News

Tropical storms worry weather forecasters

The Washington Post reported Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall on Sept. 4 near the Alabama-Mississippi border. The Florida panhandle experienced a deluge of rain, high winds and overall poor weather this past Tuesday as the storm traveled inland towards Illinois. One person died as a result of a falling tree after 70 mph winds swept the area. ABC reporter Stephen Quinn posted on his Twitter account that 10,000 homes struggled to regain power after a widespread outage. Resident of Miami Florida Stanley Castro commented on his experience with Tropical Storm Gordon, “I stood outside and felt the 35-40 mph wind gusts, and my car was damaged by deep puddles along the road. I live one block by the Miami Bay, so it was a bit scary.”

Meanwhile, The National Hurricane Center watches Hurricane Florence, reporting Florence has sustained winds of 130 mph since making an appearance on weather forecasting radars.

As of Sept. 5, Florence has become the first major hurricane of the Atlantic Hurricane season. According to CNN, the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. CNN considers any hurricane classified Category 3 or higher a major hurricane with the potential to cause extreme property damage. Colorado State University hurricane researchers anticipate a higher-than-average hurricane season, predicting 14 major storms over the course of the five month period.

CNN released an article with the storms experienced during this season: Hurricane Beryl, Hurricane Chris, Tropical Storm Debby, Tropical Storm Ernesto, Tropical Storm Gordon and Hurricane Florence. According to the National Ocean Service, storm watchers name potential hurricanes in order to avoid confusion. In essence, short names ease the communication process between reporters and scientists.

Names prove themselves especially useful when two storms occur within the same time period, such as Gordon and Florence. The World Meteorological Organization publishes a specific list of female and male names for Atlantic storms. The list with the included names rotates as part of a six-year cycle. The National Weather Service has an index of upcoming hurricane and storm names listed on their website.

Mashable identifies Florence as the first major hurricane of the 2018 season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration categorizes a hurricane as being of major magnitude if winds exceed 111 mph. The ranking categories of one through five stem from the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is accessible on the National Hurricane Center’s website. Meteorologist Bob Simpson and wind engineer Herb Saffir originated the scale. The scale predicts wind-related damage, but does not account for damage caused by other facets of the storm such as a rain-induced flooding or tornadoes.

According to The Weather Channel, a strike on the U.S. East Coast is increasingly likely. The Weather Channel advises those living on the U.S. East Coast to develop a hurricane-preparedness plan in case of emergency

Domenica Castro is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in Spanish. ✉ .

Leave a Comment