Category Archives: Storm Surge

IT IS THAT TIME OF THE YEAR: BE PREPARED! MITIGATE!

Today is Saturday 27 May 2017. Just a couple of days ago the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its updated forecast for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season, which officially starts this coming Thursday 1 June 2017.

Available names for tropical cyclones forming in the Atlantic basin during upcoming 2017 hurricane season. (World Meteorological Organization)

NOAA’s forecasters have called for an above average Atlantic season with a possible 17 named-storms this year. An ‘average’ season, if there is such a thing, usually produces 11 named-storms. Just to be ready for what eventually will happen, or not, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has prepared a list of 21 names for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic.

Ocean waters are getting warmer already, having reached 30 degrees Celsius over large areas as shown on this sea surface temperature map of 26 May 2017. (NOAA)

While NOAA’s forecast has several caveats regarding the various factors that may contribute to this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, such as whether or not El Niño will stay away, we are already seeing some of the contributors begin to fall in place. For example, the tropical waters in the northern Atlantic are already getting rather warm, with sea surface waters over large  regions reaching 30˚ C, thus the heat energy content of the ocean is conducive to feeding tropical cyclones.

Several storms cells and areas of disturbed weather are already present in regions of the tropical northern Atlantic as seen in the GOES EAST satellite view of 05/27/2017 (NOAA)

We are also seeing the trains of tropical waves over equatorial Africa, ‘hurricane alley’, and the eastern Pacific starting to line-up north of the equator as they march toward the west. A sign that conditions are favorable for thunderstorm and rain cell formation, another contributor to cyclogenesis.

The train of tropical waves over Equatorial Africa, marching west toward the Atlantic, is already in place. (NOAA)

Elsewhere, we have already had the first named-storm  of the 2017 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season, tropical storm ADRIAN formed on 10 May 2017 off the Pacific coasts of Central America and Southern Mexico becoming the earliest named-storm of record in that basin. Farther west, over the northwestern Pacific near the Philippines there are currently two large areas of disturbed weather that are showing some potential for tropical cyclone formation.

Tropical storm ADRIAN became the earliet named-storm of record over the northern eastern Pacific, when it formed last 10 May 2017 off the coasts of Central America and Southern Mexico (NOAA)

So, it is that time of the year in the northern tropics.  The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is right upon us, ready for its ‘official’ starting date of 1 June 2017. Beyond the Atlantic, conditions appear already favorable for tropical cyclone generation throughout the Pacific ocean, to the northern Indian ocean and the Arabian sea.

It is time to be prepared, and remain alert. It is time TO MITIGATE!

A MUST-READ: Hurricane Mitigation for the Built Environment

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If you live in a hurricane vulnerable region this book ‘Hurricane Mitigation for the Built Environment’ is a must-read. Get it NOW at 20% off the publisher’s price shipping and handling included! Read on for more information about this book and how to order it!

Over the past few days millions of people have been monitoring the progress of monster hurricane MATTHEW, which reached category 5 intensity for a few hours on 1 October,  worrying  about the damage and other adverse consequences that will be caused by the impact of this storm on buildings, houses, infrastructure and the beaches and local environment.  Residents of the Windward Islands, northern Venezuela and Colombia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Central America, Belize, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Florida, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, the Bahamas, and the USA Atlantic coastal regions beyond, have been and are worried about devastation and human suffering that will be wrought by MATTHEW’s passage.

Against the possibility of damaging impact from Hurricane Matthew or any other future hurricane, in this one of the most hurricane vulnerable regions anywhere, it would be fair to ask if you, as a homeowner, or building manager, or hospital administrator, or public official  sworn to guard the welfare of the people, or just as a resident or visitor to hurricane vulnerable communities, have confidence in how your building or house will perform under hurricane impact? Do you know what design criteria was used to build your building? Do you consider your building to be hurricane-resistant? Is your building protected against the impact of storm surge and breaking waves, in addition to wind?  How is sea-level rise affecting the structural integrity of your building?

Are you confident you have specific answers to these and many other similar questions regarding the performance of your building or house under expected impacts from hurricanes? Or how such expected impacts are being exacerbated by sea level rise and global warming?

Do you know what to do to improve the design of a new building or an existing one, to improve performance and reduce the potential for damage under expected hurricane impacts?

This book ‘Hurricane Mitigation for the Built Environment’  based on actual field work, years of experience assessing building damage caused by hurricanes, and practicing hurricane mitigation, by Ricardo A. Alvarez, will help you answer these questions and clearly understand the issues involved.

Following is a comment by someone who has read the book:

“I just finished reading Hurricane Mitigation for the Built Environment and realize I need to immediately run to our roof to see what shape it is in and how our equipment is anchored. Alvarez writes with such great clarity that the book is an easy read. I just ordered a second copy to share with our condominium’s board of directors and maintenance staff!”
—Bernard Horowitz, Ph.D., Co-Founder, V.I. Technologies, Inc.; Board Member, The Cleo Institute

Key features of the book include the following:

  • Focuses on the impact of hurricanes in coastal regions
  • Demonstrates the capabilities of reducing potential damages through hazard mitigation
  • Includes detailed figures, photos, and charts that give concrete examples of hazard mitigation and its purpose
  • Uses plain language to make technical issues easy to understand
  • Emphasizes the protection of life and property through the design and construction of hurricane- and climate-resistant buildings
  • Addresses long-term issues such as beach erosion and struggling tourism economies caused by hurricanes

You can now get this invaluable resource at 20% off the publisher’s price including shipping and handling. To order online please visit http://www.crcpress.com.  Use the search box on the upper right of the page and search for K25318. This will bring-up the book and you can put it in your shopping cart. Use the code LFO20 to get your 20% discount!