Comparing the 2012 drought to the Dust Bowl droughts of the 1930s

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:52 PM GMT on August 16, 2012

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The great U.S. drought of 2012 remained about the same size and intensity over the past week, said NOAA in their weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report issued Thursday, August 16. The area of the contiguous U.S. covered by drought remained constant at 62%, and the area covered by severe or greater drought also remained constant at 46%. However, the area covered by the highest level of drought--exceptional--increased by 50%, from 4% to 6%. Large expansions of exceptional drought occurred over the heart of America's grain producing areas, in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Missouri. The new NOAA State of the Climate Drought report for July 2012 shows that the 2012 drought is 5th greatest in U.S. history, and the worst in 56 years. The top five years for area of the contiguous U.S. covered by moderate or greater drought:

1) Jul 1934, 80%
2) Dec 1939, 60%
3) Jul 1954, 60%
4) Dec 1956, 58%
5) Jul 2012, 57%

The top five years for the area of the contiguous U.S. covered by severe or greater drought:

1) Jul 1934, 63%
2) Sep 1954, 50%
3) Dec 1956, 46%
4) Aug 1936, 43%
5) Jul 2012, 38%


Figure 1. August 14, 2012 drought conditions showed historic levels of drought across the U.S., with 62% of the contiguous U.S. experiencing moderate or greater drought, and 46% of the county experiencing severe or greater drought. Image credit: U.S. Drought Monitor.

Comparison with the great Dust Bowl droughts of the 1930s
An important fact to remember is that the 2012 drought is--so far--only a one-year drought. Recall that 2011 saw record rains that led to unprecedented flooding on the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers. In contrast, the great droughts of the 1950s and 1930s were multi-year droughts. The Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s lasted up to eight years in some places, with the peak years being 1934, 1936, and 1939 - 1940. Once the deep soil dries out, it maintains a memory of past drought years. This makes is easier to have a string of severe drought years. Since the deep soil this summer still maintains the memory of the very wet year of 2011, the 2012 drought will be easier to break than the Dust Bowl droughts of the 1930s were.

In addition, a repeat of the dust storms of the 1930s Dust Bowl is much less likely now, due to improved farming practices. In a 2009 paper titled, Amplification of the North American "Dust Bowl" drought through human-induced land degradation, a team of scientists led by Benjamin Cook of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory explained the situation:

During the 1920s, agriculture in the United States expanded into the central Great Plains. Much of the original, drought-resistant prairie grass was replaced with drought-sensitive wheat. With no drought plan and few erosion-control measures in place, this led to large-scale crop failures at the initiation of the drought, leaving fields devegetated and barren, exposing easily eroded soil to the winds. This was the source of the major dust storms and atmospheric dust loading of the period on a level unprecedented in the historical record.


Figure 2. Black Sunday: On April 14, 1935 a "Black Blizzard" hit Oklahoma and Texas with 60 mph winds, sweeping up topsoil loosened by the great Dust Bowl drought that began in 1934.


The Dust Bowl drought and heat of the 1930s: partially human-caused
Using computer models of the climate, the scientists found that the Dust Bowl drought was primarily caused by below-average ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific and warmer than average ocean temperatures in the Atlantic, which acted together to alter the path of the jet stream and bring fewer precipitation-bearing storms to the Central U.S. However, the full intensity of the drought and its spatial extent could not be explained by ocean temperature patterns alone. Only when their model included the impact of losing huge amounts of vegetation in the Plains due to poor farming practices could the full warmth of the 1930s be simulated. In addition, only by including the impact of the dust kicked up by the great dust storms of the Dust Bowl, which blocked sunlight and created high pressure zones of sinking air that discouraged precipitation, could the very low levels of precipitation be explained. The Dust Bowl drought had natural roots, but human-caused effects made the drought worse and longer-lasting. The fact that we are experiencing a drought in 2012 comparable to the great Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s--without poor farming practices being partially to blame--bodes ill for the future of drought in the U.S. With human-caused global warming expected to greatly increase the intensity and frequency of great droughts like the 2012 drought in coming decades, we can expect drought to cause an increasing amount of damage and economic hardship for the U.S. Since the U.S. is the world's largest food exporter, this will also create an increasing amount of hardship and unrest in developing countries that rely on food imports.

Jeff Masters

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1709. Jedkins01
2:53 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7388
1708. AussieStorm
2:52 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting yoboi:


it's rated by storm surge not good to say it can withstand a cat 3, Ike had a storm surge as a cat 4 storm but was not rated a cat 4 at landfall....more people are killed by water in a hurricane than by wind...

Yeah I understand that. I guess the only way to find out if a system rated to withstand Cat 3 storm surge is for NOLA to be hit by a hurricane which brings cat 3 storm surge. I hope for NOLA and the Fed Govt sake, it holds up 100%. I'm guessing if anywhere did fail, the finger pointing and the blame game would start or the Fed Govt comes out and says, it was cat 4 storm surge.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
1707. SLU
2:50 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting CybrTeddy:


It's been 5 years already since Dean? I remember following Dean just as closely as we are following 94L/TD7/Gordon now. What an incredible storm, just incredible. Only storm since that which was more impressive was Igor at peak.


Dean was an amazing storm. The GFS predicted it's development 2 weeks before it even emerged off Africa.
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 5052
1706. Msdrown
2:44 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting Patrap:


Complete Rumor...as the Levees are a federal Project, and they have very strict Laws and restrictions.

There are numerous types of Levee's, from I-wall, to Berm to others I cant recall.

But no,, the System was designed in 67,post Betsy and completed in the 70's and most of it failed at Cat 2 Levels...when the design called for cat 3.


The US has spent 14 Billion here in the Se La. area post K on improvements that are rated to Cat 3, but thats a relative thing I believe.




Pat, Unless I missunderstood your reply,, I was talking about the levies built post Betsy that failed the money was missallocated. I know they have done a great job after K.
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 255
1705. Neapolitan
2:43 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting clwstmchasr:
Dr. Masters is a huge proponent of GW and as long as he makes it part of the blog, political discussions will not go away.
That may be true, but there's a huge world of difference between posting scientific evidence of climate change and pasting a skewed and error-filled CV of a political candidate.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13508
1703. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
2:39 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1702. WxGeekVA
2:37 PM GMT on August 17, 2012


Well, that escalated quickly. I'm guessing a upgrade at 5PM if it can get a little more organized.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3470
1700. icmoore
2:34 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting zoomiami:


Being from that area and still having family there, there is not an easy way to deal with flooding. And even if the storm did not go close -- if the winds are going the right way and push the water up through the gulf there could be serious logistic issues.

Many of the streets in the downtown area are almost at water level -- 5-6 inches of rain could close half of downtown arteries.


Debby had Bayshore Blvd underwater with 7+ inches of rain and wind and the Sunshine Skyway was closed for a few days. There was even a manatee and her 2 calves washed up on the street. The convention center is at the old military fort that Dr Masters talked about in his blog this week about the hurricane that hit Tampa. It was a mess and would be messier with all the additional guest.
Member Since: July 18, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 4146
1699. StormPro
2:34 PM GMT on August 17, 2012

Nothing like Leake ave huh?
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 606
1698. scott39
2:34 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
If and when could the trough have an effect on low 7?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6751
1697. AegirsGal
2:34 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting clwstmchasr:


I hear you. Posts like the one JRweather posts are uncalled for. He's done it before. However, Dr. Masters is a huge proponent of GW and as long as he makes it part of the blog, political discussions will not go away.
GCC or GW is not political, it is scientific fact, and affects weather and weather patterns. It is therefore relevant to a WEATHER BLOG.
Member Since: August 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
1696. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:33 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53534
1695. GetReal
2:33 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8812
1694. Patrap
2:33 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
TD 07 Viz Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127807
1693. scott39
2:32 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Low 7 has favorable enviromental conditions for at least the next 5 days, if it stays in the GOM.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6751
1692. osuwxguynew
2:32 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
The NHC has the CoC for ex TD7 at 20N 96W as of the 12UTC update, which looks pretty good when looking at the satellite imagery, though there is a lack of deep convection in close to this possible center.

Narrow ribbon of ridging remains to the north of ex TD7 as shown here: 500MB-850MB Steering Loop

This should continue moving this area slowly to the WNW. At the western most part the Gulf of Mexico gets to 98W, which means there is less than 120 miles more of westward motion before it's over land.

I think this will be a good rainmaker along the south Texas coast. I think there is a fair chance, perhaps 60 percent that it gets back to TD status, but a lesser chance of TS, perhaps 30-40 percent, as it skirts along the western coast of the GoM

Member Since: June 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
1691. hydrus
2:30 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
In the open Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane produced wave heights of at least 70 feet (21 m), as measured by Shell Oil Company. Along the ocean floor, the storm created mudslides which lowered the ocean floor; its combination with strong waves and winds destroyed three oil platforms, including one that at the time was the deepest oil well. Property damages to the offshore oil industry were initially estimated at $100 million (1969 USD).
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20951
1690. ScottLincoln
2:29 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting Grothar:
The famous Richelieu apartment building - Camille


Which was then replaced by a Winn Dixie grocery store that was subsequently destroyed by Katrina.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3190
1689. Patrap
2:28 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
As far the COE goes, maybe tell the good folks where they Built there NOLA Headquarters here decades ago.

Right Smack on TOP of the Mississippi River Levee pass Magazine Street...on River Road.

And no you wont find a google Image of it.

The Levee seeps there constantly.

I mean, they Built a HUGE Building there and only God know why.

A Local View only.


Thats where I go if a Large Threat comes.

I have a open pass...for ingress.



But my family is o-u-t first call.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127807
1688. ConsejoBelize
2:28 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Rains from X-TD7 on top of those from TS Ernesto has cause a lot of flooding in Northern Belize.

Rainfall Totals For Consejo, Belize:
Storm total for TD7: 11.27 inches.
Storm Total for TS Ernesto: 7.83 inches

Average Total For August: 5.53 inches
August 2012 To Date: 19.68 inches

Average Annual Total: 50.3 inches
2012 Rainfall to date: 50.22

Corozal-Consejo Road, our only road out, is seriously flooded.

Consejo Weather Live
Tropical Weather Page
Consejo Web Cam
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 27
1687. CybrTeddy
2:26 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting SLU:
Exactly 5 years ago today ... Hurricane Dean passing through the Windwards at 100mph.



It's been 5 years already since Dean? I remember following Dean just as closely as we are following 94L/TD7/Gordon now. What an incredible storm, just incredible. Only storm since that which was more impressive was Igor at peak.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23882
1686. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:26 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
as always things can change follow NHC/NOAA for all weather warnings for your area
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53534
1684. yoboi
2:24 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting ScottLincoln:


Well, the levees are a federal project, but are not necessarily maintained on a daily basis by the army corps. In many occasions, it is up to the local levee boards and floodplain manages to monitor the integrity of flood control structures.

As with most major disasters, there is no one answer for what caused the Katrina levee failures to occur. Studies into the failures found many problems adding together, ranging from things USACE could have done better, to reports on levee integrity that were not taken seriously, to things that the city and local levee boards shouldn't have done.


very good post......
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2334
1683. DeValk
2:23 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting thelmores:
I would like to propose that the next person who brings politics into the weather blog...... gets banned.....
PERMANENTLY!!!!

There is MY political statement!

Politics has NO PLACE in a weather blog!!! There are PLENTY of political forums out there.....please take your politics else elsewhere!


True that. ...and the political advertisements on this blog are also annoying. I mean, signing a birthday card??? com'on, that birthday has come and gone..just saying
Member Since: June 26, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 15
1682. yoboi
2:23 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting AussieStorm:

They may be rated to Cat 3 but yet to be tested. God forbid they do and they fail again.
Did the whole levee system get improved or just the places that failed?


it's rated by storm surge not good to say it can withstand a cat 3, Ike had a storm surge as a cat 4 storm but was not rated a cat 4 at landfall....more people are killed by water in a hurricane than by wind...
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2334
1681. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:23 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting CajunCrawfishhunter:
any chance this boc can go all teh way to Louisiana?
lurker here with very little knowledge but I love the tropics


at the moment
iam expecting a
circle dance type regime
a creeper along the coast
drifting slowly n
may from time to time stray over land
flooding rains highest impact
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53534
1680. scott39
2:22 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Where are the models for low 7?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6751
1679. ScottLincoln
2:22 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting Patrap:


Complete Rumor...as the Levees are a federal Project, and they have very strict Laws and restrictions.

There are numerous types of Levee's, from I-wall, to Berm to others I cant recall.

But no,, the System was designed in 67,post Betsy and completed in the 70's and most of it failed at Cat 2 Levels...when the design called for cat 3.


The US has spent 14 Billion here in the Se La. area post K on improvements that are rated to Cat 3, but thats a relative thing I believe.


Quoting Msdrown:


Pat, I heard something in the aftermath of K that many years before the corrupt local gov who recieved money from the US gov didn't build the levies as originally designed. They took some of the money and spent it on other things non storm related. I believe I heard that on one of the NOLA talk shows/discusions. Do you know anything about that???


Well, the levees are a federal project, but are not necessarily maintained on a daily basis by the army corps. In many instances, it is up to the local levee boards and floodplain manages to monitor the integrity of flood control structures.

As with most major disasters, there is no one answer for what caused the Katrina levee failures to occur. Studies into the failures found many problems adding together, ranging from things USACE could have done better, to reports on levee integrity that were not taken seriously, to things that the city and local levee boards shouldn't have done.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3190
1678. ARiot
2:21 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting AussieStorm:

They may be rated to Cat 3 but yet to be tested. God forbid they do and they fail again.
Did the whole levee system get improved or just the places that failed?


I toured most of the new system in NOLA as part of a work-related event. Th ecity is "ringed" by the new system. Check the government website about it. They have tons of maps, pics, videos, etc.

I know they call it (officially) a "Risk Reduction System" becuase that's all it can do.
Member Since: June 24, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 366
1677. hydrus
2:21 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20951
1676. zoomiami
2:20 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting BahaHurican:
On the subject of a hurricane hitting Tampa while the RNC is there, I think Debbie has already shown that even a slow-moving minimal TS could cause MASSIVE problems for Tampa in terms of flooding. [This aside from the idea of constant rain for 36 hours] IIRC, the convention centre being used is pretty much downtown, in the area where the flooding was so bad back in June. Any ideas / information on how the city plans to deal with such flooding?

I'm looking at our current invest in the BOC andremembering one forecast takes it considerably further east that we would like [as in away from S / C TX]. It certainly looks like the kind of flooding I'm referencing is at least within the realm of possibility.


Being from that area and still having family there, there is not an easy way to deal with flooding. And even if the storm did not go close -- if the winds are going the right way and push the water up through the gulf there could be serious logistic issues.

Many of the streets in the downtown area are almost at water level -- 5-6 inches of rain could close half of downtown arteries.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4150
1675. StormPro
2:19 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting Patrap:


I never forecast as a rule as I an NOT a met.

Best to follow the NHC Guidance as they are the Lords of Facts.

Thanx though.

: )


Well I understand that but as a resident of the Greater Nawlins area I know you gots a gut feelin...BTW I'm on the northshore but work in the city..we should meet at a Fresca dealership one day
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 606
1674. scott39
2:19 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Sometimes homegrown can be the most potent.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6751
1673. belizeit
2:18 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
I see we have some political talk this morning i prefer not to talk about politics but this lays havy on my heart my country is to pay a 46 million bond payment monday and the Prime Minister says we will default so down we go.
Member Since: January 10, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 918
1672. SLU
2:18 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Exactly 5 years ago today ... Hurricane Dean passing through the Windwards at 100mph.

Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 5052
1671. stoormfury
2:17 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
94l will take sometime to organise. although the WV photos show very cold cloud tops ,the system is under 20knot of wind shear, and is within an elongated area of 850mb vorticity. like most of the other systems 94L is moving at a fast clip of 20mph ,which will impede rapid development. the system will remain weak and continue on a west track ,until nit reaches the catl. after that the track could be up for grabs ,depending how strong the system is and how deep and strong the trough is and how far it reaches. it is very possible that the trough could miss 94L and in this way could become a caribbean tracker.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2674
1670. Patrap
2:16 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting AussieStorm:

They may be rated to Cat 3 but yet to be tested. God forbid they do and they fail again.
Did the whole levee system get improved or just the places that failed?


The system as a Whole.


There are beaucoup YouTubes on the Project, which included closing the MRGO, Or The seldom used Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.


New Orleans Renewal - Levees Rebuilt - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.






Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127807
1669. washingtonian115
2:15 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting CajunCrawfishhunter:
any chance this boc can go all teh way to Louisiana?
lurker here with very little knowledge but I love the tropics
If it get's stronger it could feel the weakness of the trough and get pulled further north.Just a wait and see situation at this point.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16778
1668. WDEmobmet
2:15 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Your 500mb is used to determine your general flow at that particular level, friends of mine who are mets for NWS have told me to really pay attention to that level when dealing with most tropical entities... it gives a good indication of what the overall flow is and what you can expect for movement. The 850 is much closer to the surface than 500 and determines the flow at a lower level, this level can be beneficial for entities that have not developed that much, but change more often. I was always told to utilize the 500mb for a good idea down the road since it generally changes less often as the 850 and lower giving you a good idea of potential direction... Does this sound right?
Member Since: February 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 753
1667. Patrap
2:14 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting StormPro:


Morning all. I just logged in and see what I have been thinking may happen. Pat, what do you think this future storm in the gulf may land?


I never forecast as a rule as I an NOT a met.

Best to follow the NHC Guidance as they are the Lords of Facts.

Thanx though.

: )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127807
1666. AussieStorm
2:14 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting Patrap:


Complete Rumor...as the Levees are a federal Project, and they have very strict Laws and restrictions.

There are numerous types of Levee's, from I-wall, to Berm to others I cant recall.

But no,, the System was designed in 67,post Betsy and completed in the 70's and most of it failed at Cat 2 Levels...when the design called for cat 3.


The US has spent 14 Billion here in the Se La. area post K on improvements that are rated to Cat 3, but thats a relative thing I believe.



They may be rated to Cat 3 but yet to be tested. God forbid they do and they fail again.
Did the whole levee system get improved or just the places that failed?
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
1665. CajunCrawfishhunter
2:13 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
any chance this boc can go all teh way to Louisiana?
lurker here with very little knowledge but I love the tropics
Member Since: August 17, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 74
1664. StormPro
2:13 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
The Front, the Nose of the High, and that System..well..we can see why the concern is warranted downstream.

Stay Tuned.



Morning all. I just logged in and see what I have been thinking may happen. Pat, what do you think this future storm in the gulf may land?
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 606
1663. Patrap
2:12 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Nation has large stake in protecting Louisiana from storms, Mayor Mitch Landrieu says
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127807
1662. GetReal
2:12 PM GMT on August 17, 2012


Looks like something taking shape in the BOC, and is not going anywhere fast. This could get interesting.
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8812
1661. AussieStorm
2:11 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
In Other News........


Vietnam soldiers on standby for typhoon

VIETNAM has put 20,000 soldiers on standby, ordered boats back to shore and begun evacuating local residents as it prepares for Typhoon Kai-Tak to make landfall.

More than 11,000 boats, including 575 used by tourists at the UNESCO world heritage site Halong Bay, have been ordered to stay close to the shore, the deputy head of Quang Ninh province's flood and storm control department said on Friday.

"Mong Cai town, which borders China, will be directly hit by the storm late on Friday," Nguyen Cong Thuan told AFP, adding that thousands of residents directly in the storm's path had been moved to safer areas.

Before blowing away from the Philippines on Thursday, Kai-Tak swept across the main island of Luzon, dumping heavy rain on the Cagayan basin and other areas in the north, killing four people.

Weather forecasters in Vietnam say the typhoon will bring winds of up to 133km/h when it makes landfall.
The Tuoi Tre newspaper reports the Vietnamese army has put 20,000 soldiers, eight helicopters, 72 rescue boats, 400 vehicles and 1000 canoes on standby to cope with any possible incidents.

Vietnam is hit by an average of between eight and 10 tropical storms a year, often causing heavy material and human losses.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
1660. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:11 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53534
1659. Patrap
2:10 PM GMT on August 17, 2012
Quoting Msdrown:


Pat, I heard something in the aftermath of K that many years before the corrupt local gov who recieved money from the US gov didn't build the levies as originally designed. They took some of the money and spent it on other things non storm related. I believe I heard that on one of the NOLA talk shows/discusions. Do you know anything about that???


Complete Rumor...as the Levees are a federal Project, and they have very strict Laws and restrictions.

There are numerous types of Levee's, from I-wall, to Berm to others I cant recall.

But no,, the System was designed in 67,post Betsy and completed in the 70's and most of it failed at Cat 2 Levels...when the design called for cat 3.


The US has spent 14 Billion here in the Se La. area post K on improvements that are rated to Cat 3, but thats a relative thing I believe.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127807

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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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