Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hurricane Harvey - realising the worst

Sou | 11:43 AM Feel free to comment!
Hurricane Harvey is fulfilling the worst case predictions and is now a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. This is equivalent to a Category 5 cyclone on the Beaufort scale, used to categorise cyclones in Australia.

Hurricane intensity is measured by wind strength. Although winds are hugely destructive, Harvey brings bigger problems. As with all hurricanes, Hurricane Harvey is likely to dump huge amounts of rain and bring storm surges. Harvey will be worse than most because it is expected to hang around for several days. Below is the quantitative prediction forecast from the National Hurricane Center of NOAA as at 4:08 pm Central Daylight Time (USA). It shows horrific rain in Texas. Although the scale goes to 20 plus inches (500 plus mm), see how big that area is. There are warnings that the rainfall may be much higher in parts of that purple area. (I wouldn't want to be in the middle of it.)

Figure 1 | Rainfall potential from Hurricane Harvey: 120-hour Day 1-5 rainfall forecast (inches). Source: National Hurricane Centre, NOAA.

When extreme weather hits these days, it often breaks all records. This prompts science deniers to become more vocal, shrieking their denial of science. They seem to think that if they yell loudly enough, then some idiot will believe them and they'll be able to keep the coal fires burning a bit longer.

I'll write more about this, with despicable examples, shortly. (I am only able to write in short bursts at the moment, as I am dealing with other commitments. This might be a good thing, as some articles in the past have ventured into the TLDR category.)

Meanwhile, you can read more from the Cat6 team at Wunderground.com.

My thoughts are with everyone in the path of the hurricane and its effects, and with all the volunteers and agency workers who will be assisting with response and recovery.

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