Why the Lightning? Possibly 10,000 fatalitiesNovember 8th, 2013 at 7:48 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Click the images to enlarge. Philippine officials say there could be 10,000 fatalities. This is so frustrating because we knew the storm was coming and where it would hit. With all the money governments (and the U.N.) spend, they need to come up with a way to get people out of the way of these storms. We often have 48-72 hours notice now. We have to have a better evacuation execution effort. The Philippines gets more tropical storms than any other place on Earth. The first is a dramatic satellite view of Haiyan at landfall. The pink area around the center or eye of the storm are cloud tops colder than -80C degrees. There was a very interesting burst of cloud-ground lightning in the southeast edge of the eyewall as the storm came on land. We don’t know for sure what would cause that. It must have been amazing to be there. I wonder if you could even hear the thunder at close range amid the roar of the +120 mph winds. Check out this map of world lightning. Note that there is much more lightning over land than over the oceans. Florida has the most lightning per square mile in the U.S. The interior of the Congo River Valley in Equatorial Africa has the most lightning per square mile in the world. Satellites have saved many lives. It’s estimated that a million people fled from the path of Haiyan, which was well forecast 2-3 days out. The storm moved fairly quickly and that reduced the amount of rain. The storm has weakened some, but is still a powerful storm, and will bring strong wind and heavy rain as it comes ashore again this weekend in Vietnam (see path map above). Google has some damage pictures. Here’s more on what is a typhoon/super typhoon and is the number of tropical storms increasing. It’s estimated that in the last 1000 years, a total of 10,000 to 20,000 tropical storms and typhoons have hit the Philippine Islands (the most hurricane-prone spot on Earth).