Great Blizzard pounds Midwest; Australia braces for Category 4 Yasi

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:37 PM GMT on February 01, 2011

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The Great Blizzard of February 1 - 2, 2011 is here. Oklahoma City is experiencing whiteout conditions, with heavy snow of 2 inches per hour being driven by ferocious winds of 36 mph, gusting to 46 mph. With a temperature of just 9°F, this is an extremely dangerous storm for the city, and all of Oklahoma has been placed under a state of emergency. Seven inches of snow had fallen in Oklahoma City as of 7am EST. Dangerous blizzard conditions extend from Oklahoma, through northwest Arkansas, southeast Kansas, and southern Missouri this morning, and blizzard conditions are expected to spread northeastward into eastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin, most of Illinois, southern Michigan, northern Indians, and northwest Ohio later today. Cold air is being driven southwards out of Canada by a high pressure system over Montana that is at near-record strength. Pressures at Glasgow, Montana this morning were 1054 mb, close to the all-time U.S. high pressure record of 1064 mb set in Montana in 1983. Copious moisture is streaming northwards from the Gulf of Mexico to fuel the blizzard, and snowfall amounts will likely approach two feet across portions of Iowa and Illinois today, making it one of the top-ten snowstorms in history for the region. The storm will probably be Chicago's biggest blizzard since January 2 - 4 1999, when a storm dumped 21.6" of snow. With today's snowstorm expected to have very unstable air aloft, "thundersnow" with snowfall rates of 4 inches/hour is possible, and there is a chance today's blizzard could rival Chicago's greatest snow storm of all time, the blizzard of January 26 - 27, 1967. That immense storm dumped 23 inches of snow on Chicago, stranding thousands of people and leaving an estimated 800 Chicago Transit Authority buses and 50,000 automobiles abandoned on the city streets and expressways. Twenty six Chicagoans died in the blizzard, mostly due to heart attacks from shoveling snow. Strong winds in Chicago today are expected to generate 14 - 18 feet waves on Lake Michigan, with occasional waves up to 25 feet. A significant coastal flooding event is possible for the city, with beach erosion and flooding along Lake Shore Drive.


Figure 1. Chicago's Calumet Expressway near 138th after the record blizzard of January 26 - 27, 1967. Image credit: NOAA Photo Library.

Many major cities will likely receive over 12 inches of snow from the Great Blizzard of February 2011, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Detroit, and Boston. Perhaps of greater concern is the potential for a major ice storm along a swath from Northwest Oklahoma to Massachusetts. Widespread freezing rain is expected to bring over 1/4" of ice to many major cities, including Indianapolis, Columbus, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and New York City. Some regions could see up to an inch of ice, and widespread power outages due to toppled power lines are likely for millions of people. Damages exceeding $1 billions are possible from this ice storm. In addition, the storm's powerful cold front brought severe thunderstorms to eastern Texas this morning, and severe thunderstorms will affect Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama today as the cold front moves east. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed the region under its "slight risk" threat area for severe weather today, and a few isolated tornadoes may develop this afternoon in some of the heaviest thunderstorms.


Figure 2. A world of white. I don't recall ever seeing such a large area of the U.S. covered by winter weather warnings.

Extremely dangerous Tropical Cyclone Yasi bears down on flooded Queensland, Australia
Tropical Cyclone Yasi continues to intensify as it speeds westwards towards vulnerable Queensland, Australia. Yasi, now a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds, is under light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, and over warm ocean waters of 29°C (84°C). The sea surface temperatures over the region of ocean Yasi is traversing (10S - 20S, 145E - 160E) were 1.2°C above average during December, the latest month we have data for from the UK Hadley Center. This is the highest value on record, going back to the early 1900s. Low wind shear and record warm sea surface temperatures will continue to affect Yasi for the next day, and the cyclone should be able to maintain Category 4 strength until landfall Wednesday evening (local time.)

Queensland faces three major threats from Yasi. The cyclone will bring torrential rainfall to a region with saturated soils that saw record flooding earlier this month. The latest rainfall rates in Yasi's eyewall as estimated by NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite are 20 mm (0.8") per hour. The GFS model is predicting that a wide swath of Queensland will receive 5 - 10 inches of rain over the next week, due to the combined effects of Yasi and a moist flow of tropical air over the region. Fortunately, Yasi is moving with a rapid forward speed, about 21 mph, and is not expected to linger over Queensland after landfall. The heaviest rainfall will miss Queenland's most populated regions to the south that had the worst flooding problems earlier this month, including the Australia's third largest city, Brisbane.

Yasi will bring highly destructive winds to a region of coast near the city of Cairns (population 150,000.) Townsville (population 200,000) is farther from the expected landfall of the eyewall, and should see lesser winds. Strong building codes have been in place in Queensland since the 1960s, which will help reduce the damage amounts.

A dangerous storm surge in excess of ten feet can be expected along the left front quadrant of the storm where it comes ashore. The critical thing will be when Yasi hits relative to the tidal cycle. The tidal range between low and high tide along the coast near Cairns will be about 2 meters (6 feet) during the evening of February 2. If Yasi hits at low tide, a 10-foot storm surge will only bring the water levels four feet above mean tide, but a strike at high tide would bring water levels a full ten feet above mean tide. High tide is at 9pm EST (local) time in Cairns on February 2.

Yasi is comparable to Cyclone Larry of 2006, which hit Queensland as a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds. Larry killed one person and caused $872 million in damage (2011 U.S. dollars.) Yasi is a much larger storm than Larry, though, and will bring heavy rains to a region with soils already saturated from record rains. Yasi is likely to be a billion-dollar disaster for Australia.


Figure 3. Tropical Cyclone Yasi at midnight GMT on February 1, 2011. At the time, Yasi was a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

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497. Grothar
1:41 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26887
496. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:38 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
495. atmoaggie
1:36 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
It starts with a band from NOLA to Mobile Thursday morning. In the Texas direction the next day.

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
494. Patrap
1:35 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
psttttttt,

New Dr. Jeff Masters entry
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
493. atmoaggie
1:35 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
I didn't check the 18 Z NAM earlier. That's snow cover for I-10 from San Antonio to Mobile. (Even includes NOLA-proper, not just northshore.)

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
492. BahaHurican
1:33 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
It seems the worst of these storms always arrive in the middle of the night....

The cyclone is expected to cross the coast in the Innisfail area
at about midnight.


I wonder how far / long into the storm the Cairns radar will be able to broadcast data...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22579
491. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:31 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
data from willis island has ceased

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
490. atmoaggie
1:30 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting BahaHurican:
Evening all.

Wow. I sure wouldn't want to be the one sitting under THAT eyewall anytime now....

On the storm surge and small islands, when Andrew passed through the Bahamas, storm surge of up to 25 feet was observed on the island of Eleuthera, with complete washover in several placed during the height of the storm. The difference, IMO, is that Eleuthera is at the eastern edge of the Great Bahama Bank there, which in some ways might act like a coastline in terms of surge. (on the western side of Eleuthera water is often in the range of 6 - 20 feet deep....)
Exactly why I brought up a sand bar a hundred miles long, and the like. It would act somewhat like a coastline, impeding water flow.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
489. ktymisty
1:30 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
A good view of Yasi from Weatherzone
Link
Member Since: August 22, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 206
488. CybrTeddy
1:30 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Down to 125 knots (1 min sustained)

Strong as Julia at peak.

Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24484
486. Patrap
1:29 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Those outer feeders are affecting the Coast and conditions will deteriorate throughout the Warned area.

Rush ya completions and evacuations to completion and get away from the coast.

The Water is coming.


We hope and wish ya Countrymen Godspeed Aussiestorm.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
485. BahaHurican
1:28 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Evening all.

Wow. I sure wouldn't want to be the one sitting under THAT eyewall anytime now....

On the storm surge and small islands, when Andrew passed through the Bahamas, storm surge of up to 25 feet was observed on the island of Eleuthera, with complete washover in several places during the height of the storm. The difference, IMO, is that Eleuthera is at the eastern edge of the Great Bahama Bank there, which in some ways might act like a coastline in terms of surge. (on the western side of Eleuthera water is often in the range of 6 - 20 feet deep....)
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22579
484. atmoaggie
1:25 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting AussieStorm:

They might not have a post to go back.
Yasi's eye coming into Cairns Radar view


on other news.... Super-fish Thorpedo, Iam Thorpe is coming back for the 2012 Olympics.
the short range view building in a loop (this image will be continuously updated for the next 23 hours)

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
483. Patrap
1:24 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Yasi is very much like the Large Catastrophic Storms..we've seen the last 5-7 years in the Atlantic.

Impact and size matter inversely.

The Wider the Overall Core is,,and how it hits the Coast is everything as to the overall impact.


Cyclone Force Winds of 2-4 Cat will spread well inland and cause damage along the Cores path.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
482. jamesrainier
1:24 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 175
481. TomTaylor
1:24 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
479. Patrap
1:20 AM GMT on February 02, 2011

THIS IMPACT IS LIKELY TO BE MORE LIFE THREATENING THAN ANY EXPERIENCED DURING
RECENT GENERATIONS.


TC Yasi, CATEGORY 5, will continue to move in a west-southwesterly direction
during the day. The cyclone is expected to cross the coast in the Innisfail area
at about midnight.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
478. AussieStorm
1:20 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting Patrap:
Willis Island will garner good data from the Instruments.


The Impact to come is going to be Catastrophic.





I'm sorry to say but Willis Island has stopped sending weather Ob's.

Wed 10:00 EST
- 0 0 79.7 79.7 86.0 100 1 Low 0.0 940.1
Wed 10:00 EST
- 0 0 79.7 79.7 86.0 100 1 Low - 940.1
Wed 09:50 EST
- 0 0 79.5 79.3 86.0 99 1 Low - 937.6
Wed 09:40 EST
- 0 0 80.8 80.2 89.6 98 1 Low - 938.6
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
477. Patrap
1:19 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
IDQP0005
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
Queensland
Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre

Media: Transmitters serving the area between Cape Melville to Sarina are
requested to USE the Standard Emergency Warning Signal before broadcasting the
following warning.

TOP PRIORITY
TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 13
Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, Brisbane
Issued at 11:12am EST on Wednesday the 2nd of February 2011

A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal and island communities from Cape
Melville to Sarina, extending inland to Croydon and Richmond.

A Cyclone WATCH is current for the remaining inland parts west to the Northern
Territory border and north of Winton.

At 10:00 am EST Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Category 5 was estimated to be 445
kilometres east of Cairns and 455 kilometres northeast of Townsville and moving
west southwest at 30 kilometres per hour.

SEVERE TC YASI IS A LARGE AND VERY POWERFUL TROPICAL CYCLONE AND POSES AN
EXTREMELY SERIOUS THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY WITHIN THE WARNING AREA,
ESPECIALLY BETWEEN CAIRNS AND TOWNSVILLE.

THIS IMPACT IS LIKELY TO BE MORE LIFE THREATENING THAN ANY EXPERIENCED DURING
RECENT GENERATIONS.

TC Yasi, CATEGORY 5, will continue to move in a west-southwesterly direction
during the day. The cyclone is expected to cross the coast in the Innisfail area
at about midnight.

Coastal residents within the warning area, and particularly between Cairns and
Ayr are specifically warned of an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SEA LEVEL RISE [i.e. storm
tide] as the cyclone approaches, crosses the coast and moves inland. The sea is
likely to steadily rise up to a level which will be VERY DANGEROUSLY above the
normal tide, with EXTREMELY DAMAGING WAVES, STRONG CURRENTS and FLOODING of
low-lying areas extending some way inland. People living in areas likely to be
affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much
as possible, and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the
area if advised to do so by authorities.

DAMAGING WINDS with gusts to 90 km/hr that are currently developing on coastal
islands, are forecast to develop about the coast by late morning and about the
tropical interior overnight.

Between Cape Tribulation and Ingham these winds will become DESTRUCTIVE with
gusts in excess of 125km/hr during the afternoon and early evening and VERY
DESTRUCTIVE with gusts up to 300 km/hr between Cairns and Ingham during the
evening as the cyclone approaches and crosses the coast. These VERY DESTRUCTIVE
winds can also occur on the seaward side of hills to the north of the cyclone
and are also forecast to reach the Atherton Tablelands.

Winds are forecast to ease about the east coast during Thursday morning as the
cyclone moves inland.

FLOODING RAINS will develop from Cooktown to Sarina during the afternoon and
then extend inland overnight.
People between Cape Melville and Sarina, extending inland to Croydon and
Richmond should complete preparations quickly and be prepared to shelter in a
safe place.
- Boats and outside property should be secured.
- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster
Management Services website [www.disaster.qld.gov.au]
- For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service [SES] on
132 500 [for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on
buildings or roof damage].

People about the remaining inland parts west to the Northern Territory border
and north of Winton should consider what action they will need to take if the
cyclone threat increases.
- Information is available from your local government
- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster
Management Services website [www.disaster.qld.gov.au]
- For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service [SES] on
132 500 [for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on
buildings or roof damage].

Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi at 10:00 am EST:
.Centre located near...... 16.4 degrees South 149.9 degrees East
.Location accuracy........ within 30 kilometres
.Recent movement.......... towards the west southwest at 30 kilometres per hour
.Wind gusts near centre... 295 kilometres per hour
.Severity category........ 5
.Central pressure......... 922 hectoPascals


Please ensure that neighbours have heard and understood this message,
particularly new arrivals or those who may not fully understand English.

The next advice will be issued by 2:00 pm EST Wednesday 02 February.

This warning is also available through TV and Radio Broadcasts; the Bureau's
website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 212. The Bureau and the State
Emergency Service would appreciate this warning being broadcast regularly.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
476. AussieStorm
1:18 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting Floodman:


Not much, I'm afraid

They might not have a post to go back.
Yasi's eye coming into Cairns Radar view


on other news.... Super-fish Thorpedo, Iam Thorpe is coming back for the 2012 Olympics.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
475. Patrap
1:16 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Willis Island will garner good data from the Instruments.


The Impact to come is going to be Catastrophic.




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
474. Floodman
1:14 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting AussieStorm:

I am sorry to say, there is a permanent staff of 4 on the island.
Here is a story from one. They left yesterday. I wonder what they will return to??????


Not much, I'm afraid
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
473. Patrap
1:13 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
472. Skyepony (Mod)
1:12 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Surge goes around little islands. That side with limited reef protection should have monster waves though.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38679
471. Ossqss
1:11 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting AussieStorm:
Willis Island has stopped reporting.


Aussie, it would be of interest to know if that was a dredged island or natural. By virtue of the pic showing the skinny water/sand shallows, around one side, it may have indeed been created or added to. Dunno, but I would think it will be MIA from wave action and direction of such from the imagery and stated wave heights.
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
470. Patrap
1:10 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Storm Surge will be the usual culprit as TC Yasi comes inland

Heed the Warnings.


Evacuate if told to do so.

Mr. Guerra here,8 Miles east of NOLA on 29 August 05 will tell ya how he should have.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
469. atmoaggie
1:07 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting RecordSeason:
More inconsistent data: Windfield/pressure

They continue to report it at 916 and 130kts here, but downgraded it back to 125kts in their official intensity statement. This was published at the exact same time. Doesn't make sense to me.
The rammb product was likely already being generated before the downgraded intensity was put out. The rammb windfield is not an official determination of intensity.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
468. oddspeed
1:07 AM GMT on February 02, 2011

Click for info
Quoting AussieStorm:

Click for info
great site there A.S. The article is calling it a category 5 and
""This is the most severe, most catastrophic storm that has ever hit our coast," Ms Bligh told the ABC.

"Frankly, I don't think Australia has ever seen a storm of this size, this intensity in an area as popular as this stretch of our coast.""
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 237
467. Patrap
1:06 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting Ossqss:


I viewed what Charlie did to North Captiva first hand. 400 yard wide pass cut through the Island.


Indeed,Georges,Ivan and K and Rita all cut eddies thru barrier Islands,,one weakness and the water will find it and exploit it like a politician.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
466. hurricanejunky
1:06 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Tornado Dude is out and about in the weather...
not much going on yet but later maybe...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
465. Ossqss
1:06 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting RecordSeason:
More inconsistent data: Windfield/pressure

They continue to report it at 916 and 130kts here, but downgraded it back to 125kts in their official intensity statement. This was published at the exact same time. Doesn't make sense to me.


Could it be due to the size of the system? It is huge and perhaps does not play the same way as smaller ones with respect to pressure and anticipated wind speed? The bigger ones would need more time to wind up to catch up with the pressure.
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
464. AussieStorm
1:05 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Willis Island has stopped reporting.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
461. AussieStorm
12:59 AM GMT on February 02, 2011

Click for info
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
460. oddspeed
12:57 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
SMI/AMSRE-derived Total Precipitable Water

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 237
459. Ossqss
12:56 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting atmoaggie:
I don't remember... I didn't look up anything about Captiva, just working off of a one week visit ~25 years ago.
;-)


Here is a pic from N. Captiva from usgs, to big to post.

http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/hurricanes/charley/images/north_captiva-lg.jpg

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
458. 1900hurricane
12:54 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
A pair of beast storms:



Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11683
457. AussieStorm
12:53 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting Patrap:
Its the sea rise that gets a small island,or atoll top.

Im sure no Humans were there for the Cyclone.

Anyone here from Oz though?

I am sorry to say, there is a permanent staff of 4 on the island.
Here is a story from one. They left yesterday. I wonder what they will return to??????
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
456. atmoaggie
12:52 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Three weather observers and a technician left the island yesterday.
good to know.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
455. atmoaggie
12:51 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting Ossqss:


No doubt about that, but they had much more in the way of trees and undergrowth to hold things together, as opposed to that tiny island.
I don't remember... I didn't look up anything about Captiva, just working off of a one week visit ~25 years ago.
;-)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
454. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12:50 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Yasi knocks out weather radar
Kim Lyell, Wednesday February 2, 2011 - 11:03 EDT
Category five Cyclone Yasi has knocked out the weather bureau's radar system on Willis Island, about 450 kilometres east of Cairns in far north Queensland.

The weather bureau's radar and wind speed measurements on the island failed just before 9am (AEST).

The bureau says the maximum wind speed recorded before the equipment went down was 185 kilometres an hour.

Three weather observers and a technician left the island yesterday.

- ABC

© ABC 2010
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
453. AussieStorm
12:50 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting Ossqss:
Last radar image from the island, so stated.



I sure would not want to be on this thing in any storm ......




Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
452. Ossqss
12:49 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting atmoaggie:
I don't think there anywhere on Captiva that's 24 feet above sea level, is there?

(Maybe in a 2 story?)


No doubt about that, but they had much more in the way of trees and undergrowth to hold things together, as opposed to that tiny island.
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
450. atmoaggie
12:48 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting Ossqss:


I viewed what Charlie did to North Captiva first hand. 400 yard wide pass cut through the Island.
I don't think there anywhere on Captiva that's 24 feet above sea level, is there?

(Maybe in a 2 story?)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
449. Ossqss
12:46 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting Patrap:
Its the sea rise that gets a small island,or atoll top.

Im sure no Humans were there for the Cyclone.

Anyone here from Oz though?


I viewed what Charlie did to North Captiva first hand. 400 yard wide pass cut through the Island.
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
448. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12:44 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting Patrap:
The Window to Evac is available for those seeking to get.

Dont be at the Coast when Yasi Crosses if you dont have to.

The Water is coming.

yes
yes it is
and its big
real big
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
447. DontAnnoyMe
12:43 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
Quoting Ossqss:


Do they add forward speed to the wind speed for classification?


"As a general rule of thumb, the hurricane's right
side (relative to the direction it is travelling) is
the most dangerous part of the storm because of
the additive effect of the hurricane wind speed and
speed of the larger atmospheric flow (the steering
winds
). The increased winds on the right side
increase the storm surge. Tornadoes are also more
common here."

NOAA Hurricane Basics

Not sure that answers the question though.

This source says yes:

Link



Q: Does the reported wind speed for a hurricane also include its forward wind speed?

A: A hurricane's sustained winds and wind gusts include the winds from the storm's rotation as well as the forward speed of the storm itself. For typical westward moving tropical systems spinning counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, the forward speed adds to winds on the north side of the storm, while the forward speed subtracts from winds on the south side.

One excellent example of this addition of a storm's rotational and forward speeds is "The Long Island Express," the great hurricane of 1938. The 70 mph forward speed of the storm, the fastest known forward speed ever recorded, produced hurricane wind speeds that exceeded 180 mph in eastern Long Island and New England.

(Answered by Bob Swanson, USA TODAY's assistant weather editor, July 20, 2005)
Member Since: September 21, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3690

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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.