Societal Aspects of Weather

Hurricanes Hurricanes

"A tropical cyclone develops over tropical or subtropical waters. Severe tropical cyclones, with winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or more, are called hurricanes or typhoons, depending on where they form. Hurricanes form in the North Atlantic or eastern North Pacific, and typhoons form in the Western Pacific. These storms may bring winds up to 180 miles (290 kilometers) an hour, terrific rains, violent thunder, and lightning. They measure 200 to 300 miles (320 to 480 kilometers) across." From: World Book Encyclopedia

Section 1. Organizations and Agencies

Section 2. General Resources

Section 1. Organizations and Agencies

Hurricane Forecast Team
No doubt many are familiar with the annual forecasts of Atlantic hurricane activity issued by Professor William Gray and his colleagues at Colorado State University. This official Web site of that group provides much more than the usual bare-bones CNN Bill Gray sound bites. Rather, it offers in-depth information on both the processes and the results of the group's extensive investigations into pre-season climatological signals that anticipate upcoming hurricane activity.

Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services - Hurricane Awareness
This site provides several on-line preparedness guides in both Spanish and English, current watches and warnings, on-line tracking charts, and links to many of the national agencies dealing with hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery.

Tropical Prediction Center
The mission of the Tropical Prediction Center is to save lives and protect property by issuing watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous weather conditions in the tropics. TPC products are generated for use in both the domestic and international communities.

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Section 2. General Resources

Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre Seasonal Forecasts of Extreme Weather Events
This site includes long-range forecasts for U.S. landfalling and Atlantic hurricanes, Far East landfalling and NW Pacific typhoons, and Australian landfalling and SW Pacific cyclones.

Coastal Hazards Information Clearinghouse
This site contains a 10-chapter monograph on coastal hazards, detailed coastal hazard maps for all coastal states, photos of property damage from several recent hurricanes, and a list of coastal hazard links for each state. Hurricanes
This site includes videos, publications, and links to information about hurricane mitigation measures.

Extreme Weather Sourcebook 2001
This updated site provides quick access to data on economic damage from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, lightning, and other weather phenomena in the United States and its territories. Visitors to the Extreme Weather Sourcebook will find the states and U.S. territories ranked in order of economic losses from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and all three events combined. A dollar figure for average annual losses for each state is also provided. Links take the reader to graphs with more detailed information on cost per year for each state and each hazard.

FAQ: Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Tropical Cyclones
What a cyclone is, how it forms, definitions of terms, where to get more information primarily on the physical/meteorological aspects of cyclones rather than their societal impacts.
Historical Hurricane Tracks
The Historical Hurricane Tracks site contains an interactive mapping application that allows users to query and display 150 years of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone data from the National Hurricane Center's Tropical Cyclone Best Track data set. The ability to plot user-defined portions of the data set and download credible and reliable data will enhance knowledge of hurricane climatology for any location within the Atlantic Basin. The web site includes text documents detailing particular storm events and graphs showing historical population data versus hurricane strikes for coastal counties from Texas to Maine.
Hurricane Andrew in South Florida: Mesoscale Weather and Societal Responses
Roger Pielke Jr.
The first report of the Extreme Mesoscale Events and Impacts Project. The report's purposes are to reframe the US hurricane problem in terms of societal vulnerability by discussing trends in coastal population, property development, and hurricane incidence; to place hurricane forecasts in the broader context of societal preparedness and response; and to review the Andrew experience in that broader context. An appendix to the report provides an annotated bibliography of various articles, reports, and journal articles that discuss Andrew's societal impacts.

Hurricane Georges and Mitch Preparedness Conclusions
The summary conclusions from the meeting,"Evaluation of the Preparedness for and Response to Hurricanes Georges and Mitch." Also available on this site are the draft reports from the countries affected by Hurricanes Georges and Mitch, the final list of participants from the meeting, the program, and related press releases.

Hurricanes: Nature's Greatest Storms
This NOAA site presents the latest hurricane news and extensive background information, as well as links to numerous sources of hurricane information, including local sites.

La Niņa, El Niņo, and Atlantic Hurricane Damages in the United States
Roger Pielke Jr. and Christopher W. Landsea
Hurricanes result in considerable damage in the United States. Previous work has shown that Atlantic hurricane landfalls in the United States have a strong relationship with the El Niņo-Southern Oscillation phenomena. This paper compares the historical record of La Niņa and El Niņo events defined by eastern Pacific sea surface temperature with a dataset of hurricane losses normalized to 1997 values. A significant relationship is found between the ENSO cycle and U.S. hurricane losses, with La Niņa years exhibiting much more damage. Used appropriately, this relationship is of potential value to decision makers who are able to manage risk based on probabilistic information.

Mapping Coastal Change Hazards
Resource managers must be able to predict where and how much coastal change will occur to locate new construction landward of coastal change hazards. Developing this predictive capability requires quantifying how coasts respond to extreme storms. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists, in partnership with NASA, have developed a new extreme-storm hazards map and a new scale that categorizes expected coastal change (erosion and accretion) that occurs during storms. Both are available on this site.

National Climatic Data Center Hurricane Maps
A complete resource of hurricane maps from 1899-1996.

The 2001 National Hurricane Operation Plan

Natural Disaster & Emergency Preparedness

Normalized Hurricane Damages in the United States: 1925-1995
Roger Pielke Jr.
More appropriate trends in United States hurricane damages can be calculated when a normalization of the damages is done to take into account inflation, and changes in coastal population and wealth.

Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services Service Assessments
This link has data on many different hurricanes. These links are in.pdf format; you will need ACROBAT to read these files.
Preparing for Natural Disasters
Presented by
Repeat Response to Hurricane Evacuation Orders
A Quick Response Report by Dr. Kirstin Dow and Susan L. Cutter

STORM2001 Hurricane Central
A complete resource covering the recent U.S. hurricane season.

The Sun-Sentinel's Hurricane Page

Thirty years After Hurricane Camille: Lessons Learned, Lessons Lost
Roger Pielke Jr., Chantal Simonpietri, and Jennifer Oxelson
The thirtieth anniversary of Camille's landfall presents an opportunity to raise the issue of a national hurricane policy and to assess what has been learned in the three decades since.

"Tis the Season"
This brochure, published by the Florida Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Leon County, Florida, Sheriff's Office Division of Emergency Management, instructs residents of mobile/manufactured homes how to prepare for the high winds of a hurricane.

Tropical Cyclone Forecasters' Reference Guide
Worldwide improvements in tropical cyclone forecasting skills in recent decades have been due largely to collaboration on communications, development of powerful observational tools including data acquisition and processing systems, a growing demand for timely warnings and accurate forecasts, and improved conceptual, theoretical, and numerical weather prediction models of tropical cyclone structure and motion. The Guide offers an account of these issues and investigations, and their status and results to tropical cyclone forecasters.

Tropical cyclones that have affected Southern California during the 20th Century
The National Weather Service at Oxnard, California, has put together a list of 20th century tropical cyclone, and associated El Niņo events, which affected southern California.

Tropical Weather
Weather maps, reports, forecasts, products, news, software, outlooks, and discussions.

USA Today's Guide to Hurricane Information

USGS Hurricanes and Coastal Storm Websites
This site includes links to other USGS sites that provide real-time data, background maps and studies, historical analyses of specific storms, and other reports about hurricanes.

The Weather Channel Forum on Hurricane Preparedness and Response
The findings and recommendations of The Weather Channel Forum on Hurricane Preparedness and Response, developed by the Atmospheric Policy Program of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), suggest that our nation is at serious risk of severe damage and loss of life caused by hurricanes. The forum report, available from the AMS Web site, calls for an assessment of the vulnerability of communities with potential exposure to hurricanes and the development of improvements in the preparedness, prediction, communications, and response strategies at the national, regional, and local levels. To find the report, click on "Atmospheric Policy Program" on the left side of the home page, then "Report of the Weather Channel Forum."

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