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 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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CONUS 60 hour Forecast Surface Map

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Quoting reedzone:
Actually, the NAM has trended warmer on the storm this week, showing a mixture of rain/snow well north of Florida Thursday Night, near Atlanta, GA.


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


Could you word that a little better


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


If that's the case means trough is farther west, right?


I would believe so.. not totally sure though. I'm looking on more of a colder solution for the record.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7396
179. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
ya the winds were strong that night my area went down to -12F
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Quoting reedzone:
Actually, the NAM has trended warmer on the storm this week, showing a mixture of rain/snow well north of Florida Thursday Night, near Atlanta, GA.


If that's the case means trough is farther west, right?
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177. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
I was only joking
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Actually, the NAM has trended warmer on the storm this week, showing a mixture of rain/snow well north of Florida Thursday Night, near Atlanta, GA.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7396
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.

Did you have the constant 30MPH winds HGW? Makes a difference ;)
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Quoting Bordonaro:


Drak, is NAM/GFS pushing the upper level trough towards the west of east in the latest run? They keep moving the trough westward, then eastward.


Could you word that a little better
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Sounds like Denver is playing the middle game, with the 0 degrees. If it goes east they can adjust, if it goes more west they're gonna be more like -15
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I think we'll get a good idea once it starts entering the US, just watch Montanna and North Dakato, should tell us if its gonna be west or east
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Quoting Drakoen:
It seems both the NAM and GFS have trended colder in their temps for Tuesday overnight low. GFS showing West Palm Beach getting down to 29 and the NAM shows us getting down to 28. That would yield mid 20s further inland.


Drak, is NAM/GFS pushing the upper level trough towards the west of east in the latest run? They keep moving the trough westward, then eastward.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
170. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Quoting Unfriendly:
you southerners need to stop whining... heres my temps from yesterday.

Frostburg, MD
Hi 10°F
Lo 1°F

---
oh really, how about -12F lows and highs of 7F?
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Happy NY all! Hey Flood, Amy, AIM, Tdude, etc!

you too junky!

:)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Glad all is well for now! Enjoy. I'm jealous. And I've stopped looking at the temp...it will be below freezing for awhile. At least the winds have died down. Anyway, no flea worries for awhile.


LOL,I love people who can find the silver lining no matter what the conditions are outside.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 883 Comments: 15864
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!


Hey, junky - Happy New Year!! :)
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Had to butcher the Hibiscus as well since they suck and can't handle a moderate freeze.
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From WFO Lake Charles, LA:


After the frontal passage on Wednesday, temps should fall into lower 20's and high teens for the lows on Thursday. There is a slight chance of some wintry precip for most of our area. High temps should stay in mid 30's to lower 40's for the weekend. Some gusty wind is possible bringing wind chill into the lower teens or single digits.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Bordonaro, we'll have to keep an eye on Denver to get an idea rather or not the coldest air is well east or right down into the plains. If Denver is not near as cold as areas to the east, then we are going to get side swiped and not the full brunt of it. If Denver goes below zero then it's coming.


NWS Denver calls for a low near 0F after the Arctic front pushes up against the Rockies.

Their Area Forecast Discussion keeps moving the upper level trough around. Last night, they pegged it further west. Today, they peg it further east.

Stay tuned :0)!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
It seems both the NAM and GFS have trended colder in their temps for Tuesday overnight low. GFS showing West Palm Beach getting down to 29 and the NAM shows us getting down to 28. That would yield mid 20s further inland.
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Thats it I'm getting rid of my palm plants in backyard, replacing with hardier plants that can handle freezes. Looks horrible dead and brown.
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Quoting Unfriendly:
you southerners need to stop whining... heres my temps from yesterday.

Frostburg, MD
Hi 10F
Lo 1F

WITH 30-50 MPH wind gusts.


Ya but you choose to live in MD. Wait a couple of Months Ill post some 80-90 degree temps for you when your still freezing, I'll keep whining and have my sun too.
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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!
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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.

who's whining? im not.. but cold is cold.. got live with it no matter where u live.. but of course u get ppl complain about something.. u cant please anyone..
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A Texas winter at its worst:


A strong ridge of high pressure will set up over western North America. The central plains will be on the east side of this ridge underneath North flow, bringinb bitter cold air into the plains. The arctic front will arrive in North Texas Wednesday night.
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155. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Darwin
Tropical Cyclone Advice #11
TROPICAL LOW 02U
5:00 AM ACST January 5 2010
======================================

At 3:30 am CST [2:00 am WST], Tropical Low (991 hPa) located at 14.2S 129.6E has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts of 40 knots. The low was estimated to be overland 10 kms east northeast of Port Keats and 215 kms northeast of Wyndham and moving southeast at 3 knots.

The Tropical Low has moved onto the coast near Port Keats. The low is expected to remain close to land, and is no longer expected to develop into a TROPICAL CYCLONE.

HEAVY RAIN, which may cause significant stream rises and flooding of low lying areas, is being experienced in the Darwin-Daly and east Kimberley Districts, and is expected to extend into the northern Victoria River District later on Tuesday.

Tropical Cyclone Warnings
=========================
The Cyclone WARNING from Kalumburu to Daly River Mouth has been cancelled.

---
Final Advice from Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Darwin, refer to Severe Weather Warnings for further information

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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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bordonaro, we'll have to keep an eye on Denver to get an idea rather or not the coldest air is well east or right down into the plains. If Denver is not near as cold as areas to the east, then we are going to get side swiped and not the full brunt of it. If Denver goes below zero then it's coming.
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Just a reminder about the WunderCast Forecasting Competition. Good timing with Burlington having all of the snow over the weekend.
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Accuweather is going warm with the next storm, showing rain up to Atlanta, but models have not only backed off the east coast storm, they have gotten a tad colder with the storm, showing a sleet mixture in the Panhandle Thursday night. Also the CMC yesterday showed a low forming in back of that storm, snowing from Houston to NO, to Jacksonville. This is a long shot though, not out of the possiblity though because the GFS is showing moisture in back of this storm.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7396
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:

Hey everyone.. Im back.. anything new?


Yea those blue arrows next to the word frigid is gonna be more west, coming down like a shot
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WOW! CNN news has a Cold Weather News Story, link:

Link
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785

Hey everyone.. Im back.. anything new?
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Mid 40s at 1:30CST with full sunshine with cool north winds here along upper TX coast
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Quoting presslord:
Portlight info, update, news, scoop, 411
Link


Great update, press! I'm trying to read back through some of your blogs, get a better handle on things so we can start "tweeting" in earnest. :)
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Ahh, January Birthdays... I'm the only one in my family without a January birthday! :P

It looks like the Houston area is under the gun again for winter precipitation...

Link
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Hehe. I've been doing the same for a few years now...

My anniversary of my 29th B-day is coming up on the 11th.


Wow! Sounds like we need to have a WU January birthday party. We can have it at my place (blog), so we can post whatever we want...within reason, of course. :)
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Believe me -- you will feel SO much better the very next day after that particular birthday!

Besides, you're just a few days older than Patrap...and way prettier... all's well and as it should be.

TornadoDude is all of 19 on Jan. 9. Is he even legally allowed to be here w/out parental controls?


Thanks, Awake! I just keep telling myself that 50 beats the heck out of the alternative. :)

Tdude will be 19, huh? I remember 19...barely...
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An article below, by Allan Hoffman, a meteorologist w/10yrs experience, out of Raliegh, NC, we use his "ralieghwx" maps on here from time to time. Article about this weeks cold and Southern Snow :0), link:

Link
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
ditto , post 124,, i wish i knew that when i quit met classes, because of math,!! i can discuss, like , my aunts at a reunion,, and call people when there is a storm headin there way,
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Heading back to Tallahassee, into the dead of winter and from the looks of it, not gonna be pretty.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3768
The cold cover will be exiting most of the south tonight get ready for the real cold blast....forecasting 19 here in Monroe tonight
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I'm happy for him. I'll miss his expertise during the hurricane season.


He'll prob be back when the Atlantic gets active.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3768
Quoting atmoaggie:

Hehe. I've been doing the same for a few years now...

My anniversary of my 29th B-day is coming up on the 11th.


I count it as experience...I'm 19 with soon to be 31 years experience
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922

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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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