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

• 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,  Figure 1.0 ­ Tornado at 
moving from over the sea to the land, with  beginning of life. 
Condensation funnel has 
winds exceeding 185 kph
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
QuickTime™ and a millibars, compared to an
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
A large low­pressure system/mid­latitude  from cloudiness and mild
cyclone swirls off the southwestern coast of  showers to heavy gales and
Iceland thunderstorms. 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  Figure 1.7: Tropical cyclone tracks


earth.

Tornadoes.
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
Figure 1.6: Tornado
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 mosquito-
borne 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 words-

References

(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