Category Archives: Floods

Floods and flooding

Supercell Outbreak Darling Downs and NE NSW 26th December 2017

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Supercell Outbreak Darling Downs and NE NSW 26th December 2017

Models had been excited for about a week with the possibility of a supercell outbreak including some intense supercells across SE Qld and North West Slopes and Plains. The instability was in place together with a likely dryline further west. The convergence of boundaries and this dryline coupled with favourable shear profiles produced ideal conditions for supercells.

The cap held down throughout the afternoon and eventually the storms exploded first in NSW and then in SE Qld. Three isolated supercells developed across the Darling Downs allowing for sufficient space for energy. One particular supercell produced hailstones to 11cm in diameter!

Unfortunately, we made a wrong move and took bad road options although we slavaged a chase with a storm coming to and across the border of NSW to Queensland. This was to be the 3rd supercell in a line from the northern intense supercell. Although it seems a wall cloud was in view in specific phases, it was not sustained and then outflow dominated any attempt to organise. Updrafts can be clearly seen to rotate. Lightning was pretty intense in some of the phases particularly once the storms punched into the upper atmosphere.

Another storm intercepted briefly on the way amongst a break in the rain near Inglewood.


Effects of Storms

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Effects of Storms

Effects of Storms can be anything from the change in temperature to the damage in some cases - extreme destruction. Storms can impact people and property in many ways. Generally, the more severe the storms, the more the impact.

The media often report on stories such a Tropical Cyclone Yasi and Debbie and the impact of other storms such as trees through houses. Of course, a lot depends on the climate of the region.
In Europe and the North America, the effect of storms and weather can be from snow or ice! Snow can cause major disruptions to transports including roads and airport due to accidents or closures. Electricity supply failures can also occur

Approaching storms can also raise dust reducing visibility and eroding good top soil from agricultrual land.
Furthermore, Australia is a country prone to major bushfires which can destroy property, cause loss of livestock and also take lives..


Australia is a land of extremes and with droughts comes the floods. Major losses occur to property in terms of insurance values and loss of items runs into the tens of millions. This flood in Lismore certainly illustrates the impacts on the local community. Roads were also damaged in more recent floods: the dangers are certainly evident!

Some of the most intense efects of storms damage images come from tornadoes. Tornadoes can cause vehicles and even house to be relocated with even whole communities being destroyed. Greensburg suffered from its fate on the evening of the 4th May 2007. A 2.7km wide major tornado made a direct hit on the country township obliterating anything in its path!

Hurricane Matthew nears Western Haiti 4 and 5 October 2016

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Hurricane Matthew threatening Florida

Hurricane Matthew continues it's slow movement north towards the western portions of Haiti. The storm is moving at 9 km/h northwards as a powerful Category 4 storm sustaining winds of 120 knots at the core with higher gusts to 140 knots (Approximately 220 km/h with higher gusts to 260 km/h).
cimssmodelformatthewThis is the most powerful storm since Hurricane Felix in 2007 and news reports already confirm 3 fatalities at the present time. Further fatalities cannot be ruled out especially across Haiti.forecastcone

matthewencroacheshaiti

urbanextents

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Path of Hurricane Matthew

Path of Hurricane Matthew

According to the National Meteorological Centre of Haiti, the Hurricane Matthew has a central pressure of 943 hPa. Hurricane winds are occurring within 45 km of the centre and storm force wind extend outwards to 315 km from the eye.

Western Haiti affected by Hurricane Matthew

The CIMSS forecast models suggests that the eye of Matthew would pass over the far western fringe of the country placing the towns / cities of Jeremie and Les Cayes at significant risk. Other smaller towns at risk include Dame Marie, Port A Piment and Tiburon

Haiti is an impoverished country and such a storm would have a significant impact and cause major disruption to the country.

Very heavy rainfall, storm surges and landslides are being forecast given the strength of the storm. The outer rain bands are starting to impact the southern coastal fringe of the country.

The western part of Haiti does not contain too many substantial towns or cities as shown on the “Urban Extents Map” but as shown on the population density map, the western side of the country is moderately to densely populated implying the region includes numerous small villages, farms, farming communities and rural towns. In this regard, the storm will have a major impact to the country.

The storm will also have a significant impact to eastern Cuba due to the number of large towns or cities within the region.

Forecasts are being made for rainfall to reach as much as 1,000 mm in isolated locations of Haiti which would cause landslides and serious flooding.

Forecast models suggests the storm emerging into the Bahamas within two days and traversing towards or close to Florida and possible impact within the Carolina's of the United States in six days. Major uncertainty exists beyond three days but it is clear that the whole south eastern sea board of the United States including the states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina is now under threat from the storm. There is a possibility of landfall in eastern North Carolina in six days but this is to early to tell at the present time.

CREDITS

1 - CIMSS - Forecast model for Hurricane Matthew acquired 4/10/2016.
2 - National Meteorological Centre Haiti.
3 - National Weather Service (USA).
4 - NASA Worldview - Population plots for Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica.

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