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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Quoting Drakoen:


Adrian, did you see the NAM MOS and GFS MOS guidance? They have come in colder with readings in the upper 20s for WPB Tuesday night. I'd imagine you guys would be on tap for some lower to mid 30s if that verifies.



The January Record is 27 for West Palm. Looks like we'll be flirting with that.
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Btwntx08..Everything you always wanted in an Area Forecast Discussion, dress warm. Wow, 24-36 hrs in the 30's, maybe a lil' snow!!
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This is amazing how far down this cold air is getting...

5 Miles SE Brownsville TXSkip to Detailed 7-Day Forecast


Hi 64 °F Thursday
Night
Rain/Sleet Chance for Measurable Precipitation 80%
Rain/Sleet

Lo 35 °F Friday

Chance Rain/Sleet Chance for Measurable Precipitation 40%
Chance
Rain/Sleet
Hi 35 °F
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2315
whether you live in the south midwest or Northeast,better get use to this pattern for a while,may break out for a while around the middle of the month.
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227. Correct, -AO and -NAO are the cause of this. Places like Alaska right now are getting a break, because their Arctic air is being directed into the Eastern 2/3 of the CONUS.

El Modiki El Nino, an El Nino acting like a "La Nina".
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Quoting hurricane23:


Yep sure did...Forcast is for a high of 55 tommorow as the perfect conditions set up for some really cold temps across the metro areas.We hit 38 back in febuary 09.



Very odd to see two back to back bitter cold winters round here. Has, me scratching my head. Surely not an attribute of El Nino, must be to do with the -NAO and AOI.
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WU mail me if you're interested in a little 'side action' on the forecast contest...
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Quoting Drakoen:


Do you have to submit the forecast for all the days before the 8 hours is up?


nope
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Quoting Drakoen:


Adrian, did you see the NAM MOS and GFS MOS guidance? They have come in colder with readings in the upper 20s for WPB Tuesday night. I'd imagine you guys would be on tap for some lower to mid 30s if that verifies.


Yep sure did...Forcast is for a high of 55 tommorow as the perfect conditions set up for some really cold temps across the metro areas.We hit 38 back in febuary 09.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13632
Quoting Skyepony:
~8 hours left to the start of Weather Underground's forecasting contest.. All ya'll constantly leaving us a forecast..lets see how good you are against the rest of us. First up is Burlington, VT. We forecast Tue-Fri for 2 weeks then move to another city. Sign up & enter here!


Do you have to submit the forecast for all the days before the 8 hours is up?
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GLADES-HENDRY-INLAND PALM BEACH-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...MOORE HAVEN...CLEWISTON...PAHOKEE...
SOUTH BAY...BELLE GLADE...WELLINGTON
247 PM EST MON JAN 4 2010

...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 8 AM EST TUESDAY...
...FREEZE WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH
WEDNESDAY MORNING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A FREEZE
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 8 AM EST TUESDAY. THIS
REPLACES THE FREEZE WATCH PREVIOUSLY IN EFFECT. A FREEZE WATCH REMAINS
IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.

TEMPERATURES MAY ONCE AGAIN FALL TO AROUND OR JUST BELOW 32 DEGREES FOR
A FEW HOURS TONIGHT INTO TUESDAY MORNING ACROSS PARTS OF GLADES...
HENDRY AND INLAND PALM BEACH COUNTIES. FREEZING TEMPERATURES
POSSIBLY AS LOW AS THE UPPER 20S WILL BE POSSIBLE WEDNESDAY
MORNING SO A FREEZE WATCH CONTINUES FOR THESE AREAS.

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For those of us about to be pretty cold, try this:



This was taken during the Australasian Anarctic Expedition of 1911-1914 (the photo is from 1913, I believe)...Australia has a an organization called The Mawson Huts Foundation trying to preserve the site on the Antarctic mainland. We were just talking about snorkel parkas and such; think about what these guys had as "state of the art" winter gear...LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
218. auburn (Mod)
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


can anyone here confirm that?


Yep I have flurries here in East Cent Al...right at the most eastward blob
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


drak what do you think about the call for snow for me thrusday night into friday? think it will pan out?


I see that happening with little to no accumulation.
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The weather channel needs to update this.. I dont agree with this lol.. o yea i forgot we talking about the weather channel.. ha
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Quoting FLPandhandleJG:



can anyone here confirm that?
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Quoting Drakoen:


Adrian, did you see the NAM MOS and GFS MOS guidance? They have come in colder with readings in the upper 20s for WPB Tuesday night. I'd imagine you guys would be on tap for some lower to mid 30s if that verifies.


drak what do you think about the call for snow for me thrusday night into friday? think it will pan out?
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213. Skyepony (Mod)
~8 hours left to the start of Weather Underground's forecasting contest.. All ya'll constantly leaving us a forecast..lets see how good you are against the rest of us. First up is Burlington, VT. We forecast Tue-Fri for 2 weeks then move to another city. Sign up & enter here!
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Quoting Bordonaro:
#205. JG, the 18Z NAM run is going on now. In an hour/two the 18Z GFS will be ready, LINK below:

Link

okay thanks bob..
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Quoting hurricane23:
...FREEZE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY
MORNING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A FREEZE WATCH...
WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY
MORNING.

CLEAR SKIES AND LIGHT TO NEAR CALM WINDS WILL CREATE EXCELLENT
CONDITIONS FOR COOLING TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING ACROSS
THE EAST COAST METRO AREAS. THE COOLEST READINGS ARE EXPECTED
ACROSS PALM BEACH COUNTY WHERE READINGS IN THE UPPER 20S TO LOWER
30S ARE POSSIBLE ALL THE WAY TO THE COAST. IN METRO BROWARD AND
METRO MIAMI-DADE COUNTIES...TEMPERATURES NEAR OR JUST BELOW
FREEZING ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE FAR WESTERN SUBURBS...SUCH AS
CORAL SPRINGS...WESTON...AND OTHER AREAS NEAR HIGHWAY 27 IN
BROWARD AND KROME AVENUE IN MIAMI-DADE. READINGS JUST ABOVE
FREEZING...IN THE MID 30S...ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF
THE BROWARD AND MIAMI-DADE METRO AREAS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...


Adrian, did you see the NAM MOS and GFS MOS guidance? They have come in colder with readings in the upper 20s for WPB Tuesday night. I'd imagine you guys would be on tap for some lower to mid 30s if that verifies.
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Quoting hurricane23:
...FREEZE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY
MORNING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A FREEZE WATCH...
WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY
MORNING.

CLEAR SKIES AND LIGHT TO NEAR CALM WINDS WILL CREATE EXCELLENT
CONDITIONS FOR COOLING TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING ACROSS
THE EAST COAST METRO AREAS. THE COOLEST READINGS ARE EXPECTED
ACROSS PALM BEACH COUNTY WHERE READINGS IN THE UPPER 20S TO LOWER
30S ARE POSSIBLE ALL THE WAY TO THE COAST. IN METRO BROWARD AND
METRO MIAMI-DADE COUNTIES...TEMPERATURES NEAR OR JUST BELOW
FREEZING ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE FAR WESTERN SUBURBS...SUCH AS
CORAL SPRINGS...WESTON...AND OTHER AREAS NEAR HIGHWAY 27 IN
BROWARD AND KROME AVENUE IN MIAMI-DADE. READINGS JUST ABOVE
FREEZING...IN THE MID 30S...ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF
THE BROWARD AND MIAMI-DADE METRO AREAS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...


I know GeoffWPB, Grothar and others in S FL are NOT happy about this!!
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If this is true.....WOW!

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...FREEZE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY
MORNING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A FREEZE WATCH...
WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY
MORNING.

CLEAR SKIES AND LIGHT TO NEAR CALM WINDS WILL CREATE EXCELLENT
CONDITIONS FOR COOLING TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING ACROSS
THE EAST COAST METRO AREAS. THE COOLEST READINGS ARE EXPECTED
ACROSS PALM BEACH COUNTY WHERE READINGS IN THE UPPER 20S TO LOWER
30S ARE POSSIBLE ALL THE WAY TO THE COAST. IN METRO BROWARD AND
METRO MIAMI-DADE COUNTIES...TEMPERATURES NEAR OR JUST BELOW
FREEZING ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE FAR WESTERN SUBURBS...SUCH AS
CORAL SPRINGS...WESTON...AND OTHER AREAS NEAR HIGHWAY 27 IN
BROWARD AND KROME AVENUE IN MIAMI-DADE. READINGS JUST ABOVE
FREEZING...IN THE MID 30S...ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF
THE BROWARD AND MIAMI-DADE METRO AREAS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13632
#205. JG, the 18Z NAM run is going on now. In an hour/two the 18Z GFS will be ready, LINK below:

Link
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90hours or 3days out


96hours out


102hours out
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


I sure hope not. We paid a pretty penny for all those fruit trees! Thankfully they're only about 8 months old so they're all around 4-5 ft which makes them easy to cover. Last year we didn't have them but our other plants took a big hit during the 3 hard freezes we had. 28F one morning had the whole lawn covered in frost which was pretty neat looking but the grass didn't like it much. Needless to say we're covering as much as we can this year!


We pretty much have nothing but zone 7 stuff so this won't do much, unless it stalls. Just to be safe I added heet to the tank today (first time in 5 years, since I left MO)...you DO NOT want your fuel lines freezing...hey, you guys do need to either heat wrap external plumbing (hose bibbs and such) or leave a trickle running...particularly the northern half or so of the state
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
203. auburn (Mod)
Quoting hurricanejunky:


I sure hope not. We paid a pretty penny for all those fruit trees! Thankfully they're only about 8 months old so they're all around 4-5 ft which makes them easy to cover. Last year we didn't have them but our other plants took a big hit during the 3 hard freezes we had. 28F one morning had the whole lawn covered in frost which was pretty neat looking but the grass didn't like it much. Needless to say we're covering as much as we can this year!


You better get them covered soon...this is for E Cen Al...Friday Night
Colder. Partly cloudy. Lows 5 to 11. Wind chill readings 9 below to 15 above zero.
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Quoting Floodman:


Back at ya, man! This could cost y'all a lot, huh?


I sure hope not. We paid a pretty penny for all those fruit trees! Thankfully they're only about 8 months old so they're all around 4-5 ft which makes them easy to cover. Last year we didn't have them but our other plants took a big hit during the 3 hard freezes we had. 28F one morning had the whole lawn covered in frost which was pretty neat looking but the grass didn't like it much. Needless to say we're covering as much as we can this year!
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interesting..
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Quoting Unfriendly:
you southerners need to stop whining... heres my temps from yesterday.

Frostburg, MD
Hi 10°F
Lo 1°F

WITH 30-50 MPH wind gusts.


well, uh, you live in maryland, it's supp. to be cold in maryland. if i wanted to be that cold i'd MOVE to maryland.........
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Quoting Floodman:


LOL...my sis lived in JAX in the early 90s and the overnight low got to 50 at one point...she said kids were out wearing snorkel parkas zipped ALL the way up...

While those of us with some sense were wearing sweaters or a light fleece. There is a difference between "not being used to cold temps" and "crazy". Wearing snorkel parkas above freezing temps is crazy.
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wxcaster.com/gis-gfs-snow-overlays
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127628
Quoting Drakoen:


The trough is going to the east. The next piece of energy will come from Canada and down towards Rockies and the plains region with the trough axis passing through you.


Thanks! Thank God this only happens in the DFW area once every 10-12 yrs or so!! A nice 72 hrs in the Deep Freeze!!
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Quoting Floodman:


LOL...my sis lived in JAX in the early 90s and the overnight low got to 50 at one point...she said kids were out wearing snorkel parkas zipped ALL the way up...


Yeah, I've seen that too! LOL
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I'm putting on my heavy winter clothes (i.e. a long sleeved t-shirt and pants) when it gets under 70 degrees. We just aren't used to temps this cold in Florida. I don't even own a coat thick enough to keep me warm here today. I have coats appropriate for skiing, but nothing that I can put on over a suit on the way to the office.


LOL...my sis lived in JAX in the early 90s and the overnight low got to 50 at one point...she said kids were out wearing snorkel parkas zipped ALL the way up...
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as of right now..
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Nice Summary Discussion from Tally NWS:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
253 PM EST MON JAN 4 2010

...COLD WEATHER TO CONTINUE THROUGH THE END OF THE WEEK...

.SHORT TERM (TONIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT)...THE LARGE SCALE PATTERN ACROSS THE NORTH AMERICA IS CURRENTLY BEING CONTROLLED IN
LARGE PART BY A NEGATIVE PHASE OF THE NAO...CHARACTERIZED BY STRONG RIDGING OVER GREENLAND AND DEEP LAYERED LOW PRESSURE IN THE
CANADIAN MARITIMES. THIS PATTERN TYPICALLY SIGNALS A DEEP AND SUSTAINED TROUGH OVER THE EASTERN CONUS...WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT IS
OCCURRING. THE DEEP TROUGH OVER THE EAST IS TAPPING A FEED OF ARCTIC AIR FROM THE POLAR REGIONS...WITH A SERIES OF SHORTWAVE TROUGHS CONTINUALLY REINFORCING THE COLD AIR MASS.

LONG TERM (THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY)...THE MAIN CONCERN IN THE LONG TERM PART OF THE FORECAST IS WHETHER WE WILL GET ANY NON LIQUID PRECIPITATION WITH THE NEXT GULF LOW TO AFFECT THE AREA. THE MODELS HAVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY SHOWING A LOW DEVELOPING AND THEN MOVING EWD ALONG OR NEAR THE GULF COAST IN THE WED NIGHT THROUGH EARLY FRI TIME FRAME. THE LATEST 00Z RUN OF THE GFS TAKES THE LOW ON A MORE SWD TRACK...WHICH TRANSLATES INTO MUCH COLDER TEMPS...EVEN DURING DAYTIME...AND A MUCH BETTER CHANCE FOR SNOW. THE EURO IS SLOWER TO BRING THE LOW EWD AND TRACKS IT A BIT CLOSER TO THE
COAST...BUT IT IS STILL WEAK AND S OF THE AREA. BOTH MODELS SHOW THAT SO MUCH COLD AIR WILL BE READY TO SURGE BACK INTO THE REGION BEHIND THE SYSTEM...THAT WE FELT IT PRUDENT TO CONTINUE FORECASTING SOME NON-LIQUID PRECIPITATION. BELIEVE THE PRECIPITATION WILL HOLD OFF THU MORNING UNTIL AFTER TEMPS HAVE WARMED ENOUGH TO GET RAIN...SO HAVE REMOVED THE WINTRY MIX FOR THU MORNING. HOWEVER... BEGINNING THU EARLY EVENING...WE SHOW CHANCES OF RAIN OR SNOW ACROSS
OUR NRN ZONES. WE ALSO INCLUDED A SLIGHT CHANCE FOR A BRIEF CHANGE OVER TO FLURRIES BEFORE PRECIPITATION ENDS THU NIGHT ACROSS THE NRN
PORTION OF OUR FL ZONES. NOW THAT THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG IN FL...BE ASSURED THAT WE ARE NOT FORECASTING ANY MEASURABLE SNOW AT THIS TIME.
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192. auburn (Mod)
seen a few flakes around here in Al this after noon...about 10 or so...LOL
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Quoting Bordonaro:


I live in the Dallas-Ft Worth, TX area. The upper level trough at 500MB is close to us. Does the NAM/GFS models deepen the trough, moving the trough further towards the west, towards the Rockies? Or further eastward, torwards the SE US.

Rita Evac and I are trying to figure if N Central and SE TX are going to take a direct hit or a glancing blow.


The trough is going to the east. The next piece of energy will come from Canada and down towards Rockies and the plains region with the trough axis passing through you.

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heres the NAM model
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189. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
that sure is a strong high pressure
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Quoting Drakoen:


I was talk about tomorrow night...before the low pressure system comes in the GOM.


I know, I was just adding in the warmer storm solution with the NAM. "Actually" wasn't the best word to use I guess, sorry bout that.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
Quoting hurricanejunky:
Happy NY all! Hey Flood, Amy, AIM, Tdude, etc! Hope the holidays treated you all well. It's up to a whopping 56F right now and windy. Fruit trees are covered and waiting for the hard freeze tomorrow night. Strange days indeed!


Back at ya, man! This could cost y'all a lot, huh?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Note the "nose" of the 1051 MB High up along the US Border
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Quoting Unfriendly:
didnt mean anyone to take offense... just saying I'd be in a T-shirt if it was 40 degrees outside. It could be a lot worse for you guys.


I'm putting on my heavy winter clothes (i.e. a long sleeved t-shirt and pants) when it gets under 70 degrees. We just aren't used to temps this cold in Florida. I don't even own a coat thick enough to keep me warm here today. I have coats appropriate for skiing, but nothing that I can put on over a suit on the way to the office.
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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.

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