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Presented By:
Sajid Mahmood Farooqi
Research Student University of Karachi
 Brain Storming (Your View)
 Introduction

 Objective

 Definitions

 Causes

 Impacts

 Associated Secondary Hazards

 Situation in Pakistan

 Question Answer

 Discussion & Suggestions


Q. What are the four conditions required for the

formulation of a cyclonic storm?
Q. Aside from strong winds, what other hazards
are associated with cyclonic storms?
Q. From your own experience, what has been
the greatest loss to communities caused by
tropical cyclones?
 To get some back ground knowledge of the
hazard we are gathered here for and to gain some
working knowledge that:
 What a cyclone is?

 How is it formed?

 What are its Impacts?

 What secondary hazards are associated with a

 A tropical cyclone is the generic term for a non-frontal
synoptic scale low-pressure system over tropical or sub-
tropical waters with organized convection (i.e.
thunderstorm activity) and definite cyclonic surface wind
 Tropical Depressions: Max. sustained surface winds of
less than 17 m/s (34 kt, 39 mph).
 Tropical Storm winds of at least 17 m/s (34 kt, 39 mph)
assigned a name.
If winds reach 33 m/s (64 kt, 74 mph)), then they are
 "hurricane" (the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast
Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific
Ocean east of 160oE)
 "typhoon" (the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the
 "severe tropical cyclone" (the Southwest Pacific
Ocean west of 160oE or Southeast Indian Ocean east
of 90oE)
 "severe cyclonic storm" (the North Indian Ocean)

 "tropical cyclone" (the Southwest Indian Ocean)

a. Cyclones circulate counterclockwise in the Northern
Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern

Image Courtesy: NOAA, Cyclonic Storm on Thatta & Badin Districts on 20/05/1999.
b. Intensity of a “tropical cyclone” is determined according to
Saffir-Simpson Scale.
U.S. Name U.S. NW Arabian Sea/ Australian Australia
Saffir- Pacific Bay of Bengal Name n
Simpson Category
Tropical -- Tropical Depression Tropical Low ---
Depression Depression or Severe
Tropical Storm -- Tropical Cyclonic Storm Tropical 1
Storm Cyclone
Tropical Storm -- Severe Severe Cyclonic Tropical 2
Tropical Storm Cyclone
Hurricane 1 Typhoon Very Severe Severe Tropical 3
Cyclonic Storm Cyclone

Hurricane 2-3 Typhoon Very Severe Severe Tropical 4

Cyclonic Storm Cyclone

Source: Commonwealth of 4 - 5 Bureau Super
Australia, of Meteorology.Super Cyclonic Severe Tropical 5
The development cycle of tropical cyclones may be divided into
three stages:
1. Formation 2. Development
3. Full maturity 4. Modification or decay.
Depending on their tracks over the warm tropical seas and proximity
to land, they may last from less than 24 hours to more than three
weeks (the average duration is about six days). Their tracks are
naturally erratic, but initially move generally westward, then
progressively pole ward into higher latitudes where they may make
landfall or into an easterly direction as they lose their cyclonic
structure. The existence of favorable conditions for cyclone
development determine the cyclone season for each monitoring
center. In the Indian/South Asian region the season is divided into
two periods, from April to early June and from October to early
Formation and initial development stage
Four atmospheric and oceanic conditions are necessary
for development of a cyclonic storm:
1. A warm sea temperature in excess of 26° C, to a depth
of 60 m.
2. High relative humidity (degree to which the air is
saturated by water vapor) of the atmosphere to a height
of about 7000 m.
3. Atmospheric instability (an above average decrease of
temperature with altitude)
4. A location of at least 4-5 latitude degrees from the
Equator allows the influence of the forces due to the
earth’s rotation (Coriolis force) to take effect in inducing
cyclonic wind circulations around low pressure centers.
Structure of a Tropical Cyclone
Tropical cyclones are characterized by their destructive winds, storm surges
and exceptional level of rainfall which may cause flooding.
Destructive winds:–
The strong winds generated by a tropical cyclone circulate counter-
clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, while spiraling inwards and
increasing toward the cyclone center. Wind speeds progressively increase
toward the core.
 150 to 300 km from the center of a typical mature cyclone, winds of 63-
88 kph
 100-150 km from the center, storm force winds of 89-117 kph

 50 to 100 km from the center; winds in excess of hurricane force, 117

kph or greater
 20 to 50 km from the center, on the edge of the inner core contains winds
250 kph or higher.
A scale classifying the intensity of the storms, the Beaufort scale, estimates the wind velocity
by observations of the effects of winds on the ocean surface and familiar objects. Both the
United States (Saffir-Simpson Potential Hurricane Damage Scale) and Australia (Cyclone
Severity Categories) use country-specific scales which estimate potential property damage in
five categories.
Storm Surges – The storm surge, defined as the rise in sea level
above the normally predicted astronomical tide, is frequently a
key or overriding factor in a tropical storm disaster.
 The friction of strong on-shore winds on the sea surface.

 Suction effect” of reduced atmospheric pressure.

 Pile up the sea water along a coastline near a cyclone’s

 In cyclones of moderate intensity the surge effect is limited to
several meters.
 In the case of exceptionally intense cyclones, storm surges of
up to eight meters can result.
The major factors include:
a) A fall in the atmospheric pressure over the sea surface.

b) The effect of the wind.

c) The influence of the sea bed.

d) A funneling effect.

e) The angle and speed at which the storm approaches the


f) The tides.
Associated Secondary Hazards
Exceptional rainfall occurrences: –
The world’s highest rainfall totals over one or two
days have occurred during tropical cyclones. The
highest 12 and 24 hour totals, 114 cm and 182 cm
have both occurred during cyclones at La Reunion
Island in the SW Indian ocean. The very high specific
humidity condenses into exceptionally large
raindrops and giant cumulus clouds, resulting in high
precipitation rates. When a cyclone makes landfall,
the rain rapidly saturates even dry catchment areas
and rapid runoff may explosively flood the usual
water courses and create new ones.
Physical damage
Structures will be damaged or destroyed by wind
force, through collapse from pressure differentials, by
flooding, storm surge and landslides. Standing crops
may be lost to floods, storm surges, and sea water
salinity. Salt from storm surges may also be deposited
on agricultural lands and increase ground water
salinity. Fruit, nut or lumber trees may be damaged or
destroyed by winds, flood or storm surges. Plantation
type crops such as banana and coconut are extremely
Erosion could occur from flooding and storm surges.
Additional items subject to severe damage include
overhead power lines, bridges, culverts and drainage
systems. jetties and retaining walls, embankments and
coastal dikes, general lack of weatherproofing of
buildings, huge losses to building work in progress,
scaffolding, marinas, and roofs of most structures.
Falling trees, wind-driven rain and flying debris cause
considerable damage.
Casualties and public health
There are relatively few fatalities but there may be
numerous casualties requiring hospital treatment due
to the high winds associated with cyclonic storms.
Storm surges may cause many deaths but usually few
injuries among the survivors. Due to flooding and
possible contamination of water supplies, malaria and
other viruses may be prevalent several weeks after the
Water supplies
Open wells and other ground water supplies may be
temporarily contaminated by flood waters and storm
surges. They be contaminated by pathogenic (disease
producing) organisms if bodies of people or animals are
lying in the sources or sewage is swept in. Normal water
sources may be unavailable for several days.
Crops and food supplies
The combination of high winds and heavy rains, even without
flooding, can ruin standing crops and tree plantations. Food
stocks may be lost or contaminated if the stores/structures in
which they were held have been destroyed or inundated. It is
possible that food shortages will occur until the next harvest. It is
also possible that tree and food crops may be blown down or
damaged and must be harvested prematurely.
Communications and logistics
Communications may be severely disrupted as
telephone lines, radio antennas and satellite disks are
brought down, usually by wind. Roads and railroad
lines may be blocked by fallen trees or debris and
aircraft movements will be curtailed for at least 12 to
24 hours after the storm. Modes of transportation such
as trucks, carts and small boats may be damaged by
wind or flooding. The cumulative effect of all damage
will be to impede information gathering and transport
 Due to rarity of the phenomena this hazard has got
little attention which is also after the hazard strikes.
 Only three tropical cyclones of different intensities
had made land fall on Pakistan Coasts.
 Changing global climatic patterns are showing a
change in the trends of occurrences of weather
related hazards.
 Pakistan coast being in the sub tropical location and
in close vicinity to warm waters might be hit by
tropical cyclones in the future.
 There is an ever increasing need to be prepared in
advance to cope with any such disastrous event in
the future.