do so.
Source : Weatherkids
- How Hurricanes Work (Infographic) (livescience.com)
- Was Hurricane Sandy supersized by climate change? (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
- Hurricane Sandy’s Storm Surge: A Preview of Things to Come (forbes.com)
- 1775 Hurricane Had A Thirty Foot Storm Surge (stevengoddard.wordpress.com)
- ‘Frankenstorm’: More than just a name, Hurricane Sandy could be building to a perfect storm (itv.com)
- Watch: Superstorm Sandy 2012: Strongest Pictures (abcnews.go.com)
- “Hurricanes: Their Nature And Impacts On Society” Published In 1997 By Pielke Jr. and Pielke Sr. Available As A PDF (pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com)
- NYC Hazards: Storm Surge (thesmileystone.wordpress.com)
- Sandy Pounds Ocean City; Several Structures Damaged (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
Technology is at once a hugely constructive and a hugely destructive force, and for the most part we have been content to ignore the latter while enjoying the benefits of the former. But, suggests Ian Michler, it’s high time that we begin to think seriously – and innovatively – about tempering its damaging effects. From ‘The Ecologist’.
Let’s look at some of the high-tech developments that we take for granted, like the combustion engine, super-tankers, plastic products, splitting the atom, deep mining techniques, drug manufacture and space travel. When they arrived on the scene they were all major advances, technologies that would make our lives easier and more successful. And, if we ignore everything but the direct impact they have had on individual lives, mostly they have done that. As time has passed, though, we now know that when viewed collectively as the primary components of our means of production and consumption – in other words, our global footprint – their impact on the planet has been hugely significant and ultimately negative.
Driven by the notion that a constantly increasing rate of economic growth is the overriding marker of a successful society, developing or purchasing more advanced technologies has become fundamental to fulfilling this aim. And with the array of new tools at our disposal, we have been able to reach further, deeper and higher into every imaginable ecosystem and exploit more effectively every possible resource. History indicates that most engineers or scientists side with the vested interests of the day, and it is also apparent that each generation of innovators has failed to consider the contraindications or long-term consequences of their technologies. Spare a thought for the generation 50 years hence and what it may have to deal with because of today’s scientists who are forging ahead with genetic engineering. After well over a century of this developmental model, it is now difficult to argue that the world’s natural systems – so vital for our survival – are not faltering.
- Swirling Ocean Currents Help Spread Sea Life (livescience.com)
- Slice of History: Advanced Ocean Technology Development Platform (blogs.jpl.nasa.gov)
- Donovan Data Systems and MediaBank Merge to Form MediaOcean, the Largest Independent Advertising Technology Company in the World (prnewswire.com)
- Technology of Ideas TedxAmsterdan [Andre Biester] (ecademy.com)
- In Planning Digital Defenses, the Biggest Obstacle Is Human Ingenuity (nytimes.com)
- Roundtable on Engineering Entrepreneurship Research (kauffman.org)
- TVS Motor develops technology to usher in common engine for two-wheelers (thehindu.com)
- Swirling currents help spread sea life (msnbc.msn.com)
- New Director for NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (uwtreasures.wordpress.com)
- Nodes, Sensors, and Internet Access at the Bottom of the Ocean (singularityhub.com)
A new earthquake on Monday is indeed ‘shocking’ to the psyche – including kids…
Children are amongst those most affected by Christchurch’s aftershocks. Police escort children from a preschool after a building collapsed on the corner of Worcester and Stanmore.
GNS Science seismologists said the newly confirmed fault had already generated a number of quakes since the deadly February 22 event.
Dr Bill Fry said the dominant energy in Monday’s magnitude 5.7 and 6.3 aftershocks had been horizontal compared with vertical in February’s 6.3 quake.
This meant they were felt differently.
Unfortunately for Cantabrians, rather than reduce the statistical probability of another big quake, yesterday’s violent shakes will, for a time, increase the risk of another large aftershock of similar magnitude.
However, GNS Science hazard modeller Dr Matt Gerstenberger said that elevated level of risk would not last long.
It was also important to realise the risk estimates, and any other aftershock forecasts, were only computer models based on average quake sequences and not derived from any physical evidence, he said.
The calculations from GNS Science warned of a 23 per cent probability of a quake of magnitude 6.0 to 6.9 hitting the Canterbury aftershock zone within the next 12 months.
GNS Science said the risk of an aftershock of that size occurring under or close to Christchurch was much lower – around 6 per cent.
Yesterday’s largest earthquakes were located close to the coast and slightly south of the eastern tip of the Port Hills fault, which generated the magnitude-6.3 quake on February 22.
Given their similar positions, scientists say the 1pm earthquake is believed to be a foreshock of the second quake.
GNS Science seismologist Dr John Ristau said it would take time for more precise locations and magnitudes to be assigned to yesterday’s quakes.
Ristau said after the Queen’s Birthday Monday 5.5-magnitude aftershock the trend had been for the large aftershocks to get larger – up from magnitudes 5.0 to 5.1 to 5.3 to 5.5 in recent months. However, there was no evidence that trend would continue.
“Every aftershock sequence is different,” he said yesterday.
The quakes would probably kick off a more active spell of aftershocks.
“We can probably expect to get some [magnitude] fours for the next few days, [and] we may have another magnitude 5.0,” he said.
Ground on either side of the fault that caused the two aftershocks had slipped sideways to the right and land on the southern side of it had lifted up against the northern side.
Natural Hazards Platform manager Dr Kelvin Berryman , of GNS Science, said the strongly felt shakes were “within the range of forecasted aftershocks as modelled by scientists”.
“These aftershocks were within the existing Canterbury aftershock zone and were within probabilities.
“This size of events is likely to produce its own aftershock sequence, therefore rejuvenating aftershock activity at least in the short term. We would expect a number of aftershocks in the magnitude 4.0 to 5.0 range in the coming days and weeks.”
Asked if it was the “big” quake forecast as a one-in-four chance in the next year, Berryman said “possibly”.
“Whether it is the one or not, this in itself kicks the probabilities again, so we have to go back and recalculate.”
- The Press
@ John Baker #10 There’s no volcano building under Christchurch. A magma chamber would have show up like dog’s balls on the recent mag and seismic surveys. Despite your interpretation the pattern of faulting is actually fairly normal given the nature of the tectonics of the region
It was a full moon again folks. Of course GNS won’t predict quakes..too much prestige tied up in their degrees, peer pressure and unwillingness to take a punt. All they can do is keep the score and make backwards looking discoveries..oh look. a new fault..wow..time to deliver another paper at some sunny location overseas… GNS do a wonderful job tracking the quakes..no argument..but getting them to predict one? Maybe they should go outside and see if it’s a full moon. Yup. Tie down the TV again.
Ken Ring said that activity would die down after April, he was clearly wrong again
Trevor #1, Crane #2, and Nancy #3: Scientists don’t get paid for predicting these things, they get paid to find out about them. They are studying what is happening now in order to get a better idea of what might happen in the future. If scientists already knew all there was to know, we wouldn’t need them any more – we could just look things up in books. They would undoubtedly rather be in their labs doing the work they love to do, rather than being asked questions by journalists only to have scorn thrown on their answers by ignorant members of the public.
Nancy – scientists can’t say for sure because there is no rule book for earthquakes,including those affecting Christchurch. What scientists can do is observe phenomena,collate evidence,propose explanations based on their observations then test those theories in the real world. It’s called science, and along with much else it led to the computer you composed your “opinion” on and the means for you to share it with the world. If you would rather have mumbo jumbo I suggest Ken Ring. Me,- I’ll keep listening to the scentists.
Perhaps volcano i building up under Christchurch. This is not normal set of quakes.
#1 and #3 — What you fail to recognize is that most complicated things (such as earthquakes) involve both uncertainty and an element of probability. Scientists can work to reduce uncertainty, but fundamental randomness can only be quantified. So, I can say with perfect certainty that a coin flip has a 50% chance of being a head…. but no level of science can predict whether it will be or not. The fact that we can’t predict events perfectly does not make it less important to understand the probabilities involved.
YEAP … that’s it guys, lets all start fighting amongst ourselves, that will DEFINITELY solve the problem. Who cares about the whos, what, whys and maybes, we are all living with the reality of today. So lets remember that unity that we have felt over the last few months, and hold it close to ourselves again.
I find it amazing how we have lost sight of the fact that this is a daily occurance around the world for people. We write about it as if we are the only ones to ever have been placed in this situation. The ground will settle down eventually. We all know it’s an inaccurate science and need to just get over it. I live in Rangiora and my house foundations broke up on Sept. 4th. My place of work was destroyed in the Feb. 22nd one. Lets just all try and chill out a bit.
- Aftershocks Fray Nerves in Christchurch (online.wsj.com)
- Aftershocks Fray Nerves in Christchurch – Wall Street Journal (news.google.com)
- Video: New Zealand Quake Shook Ground Like Jelly (livescience.com)
- Aftershocks Hit Christchurch (online.wsj.com)
- Strong earthquakes rock shaken New Zealand city – again (csmonitor.com)
- Christchurch New Zealand hit hard again (echlinm.wordpress.com)
- Christchurch earthquake: buildings destroyed by strong aftershocks (telegraph.co.uk)
- One person killed after Christchurch aftershock (independent.co.uk)
- Months after devastating earthquake, New Zealand hit again by aftershocks (thestar.com)
- Big aftershocks rock damaged New Zealand city (abclocal.go.com)
Japan is reeling after the region northeast of Tokyo was hit by the biggest earthquake since the temblor that devastated the port city of Kobe in 1995.
Buildings were also damaged in Tokyo amid reports of injuries, and airports were closed as well as some rail services. Office buildings were evacuated and the suspension of all mobile phone networks added to the impression of panic and chaos.
A massive 8.9 magnitude quake hit northeast Japan on Friday, causing many injuries, fires and a four-metre (13-ft) tsunami along parts of the country’s coastline, NHK television and witnesses reported. There were several strong aftershocks and a warning of a 10m tsunami following the quake, which also caused buildings to shake violently in the capital Tokyo.
TV pictures showed a vast wall of water carrying buildings and debris across a large swathe of coastal farmland. Public broadcaster NHK showed flames and black smoke billowing from a building in Odaiba, a Tokyo suburb, and bullet trains to the north of the country were halted.
The monster 8.9-magnitude earthquake which hit Japan was the country’s biggest ever and the seventh largest on record, according to US Geological Survey data.
he Japanese archipelago is located in an area where several continental and oceanic plates meet. This is the cause of frequent earthquakes and the presence of many volcanoes and hot springs acrossJapan. If earthquakes occur below or close to the ocean, they may trigger tidal waves (tsunami).
Many parts of the country have experienced devastating earthquakes and tidal waves in the past. TheGreat Kanto Earthquake, the worst in Japanese history, hit the Kanto plain around Tokyo in 1923 and resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 people.
In January 1995 a strong earthquake hit the city of Kobe and surroundings. Known as the Southern Hyogo Earthquake or Great Hanshin Earthquake, it killed 6,000 and injured 415,000 people. 100,000 homes were completely destroyed and 185,000 were severely damaged.
The Japanese “shindo” scale for measuring earthquakes is more commonly used in Japan than the Richter scale to describe earthquakes. Shindo refers to the intensity of an earthquake at a given location, i.e. what people actually feel at a given location, while the Richter scale measures the magnitude of an earthquake, i.e. the energy an earthquake releases at the epicenter.
The shindo scale ranges from shindo one, a slight earthquake felt only by people who are not moving, to shindo seven, a severe earthquake. Shindo two to four are still minor earthquakes that do not cause damage, while objects start to fall at shindo five, and heavier damage occurs at shindo six and seven.
Fear for islands as whole of Pacific placed on alert
The tsunami set off by Japan’s major earthquake is currently higher than some Pacific islands which it could wash over, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said today.
“Our biggest concern is the Asia and Pacific region, where developing countries are far more vulnerable to this type of unfolding disaster. The tsunami is a major threat,” Paul Conneally, spokesman for the Federation, the world’s biggest disaster relief network, told Reuters in Geneva.
“At the moment, it is higher than some islands and could go right over them,” he said.
The warning issued at 0730 GMT follows a massive earthquake that has struck off the northeastern coast of Japan. It includes russia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific coast of South America.
The alert was later widened to include the western coast of the United States and Canada from the Mexican border to Chignik Bay in Alaska.
Sirens were sounded in Honolulu alerting people in coastal areas to evacuate. The authorities in the US state, which has been deviated by tsunamis in the past, have well-drilled procedures in the case of alerts. Many of the holidaymakers in Hawaii now facing the tsunami warning are from Japan.
* Russian authorities evacuated some 11,000 residents from Pacific islands in anticipation of tsunami waves unleashed by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off Japan’s northeastern coast.
The regional emergency officials said that the tsunami could hit several coastal towns and villages on four Pacific islands, which the Soviet Union seized from Japan in the final days of the World War II. The islands lie as close as six miles (10 kilometers) to Japan’s Hokkaido island.
The first tsunami wave was 50 centimeters (1 foot 8 inches) when it reached the village of Malo-Kurilks, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said. There were no immediate reports of damage.
Authorities on the Kamchatka Peninsula further north said the tsunami posed no danger to the area.
Kamchatka, which juts into the Pacific, is studded with active volcanoes, some of which were spewing gases to a height of up to 5,800 meters (over 19,000 feet) Friday, prompting authorities to issue warning to planes in the area. Kamchatka volcanoes are part of the “Ring of Fire” string of volcanoes encircling the Pacific.
China’s state media is reporting that a moderately strong earthquake in the southwest toppled more than 18,000 houses and apartment buildings.
Yesterday’s earthquake left 25 dead in a mountainous area in Yunnan province, near the border with Myanmar.