View Full Version : Are extreme weather events getting more common

21st Sep 2013, 04:57
The most powerful typhoon of 2013 was passing between northern Philippines and southern Taiwan on Sept. 19. When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Usagi, infrared data showed a large area of powerful thunderstorms and heavy rain surrounding the center while NASA's TRMM satellite measured that heavy rainfall from space.

Super-Typhoon Usagi is a monster storm that according the Joint Typhoon Warning Center is headed for a landfall near Hong Kong on Sept. 22 around 1200 UTC/8 a.m. EDT/8 p.m. local time Hong Kong.

Usagi formed in the open waters of the Philippine Sea about 1,000 km/~620 miles east of the Philippines on September 16, 2013. Usagi rapidly intensified and became a typhoon on Sept. 18 and a Super Typhoon on Sept. 19 when it had estimated maximum winds of close to 140 knots/~161 mph.

Usagi (Northwestern Pacific Ocean) | NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/usagi-northwestern-pacific-ocean/)

"estimated maximum winds of close to 140 knots/~161 mph.", wow, that's shifting it. Scary. Wouldn't want to be flying anywhere near that.


21st Sep 2013, 05:26
Probably not. Modern communications and surveillance means that they are more likely to be observed and reported.

21st Sep 2013, 06:07
This year's Atlantic hurricane season has been very subdued with only two named hurricanes so far, each a Cat 1 storm and until the arrival and rapid strengthening of the storm highlighted in this thread the Pacific season has been very quiet as well...

The emergence of these storms is dependent upon a huge array of factors and their development can be hindered in many ways, e.g. in the Atlantic the presence of Saharan dust at certain altitudes and global weather phenomena such as whether it is an El Nino year or not.

Suffice it to say that the energy that is not being dissipated world wide is not going away and will either be sequestrated as latent heat in the atmosphere or, more likely, transferred into the oceans and a form of equilibrium will be established until the conditions for hurricane/typhoon/cyclone formation come together in a big way as they appear to have done in this case...

2013 hurricane season quiet, but not over, experts warn | NOLA.com (http://www.nola.com/hurricane/index.ssf/2013/09/2013_hurricane_season_quiet_bu.html)


21st Sep 2013, 06:46
... But Mexico getting hurricanes on both coasts at the same time is not usual. Last time that happened was 1958.

The first hurricane, Humberto, coming as late as it did is another unusual event. Anyone care to bet, one virtual beer, that this year's final hurricane comes unusually late?

Unusual weather events are becoming more usual.

21st Sep 2013, 06:47
Cacophonix ..... " are extreme weather events getting more common"?

Yes I think that they are as the older I get the more "extreme weather events" I can remember. Well that is until I get dementia or whatever and then I remember b****r all ........ and won't care.

21st Sep 2013, 06:57
I think that the only way to determine whether today's events are more extreme than so say two hundred years ago (where are our records are sketchy to say the least) is to study them for another hundred years or so by which time I will be dust hindering storm formation...;)

This year's tropical storm formation has been atypical, I grant you, but a Cat 5 super typhoon (I hate that term) is not that rare, look at the stats over the last 50 years....

List of Category 5 Pacific hurricanes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Category_5_Pacific_hurricanes)

User:Mitchazenia/List of notable Pacific typhoons - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mitchazenia/List_of_notable_Pacific_typhoons)

Truth is that with hurricanes and the like we are still struggling to understand what is typical. I mean look at poor old Isaac Cline in 1900 who followed the mantra that Atlantic hurricanes always recurve... only to see the utter devastation of Galveston when the hurricane chugged straight on over the Gulf.

The 1900 Storm - Galveston, Texas (http://www.1900storm.com/)


21st Sep 2013, 07:09
Not extreme but this years "wet" season up north of Aus
was a non event from the build up in Nov all the way through
the wet to April, NO rain and then one huge dump at the end
of April.

Very unusual indeed.

Also, not a huge number of cyclones over the last few years.

B Fraser
21st Sep 2013, 07:13
The hottest, coldest, driest, wettest event in 30 years means one thing and one thing only. 30 years ago it was hotter, colder, drier, wetter.

Nothing to write home about. :rolleyes:

21st Sep 2013, 07:14
You Australians caused sea levels to drop over the rainy seasons in 2010 and 2011...

Is this because Australia sucks..? ;)

On a more serious note... I bid you look at El Nino and La Nina years.



P6 Driver
21st Sep 2013, 09:07
Around 1990 I listened to some UK Met Office forecasters having a discussion about weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere. They said the Met Office was roughly divided into two schools of thought.

Group A.
Those who considered that the weather is simply random and you get what you get - that it can't be predicted accurately long term.

Group B.
Those who said that the weather pattern is permanently changing to an overall bland and mild year, with a short sharp summer and a short sharp winter, and that this pattern will become firmly established.

I'd like to hear their opinions 23 years on!

dubbleyew eight
21st Sep 2013, 09:52
alison when you were a gorgeous 20 something do you remember ever hearing about hurricanes in america? it was something mentioned in geography books but seldom reported.

nowadays you hear about every one of them.

more weather? I dont think so.
better reporting, for sure....

B Fraser
21st Sep 2013, 09:52
My view when I left in 1988 was 100% "Group A". I have been watching the climate debate from the sidelines ever since and can honestly say I have never heard so much shyte spouted in the name of science.

This morning, I'm off to cut down some trees and build up the log store. I will be burning petrol with two stroke oil in the chainsaw. This apparently is carbon neutral whatever that old bollox means. Had I been burning coal made from trees that fell over without a chainsaw several million years ago, that would not be carbon neutral. The trees that I cut down will stop absorbing CO2 and the locked up carbon in the wood will be returned to the atmosphere to be consumed by other trees, cabbages etc. Had I burned coal instead, those trees would be doing a job but by burning them, that's apparently a good thing for polar bears.

The good news is that Clegg (minister for plastic bags, the useless twot) can't tax me for burning wood.


21st Sep 2013, 10:01
Dig down through this site and going back a couple of thousand years we experienced extremes.
Some notable weather events (http://www.booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/wxevents.htm)

dubbleyew eight
21st Sep 2013, 10:08
interesting piece of history.
one reason why stradivarius violins were so good was that the wood he chose grew during a protracted cold period thus creating denser wood.
more recent woods have grown during a warmer period so havent been as dense and the violins not as good.

21st Sep 2013, 10:10
Every year some typhoon clobbers something. Then the
boring predictable pattern begins -

* Is the world's weather going crazy?

* Gore and his rat pack saying "See? Global warming!"

If it hits HKG or any other area of the Chinese coastline it'll
kill people. That's a given. From the Indian subcontinent to
the Jap islands typhoons are a regular Summer event. Some
years see staggering numbers of 'em and others barely any.
If the world's weather behaved exactly the same year after
year and season after season that WOULD indicate a global
met unnaturality.

PLEASE have a look at this link and see its a large yet normal
typhoon pattern that's been originating East of the Philippines
for thousands of centuries and will keep doing so long after
our species is extinct.


The trajectory depends on the upper levels of air over China.
It could've easily been a path direct to central Vietnam had it
occured in October.....


B Fraser
21st Sep 2013, 10:15
Be careful when using facts Mr Beaufort or you will be labelled a "denier". That's the same term that is applied to people who claim that extermination camps never happened. I find that in the climate debate, when people are called deniers for daring to suggest that the science is flawed and statistics have been manipulated then their accusers have totally lost the plot.

21st Sep 2013, 10:15
Typhoon Tip in 1975 was the strongest and biggest storm in the western Pacific on record but it is highly likely that there have been stronger typhoons since.

Since sounding by US aircraft in the western Pacific was discontinued in 1987 both typhoons Gay and Angela (amongst others) have shown higher Dvorak numbers than Tip (extrapolated from satellite observations)...



21st Sep 2013, 10:19
Thanks for that link Caco! :ok:

21st Sep 2013, 10:34
Thanks for that link Caco!

Pleasure Mike, good to know there are folks as interested in the weather as I am on this forum. :ok:


21st Sep 2013, 11:38
Caco says:
good to know there are folks as interested in the weather as I am on this forum

Pls count me in for a subscription there, also. Often find weather data these days is better than news, soaps, and sports -- more interesting, at least.

I Often gaze at this image below (12-hr animated gif view from Canada to the ITCZ, Marshall Islands to the Azores) to look for motivation to skip inevitable outside chores on the back 40, or to just get on w'em. Is near the best seat anywhere for channeling wx... especially zoomed in and big as the wall. Along with local net news real-time local radar overlay on topo map views down to resolution of 5 meters or so, one can even schedule walking the dog for a few mins between cells. Amazing, simply!

Unisys Weather - Enh Infrared Satellite - Hemisphere 12 hr Loop (http://weather.unisys.com/satellite/sat_vis.php?image=enh&inv=0&t=l12&region=he)

Dak Man
25th Sep 2013, 12:14
Likely more extreme media hype than more extreme weather.

25th Sep 2013, 12:24
How much do people try and intergrate Sun activity with weather patterns ?

25th Sep 2013, 13:15

An excellent point as it seems solar activity, or lack thereof, is never given the credence for the effect on weather it has.

And here in North America El Nino or La Nina are not given enough credit for weather effect either.

dubbleyew eight
25th Sep 2013, 13:16
there was a very famous long range weather forecaster in australia, name of Inigo Jones I think, who did just that.

his long range weather forecasts were all based on sun activity cycles.

if you google 'Inigo Jones forecasts' you'll find heaps of info on him.

Lightning Mate
25th Sep 2013, 13:18
Are extreme weather events getting more common

Not since the Ice Age.

25th Sep 2013, 13:19
Solar activity is also taken into consideration when the writers of the Farmer's Almanac make long-range weather predictions.

The Almanac, since its inception in the early 19th Century, as been 80-85% correct in its long-range predictions. :ok: (Which is much more accurate than the local weather bozo who predicts fine weather as he's broadcasting, whilst a snowstorm rages outside the broadcast studio.)

25th Sep 2013, 14:21
Part of the answer to the question is

More people on earth ,more mobility, and better communications allows them to see and report all that occurs on our planet.

26th Sep 2013, 06:47
Using eye witness accounts way back to Roman times a quick sift through all these events

shows that long before the tiny manmade contribution of 3% to atmospheric CO2 there were

serious weather 'happenings' that would have the Greens screaming for mercy.

Here is a sample - try 1703 for starters - Al Gore woud have had a field day!

1700_1749 (http://www.booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/1700_1749.htm)

Takan Inchovit
26th Sep 2013, 06:52
Why dont we get fire and brimstone like we used to?

26th Sep 2013, 06:55
"Why dont we get fire and brimstone like we used to?"

Come and live in Aus, we do :O

Especially the fire.

26th Sep 2013, 11:10

Our nearest star is about to pull a once-in-11-years move by swapping its north and south magnetic poles.

The sun's polarity switch is a natural part of "solar max" the period of peak activity during what averages out to be roughly an 11-year cycle. According to NASA, this year will mark the fourth time since 1976 that scientists have observed the 180-degree pole flip.

"It looks like we're no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal," solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University says on . "This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system."

The reversal marks the midway point of solar max, but it's a gradual process, says Phil Scherrer, another Stanford-based solar physicist.

"The sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero and then emerge again with the opposite polarity," he says.

While those ripple effects will go largely unnoticed on Earth, they will affect the size and shape of the undulating magnetic envelope that surrounds the solar system out to a boundary with interstellar space known as the heliopause. (The , launched in 1977, are .)

Just before the switch, the magnetic field becomes very wavy, and as the Earth passes through it, it's likely to "stir up stormy space weather around our planet," NASA says.

"The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up," Scherrer writes. "Soon, however, both poles will be reversed, and the second half of Solar Max will be underway."

Whilst all this magnetic pole flippancy is going on, the earth's electromagnetic field space envelope is modulated by the changes in "local"
magnetics that normally would steer very energetic solar particles mostly away from here. Result very probably is greater net energy capture by the terraplatz, and certainly is greater net energy influx intensity at certain lucky locations on the marble. The differences in insolation are signif drivers for variable anomalies in terrestrial energy intake that cause e-wx to seem to always be different from year to year. Always true to some degree, and more so when solar magnetics go flippy. Have a small research project underway to maybe better quantify such effects.