You are on page 1of 16


henomena and Hazards

the various
hazards that
may happen
in the wake
of tropical

Tropical Cyclone
Tropical cyclones can produce heavy rainfall and
sustained winds that can exceed 155 miles per hour (249
km/hr). The official seasons during which cyclones are
predicted to become destructive hurricanes and typhoons
are different in different areas, but the fact is that, at
any time of year, a cyclone is capable of becoming a
dangerous hazard

Related Hazards
Storm surge (rise in water
High winds and heavy
Flooding and landslides
Storm tide (the combination
of storm surge and high tide)

Storm Surge
Storm surge is the most
deadly hazard associated
with a tropical cyclone.
Winds and rain are more
obvious, but large swells,
high surf, and wind-driven
waves push onshore as the
storm impacts coastal
areas, often causing
extensive damage to
facilities and the entire
shoreline environment.
Storm surge can severely
erode beaches and
damage or undermine
highways and bridges.

Flash flooding

Urban/Area floods

River flooding

Wind and Squalls

Hurricanes are known for their damaging wind. They are rated in
strength by their wind also. However, when the NWS's National
Hurricane Center issues a statement concerning the wind and
category, that value is forsustainedwind only. This hurricane scale
does not include gusts or squalls.
A tropical cyclone's wind damages and destroys structures two
ways. First, many homes are damaged or destroyed when the high
wind simply lifts the roof off of the dwellings. The process involved
is called Bernoulli's Principle which implies the faster the air moves
the lower the pressure within the air becomes. The high wind
moving over the top of the roof creates lower pressure on the
exposed side of the roof relative to the attic side.

Inland Flooding
In addition to the storm surge and high winds, tropical cyclones threaten the
United States with their torrential rains and flooding. Even after the wind has
diminished, the flooding potential of these storms remains for several days.
Also, over three-fourths (78%) of children killed by tropical cyclones drowned
in freshwater floods. Most of these fatalities occur because people
underestimate the power of moving water andpurposely walk or drive into
flooding conditions. Don't do it! You will also underestimate the power of

Tropical cyclones can also produce tornadoes that add to the
storm's destructive power. Tornadoes are most likely to occur in
theright-front quadrantof the hurricane relative to its motion.
However, they are also often found elsewhereembedded in the
rainbands, well away from the center of the tropical cyclones.
Tornadoes are thought responsible for the uneven damage seen in
a hurricane's aftermath. The photo (right) shows the total
destruction of two buildings in the center of a complex of similar
buildings. The added strength of wind combined with the
tornadoes twisting motion greatly intensifies the destruction.

Types of Tornadoes:
Multiple vortex
Dust devil
Fire whirls
Steam devils

Multiple Vortex


Landspout, Dust Devil,

e whirls, and Steam Devils

Amonsoonis a seasonal change in the direction of the
prevailing, or strongest, winds of a region. Monsoons cause wet
and dry seasons throughout much of the tropics. Monsoons are
most often associated with the Indian Ocean.
Monsoons always blow from cold to warm regions. The
summer monsoonand thewinter monsoondetermine
theclimatefor most of India and Southeast Asia.
Monsoonis traditionally defined as a seasonal
reversingaccompanied by corresponding changes in
precipitation,but is now used to describe seasonal changes
inatmosphericcirculation and precipitation associated with the
asymmetric heating of land and sea. Usually, the term monsoon
is used to refer to the rainy phase of a seasonally changing
pattern, although technically there is also a dry phase.

Summer Monsoon
The summer monsoon is
associated with heavyrainfall. It
usually happens between April
and September. As winter ends,
warm, moist air from the
southwest Indian Ocean blows
toward countries like India, Sri
Lanka, Bangladesh, and
Myanmar. The summer monsoon
brings ahumidclimate
monsoons are to
summer monsoons in Southeast
Asia, in part because the Himalaya
Mountains prevent much of the wind
andmoistureof the monsoons from
reaching the coast. The Himalayas
also prevent much of the cool air from
reaching places like southern India
and Sri Lanka, keeping them warm all
year. Winter monsoons are
sometimes associated withdroughts.

Other Monsoons
TheAsian-Australian monsoon, which
includes the Indian Ocean, stretches
from northern Australia to Russias
Pacific coast. This huge monsoon
wind system then stretches into the
Indian Ocean. Finally, it reaches its
on summer
the Indian
coast of Africa.
rainfall can cause flooding. Powerful
floodwaters can drown victims and
damage buildings, leaving people
without homes and vulnerable to the
elements. During the 2014 summer
monsoon in Pakistan and India, nearly
300 people lost their lives during
landslides and home collapses.
Australias 2011 monsoon flooding
caused about $4.5 billion in damage.
Yet the main health hazards during
summer monsoon season are diseases
like cholera, dengue, chikungunya, and
malaria, as well as stomach and eye
infections. Each year, as the summer

During the winter, clouds rarely provide shade and the dry land surface cant
cool off by evaporation, so heat waves are common. At least 2500 people
died in a major heat wave that swept across India in 2015, and over 1000
died about a month later from a heat wave in Pakistan. Temperatures in New
Delhi were near 120F (almost 50C). Water is scarce at this time of year,
which causes water-washed diseases to become common; these diseases
spread when there is too little water for proper hygiene.
Meningitis, which kills one in ten victims, spreads during the dry season in
sub-Saharan Africa when desert dust becomes airborne and is inhaled.
Typically the number of cases drops with the first monsoon rains.

Flooding typically occurs when prolonged rain falls over several days, when
intense rain falls over a short period of time, or when an ice or debris jam
causes a river or stream to overflow onto the surrounding area. Flooding can
also result from the failure of a water control structure, such as a levee or
dam. The most common cause of flooding is water due to rain and/or
snowmelt that accumulates faster than soils can absorb it or rivers can carry
it away.

Primary Hazards
The primary hazards are the effects of floods due to direct contact with the
flood waters.
With higher velocities, streams are able to transport larger particles as
suspended load.These large particles can include not only rocks and
sediment, but, during a flood, could include such large objects as
automobiles, houses and bridges.
Flood waters can produce massive amounts of erosion. Such erosion can
weaken and undermine bridges, levees/dykes, and buildings causing their
Water entering human built structures cause water damage.Even with minor
flooding of homes, furniture is ruined, floors and walls are damaged, and
anything that comes in contact with the water is likely to be damaged or lost.
Flooding of automobiles usually results in damage that cannot easily be
Flooding of farmland can result in crop loss. Livestock, pets, and other
animals are often carried away and drown.
Humans can get caught in the high velocity flood waters and can drown in
the water.

Floodplain- a low area of land, adjacent to streams or rivers, in which flood
water moves into during a flood.


Flood Crest-the highest peak elevation of the water level during a flood in a
stream or river.

Stream Channel-An open conveyance of surface having a bottom and sides

in a linear configuration. Channels can be natural or man-made. Channels
have levees or dikes along their sides to build up their depth.

Stream Discharge-The amount of water that passes a specific point on a

watercourse over a given period of time. Rates of discharge are usually
measured in cubic feet per second.
Dyke / Levee-A man-made structure, usually an earthen embankment
often reinforced with soil cement, that is designed to contain or divert the