The land damage done by tropical storms and cyclones has been well documented and can be easily measured. However, researchers in Australia are trying to understand the extent of damage that occurred underwater after an intense cyclone ripped through parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
Destruction to underwater ecosystems have had little research, but the Catlin Seaview Survey is working hard to change that.
Following the robust April cyclone, Ita, divers investigated the coral reef and found stark differences between pre- and post storm.
Underwater Cyclone Destruction - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
"Cyclone Ita was an extremely powerful and damaging cyclone that caused both damage to manmade and natural structures. Over 900 million U.S. dollars in damage occurred and, just as importantly or maybe more importantly, countless more damage was done to the delicate natural environment of Queensland," said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mark Paquette.
The cyclone was the strongest tropical cyclone to impact Queensland, Australia, since Cyclone Yasi three years prior. Ita became a Category 5 at its strongest point.
As Ita moved over the ocean, the forces disrupted parts of the usually colorful, lively reef.
Researchers said that the Ribbon reef area suffered the most as Ita's path was directly overhead. The divers had worked in the region two years prior and were able to use that knowledge to better study the damage. Still, there was limited research on what storms can do.
According to Catlin, "the most striking observation was the huge variance of storm impact and no uniform pattern of damage in the path of the storm."
That path left some adjacent areas in a stark contrast; some areas had little to no damage while nearby areas were extensively hurt.
As the coral begins to recover, Catlin reported that there are preventative measures to ensure a quicker reformation.
"Ensuring that coral can bounce back from these disturbances is at the heart of the matter. The more we reduce other stressors on the reef (factors such as water quality), the better the chance that coral can bounce back," Catlin Seaview Survey Chief Scientist and Global Change Institute Director, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said in a press release.
"Given the steep decline of coral on the reef, it's clear we have a lot of work to do."
Rounds of severe thunderstorms, including the potential for flooding rain and tornadoes, will continue to erupt over the central United States this week.
Summerlike warmth will make it feel like the 90s F at times in the eastern United States through Memorial Day weekend, despite localized rainfall.
A large tornado moved dangerously close to Dodge City, Kansas, on Tuesday afternoon, tracking just west of the center of the city.
Conditions will become favorable for tropical development over the Atlantic Ocean, in the vicinity of the southeastern United States toward the end of May and into early June.
Frequent showers are expected throughout the music festival that will take place in late June.
As millions prepare to take part in Memorial Day weekend events, showers, storms and a potential tropical system could threaten outdoor activities and travel plans during the extended weekend.
Snowstorm across state; daytime accumulation of 4-6".
Newton, NJ (1925)
96 degrees on the 23rd; 39 degrees on the morning of the 24th.
West Coast (1982)
Heat wave: San Francisco, CA 91 degrees, (new record; previous record 79 in 1975) San Jose, CA 84 degrees Portland, OR 85 degrees (tied record)