Killer Storms Take Aim at US, Mexico
Hurricane season in the Atlantic starts in the autumn when sun warmed waters at heat to storm systems. If enough heat is contributed, a storm may turn into a hurricane.
Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast inundating millions of acres of city and farmland. It forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, some with only the clothes they were wearing. The decision to not order evacuations of Houston, in retrospect, looks like a mistake. However, during the last major hurricane threat, evacuations claimed more lives than the storm.
Deaths attributed to the “Thousand Year Storm” vary, depending on which agency is reporting, but Fox News and Time Inc. are quoting 70 deaths to date. Damage estimates top US$100 million.
Hurricane Irma is now churning through the Bahamas and heading toward Florida. It is expected to touch the north coast of Cuba which may slow the wind speeds enough to downgrade Irma from a cat. 5 to a cat. 4. That may be cold comfort to Floridians. A cat. 5 storm has sustained winds of 185 mph(295kph) while a cat. 4 has sustained winds of 130 to 156 mph(209—251kph). In addition, a storm surge of at least 10 feet (3+ m) is expected to hit the low lying peninsula.
One of the first reported fatalities from Irma was a young surfer who along with 19 of his surfer comrades tried surfing the giant waves generated.
Floridians have mostly evacuated from the Keys which are expected to suffer inundation. The best tracking systems now agree that Irma will make a turn to the north and track up the state before veering either east or west. People from Miami north are still trying to get to higher ground, but finding it increasingly difficult as the freeways are jammed and multiple gas stations have run out of fuel.
This storm is wider than our entire state and is expected to cause major and life-threatening impacts from coast to coast,” Governor Scott
Florida has shut down its two sea side nuclear power plants, but must keep its diesel generators operational to keep the nuclear cores cooled.
Two more hurricanes are taking aim at islands and coast lines. Jose and Irma are active in the Atlantic and have reached cat. 4 status.
Warm water is the key element in birthing these killer storms. Water temperatures in the mid-Atlantic have reached 79F(26C) and that warm water reaches down 250ft(80m).