Tag Archives: Tropical Cyclones

Many Texas Beaches Likely to Erode, Be Overwashed, or Inundated by Hurricane Harvey

This is a screenshot of the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal, which shows current coastal impact projections for Hurricane Harvey.


New projections from the U.S. Geological Survey indicate Hurricane Harvey is likely to cause significant beach erosion along the Texas coastline, with water overtopping dunes and in some cases inundating areas.

As of Friday morning, the USGS Coastal Change Forecast model is predicting that 94 percent of Texas’s 367 miles of coastline will undergo some level of beach erosion from the storm surge and large waves Hurricane Harvey will produce.

“Significant coastal erosion along the coastline of Texas is expected due to the rapid strengthening of Hurricane Harvey,” said Joseph Long, USGS Research Oceanographer. “While the forecasts are subject to change as Harvey approaches land, we are making these forecasts to help inform emergency managers and communities on the potential coastal erosion hazards to be prepared for during the storm.”

There are many factors and variables to consider when trying to determine what a large storm like Harvey might do to the coast. The USGS Coastal Change Forecast model uses the National Hurricane Center’s storm surge predictions and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wave forecast models as key inputs, and adds information about the beach slope and dune height to predict how high waves and surge will move up the beach and whether the protective dunes will be overtopped.

Results of the modeling indicate Hurricane Harvey could have a significant impact on the beaches and dunes coastal Texas.

The Coastal Change Forecast model is also projecting that 47 percent of Texas’s coastline will experience a more severe level of erosion hazard, known as dune overwash, particularly north of Corpus Christi up to the Galveston area. As waves and surge reach higher than the top of a dune, overwash occurs, often transporting large amounts of sand across coastal environments and roadways, depositing sand inland and causing significant changes to the landscape and possibly impeding transportation routes.

Inundation is the most severe level of coastal damage from a storm and occurs when beaches and dunes are completely and continuously submerged by surge. Currently, 14 percent of Texas’s coastline is projected to experience inundation in areas north of Corpus Christi to the Galveston area.

“The public should understand that whenever we have almost 100 percent of a coastline expected to experience erosion and a large portion of it projected to have dune overwash and inundation, that it is a very hazardous condition and that the beaches will look dramatically different after the storm passes,” Long said.

A map of these estimates can be viewed on the USGS’ Coastal Change Hazards Portal, which is easily accessible to the public. The coastal change forecast can be used by emergency managers to help identify locations where coastal impacts might be the most severe, such as where roads may be damaged or covered by sand and impassable even after the storm is over.

While the final projections for Hurricane Harvey will continue to change, Harvey is forecasted to remain a powerful storm for several days and to bring damaging conditions to Texas and possibly other gulf coast states beaches as well.

Original Article; USGS (08-24-2017)

Hurricane Harvey: Coastal cities in Texas begin evacuating

This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red). Captions and photo source: NHC / NOAA


Harvey is rapidly strengthening and is forecast to become a Category 3 hurricane with winds of at least 111 mph by the time it hits the middle Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday, the hurricane center said Thursday. After hitting Corpus Christi, the storm is expected to stall over the state, forecasters say…

Read Full Article; CNN (08-24-2017)

Tropical Storm Cindy Tracking Through Gulf of Mexico

Photo source: ©© Bryan Elkus


Tropical Storm Cindy continues to track through the northwest Gulf of Mexico, bringing potentially life-threatening flooding concerns to parts of the Gulf Coast and South through late this week. Gusty winds, rip currents and isolated tornadoes are also expected.

Read Full Article, Weather Channel (06-21-2017)

In Next Decades, Frequency of Coastal Flooding Will Double Globally; USGS (05-18-2017)
The frequency and severity of coastal flooding throughout the world will increase rapidly and eventually double in frequency over the coming decades even with only moderate amounts of sea level rise, according to a new study released in “Scientific Reports.”

Starting hurricane season without leaders of NOAA and FEMA should ‘scare the hell out of everybody’

Image from the International Space Station, NASA


Hurricane season began on June 1, and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the season will be a busy one, with an above-average range of 5-9 hurricanes likely in the Atlantic.

The two agencies that protect the country’s coastlines and its residents, NOAA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are still without leaders — positions that must be appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate…

Read Full Article, CNN (06-03-2017)

Bangladesh raises highest danger warning as cyclone Mora takes aim

Photo source: ©© A. Subset Development Bank


Bangladesh raised its storm danger signal to the highest level of 10 on Monday as a severe and intensifying cyclone churned toward its low-lying coast historically vulnerable to deadly storm surge, and was expected to make landfall within 12 hours…

Read Full Article, Reuters (05-29-2017)

Cyclone Mora to hit Bangladesh, a number of Indian states to be affected; India Today (05-29-2017)

Tropical Cyclone Mora to Landfall in Bangladesh With Storm Surge Flooding, Rainfall Flooding, Damaging Winds; Weather Channel (05-29-2017)
Tropical Cyclone Mora is headed for a landfall in Bangladesh within 12 hours with high winds and flooding from both storm surge and rainfall along a coast historically vulnerable to deadly storm surge…

Migratory seabird deaths linked to hurricanes

Atlantic Sooty Tern. Photo source: ©© Drew Avery


Stronger and more frequent hurricanes may pose a new threat to the sooty tern, a species of migratory seabird found throughout the Caribbean and Mid-Atlantic, a new study reveals. The study is the first to map the birds’ annual migratory path and demonstrate how its timing and trajectory place them in the direct path of hurricanes moving into the Caribbean from the Atlantic. Climate change may increase the risk.

Although sooty terns are neither rare nor endangered — 80,000 or more of them are estimated to breed in the Dry Tortugas each year — they have long been used by scientists as an indicator species to determine the health of the region’s marine environment…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (05-11-2017)

Tropical Cyclone Dineo To hit Mozambique Coast

At 6:15 a.m. EST (1115 UTC) on Feb. 15, NASA’s Aqua satellite showed the center of Tropical Cyclone Dineo just off the coast of Mozambique. Credits: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

By NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

When NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Dineo in the Mozambique Channel on Feb. 15, the storm was centered just off the coast of Mozambique and moving toward landfall.

At 6:15 a.m. EST (1115 UTC) on Feb. 15, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed the center of Tropical Cyclone Dineo just off the coast of Mozambique. Visible light satellite imagery showed a well-defined storm with thick bands of thunderstorms wrapping around the low-level center. The MODIS image also showed a cloud-filled eye.

On Feb. 14, when the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite flew over Dineo at 0926 UTC (4:26 a.m. EST) and found very heavy precipitation in bands of thunderstorms on Dineo’s northeastern side. The most intense rainfall was measured by GPM’s Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) falling at a rate of over 132 mm (5.2 inches) per hour in the intense storms in the northeastern quadrant of the tropical cyclone.

On Feb. 14, when the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite flew over Dineo at 0926 UTC (4:26 a.m. EST) and found very heavy precipitation in bands of thunderstorms on Dineo’s northeastern side. Credits: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

On Feb. 15 at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) Tropical Cyclone Dineo’s maximum sustained winds were near 80.5 mph (70 knots/129.6 kph). Dineo appears to have reached its peak strength, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Dineo was located near 23.5 degrees south latitude and 35.8 degrees east longitude, about 235 nautical miles west-southwest of Europa Island, and just off the coast of Mozambique.

Dineo was moving to the west-southwest and the eye is expected to make landfall by 2100 UTC (4 p.m. EST).

After making landfall in southern Mozambique Dineo is forecast to move west and weaken quickly.

Original Article, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (02-15-2017)

Super Typhoon Nock-ten (Nina) Has Rapidly Intensified Ahead of Strike on the Philippines on Christmas

Photo source: ©© A. Subset Development Bank


A major typhoon is gaining strength as it draws closer to the Philippines, where it’s expected to make landfall during Christmas Day…

Read Full Article, CNN (12-24-2016)

Super Typhoon Nock-ten (Nina) Has Rapidly Intensified Ahead of Strike on the Philippines on Christmas; Weather Channel (12-24-2016)