A quiet 2009 for natural disasters

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:35 PM GMT on January 04, 2010

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It was a relatively quiet year globally for natural disasters in 2009. According to Munich Re insurance company, the death toll from 2009 natural disasters was approximately 10,000, well below the average 75,000 deaths per year seen over the decade of the 2000s. Damage from 2009 natural disasters was about $50 billion, compared to the decadal average of $115 billion, and far below the $200 billion in destruction wrought by 2008's natural disasters. The most costly disaster of 2009 was Winter Storm Klaus, which hit northern Spain and southwest France January 23 - 25, causing $5.1 billion in damage. The deadliest weather-related disaster was Category 2 Typhoon Ketsana, which killed 694 people in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Category 2 Typhoon Morakot was a close second, with 614 fatalities, primarily in Taiwan. The deadliest natural disaster overall was the magnitude 7.6 earthquake that shook the Indonesian island of Sumatra on 30 September, killing nearly 1,200 people.


Figure 1. Cars being swept away by Ketsana's flood waters in a still frame from a dramatic YouTube video captured by medical students at the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center.

I'll be back Tuesday with my selection for the top global weather event of 2009: the Horn of Africa drought.

Jeff Masters

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385. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number THREE
DEPRESSION TROPICALE 08-20092010
4:00 AM Réunion January 5 2010
======================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression (998 hPa) located at 11.1S 86.9E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The disturbance was reported as moving west-southwest at 7 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5/2.5/D 0.5/24 HRS

Near Gale-Force Winds
=====================
20 NM radius from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
12 HRS: 12.0S 85.9E - 35 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modereé)
24 HRS: 12.9S 84.4E - 40 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modereé)
48 HRS: 14.8S 80.8E - 60 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)
72 HRS: 15.6S 77.1E - 75 knots (CYCLONE Tropical)

Additional Information
=========================
Deep convective activity has consolidated in the western semi circle and presents a curved band pattern wrapping over about 4/10. The mentioned fix in this warning is very approximately due to the lack of clear microwave imagery since the F16 swath (1301z). Low level circulation center seems to remain on the eastern border of the CCC undergoing a strong easterly wind shear but with a track globally in the same direction than the wind shear, the constraint should be weakened. This shear is expected weakening on and after 24 hours but divergence should be good only equatorward. Low levels inflows and oceanic heat content are very good up to range 72hrs.

The system should therefore intensify regularly today and on and after tomorrow as it undergoes improving environmental conditions, system should deepening more clearly. The forecast is based on the available models, which are rather in good agreement, despite a difference in motion.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Hmm I don't see skiing, skating, curling, or bobsled.
i got the turbo fans on the roof working overtime here looks like another week and i will have to give them a rest
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
I don't think I've mentioned this here before...but...snow is of the Devil...
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Sleet and then a very brief period of snow looks likely at this time.
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Quoting PcolaDan:


Florida supposed to =



Hmm I don't see skiing, skating, curling, or bobsled.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
I hope everyone checks there fireplaces to in the south if u havent use them in awhile or long time.. that could set ur house on fire or smoke in the house.. and the samething with the heaters too..




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Charleston???? Hhhmmm????
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

Humor in Comments
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
It's 44 at my house at the moment. The forecast is for the 20s Tuesday here in Port St Lucie. This winter is miserable!
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URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
633 PM CST MON JAN 4 2010

...WINTRY MIX FOLLOWED BY AN ARCTIC OUTBREAK IS ON THE WAY...

.THE FIRST IN A WAVE OF ARCTIC AIRMASSES IS ALREADY MOVING IN
TONIGHT BUT FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE WEEK WE WILL SEE A GULF LOW
DEVELOP AND MOVE ACROSS THE NORTHERN GULF WITH A MUCH STRONGER
ARCTIC AIRMASS QUICKLY ON THE HEELS OF THIS SYSTEM. WITH THE MUCH
COLDER AIR MOVING INTO THE GULF COAST STATES THERE IS THE RISK OF
RAIN QUICKLY CHANGING OVER TO SLEET AND SNOW EARLY THURSDAY
MORNING ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE OUTLOOK AREA. ADDITIONALLY...VERY
COLD TEMPERATURES WILL MOVE INTO THE REGION FOR THURSDAY NIGHT
THROUGH SUNDAY.

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM WEDNESDAY TO 10 AM
CST SUNDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY FOR AN EXPECTED WINTER MIX AND EXTREMELY COLD
TEMPERATURES...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM WEDNESDAY TO 10 AM CST
SUNDAY.

BY LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT OR EARLY THURSDAY MORNING...A SURFACE LOW
WILL START TO DEVELOP OVER THE NORTHWESTERN GULF. THIS WILL CAUSE
TEMPERATURES TO WARM SLOWLY WITH MOISTURE INCREASING ACROSS THE AREA.
INITIALLY...LIGHT TO MODERATE SHOWERS WILL BE POSSIBLE BUT BY
LATE THURSDAY MORNING...A VERY COLD AIRMASS WILL BEGIN TO PUSH
INTO THE REGION. RAIN WILL BEGIN TO CHANGE OVER TO SLEET AND THEN
SNOW THURSDAY MORNING FOR AREAS IN SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI ALONG
WITH THE FELICIANAS AND POINT COUPEE PARISH. BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON
AREAS ALONG AND NORTH OF THE 10/12 CORRIDOR WILL LIKELY SEE A MIX
OF RAIN...SLEET...AND SNOW. AT THIS TIME WE ARE NOT EXPECTING MUCH
IN THE WAY OF ACCUMULATION BUT A LIGHT DUSTING TO HALF AN INCH OF
ACCUMULATION ON GRASSY AREAS WOULD NOT BE OUT OF THE QUESTION.

ALL OF THE MOISTURE WILL MOVE OUT OF THE AREA BY THURSDAY EVENING
AND THEN THE GREATER ISSUE ARRIVES...VERY COLD TEMPERATURES. AN
ARCTIC AIRMASS WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE IN AND REMAIN OVER THE AREA
FROM THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY. THIS AIRMASS IS ASSOCIATED
WITH NEAR -40 DEGREE TEMPERATURES IN THE INTERIOR OF CANADA. WITH
A NICE SNOW PACK ACROSS THE UPPER AND CENTRAL PLAINS AS WELL AS THE
UPPER AND MID MISSISSIPPI VALLEY THE AIRMASS WILL NOT MODERATE
CONSIDERABLY. THE AIRMASS IS EXPECTED TO BRING VERY COLD
TEMPERATURES TO THE AREA THAT COULD BE COMPARABLE TO THE ARCTIC
OUTBREAK OF EARLY FEBRUARY 1996...BUT NOT AS LOW AS THOSE
EXPERIENCED DURING THE 1985 AND 1989 ARCTIC OUTBREAKS. MULTIPLE
NIGHTS WITH LOWS IN THE TEENS WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS SOUTHERN
MISSISSIPPI AND PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA THAT ARE GENERALLY
NORTH OF THE 10/12 CORRIDOR. ACROSS THE SOUTHSHORE...LOWS COULD
DROP TO INTO THE LOWER TO MID 20S FOR MULTIPLE NIGHTS. THE COLDEST
TEMPERATURES ARE CURRENTLY FORECAST TO OCCUR SATURDAY MORNING WITH
LOWS RANGING FROM 13 NEAR MCCOMB TO 23 AT GALLIANO. EVEN THOUGH IT
IS NOT FORECAST RIGHT NOW...THIS AIRMASS DOES HAVE THE POTENTIAL
TO CAUSE LOWS THAT COULD BOTTOM OUT IN THE SINGLE DIGITS ACROSS
ISOLATED LOCATIONS IN SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI AND MAYBE INTO THE
TEENS AROUND THE NEW ORLEANS METRO.
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Quoting doabarrelroll:


Atmo what about Gainesville?

Yeah, rethinking that JAX. Looks like Talahassee, eastward, is going to get a break from the cold, at first, with blast number 2. No snow for Gainesville or JAX unless number 2 tracks further east than expected.

The cold will get there, just not quick enough to use the lift from the frontal passage...
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Quoting PcolaDan:


Not a fan of his either. Jon Ed Thompson out of Mobile was good, but tended to babble on incessantly. New his stuff though but retired now.

I bet.. lately theres like not that many good mets around our areas now.. basically i come on here or go to my weather sites for a better understanding.. its funny when my friends and family call me about the weather.. haha
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Miami NWS Discussion
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not looking good.. maybe it will change for tomorrow.. lol
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Quoting Drakoen:


No I don't have time for it
its easy jump on quick obs enter the nums before midnight four days a week t w th f results posted next forecast day i am normally in the top 5 or 10 the last few wundercasts
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting presslord:



well...now I don't know how to bet...


lol
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Quoting FLPandhandleJG:

I saw that too.. But alan strum is decent but not great.. He didnt know about the this last hurricane season.. I was saying a few times that a storm will form and has a chance to come to the gulf.. I remember watching him a few times and write them.. he says I dont think it has a chance to develop and we dont have to worry about it.. so I dont really trust him that much.. plus he usually follows one model anyways, plus he uses the other ones a graph or on a map.. but chooses his as a best one.. and its usually wrong.. sry to complain but I just disagree with him most of the time about predictions and stuff.. but we will know more if the panhandle will get snow or not very soon..


Not a fan of his either. Jon Ed Thompson out of Mobile was good, but tended to babble on incessantly. New his stuff though but retired now.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting Drakoen:


No I don't have time for it



well...now I don't know how to bet...
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Quoting presslord:
drak...Are you planning to participare in the forecasting contest?


No I don't have time for it
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drak...Are you planning to participare in the forecasting contest?
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Quoting Drakoen:


It's 44 at my house in Lake Worth
it will be 34 by by 11 27 tonight four hrs from now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
It feels like it. I'm just using one of those clock / temp. things on my patio.


I'm using wunderground
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It feels like it. I'm just using one of those clock / temp. things on my patio.
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severstorm you have reached the freezing point and now below
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
49.1 at my house in Lake Worth.


It's 44 at my house in Lake Worth
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49.1 at my house in Lake Worth.
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Quoting PcolaDan:


They are talking about it on news, but unless we get some moisture in the air, ain't gonna happen. All a matter of timing. Doesn't take much movement off GoM to move moisture over us. Others here can explain it a whole lot better than I can (think atmoaggie, Bordonaro or Ike)

Oh, there is enough moisture in the presence of some mechanism of lift, such as upper level divergence.

The lift associated with cold front part deux will be mostly ahead of the next batch of cold-enough-to-support-snow (hence the rain forecasts), but we will have the chance of having both the lift and the cold-enough present for at least a few hours. This applies to most of us from Baton Rouge to JAX(?).
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QuotTIMEFRAME HAVE BEEN
ADDRESSED IN THE HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK."
Better get the fans and the freon.....its a heat wave. Temps at night soaring into the 20,s..lol
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21782
Quoting PcolaDan:


They are talking about it on news, but unless we get some moisture in the air, ain't gonna happen. All a matter of timing. Doesn't take much movement off GoM to move moisture over us. Others here can explain it a whole lot better than I can (think atmoaggie, Bordonaro or Ike)
gulf effect snow
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting PcolaDan:


They are talking about it on news, but unless we get some moisture in the air, ain't gonna happen. All a matter of timing. Doesn't take much movement off GoM to move moisture over us. Others here can explain it a whole lot better than I can (think atmoaggie, Bordonaro or Ike)

I saw that too.. But alan strum is decent but not great.. He didnt know about the this last hurricane season.. I was saying a few times that a storm will form and has a chance to come to the gulf.. I remember watching him a few times and write them.. he says I dont think it has a chance to develop and we dont have to worry about it.. so I dont really trust him that much.. plus he usually follows one model anyways, plus he uses the other ones a graph or on a map.. but chooses his as a best one.. and its usually wrong.. sry to complain but I just disagree with him most of the time about predictions and stuff.. but we will know more if the panhandle will get snow or not very soon..
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Quoting Ighuc:
It's going to be -10 tonight, I don't know what you people are complaining about... :D


Florida supposed to =

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting sullivanweather:
Jacksonville, Cecil Field Airport
Lat: 30.22 Lon: -81.88 Elev: 89
Last Update on Jan 4, 5:50 pm EST

Smoke Smoke

41 F
(5 C)
Humidity: 36 %
Wind Speed: W 5 MPH
Barometer: 30.07"
Dewpoint: 16 F (-9 C)
Wind Chill: 38 F (3 C)
Visibility: 7.00 mi.
More Local Wx: 3 Day History:


Interesting ob from Jacksonville. I never saw 'smoke smoke' being reported before.

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?zoneid=FLZ023&zflg=1


lots of fireplaces being lit up i guess reasonable observation considering the temps
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:

haha

http://tinyurl.com/ycvtgu3


Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
I still don't see good soundings for complete snow over the panhandle and areas closeby. While the PBL is progged to be subfreezing, the models show elevated warm air advection above the PBL which would favor freezing rain or perhaps a rain/snow mix.
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348. Ighuc
It's going to be -10 tonight, I don't know what you people are complaining about... :D
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Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


I might check out my beach and might get confuse if which is snow haha.. maybe i will call it snew... ;)


As long as we don't get snirt.

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting atmoaggie:

Dem penguins are everywhere. The view from the westbank of the river looking at NOLA:


haha

http://tinyurl.com/ycvtgu3
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Quoting pcolasky:
Dan, what do think the chances are of snow here in Pensacola on Thursday?


They are talking about it on news, but unless we get some moisture in the air, ain't gonna happen. All a matter of timing. Doesn't take much movement off GoM to move moisture over us. Others here can explain it a whole lot better than I can (think atmoaggie, Bordonaro or Ike)
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:

looks like the penguins know that volcano was going to erupt today..


It's all their fault the JAX AP reported "smoke smoke" on their last obs.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting atmoaggie:

Dem penguins are everywhere. The view from the westbank of the river looking at NOLA (with a steaming MS river in between them and downtown):



WOW, those lil fellers took a wrong turn somewhere!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting pcolasky:
Dan, what do think the chances are of snow here in Pensacola on Thursday?


Look at how close you come to snow on GFS 18Z surface map, SA 1-9-10 @ 12Z, 114 hrs out!



Same thing FR 1-8-10@06Z, GFS 18Z surface map @84HRS

Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:

looks like the penguins know that volcano was going to erupt today..

Dem penguins are everywhere. The view from the westbank of the river looking at NOLA (with a steaming MS river in between them and downtown):

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I might check out my beach and might get confuse if which is snow haha.. maybe i will call it snew... ;)
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Quoting Bordonaro:
Maybe it was all the penguins building a fire to stay warm?


looks like the penguins know that volcano was going to erupt today..
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338. IKE
Down to 37.0 at my house.

Birmingham,AL. extended....

".LONG TERM...WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY.

THIS PERIOD WILL BEGIN WITH THE WARMEST READINGS AT NIGHT WITH
TEMPERATURES SOARING INTO THE 20S
ACROSS THE AREA...AS CLOUD COVER
IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE ADVANCING NORTHERN CLIPPER/GULF LOW STORM
SYSTEM...WILL HELP KEEP THE READINGS A TAD BIT WARMER. SPEAKING OF
THE WINTER STORM...HERE IS THE OVERALL THINKING. MODELS HAVE BEEN
FAIRLY CONSISTENT WITH THE CLIPPER WORKING INTO THE AREA WEDNESDAY
NIGHT AFTER MIDNIGHT...AND PASSING THROUGH THE AREA BY THURSDAY
NIGHT. AT THIS TIME...ALBEIT VERY EARLY...WE ARE EXPECTING UNDER 2
INCHES OF SNOW. SEVERAL QUESTIONS WILL NEED TO BE ANSWERED BEFORE
CONFIDENCE CAN INCREASE ON THE AMOUNTS. FIRST...HOW MUCH MOISTURE
WILL ACTUALLY BE AVAILABLE WITH THE CLIPPER SYSTEM ITSELF.
SECOND...WHEN THE GULF LOW DEVELOPS...WILL IT CUT-OFF ANY ADDITIONAL
MOISTURE...OR WILL IT HELP TO ENHANCE LOCAL BANDS OF SNOW.
THIRD...WHERE WILL THE RAIN/SNOW LINE BE IN THE SOUTH. WENT WITH
THE OVERALL ASPECT OF ABOVE 36 DEGREES...FOR THIS LINE.

SEVERAL THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR THE WINTER STORM. IF THE CLOUDS
CAN WORK ON IN AND THE PRECIPITATION BEGINS EARLIER...HIGHS MAY NOT
MAKE IT ABOVE FREEZING FOR THE NORTHERN HALF AND THE SOUTHERN HALF
MAY ONLY BE A FEW DEGREES ABOVE. THIS WOULD BE 2 TO 4 DEGREES COOLER
THAN CURRENT FORECAST. SNOW WILL BE THE MAIN FOCUS FOR THE DAY.

NOW WHILE THE SNOW IS AN IMPACT...THE MAIN CONCERN FOR THIS PERIOD
WILL BE THE COLD TEMPERATURES. WITH THIS UPDATE...ONCE THE
TEMPERATURES FALL BELOW FREEZING THURSDAY AFTERNOON INTO THURSDAY
EVENING...WE WILL NOT SEE TEMPERATURES ABOVE FREEZING FOR THE SOUTH
UNTIL SUNDAY AFTERNOON...AND FOR THE NORTH UNTIL MONDAY AFTERNOON.
THERE IS EVEN AN OUTSIDE SHOT THAT THE TEMPERATURES FOR SUNDAY ARE
TOO WARM...DESPITE BEING UNDER MOS GUIDANCE BY A FEW DEGREES.
SEVERAL CONCERNS FOR THE FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY TIMEFRAME HAVE BEEN
ADDRESSED IN THE HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK."
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its uhh coming.. Exit stage left..

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Dan, what do think the chances are of snow here in Pensacola on Thursday?
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.