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Hurricanes
Old 09-21-2005, 10:36 PM   #1
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Hurricanes

Seems like this hurricane situation is really becoming a major issue for the US.

Besides the obvious current problems they have created do you see past and future hurricanes as a serious problem for the economy.
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-21-2005, 10:51 PM   #2
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM
Besides the obvious current problems they have created do you see past and future hurricanes as a serious problem for the economy.
I'm freaking out over Rita as it is. IMO, Katrina pushed us to the edge, and Rita will probably push us over. I have been thinking about this coming winter, and how many news stories will be on TV about people freezing to death in New England

As far as a 'major issue' in terms of future hurricanes.... two data points is not enough to establish a trend for more/stronger storms, so I don't see them as any more/less an issue than they were before. This just happens to be two large storms in a row hitting two critical areas of our energy infrastructure.
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 09:45 AM   #3
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Re: Hurricanes

I recall reading an article suggesting that the past 50-80 years or so have been a lull in traditional hurricane activity for the Gulf and East Coasts. No idea if that's true, but I think the supply chains will adapt to the increased threat, if any.

I can't speak to short-term supply shortages and the longer-term ripple effect on the economy.
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 09:53 AM   #4
 
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Re: Hurricanes

I was reading that hurricanes that get big soon, often undergo fluctuations in magnitude. Rita is a 5 now, but it could fluctuate down to a 3 as it hits the coast.
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 09:55 AM   #5
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
two data points is not enough to establish a trend for more/stronger storms

And now to refute myself-

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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 09:57 AM   #6
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I was reading that hurricanes that get big soon, often undergo fluctuations in magnitude.* Rita is a 5 now, but it could fluctuate down to a 3 as it hits the coast.*

You can see the estimated wind speeds over time at this website-
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/grap...37.shtml?chart

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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 10:06 AM   #7
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
I recall reading an article suggesting that the past 50-80 years or so have been a lull in traditional hurricane activity for the Gulf and East Coasts. No idea if that's true, but I think the supply chains will adapt to the increased threat, if any.
I've heard similar. One popular explanation is that there is a 20-25 year cycle. I've even heard it linked to cycles in solar activity. I don't think anyone really knows yet, even if they say they do.

Quote:
"We're now in a very active hurricane era," confirms Dr. Gerry Bell, a seasonal hurricane forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "Last year was very active, the year before that was very active. …This active hurricane era began in 1995. Since 1995, nine out of the last 11 hurricanes seasons have above normal."

Bell tells Russ Mitchell of The Saturday Early Show hurricane activity comes in cycles that can last several decades.
...
"The previous active hurricane era was during the 1950s and 60s. Then we were pretty inactive for about a 25 year period, from 1970 to 1994, and now we're back in an active hurricane era," Bell points out.
Quote:
"If there was a Category 6, Rita would be there," said CBS News Meteorologist George Cullen. "This is an incredible storm right now, the third most intense hurricane ever recorded."
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 10:13 AM   #8
 
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Re: Hurricanes

Could be a fizzlecane, ya never know.
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 10:24 AM   #9
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Re: Hurricanes

I've always wondered.... what would a nice big nuke right in the eye of a big hurricane do? Whenever you see those old nuclear testing films, shortly after detonation, a cloudy sky becomes clear from the shockwave/heat/whatever. I did some half-hearted googling last night, but couldn't find anything.
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 10:31 AM   #10
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
As far as a 'major issue' in terms of future hurricanes.... two data points is not enough to establish a trend for more/stronger storms, so I don't see them as any more/less an issue than they were before. This just happens to be two large storms in a row hitting two critical areas of our energy infrastructure.
I wonder how much of the last 20 years' rise in storms is due to an improvement in satellite surveillance.

The Pacific & Atlantic are big places with plenty of deserted areas (no ship traffic).* Today if a storm whips up it's picked up within 12 hours (or at least discussed), but 25 years ago the technology was a lot more primitive and the Hurricane Hunters were frequently sent out to FIND the storms, let alone obtain data.* So maybe a generation ago we were blissfully ignorant.

Speaking of 25 years of technology development & rising population, is there anywhere along the American coastline that is NOT considered a "critical area of our energy infrastructure"?* Maybe today's storms are causing more damage because we're obligingly providing more targets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
I've always wondered.... what would a nice big nuke right in the eye of a big hurricane do? Whenever you see those old nuclear testing films, shortly after detonation, a cloudy sky becomes clear from the shockwave/heat/whatever. I did some half-hearted googling last night, but couldn't find anything.
Geez, Marshac, is that a CHP? Or are you advocating the use of nuclear weapons for environmental modification? I can only imagine the dispersion pattern of the radioactive debris.

I think we'll talk to our Navy meteorological shipmates. I'm sure the question has been discussed on a few midwatches... maybe we could find a way for the nuclear-detonation simulation supercomputers to chat with the meteorological simulation supercomputers.
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 10:39 AM   #11
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Re: Hurricanes

I live smack dab in the California earthquake zone.* I have the Calaveras fault on the east side of me and San Andreas to the left.* We haven't had a biggie since '89.* I was in the '89 quake which was measured at 7.x* Believe me it was terrifying and LOOOONG in duration.* *I still remember the floor boards under my legs moving in a fluid fashion and things flying across the room as I huddled under my desk.* *

At least with a hurricane, folks get notification and have a chance to evacuate.* Earthquakes just happen and could be equally as devastating in nature.* Remember the hwy 880 freeway collapse? People were flattened like pancakes during rush hour.* ** It was just heartbreaking.* I swear those images traumatized me to this day.

Earthquake insurance is so high with a 30-40K deductible.

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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 10:43 AM   #12
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
I've always wondered.... what would a nice big nuke right in the eye of a big hurricane do? Whenever you see those old nuclear testing films, shortly after detonation, a cloudy sky becomes clear from the shockwave/heat/whatever. I did some half-hearted googling last night, but couldn't find anything.
In the Chicago Tribune, Tom Skilling answered this question on Friday, September 16.

Quote:
The shock wave, or pulse of high air pressure, produced by a bomb propagates outward from the detonation site, but air pressure immediately returns to normal after the shock wave has passed because atmospheric pressure reflects the weight of air above the ground. An explosion does not change that.
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 10:51 AM   #13
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by moghopper
In the Chicago Tribune, Tom Skilling answered this question on Friday, September 16.
Static air pressure, sure. But the dynamic air pressure exerted by the winds and the flying cows?
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 10:51 AM   #14
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I wonder how much of the last 20 years' rise in storms is due to an improvement in satellite surveillance.

The Pacific & Atlantic are big places with plenty of deserted areas (no ship traffic). Today if a storm whips up it's picked up within 12 hours (or at least discussed), but 25 years ago the technology was a lot more primitive and the Hurricane Hunters were frequently sent out to FIND the storms, let alone obtain data. So maybe a generation ago we were blissfully ignorant.
Does your DW have any opinion on this?
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 10:56 AM   #15
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Static air pressure, sure. But the dynamic air pressure exerted by the winds and the flying cows?
From the bomb, or the hurricane?

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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 11:06 AM   #16
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Re: Hurricanes

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Originally Posted by Martha
Does your DW have any opinion on this?
Oh, she'll have an opportunity to voice it and I have a whole list of questions, but she won't be awake for another hour or two and I should probably wait until she's had breakfast first. (She really appreciates the interaction you guys provide so that she doesn't have to do it all!)

I do know that technology has almost killed the Navy's meteorological community. Personally I think it's already dead but the assignment officers just don't know where to send the extra people. Modern bandwidth & Internet connectivity, supercomputer weather simulations, improved shipboard instrumentation, and the Weather Channel have largely turned Navy weather-guessers into button-pushers. My spouse jokes about the things she knows how to do with systems that no longer exist but the truth is that we don't miss any of them and it's much better not to be so alone out there with just a barometer & anemometer.

I don't know much about the history of weather satellites-- yet. Although I'm the technology & systems geek, she tends to be the usability & products geek. Every time she's showing me something and saying "Look what it can do! See how we use this!" I'm itching to turn it off so that I can take it apart and find out how it works. But we know a guy (currently sleeping on a cot at Navy meteorological HQ in Stennis Space Center) who's been looking for a good post-doc research project... just as soon as Rita winds down...

Quote:
Originally Posted by moghopper
From the bomb, or the hurricane?
Yes! Actually the hurricane. I bet it swallows the "average" nuclear warhead like a dog gobbling down a piece of cheese. But I'll have to see what I can find out.

It'd be fun to watch the services fight over who gets to deliver the product, so to speak-- B-52s or SSBNs?
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 11:23 AM   #17
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Geez, Marshac, is that a CHP?* Or are you advocating the use of nuclear weapons for environmental modification?* I can only imagine the dispersion pattern of the radioactive debris.*
Sure, it would increase the avg radiation dose a person would receive, but would the small increase in cancer cause more deaths than the impact of a storm like Katrina or Rita? Maybe we can find the plans for the tsar bomba....*

I would be interested to know if you find out anything about hurricanes and nukes.... if it wouldn't do anything, it only makes these large storms that much more awe inspiring..... and scary.
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 11:33 AM   #18
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Re: Hurricanes

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Originally Posted by cube_rat
Remember the hwy 880 freeway collapse? People were flattened like pancakes during rush hour.* ** It was just heartbreaking.* I swear those images traumatized me to this day.
I still get freaked out when I am forced to drive on the Alaskan way viaduct in Seattle.... the cracks in the support columns from the quake a few years back aren't very reassuring either....
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 11:39 AM   #19
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Re: Hurricanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Yes! Actually the hurricane. I bet it swallows the "average" nuclear warhead like a dog gobbling down a piece of cheese. But I'll have to see what I can find out.
I think there is no question it would. Probably wouldn't even burp after.

Maybe I wasn't clear with the quote from before (it was all of the text I could find online) but essentially he (Skilling) claims a bomb would have no effect. Pressure within the storm would "immediately return to normal after the shock wave has passed because atmospheric pressure reflects the weight of air above the ground. An explosion does not change that."


Quote:
Geologists describe earth’s atmosphere as an envelope of air, rotating with the continents and oceans; receiving enormous amounts of energy from the Sun’s radiation, which powers weather events. Typical energy expended in a tornado funnel is equal to about fifty kilotons of explosives; a thunderstorm exchanges about ten times this much during its lifetime; and a moderate size Atlantic hurricane can build up to more than 1,000 megatons of energy.
Still I suppose you could argue that the disruption caused might be enough.
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Re: Hurricanes
Old 09-22-2005, 11:50 AM   #20
 
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Re: Hurricanes

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I've always wondered.... what would a nice big nuke right in the eye of a big hurricane do?
Don't give Bush any ideas.
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