Thursday, December 4, 2014

Super-Typhoon Hagupit to hit Philippines; millions affected

Jon Plotkin in Decoded Science: The Philippines has been hit hard By Super-Typhoons (a Super-Typhoon has winds over 150 miles per hour) in the past two years: First Haiyan in 2013; then Rammasun in 2014. Now comes possibly the most powerful storm ever to hit land — Super-Typhoon Hagupit.

... Unfortunately, Super-Typhoon Hagupit will strike areas already battered by typhoons in the last year. It is on a track to be about as destructive as a typhoon can be, skirting the Philippines just offshore, so that its circulation is minimally affected by interaction with the land, but so that the circulation affects millions of people.

The typhoon is forecast to pass within a hundred miles of the major metropolitan area of Manila, which has a population of over twenty-one million. As of this morning, Hagupit has winds estimated at 180 miles per hour.

These are forecast to increase to 190 miles per hour by tonight, and persist for at least 24 hours. This would make Hagupit one of the strongest storms ever recorded, and place it close to the theoretical maximum for a tropical cyclone. Gusts could top 225 miles per hour. The damage caused by that kind of wind is catastrophic....

NASA image of Hagupit, December 4, 2014

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