Tag Archives: Tropical Cyclones

NASA’s ARIA Team Maps Flooding in the Bahamas


NASA’s ARIA team used satellite data acquired on Sept. 2, 2019, to map flooding in the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech, ESA

By NASA;

While many NASA missions are tracking Hurricane Dorian as the storm makes its way toward the United States, some researchers are looking at what Dorian has already left behind.

The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, used synthetic aperture radar data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites to produce this flood map of the Bahamas. The light blue color indicates areas that were likely flooded when the data were acquired on Sept. 2, 2019. In particular, the map shows flooding in and around Marsh Harbour in the Abaco Islands.

The map covers an area of about 109 miles by 106 miles (176 kilometers by 170 kilometers) shown by the large red polygon. Each pixel measures about 32 yards (30 meters) across. Authorities and responders can use flood maps like this one as guidance to identify areas that are likely experiencing flooding; the map may be less reliable over urban or vegetated areas.

NASA works to leverage the power of our views of Earth from space and research aircraft to assist communities around the world as they plan for — and recover from — a wide range of disasters, from earthquakes to wildfires and severe weather events like hurricanes. NASA’s Disasters Program, part of the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate, draws together expertise from across the agency when disaster strikes to provide information products for emergency responders.

ESA provided the original satellite data used to make this map. NASA’s ARIA team analyzed the data and produced the map. NASA’s Disasters Program funded the production of the map.

Original Article; NASA Earth Observatory (09-03-2019)

These satellite images show Grand Bahama before and after Dorian’s wrath;CNN (09-04-2019)
These satellite images show Grand Bahama before and after Dorian’s wrath
A striking satellite image of Grand Bahama Island shows vast areas of the island under water after Hurricane Dorian passed through the region on Monday.

‘Very dangerous’: Cyclone Veronica to bring 4m storm surge to northern WA


Two severe tropical cyclones bore down on northern Australia. The government of the Northern Territory declared a state of emergency and launched the largest evacuation in the state since 1974. Captions and Photo source: NASA / Earth Observatory

Excerpts;

Residents in Western Australia’s far north are bracing for dangerous storm surges caused by Cyclone Veronica, while Northern Territory residents are slowly returning home as ex-cyclone Trevor circles back towards Queensland.

Trevor crossed the mainland as a category 4 storm on Sunday morning…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (03-23-2019)

Cyclone Idai called worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique


Tropical Cyclone Idai. NASA / Earth Observatory

Excerpts;

When Cyclone Idai, a devastating tropical storm, swept across southeastern Africa on Thursday, it killed at least 150 people, displaced hundreds of thousands and left Beira, a coastal city of a half-million people in central Mozambique, almost totally destroyed…

The storm pushed tons of sand from the city’s beach onto downtown streets, complicating emergency response efforts…

Read Full Article; NPR (03-20-2019)

Tropical Cyclone Idai affects 1.5 million across Mozambique and Malawi, as UN ramps up response, UN (03-20-2019)

Why Cyclone Idai was so destructive


Visible imagery from NASA’s Terra satellite showed Tropical Cyclone continued to move in a westerly direction after making landfall in Mozambique. Even over land, the system still showed a ragged eye on microwave satellite imagery. Captions and image source: NASA

Excerpts;

The storm that battered Mozambique and its neighbors in Africa followed a winding path…

Read Full Article; National Geographic (03-19-2019)

Tropical Cyclone Idai affects 1.5 million across Mozambique and Malawi, as UN ramps up response, UN (03-20-2019)

After Major Hurricanes, Communities Are Building Back Bigger, Not Smarter

ortley-beach-nj-2
Ortley Beach and Lavallette, NJ. Aerial pictures of New Jersey’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Excerpts;

In the aftermath of major coastal storms, the mantra to “build back better” is often touted repeatedly in rebuilding strategies, with promises to construct resilient houses more capable of surviving the next storm. But a new study of five American coastal communities finds that homes are actually being built back bigger, not better, after catastrophic weather events, dwarfing the structures that were lost…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (12-18-2018)

Coastal Warning: An Unwelcome Messenger on the Risks of Rising Seas; By Orrin H. Pilkey
Marine scientist Orrin Pilkey has long been cautioning about sea level rise and the folly of building and rebuilding along coastlines. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about why an eventual retreat from oceanfront property on the U.S. coast is inevitable…

Coastal policy needs dose of reality; Op Ed by Orrin Pilkey; Star News Online (02-02-2017)

Let’s end war with ocean, Op-Ed by Orrin H. Pilkey (04-2017)
The immediate future most certainly holds more miles of sandbags, resulting in more narrowed and ugly beaches.But this trend can be halted and reversed. Now is the time to make peace with the ocean.The time is now to stop sandbagging, both physically with no more shore-hardening structures, and politically with no more exceptions to the intent of the rules, no more undermining existing legislation, and a return to enforcement…

Sea-Level Rise Poses Hard Choice for Two Neighborhoods: Rebuild or Retreat? Take Part (04-25-2015)

After Hurricane Sandy, One Man Tries To Stop The Reconstruction, Outside Magazine (10-09-2013)
Geologist Orrin Pilkey predicted exactly what a storm like Sandy would do to the mid-Atlantic coast and New York City. On a tour of destruction after the deluge, he and David Gessner ponder a troubling question: Why are people rebuilding, as if all this isn’t going to happen again?

Sea Level Rise Will Reshape U.S. Population In All 50 States; Yale E360 (04-19-2017)
Sea level rise could cause mass migrations that will affect not just the United States’ East Coast, but reshape communities deep in the heart of the country, according to new research…

The only answer to rising seas is to retreat; By Orrin H. Pilkey & Keith C. Pilkey; The News & Observer (10-18-2017)
Except for the timing, there is no controversy among scientists regarding sea level rise. Defending the coast and holding the shoreline in place ultimately will be futile. With a three-foot or a six-foot sea level rise, we will retreat, probably beginning within the next 50 years…

North Topsail Beach, NC: before and after hurricane Florence


Image source: Topsail Island Protection Commission

Excerpts;

Topsail Beach is an engineered beach, which gives it greater access to recovery funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is facing an expense of about $6.4 million for Florence repair to the berms. Full beach restoration will cost about $17 million…

Read Full Article; Topsail Island Protection Commission (11-08-2018)

Topsail Island looks to rebound from Hurricane Florence; JD News (11-08-2018)

A look at the billions of dollars behind beach renourishment: Is it worth it? WMBF (10-15-2018)

“A Never-Ending Commitment”: The High Cost of Preserving Vulnerable Beaches; ProPublica (09-27-2018)
The U.S. government pays to dump truckloads of sand onto eroding beaches, in a cycle that is said to harm ecosystems and disproportionately benefit the rich…

Beach rebuilding efforts won’t stave off climate change impacts forever; Guardian UK (09-20-2018)

Can Adding Sand to Beaches Save Them? How Stuff Works (04-13-2018)
The question is, can beach nourishment keep up with the ever-increasing forces of climate change or, like Sisyphus forever pushing his boulder up the hill, is adding sand to beaches an expensive, temporary fix to a long-term problem?..

Coastal geologist criticizes beach renourishment efforts; By Robert S. Young, PhD; The State (08-17-2016)
Rob Young, who heads the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University, said the government is subsidizing coastal development with renourishment money – and that’s costing taxpayers. Communities across the country have spent millions of dollars renourishing beaches. Those efforts encourage people to rebuild after every major hurricane…

Palm Beach Mid-Town Dredge Project, A Youtube Video (02-04-2015)
“Beach nourishment projects like this have become commonplace along the US East and Gulf Coasts. These projects have immediate environmental impacts through burial of nearshore habitat and increased turbidity during project placement.The cumulative environmental impacts of doing this repeatedly on the same beach while conducting projects from Maine to Texas is unknown. But, we should be concerned. ” —Robert S. Young, PhD, Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Professor, Coastal Geology, Western Carolina University

Piling sand to stop erosion ultimately made the land sink, study says, NOLA (12-26-2015)

Is pumping more sand onto NC beaches causing deadly currents?; The News & Observer (08-30-2018)
A growing number of scientists and coastal engineers worry that there’s a serious downside to beach nourishment: Unnaturally altered beaches could pose an elevated risk of injury to the very tourists that sand replenishment was meant to attract…

A wider, deeper beach awaits Ocean City vacationers, but is it safe? The Washington Post (06-01-2018)
Ocean City vacationers may notice deeper, wider beaches, the result of a $282 million sand-dredging project aimed at protecting the resort town from storm damage. But the work also raises concerns about surf injuries and swimmer safety…

Widening beaches might bring more hazards, researchers say; Sun Sentinel (04-04-2018)
Widening beaches might be linked to an increase in accidents, according to new data. The number of ocean rescues spikes after beaches are buffed up, according to the data published in the Journal of Ocean Research…

Factbox: Sifting Through U.S. Beach Sand Numbers; Reuters (02-16-2018)

Is Beach Renourishment Worth The Money? WWAY News (02-16-2015)

Economy Winner, Environment Loser in Renourishment; Pensacola News Journal (12-02-2015)

Sea level rise has already sunk Carolinas beach property values — by $1.6 billion, study finds; News & Observer (07-25-2018)
Sea levels are rising and the southeast has already lost billions in property value, a recent study shows. Scientists have found $7.4 billion was lost in home values across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Florida because of sea level rise flooding from 2005 to 2017…

Beach replenishment may have far reaching impacts on ecosystems;” Phys.Org (03-29-2016)
UC San Diego biologists who examined the biological impact of replenishing eroded beaches with offshore sand found that such beach replenishment efforts could have long-term negative impacts on coastal ecosystems…

Surrendering to rising seas; Scientific American (08-2018)
Coastal communities struggling to adapt to climate change are beginning to do what was once unthinkable: retreat…

The only answer to rising seas is to retreat; By Orrin H. Pilkey & Keith C. Pilkey; The News & Observer (10-18-2017)
Except for the timing, there is no controversy among scientists regarding sea level rise. Defending the coast and holding the shoreline in place ultimately will be futile. With a three-foot or a six-foot sea level rise, we will retreat, probably beginning within the next 50 years…

Emergency declared in typhoon-ravaged Northern Mariana


In just 30 hours from October 23-24, 2018, a tropical storm in the western Pacific Ocean exploded into a category 5 super typhoon. Now that storm has made a direct hit on Tinian and Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.Super Typhoon Yutu has tied Super Typhoon Mangkhut as the strongest storm on Earth this year. Captions and Photo source: NASA / Earth Observatory

Excerpts;

US military aircraft laden with emergency supplies flew in to the Northern Mariana Islands Saturday in the wake of destructive Super Typhoon Yutu which destroyed buildings and cut electricity…

Read Full Article; PhysOrg (10-27-2018)

Remote Hawaiian Island Wiped Off The Map


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A powerful hurricane in the eastern Pacific washed away an 11-acre island in the French Frigate Shoals, part of a national monument in the remote northwestern Hawaiian Island.

East Island was destroyed by storm surge from Hurricane Walaka, which roared through the northwestern Hawaiian Islands as a powerful Category 3 storm this month.

“This event is confronting us with what the future could look like,” one federal scientist said about the loss of East Island, caused by Hurricane Walaka…

Read Full Article; Huffington Green (10-23-2018)

A powerful hurricane wiped out this remote Hawaiian island in a night. It was a critical nesting ground for threatened species; The Washington Post (10-23-2018)
For centuries, the islet peeked out from the turquoise and azure waters of the Pacific Ocean about 550 miles northwest of Honolulu in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. The 11-acre patch of sand and loose gravel was often frequented by sea turtles, monk seals and albatrosses, which returned there year after year to nest and raise their young, safe from human threats…

Hurricane Willa closes in on Mexico’s Pacific coast


Hurricane Willa. This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). NHC

Excerpts;

Hurricane Willa, a fierce Category 3 storm, closed in on Mexico’s Pacific coast Tuesday with 120 mph winds, prompting more than 4,000 evacuations in coastal towns…

Read Full Article; CBS News (10-23-2018)