THURSDAY, NOV. 14, 2013: This article from WUWT brings up some good mathematical points arguing that winds for Haiyan were overestimated, but it also says the media overhyped the storm. I disagree because the information was from official sources (including the death toll estimated at 10,000, which caused the removal of an official there). The truth is, we may never know what the wind speeds were unless the Joint Typhoon Warning Center or someone with ties to Asia starts doing reconnaissance flights (something AccuWeather's Mike Smith has also called for). Think it can't be done? The U.S. Air Force did just that, from Guam, until 1987.
TUESDAY, NOV. 12, 2013: These before-and-after satellite images (UPDATE: more here) really show the destruction well. Outside of a tsunami or an F5 tornado, I'm not sure I've ever seen such destruction. I'm amazed (and also encouraged to see) that this storm is still front-page news in newspapers all over the world and is still trending on Twitter in many cities.
Twitter shows 94,010 tweets containing the word "typhoon" in the last 24 hours, with a maximum of 489 per minute. This is actually similar to the day after the storm made landfall! Probably close to a million tweets have gone out regarding the storm.
Official information on deaths, injuries and much more can be obtained from the Philippines Government website. There are many people still discussing why the death toll is so high, including EverythingWx.com and Capital Weather Gang, who produced an excellent infographic highlighting one reason: Several typhoons had made landfall in the northern and southern areas of the country, but only one, in 1991, made landfall near where Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) did.
MONDAY, NOV. 11, 2013: Several days after Typhoon Haiyan (locally: Yolanda)'s landfall, the situation is grim. The AP says 10,000 may have perished; the official death toll is in the low thousands but is increasing daily. I'll repeat what I said on Friday: Even though they go through dozens of typhoons each year, the residents were not prepared for these types of winds (which snapped trees like a tornado) or storm surge (which left damage similar to a tsunami).
One weather observer went missing when the typhoon destroyed the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration's weather station in Tacloban -- the building, instruments, equipment and also their Doppler Radar on a nearby mountain:
The lack of preparedness of local residents is confirmed through storm chasers who had to rescue people from the first floor of their hotel when the storm surge came in. These chasers got video footage of something that had never been captured before: An extremely strong Typhoon (Hurricane) making landfall at Category 5 in the daylight. There were three chasers there:
EarthUncutTV storm chasers (Mark Thomas & James Reynolds, founder), and iCyclone chaser Josh Morgerman were working with CNN to get the footage you see below (more is available on YouTube). They told their incredible story to CNN.
Jim Edds of ExtremeStorms.com was also there; some of Jim's footage of the storm and aftermath is available on storm chaser Jeff Gammons' website. We are going to try to interview Jim this week. Here are links to additional articles about the storm. Some of the highest-resolution incredible damage photos I've seen are available at the Mirror, but warning: some images are disturbing.
- Why so many people died from Haiyan (Capital Weather Gang)
The amazing (and sad) tribute to this storm is that it was forecast well in advance. Our track nearly pinpointed landfall at least three days in advance, and we mentioned a major threat about four days in advance* in this story, where we said:
"Another, more threatening storm looks to follow this one for the middle and end of next week.
The nation's capital of Manila escaped being significantly impacted from Krosa, but the city may fare worse next week. The second of the two systems will likely be the stronger of the two and could potentially become a typhoon," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak. That would mean not only a return of heavy rain to the Philippines, but also damaging winds. The second system is likely to also be off to the south of Manila, and depending on the strength of this system, could bring much more in the way of problems than the system on Monday does."
*The story's timestamp is Nov. 03, 2013; 3:55 a.m., but we typically update a story for one or two days, changing the timestamp to push it higher on our site. This AOL story from Nov. 1 (AOL is a partner of AccuWeather.com; we give them news stories) is probably indicative of our first published words about this system and includes similar language:
"The departure of Typhoon Krosa from Luzon Island will not mean the end of tropical troubles for the Philippines with two more tropical systems potentially in the works for next week... That system could be followed by another later in the week. While more precise details of each will become clearer in the upcoming days, current indications point toward these systems taking a track south of Krosa and impacting central parts of the Philippines."
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