Archive for the ‘Hurricane Ike’ Tag

IKE MISSING – SEARCH LINK

Photo Source = Getty Images

Photo Source = Getty Images LEFT CLICK TO ENLARGE

Bodies of hurricane Ike victims continue to be recovered – mostly in debris fields.  Here is a recent story on that subject:

http://www.khou.com/ike/stories/khou081007_tj_ike_body_found_goat_island.efe8b898.html

The Red Cross has a webpage where those living in the regions effected by the hurricane and those who have evacuated/relocated can register.  I urge you to do so.  There is also a search feature for those of you who are looking for particular survivors.  Here is the link:

https://disastersafe.redcross.org/default.aspx

For those of you looking for a person or persons, it is my most sincere hope that you find all is well.  For those of you not looking, it is also my hope that all is well.

There is a wide range within the estimate of the number of people still missing.  Here are some examples:

http://www.khou.com/news/state/stories/khou080928_mp_missing_people.bfbce24e.html

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5glUtWAW1BlcQcj1enZzk-kmvVSvwD93JQV980

http://www.click2houston.com/news/17651522/detail.html

Cement Structure No Match For Ike – Update

I posted an item on Sept. 21, 2008 about the elevated structure with cement block exterior walls at the upper level (pictured at the very end of this entry).  That original post is still contained in this web-log.  In this post that you are now reading, I am adding additional comments in “blue” to get you (and me) up to date.  This has gone back and forth and I hope the identity of the building and the stated design of the block walls is correct.  It worries me because anyone in there could have been seriously injured or worse from collapsing cement blocks.  This first photograph is of a cement block structure In the Naranja Lakes Condominium Development near Homestead, Florida.  In this particular structure there was a fatality due to poured concrete headers and blocks coming down upon a resident huddled inside – a real tragedy.  There were at least 3 such fatalities in that neighborhood; it’s amazing that there were not more. TWO INDEPENDENT LEFT CLICKS SHOULD ENLARGE THIS IMAGE A GREAT DEAL.

This next paragraph reflects that I had already made a previous change in the original entry.

It is my understanding that the structure (pictured below) belongs to a yacht club. A reader wrote in after I originally posted this because I had misidentified it as the Houston Yacht Club.  However, he indicated that the Houston Yacht Club is “a three story coral colored structure and while some water entered the first floor it is essentially undamaged.”  You can check out his comment.

Since then, a couple of readers have identified the building as belonging to the Seabrook Sailing Club just north of the Clear Creek channel.  “Kent” adds, “The cinder-block wash-away walls collapsed as designed, leaving the shell structure intact. It was originally built after Hurricane Carla in the early 1960s. Hurricane Alicia did a similar number on the building in 1983. I think the club is trying to decide if they should rebuild on the current shell or scrap it.”  End quote.

Though this building is elevated and held fast on its foundation, the surge was too high and the waves too forceful for the cement block.  I don’t believe this damage can be attributed directly to wind force but rather, the surge with its waves on top.  For those of you who have felt the pounding of moderate surf against your body – imagine what this cement block must have endured before yielding.  I see wires and perhaps some straps but I see no evidence of corefill in the block nor do I see very much rebar reinforcement in the image.  At the time that I wrote this I had no idea that upper level walls were deliberately built to wash away.  If this is true, so much for the contents and/or anyone who might have been unable to get out because they waited too long.  On the other hand, maybe it was just used for storage.  I had heard of “break-away” lower level walls.  In fact I have a friend who built a pole house with that design. For quick information rebar and poured concrete reinforcement read the second paragraph in the following link and click on the photo on the bottom right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinder_block

Please visit the rest of this web-log go to “blog” at the top of this page or click here.  https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/.  If you are interested in weather, there are some tutorials scattered about and more will be added in time.

HURRICANE MISCONCEPTIONS – A LIST OF 23

Image source of Ike radar loop = WeatherUnderground.com

Image source of Ike radar loop = Weather Underground

LEFT CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE AND SEE A RADAR LOOP OF IKE AS HE COMES INTO VIEW AND EVENTUALLY MAKES LANDFALL.  WATCH FOR A DISTINCT RIGHT TURN TRACKING DIRECTLY TOWARD HOUSTON JUST BEFORE REACHING THE COAST.  IF IT HAD CONTINUED STRAIGHT, THE WINDS AND THE SURGE ALONG THE COAST AT GALVESTON AND SOUTHWESTWARD WOULD HAVE BEEN EVEN WORSE BECAUSE THAT COAST WOULD HAVE BEEN CROSSED BY THE RIGHT-HAND LEADING QUADRANT OF THE STORM

(see item 13 below).

23 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HURRICANES

©* Tonie Ansel Toney (see conditions for copying at the end)

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/

I have learned of these misconceptions by communicating through the years with my students, friends, neighbors, attendees of some of the hurricane seminars that I have conducted and visitors to hurricane expos where I have given presentations.  Most of this occurred in Florida.  I learned that these items have been relatively “common” misconceptions through informal pre-tests I have given to college students at the beginning of certain semesters, answers to questions I have asked in classes during the course of myriad semesters, through conversations with people of all walks of life (and a broad range of ages and experience), and by listening carefully.

ALL 23 UPPER CASE STATEMENTS ARE FALSE IN SOME WAY.  BRIEF EXPLANATIONS FOLLOW.

1. IF THE SPEED OF WIND BLOWING DIRECTLY INTO THE SIDE OF A DWELLING CHANGES FROM 40 MPH TO 80 MPH, THE FORCE THAT IT EXERTS INTO THE STRUCTURE WILL INCREASE TO TWICE WHAT IT WAS. THE TRUTH: A doubling of the velocity will cause a four-fold increase of the force upon a surface being struck at right angles.  The relationship is “exponential,” not “linear.”

2. IF, DURING A HURRICANE, YOUR TRUE WIND DIRECTION IS FROM THE SOUTH, THE HURRICANE’S EYE IS TO THE NORTH OF YOU. THE TRUTH:  It is generally west of you.  Hurricane winds move approximately parallel to (or concentric with) the nearly circular eye-wall.  A good rule-of-thumb for eye location (in the Northern Hemisphere) is: Imagine standing with the wind at your back.  Extend your left arm out from your side and your hand will be pointing toward the eye.

3. IF AN APPROACHING HURRICANE IS ABOUT ONE DAY AWAY, PRUNING OF TREES IS ADVISABLE. THE TRUTH:  It is too late to prune at that time – it should have been done much sooner, preferably prior to the hurricane season.  Pruned material must be disposed of properly – if lying around the items can become a dangerous airborne hazards. Please read on by clicking here; there are 20 more which might interest you. And, don’t miss viewing the animated image of Ike at the beginning of this post.

Tropical Wave AL 93 Might Dance Within a Few Days!

A second left click should enlarge image further.
A second left click should enlarge image further.

There is a possibility that the very interesting Fujiwhara effect might occur within the next few days.  In the image above I have placed a red dot upon the tropical disturbance that is tormenting Puerto Rico and Eastern Hispaniola and a light blue dot upon an extratropical low that is off the Eastern Seaboard and probably kicking up some big waves.  If the tropical system shoots north as the models are predicting, the two could interact in the Fujiwhara effect.  Here is a well-written link about that phenomenon.

http://weather.about.com/od/hurricaneformation/a/Fujiwhara.htm

The extratropical system might even back up a bit in response to a rotation around a common axis with the tropical system.  Go to this link now if you would like to see a rendition of what might happen:  (There are four helpful buttons – reverse, stop. forward, and single step).

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/wxloop.cgi?eta_pcpn_slp_thkn+///6

SPECIAL NOTE:  THE LINK IMMEDIATELY ABOVE IS VERY TIME SENSITIVE.  IT MAY NOT SHOW WHAT I’VE DISCUSSED IN THIS BLOG UNLESS YOU VIEW IT ON THE DAY THIS WAS POSTED.   AFTERWARDS THE FORECAST MIGHT CHANGE.  IF THE FUJIWHARA EFFECT ACTUALLY COMES TO FRUITION WE WILL BE ABLE TO SEE IT VIA LOOPS THAT ACCELERATE TIME.

Of course, I did not come up with this notion on my own.  My tip came from the WeatherUnderground blog posted by Dr. Jeff Masters at 10:43 AM EDT today (September 23, 2008).  He also mentioned it yesterday.

Natural processes can be lethal and cause heartbreak but they can also be breathtakingly beautiful.  If the Fujiwhara effect happens to occur, perhaps we will have the opportunity to watch two spiraling systems dance together for a while, just as spiraling galaxies can do as they get close to each other.  Let’s hope the prediction is “right on” and that we can focus upon an event that is NOT creating havoc as did Ike.  Enjoy!

Cement Block Structure No Match for Ike

It is my understanding that this structure (below) belongs to a yacht club. A reader wrote in after I originally posted this because I had misidentified it as the Houston Yacht Club.  However, he indicated that the Houston Yacht Club is “a three story coral colored structure and while some water entered the first floor it is essentially undamaged.”  You can check out his comment.

Though this building is elevated and held fast on its foundation, the surge was too high and the waves too forceful for the cement block.  I don’t believe this damage can be attributed directly to wind force but rather, the surge with its waves on top.  For those of you who have felt the pounding of moderate surf against your body – imagine what this cement block must have endured before yielding.  I see wires and perhaps some straps but I see no evidence of corefill in the block nor do I see very much rebar reinforcement in the image.  For quick information on that type of reinforcement read the second paragraph in the following link and click on the photo on the bottom right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinder_block

A footnote for my regular readers:  You can check for yourself but it looks according to the models as though the tropical disturbance addressed in the previous post is going to move northward.  Still, I fear for those in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.  The rains are something they don’t need right now.

Please visit the rest of this web-log at https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/.  If you are interested in weather, there are some tutorials scattered about and more will be added in time.

Location of Gilchrist House Confirmed!

Thanks to images posted by Dr. Jeff Masters this morning on the WeatherUnderground.com site, aerial images before and after have confirmed the location of the lonely little house that seems to have survived the ravages of Ike.  I have reworked the scale of the images he posted and placed red arrows marking the house that has been being addressed in this web-log.  It confirms the suspicions of myself and others that the house was either rebuilt or replaced between the time that Google loaded it’s images and today.  After I post the before and after images I will paste in Dr. Masters’ specific comments about Gilchrist.  Remember, for an enlarged view – left click two times.

Why did Gilchrist get destroyed

and Will Gilchrist be rebuilt?

By Dr. Jeff Masters

WeatherUnderground.com http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/

“It’s rare to see a town so completely destroyed by a hurricane, to the point where you can’t even see the wreckage. The neighboring towns of Crystal Beach, to the south, and High Island, to the north, were also mostly destroyed, but weren’t swept clean of nearly all structures and wreckage. This is because Gilchrist was built in an unusually vulnerable place. It’s bad enough to situate your town on a low-lying peninsula, as was the case for Crystal Beach. But in Gilchrist’s case, the town was located at the narrowest point of the Bolivar Peninsula, at a point where it was only a few hundred meters wide (Figure 2). Not only did Gilchrist suffer a head-on assault by Ike’s direct storm surge of 14+ feet, topped by 20′ high battering waves, the town also suffered a reverse surge once the hurricane had passed. As Ike moved to the north, the counter-clockwise flow of wind around the storm pushed Galveston Bay’s waters back across the town of Gilchrist from northwest to southeast. This second surge of water likely finished off anything the main storm surge had left.

I hope the government will see fit to buy up the land that was once the town of Gilchrist and make it into a park. Building a town in Gilchrist’s location makes as much sense as building a town on the sides of an active volcano. (Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who have done just that, such as on the slopes of Vesuvius in Italy). If past history is any guide, Gilchrist will be rebuilt, and it will take another mighty hurricane to permanently take down the town. That was the case for the town of Indianola, Texas, which lay in a vulnerable low-lying location on the shores of Matagorda Bay in the mid-1800’s. Indianola was the second largest port in the state of Texas, and home to 5,000 people. In 1875, a powerful Category 3 hurricane piled up a huge storm surge as it came ashore in Indianola. The surge destroyed 3/4 of the town’s 2,000 buildings, and killed 176 people. The city was rebuilt, but in 1886, a devastating Category 4 hurricane swept almost the entire town of Indianola into Matagorda Bay, killing another 250 townspeople. The people of Indianola finally gave up and moved elsewhere, and the ruins of their town now lie under fifteen feet of water in Matagorda Bay.”

Please visit the rest of this web-log at https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/.  If you are interested in weather, there are some tutorials scattered about and more will be added in time.

House Appears to Be the Lone Survivor In Its Neighborhood

Why was this house in Gilchrist spared?

Why was this house in Gilchrist spared?

I’m hoping that someone can explain this to me.  I saw a photo of this house this morning in the St. Petersburg Times, print version.  It was not hard to find photos of it on several websites this evening.  I have many questions and no answers.  It was described in the paper and on television as being in Gilchrist, Texas.  I did a Google Earth survey of Gilchrist where I could get an oblique view as well as a vertical view close enough to the surface to easily be able to see the gross details of the structures.   I also did visible scans as close as I could get to the surface using Map Quest and Google Maps.  I was unable, using cues from the photograph, to find the house.  This leads me to believe that it is new.

Was it built under a different set of codes than the totally destroyed dwellings on that beachfront strip?

Was it built by a very smart contractor or owner well beyond the requirements of the existing codes?

Is it safely habitable now?  It appears to me that there is considerable erosion, even undercutting, at the margins of the structure.

If it is not safely habitable can the weaknesses be relatively easily repaired?

Someone on the Weather Channel said that the reason it survived is because it was elevated.  It doesn’t seem likely to me that it was the only elevated house in that lengthy flattened strip.  Why did others not survive?

Could there possibly be some sort of breakwater or wall out of range of the photo that could have protected this structure more than the others?

Wouldn’t it be interesting to know why this house was the lone survivor within the scope of this photo?

Does anyone know the story of this house?

Please visit the rest of this web-log at https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/.  If you are interested in weather, there are some tutorial items scattered about and more will be added in time.  At the end of this page there is a cue to click to the previous page or the next page.

IKE – PLEASE LEAVE AND DON’T COME BACK!

LEFT CLICKS SHOULD ENLARGE BOTH IMAGES OF THIS POSTING.

Watch any of the national news programs tonight and you’re sure to hear that what was once hurricane Ike is not going out like a lamb.  Even though it has become extratropical and therefore is no longer officially a hurricane, it has been producing some hurricane force winds (74 mph or more).

The image above shows it’s forecast position for 2 PM EDT on Monday 9-15-08.  I have marked it but I’m sure you could have found it without my help.  For reference, the horizontal limb of the red “L” is touching the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec.

Ike’s remains have caused great problems due to both wind and heavy rains.  Examples are Chicago and Cincinnati.  More than 689,000 customers of Duke Energy in and around Cincinnati have been without power from the effects of high winds.  Trees have been toppled upon houses, vehicles, and transmission wires.  Estimates are that it will be from 3 to 4 days before power is restored to all.

I am positive that there are many other cities, towns, and rural areas that have been negatively effected by the winds and rain.  Hopefully there will be some good from this – for example, much needed rain in the agricultural areas which dominate the majority of the landscape over which the former Ike has traveled today.  Let’s hope that there has been little if any crop damage due to high winds, excessive rain, or hail.  I’ll be calling my uncle Oren and aunt Marge Toney in East-Central Indiana tomorrow in hopes that they got the rain they needed and that none of their crops were damaged.  Apparently they had high wind warnings until 7 PM this evening and about 1290 people are without power in their county (according to the Muncie Star-Press).  This represents approximately 5%, or one out of twenty people in their county.

The photo below is but one small example of the multitude of unfortunate occurrences in the Cincinnati area.

Ike’s Widespread Existence – Even Now! – A Radar Image

LEFT CLICK THIS NOAA RADAR IMAGE TO ENLARGE

TWO LEFT CLICKS OF THIS NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RADAR IMAGE WILL ENLARGE

This recent image (above) from 9:38 AM EDT shows the widespread influence of the remains of Ike.  No longer a hurricane, Ike has taken on extratropical characteristics with frontal involvement.  “Extratropical” means “outside of the tropics.”  The synoptic chart below, depicting 8:00 AM EDT does a good job of showing the frontal involvement.  TWO INDEPENDENT LEFT CLICKS WILL ENLARGE.

Galveston Occupants and Others Along That Coast – GET OUT OF THERE

I learned while watching the Weather Channel around 12:15 pm EDT that about half of the residents of Galveston are still there.  That is not good news.  I suspect that the wind speeds and category of the hurricane are within the range of what many people feel they can handle – but that is not sound thinking.  What I fear they are failing to consider is the size of the storm.  According to Dr. Jeff Masters from WeatherUnderground, the “Integrated Kinetic Energy” for Ike is 30% higher than was that of Katrina.  So – a huge amount of water is being pushed (and pulled) ashore by the storm.  It is not merely the wind velocity that determines the magnitude of the surge; the size of the storm is a very important factor.  It’s as if you were the quarterback and you had your choice of being sacked by the fastest defender or being “stopped and stomped” by the entire front line.  The linemen would represent far more total energy, even though each is slower than the fastest defender.

IT IS NOT WISE TO FOCUS ON ONE MODEL.  THE FOLLOWING IMAGE IS USED FOR SAKE OF PROVIDING A GENERAL IDEA ONLY.  HOWEVER, THE MODELS ARE ALL IN GREAT AGREEMENT OVER THE NEXT 32 HOURS OF MOVEMENT.

PLEASE, IF YOU ARE IN HARMS WAY – SURELY YOU HAVE BEING WARNED.  IT DOESN’T ALWAYS HAPPEN TO THE OTHER GUY!  THIS TIME YOU COULD BE THAT OTHER GUY!  IF YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND ARE THE DECISION-MAKER WITHIN YOUR GROUP – DON’T BE MR. OR MS. MACHO!  GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE!  IF YOU ARE NOT THE DECISION-MAKER IN YOUR GROUP, IT’S TIME FOR A NON-VIOLENT MUTINY!  GET YOUR POSTERIORS OUT OF THERE!

TWO LEFT CLICKS ON THE IMAGE BELOW SHOULD MAKE IT LARGER.

Source = PSU Department of Meteorology

Source = PSU Department of Meteorology