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Hundreds dead from Burma's worst tropical cyclone on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:57 PM GMT on May 04, 2008

Cyclone Nargis, the deadliest and most destructive tropical cyclone ever to hit Burma (Myanmar), is finally dissipating today over Thailand. Nargis--a popular woman's name in India--slammed into the coast of Myanmar Friday night as borderline Category 3/Category 4 cyclone, with winds of 130-135 mph. After passing over the low-lying and densely populated Irrawaddy Delta region, Nargis made a direct hit on the capital city of Rangoon (Yangon), as a Category 1 storm with top winds of 80 mph. Winds at the Yangon airport hit 69 mph, gusting to 138 mph, at 5:30am local time on Saturday. The anemometer failed at that point, and the winds likely rose higher.

The death toll from Nargis is already at least 351, and is certain to rise as reports from hard-hit areas still cut off from communications begin to arrive. In particular, the low-lying Irrawaddy Delta region where Nargis initially made landfall is densely populated, and a storm surge in excess of 10 feet likely occurred there. It is unusual for a Bay of Bengal cyclone to pass so far south, and Nargis is the strongest tropical cyclone on record to hit the capital city of Rangoon. The previous highest death toll from a tropical cyclone in Myanmar was 187, during the Category 1 storm that hit on May 7, 1975. Nargis is the most powerful cyclone to hit Myanmar since Category 3 Cyclone Mala hit on April 28, 2006. Mala hit a less populated area less prone to storm surge, and killed 22 people and damaged 6000 buildings.

Image credit:NASA.

I'll have an analysis of Nargis' storm surge on Monday.

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Thanks for the update, Dr.Masters! Sad news indeed...
DrM Thanks for the update. I know there's a lot of devestation over there. My prayers go out to all them people.
Coastal Lay of the Land and Surge take lives again.

Sad news indeed.

"Run from the water..hide from the wind."

Relief is the highest priority,but will be difficult due to the Political Structure there.

AP Story:Cyclone kills at least 351 in Myanmar, state-run TV reports

52 minutes ago Link
Cyclone Nargis i think

Thank you for the update Dr. Masters.
Unfortunately the fatality count has been going up by the hour today as more information gets out of the area.
Thanks, Dr. Masters.

(thanks for the note catastropheadjuster)

From previous blog:
Hey SJ, Pat.

Can you guys imagine if Miami got hit by a Katrina? I don't mean Homestead, but downtown Miami. And I don't mean a quick developing, fairly small diameter Andrew, but a mature, surge-pushing monster. Of course, the lack of a continental shelf off Miami will make it different.

This is one place I've seen that is in a real state of denial about it's vulnerability.
Thanks Dr. Masters...very sad news...
Good stuff there Taz.

Thats a dangerous time just after the storm with winds still gusty and down power lines and other hazards. One has to be very careful .
Again I find myself scouring past Hurricane records to figure out why Hurricanes rarely hit Tampa. It seems the west coast of Florida is situated right between three meteorological 'scenarios':

1) A high pressure system situated in the SE keeps the storm barely to the south of Tampa (wilma).

2) A front will steer the storm east quicker impeding its northern progression (Charley), or

3) A high pressure over the Atlantic will push the Storm directly north to la, ms, or panhandle...
Dr. Masters new blog obliterated my lost post.
Now that the subject of the blog is Nargis I suppose it's ok to ramble on about south Asia - oops, my grand daughter just woke up so I got to go make her some soup for breakfast. She tripped over a friend on Friday and loosened an adult tooth so it's liquid food for now.
thanks pat
Latest from CNN on Nargis....updated a few mins ago.
Projected death toll up to 350...
Thanx vort,those photos shows the power of the Storm.
Yes Pat.....it's just always bad news when these areas get hit.
500m (2 MB)Aqua satellite View NARGISLink
(Bands Used: 1,4,3
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz
MODIS Land Rapid Response Team,
I don't think Miami (or South Florida) is in any type of denial regarding possible storms hitting the region. We have done many great things to prevent death and damage. I don't know of any area that is more prepared than South Florida. We are also getting pretty good at clean up after the storm hits. The state is helping people to buy and install shutters. I would estimate that 80 percent or more of my neighbors now have shutters and generators compared to abut 25 percent a few years ago. Slam us when we deserve it but South Florida is the best prepared place I know of. I even have a plan at my work so I know exactly what to do and when. We know who to call, when to report to work and when to stay home. I just hope we don't have to use the plan again but it is ready just in case.
Afternoon all :~)

Thanks for the update Dr M my thoughts are going out to the folks in that area.

Just on a quick fly by. Getting ready to throw some corn, flounders, chickens, and mushrooms on the grill!

atmo, that is another one of those worst case areas. don't even like to think about it!

WR, glad to hear awareness and preparedness is on the forefront for y'all!

Off to grill

Quick Links-Easily find and navigate the best forecast models, imagery, marine data, preparedness info and much more from one page.
Wellington, that all sounds great for dealing with wind, but what happens if Miami were under water all they way inland to the airport? Have you guys adopted base floor elevations? Are you willing to cut off marinas in the neighborhoods and put in flood walls?
The point was all about surge, which the Miami area hasn't seen since development not that long ago. And surge is by far the biggest killer, most costly, least adequately insured, and the hardest to recover from. Wind damage is not fun, aka Homestead after Andrew, but surge is many times worse.
Can you imagine the change in attitude needed to put a tall, ugly levee along the scenic coastline?

Anyone know the link for exploring the SLOSH-generated MEOW maps for hypothetical storms?

I did find this: Link
Here's one thought - that Tampa Bay may have an effect on hurricane paths, and thus maybe doesn't get as many direct hits as other parts of Florida.

I worked with some ozone modelers for a Houston project and the met folks running MM5 simulations ran into a similar problem, namely Galveston Bay.

Something about recirculation of land/sea breezes, thermal energy, micro-climate effects, we were all guessing...
Thanks for the update, Dr. Masters!

Chilean town nearly empty after volcano eruption

PUERTO MONTT, Chile (AP) -- The Chilean government says the southern town of Chaiten is virtually empty after it was evacuated and thousands of residents taken to safety in the wake of a nearby volcano's eruption. Plumes of smoke and ash rise from the Chaiten volcano Friday in southern Chile.

Interior Minister Edmundo Perez said Saturday that 40 to 45 people of a total population of more than 4,500 remain there one day after the Chaiten volcano erupted. The town is covered by a thick layer of ash, and people must protect themselves with masks. The volcano continues to spew ash. Some smoke plumes have reached more than 12 miles (20 kilometers) high.

Wind has blown the ash to other villages in the area 745 miles (1,200 kilometers) south of Chile's capital of Santiago as well as into neighboring Argentina. Perez said it's difficult to predict when residents will be able to return to Chaiten.

- Will it have an impact on this year's tropical season? Butterfly perturbations do - surely a volcano will.
swells, would that be Nielson-Gammon at A&M? Could have been someone else, though. That Houston ozone work has included dozens of researchers.

There are some similarities to Tampa...hmmm
yeah Terra, there have been a number of storms within 75 miles, but these cause cat 1 hurricane gusts at the MOST and guarantee that if any sustained winds of hurricane force affected the tampa area then we would see a massive loss of trees bc none of them are used to wind above 30 mph
In this discussion about Tampa landfalls, are hurricanes crossing from other coast being counted? Most hurricanes that come out of the Gulf and hit Fl Peninsula originate in W Caribbean or Southern GOM(Bay of Campeche). For a storm to go around or over Cuba, or go around Yucatan and hit Tampa takes a fairly hard right turn. Generally, Hurricanes in this area are moving northward/northwestward around Bermuda High until October. The SSE to NNW orientation parallels the tracks of many storms. The orientation of Florida's west coast does not favor landfalls except very early and very late in season when W.Caribbean development recurves early like Wilma or Irene. It takes very unusual circumstances to get a "Charley" type event during mid season. CV storms hit the east coast of FL more often or they get into GOM and hit Northern Gulf Coast(Fl Panhandle to E.TX) as they follow the edge of the Bermuda High. Even CV storms are at least as likely to recurve before reaching Florida either out to sea or towards Carolinas. the Florida peninsula does little to weaken a major hurricane so the threat to Tampa and such areas is just as great from the East coast as from the West. That is why I believe Tampa area is hit by hurricanes much less frequently than the S.E Coast or Panhandle.
We need to remember that Miami's situation is bad, but not exceptional. Many other cities and towns are in the same predicament regarding storm surge.

The main problem is that the U.S. government and FEMA choose to allow building practices along the coast that they KNOW are wrong.

Rebuilding New Orleans, for example: FEMA and government is allowing rebuilding of homes in lower 9th ward on a flat slab foundation at current elevation if homeowners had a permit prior to a certain date. New regulations require elevating the slab 3 feet above ground level. Lets be honest. The levee failure caused water depths of 8-9 feet depth. How is elevating your house 3 feet going to help? Also, if your house is still 8 feet below sea level in a coastal environment, making it only 5-feet below sea level isn't an improvement.

Port Arthur, Texas: Several friends live in Port Arthur with flat slab foundations 1-2 feet below sea level... on the coast! New homes are being built up in surrounding reclaimed swamp lands, again with flat slab foundations. We count on the almighty levee to hold. It wont.

I've inspected multiple new homes where the builders met the letter of the law regarding hurricane ties and joint nailings... but missed the boat entirely when it comes to overall design strength. I don't care how many hurricane ties you use... if you have vinyl siding or beaverboard decking on your roof with rafters on 24" centers, your house is vulnerable to severe damage.

The minute our government begins to get serious about building codes within 15-30 miles of the coast, some of these storms will become far less devestating and recovery will be quicker.
We are still allowing practices that continue to put people in harms way, beyond all intelligence that should lead us to better building practices.

These cities and devestated towns need to be rebuilt. Communities need to be restored. We just need to do it using brains and lessons learned, not like lemmings waiting for the next big one that 'probably' wont happen so we can then repeat the devestation again.
Nice "Tampa" explanation, Ivan, thanks!
One thing to keep in mind when comparing storm surges is that unless the hurricane hit the exact same point on the coast, at the exact same angle, and at the exact same speed, then it's hard to make a direct comparison of storm surge between two hurricanes. One very important determinant of storm surge height is the depth of the water along the immediate coast. The presence of deep water just offshore can significantly reduce the storm surge height. This is true all along the east U.S. coast. So any given city along the east U.S. coast may experience a surge that is perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 the height if the same hurricane hitting along parts of the Gulf Coast.

The greatest storm surge from an Atlantic hurricane was hurricane Katrina 28-30 feet.If iam correct the old record was Hurricane Camille 1969 with around 25 feet.Andrew had a 17 foot storm surge.
So 23, I am a little confused. You are saying that Hugo hitting the Gulf Coast would have had a 60' storm surge? Because it did have a 20' surge.
Storm Junkie I think 23 is saying that storm surges are higher in the gulf due to the shape of the ocean floor
20 atmoaggie "...surge...Miami...Anyone know the link for exploring the SLOSH-generated MEOW maps for hypothetical storms?"

Not me, but your "Miami flooding" link has gotta be an extreme underestimate. Here's an animation of the effect of sea-level rise on Florida at 1metre/3.3foot intervals up to 6metres/20feet.
You might have to click on the "slower" and "faster" links to get the animation to recycle.
White areas on the map represent regions of high-density population, and the red represents rising sea-level.
Not saying that the surge would travel inland that far, just that SouthernFlorida is a lot lower and thus a LOT more vulnerable to storm surges than your link seemed to imply.

Plus 5 animations of a storm surge hitting Galveston/Houston followed by a 6th of PortArthur/Beaumont.
After first play of each scene, left-click on the round button then drag to control video speed, forward or backward.
On the bottom left corner is an inset box which displays the surge height.
SJ, it depends on the area but when there is very little dropoff between the land and seafloor, the hurricane has a very easy time pushing the water inland. flatter low lying inland areas allow surge to go in for miles, while places like Pensacola on a giant hill sees the surge blocked. Similarly if the seafloor drops off slowly the shallow layer of offshore water gets pushed inland far easier. Off the East Coast of Florida there is major dropoff right off shore, which limits surge. (60 feet sounds a bit extreme though) That is why Ivan had 20 ft surge, Andrew had 17.

Look at "slosh"(potential surge) models comparing East Coast of FL to coastal MS and AL and you will see huge difference in surge zone sizes.

The size of a storm matters too. Large (windfield) size storms generate more surge and can maintain surge far longer after weakening. The greater size also means wider surge too.

By the way, I am wondering how this volcano erupting in Chile will adversely affect the hurricane season and beyond. (If nothing else it may make for some beautiful sunrises and sunsets.)
BBC News report on Nargis including a video and link to pictures. Looks pretty bad.
In regards to Miami. With Andrew, downtown DID flood. The condos/apartments along brickell avenue were at least first floor flooded. The county is aware and that is why we have mandaory evac zones that are based on storm surge. (not wind speed, contrary to popular belief) It is a risk that government is aware of.

Here is the bad part about this particular year. If you have seen downtown Miami, it looks like a building crane storage yard. There are so many buildings going up - most are now stalled because of the housing bust. Miami is at risk of highrise building collapses if a major hurricane were to hit. (Just like an in-progress highway overpass collapsed during Wilma over SR 836)

My current neighborhood (which Andrew decimated) is very close to the Atlantic, but the houses are all way ABOVE sea level. I am at 16 feet. According to my neighbors Andrew's storm surge almost went inside my garage. (I wasn't living here in 1992).
Thanks for posting a link to storm surge video, Aspectre.

These Houston / Galveston storm surge models provide a wake-up call for everyone. A 10-foot storm surge would do a LOT of damage along the Houston shipping channel (2nd busiest in the nation).

Do you notice how Texas City becomes an island in the rising floodwater? It's not due to elevation, but Texas City is surrounded by large earthen dikes. They were built at the same time as those surrounding New Orleans, and by the same Corps of Engineers. These dikes have been tested before in a Cat-3 and held up to storm surge, but that was decades ago. Everyone who doesn't want to see $5.00/gallon gas better hope they can still hold up. A Cat-4 turns Texas City into a swimming pool.

Notice that Port Arthur is completely submerged by only a 7.5 feet storm surge? Well, the 2nd largest refinery in the U.S. is being built on the coast there, elev. 2 feet above sea level. Let's all sing along...Dumb Dumb Dumb Dumb. Couple that with other refineries along the same road, and you've got a disaster waiting to happen.

Notice all that land from Port Arthur to Beaumont going under water? That is populated area, not vacant swamp land. There are several large prisons in that area (most are only 1-story high) where prisoners were put into lock-down during Rita. Anyway, even a Cat-2 hurricane hitting west of Port Arthur could devestate that area.

Are we still building in these trouble zones today? You bet! Can you buy homes that are lower than sea level? Yup. Will our government help you to rebuild that house in the same spot and elevation if it is ruined in a storm surge if you buy flood insurance? Dumb Dumb Dumb Dumb.
Ivan and all4, thanks for the answers.

I am aware of the differences caused by coastal and inland elevations, just thought that 23s statement implying that all E coast areas see 1/3 to 1/4 less surge then Gulf coast states, considering it is the same storm, a little misleading. While ocean depths just off shore may impact surge, I think that it was over exaggerated.

Thanks again y'all :c)
Watching Mike Rowe clean out mold and a dirty toilet in a New Orleans home...Ughh...

Speaking of Mike Rowe, I just can not get enough of Deadliest Catch! As much as I love my crab legs, much dap goes out to those guys bringing it in. The Bering Sea is a nasty place!
I was adding lowland near coastline and shallow waters offshore in my comment. That combo makes a little surge go along way. I agree 60ft was way high. Even the Eastern seaboard varies as does areas of the Gulf Coast in surge vulnerability.
texasgulf....are they allowing beaverboard as a roof substrate in texas?
I now think the death toll stands at 353, two more than Dr.Masters Posted they will probably have a double the death toll by tomorrow morning it really is tragic
40. all4hurricanes 5:20 PM CDT on May 04, 2008
I agree
Water Temperature (WTMP): 80.1 °F

Conditions at 42001 as of
(4:50 pm CDT)
2150 GMT on 05/04/2008:

Getting warmer fast....
Water Temperature (WTMP): 80.1 °F

Where is this at? I assume it's in the Gulf? Which part?
From the 8:00PM discussion...

45. ao
100,000 people displaced. That ain't good at all. I don't think anyone expected a storm this strong to hit them head on like this.

/ hopes the survivors hang tough
43. KoritheMan 12:08 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
Water Temperature (WTMP): 80.1 °F

Where is this at? I assume it's in the Gulf? Which part?

The ID was given...42001. 180 nm south of the MS river mouth. Link
WellingtonR wrote...

"I don't think Miami (or South Florida) is in any type of denial regarding possible storms hitting the region. We have done many great things to prevent death and damage. I don't know of any area that is more prepared than South Florida. We are also getting pretty good at clean up after the storm hits. The state is helping people to buy and install shutters. I would estimate that 80 percent or more of my neighbors now have shutters and generators compared to abut 25 percent a few years ago. Slam us when we deserve it but South Florida is the best prepared place I know of. [snip]

I agree. I've seen a lot of changes in attitude here in S. Florida. The "MySafeFloridaHome" program is helping some too. Just this past week I had stronger shutters (accordion type) installed on my house... even all my doors are now covered. The hurricane panels I had before this were 24 yrs old and weren't up to current bldg code so needed to be upgraded. But they did work fine for Frances, Jeanne and Wilma here in West Palm Beach, but these newer ones are stronger.

Yes, if Katrina (or Andrew) had hit downtown Miami, there would have been a much greater loss of life, much more damage.

Hope everyone stays safe this coming hurricane season.
texasgulf....are they allowing beaverboard as a roof substrate in texas?

A common roof decking in Texas coastal areas is OSB board (oriented fiber strand) at least 5/8" thick. Its not really beaver board, but I call it that because it isn't much stronger.

When you have roof joists at 24" centers, there just isn't much strength to that OSB board. Builders CAN increase the strength of the roof by 2X by applying a good bead of wood glue on top of the roof joists before setting the deck. Then again, those builders would choose to use 5/8" PLYWOOD instead.

I'm just not impressed by the current building codes, because I've seen the results. Good builders will stay within code and build a good strong house. Poor builders will stay within the same code and build a crummy house. Both will look the same to an unsuspecting buyer.

There are some new homes I've seen that I suspect wouldn't stand up to hurricane force winds even though they are built to code.

I'm NOT a fan of OSB board decking unless it is supported properly. At 24" centers, it is just not very stable. Miami Dade County is the only county in the U.S. to ban OSB fiberboard decking on roofs. Everywhere else, it is very common because it can cost $5.00/sheet less than plywood.
was Rita really bad in Texas for that reason
There some flare up blobs Under Mexico it Mat be their first storm
51. JLPR
There some flare up blobs Under Mexico it Mat be their first storm

lol =P
52. JLPR
so less than a month until cane season 08!
I bet this blog will explode as soon as our first storm forms which I expect to happen in August Please god! =)
52. JLPR 1:20 AM GMT on May 05, 2008
so less than a month until cane season 08!
I bet this blog will explode as soon as our first storm forms which I expect to happen in August Please god! =)

The chance is very slim that we dont see our first named storm untill August.

And all4hurricane you need to realize it takes more then a blob of convection for something to have potential for tropical development, It would need an associated low-pressure area at least.
54. JLPR
=( I know the chances are low I just hope Africa cools down usually hurricanes that passed through here (Puerto Rico) are Cape Verde systems. The last one was Georges in 98 so 10 years have passed since a hurricane made landfall in PR. So if it becomes a active Cape Verde season our chances of getting hit increase, plus we are right in the way of systems =(.
JLPR This would be the 2nd season since 1995 that a storm hasent developed untill August, If that occurs.
This blog will definetly explode if it looks like something is going to develope. I doubt it will be any time real soon though. Shear is really high in the Atlantic so nothing can form just yet.
57. JLPR
well I am hoping its the 2nd =)
and yeah let the shear come I don't want a way active season how about a below average season =)
0. all4hurricanes 9:09 PM AST on May 04, 2008
There some flare up blobs Under Mexico it Mat be their first storm

If you mean south of Mexico....yes models are predicting the formation of a tropical cyclone as it moves off to the west northwest. The area remains a broad zone of disorganize showers and isolated thunderstorms with no signs of organization as yet.
TexasCoast; I can't believe they allow OSB for roof decking!! I just built a small townhouse for me and my wife to live in til we can afford a house. We have vinal siding on the outside but have OSB on under it, with studs 16 inchs on center. I don't trust it on the walls, so I don't know how people could live with it as roof decking.
Hey W456...Did you notice that the NHC repositioned the tropical wave in the CATL, to around 31/32 west?
The Truth of your government has been exposed! www.illuminati-truth.co.nr
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was Rita really bad in Texas for that reason

No! Hurricane Rita was bad in Texas for two primary reasons... falling trees and building practices.

I have to say that over 75% of home damage in Beaumont, Nederland, Vidor, Rose City, Orange, etc... was caused by trees falling onto houses. A 120 foot tall pine tree less than 50 feet from your house is a BAD idea. My neighbor in Beaumont lost his house to a fallen oak tree... total rebuild. Another neighbor had three pine trees land on their house.

In Pinewood, every single house had at least one pine tree in it. The average house had two or three. Most of those came up by the roots. Trees were falling all the way to Woodville and Kirbyville 120 miles from the coast.

If you live in a hurricane prone area, look at the trees within falling distance from your house. If you would not feel comfortable with that tree falling onto your roof at full force, then get rid of the tree. Its that simple.

Second main cause of damage was awnings and porch overhangs. If your porch or overhang is attached to the house, it could be a problem. I saw plenty of houses where the awning flew up and ripped away siding or roofing soffet with it. Either secure it properly or get rid of it.

Third main cause of damage was improper rafter and roof joist connections. Several roofs deformed because of toe-nailed joints pulling loose. One person gained an extra roof ridge out of the storm. Poor connections to the main ridge beam and not properly securing the roof joists to the support walls was the main culprit.

It only costs about $1.50 per plate to buy steel nailer plates at Home Depot or Lowes. Most homes will need about 60 of those and a big box of 16d nails. It takes an afternoon to bring them up into the attic and secure the joist connections to the main ridge beam. It may be the best $100.00 you ever spend.

Answering your earlier question, I did NOT see one single house where the roof decking was pulled up. There were plenty of examples where it was loosened, but I didn't see one house lose it's roof due to decking being raised.

Get rid of them tall trees, people. They don't discriminate, but will take out a $500,000 house as easily as a $100,000 house. Brick walls are not tree proof.

Vinyl siding is absolutely no storm barrier. In my opinion, Vinyl siding should be banned for anything other than detached garages within 100 miles of the coast. Replace it with lap hardi-board siding if you can. That is perhaps the most durable siding material you can use along the coast and it is very impact resistant.

mark 8.5n/91.7w
Tropical atlantic/carribean/gulf looking pretty safe for the next few days, with the only places with low enough shear and hot enough water lacking convection. Let's hope it stays that way for a while longer. :)
Let's hope it stays that way for a while longer. :)

Well, one thing is probably a certainty (put emphasis on probably, since the unexpected can happen), which is the fact that conditions will likely remain unfavorable for tropical cyclone formation during May.
63. TexasGulf 10:56 PM EDT on May 04, 2008

No! Hurricane Rita was bad in Texas for two primary reasons... falling trees and building practices.

This is some really good advice,Tex. Maybe you can preserve it on your blog or something.

As for the trees, we have a yard full (or maybe I should say had). Mangos are really bad in hurricanes because they get so tall, but their roots are not usually very deep. Every time we have had a hurricane, since David in 79, in fact, we have lost a mango tree. Fortunately for us, the trees have always fallen away from the house or have been just far enough away that they don't reach the roof. In Floyd, however, a large mango tree in the front yard fell on my dad's newly-refurbished car, totalling it. This tree was about 100 feet tall, about a yard across at the base, and very bushy. It could be seen from the main road a mile away.(I'll root up a picture of the tree trunk that is still in our yard.) If this had fallen on our house instead, we would have been in SERIOUS trouble . . .

Avocados are almost as bad, though they generally don't get as big. In our back yard we have a pair of avocados and a mango that were partially uprooted during different storms (David, Andrew, Floyd, etc). Rather than standing them back up, we left them lying on their sides and simply trimmed back the lower branches. Now the upper branches have grown out like separate little trees, which actually turns out to be sturdier in storms. Currently we have only one tree large enough to do serious damage if it falls, and it is far enough from the house to give us a break.

Out here our little Bahama pines tend to be more supple than their larger northern cousins, and their roots are more deeply imbedded in the limestone bedrock. This means that pines here are more likely to break / snap than uproot. After Frances I took several pictures of pines whose tops or larger branches had been ripped off by the storm winds.

I like having trees around the house - they keep the area beautiful and cool - but they are definitely a hazard in a hurricane.
off topic but interesting - just did the poll on the RHS and the results were dead even with my vote :) amazing
2007 had Andrea.
2006 had part of Zeta
2005 had Zeta. Also, Epsilon didn't reach hurricane strength until after the season ended.
2004 had Otto form on the last day of the season.
2003 had Anna in late April.

Storms outside of hurricane season certainly aren't common, but you shouldn't discount them. The tropical Carribean remains hot enough year-round, while the central Atlantic gets hot enough a month or two in each direction from hurricane season. It's shear that normally keeps them down -- and shear varies. So, you keep an eye on the shear forecasts for areas that are hot enough and keep an eye out for convection that might be in the area.

Storms don't care about the date; they just care about the conditions. :)
60. stormdude77 9:49 PM AST on May 04, 2008
Hey W456...Did you notice that the NHC repositioned the tropical wave in the CATL, to around 31/32 west?

It seems reasonable
Just in briefly. What is the story with a wave at 31/32 w ?
Does not look very active to me, lots of dry air around it, west and north.
"I like having trees around the house - they keep the area beautiful and cool"

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you can help keep your house cool with climbing vines, which wouldn't pose a hurricane threat. Of course, you need to be careful with what kind -- virginia creeper and boston ivy are usually safe and won't damage a house, but climbing hydrangea, english ivy, kudzu, and wisteria can do some real damage. Most damage from rootlets burrowing into the walls, but wisteria can damage from outright crushing.
Happy 5 de mayo!!
hey you experts out there what kind of hurricane season do you think we will have?
a tip this hurricane season

if you do not like some one dont pick a fight with them thats gos with any thing like trolls and wishcasting this ban and Ignore and move on

Excellent advice, Taz...
"What kind of hurricane season do you think we will have?"

Looks like a fairly big one, but it's really too early to say with much confidence at all right now. We'll know better by the beginning of June.
Hi there !

I was surprised by MISAWA and KADENA typhoons in the Western Pacific Storm Advisories... Clearly this is an error. I have been looking for full disk satellite images trying to find them, but I only find two invests at that area.

I'm not sure how those typhoons have appeared :P !

Perhaps suddenly forecast models have improved a lot and they are showing their development? :D

Regards from Spain.

We've had a lot of these "ghost" storms of late . . . :o)
400 Dead in Burma 3 dead in Sri Lanka
I think they were last years storms. Ahhhh Ghost storms.
good morning everyone

another nice day on the Ms Gulf Coast today........calling for a high of 80 today
Morning y'all :~)

Interesting article P&A, that said is the global average really that important? I think many here have stated that GW should really be considered global climate change and not GW. Not sure if this example is accurate, but basically if Arctic sea ice is melting would we not expect to see an increase in temps in the Arctic? Then ask yourself where all that cool runoff water is going? Would we not expect to see a cooling in these areas? My point is that I am not convinced that global averages can accurately depict global warming or cooling.

Just for the record I am not saying that I buy in to GW, nor am I saying that it is not happening, just that I am not sure global average temp is a good benchmark for proving a case one way or another.

One thing I am pretty certain of is that if we do not learn to live greener, then I expect it will bite us in the ass one day, one way or another. Maybe it will be our insatiable desire for oil, or maybe mother nature will dish out something we can not handle due to the pollutants we throw out.

All in all we need to quit arguing about global warming. If as many folks that have spent time an money trying to prove it one way or another had invested that same effort in to reducing oil dependency, or working to reduce emissions from factories, and cars, or the countless other things that we need to do to get our act together then we would all be a lot better off.
I think there's a bug with the hurricane/typhoon tracker. I'm seeing two storms near Japan right now...one a cat 4. Does not compute.
CNN just reported there may be over 4,000 fatalities in Myanmar.
It was repeated several times....I'm trying to find a published article.
Yes, government radio there is reporting over 4,000 deaths.
CNN has an associate in the country....waiting for a new report.
From the CNN ticker:

Breaking News....The death toll from the Myanmar cyclone is up to nearly 4,000, according to local media reports.
That's awful vort, thanks for the update.
texasgulf......sounds like you might be a semi custom or custom home builder and not a fan of tract housing...which is fine..neither am i....i don't really want a house that looks like my neighbors 2 doors down....now....i have some clarifications and a disagreement...

osb....as from the distributor...it is almost identical to uplift and ratings as plywood....so...that's usually what the builder will use in defense of using the product..the differences and quality of plywood is proven over time...osb degrades faster under adverse conditions i/e moisture and rot...and where plywood will soak up moisture evenly...osb soaks it up fastest at the edge causing it to swell and pull up the nail to where you no longer have a safe amount of nail embedment for wind uplift...also...in humid conditions it degrades faster...and an improperly maintained roof deck is susceptible to boat water infiltration and wind uplift...so....no matter what your builder says..if you're not a fan of rolling the dice...stick to plywood sheathing as your roof deck material

hurricane clips....first...this is not an afternoon job for the typical homeowner....first..you're going to need to get plywood up inside your attic to use at your platform...you're also going to be working for the most part lying down..and from may through october in most hurricane prone areas you're going to be working in a high heat atmosphere...you're also working is a space restricted area usually with nails protruding from the roof deck....in a typical 6/12 pitched roof you're going to have 3' of headroom at 6 ft away from the exterior wall decreasing to about 5 inches where you will be fastening the hurricane clip...it's tough nailing..if you are going to undertake this yourself consider renting an electric palm nailer...the job will go a lot quicker and your arms will thank you....also...read the box and use the right fasteners.....according to my simpson catalog the only clip that utilizes a 16 d nail is an H11...by all means though...if your roof is not up to existing hurricanes codes get it done

now as for vinyl siding...while not a fan....i understand both the environmental and economic advantages....and....most vinyl sidings are now constructed to withstand when speeds in excess of 160 mph and many exceed wind speeds over 200mph
87. StormJunkie 11:33 AM GMT on May 05, 2008


Actually, we could go a step further and call it what it really is...Habitat Destruction.

Global warming...global cooling, are not something we have a lot of control over and probably have no business tinkering with, at least for the next few decades until our understanding catches up with our equipment.

Habitat destruction, on the other hand, is much much more immediate of a problem.

If, according to the statistical information available, our global population does grow to over ten billion by 2040...we be in deep dodo. There comes a point where climate modification will be overwhelmed by the population increase and we owe it to ourselves to begin developing plans that deal with population growth, or should I say explosion. And we need to do it NOW!!!

Polution control...solar energy for our energy needs...better farming practices...prohibiting agricuturally based fuel generation...we are way past carbon control etc.
Habitat Destruction

I like the term lindenii and all very good points.

ric, great info!
a question for all of you builders out there:

I am in the process of buying a new home in Tampa about a tenth of a mile inland from the bay. The builder is telling me that the home was built "according to Hillsborough County Hurricane Code". Does anybody know exactly what that is? In other words - is this house safe?

Well, I'm an architectural engineer student so I can tell you that building "to the code" means the bare minimum that the county will allow. BUT, you're not screwed or anything because all you have to do is request are 'RT2A hurricane ties' to be installed. These are cheap and basically save your house by binding the top half and roof to the studs. Now, if you want to go even further you can request Hurricane rods which are continuous metal bars which run from each lintel, through the wall, to the foundation. These sorta' hold the foundation to the wall and roof. All of this can be carried out inian already constructed house with minimum intrusion.

You can also ask the builder what the expected wind resistance of the house is. This will give you an idea of when you should evacuate. Enjoy the new house.

Morning SW, good to see ya
To: Cazatormentas (Blog No. #80 in this session)

FYI: It looks like those two "typhoons" are part of some sort of exercise.

"Kadena" is the name of the largest city on Okinawa and the name of its associated Air Base.

Likewise, "Misawa" is the name of a city in Japan, located at the northern tip of Honshu, and also the name of an Air Force Base nearby.
I was stationed there in the late 60's.

I hope to find out more about these "typhoons"
good morning everyone...well less than a month until hurricane season.......any thoughts on what this season may hold.....
Good morning all. Typing to from the 4th floor of my office building on US 19 overlooking the Bayside Bridge. Storm Good morning to you Sir.
RE: Pacific "TYPHOONS"


The "Public Advisories" for those two "typhoons", KADENA and MISAWA contained the word "**Exercise**" in the body of the text. I didn't see it at first.

It appears that the exercise has concluded.
Burma....10,000 and counting.


hillsborough has adopted the florida building code...rather than use it's own codes...it's a good thing as now the builder can use one set of codes county...and the FBC...is a good set of codes for safe sturdy buildings....now...i've noticed a tone in this blog that seems to belittle the minimums....the minimums in your case provide a home that will withstand wind speeds of 120MPH...and chances are many components are rated higher....case in point...most doors sold in florida meet the miami dade codes in an effort to reduce inventory needs and as such meet windspeeds of 140MPH...the same applies to most roofing products

True that.

My garage doors are rated to 155mph and the shed I have out back is rated to 165mph. Windows and sliding glass rated to 125mph.

First floor cinderblock walls are filled with re-bar and concrete every third course and the wall is capped with a 18 inch lintel. Tie downs are everywhere. Make sure you keep them on their toes by photographing the progress of the build so that you can make sure that everything is on the 'up and up'.

With Wilma, the wind got so bad several of the lighting fixtures were ripped of the house and little else was damaged.

The codes got even better after my house was built in 2002. Your biggest issue will be dealing with potential storm surge if the storm hits the opening of Tampa Bay with the south side of the storm.

Water is the real killer in storm events. You might want to se if there are any storm-surge maps to guide you in making choices WHEN not if a storm comes your way. I worry that folks may derive a false sense of security from building codes and choose to "ride out" events. Having been involved in the clean up after a number of storms I think folks often don't realize that dealing with the chaos and dangers afterwards is as critical as surviving the event itself. Patrap has a bunch of preparedness info on his blog that is invaluable.

Enjoy wisely
110. lindenii

Hi you beat me to the storm-surge issue.

Don't know if we have a case of "Great minds think alike" or "Shallow minds splash in the same puddles." lol
80. Cazatormentas 1:47 AM PDT on May 05, 2008
Hi there !

I was surprised by MISAWA and KADENA typhoons in the Western Pacific Storm Advisories... Clearly this is an error. I have been looking for full disk satellite images trying to find them, but I only find two invests at that area.

I'm not sure how those typhoons have appeared :P !

Perhaps suddenly forecast models have improved a lot and they are showing their development? :D

Regards from Spain.

what you are seeig is not real what they are doing overe there is testing

like so this was from last night

050000Z --- NEAR 20.0N 132.0E

they are olny testing none of the storms are real

i hop this helps
Situation in Yangon, Burma after Nargis Cyclone hit strongly.
Presented By http://cuteburmesegirl.zinmedia.net/

Taz~ there was a lot of scratched out news articles about something possibly forming in Bay of Bengal would be named ABC storm.. Looked like maybe some media put something out there without verifing & is now retracting the stories.

Unforchanately Nargis death toll has really skyrocketed...

YANGON, Myanmar (CNN) -- Almost 4,000 people have died and another 3,000 remain missing in Myanmar as a result of this weekend's devastating cyclone, state media reported Monday amid fears that the death toll could continue to soar
It's feared 10,000 deaths may have resulted from this cyclone when was the last time a cyclone death toll topped 4,000? It wasn't Bangladesh last year that was 3,000
Other than being cities a can find any other reason they would be posted on WU but Typhoon Bart was a Cat 4 that took a path similar to the prediction it made landfall near Kadena Air force Base Misawa wasn't hit that Year (1999)
mayde someone can find a hurricane that took a path like the storm on WU that hit Misawa