Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Howtoons and typhoons.

I was directed to this site from one of the other blogs I read. However, after looking at some of the comics, I was interested in the one on the Beaufort Scale. Mostly interested because of the hurricanes that are currently working their ways across the subtropical areas of the N. Hemisphere. Now, I know that the Beaufort Scale is not the same as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, but just so you know (without having to read through the Wiki article), a category 1 hurricane is equivalent to a 12 on the Beaufort Scale (so the bottom panel is a graphical depiction of a category 1 storm). HOWEVER, the relationship between the two are not linear (i.e., a Beaufort 13 is not equal to a Saffir-Simpson 2).

The major hurricane people are looking at right now is Hurricane Felix. This hurricane is the fastest to go from a category 1 to a category 5 - roughly 72 hours - before making landfall in Nicaragua. This sparsely-populated region of the country may suffer greatly from a lack of adequate warning (since just a few days prior, it was "merely" a tropical storm). Hurricane Felix also makes the second category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean basin - the first time since reliable record-keeping began in 1944.

Meanwhile, on the western shores of Mexico, Hurricane Henriette is slowly making its way into the Gulf of California. I predict that this will be a mixed blessing for the region. On the one hand, there will be massive problems in border towns due to flooding and lack of adequate sanitation, and a general problem with flooding and mud/landslides. On the other hand, the region needs water right now - after suffering the 12th summer of drought (this one hotter than any of the previous 11). Of course, much of my perspective is from the US side of the border - having little knowledge of what life is actually like in regions on Henriette's storm path.

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