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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Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

...because he broke his guitar...
He was doing his Who impression..:)
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ouch
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
Quoting reedzone:
GFS shows snow/ice/freezing rain for Central Florida with that small disturbance after the arctic air gets in.


Is it that small that only central Florida gets it?
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3712
At least is gone up a bit but still is 35 degrees...
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3712
Good afternoon, WU. I've stopped looking at temps; it's too depressing. Taz-the-Terrible-Terrier and I have a bit of arthritis that tells us more than we want to know.

Would the Portlight tribe/clan of WU Nation please be so kind and indulge me...pls. go to the Portlight blog and let me know if you think my entry #14 has any merit or if there's problems with legalities? (You may also want to refer to Ike's blog, re our dear "fur-kids"...whoever put that moniker in their entry...thank you, too)!

Many, many thanks in advance!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
GFS shows snow/ice/freezing rain for Central Florida with that small disturbance after the arctic air gets in.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7361
Quoting presslord:


Thanks...but...as one of their more inglorious alumni, it might do more harm than good...
Yeah, Yeah,.....Everybody is a saint but you.....jk...really...jk:)
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Quoting jeffs713:

I'm with you there. When I was up in NH seeing some friends last year, we were driving down I-94 towards Boston, and someone blew by us doing 60-70. About 3 miles down the road, we saw the back end of their car, with the front end about 2 feet deep into a snow drift. Lets just say that we all found it highly amusing.


same issue with rain. Was on I-95 and it started raining so hard that most people slowed down to about 30mph because visibility was so low. But a few crazy people decided to still go 55 and dodge and weave out of traffic.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3712
Quoting tornadodude:


I do, but math has always been my weakness, and speaking and language have always been my strengths

...because he broke his guitar...
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting NEwxguy:
We get the same clowns up here driving like it was summer conditions,I just get out of the way and let them go nuts,usually see them off the road somewhere.

I'm with you there. When I was up in NH seeing some friends last year, we were driving down I-94 towards Boston, and someone blew by us doing 60-70. About 3 miles down the road, we saw the back end of their car, with the front end about 2 feet deep into a snow drift. Lets just say that we all found it highly amusing.
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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Jackson MS
1042 am CST Tuesday Jan 5 2010


Update...


The forecast is on track for today and the hard freeze warning is in
good shape through tonight. As for the potential winter weather event
late Wednesday night and Thursday...the 12z guidance is indicating a
little better potential for freezing rain over northeast portions of
the forecast area and this trend is being watched closely. Snow is
looking less likely given even warmer middle level temperatures showing
up in the new guidance. Will wait until afternoon forecast package to make
any grid changes for winter weather. Updated aviation discussion is below.
/Ec/


&&


Previous discussion... /issued 438 am CST Tuesday Jan 5 2010/


.Wintry weather possible late Wednesday night into Thursday...
.significant Arctic outbreak expected for Fri-sun...


Short term...the focus of the forecast will remain on temperatures as the
first Arctic airmass grips the County Warning Area and steadily modifies over the
next 48hrs before the next more significant frigid airmass impacts
the area. This morning has offered almost ideal rad cooling
conditions with clear skies and light to calm winds. A very weak
pressure gradient still exists over the County Warning Area as the surface ridge axis
extends from north to S and is positioned just to our west. As the
center of that surface ridge shift our way today...look for weak cold air advection to
persist and that will help keep temperatures from warming much. Low level
temperatures at 925mb will continue to hold in the -4 to -7c range today
and that will support readings from the lower 30s north to lower 40s
south. The north 1/3rd of the County Warning Area will likely struggle to reach the
freezing mark today even with full sunshine. I continued to cut the
GFS MOS guidance and used a blend of the NAM/GFS MOS.


For tonight...surface ridge will be located directly overhead. One would
think this would support the coldest night. That may be the case for
some locations in the east...but I don't think it will be for all of
the area. The reason is that low level 925 and 850mb temperatures will be
somewhat warmer than what is currently being observed.
Actually...surface temperatures to our west which are under the surface high are
not falling off a great deal and I feel that a similar trend may
occur over our area tonight. As a result I stayed with or very close
to MOS guidance with only a few small tweaks.


Due to the prolonged period freezing conditions with lows reaching
the upper teens and highs staying around the freezing mark...I will
leave the hard freeze warning as is.


Wednesday will be the transition day as the current cold airmass will see
it most modification as the atmosphere responds to the next system
and warm air advection aloft gets going. The warm up will not be great...but Wednesday
will be the warmest day of the week with highs around 40s north to middle
40s south. GFS guidance temperatures were decent and I used a blend of the
NAM/GFS for highs. Look for middle/high clouds to increase late in the
day as well as ascent aloft increases.


Wednesday night will see the onset of precipitation...mainly across the west and
around or after midnight into the morning of Thursday. Determining precipitation
type is the main issue with this period. As is the case with any
wintry precipitation...1 to 2 degrees is critical in figuring out what type
certain areas will get. This will be the case for this period as warm air advection
aloft will have to warm/moisten and erode the cold/dry air that will
be in place. The latest model data is similar to previous runs with a
trend to being a bit warmer in the crucial layers aloft. As
result...thinking is that our County Warning Area will see all precipitation types occur as
you cross the County Warning Area from north to S. Looks like the SW will remain warm
enough to see mostly rain with some possibility that will begin to
change to sleet/snow just before the precipitation ends. West-central sections
will likely see a mix of rain/sleet/snow with the northwest seeing snow.
The best chances to measure any precipitation will be along and west of I-55.
Areas to the east look to remain too dry and I will stay with the low
guidance probability of precipitation and only mention slight precipitation chances. For that I-55
corridor...as the dry air is getting moistened up...cooling will
occur and sleet looks likely with a similar transition and mix as I
described for the western areas as you go from S to north across the
County Warning Area. Some accumulation will be possible...but the primary time for
all that will be during the first half of the Thursday period and will be
discussed below. /Cme/


Long term...Thursday through Tuesday...the main story in the long
term continues to be the wintry weather expected followed by the
bitterly cold temperatures expected for the weekend.


Models have come in a bit warmer for tonights run than was the case
last night. What looked to be snow for more of the region last night
than rain has switched tonight and is more of a wintry mess this
run. Still expect the area that has the best chance for mostly all
snow will be along the north across the Highway 82 corridor and this
has remained rather consistent over the past few days. Temperatures
should remain cold enough through the day to avoid any sort of
melting/refreezing issues. The further south in the County Warning Area we get the
more complicated the precipitation type gets. Between the Highway 84
corridor and about the I-20 corridor...there should be an area of
mixed precipitation where some melting will occur and have a mix of rain
and snow. Exactly where this will occur is still hard to pinpoint.
Across the I-20 corridor...there is also a likely chance to see some
sleet mixed in as well as model soundings show a period during the
day on Thursday where some melting can occur followed by some
refreezing that would lead to sleet, so have added this to the
forecast for Thursday. South of I-20 is a little less complicated as
models show this area being the warmest and likely to see more rain
than snow. Have bumped up probability of precipitation in the south as they should likely
see measureable rain during the day. If enough cooling can take
place this rain may change over to some snow but feel that a full
change-over is not likely and will maintain a rain/snow mix through
the end of the event. By late afternoon...snow should begin to taper
off across the northwest as the system begins to move east.
Locations across the east could see a transition to more snow with
possibly some rain mixed in before the end of the event.


As far as accumulations...GFS ensemble members are in pretty good
agreement that the north should see about an inch or so with the
higher amounts just to the north of our County Warning Area. Some locations in the
north could possibly see between and inch and an inch and a half
most members are not as gung Ho with those amounts in our County Warning Area. If
the models trend warmer further north...then these amounts could
even be less as snow could mix with rain and limit the amount of
accumulation.


Most of the snow should be gone by around 00z Friday. There could
be some wrap around moisture from the upper low that may bring some
flurries to the north on Friday but most of the region should remain
dry. This is when the cold really comes in. Temperatures on Thursday will
fall during the day as evaporative cooling/wet bulbing occurs with
the onset the precipitation and conditions never get any better. As the
front has moved through the region...a 1050mb high builds down from
central Canada and strong cold air advection takes place. Friday will be very brisk
as strong northerly winds will make conditions feel even colder than
they are. Wind chills on Friday will be in the single digits making
for a very Bone chilling day.


Temperatures for the period on Friday night through Sunday have not
changed much as models still show 850mb temperatures between -10 and -15c
and 925mb temperatures in the -10 to -17c range. This will bring readings
in the single digits and teens for lows Friday night and Saturday
night. Highs on Friday will struggle mightily across the area.
Readings in the north should struggle to make it above 20 with highs
in the south between 25 and 28. Conditions will be slightly warmer
on Saturday but still Bone chilling despite full sunshine.


By Sunday night...conditions should very gradually improve as
modified surface high pressure resides over the area. Surface winds will
swing out of the south and the upper flow becomes more zonal.
Temperatures will slowly warm but still remain seasonal normals.


By Monday night and Tuesday...the surface high will shift to the east
and upper flow shifts southwesterly ahead of the next system. /28/
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Quoting hydrus:
That was a very kind gesture Press.:)


Thanks...but...as one of their more inglorious alumni, it might do more harm than good...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10483
We get the same clowns up here driving like it was summer conditions,I just get out of the way and let them go nuts,usually see them off the road somewhere.
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Quoting NRAamy:
but I generally have an additional 20 lbs of layers on and it does slow me down

eyes...me too...it's called blubber...that's why I'm on a diet!

:)
So the message here is that my closet is full and your pantry is empty
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Quoting presslord:
If you're going to major in public relations you MUST attend the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia...there is simply no other rational choice...let me know when you want me to send the letter of recommendation...
That was a very kind gesture Press.:)
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Quoting GBguy88:


Well, I've only ever seen it one time in my life, so what better way to experience it again than by sliding into the back of someone else's car, into a ditch, guard rail, etc...Floridians can drive in snow too :P


My recommendation is to take a sick day...snow is easy, as long as you know that you slow it way down. Here in DFW we got the Christmas snow this year and while it wasn't too bad, I saw people doing 50-60 on slick road...and, well, bam! In places where there is a good deal of snow on a regular basis, most folks just stay off the roads and let us pros have them...LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting tornadodude:


I do, but math has always been my weakness, and speaking and language have always been my strengths
Talk to your Professor again. He could help, maybe recommend certain good books, or possibly a tutor.
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If you're going to major in public relations you MUST attend the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia...there is simply no other rational choice...let me know when you want me to send the letter of recommendation...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10483
Quoting GBguy88:


Well, I've only ever seen it one time in my life, so what better way to experience it again than by sliding into the back of someone else's car, into a ditch, guard rail, etc...Floridians can drive in snow too :P


pinball!
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Quoting presslord:


OK...Why would anyone go toward snow?!?!?!?!?! Snow is of the Devil...


Well, I've only ever seen it one time in my life, so what better way to experience it again than by sliding into the back of someone else's car, into a ditch, guard rail, etc...Floridians can drive in snow too :P
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Quoting hydrus:
I will just say I would be quite surprised if you did. You seem to have a handle on it.


I do, but math has always been my weakness, and speaking and language have always been my strengths
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Quoting tornadodude:


no.. I think that I will try this out for a little bit to see if I like it. I'm pretty much exploring my options right now.
I will just say I would be quite surprised if you did. You seem to have a handle on it.
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Quoting tornadodude:




...exactly...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10483
Quoting GBguy88:


Are you talking about the Cumberland Plateau in TN? I have family outside of Chattanooga, on Dayton Mountain. Thought about driving up for the snow, on account of I don't think we'll get a flake here in Pensacola.
Yes, We had strong winds and rain with the last storm. (large branches down, awnings etc..There saying to stay tuned, it could get pretty rough around here.
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Quoting presslord:


OK...Why would anyone go toward snow?!?!?!?!?! Snow is of the Devil...


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Quoting GBguy88:


Are you talking about the Cumberland Plateau in TN? I have family outside of Chattanooga, on Dayton Mountain. Thought about driving up for the snow, on account of I don't think we'll get a flake here in Pensacola.


OK...Why would anyone go toward snow?!?!?!?!?! Snow is of the Devil...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10483
Quoting hydrus:
Are kidding about switching majors? ? ?


no.. I think that I will try this out for a little bit to see if I like it. I'm pretty much exploring my options right now.
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Quoting Floodman:


So my friend is going to major in BS...there are a fair number of us here that could teach those courses

I will have a PhD in Procrastination... when I get around to it.
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Purdue Forecast:

This Afternoon: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 20. Wind chill values as low as -1. West northwest wind between 11 and 13 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 9. Wind chill values as low as zero. West northwest wind between 7 and 10 mph.

Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 22. Wind chill values as low as -1. West wind around 8 mph.

Wednesday Night: Snow likely, mainly after 1am. Cloudy, with a low around 13. Southwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Thursday: Snow. High near 22. North northwest wind between 6 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Thursday Night: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 9. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Friday: A 40 percent chance of snow showers. Cloudy and cold, with a high near 14.

Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 1.

Saturday: A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 13.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 2.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 20.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 9.

Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 23.
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Quoting tornadodude:


ha yeah :P it was meteorology, but I think I'm better suited to keep that as a hobby, and focus more on what I am more capable of doing
Are kidding about switching majors? ? ?
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Quoting hydrus:
I think we might get whacked pretty bad here on the plateau. Place still looks messy from our last storm. Going to get my wisdom teeth pulled (two up top) do you know anything about this procedure?


Are you talking about the Cumberland Plateau in TN? I have family outside of Chattanooga, on Dayton Mountain. Thought about driving up for the snow, on account of I don't think we'll get a flake here in Pensacola.
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Tonight is the night to cover up sensitive outdoor plants if you have them in PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL.


Tonight: Patchy frost after 4am. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 31. Northwest wind between 3 and 7 mph.

Wednesday: Patchy frost before 8am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 56. Wind chill values as low as 26 early. Northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.
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The GFS and NOGAPS forecast models trending toward the very slim chance scenario, very slowly though. Just shows moisture backing in after the front arrives. This would mean snow/ice/sleet mess Saturday morning as far south as Orlando, still a wait and see..

Maybe the CMC isn't too crazy after all..
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7361
Quoting NRAamy:
43 still here in Tampa at noon.

yeah, baby...dig that global warming....


Amy,please don't go down that road.(Cringes)
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43 still here in Tampa at noon.

yeah, baby...dig that global warming....
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Good Morning! "The Siberian Blast is Coming! The Siberian Blast ic coming Link to my updated blog :0):

Link
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
43 still here in Tampa at noon.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
On that map in 789, anybody else notice that it's as cold in Central Florida as it is in southwestern ALASKA????

Wow.


whoa
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On that map in 789, anybody else notice that it's as cold in Central Florida as it is in southwestern ALASKA????

Wow.
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Quoting SQUAWK:


What was your major?
Quoting Floodman:


So my friend is going to major in BS...there are a fair number of us here that could teach those courses


ha yeah :P it was meteorology, but I think I'm better suited to keep that as a hobby, and focus more on what I am more capable of doing
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Quoting Floodman:


Generally pretty good...back spasms and a little pain, but walking (I don't have to use a cane) and the use of minimal pain meds/muscle relaxants seem to do the trick. Unless of course its very cold...LOL

Thanks, for asking!

It's about 29 here right now and clear as can be...now, Thursday will be another story...low in the low teens and a high in the mid twenties...
I think we might get whacked pretty bad here on the plateau. Place still looks messy from our last storm. Going to get my wisdom teeth pulled (two up top) do you know anything about this procedure?
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during this cold outbreak don't forget to protect any outside plumbing.
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So, has anyone read the new action/adventure novel my friend and I are writing about hurricanes? It's up to Chapter 5 and Ivan is forecast to hit Tampa! :)

Chasers

In the introduction, I fictionalize the tragedy of the PB4Y-2 typhoon hunter mission of October 1945 that Dr. Masters posted here in June 2009.
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Quoting NRAamy:
no fun, SQUAWK.....I've been banned way too many times on here....I think the geeks have me on auto-ban....


Bummer. Cold weather is boring and needs some humor to spice it up. Unless you are up to your kazakass in snow, then it may not be boring - just a pain.
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Quoting tornadodude:


ha Public Relations, marketing, etc :P


So my friend is going to major in BS...there are a fair number of us here that could teach those courses
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting tornadodude:


ha Public Relations, marketing, etc :P


What was your major?
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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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