Hurricane Michael Is the Third Most Powerful Storm to Ever Hit the U.S. Mainland

Hurricane Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach, Fla. on Wednesday with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. That put it just shy of a Category 5 hurricane, which would require wind speeds of 157 mph, but Michael is nevertheless one of the strongest storms to ever strike the American mainland.

Michael was continuing to intensify even as it made landfall Wednesday, an unusual phenomenon that surprised some experts. Hurricanes typically lose power as they move inland away from the warm waters that fuel them and encounter less favorable wind conditions.

“I think that if people are comparing storms, what was really fascinating was that it was still intensifying when it was making landfall, which is similar to Hurricane Camille also intensifying as it moved inland,” says AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski. “Other storms like Hurricane Opal in 1995 actually went from a Category 4 to 3, just like most storms that make landfall on the Gulf Coast tend to weaken.”

There are several ways to measure a hurricane’s strength. The most recognizable measurement, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, rates hurricanes from 1-5 based on their sustained wind speeds. But hurricanes can also be measured by their barometric pressure: generally speaking, the lower the pressure, the more intense the storm. And so far, Hurricane Michael’s pressure ranks as the third-lowest for any hurricane to strike the U.S. mainland, at 919 millibars. The only storms with lower pressure were Hurricane Camille in 1969, and the unnamed Labor Day hurricane of 1935.

Table of 10 strongest continental US landfalling #hurricanes on record as ranked by minimum sea level pressure at landfall. #Michael ranks 3rd with a landfall pressure of 919 hPa.

— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) October 10, 2018

But Kottlowski noted that meteorologists are still analyzing Hurricane Michael, and it’s possible that it will be retroactively upgraded to Category 5 status based on wind speeds.

“That’s what happened with Hurricane Andrew — [the National Hurricane Center] looked at the pressure and reanalyzed and upgraded it to a Category 5 storm. It was very close. I think it’s possible that it will happen with Michael. It was only two miles per hour slower than a Category 5. They’ll do a thorough reanalysis of the data … but it’ll take two to three months at least until the final report.”

Regardless of Hurricane Michael’s ultimate classification, those in the …read more

Source:: Time – Science


The Entire Florida Panhandle Is Now Under a Hurricane Warning As Michael Approaches

Hurricane Michael

The entire Florida Panhandle is under a hurricane warning Tuesday as Hurricane Michael moves north across the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of 5 a.m. ET, the center of the storm, which became a hurricane on Monday, was located around 390 miles south of Apalachicola, Fl.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect from the Alabalma-Florida border down to the Suwanee River. Hurricane conditions are expected along the Gulf Coast by Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions arriving as early as Tuesday night.

The southeastern coast, from Fernandina Beach, Fl. to Santee River, S.C. is also under a tropical storm watch.

National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Michael is currently moving north-northwest over the southern Gulf of Mexico at 12 m.p.h. It is expected to push inland over the Florida Panhandle or Big Bend area on Wednesday before moving toward the southeastern United States on Wednesday night through Thursday, as the above NHC graphic shows.

Michael has maximum sustained winds of almost 90 m.p.h., with faster occasional gusts. Hurricane-force winds reach out up to 40 miles from the center of the sotmr.

“This is a life-threatening situation,” the NHC said in its latest public advisory. “Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott said the state’s highway patrol is deploying 100 state troopers to the Panhandle and Big Bend to prepare for the storm.

“If you aren’t prepared, you are running out of time,” Scott warned residents early Tuesday morning.

I’ll be on @GMA soon to talk to @RobinRoberts about preparation for and response to this monstrous storm. If you aren’t prepared, you are running out of time.

— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) October 9, 2018

…read more

Source:: Time – Science


Here’s What Humanity Must Do Immediately to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change, According to the New U.N. Report

A landmark United Nations report on Monday warned that sufficiently limiting man-made global warming will “require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” in order to avoid dramatic global consequences, including rising sea levels, dying coral reefs and human casualties due to extreme heat.

The special report — published Monday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — assessed what it will take to limit global temperature increase to no more than 2.7º F (1.5º C) above preindustrial levels, in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement. Scientists consider that temperature to be a tipping point at which many severe effects of global warming will be realized.

“Examples of actions include shifting to low- or zero-emission power generation, such as renewables; changing food systems, such as diet changes away from land-intensive animal products; electrifying transport and developing ‘green infrastructure’, such as building green roofs, or improving energy efficiency by smart urban planning, which will change the layout of many cities,” the report said.

The report called climate change “an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet,” and warned that delayed action would make it impossible to limit warming to 2.7º F.

“While the pace of change that would be required to limit warming to [2.7º F] can be found in the past, there is no historical precedent for the scale of the necessary transitions, in particular in a socially and economically sustainable way,” the report stated. “Resolving such speed and scale issues would require people’s support, public-sector interventions and private-sector cooperation.”

Here are some of the changes that will need to be made in order to stop the current pace of global warming:

Reduce carbon emissions by 45%

By 2030, global carbon dioxide emissions must be 45% less than they were in 2010, the report found. And carbon dioxide emissions must reach net zero around 2075 — meaning the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere equals the amount being removed.

By 2050, emissions of other heat-trapping greenhouse gasses, including methane and black carbon, should be reduced by 35%, relative to the 2010 rate.

“Emissions would need to decline rapidly across all of society’s main sectors, including buildings, industry, transport, energy, and agriculture, forestry and other land use,” the report said.

The United States — which has contributed more to carbon pollution than any other country in …read more

Source:: Time – Science