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 Orcasystems:


ROFLMAO.. of the three you did pick.. only 1 (StormW) is a pro...

Love to see what kind of observations Weather456 would have made of this weather.


Where is 456 anyway?
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SE TX: Coldest air in over 10 years heading for the area by Thursday.

Hard Freezes likely Friday-Sunday mornings.


Tonight will be a small taste of what is to come. Upper air pattern undergoes significant amplification this week with a bitter cold air mass over NW Canada being unleashed southward into the US. Massive 1055mb surface high enters the US over Montana Tuesday and plunges due south down the plains through the Gulf of Mexico and into mainland Mexico. Will go with the fastest model guidance on frontal timing as once this dense very cold air begins to move…little is going to stop it. Will show the arctic boundary blasting through the region Thursday before sunrise…and it will be downhill from that point on. Highs in the 40’s prior to the front will tumble into the upper 20’s by early evening under strong NW winds of 20-30mph. Wind chills will fall into the teens over most of the area. Skies will clear out Thursday PM, but winds should help the temperatures from getting out of control by Friday morning…although a hard freeze is likely along and N of US 59 by Friday morning. Latest guidance only shows highs breaking about 35 for a few hours on Friday and locations N of HWY 105 may remain below freezing all day. Massive arctic ridge builds overhead Friday night with clear skies and light winds…there appears to be nothing to stop the bottom from falling out on the temperatures. Lows in the upper teens looks likely N of I-10 with near 20 at IAH and freezing temperatures to the beaches. Will only recover into the upper 30’s for a few hours on Saturday before the temps. tank again Saturday night with the arctic high remaining in control. Hard freeze most locations again Sunday AM. Plenty of time to fine tune the lows for Friday-Sunday mornings.

Some locations (mainly N of HWY 105) will likely see 36-60 hours of sub-freezing temperatures from Thursday PM- Sun AM. Intensity and duration of this event has not been seen in SE TX since IAH fell to 19 in 1996…prior to that one must go back to the snow/cold air outbreak of December 1989 when IAH fell to its all time record low of 7. Freezing temperatures will be felt even across deep south Texas with damage likely to the citrus crops in both Texas and Florida.

Residents across the region should begin to prepare for this significant cold air outbreak. Exposed outside pipes should be wrapped as temperatures in the 10’s/low 20’s will cause some issues along with the long duration of the event. Temperatures of this magnitude will kill any un-protected tropical vegetation…and even protected vegetation may have some serious issues. Heavy irrigation of the ground soils prior to the event and then multiple layers of coverings may help mitigate some of the damage. Pets and livestock will also need protection. With wind chills falling to dangerously low levels into the low teens if not the single digits plans should be made to protect pets and livestock and persons should limit their outdoor exposure.
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HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDIANAPOLIS IN
1107 AM EST MON JAN 4 2010

INZ028-035-043>045-051>053-060>062-067>070-051100-
WARREN-FOUNTAIN-VERMILLION-PARKE-PUTNAM-VIGO-CLAY-OWEN-SULLIVAN-
GREENE-MONROE-KNOX-DAVIESS-MARTIN-LAWRENCE-
1107 AM EST MON JAN 4 2010

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR CENTRAL INDIANA.

.DAY ONE...THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.

SUB ZERO WIND CHILLS MAY OCCUR AT TIMES TONIGHT.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY.

MODERATE SNOW ACCUMULATION ARE POSSIBLE AROUND THURSDAY.

SUB ZERO WIND CHILLS ARE POSSIBLE TUESDAY AND WIND CHILLS BY THE
END OF THIS WEEK MAY DROP WELL BELOW ZERO.


Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting Bordonaro:


Sorry, Orca, I don't think that will happen.


It will happen soon... this time of year we either have the "pineapple express" or an "arctic outflow"
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Looking at the ECMWF and the GFS I would say that this cold period should continue for the east into mid next week at least. The plains region will begin to warm up mid next week as positive height anomalies advect eastward and then the east later. This matches up well with the AO forecast.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Oh, geez...(note to Atmo, Patrap, etc. etc. etc.)

Add Mrs. Floodman (LongStrangeTrip) to your list of WU Capricorns. Just read on her blog that her birthday is this Thursday.

One of these days we're going to have to all flag Amy for WU hitting-and-running, lol.


LOL...birthday? What birthday?? It's the 21st anniversary of my 29th birthday...and as of this morning, I'm afraid I'm not handling it very well. :-/
Member Since: July 10, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 412
Depends on the dip in the jet stream, modesl are still pegging at a 1050mb high coming down into Montana down the plains straight south, we shall see
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Quoting Orcasystems:


what we really need is that minus 30-40 to shift into the BC interior for about a week... that would be cold enough to kill the pine beetle infestation.


Sorry, Orca, I don't think that will happen.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting NRAamy:
One of these days we're going to have to all flag Amy for WU hitting-and-running, lol.

AAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!


I hope your enjoying your beautiful weather, because it will be California's turn, beginning next week for big storm systems to move into Central and Southern California.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Bordonaro:


Rita, the $64,000 question is, "How much of that -30F air will be dumped into the Southern Plains"?


what we really need is that minus 30-40 to shift into the BC interior for about a week... that would be cold enough to kill the pine beetle infestation.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
-40 coldest so far in NW Canada. That's the heart of her right there heading south for the ride down the plains.



Rita, the $64,000 question is, "How much of that -30F air will be dumped into the Southern Plains"?
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
00Z GFS Surface Map @288HRS SA 1-16-10 @ 12Z:

Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
-40 coldest so far in NW Canada. That's the heart of her right there heading south for the ride down the plains.

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The 12Z GFS took my storm away!
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ECMWF and GFS comparison 8-10 day means:



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One of these days we're going to have to all flag Amy for WU hitting-and-running, lol.

AAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Very reliable because the GFS did very good in predicting this cold spell across the US weeks ago. Also, the Euro is showing a change as well. Severe weather season is about to begin. If you don't believe me then wait too you see what will happen in florida late next week.


Jeff, I kinda' expected after a pattern change, that the wild SW Sub-Tropical Jet will start creating trouble again in parts of the Southern Plains and the Gulf Coast region.

From 14F in Dallas, back to the "early spring pattern"!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Oh, geez...(note to Atmo, Patrap, etc. etc. etc.)

Add Mrs. Floodman (LongStrangeTrip) to your list of WU Capricorns. Just read on her blog that her birthday is this Thursday.

One of these days we're going to have to all flag Amy for WU hitting-and-running, lol.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


It's rather rare for the entire state of Florida to be cane free in a 5 year time period. Most research I've done says 2010 should be the end of the quiet period, climatology agree's.
Happy New Year Folks........Spent the last week in South Florida and drove back to Tallahassee yesterday afternoon. Cold all over the State and not sure yet if I prefer the dry cold in Tally in the 20's or the humid cold in South Florida in the 40's; they both cut through you like a knife. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Very reliable because the GFS did very good in predicting this cold spell across the US weeks ago. Also, the Euro is showing a change as well. Severe weather season is about to begin. If you don't believe me then wait too you see what will happen in florida late next week.
mid jan is the normal point for severe weather season to begin iam expecting a very active severe season myself
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Quoting Floodman:


Based on? Observation? Old Wives Tale? Indian legend? Pre-Apocalyptic Prophesy?


It's rather rare for the entire state to be cane free in a 5 year time period. Most research I've done says 2010 should be the end of the quiet period, climatology agree's.
Quoting Floodman:


Based on? Observation? Old Wives Tale? Indian legend? Pre-Apocalyptic Prophesy?


Wives tale
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Happy New Year Main Blog!

:)
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Quoting TampaSpin:
47. Floodman 12:09 PM EST on January 04, 2010
Quoting RitaEvac:
If Florida gets snow, they may get their Cane too this season


Based on? Observation? Old Wives Tale? Indian legend? Pre-Apocalyptic Prophesy?



Just did some extra research work and just noticed the girls in the live porn sites aren't taking there clothes off either.....until that happens my guess is the cold weather hangs in there.....ROFLMAO

"research work". I see. LOL.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


ROFLMAO.. of the three you did pick.. only 1 (StormW) is a pro...

Love to see what kind of observations Weather456 would have made of this weather.

I am no pro at short-term forecasts, either...barely a hobby since school and not something I have done, professionally, at all.

(You are correct, BTW. StormW is surely the pro, but TampaSpin is no dummy...)
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57. XLR8
Light Snow falling in Flowood, MS right now. Temp down to 29 from 31 at 8am. Buurrrrrr
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Quoting atmoaggie:

(I know you didn't answer me, but I'll answer anyway)
This is synoptic scale. It is exactly what GFS was designed and built for.
Just like we use GFS for steering patterns, I would think nothing else is as reliable for synoptic patterns 6 days out. However, 6 days out is on the cusp of too far out for any real trustworthiness.

Exactly. The GFS had this arctic blast pegged when it was 12-15 days out.
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Jax WFO Conditions at 12 Noon

Temp: 40 degrees
Dewpoint: 11 degrees
Wind: West 10 mph
Relative Humidity: 30%
Pressure: 30.12F
Wind Chill: 33 degrees
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Quoting Bordonaro:


I did think of you and just asked. The "donkey" light went off in my head and said, "Stupid, yeah you, Bob, ask the pro Atmoaggie"!


ROFLMAO.. of the three you did pick.. only 1 (StormW) is a pro...

Love to see what kind of observations Weather456 would have made of this weather.
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Quoting FLPandhandleJG:
well I'm not going to post until later bc my phone is posting more than once on the same post.. Everyone have a good afternoon and I will back later to post models or images..

On a Blackberry Boysenberry?
You just have to go back to the list of blogs after posting to avoid repeating posts and load this blog anew.
Simply refreshing after posting will just make the post again.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

(I know you didn't answer me, but I'll answer anyway)
This is synoptic scale. It is exactly what GFS was designed and built for.
Just like we use GFS for steering patterns, I would think nothing else is as reliable for synoptic patterns 6 days out. However, 6 days out is on the cusp of too far out for any real trustworthiness.


I did think of you and just asked. The "donkey" light went off in my head and said, "Stupid, yeah you, Bob, ask the pro Atmoaggie"!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting atmoaggie:

Fish and frogs...


Atmo, how good is GFS models at forecasting pattern changes The last few runs on GFS breaks down the Greenland blocking High, replacing it with the lovely, huge surface Low near Iceland.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Floodman:


Based on? Observation? Old Wives Tale? Indian legend? Pre-Apocalyptic Prophesy?


Ouija Board :)
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Quoting Bordonaro:
Storm W, Tampa Spin, Orca, how reliable are GFS models, when it comes to forecasting a weather pattern change. The blocking High over Greenland disappears by Day 6 on the 12Z run, looking like a CONUS temperatures will try to return towards "more normal"!

(I know you didn't ask me, but I'll answer anyway)
This is synoptic scale. It is exactly what GFS was designed and built for.
Just like we use GFS for steering patterns, I would think nothing else is as reliable for synoptic patterns 6 days out. However, 6 days out is on the cusp of too far out for any real trustworthiness.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
If Florida gets snow, they may get their Cane too this season


Based on? Observation? Old Wives Tale? Indian legend? Pre-Apocalyptic Prophesy?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
well I'm not going to post until later bc my phone is posting more than once on the same post.. Everyone have a good afternoon and I will back later to post models or images..
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
Yeah, Jeff713, atmoaggie, falling pets and food for your next gumbo recipe' I see!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Bordonaro:


Doing well JG! And good morning everyone.

I can see Thursday's forecast for Tallahassee, FL. "Cloudy with a 30% chance on "non-liquid precipitation" possible. High near 34F.

Is it going to snow/sleet, falling ash, falling mothballs?


Still have an active volcano on Montserrat, spewing ash...don't think it's forceful enough to cause ashfall in Florida though...LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting Bordonaro:
Storm W, Tampa Spin, Orca, how reliable are GFS models, when it comes to forecasting a weather pattern change. The blocking High over Greenland disappears by Day 6 on the 12Z run, looking like a CONUS temperatures will try to return towards "more normal"!


That question is out of my league... but... I don't trust anything more then three days out.

That being said... StormW would know the answer
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Storm W, Tampa Spin, Orca, how reliable are GFS models, when it comes to forecasting a weather pattern change. The blocking High over Greenland disappears by Day 6 on the 12Z run, looking like a CONUS temperatures will try to return towards "more normal"!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
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Quoting Bordonaro:


Doing well JG! And good morning everyone.

I can see Thursday's forecast for Tallahassee, FL. "Cloudy with a 30% chance on "non-liquid precipitation" possible. High near 34F.

Is it going to snow/sleet, falling ash, falling mothballs?

Cats and Dogs.
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If Florida gets snow, they may get their Cane too this season
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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.