Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Tropical cyclones’ Category

Tropical Cyclone Potential in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans

All about Cindy

Southern Mississippi Valley sector loop    Southeast sector loop

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[Image of WPC QPF U.S. rainfall potential]

Tropical Storm Bret

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Cyclone Mora tore through parts of Bangladesh on Tuesday, destroying the homes of thousands of Rohingya refugees

NY Times

“…..In the coastal border district of Cox’s Bazar, where a majority of the Rohingya in Bangladesh live, more than 17,000 houses were destroyed and more than 35,000 were damaged, said Mohammad Ali Hossain, the deputy commissioner there. Four people were killed in the district, and 60 were injured…..”

NOAA: Seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern Pacific and central Pacific hurricane basins

NOAA issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern Pacific and central Pacific hurricane basins. An 80 percent chance of a near- or above-normal season is predicted for each region. The eastern Pacific outlook also calls for a 70 percent probability of 14 to 20 named storms, of which 6 to 11 are expected to become hurricanes, including 3 to 7 major hurricanes. The central Pacific outlook calls for a 70 percent probability of 5 to 8 tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.

Last year produced 5 land-falling storms, including Matthew that caused $10 billion in damage and killed 34 people in the U.S. and 551 in the Caribbean. It was one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes on record.

NOAA: Above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year


For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season…..

Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook.

These numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April.

“The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Strong El Ninos and wind shear typically suppress development of Atlantic hurricanes, so the prediction for weak conditions points to more hurricane activity this year. Also, warmer sea surface temperatures tend to fuel hurricanes as they move across the ocean. However, the climate models are showing considerable uncertainty, which is reflected in the comparable probabilities for an above-normal and near-normal season…..

NOAA brings exciting new observing, modeling, forecasting and communications tools to the table this year to improve our hurricane warning capabilities and aid public readiness:

  • Even before its final positioning, the sophisticated camera on NOAA’s new GOES-16 satellite will give our hurricane forecasters a sneak peek at its greater image resolution, sharp detail and rapid-refresh rate. One of the powerful instruments aboard GOES-16, the lightning mapper, will allow forecasters to see lightning strikes that build within tropical cyclones – a possible signal of strengthening.

  • The combination of two high-resolution hurricane models will improve forecast guidance for the National Hurricane Center this season. The upgraded Hurricane Weather Research Forecast model adds better representation of storms at higher vertical resolution, and has advanced data assimilation and improved physics. With these upgrades, the model can improve intensity forecasts by as much as 10 percent and track forecasts by as much as seven percent. NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center also is replacing the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Hurricane Model with a new hurricane model called HMON, for Hurricanes in a Multi-Scale Ocean-Coupled Non-Hydrostatic, which has superior track and intensity forecast skill.

  • NOAA’s National Hurricane Center is providing a suite of new forecast and communication tools this season. Forecasters there will issue Storm Surge Watches and Warnings operationally this year, in addition to issuing advisories, watches and warnings for disturbances that aren’t yet a tropical cyclone but still threaten land with tropical storm or hurricane conditions within 48 hours. The center added a new experimental visualization tool so the public can easily see when damaging winds are forecast to reach their community. Also, beginning this year, the public will be able to click on the hurricane track cone graphic and see how far outside of the cone hurricane and tropical-storm-force winds extend, which can be hundreds of miles.

2017 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names.

The 2016 season was the most active since 2012, with 15 named storms, including 7 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes.

NOAA will update this outlook in early August, just prior to the peak of the season.


FEMA Video: How Prepared Are You for a Hurricane?

Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 7-13, 2017)


Sunday, May 7th
Determine your risk

Monday, May 8th
Develop an evacuation plan

Tuesday, May 9th
Assemble disaster supplies

Wednesday, May 10th
Secure an insurance check-up

Thursday, May 11th
Strengthen your home

Friday, May 12th 
Check on Your Neighbor

Saturday, May 13th
Complete your written hurricane plan

Examining the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the mental health and substance use of residents of the Rockaways

The lasting mental health effects of Hurricane Sandy on residents of the Rockaways

Rebecca M. Schwartz, PhD;
Patricia Rothenberg, BA;

Samantha M. Kerath, MS;

Bian Liu, PhD;

Emanuela Taioli, MD, PhD
July/August 2016; pages 269-279
Image result for fema hurricane sandy
Objective: To examine the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the mental health and substance use of residents of the Rockaways, which is a lower income, ethnically diverse region of NYC that was devastated by the hurricane. Design: Prospective, cross sectional.
Setting: Rockaways, Queens, NYC community residents.
Participants: From October 2013 to April 2015, 407 adult residents of the Rockaways completed self-report, validated measures of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress symptoms as well as indicators of substance use (alcohol, illicit substance, and tobacco use) and exposure to Hurricane Sandy.
Main Outcome Measures: Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, alcohol use, illicit substance use, and tobacco use.
Results: Differences in exposure scores on outcomes were compared using Wilcoxon tests. Associations between hurricane exposure (categorized into “personal” and “property” exposure) and outcomes were investigated using logistic regression, adjusting for demographic covariates, mental health history, and time since hurricane. The study participants were predominately female (57.5 percent) and black (63.9 percent) and average age was 44.7 years. Multivariable results showed that property exposure scores were positively associated with increased risks of mental health difficulties across all three mental health symptom outcomes, but not substance use. Increased personal and total exposures were also significantly associated with increased Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. Substance use variables were not significantly associated with any of the hurricane exposure indicators.
Conclusions: The present study quantifies the lasting impact that Hurricane Sandy has had on the mental health of Rockaways residents indicating the need for continued recovery efforts and increased mental health service provision in this vulnerable region.
Key words: Rockaways, mental health, substance use, Hurricane Sandy

Post-Debbie flooding has exceeded expectations as tens of thousands of residents are ordered to evacuate and 140,000 Queenslanders remain without power.

Daily Mail



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