Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms: gl_sst_mm

Tropical Storm Rachel is located about 360 mi…575 km SSW of Cabo Corrientes Mexico and about 485 mi…780 km S of the southern tip of Baja California with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…WNW or 295 degrees at 13 mph…20 km/h.

Tropical storm 17w (Kammuri), is located approximately 399 nm southeast of Iwo To, and is tracking north-northwestward at 07 knots.

NewsBytes:

France – Floods tear through Shrine at Lourdes as a storm, which lasted for nearly 36 hours between September 16 and 18, is believed to have broken France’s two-hour record for rainfall, established back in 1979. In one five hour period, rain totals a few hours east of Lourdes in Montdardier matched the average accumulation for a full two months of precipitation this time of year. Flooding at the grotto shrine at Lourdes closed the popular Catholic pilgrimage site for the third time in the last year and a half, following floods in October and June of last year.

Global Warming

Who Will Be Under Water as the Seas Rise

Every global shore touches the ocean, and the ocean is rising.

Climate Central just completed a novel analysis of worldwide exposure to sea level rise and coastal flooding. We found that 147 to 216 million people live on land that will be below sea level or regular flood levels by the end of the century, assuming emissions of heat-trapping gases continue on their current trend. By far the largest group — 41 to 63 million — lives in China. The ranges depend on the ultimate sensitivity of sea level to warming.

But even these figures may be two to three times too low, meaning as many as 650 million people may be threatened.

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People living on land that will be below sea level or chronic flood levels by the end of the century, assuming current emissions trends continue, and medium sensitivity of sea level to warming. Some countries, such as the Netherlands, have levees that may provide protection. For the list ranked by percent exposure, we considered only countries with total populations over 1 million.

Our analysis relied on global data on elevation and population, but our experience using similar data in the U.S. strongly suggests that this global data is not as accurate or precise as more modern data sources. Comparing results for U.S. vulnerability using global data and state-of-the-art domestic data, we found that global elevation data led to major underestimates compared to modern U.S. elevation data (by a factor of 3 to 4), whereas global population data led to overestimates by a factor of 1.6 to 1.8. The net effect of global data was underestimation by a factor of 2 to 3.

If the overall error factors we calculated for the U.S. apply globally, then 300 to 650 million people live on land that will be submerged or exposed to chronic flooding, by 2100, under current emission trends.

Higher-quality global data — and in particular, elevation data — is needed to help resolve those figures — and makes a bigger difference than resolving sea level sensitivity. But our unadjusted results still give an indication of how nations compare in the threats they face from rising seas.

The top-20 list of most exposed countries includes representatives from every continent except Australia. The top seven slots, and 12 overall, come from Asia. Five European Union members make the list, as do the U.S., Brazil, and Nigeria.

Wildfires

Wildfires – California

Strong winds threaten Northern California wildfires.

A dozen homes have already been destroyed east of Sacramento. The 140-square-mile wildfire called the King Fire is just 35 percent contained. More than 7,000 firefighters are trying to stop the blaze. The wildfire was deliberately set on September 13.

Fire officials say it’s become the highest priority fire in the nation.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity

Shiveluch (Kamchatka): A powerful explosion occurred at the volcano today (24 Sep) at 12:41 local time, producing an ash plume that rose to 38,000 ft (11 km) altitude. It generated several pyroclastic flows, some of which surpassed the 350 m high western caldera wall. The volcano had been relatively quiet during the past months. This morning’s explosion could have been a result of gas pressure that slowly build up under the lava dome’s plug of viscous lava. KVERT raised the alert level to red, and lowered it back to orange afterwards as no new eruptions followed and the ash had dissipated.

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): Intermittent explosions continue. An eruption occurred last evening on 23 Sep, producing an ash plume rising to 14,000 ft (4.2 km) according to VAAC Tokyo.

Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): The volcano is still in eruption. A volcanic ash plume was observed by VAAC Darwin on 20 Sep extending 50 km to the west.

Dukono (Halmahera): After a phase of probably lower activity during the past weeks, strombolian activity picked up again and sometimes produces ash plumes that rise to 2-3 km.