Hurricane Sandy was not an extreme Black Swan hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:47 PM GMT on December 10, 2012

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I was in San Francisco last week for the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world's largest gathering of Earth Scientists. Over twenty thousand scientists from all over the world, including many of the world's top climate scientists and hurricane scientists, were in town to exchange ideas to advance the cause of Earth Science. One of the more intriguing talks was given by Ning Lin, a professor at Princeton University. She and Dr. Kerry Emanuel of MIT are studying "Black Swans"--tropical cyclones that are a surprise to the observer, and cannot be anticipated based on the 162-year historical record. Very rare extreme hurricanes that one might expect to occur naturally once every 10,000 years are possible, and “climate change has increased the probability of such storms,” Emanuel said at a press conference last week. In terms of storm surge, Sandy was not a black swan, since the 1821 hurricane that hit New York City had a higher storm surge. Historical records recount that the water rose thirteen feet in one hour at The Battery on Manhattan during the 1821 hurricane. The water level did not rise as high as during Sandy, though, since the 1821 hurricane hit at low tide.

Lin and Emanuel used a climate model in combination with a detailed hurricane model to generate a large number of hypothetical hurricanes in the future climate, and generated 10,000 years worth of storm surge events. They then used a detailed storm surge model (ADCIRC) to evaluate the storm surge risk these storms posed. Their three case studies:

1) The Persian Gulf. No tropical cyclones have ever been observed in the Persian Gulf, due to the Gulf's low humidity and high wind shear. However, the Gulf has some of the warmest water temperatures on the planet, and could theoretically support a strong tropical cyclone. The researchers' modeling predicted a 1-in-248,000 probability that a strong tropical cyclone originating in the western Persian Gulf could move eastwards and bring a 7 meter (16 foot) storm surge to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Obviously, such an event would be extremely disruptive to the global energy economy, which relies heavily on the infrastructure in the Persian Gulf.

2) Darwin, Australia. In 1974, tiny but powerful Tropical Cyclone Tracy brought a 1.6 meter (5.2') storm surge to the city. Lin and Emanuel's research showed that a black swam tropical cyclone with a probability of 1-in-70,000 is capable of bringing a devastating 11.5 meter (38') storm surge to the city.

3) Tampa Bay, Florida. Only two major Category 3 hurricanes have hit Tampa: an 1848 hurricane that raised waters levels by 4.6 meters (15'), and a 1921 storm with a storm surge of 3.2 meters (10.5'.) A black swan storm moving from south to north just offshore could set up a resonance in Tampa Bay and generate a 13 meter (43') storm surge. Such a storm has a 1-in-14,500 chance of occurring in a given year. This would likely do over $250 billion in damage, I expect.


Figure 1. Damage to Bayshore Boulevard after the 1921 Tampa Bay hurricane. The road leads to the Tampa Bay Convention Center from the south.


Figure 2. Track of the Tampa Bay Hurricane of 1921, one of only two major hurricanes ever to hit the city. This Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds brought a storm surge of 10.5 feet to Tampa Bay. A "Black Swan" hurricane capable of generating a 43' storm surge would not take a track like this, and instead would move from south to north just offshore.

Jeff Masters

Freak black swan? (Derek1)
All the other swans are on Lake Annecy are white - as far as I know - so where did this black one come from?
Freak black swan?

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Quoting LargoFl:
wow thanks for posting that..the weather has gone BAD this week huh

Could it be said this week has been the real start of the change in seasons?
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everyone in central florida pay attention today...
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting WDEmobmet:
Somebody is going to get a nice surprise... if this plays out


wow thanks for posting that..the weather has gone BAD this week huh
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting LargoFl:
yeah same here..they are warning us its coming later on today

Well I hope everyone is ready for it.
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Somebody is going to get a nice surprise... if this plays out


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Dozens of homes damaged in Edgewater

Some Central Floridians are waking up without a place to live after storms pounded the area Monday night.


Tornado Warnings were issued in Flagler, Lake, Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties.


One of the worst areas hit was the Terra Mar subdivision in Edgewater, where the storm tore the roofs off of some homes.
Residents were allowed back into their homes at about 9 p.m.


About 42 homes were damaged in some way. Twelve homes are severely damaged. Residents told News 13 they heard a lot of rain and then everything was quiet as they stepped outside to see what had happened.


Some of the roofs have been blown off and there are trees and power lines down. Because of that, the power is out to the neighborhood.


"Never been through any of this. [I’ve] been through a lot of hurricanes but you get plenty of warning with them," said resident Alison Staley. "A big oak tree has hit the house and just to get home as quick as I could and just to get home as quick as I could."


Authorities said two people suffered minor scrapes and cuts.


The Red Cross will be stepping in to help some residents find place to stay Tuesday.


Volusia County deputies said there are reports of numerous trees down and two homes damaged at the nearby Jones Fish Camp. No one was injured in that area.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Firefighters said 40 homes were damaged and 12 rendered uninhabitable in the Terra Mar subdivision east of U.S. 1.

Residents said the storm that hit just after 5:30 p.m. produced a tornado that ripped through Terra Mar Village in about 30 seconds.

“It sounded like a freight train coming through,” said Jacqueline Kingsland, whose mobile home at 105 Pine St. lost its roof, Florida room and carport.

Kingsland was sitting outside when her son-in-law Andrew Driscoll hustled her inside and got on top of her as the storm hit.

Pete Marzo's Cypress Street home lost part of its roof. He said the storm smashed windows and his family members took cover in separate rooms. All he had time to do was hit the deck in his living room.

“It was crazy,” he said, standing in the darkness Monday
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting AussieStorm:

If that was in Sydney, it would mean we'd have a nice Thunderstorm. Not sure what it means over there. Same, maybe?
yeah same here..they are warning us its coming later on today
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting aislinnpaps:
Everyone have a great Tuesday and Aussie, have a great Wednesday. Car's warming up and I'm out the door!

Thanks, you have a great Tuesday, mine was ok I guess. Nice and cool, strange for early summer.
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Quoting LargoFl:
sure was aussie..tons of moisture in the air now

If that was in Sydney, it would mean we'd have a nice Thunderstorm. Not sure what it means over there. Same, maybe?
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Everyone have a great Tuesday and Aussie, have a great Wednesday. Car's warming up and I'm out the door!
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........no rain by me yet
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting AussieStorm:

That's a nice pea soupa right there.
sure was aussie..tons of moisture in the air now
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Quoting LargoFl:
foggy morning...............

That's a nice pea soupa right there.
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Jacksonville area got hit pretty hard too,broke some rainfall records..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Looks like west palm beach etc is seeing all the action this morning..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
around Tampa Bay............Areas of dense, patchy fog are blanketing regions across the Bay area.

Once that fog burns off, more clouds are expected today before another round of showers and thunderstorms return Tuesday afternoon, according to Bay News 9 Meteorologist Juli Marquez.

Conditions today will be warm and humid with an increase in moisture this afternoon.

"There will be some fog this morning and it will be dry," Marquez said. "This afternoon, showers and thunderstorms will return."

Temperatures will rise to the upper 70s today before the afternoon showers.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
foggy morning...............
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
ok folks..under the gun once again today..heed your local warnings..
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Good morning Largo, I just turned on the news....I didn't realize it was that bad weatherwise north of me until now.
thanks, i have to say it was one terrible night alright, its been a very long time since ive seen that kind of bad weather around here..tornado in tampa?..geez..lol..i do hope the sun does NOT come out today..stay overcast please..we do not need daytime heating to stir up these storms lol...stay safe and have a great day ok
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting TampaBayStormChaser:
Severe Thunderstorms with Isolated Tornadoes are expected again today and tomorrow across central Florida and Tampa Bay according to NWS. As others have said, pay attention to your local warnings.
GOOD MORING! yes local mets are warning us, another dangerous evening coming today once again, ground is soaking wet by me which is a good thing..we needed that rain badly, my neighbor cut up that huge tree limb in my driveway so i can get my car out of the garage..hope NO tornado's again today but..they are warning us..it could happen...stay safe everyone
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't approve of this.


umm me neither... i'd rather not live underwater or right on the beach (I cant tell which one I am)
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Good morning, everyone, good evening Aussie. Winter has hit my part of Louisiana, 32 degrees here. I can wear my Christmas sweaters for the kids at school this week!
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The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center has issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert for the low situated between Fiji and Samoa. Satellite imagery shows a well-organized surface circulation becoming more concentrated. Conditions are favorable for slow development. Sea surface temperatures are will in excess of 26C, upper level winds are light, and moisture is plentiful. This feature will likely intensify into a minimal tropical cyclone within the next couple of days. The storm may drift near or even over Samoa, before retrograding back towards the southwest.



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Quoting LargoFl:
Good Morning Folks!..another round of storms today...

Stay safe all. keep up with all watches and warnings. Also let your neighbours know especially the old.
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Quoting LargoFl:
Good Morning Folks!..another round of storms today...
Good morning Largo, I just turned on the news....I didn't realize it was that bad weatherwise north of me until now.
Member Since: October 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 6000
Good Morning Folks!..another round of storms today...
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42267
.
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437. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #3
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 04F
18:00 PM FST December 11 2012
===================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression 04F (998 hPa) located at 15.1S 177.8W has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots. The depression is reported as moving east southeast at 10 knots. Position fair based on hourly GMS infrared imagery and peripheral surface reports.

Overall organization has improved with multiple bands trying to wrap around the system center. System lies under an upper diffluent region in a low sheared environment. Tropical depression is being steered east southeast by west northwest deep lay mean wind. Dvorak analysis based on 0.4 wrap giving DT=2.5, MET=2.0 and PT=2.0. FT based on DT

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5/2.5/D1.5/24 HRS

Sea surface temperature is around 29C.

Most global models agree on a eastward movement with further development.

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
12 HRS: 14.8S 175.7W - 30 knots (Tropical Depression)
24 HRS: 14.5S 174.2W - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Cyclone)
48 HRS: 14.5S 172.8W - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Cyclone)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47067
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council - NDRRMC Update SitRep No. 23 re Effects of Typhoon "PABLO" (BOPHA) Report

Updated number are...
714 People dead
1906 People Injured
890 People missing

70,591 Houses Partially Damaged
43,992 Houses totally damaged/destroyed

The total number of population currently served inside and outside the evacuation
centers decreased to 65,941 families / 308,110 persons.

INSIDE 134 ECs: 25,812 families / 116,404 persons
OUTSIDE ECs: 40,129 families / 191, 706 persons

The estimated cost of damages to properties is PhP 7,116,388,040.07 (US$173,739,946)
Infrastructure: PhP 3,479,131,300)(US$84,939,731)
agriculture: PhP 3,618,868,247.07(US$88,351,277)
private properties: PhP 18,388,493.00 (US$448,937).
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435. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #21
CYCLONE TROPICAL CLAUDIA (04-20122013)
10:30 AM RET December 11 2012
======================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Claudia (975 hPa) located at 19.3S 72.9E has 10 minute sustained winds of 65 knots with gusts of 90 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving south southwest at 8 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T4.0/4.5/S0.0/6 HRS

Hurricane Force Winds
=====================
35 NM in the southern semi-circle and in the northeastern quadrant

Storm Force Winds
=================
70 NM radius from the center, extending up to 75 NM in the northeastern quadrant and up to 80 NM in the southern semi-circle

Gale Force Winds
================
105 NM radius from the center, extending up to 130 NM in the northeastern quadrant and up to 150 NM in the southern semi-circle

Near Gale Force Winds
=====================
125 NM radius from the center, extending up to 160 NM in the northeastern quadrant and up to 190 NM in the southern semi-circle

Forecast and Intensity
======================
24 HRS: 23.7S 72.8E - 45 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modérée)
48 HRS: 29.1S 76.4E - Depression Extratropicale
72 HRS: 35.1S 85.2E - Depression Extratropicale

Additional Information
=====================
Microwave data from this morning allow to relocate the center of Claudia more to the west than previously estimated. This data, combined with infrared imagery (where a hot point has appeared since 05z) show a vertical tilt of the vertical structure down shear. There is a 20 NM difference between the low level center seen on 37 GHZ microwave imagery and the ir imagery. Dvorak estimates from PGTW and SAB along with a good AMSU estimate at 2017z, support an initial intensity at minimal tropical cyclone level. Claudia is tracking over sea surface temperature of 25-26C and undergoes at least a 15kt northwesterly vertical wind shear (CIMSS data)

Little change in the global track philosophy just a westwards adjustment according to re localization: by 48 hours, it is expected to encounter the mid-latitude westerly flow and curve southeastward. On this track, it should accelerate progressively today, and more sharply beyond.

Upper level environmental conditions will continue to degrade today, with a strengthening north-westerly vertical wind shear, ahead of an upper tropospheric trough. By tracking southward, Claudia will encounter cooler and cooler sea surface temperatures. The timing of the extratropical transition is changed compared to the previous package. Numerical weather prediction fields (TPW 500 HPA) suggest that the process could start as early as tomorrow and been completed Wednesday night. Winds may remain strong until Friday in the eastern sector by gradient effect with the subtropical high pressure.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47067
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't approve of this.



Interesting map. Is the sea level supposed to rise 300+ feet in the next 87 years? That is what this map would suggest. There are small areas of Florida that are over 300 feet above current sea level, but are nowhere to be seen on this map.
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I hope Rhody gets some snow soon! It has been too long without the white stuff. We only had one storm last season. We are over due!! Bring on a nice big Blizzard for Christmas!
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Quoting goosegirl1:



Even stranger, the Dalai Lama is on Facebook.


Now thats strange..
I used to have Facebook but it got so much trolling/spamming game stuff for $ and I got to where I did not want any more info on me "out there" than possible..
If someone wants to contact me I'll give them my e-mail if they don't have it already..
I can handle being anonymous that way..
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428. etxwx
Quoting jeffs713:

Generation isn't the issue. Storage is.


Yup, storage is still a problem. They mentioned hydrogen storage in the article, so I'm off to read about that to see if it is currently viable. I think what the study was getting at is the feasibility of balancing the needs of the grid and employing varied energy sources to minimize storage needs. I didn't quote the entire article but further along it says this: "The study sheds light on what an electric system might look like with heavy reliance on renewable energy sources. Wind speeds and sun exposure vary with weather and seasons, requiring ways to improve reliability. In this study, reliability was achieved by: expanding the geographic area of renewable generation, using diverse sources, employing storage systems, and for the last few percent of the time, burning fossil fuels as a backup.

BTW, Science Daily is just full of interesting things today, including this in the Strange Science News section: Electricity from Water Mains: Inline Hydropower System Generates Power from Water Pipelines



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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't approve of this.



Guess Cape Girardeau can finally be a cape now!

Ugh, you know I hope states that had to dust off their coastal evacuation plans for Irene and/or Sandy keep them in sight.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't approve of this.



What is, what the map wont look like in 2100?
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Quoting Skyepony:


I left it in Justlivn's blog lastnight too.. { & } are less than & greater than..there is 4 in there to be replaced. Bolded part should be replaced with #/letter sequence from video..gleam it from the new code.

I've had to copy the whole new code below the one with the old code. Cut out the video number/letter sequence & replace the bolded ones then delete the new code from below.

{embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gNcGi9sGlGU?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"}{/embed}




God...I can hardly make a pdf.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11557
I don't approve of this.

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Quoting Grothar:


I just found the backspace key on my keyboard and you want me to change embed codes????



You think you have problems. I am still looking for the "any" key! "Press any key to continue." ... I never get to continue. I have never found the any key! I just shut the computer off and whimper. sigh
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422. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Skye...if you have an easy way to do it...please just post it. It would be a nice Christmas present.


I left it in Justlivn's blog lastnight too.. { & } are less than & greater than..there is 4 in there to be replaced. Bolded part should be replaced with #/letter sequence from video..gleam it from the new code.

I've had to copy the whole new code below the one with the old code. Cut out the video number/letter sequence & replace the bolded ones then delete the new code from below.

{embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gNcGi9sGlGU?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"}{/embed}


Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 39452
421. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting Skyepony:
WESH footage Edgewater..I have never seen anything that big on the Indian River before.


That's a large tornado for Florida ..
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gothar look its easy
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419. Skyepony (Mod)
WESH footage Edgewater..I have never seen anything that big on the Indian River before.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 39452
Skye...if you have an easy way to do it...please just post it. It would be a nice Christmas present.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Ernesto's TCR is out.
Link

Upgraded to Category 2 at landfall.

Lateeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
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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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