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Sun Jun 01, 2014

Editorial: Global Warming, Climate Change and Political Bias

This editorial references the short video The Difference Between Global Warming & Climate Change. For perspective, you may wish to watch the video before reading the editorial.



Wow! The referenced Discovery Channel Network video provided a great explanation of the differences between and perceptions of “global warming” versus “climate change” right up to the moment when I heard the word “Republicans” uttered. Then I heard it again. I wanted to hear Democrats mentioned to make this a balanced explanation, but that mention was nowhere to be found. Interestingly, what I did hear was a direct comparison between scientists and Republicans, as though scientists now represent an opposing political party (inference: all scientists are Democrats, ergo all Republicans are non-scientists). This is how the media distorts and politicizes reporting. Seems to me that the entire global warming agenda (not a debate, as any legitimate criticism is roundly mocked and ridiculed by both political camps) has been pushed by the Dems and environmentalists, heralded by Mr. Al Gore (who has grown incredibly rich as a result) for what seem to me (as a conservative, Independent voter and former meteorologist) to be largely political ends. Now, “warmists” and “climate deniers” alike do little more than hurl barbs and insults at one another, with the former intimating that the science is fully resolved, there is virtually 100% consensus that the planet is in imminent peril, and action must be taken — action that is politically defined, not that which is based upon true, unbiased science. Meanwhile, the public is caught in the crossfire, used as cannon fodder by each side in the never-ending quest for political power.

“Climate change” is an ambiguity; perhaps that is why there is public ambivalence toward it. Earth’s climate is always changing, as is the weather, but climate is modified on time and distance scales far beyond those of local weather patterns or even human lifetimes. There is far more that atmospheric scientists do not know about climate than that which they have already discovered; the research is ongoing. Climate models, while steadily improving, are far from perfect, and can only be as accurate as the inputs (actual data and its resolution), parameters (types of data used), programming (mathematical equations and their coding) and assumptions (necessary when a system’s scope is not fully known or understood) with which they are constructed and executed.

“Global warming,” like the Internet, was not invented by Mr. Gore, but has been exploited by him to further his own pursuits. Perhaps he truly believes the planet is in immediate danger, but I believe he is simply scare mongering to win converts to the cause. It is high time that both sides of the global warming debate pause to reflect upon the incredible damage they are doing to the American people and our way of life, as well as to societies throughout the World, in the name of their own incomplete versions of reality.

The true danger to the public involves the rampant speculation that has blossomed with respect to the nature of expected changes if global warming is indeed real. Every political hack quotes their own pet scientist or research study, claiming to have the inside scoop on exactly what disastrous outcomes are in store for us if the problem is not immediately addressed in the most expensive (read as taxes, fees and regulations) manner possible. We are led to believe that every single unusual weather event is now somehow tied to the inexorable warming of the planet, and that these events are inevitably to become more and more frequent unless we all sacrifice mightily to curb our greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the nations of China and India, known to be the world’s largest polluters, continue to expand their industrial base with little thought given to global warming (though China is now taking some minimal steps to curb air pollution due to the tremendous health risk extant within its major cities) and with little outcry from those same politicos who call for our sacrifice. Does anyone see the hypocrisy here?

I personally believe that global warming is occurring. My belief is based upon specific observations, such as rapidly retreating mountain glaciers, the calving Antarctic ice sheet and melting permafrost. However, basing my belief on observation does not in any way make it a fact. Mr. Joe Bastardi (Chief Forecaster, WeatherBell Analytics, LLC) argues that climate behavior is cyclical and that heating and cooling of the atmosphere and oceans occur naturally over decades. The reality of whether our planet’s atmosphere and oceans are permanently warming must be based upon the largest possible body of evidence and theory. All theories must be taken into account — especially those that appear to fly in the face of conventional wisdom — so that they can be fully vetted and either confirmed or repudiated. The history of science abounds with ideas scorned and ridiculed by researchers’ peers, only to be embraced at a later date as widely-held doctrine. Scientists need to remember that the true pursuit of science is unbiased, with the path of discovery leading to conclusions that may or may not validate the arguments of the pursuer.

There are many potential causes that may lead to the warming or cooling of our planet, each possessing greater or lesser permanency in their lasting responses and greater or lesser magnitude in their overall effects on the oceans, the atmosphere and the environment. Furthermore, systems and actions upon systems can combine in unforeseen ways, leading to unanticipated and often unpredictable consequences. Mankind is assuredly one of these causes, as we are modifying ecosystems in ways not possible for any other species. Yet, this ability to sculpt our environment and alter our habitat does not conclusively demonstrate mankind’s sole responsibility for a planetary-scale warming; likewise, arguments that the sun’s radiant energy output may be in flux or that climate is cyclical does not exonerate us from playing any role whatsoever.

We need to know more — much more — and our global satellite monitoring systems are beginning to provide some of the answers at levels previously unimaginable. They reveal the planet as a living organism with widely diverse and incredible interactions at a multitude of levels. Yet there is no Gaia — no intelligence behind these natural processes. Mother Earth is a rocky ball with a molten core upon which has evolved an incredible diversity of life. The phrase, “Earth is in peril,” is inaccurate; the planet will always “repair” itself, absorbing any indignities Man may inflict upon it, though the time scale upon which it does so may far exceed our own. The biosphere, on the other hand, is suffering measurable contamination and damage — not just from perceived warming, but from pollution and alterations in land use (destruction of habitat). The latter two are within humanity’s immediate ability to control, and we should exercise our responsibility in doing so.

Finally, if global warming is real and is man-made, are we so arrogant as to believe that we can correct a process within a decade or two that has been evolving over hundreds of years? Furthermore, are we to do so at any cost? The answer to the latter question is clearly, “No.” If our concern is with the impact to our way of life (which is what the scare tactics regarding climate change emphasize), then solutions to environmental impacts must be found which minimize the effect on that way of life while maximizing the benefit to the environment. Solutions to a concept so profound as the heating of the atmosphere of our planet must also be reversible — just in case our premise is wrong or other mitigating factors (such as a very large volcanic eruption) come into play.

The real information regarding whether Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are warming is fragmented, contradictory, and unavailable to the public except through the filters of scientific mystique, news media bias and political distortion. It is time for climate scientists to set aside their personal feelings regarding climate change, reevaluate both their data and their conclusions, and engage in an interdisciplinary (atmospheric and environmental sciences, biology, geology and geophysics, oceanography, solar physics) exchange of information and ideas that will ultimately lead to a true, not a politically-induced, consensus as to what factors may contribute to climate change; to what degree each factor might contribute; in what ways climate change might manifest itself; and what solutions we can employ to both mitigate and survive the effects climate change might ultimately impose upon our environment and society. It is time for the politicians to shut up, get out of the way, and let the scientists do their work.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Jun 01, 14 | 9:20 pm | Profile

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Sat Dec 19, 2009

East Coast Snowstorm

What did I see when I woke up this morning? Snow, and lots of it! I ventured outside at 11 AM to take a measurement and recorded 7.8 inches. Just took another measurement at 4 PM; accumulation is now 11.0 inches. Anyway, it's really beautiful outside — at least, if you happen to like snow. For those of you who are snowbugs but don't have any of your own on hand, I thought I'd offer you a photo of what it looks like outside my window. Enjoy!

Late Fall Snowfall
Late Fall Snowfall — Vineland, NJ
Copyright © 2009 Ten Spider Enterprises, LLC


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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Dec 19, 09 | 9:45 pm | Profile

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Sat May 10, 2008

Two Major Tropical Cyclones Kick Off the 2008 Season

The World has yet to absorb the full impact of the devastation wrought by Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Nargis, a tropical cyclone in the North Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal which struck the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (Burma) on 2 May 2008, devastating the Irrawaddy River delta, referred to as the Mouths of the Irrawaddy. The military junta that rules the country has not issued an update to the official death toll since Tuesday, 6 May 2008, when it stood at 22,980 with 42,000 people missing and an estimated one million homeless. It is widely anticipated that the death toll will easily cross 100,000; a Myanmar official has stated that the number of persons killed in one province alone may reach as high as 80,000. With relief supplies only trickling into the country and the rice planting season about to get underway, it is feared that a second disaster waits in the wings, as starvation and outbreaks of diseases could wreak havoc on the remaining populace.

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm NARGIS
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm NARGIS, Visible Image at 0957 UTC 2 May 2008,
eye coming ashore over the Mouths of the Irrawaddy, Myanmar.
Central pressure 937 mb (hPa). Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)


In the wake of Nargis, a second major tropical cyclone has been spawned in the Western North Pacific Ocean. Super Typhoon Rammasun, identified as Butchoy within the Philippines, briefly threatened that country in its formative stages, but turned northward to spare the island nation which is all too frequently visited by typhoons. While Nargis was a low-end Saffir-Simpson Category 4 storm at landfall (stronger than Hurricane Katrina when it struck New Orleans), Super Typhoon Rammasun has reached the upper limit of Category 4. While the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is not generally utilized outside of the United States and is arguably not a superior method for estimating the damage potential of a tropical cyclone, there is no denying that Super Typhoon Rammasun is a significant storm, with 1-minute sustained wind speed estimated at 135 knots (155 mph or 250 km/hr) by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the U.S. Navy and 10-minute sustained wind speed estimated at 105 knots (121 mph or 194 km/hr) by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The primary difference between Rammasun and Nargis is that Rammasun is not expected to pose any significant threat to land throughout its lifespan.

Super Typhoon RAMMASUN (BUTCHOY)
Super Typhoon RAMMASUN (BUTCHOY), Infrared Image at 1530 UTC 10 May 2008,
in the Philippine Sea east of Luzon, Philippines. Central pressure 922 mb (hPa).
Photo courtesy Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC)


It is unusual to see two such potent storms generated so early in the Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season, since the ocean heat content (measured by sea surface temperature or SST) is not yet near the maximum expected late in the summer when the season ordinarily peaks. What, then, can be expected for the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins on 1 June? The Tropical Meteorology Project of the Colorado State University, in its Extended Range Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and U.S. Landfall Strike Probability for 2008, predicts a season above the climatological norm, with 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four intense hurricanes (Saffir-Simpson Category 3 or higher). The forecast also anticipates a higher than average probability that an intense hurricane will make landfall on both the U.S. East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center of NOAA will issue its 2008 Atlantic hurricane season forecast later this month.

So, ladies and gentlemen, it tentatively looks like we had better batten down the hatches in anticipation of an active Atlantic hurricane season, with the outlook for the entire Northern Hemisphere not faring much better. Of course, for storm chasers and those who enjoy following the progress of tropical systems, this is exciting news. As usual, Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology will be tracking each storm in near real time via our Tropical Cyclone, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center. We urge you to stop by, and please don't hesitate to spread the word through blogs, forums and hyperlinks to our site. We urgently need you to get the word out about our tracking center; doing so may save someone's life, property or pets.

A parting comment:  For those who will find themselves in the path of a tropical cyclone this season, be it called tropical storm, hurricane, typhoon or cyclonic storm, when the word comes to evacuate, remember Myanmar. The ferocity of a tropical cyclone and the power of storm surge should never be underestimated nor minimized. If your property is of value to you and you lose your life and perhaps the lives of your loved ones protecting it, what have you accomplished? Plan ahead, be vigilant and, should an evacuation order be issued, heed it!

Finally, let's be thankful that, for the moment, the Indian Ocean is quiet.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on May 10, 08 | 9:30 pm | Profile

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Fri Feb 01, 2008

Ten Spider Weather Observes Clear Skies

I am pleased to announce that Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology has been split from the Ten Spider Enterprises website to acquire independent status. This separation, completed on 24 January 2008, will allow for greater focus and name recognition. Ten Spider Weather will remain an integral part of the Ten Spider Enterprises family of websites.

Among its credits, Ten Spider Weather has been granted links from the National Hurricane Center for its coverage of tropical cyclones worldwide and from NWS Lightning Safety for its extensive list of lightning and lightning safety resources.

Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology provides a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of educational and everyday resources encompassing the world of weather and how it affects our lives. It is fourth in a series of website spinoffs derived from the main Ten Spider Enterprises site.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Feb 01, 08 | 8:40 pm | Profile

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Thu Jul 12, 2007

Super Typhoon Man-yi Updates

Since the passing of Super Cyclonic Storm Gonu in the Arabian Sea in June 2007, I have had no time to post to the blog. While I apologize for my silence, I have been very busy reformatting and expanding the Tropical Cyclone, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center to provide improved storm coverage. Since the Center rather than the blog serves as the primary source for tropical cyclone information on this site, the blog has noticeably suffered.

Now we have Super Typhoon Man-yi, which was also designated as Typhoon Bebeng when it entered the Philippine area of responsibility. This storm has just been upgraded to super typhoon status in JTWC Warning 022 issued at 2100 UTC and is about to wallop Okinawa in the Western North Pacific with a potentially devastating blow. Man-yi is the first super typhoon of the 2007 season. I have included a link to the Okinawa Weather Radar (on which the eye is already clearly visible), and will add a link to the Japan radar loop as Man-yi approaches southern Japan. These links will remain in place following the storm's passage.


Super Typhoon MAN-YI
Super Typhoon MAN-YI, Infrared Image at 1856 UTC 12 July 2007, as it approaches
Okinawa (obscured by the cloud shield). Taiwan and the coast of China are to the left
with the northern Philippines at the lower left.
Photo courtesy Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC)



For those of you not familiar with our Tropical Cyclone, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center, it comprises near real-time satellite photos and tropical cyclone tracking plots, real-time weather radar images or loops where available, and links to other tropical cyclone resources worldwide. I have recently included the synoptic surface analysis for the tropical North Atlantic as well as regional satellite coverage for the Western Pacific Ocean. I will be adding regional satellite for the Indian Ocean very soon.

I have also begun creation of a tropical cyclone archive for storms we have covered. The archive will be built slowly as time permits. I invite anyone who has taken photos during a tropical cyclone or its aftermath, or who has a storm story to tell, to contribute to the archive.

Keeping up with the constant stream of new data when tropical cyclones are active can be challenging, especially when these storms are occurring on the opposite side of the World, as is frequently the case. Over the last two nights I have retired late and have awakened at 2 AM and 3:30 AM, respectively, averaging about four hours sleep per night. This is necessary in order to provide visitors in the danger zone with the most current information available collected at one central location. Despite the fact that I am "dog tired," I relish the task because I know there are those of you out there who benefit from my efforts.

I recently created a lens on Squidoo (my first) to publicize the Tropical Cyclone, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center. If you visit the Center and like what you see, please go to our Squidoo lens and cast your vote to help boost our popularity.

Anyway, I have to get back to updating the storm. I wish you all the best and hope that those in the path of Man-yi are able to "weather" the storm OK.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Jul 12, 07 | 9:20 pm | Profile

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Thu Jun 07, 2007

Gonu a Goner

See Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking for the latest satellite images and tracking plots for tropical cyclones worldwide.

The remnants of what was once Super Cyclonic Storm Gonu are unceremoniously drifting onshore over southeastern Iran today, bringing heavy rain, blustery conditions and some flooding to the Makran Coast.

This once mighty storm is now all but dead, spinning itself out slowly over land. Both the JTWC and RSMC New Delhi have ceased issuing warnings on the storm. JTWC continues to monitor its progress, with latest estimates (at 1200 UTC 7 June 2007) showing central pressure of 1000 millibars (hPa) and maximum 1-minute sustained wind speed of 30 knots (56 km/hr).

At its height, Super Cyclonic Storm Gonu was upgraded by RSMC New Delhi at 1700 UTC on 4 June 2007 (based on 1500 UTC data) to the maximum classification a North Indian Ocean tropical cyclone can achieve. Gonu maintained central pressure of 920 hPa and maximum sustained 10-minute surface wind speed of 130 knots (241 km/hr) with gusts to 160 knots (296 km/hr) for six hours.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) at 1200 UTC on 4 June 2007 in Warning 010 indicated central pressure of Tropical Cyclone 02A (Gonu) at 898 millibars (hPa) and estimated maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed at 140 knots (259 km/hr) with gusts to 170 knots (315 km/hr), making it a Saffir-Simpson Category 5 storm (the highest rating on the Saffir-Simpson scale). This storm strength was maintained for six hours.


Super Cyclonic Storm GONU
Super Cyclonic Storm GONU, Infrared Image at 1800 UTC 4 June 2007,
on its approach toward Oman. The Arabian Peninsula is to the left in the photo.
Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)



Thousands of residents were evacuated in the North of Oman followed by many hundreds on the Makran Coast of Iran as Gonu, downgraded to a very severe cyclonic storm, brushed the northeastern Oman coastline and churned into the Gulf of Oman. There, over cooler water and under the influence of increased upper-level wind shear, it slowly lost intensity but continued to produce high winds and torrential rains.

Widespread flooding has been experienced in the North of Oman, with wadis (dry stream beds) overflowing their banks. The streets of Muscat, the capital city lying on the north coast, were turned into rivers with cars stacked atop one another like cordwood. At least 12 people are confirmed dead in Oman, with the death toll expected to rise, but early warning and evacuations by civil defense authorities have probably spared many lives. Saeed al-Nahdy of the Associated Press called Gonu, "the strongest cyclone to threaten the Arabian Peninsula since record-keeping started in 1945." (Source: 6 June 2007 AP article) Oil and gas exports from the region have been halted for at least two days as a result of the storm, creating a concern that supply disruptions could inflate prices.

While storms such as Gonu are widely looked upon solely as being destructive, an essential benefit to Oman is their ability to recharge fresh water aquifers from which residents of the country obtain much of their drinking water.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Jun 07, 07 | 4:30 pm | Profile

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Wed Jun 06, 2007

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu Nears Central Gulf of Oman

See Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking for the latest satellite images and tracking plots for Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu.

I have seen no news reports relating to the situation in Ra's al-Hadd, Oman (a small coastal town at the conjunction of the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, discussed in yesterday's post), following its close brush with Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu. I have learned that this fishing community is the primary nesting site for green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Oman. Their nesting season coincides with the summer monsoon season in Oman, which peaks in July. We can only hope that their nesting cycle and nesting sites haven't been severely disrupted by Gonu.

Also as discussed yesterday, the track of Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu did, in fact, take a jog to the north, but not at the time during which I felt I had observed such a course change. According to the latest JTWC ATCF track (Warning 018 issued at 1500 UTC 6 June 2007), this change in direction did not occur until the storm was north of the midpoint between Ra's al-Hadd and Muscat. This was a significant deviation from the JTWC forecast trajectory in effect at the time. While RSMC New Delhi was forecasting Gonu to move northward at the time, they claim that the center of the storm actually moved inland over the North of Oman -- an observation not supported by JTWC and which I myself strongly dispute based upon my own observations of the visible satellite imagery.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center has indicated that at 1200 UTC on 6 June 2007 (Warning 018) central pressure of Tropical Cyclone 02A (Gonu) was 972 millibars (hPa) with estimated maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed of 70 knots (130 km/hr) with gusts to 85 knots (157 km/hr), making it a Saffir-Simpson Category 1 storm. RSMC New Delhi at 1200 UTC (Advisory 34) still classifies Gonu as a very severe cyclonic storm with central pressure of 970 hPa, maximum sustained surface wind speed of 90 knots (167 km/hr) and wind gusts of up to 100 knots (185 km/hr).

JTWC expects Gonu to resume a more northwesterly track, continue to diminish in intensity and make landfall on the southern Iran coastline near the port city of Ra's al-Kuh within the next 24 to 36 hours.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Jun 06, 07 | 4:45 pm | Profile

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Gonu Lashes Al Hadd, Oman, With Muscat in the Crosshairs

Ra's al-Hadd, Oman, a small coastal town at the conjunction of the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, is currently experiencing nearly the full force of Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu as the storm appeared headed directly for that location. Situated very close to the easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula with an elevation of only five (5) meters, this town could very well be devastated by Gonu, which is supporting wind gusts of 90 knots (RSMC New Delhi estimate) to 110 knots (JTWC estimate) (167 to 204 km/hr) and wave heights of up to 32 feet or 10 meters (JTWC), which I am guessing would translate into a storm surge of about 18 to 20 feet (about six meters). Hopefully, the residents have evacuated down the coast to the larger city of Al Ashkharah, which has a slightly higher elevation and a modern breakwater but, more importantly, will be experiencing offshore winds, which should greatly reduce or eliminate the threat of storm surge.

(NOTE:  I have never lived in nor visited this region, and obtain my information from internet sources felt to be reliable. If anyone native to the region wishes to provide first-hand accounts of storm aftermath or photos, I will be glad to publish them in this blog.)

On a brighter note, Gonu has been significantly downgraded from its former super cyclonic storm status. Furthermore, the Al Hajar mountain range will cause Gonu to rapidly lose intensity due to friction. The mountains represent a double-edged sword, however, for the lifting that will occur as northerly to northeasterly winds strike Al Hajar will result in torrential rains and flash flooding over a fairly wide area.


Very Severe Cyclonic Storm GONU
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm GONU, Infrared Image at 2300 UTC 5 June 2007,
just north of Ra's al-Hadd, possibly beginning a turn toward the north.
Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)



The India Meteorological Department (RSMC New Delhi) Quasi-Lagrangian Model (QLM) has for the last two days forecast Gonu to come ashore just south of Ra's al-Hadd. The storm seemed headed directly for Ra's al-Hadd, but beginning with the 2200Z (UTC) 5 June 2007 infrared satellite image appears to be turning to a more northwesterly heading and remaining off the coast. This was perfectly in line with JTWC's projections right up until the most recent Warning 015, issued at 2100Z 5 June, at which time they significantly altered the Gonu ATCF track to pass directly over both Ra's al-Hadd and Muscat. In light of this significant alteration in forecast trajectory, it will be interesting to see whether the apparent northward turn continues.

Presently, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu has 80 kt (148 km/hr) maximum 10-minute sustained winds as estimated by RSMC New Delhi and 90 kt (167 km/hr) maximum 1-minute sustained winds as estimated by JTWC. Central pressure has risen at least 50 hPa from yesterday's estimated lows.

At its worst, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu was upgraded by RSMC New Delhi at 1700 UTC on 4 June 2007 to Super Cyclonic Storm Gonu (based on 1500 UTC data) and maintained central pressure of 920 hPa and maximum sustained 10-minute wind speed at 130 knots (241 km/hr) with gusts to 160 knots (296 km/hr) for six hours.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) at 1200 UTC on 4 June 2007 in Warning 010 indicated central pressure of Tropical Cyclone 02A (Gonu) at 898 millibars (hPa) and estimated maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed at 140 knots (259 km/hr) with gusts to 170 knots (315 km/hr), making it a Saffir-Simpson Category 5 storm (the highest rating on the Saffir-Simpson scale). This storm strength was maintained for six hours.

Check our Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center frequently for updates on Gonu.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Jun 06, 07 | 12:15 am | Profile

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Mon Jun 04, 2007

Gonu Has Become a Super Cyclonic Storm

RSMC New Delhi at 1700 UTC on 4 June 2007 upgraded Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu to Super Cyclonic Storm Gonu based on 1500 UTC data. This is the highest classification a tropical cyclone in the North Indian Ocean can achieve. RSMC New Delhi estimates central pressure at 920 hPa and maximum sustained 10-minute wind speed at 130 knots (241 km/hr) with gusts to 160 knots (296 km/hr).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) at 1200 UTC on 4 June 2007 in Warning 010 indicated central pressure of Tropical Cyclone 02A (Gonu) at 898 millibars (hPa) and estimated maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed at 140 knots (259 km/hr) with gusts to 170 knots (315 km/hr), making it a Saffir-Simpson Category 5 storm (the highest rating on the Saffir-Simpson scale). If Gonu were in the Western North Pacific Ocean, it would be classified by JTWC as a super typhoon.


Super Cyclonic Storm GONU
Super Cyclonic Storm GONU, Infrared Image at 1800 UTC 4 June 2007.
The Arabian Peninsula is to the left in the photo. Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)



Super Cyclonic Storm Gonu is presently moving toward the west-northwest at about 10 knots (19 km/hr). It is expected to reach the Oman coast on 6 June.

Check our Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center frequently for updates on Gonu. If you are within this dangerous storm's expected path, begin emergency preparations immediately and stay tuned to your local civil defence, government or emergency broadcasts for latest critical information and advice.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Jun 04, 07 | 7:30 pm | Profile

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Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu Approaches Oman

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu continues its trek toward Oman. The latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center warning for this storm (Warning 009, issued at 0900 UTC on 4 June 2007) shows the storm tracking overland just south of Muscat near midnight UTC on 7 June (4 AM local Muscat time on 7 June) with maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed near 60 knots or 111 km/hr (based on author's interpolation of Warning 009 graphic depiction). Gonu is expected to cross the extreme northeastern Oman coastline prior to 0600 UTC on 6 June with maximum sustained 1-minute winds near 75 knots (139 km/hr) and wind gusts to 90 knots (167 km/hr).


Very Severe Cyclonic Storm GONU
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm GONU, Infrared Image at 0800 UTC 4 June 2007.
The Arabian Peninsula is the dark area to the left in the photo.
Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)



At 0600 UTC on 4 June the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated minimum pressure at the center of Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Gonu to be 910 millibars (hPa) with maximum 1-minute sustained wind speed of 130 knots (241 km/hr) and gusts to 160 knots (296 km/hr), making it a Saffir-Simpson Category 4 storm. (If Gonu were in the North Pacific Ocean, it would be classified as a super typhoon.) At 0900 UTC RSMC New Delhi (the India Meteorological Department, or IMD), in Advisory 17, pegged central pressure at 934 hPa (hectopascals) with maximum sustained 10-minute surface wind speed of between 115 and 125 knots (213 - 232 km/hr), but had not yet classified Gonu as a super cyclonic storm. The IMD did note, however, that further intensification could be expected. The JTWC, on the other hand, expects a slight weakening as the storm encounters slightly cooler waters.

Gonu is obviously a very formidable storm. Residents of and travelers to northeast Oman, especially those near the coast, need to begin taking precautions immediately. This tropical cyclone could prove deadly for those not adequately prepared, but will also be beneficial for the region. See newsBriefsOman by Sue Hutton to discover the benefit Gonu could bring as well as her article The floods of March 2007 for photos of what happens when the wadis (dry stream beds, similar to arroyos in the Southwestern U.S.) overflow.


Very Strong Cyclonic Storm GONU
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm GONU, Visible Image at 1300 UTC 4 June 2007.
This is a potentially deadly storm with sustained winds of 140 knots.
Photo courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL)



I'll continue to track Gonu throughout its duration in our Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center so you'll be able to keep up-to-date on the progress of this very significant tropical cyclone.

UPDATE:  JTWC Warning 010 has just upgraded Gonu to Saffir-Simpson Category 5, the highest category tropical cyclone (by U.S. definition using maximum 1-minute sustained wind speed). Central pressure for this storm is now estimated at 898 millibars (hPa), or 26.52 inches of mercury, with maximum 1-minute sustained wind speed of 140 knots (259 km/hr). The new pressure estimate, if confirmed, may make Gonu the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean or Arabian Sea.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Jun 04, 07 | 1:45 pm | Profile

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