Saturday, November 30, 2013

Days of big rain

Henrylito D. Tacio in the Sun Star (Philippines): ... Typhoons Sendong and Pablo were only a preview. Both were super typhoons, thus the widespread devastation they caused to Northern Mindanao (particularly the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan) and Southern Mindanao.

The recent typhoon Yolanda is a precursor of the things to come. In his weather website, Dr. Jeff Masters noted: “(Yolanda is) the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history.”

The US-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) recorded Yolanda’s average strength at 195 miles per hour (314kilometers per hour) at landfall. It shattered the previous record set in 1969 by Hurricane Camille, which carried 190 mph (306 kph) winds when it landed in Mississippi in the United States.

On record, Yolanda is the fourth strongest tropical cyclone in world history in terms of overall strength, according to Masters. The all-time record is still held by super typhoon Nancy in 1961 at 215 mph (346 kph), followed by super typhoon Violet in the same year at 205 mph (323 kph), and super typhoon Ida in 1958 with 200 mph (322 kph).

There will be more super typhoons to come – thanks to climate change. Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines, a report released by World Bank earlier this year notes: “Climate change is expected to lead to more intense typhoons, whose storm surges will be superimposed on higher sea levels.”...

Typhoon Haiyan on November 7, 2013, from NASA

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