Cyclone Lashes Southern India, Killing at Least 21

NEW DELHI — A powerful cyclone sweeping through southern India has killed at least 21 fishermen and stranded more than 90 others at sea, according to a government official in the state of Kerala.

The storm, Cyclone Ockhi, caught many fishermen off guard over the weekend after it formed quickly in the Arabian Sea and began lashing the Lakshadweep Islands and coastlines in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

On Monday afternoon, the cyclone was about 480 miles southwest of Surat, a city in Gujarat State. The storm was expected to hit the coast near Surat by Tuesday evening, and lose some of its intensity.

The extent of the damage was still unclear on Monday, but Mohammed Faizal, a member of Parliament representing Lakshadweep, said the losses from damage on the islands exceeded $77 million.

The India Meteorological Department classified it as a “very severe cyclonic storm,” a designation for tempests with wind speeds reaching 137 miles an hour.

Cyclones occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean; in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, such severe storms are called hurricanes.

“There was no forewarning,” Sekhar Lukose Kuriakose, of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, said by telephone. “There was no scientific means of establishing that this was going to become a cyclone.”

But fishermen, saying the government had been slow to notify people of the storm, organized protests on Saturday in Kerala and in Tamil Nadu, blocking roads and pooling resources and boats to try to locate the missing.

Speaking to the families of missing fishermen in Tamil Nadu villages, India’s defense minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, said on Sunday that the country’s navy, air force and coast guard were doing everything possible to try to find the missing fishermen.

“I speak with folded hands,” she told the crowd, in which wives of the missing fishermen wept. “We have not stopped searching for them.”

Several hundred fishermen have been rescued, the Kerala disaster management agency said. The state has announced compensation payments of about $15,000 each for the families of those who have died.

Mr. Kuriakose said that some of the missing fishermen had already been out at sea days before the cyclone formed.

Before gathering force, the storm killed at least 13 people last week in neighboring Sri Lanka, uprooting trees, forcing schools to shut and disrupting air travel.

The India Meteorological Department said the cyclone was expected to weaken gradually in the next couple of days as it moved north toward the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Heavy rainfall was forecast for the area on Tuesday and officials have advised fishermen in southern Gujarat and northern Maharashtra to stay on shore.

Bali Volcano: Cyclone Dahlia Intensifies Near Indonesia – But Will Dahlia Hit Australia?

As Bali’s Mount Agung continues to erupt a tropical cyclone has been intensifying near Indonesia’s island with the latest track model revealing it could hit Australia as it travels south east.

ropical Cyclone Dahlia has intensified to a category 1 cyclone near Indonesia.

No cyclone warning has been issued for Australia and its territories but the nation’s Bureau of Meteorology warned it could increase to category 2 by Saturday morning local time.

The cyclone is currently east-northeast of the Australian territory of Christmas Island.

A statement from the bureau in Western Australia said: “Tropical Cyclone Dahlia (Category 1) was located at 1.00 AM CXT near 9.6S 108.7E, that is 345 km east northeast of Christmas Island and moving east southeast at 22 kilometres per hour.

“During Friday Tropical Cyclone Dahlia will move further east away from Christmas Island.

“While gales are not expected at Christmas Island, squally conditions and heavy rain is possible Friday morning.

“During late Friday and Saturday Dahlia will turn towards the south and intensify.

“From Sunday conditions will become less favourable for development and Dahlia is expected to begin weakening as it continues moving south.”

Indonesia’s national disaster management (BNPB) in a statement said: “Tropical cyclone Dahlia emerged.

“BMKG (the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics) continues to deliver early warning of the existence of Dahlia tropical cyclone.

“On Thursday this Dahlia tropical cyclone shift was observed to the southeast with a motion speed of 13 km per hour.

“On Friday the tropical cyclone position is in the Indian Ocean south-southeast of Jakarta with maximum wind speed 95 kilometres per hour and moving towards the southeast away from Indonesia.

“It is estimated that there will be heavy rains with intensity of 50 millimetres per day and or high winds at speeds greater than or equal to 50 kilometres per hour.

“The potential for heavy rain and strong winds will occur from the west coast of Bengkulu to Lampung, south Banten, Jakarta and south west Java. Including the potential of strong winds with a force of 20 knots in the same area.

“People are encouraged to increase their vigilance against extreme weather. Heavy rain, high winds and high waves have the potential to occur.

“The threat of floods, landslides and tornadoes increases.”

It follows the devastation of tropical Cyclone Cempaka which caused landslides and flooding, killing at least 27 people.

At the time Indonesian officials warned the cyclone was pulling hazardous ash erupting from Mt Agung volcano.

Cyclone Cempaka has now dissipated, according to the BNPB.

16 Dead, 100 Missing As Cyclone Ockhi Hits India, Sri Lanka

A powerful cyclone has killed at least 16 people across India and Sri Lanka, uprooting trees and cutting power for millions amid warnings Friday that the storm would intensify.

Disaster officials said nine people were killed in India and seven in neighbouring Sri Lanka, most crushed by trees ripped up by destructive winds raging at 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour.

Warships have been deployed to comb the southeastern coast for fishing boats missing in wild seas, India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Another official said an estimated 100 crew were aboard the missing vessels, with fears held for their safety.

Torrential wind and rain unleashed by Cyclone Ockhi has shut down schools in Chennai, a coastal Indian city of seven million where conditions are set to worsen.

mages broadcast from southern India showed the scale of the destruction as the cyclone reached the shore, with electricity poles toppled and trees torn asunder.

Tourists in Kochi, a coastal city in the southern Kerala state, have been told to stay away from popular beaches where huge waves are pounding the shore.

Power was cut for millions in Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu state as the storm made its way from Sri Lanka, with India’s meteorological department warning of worse to come.

“The system is very likely to intensify further during next 24 hours,” the department said in its update.

India’s eastern coast — including state capitals like Chennai and Bhubaneswar that are home to millions — is prone to seasonal storms that wreak immense damage between April and December.

In 1999, more than 8,000 people were killed when a cyclone battered the eastern state of Orissa.

La Niña Is Here. What Does That Mean For Our Winter?

La Niña, the cooler sibling of El Niño, is here.

The La Niña climate pattern — a natural cycle marked by cooler-than-average ocean water in the central Pacific Ocean — is one of the main drivers of weather in the U.S. and around the world, especially during the late fall, winter and early spring.

Federal government forecasters announced La Niña’s formation Thursday. The Climate Prediction Center says this year’s La Niña (translated from Spanish as “little girl”) is on the weak side, but it should still continue through the winter.

This is the second consecutive La Niña winter. Last year’s episode was unusually brief, forming in November and gone by February.

A typical La Niña winter in the U.S. brings cold and snow to the Northwest and unusually dry conditions to most of the southern tier of the U.S., according to the prediction center. The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic also tend to see warmer-than-average temperatures during a La Niña winter.

New England and the Upper Midwest into New York tend to see colder-than-average temperatures, the Weather Channel said.

Because La Niña shifts storm tracks, it often brings more snow to the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. “Typically La Niña is not a big snow year in the mid-Atlantic,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center. “You have a better chance up in New England.”

Texas A&M University agricultural economist Bruce McCarl said La Niña years are often bad for agriculture in Texas and the surrounding region. U.S. production of most crops — except corn — generally goes down in La Niña years, according to research by McCarl.

Globally, La Niña often brings heavy rainfall to Indonesia, the Philippines, northern Australia and southern Africa.

The entire natural climate cycle is officially known as the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a see-saw dance of warmer and cooler seawater in the central Pacific Ocean

2017 Hurricane Season Produces Most Reported Tornadoes in Nearly a Decade

2017 is now the fourth hurricane season since 1995 with tropical storms or hurricanes that produced more than 100 tornadoes. Only the 2005 (317), 2004 (238) and 2008 (139) hurricane seasons produced more tornadoes.

Most of the tornadoes associated with tropical cyclones develop in bands of thunderstorms and intense showers outside the eyewall about 50 to 250 miles from the hurricane or tropical storm center.

The majority of tornadoes spawned by tropical storms and hurricanes are short-lived and of the weaker EF0 or EF1 variety, but some can reach EF2 or EF3 intensity. Because of their short-lived nature, sometimes they can strike with little or no advance warning.

Hurricane Ivan in 2004 is the most prolific tornado-producing hurricane in U.S. weather history. A total of 120 tornadoes struck nine states from Florida to Pennsylvania in a three-day period.

But not all hurricanes generate a large number of tornadoes, as 2016’s Hurricane Matthew illustrated. Matthew only produced two EF0-rated tornadoes since the eastern side of the hurricane, which is favored for tornado development, remained offshore.

Typhoon Saola Downgraded But Expected To Drench Pacific Coastal Areas As It Nears Hokkaido

Typhoon Saola was churning along the Pacific coast of Honshu toward Hokkaido Monday morning, with the Meteorological Agency warning the storm was bound to release more heavy rain to northern regions.

But the season’s 22nd typhoon was weakened into a low-pressure system off Japan’s northeastern coastline early Monday morning after passing south of the Kanto region, the agency said.

The typhoon was moving off the Sanriku coast of Iwate Prefecture as of 12:50 a.m. and had an atmospheric pressure reading of 980 hectopascals. It was heading northeast at a speed of 100 kph, the weather agency said.

The agency warned of strong winds, river flooding caused by heavy rain, and mudslides.

On Sunday, the typhoon brought heavy rain to many regions. The cities of Miyazaki and Nichinan, in Miyazaki Prefecture, saw a record amount of rainfall in 24 hours, with more than 400 mm by Sunday morning.

In Miyazaki and Oita prefectures, two women, one aged 79 yand the other 86, fell down and broke their legs.

The agency said the Tokai region would get up to 180 mm of rain over a 24-hour period ending at noon on Monday, 150 mm in the Hokuriku and Kanto-Koshin regions, and 100 mm in the Tohoku region.

The typhoon disturbed transportation networks, forcing operators to cancel some services.

According to an NHK report, a total of 86 flights, mostly in Kyushu and Okinawa, were canceled Sunday.

Kyushu Railway Co. halted some operations on sections of the Nippo and Nichinan lines, while East Japan Railway Co. suspended the Sunrise Izumo limited express sleeper service and other services.

The typhoon also disrupted various events, including the 37th Oita International Wheelchair Marathon in Oita Prefecture. The race was due to start Sunday morning but was canceled, its organizers said.

Saola follows in the wake of Typhoon Lan, which battered much of the country with heavy rain and strong winds just a week ago. Lan killed seven people and injured nearly 100 others, causing floods, mudslides and traffic disruptions.

When Lan hit, it also disrupted ballot counting for the Oct. 22 House of Representatives election.

A number of municipalities had issued evacuation advisories to residents and regional election boards had to forgo vote-counting until the ballots could be delivered. On Oct. 23, Lan made landfall in Shizuoka Prefecture and ran over Tokyo, triggering floods, mudslides and traffic disruptions.

Hurricane Philippe Path Update: Latest Track Model Shows Tropical Storm Smashing Florida

Tropical storm Philippe is moving across Florida and towards New York with major rain and winds battering parts of the United States.

Tropical storm Philippe, with winds of up to 40mph, is heading northwestward across southern Florida in the United States, according to US weather team StormTracker 13.

Philippe is set to cause three to five inches of rain across south Florida over the weekend.

Heavy rain and gusty winds are predicted to hit parts of Cuba and Florida on Sunday.

Meteorologist Erik Taylor of StormTracker 13, said the storm would “hamper” clean-up operations in Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma hit last month.

The National Hurricane Center has issued an alert for mainland USA including the Keys and New York as Philippe heads north across the country.

NOAA latest update shows tropical storm Philippe moving “erratically near Key West.”

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara and Northwestern Bahamas.

Tropical storm Philippe is currently travelling at 12mph. The NOAA have confirmed at 2am EDT that a rapid motion toward the northeast is expected through Monday.

On the forecast track, the centre of Philippe will move across the Florida Keys or the southern tip of the Florida peninsula this morning, and across the northwestern Bahamas later today.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) mainly to the east and southeast of the centre.

Yesterday tracking maps showed the storm moving over Cuba on course to hit Florida.