Commentary

November 27, 2013

Anatomy of a cylone; why California is safe

With the recent typhoon that devastated the Philippines, we print this article to calm the nerves of those who may be fearful of the same happening here and to educate others. Californians enjoy a relatively stable and predictable weather pattern most of the year. Although our major concern is earthquakes, we watch in awe and empathy when catastrophic events occur throughout the world, the most recent being typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

So, why don’t we have them here?

Typhoons and hurricanes are tropical cyclones, with the only difference being their locations on the earth. Those in the west Pacific are called typhoons while the storms in the Atlantic and east Pacific Ocean are called hurricanes.

Both storm systems are actually similar weather phenomena, although their strength may vary according to atmospheric conditions present and certain other factors related to their epicenters. Hurricanes and typhoons originate in the oceans from 10 to 30 degrees away from the equator.

The terms distinguish the different parts of the world in which they occur. Hurricane is used in the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, central and northeast Pacific near the Gulf of Mexico and America. Typhoon is the name convention in the northwest Pacific, near Asia. The term cyclone is used for storms over the Indian Ocean and southwestern Pacific Ocean near Africa and Australia.

Both typhoons and hurricanes rotate counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. Typhoons are generally stronger than hurricanes because of warmer water in the western Pacific which creates better conditions for development of a storm. This unlimited amount of warm water also makes for increased frequency of typhoons. Even the wind intensity in a typhoon is stronger than that of a hurricane but they cause comparatively less damage or loss due to their location. Heavy winds, floods, storm surge, a lot of rain and tornadoes are characteristics of both.

The frequency of hurricanes may be about 10-15 per year while typhoons may occur 25-30 times a year. Hurricanes are found east of the International Date Line near the tropical zone, over warm waters in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Typhoons occur in the northwest Pacific Ocean, west of the International Date Line.

Although typhoons may occur more often, hurricanes are more because they occur in the United States where the vast amount of destruction is caused to infrastructure and populated areas. Although they are capable of tremendous damage, destruction and loss of life, they do not pose a threat to California as the geographic, atmospheric and moisture conditions on the west coast are not conducive to these events.

California’s ocean waters are just too cold. Tropical cyclones usually require very warm water, at least 80 degrees Farenheit, extending to a depth of 50 meters. Waters off California rarely range between 62 and 75 degrees. The most we can expect in our area will be storm-like conditions with heavy rain and strong winds.

So, while we may dodge the bullet on hurricanes and typhoons, we must ensure we stay educated, prepared and vigilant to the dangers that exist in our own area and when the call comes, help those in need to the extent that we are able.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
AFN courtesy photo

Hollywood’s Oscar shout outs for U.S. military

AFN courtesy photo From left, Eric Gabriel, Army Maj. Rosy Poulos, Patrice “Rock” Grant, Air Force Staff Sgt. Rob Harden and Fabian Montgomery, American Forces Network employees, work the red carpet at the Oscars to provide...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture

(Final in a three-part series) Courtesy Photo Astronaut Guion “Guy” S. Bluford Jr. becomes the first African American to travel in space, as a mission specialist aboard the space shuttle Challenger. He will ultimately compl...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture

(Second in a series of three) Courtesy Photo Thurgood Marshall and family Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing...
 

 

President Abraham Lincoln: Feb. 12, 1809 – Apr. 14, 1865

Taken from the Presidential biographies at whitehouse.gov February 12th marks the 205th year since the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the United States’ 16th President. Although his birthday does not have a national holiday, as does President George Washington’s, Lincoln is no less important. It was on Jan. 1, 1863 that he issued the Emancipation Proclamation...
 
 

Overcoming failures: Don’t be a carrot or an egg

You will fail. The question is, how will you respond? This reminds me of a parable of the carrot, egg and coffee. A senior airman was distraught when he learned he did not make staff sergeant after his first time testing. His staff sergeant supervisor saw a teaching opportunity and the next day he filled...
 
 

McKenzie, Faley take command

The 452nd Operations Support Squadron and 452nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron held formal Assumption of Command ceremonies at March Field on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Col. Mark Sigler, then commander of the 452nd Operations Group, passed the guidons to Lt. Col. Nick R. McKenzie, who accepted one as the new OSS commander, and to Lt. Col....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin