Tag Archives: Tropical Cyclones

Severe Cyclone Lehar To Hit Andhra Pradesh Coast, India

Photo source: ©© Fishbone1


Lehar is forecast to attain the level of a very severe cyclone as early as Monday.

This is the third time on a trot that this region is bearing the brunt of cyclone fury, after Phailin and Helen, during the ongoing North-East monsoon season…

Read Full Article, The Hindu

Cyclone Lehar Strikes Andaman and Nicobar Islands, IBTimes

Cyclone Lehar to Hit South India Thursday, The WSJ

Cyclone 04B (Helen) on November 21, 2013. Photo source: ©© NASA / Earth Observatory

Haiyan Prompts Risk Research

Tacloban city was the worst hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the central Philippines on November 8. Captions And Photo source: ©© International Labour


When typhoon Haiyan pummelled the Philippines earlier this month, it was the most intense storm to hit land in modern history. But to truly understand how unusual a storm such as Haiyan is, scientists have to turn to the geological record to study the traces of ancient storms.

To calculate how often large storms strike the Philippines comparison of coarse-grained sand deposited by Haiyan with similar layers found in metres-deep sediment cores that chart thousands of years of history, could be a good indicator…

Read Full Article, Nature

Photo source: ©© International Labour

Evidence of Destruction in Tacloban, Philippines: NASA / Earth Observatory

By Holli Riebeek / NASA,

When Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013, it pounded the island of Leyte with winds near 315 kilometers (195 miles) per hour and a tremendous storm surge. In Tacloban, winds blew a wall of water ashore that may have been as much as 7.5 meters (24.6 feet) high. Much of the city sits less than 5 meters (16 feet) above sea level.

These false-color images hint at the impact of the storm surge and winds on the city.

After typhoon Haiyan struck the coast, November 15, 2013.

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired these images on November 15, 2013 (top) and April 3, 2004 (lower)—the last mostly cloud-free ASTER view of the city.

Image acquired April 3, 2004

Plant-covered land is red; urban areas are white and silver; bare ground is tan; and water and shadows are black. From ASTER’s wide perspective, it is not possible to see individual city blocks of destroyed buildings.

But the subtle differences between the images do reveal a wide-scale disaster; those changes are easiest to see if you turn on the image comparison tool.

The most obvious difference is a change in vegetation. In 2004, the mountains west of the city were covered in dense vegetation; in 2013, the hills are bare. Nine years elapsed between the two images, and many things could explain the change. People may have cleared the land, or the plants may simply look different in November than they do in April. Since this is a tropical location where seasons have little impact, it is just as likely that Haiyan’s winds are responsible for the change. News photos of the hills show trees stripped of leaves or blown down.

Near the coast, the storm’s impact is more unequivocal.

Much of the area south of Tacloban is tan where the storm surge washed away plants and buildings, leaving mud-covered ground. This is the clearest evidence of the storm surge. The small peninsula where Tacloban’s airport is located was one of the most severely affected parts of the city, and a close look at the image shows that this area is also brown, which means that few plants or buildings survived. Interestingly, the large geometric white shape near the airport is new compared to another satellite-based map from July 2013. The shape indicates that this is a man-made structure, perhap associated with relief efforts at the airport.

Changes to the city itself are subtle. At first glance, it appears that Tacloban grew between 2004 and 2013. The city appears more densely built, and it expanded along the outer edges. However, some of this growth may be an illusion. More recent views from other satellites, including the Google Maps view show a neatly ordered city with green space separating city blocks, much like the 2004 image. In 2013, that plant-covered land is gone, replaced by silver. The ordered grid of streets, visible in 2004, is blurred in 2013, perhaps covered by a field of debris. A radar-based satellite analysis by scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirms widespread destruction in downtown Tacloban.

The final signs of storm damage are the pockets of water on the landscape. In this type of false-color image, water is black or dark blue. Traces of floods are visible south of Tacloban and west of the hills on the left edge of the image. Some of the dark spots are shadows cast by clouds.

This pair of images demonstrates both the challenge and the value in mapping disasters with satellite data. The images give a view of the entire city and its surroundings, a view that would otherwise be very difficult to obtain. On the other hand, some of the change is ambiguous and requires ground-based information to understand.

Typhoon Haiyan’s Deadly Surge Noted in Warsaw Talks

Tacloban City, flooded, November 12th, 2013, Philippines.
Save the Chjildren has launched a US$ 30 million appeal to assist 500,000 beneficiaries. We believe 4.3 million people have been affected (including 2 million seriously affected). Captions and Photo source: ©© Nove Foto Da Firenze


While Haiyan’s winds have garnered most of the headlines, reports from the hardest-hit areas now indicate that it was likely the massive storm surge that caused the most damage and greatest loss of life, particularly in Tacloban City, a city of 220,000…

Read Full Article, Climate Central

Rare Tropical Cyclone Strikes Somalia

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image of the cyclone on November 11, 2013, well after the storm came ashore. Image: Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.

By Holli Riebeek, Earth Observatory / NASA,

Even as the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan began to emerge in the Philippines, Somalia too experienced one of the deadliest tropical cyclones in its history. Tropical Cyclone 3A moved over Puntland, Somalia, on November 10–11, 2013, causing flash floods that left more than 100 dead. The storm destroyed hundreds of homes and thousands of livestock, according to news reports.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image of the cyclone on November 11, 2013, well after the storm came ashore. At its strongest, Tropical Cyclone 3A had winds of 74 kilometers (46 miles) per hour, making it the equivalent of a weak tropical storm.

As the storm moved ashore, it was forecast to dump 100-200 millimeters (4-8 inches) of rain, with potentially higher amounts in some regions. The average annual rainfall in Puntland ranges from less than 100 mm (4 inches) to 200 mm (8 inches).

Cyclones are unusual in Somalia. Tropical Cyclone 3A is just the fifth storm to strike the country since records began in 1966, wrote meteorologist Jeff Masters. The last cyclone to come ashore over Somalia was Tropical Cyclone Murjan on October 25, 2012.

Original Article, Earth Observatory / NASA

Somalia’s Cyclone-Hit Puntland Declared A Disaster area, BBC News
The cyclone had swept through the Eyl, Beyla, Dangorayo and Hafun districts along the eastern coast and across to Alula at the tip of the Horn of Africa…

Deadly, Rare Tropical Cyclone Hits Somalia, LiveScience
Weak storms such as Cyclone 3A can wreak havoc along the arid African coast because they trigger flash floods. Only one or two tropical cyclones strike Somalia every decade, but records only go back for about 30 years. However, the intensity of storms in the Arabian Sea appears to be increasing due to aerosol pollution…

Hurricane? Cyclone? Typhoon? Here’s The Difference, by Seith Borenstein, AP