GEOGRAPHY ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT Robbie Paul

QUESTION 1

A tornado watch (now and then referred to as a "red box" by  meteorologists and storm chasers) is issued when weather conditions are  likely to produce severe thunderstorms that have the  capacity to produce tornadoes.  A tornado warning is issued when:
• • • •

a tornado is seen on the ground or is reported via  doppler radar a waterspout is headed toward landfall a funnel cloud is reported in the sky a tropical cyclone is making landfall, that is,  moving from over the sea to the land, with  winds exceeding 185 kph

QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.

Figure 1.0 ­ Tornado at  beginning of life.  Condensation funnel has  not yet reached ground.

A tornado warning means there is direct danger for the warned and  immediately surrounding area ­­ if it not from a somewhat narrow tornado  itself, from the severe thunderstorm responsible.
Question 2

A storm surge is an offshore rise of water due to the effects a low  pressure weather system, usually a tropical cyclone. A Storm surge is  caused mainly by severe winds applying pressure on the ocean's surface.  The wind causes the water to swell up higher than sea level. Low pressure  at the centre of a weather system also has a small secondary effect, as  well as the depth of the area of water. It is this joint effect of low pressure  and continual wind over a shallow water body that is the most frequent  cause of storm surge inundation problems. The phrase storm surge in  casual use is storm tide –that is, it refers to the ascent of water  associated with the storm, as well as tide, wave run­up, and freshwater  flooding. When referring to storm surge height, it is vital to confirm the  usage, and furthermore the reference point. Tropical storm reports typically 

refer to a storm surge as water height exceeding normal tide level, and  storm tide as water height greater than the average sea level.

Figure 1.1 – Diagram of Storm Surge

QUESTION 3 Middle-latitude systems (low pressure systems)/Extra tropical Cyclone Wind speeds can reach up to 2000 kilometers in diameter Surface pressure as low as 970 millibars, compared to an QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. average sea-level pressure of 1013 millibars. Extratropical cyclones are the common occurrences which drive the weather over much of the Earth, producing anything Fig 1.3 from cloudiness and mild A large low­pressure system/mid­latitude  showers to heavy gales and cyclone swirls off the southwestern coast of  thunderstorms. Iceland Figure 1.4: A fictitious synoptic chart of an 
extratropical cyclone affecting the UK &  Ireland. The blue arrows amidst isobars  indicate the direction of the wind, while the "L"  symbol signifies the heart of the "low".

Tropical cyclones Wind speeds increasing towards the central eye, gale-force winds, more than 120 km per hour and sometimes up to 250km per hour. The whole system is rarely more than 800 km wide.

Low pressure center and thunderstorms that produce strong

wind and flooding rain.

Figure 1.5: View of tropical cyclone from  earth.

Figure 1.7: Tropical cyclone tracks

Tornadoes.

Figure 1.6: Tornado

Most tornadoes have wind speeds of 175 km/h or less and are approximately 75 m across. They travel a quite a few kilometers before dispersing. However, some tornadoes achieve wind speeds of more than 480 km/h, elongate more than a 1.6 km across, and remain on the ground for more than 100 km.

PART 2 A)

Tropical cyclones represent a great threat to people and the built environment – in the event of a cyclone over the sea, the following are likely to occur. • Sizeable waves; • intense rain; • high winds; • interference with international shipping; • and, in some cases, shipwrecks. Tropical cyclones stir up water, leaving a cold wake behind. This causes the region to be less likely to produce additional tropical cyclones. Large areas of stagnant water caused by flooding lead to

infection, as well as amplifying the prevalence of mosquitoborne ailments. Crowded evacuees in shelters augment the risk of disease transmission. Tropical cyclones sigificantly disrupt infrastructure, causing power outages, destruction of bridges, and impede reconstruction endeavours. The wide rotary motion of a tropical cyclone moving over land spawns tornadoes, which is most likely largely to blame for the fact that throughout the last two centuries tropical cyclones are directly responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.9 million persons.
China has the highest frequency of tropical cyclones in the world, with an average of 8.8 each year. In August 1975, Typhoon Nina moved inland and became a weak tropical depression three days after landfall. It halted over the Henan Province and inundated with record rains over one-third of the whole province. Two vast reservoirs and more than 10 minute reservoirs collapsed simultaneously, flood heights in excess of 10 metres bursting downstream (the Yangzte). Nearly 100,000 people died and 100km of railways were destroyed. The direct economic losses were an estimated US $1.2 billion.

Figure 1.6: Aftermath of Cylone  Katrina – New 

Figure 1.7: Aftermath of Cylone  Katrina – New 

B) The prediction of tropical cyclones, prevention of the deaths of many due to their exposure to their lethal effects and the protection of those displaced by cyclones, aids communities in resisting the effects of a cyclone. Accurate prediction of tropical cyclones can be achieved via a

tropical cyclone prediction model, a computer program that uses meteorological, defined as “atmospheric phenomena, especially weather and weather conditions” (princeton.edu/perl/webwn), data to foresee the motion and strength of tropical cyclones. Through the prediction of cyclones, warnings can be issued in order to evacuate the area, preventing fatalities from the lethal effects of cyclones. Protection of those displaced by the cyclone in terms of providing shelter, prevents outbreaks of disease and ensures those who have lost their homes have a place to stay. C) Economic factors are a major component of the ability of a country to resist the effects of natural hazards. Cyclone resistant houses can be quite expensive to build and therefore developing countries such as Bangladesh do not have the economic capacity to build cyclone resistant buildings at a large scale. Political factors played a great part in the handling of the cyclone that hit New Orleans in Southern America. It is widely recognised that President of the United States, George W. Bush, did not have cyclone aid sent to the region due to the general demographic of the city's inhabitants - because they were coloured. -END: 996 wordsReferences (May 2007). Chapter 7: Introduction to the Atmosphere. Online Sources: Physical Geography.net. URL: http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7s.html (July 2007). Tropical cyclone. Online Sources: Wikipedia URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_cyclone