Tag Archives: Tropical Cyclones

Tropical cyclone Yvette forecast to hit Western Australian coast

Tropical Storm Yvette was being battered by vertical wind shear when NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean, December 23, 2016. Captions and Image source: ©© NASA


Tropical Cyclone Yvette, the first to hit Australia this season, is currently building strength in the Indian Ocean 700km northwest of Karratha, Western Australia, and is due to make landfall over the Christmas weekend….

Read Full Article, News Australia (12-23-2016)

Read Full Article, News Australia (12-23-2016)

Record-breaking Hurricane Otto transit Central America, eye intact

Storm OttoPhoto source: NASA / Earth Observatory


Otto was a storm that made history — for its intensity so late in the year, for where it struck and for where it traveled.

Otto became the strongest hurricane on record so late in the year in the tropical Atlantic basin when its peak winds leapt from 75 mph to 110 mph Wednesday to Thursday…

Read Full Article, The Washington Post (11-25-2016)

El Salvador earthquake: Tsunami threat passes after powerful magnitude-7 tremor; ABC Australia (11-24-2016)

Cyclonic Storm in the Mediterranean

The storm was strong enough to generate large waves that affected some areas of land. News reports noted that that crews removed 177 tons of debris that washed up on the east coast of Malta. NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, October 30th, 2016.

By Kathryn Hansen, NASA / Earth Observatory;

The shape of this storm resembles something you would more often see spinning over the Pacific or Atlantic oceans. This one, however, developed over the Mediterranean Sea.

At 10:30 a.m. Central European Time (09:30 Universal Time) on October 30, 2016, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of a storm system dubbed 90M.

Soon after this image was acquired, NOAA reported that the system appeared to be a T-number 1.0 storm on the Dvorak Current Intensity Chart. It was generating sustained winds of 47 kilometers (29 miles) per hour, equivalent to a tropical depression on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale. (For comparison, category-1 storms on the Saffir-Simpson scale have sustained winds between 119–153 kilometers per hour.)

The storm was strong enough to generate large waves that affected some areas of land. News reports noted that that crews removed 177 tons of debris that washed up on the east coast of Malta.

Cloud patterns in satellite imagery usually show cyclonic circulation before a storm reaches tropical storm intensity. Some of these storms over the Mediterranean have had characteristics similar to hurricanes, earning them the name “Medicanes,” a mash-up of the words “Mediterranean” and “hurricane.”.

Original Article, NASA / Earth Observatory (11-01-2016)

177 tonnes of debris washed ashore in weekend’s storm; Times of Malta (10-31-2016)

Before and After Photos: SE Beach Dunes Lost to Hurricane Matthew

New low-altitude aerial photos of Southeastern beaches taken before and after Hurricane Matthew passed offshore show a new storm-cut inlet, and roads, dunes and structures lost.


Hurricane Matthew’s storm surge and waves overwashed about 15 percent of the sand dunes on Florida’s Atlantic coast, 30 percent along Georgia’s coastline, and 42 percent of dunes on South Carolina’s sandy beaches as the powerful storm brushed past the Southeastern states October 6-9, according to USGS experts’ preliminary review of USGS low-altitude before-and-after images along of the coast and NOAA photographs collected after the storm.

Low-altitude oblique photography taken before Hurricane Matthew (Sept. 6, 2014) and after (Oct. 13, 2016) shows the storm cut a new inlet between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River near St. Augustine, Florida, stripping away a 3.7 meter (12-foot) dune and carrying sand into the estuary.Public domain.

The hurricane’s impact on Southeastern shorelines was less extensive than a pre-storm prediction, which called for 24 percent of Florida’s Atlantic coast to be overwashed by the storm surge, said USGS research oceanographer Joseph W. Long. That forecast was based on a worst case scenario, Long said: the maximum waves forecast by the National Hurricane Center striking the coast simultaneously with the maximum storm surge.

Long and his fellow scientists on the USGS National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards storm team, headed by research oceanographer Hilary Stockdon, are working on a detailed assessment of Matthew’s effects on the region’s vulnerable shorelines. They are now comparing low-altitude, oblique aerial photos taken in September 2014 to photos collected Oct. 13-14, about a week after the storm.

“High altitude images give us a big picture view of the coastline, and that’s very useful to identify large areas of overwash, but we can’t see the dunes in those images,” Long said. “These low-altitude photos give us a clear view of the dune itself. We can see whether the storm surge altered or eliminated that protective barrier, and what happened to the houses and boardwalks and sea walls behind it.”

When a storm is about to strike the U.S. Atlantic coast, the team predicts the likelihood of coastal erosion and other changes, using a computer model that incorporates the National Hurricane Center’s storm surge predictions and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wave forecasts. The USGS model adds information about the beach slope and dune height to predict how high waves and surge will move up the beach.

Low-altitude oblique photography taken before Hurricane Matthew (Sept. 6, 2014) and after (Oct. 13, 2016) in Flagler Beach, Florida, shows that waves washed away part of Highway A1A and obliterated a 5.2-meter (17-foot) dune.

The model forecasts three types of storm impact to the dunes that protect coastal communities: erosion, overtopping, and inundation, or flooding that reaches over and behind the dunes. After a storm has passed, the researchers test the model’s accuracy using information about the state of the dunes from before-and-after photographs and other data.

In Florida, the state which had the closest brush with Matthew, an estimated 86 kilometers (53 miles) worth of dunes and other coastal structures were overtopped. A preliminary review found 52 kilometers (32 miles) worth of shoreline in Georgia and 124 kilometers (77 miles) in South Carolina were overwashed, mostly in lightly populated areas. Team members are still reviewing aerial photos from North Carolina, where the hurricane’s impacts were dominated by heavy rainfall that resulted in extensive flooding in inland areas.

The images clearly capture the damage at Florida’s Vilano Beach, north of St. Augustine, where the storm surge and wave runup washed away a five-meter (16-foot) sand dune, destroying oceanfront homes’ boardwalks and decks. South of St. Augustine, the storm surge opened up a new inlet between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River, stripping away a 3.7 meter (12-foot) dune and carrying most of its sand into the estuary. And further south in the town of Flagler Beach, the powerful waves washed away a portion of Highway A1A, closing the beachfront highway indefinitely, and obliterated a 17-foot dune.

On Oct. 28 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in collaboration with the USGS, is scheduled to begin a month-long series of data collection in the Southeastern U.S. coast using airborne lidar, a technology that bounces beams of laser light at the ground to produce detailed elevation information about the surface below. Using that information, the USGS researchers can estimate the volume of sand that Hurricane Matthew moved off of Southeastern beaches, measure the height and breadth of the remaining dunes, and be ready to forecast the erosion potential of the next storm.

See more before-and-after-Hurricane Matthew photos from Florida and check the storm team’s Hurricane Matthew web page where photos from other states will added as they become available.

Original Article And Learn More; USGS (10-31-2016)

Scientists find link between tropical storms, decline of river deltas

Delta – Batik on silk by © Mary Edna Fraser.


A change in the patterns of tropical storms is threatening the future of the Mekong River delta in Vietnam, research shows, indicating a similar risk to other deltas around the world.

This study indicates that changes in storm climatology, even in the river catchments far upstream of the deltas themselves, must also be considered when evaluating their future vulnerability to sea-level rise…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (10-19-2016)

Predicting the Shape of River Deltas, MIT News (07-23-2015)

Coastal Mangrove Squeeze in the Mekong Delta; Journal of Coastal Research (03-16-2015)
The role of mangrove forests in providing coastal zone stability and protection against flooding is increasingly recognized. The specific root, stem, and canopy system of mangroves is highly efficient in attenuating waves and currents. The sheltered environment created by a healthy mangrove forest offers great sedimentation potential…

Sea Defences Not Enough to Protect Delta Cities From Rising Flood Risk; Guardian UK (08-07-2015)

Nile Delta Disappearing Beneath the Sea; IPS News (01-29-2014)
In a report released last September, the IPCC predicts a sea level rise of 28 to 98 centimetres by 2100. Even by the most conservative estimate, this would destroy 12.5 percent of Egypt’s cultivated areas and displace about eight million people, or nearly 10 percent of the population. But it is not just rising sea levels that threaten Egypt’s northern coast, the delta itself is sinking…

Life-Giving Deltas Starved by Dams, by Peter Bosshard, Policy Director, International Rivers / Huffington Post(05-24-2014)
At a time when coastal areas are already battered by climate change, life-giving deltas are being sacrificed to dam building…

Typhoon Haima slams Philippines in second storm in a week

This visible image of Haima was taken on Oct. 19 at 1:35 a.m. EDT (05:35 UTC) from the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite. The Super Typhoon’s cloud-filled eye was clearly visible and surrounded by thick bands of powerful thunderstorms. Captions and Image source: NOAA/NASA’s MODIS Rapid Response Team


Officials in the Philippines warned that Typhoon Haima, which made landfall late Wednesday, could be even stronger than Haiyan in 2013…

Read Full Article, CNN (10-19-2016)

Rare Hurricane Hits Bermuda



Hurricane Nicole bore down on Bermuda on the morning of October 13, 2016. The storm broke records as it stirred up the Atlantic Ocean for more than a week, growing to a category-4 storm.

As it neared the island, Nicole became the second category 4 or 5 storm in the Atlantic Ocean this year—the first time on record that the Atlantic has had two category 4 or 5 storms in October. Nicole became a tropical storm on October 4, circled the tropical Atlantic for several days, and then gained intensity as it approached Bermuda on October 12.

NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 13 (GOES-13) captured this natural-color image of Hurricane Nicole at 11:15 a.m. local time (14:15 Universal Time) on October 13, 2016, just before the eyewall made a direct hit on Bermuda. At the time, the storm was moving northeast at 16 miles (26 kilometers) per hour, with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles (195 kilometers) per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“This is a serious storm, and it’s living up to the weather predictions,” warned Bermuda’s National Security Minister, Jeff Baron. “The worst is not over.”

The island rarely sees direct hits from major hurricanes. So far, only seven major hurricanes have passed within 40 nautical miles (46 miles or 74 kilometers) of Bermuda since records began in 1851, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. The map (below) of historical storm tracks since 1859 shows storms that passed over or near Bermuda in light blue, with major storms (category-3 and higher) in deeper blue. Hurricane Nicole appears in orange and red.


This year’s hurricane season has proven to be a busy one in the western hemisphere. “The Atlantic has had more major hurricane days in 2016 than in 2012 thru 2015 combined,” wrote meteorologist Philip Klotzbach of Colorado State University in a tweet.

Beyond the impacts on the island, which are still being assessed, Nicole’s reach has extended beyond the surface of Earth, delaying the arrival of supplies to the International Space Station. The launch of a rocket and cargo vessel from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility is on pause while mission controllers await clearer skies and damage reports from a tracking station in Bermuda. The cargo vessel will transport 5,000 pounds (2,300 kilograms) of supplies.

Original Article, NASA / Earth Observatory (10-14-2016)

Hurricane Nicole Pummels Bermuda With Wind, Then Spins Away, The New York Times (10-13-2016)
Hurricane Nicole roared across Bermuda on Thursday, pummeling the resort island with winds up to 115 mph…

Why Are Storm Surges So Deadly?

Photo source: ©© Autiger1


Hurricanes can be deadly, but it’s typically not the wind from these powerful storms that causes the highest number of fatalities. Rather, storm surges caused by hurricanes are “often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane,” according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC)…

Read Full Article, LiveScience (10-07-2016)

Global Lessons for Adapting Coastal Communities to Protect against Storm Surge Inundation; Journal Of Coastal Research (01-07-2014)

Flooding death toll climbs to 19 in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew

North Carolina Army National Guardsmen (NCNG) and local emergency services assist with the evacuation efforts in Fayetteville, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 08, 2016. Captions and Photo source: U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Shaw, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment/Released / US Department of Agriculture


The swollen Neuse River — cutting through coastal flatlands south of Greenville — underscores the flood threats facing parts of the state for the coming days even as rescue teams try to move people out of danger…

Read Full Article, The Washington Post (10-12-2016)

Why Are Storm Surges So Deadly? LiveScience (10-07-2016)