05.18.08

Greg Machos Becomes Full Member Of AMS

Posted in General at 7:15 pm by gmachos

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–On Wednesday, May 14th, Greg Machos officially became a full member of the American Meteorological Society. To become a member of the AMS, you have to be involved with weather and meteorology in some shape or form. Machos, through his work on his web sites, Hurricaneville and Greg’s Weather Center, has been able to become a member through the media. Prior to becoming a full member of the AMS, Machos had been a student member of the organization after applying in September 2003 while studying for his Meteorology Minor at the then Cook College Campus of Rutgers University. Machos earned the minor in December 2004, but remained a student member of the AMS until he graduated last May.

05.15.08

Three Atlantic Storms From 2007 Season Have Their Names Retired

Posted in Storm Facts, Storm History at 12:22 pm by gmachos

Good morning everyone. Sorry that I’ve been away for the past couple of days, but I’ve been working hard with the new training at my job, and I’ve not really been in the mood to put something up on any of my sites. Anyway, I did catch a news article via the Miami Herald on the internet that made a mention of some things concerning the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season. On Tuesday, May 13th, the WMO, the World Meteorological Organization, based in Geneva Switzerland came to Orlando for its annual meeting, and at that meeting, it was announced that three storms from the 2007 season had their names retired.

The three storms: Dean, Felix, and Noel, perhaps the most devastating and newsworthy systems of the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season, were retired from the cyclical list of names that are used by the National Hurricane Center each year for a six year period. Both Hurricane Dean and Hurricane Felix were Category Five Hurricanes on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, and were the only major hurricanes from what was a below average season in terms of that particular category of storm. However, both systems, particularly Dean, were among the most powerful storms on record at the time of landfall. While both Dean and Felix struck during the very heart of the active period of the Atlantic season, Noel was a late season storm that formed during the final days of October, and lingered into the first few days of November.

Many people might not know this, but Noel was a storm that caused a lot of headaches for the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. More importantly though, Noel was a killer storm in the Caribbean. Both Dean and Noel killed almost 200 people in the Caribbean and the Bahamas while Felix left 130 people dead in the Central American countries of Nicaragua and Honduras. The next season, these storm names are to be used, 2013, they will be replaced with those of Dorian, Ferdinand, and Nestor.

05.12.08

Myanmar Cyclone An Omen Of Things To Come?

Posted in Commentary, General, GWC News, Storm Aftermath, Storm Warning at 12:37 am by gmachos

Good evening everyone. Well, we are now 20 days from the start of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season. I’ve continued to read the most recent book that I received concerning Hurricanes and the Mid-Atlantic states, and despite a work schedule that has limited my time somewhat, I’ve been able to get about halfway through the work. I’m hoping to have a book review posted by the end of the month. Speaking of book reviews, I’ve yet to post the ones from last year. During last year’s hurricane season, I was quite busy looking for a new job, and working a lot of overtime. When I finally got the new job, I spent some time adjusting to it, and never really was able to get around to writing the book reviews. Moreover, there are a couple of articles that I started, but never finished from last year including one on Hurricane Humberto and another on the topic of Paleotempestology. I hope and plan to have these articles done soon.

Anyway, what I wanted to discuss with you today was the recent litany of severe weather events not only in the United States, but throughout the world, and whether or not these series of storms are an omen of things to come in terms of the upcoming hurricane season. The most notable of these recent storms was last week’s cyclone that struck the isolated and secluded nation of the Myanmar Republic, which is also known as Burma. Cyclone Nagris came into the Irrawaddy Delta region of the Southeast Asian country with winds of Category Four intensity approaching 150 miles per hour in gusts. Much of the 30,000 square mile area that this storm rolled over and flattened, was left under water with moderate to severe tidal flooding. However, there are other areas that have been affected by disaster including those in the United States such as the Great Plains and Missouri.

Last month, a rare early season typhoon moved into Canton island in China before moving into Southeastern mainland China, and Hong Kong. Typhoon Negouri left three people dead, and another 40 missing. Meanwhile, the current death toll from Cyclone Nagris in Burma has risen to 28,000 according to reports from the Associated Press. On Sunday, another round of severe weather broke out in the Great Plains with tornadoes touching down in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma leaving some 20 people dead. More severe weather in the Southeast spawned twisters in Georgia and North Carolina as well.

For the state of Missouri alone, it has been a year of misery with one weather calamity after another. Rare twisters turned deadly back in January followed by devastating floods in February. More severe weather produced tornadoes in the “Show Me State” during the course of the Spring. In this latest round of chaotic weather, there were some 15 people dead in Southwestern Missouri, and either an F4 or F5 tornado touched down in Picher, Oklahoma claiming another six lives. One more was killed in Georgia. The litany of disasters attributed to weather in the United States and the rest of the world may be a harbinger of things to come as we move into the potential turbulent summer months known for producing fierce and deadly tropical storms and hurricanes. Prior to the start of the tumultuous 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season, there were significant disasters around the world dating back to the end of 2004 with the devastating Tsunami that occurred on the day after Christmas.

Regardless of any omen that these storms may be interpreted as, residents along the coastline of the United States from Maine to Texas should begin taking the necessary precautions in preparation of this fast approaching hurricane season. Remember, despite whatever predictions have been made in regard to what could happen in Atlantic Hurricane Season 2008, it only takes one storm, and we should always prepare for that possibility.

05.11.08

Flood Steering Committee Being Created In Manville

Posted in General, GWC News at 11:43 pm by gmachos

MANVILLE, NJ–A little more than one year after the third significant flooding event in the past 12 years occurred in the towns of Manville and Bound Brook, the former of the two Somerset County communities has decided to put together a flood steering committee. According to a report filed in today’s Sunday Star-Ledger, Manville’s current mayor, Lillian Zuza, is planning to set up this steering committee to help “lobby for funding to ensure that relief efforts actually happen.”

Manville, which has been devastated by recent floods from Hurricane Floyd back in September 1999, and a mid-Spring Nor’easter that occurred last year, is responding to the lack of progress made by the federal government’s Army Corps of Engineers on the current Green Brook Flood Zone Project, which began in the early 70s, but is still yet to be completed. Most notably, among the areas that have yet to be completed are those that are supposed to protect Manville and Bound Brook from the advance of flood waters from the Raritan River, which runs from Raritan Bay near Perth Amboy, through New Brunswick, and into Somerset County.

Last year, local officials from the town of Bound Brook went to Washington to make a plea for increased funding for the multi-decade project. Congressman Mike Ferguson of the 7th District here in New Jersey joined up with others in Congress to convince President Bush to allocate another $10 million toward funding of the project. However, more money is needed. A similar situation has occurred in New Orleans with respect to the levee system, which is still not fortified enough to help the city withstand another major hurricane along the lines of Hurricane Katrina. As a matter of fact, a recent Hurricaneville blog entry pointed out that a local television station in the Crescent City was informed by a resident that floodwall barriers were being stuffed with newspaper rather than rubber to fortify them.

Residents and town officials are determined to do anything to prevent anything like the flooding from Floyd, or last year’s Nor’easter doesn’t happen again. They all realize that they need to be more involved in the democratic process in order to get what they need to protect their community. According to the Star-Ledger article, Mayor Zuza said, “We need to be more involved.” The mayor is looking to have another four to six members join the panel. If you are interested in being a part of this committee, please send in your resume by May 30th to the following:

Manville Borough Hall
325 N. Main Street
Manville, New Jersey 08835

Central Jersey About To Get Another Round Of Stormy Weather

Posted in General, GWC News at 11:18 pm by gmachos

After Brief Respite During Much Of Weekend, Another Coastal Storm Set To Bring More Rain And Wind

After gloomy conditions dominated the weather over the Central Jersey region on Thursday and Friday, the sun returned for a brief appearance starting on Saturday morning, and continuing into midday on Sunday. The somewhat pleasant conditions were attributed to a weak area of high pressure that moved in after the coastal storm that hit late in the week last week. Following two days of rain that produced a total of 1.23 inches in Northwestern Middlesex County according to the data compiled by the GWC WX station. So far this month, there has been a total of 1.32 inches of rainfall with 93 percent coming on Thursday and Friday. The total rainfall for the month has all fallen in just four of the first eleven days of May.

However, the inclement weather is about to return as another coastal storm is winding up the Eastern Seaboard, and bringing some severe weather, if not drenching rains, to the Mid-Atlantic. Tornadoes have touched down in North Carolina while the Washington, D.C. area has seen torrential rains. According to the latest Accu-Weather forecast courtesy of New York’s WABC 7, this latest storm system, which is currently moving slowly into the Philadelphia area, has had a history of producing three to four inches of rain. Clouds have already begun to move over the Central Jersey area. Darkening skies began to take shape in South Plainfield at about 3:00 PM on Sunday afternoon.

Looking at the forecast from the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey, there is a 90 percent chance of rain starting after 11:00 PM EDT on Sunday Night with rainfall estimates ranging between a half and three quarters of an inches while on Monday, there is a 100 percent chance of another half to three quarters of an inch of rain. Consequently, forecast storm totals range between an inch to an inch and a half of rainfall. On top of that, a Coastal Flood Warning is currently in effect for much of the southern half of the Garden State, starting at midnight on Sunday and continuing until 8:00 AM on Tuesday morning. Developing low pressure approaching from the south is responsible for this.

With the low intensifying as it approaches the New Jersey shoreline, it will cause gale force winds to increase from the east, and that will cause minor tidal flooding from Delaware to New Jersey’s coast starting this evening at high tide. Winds will start out between 16 and 23 miles per hour, and then pick up to range between 20 and 24 miles per hour on Monday. Conditions will begin to taper off on Monday night as the steady rain becomes more showery. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. The strong low will then combine with approaching high pressure from the west on Tuesday to create a pressure gradient that will result in breezy conditions during the day along with an afternoon high in the mid to upper 60s. After seeing the mean temperature above 60 degrees for five straight days last week, there has been three straight days of mean temperatures below 57 degrees.

As a result, the overall mean temperature for the month of May has fallen to 57 degrees with the mean max dropping from 68 degrees to 67 degrees while the mean minimum fell to 47.5 producing a diurnal range of about 20 degrees. So far this year, there has been 13.78 inches of rainfall in South Plainfield with the highest one day rainfall total occurring on Friday. The previous high was back on April 28th (1.12 inches).

05.10.08

Parallels Between Myanmar In 2008 And Pakistan In 1971

Posted in Commentary, General, GWC News, Indian Ocean at 11:57 pm by gmachos

Good evening. I have been watching events unfold this past week in Southeast Asia, and after reading the book written by MIT Professor, Kerry Emanuel, called Divine Wind that had an excerpt on the November 1971 Cyclone that left some 300,000 people dead in East Pakistan, all I could think of was how similar these situations were. Now while it is true that Pakistan’s military regime then and now was not as secretive as that of the current ruling military junta in the Myanmar Republic, you can’t help but think of how both failed to help the people they were supposed to serve, and that these regimes were more interested in maintaining power. However, one has to wonder the potential internal and geopolitical problems that the inability of the Myanmar government to get the tons of essential aid that has been shipped in from nearby Thailand as well as far away places such as the United States have produced.

Back in 1971 in South Asia there was a great deal of tension. Both India and Pakistan had battled in two wars since the two countries were formed in 1947 after the work of Gandhi earned them both their independence from the British crown. The two countries fought over the disputed Kashmir region back in 1948 and 1965, and eventually went to war again later in 1971 thanks to the civil war that developed in Pakistan. Back then, Pakistan was divided into two parts: West Pakistan, which lay to the north and west of India, and East Pakistan, which was located to the East. When the devastating cyclone struck in November 1971, and the central Pakistani government, which was situated in West Pakistan, failed to respond adequately and effectively, those that survived the terrible storm demanded autonomy. Consequently, war broke out through the Islamic country, and refugees from both the storm and subsequent war fled into India causing a great deal of tension there.

The number of refugees that came into India grew to some 10 million, and when Pakistani war planes attacked India’s Kashmir region, the Hindu nation fought back invading both East and West Pakistan. After India occupied East Pakistan, a new nation was born as it then declared independence, and renamed itself Bangladesh. A cease fire was later declared several weeks later as what had been West Pakistan came away the loser of the war in so many ways. In addition to the formation of Bangladesh, the new nation of Pakistan emerged with the father of the recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto emerging as the new leader. How does this relate to the situation that currently exists in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma?

Well, if you read the latest article on the internet courtesy of Time Magazine, there are a number of options on the table for how to deal with this current crisis in the wake of Cyclone Nagris, which struck just six days ago across the Irawaddy Delta with its Category Four strength winds of nearly 150 mph according to reports. The storm carved a path of destruction over a 30,000 square mile area that included the city of Rangoon. Moderate to severe flooding was reported throughout the delta region as the storm has left a toll of over 23,000 people according to state media in Burma. However, a leading U.S. official in the isolated country stated late in the week that as many as 100,000 people could have been killed by the cyclone.

Yet, despite the pleas from international organizations, offers of assistance from neighboring countries such as Thailand and Qatar, and urging by both President Bush and the First Lady, Laura Bush to let aid and accompanying aid workers come in to help, the military junta, in the throes of major paranoia and xenophobia, has refused to let others in. Moreover, they have put pictures of leaders of the military regime on the boxes of aid seized from the international organizations as if to make those in the country believe that the government itself was behind the aid being delivered. Then, to top that off, the junta has decided to continue going forward with an election as if nothing happened.

The Time article questions whether an invasion of Myanmar is necessary in order for the aid to get through to those, who desperately needed. It also suggests that China, one of the few countries in the region should apply some pressure to the regime in order for it to relent and let both the aid and relief workers into the country to do the things that they have to do in order for much needed work to begin in earnest. Heads of major relief organizations fear that by the time a decision is made to invade, it may be already to late because such things as famine, starvation, and cholera as well as other waterborne diseases may well have a significant effect by then. The junta is already using the aid as bait to entice survivors to vote “yes” in the referendum that took place on Saturday. In addition, resources needed to handle the ongoing crisis has been diverted to help with the election.

Last fall, there was unrest and uprisings in the Southeast Asian country that were put down forcefully by the dictatorship there, and perhaps the response by the junta in the wake of this devastating storm was its way of getting rid of those, who stand in opposition to its rule so that it could stay in power. You could even say that what has occurred there is genocide, or mass murder. Bottom line though, the sand in the hour glass is running out, and more lives are being lost every day. Somebody has to act, and the time is now.

05.09.08

Myanmar Dictatorship Criticized For Poor Response To Crisis In Wake Of Cyclone

Posted in Indian Ocean at 12:18 pm by gmachos

During the day on Thursday, the United Nations took the opportunity to criticize the military junta in power in the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar, or Burma. The dictatorships poor preparation, ignorance, and response to the cyclone before, during, and after it hit the Irrawaddy Delta region of that nation, has been taken to task by the United Nations. The international body called the actions by the Myanmar government, “unprecedented” and now is pulling its aid from the World Food program after members of the military regime in Burma seized supplies. Don’t be surprised if there is major chaos in this country in terms of a revolt or rebellion against the government in light of these recent events.

As stated several times earlier this week, the Myanmar government had to quell uprisings during the fall, and have imprisoned opponents, or placed them under house arrest. The elements are there for something dramatic to happen. More importantly as far as the world as a whole is concerned including the United States is that this disaster couldn’t have happened at a worse time with oil prices reaching $125 per barrel, and food shortages around the world that have contributed to instability in places such as Haiti, South Africa, and places in Asia. Myanmar is a major rice producer, and stores such as Costco or Sams Club have already placed limits on the amount of rice to buy while countries such as Thailand have pushed to create a consortium of rice producing countries similar to that of OPEC for oil in order to control prices on rice.

Flood Watch Out For Much Of East Including New Jersey

Posted in General, GWC News, Storm Warning at 12:09 pm by gmachos

Good morning everyone. After several nice days to start the week here in the Central Jersey area, the skies grew cloudy on Thursday with some showers during the day, and then after a brief respite, heavy rains kicked in during the evening and overnight. Add to that the prospect of more of the same on Friday with some possible thunderstorms, and you have a recipe for flooding. As a result, the National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for the region.

Looking at the latest data from the GWC WX Station here in South Plainfield, there has already been 0.06 inches of rain on Thursday night, and 0.26 inches on Friday for a current storm total of 0.32 inches. So far during the month of May, there has been a total of 0.41 inches of rainfall while there was 2.93 inches in April. Currently, the Flood Watch stretches along the I-95 corridor from south of Washington, D.C. in Virginia through Delaware, and Eastern Pennsylvania into New Jersey and the New York City Metropolitan area. The local forecast for Central Jersey calls for a 100 percent chance of rain with amounts ranging from one to two inches during the day on Friday. Then, on Friday night, there is still a 50 percent chance of showers with possible amounts ranging between a quarter to a half an inch.

Moving on to Saturday, the skies look to be partly to mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. A slight chance of showers exists for Sunday with that becoming more likely on Sunday night with a 70 percent chance of rain. So, in a nutshell, it looks to be yet another wet and gloomy weekend for the most part. If things live up to the forecast expectation, it will be the third straight weekend of some sort of inclement weather. Returning to the weather data from here in Northwestern Middlesex County, the mean temperature from Sunday through Thursday has been above 60 degrees with the highest high during that period rising to 78 degrees while the lowest low temperature was 45 on the same day (May 6th). Consequently, the diurnal temperature range for the 6th was the highest of the week at about 33 degrees. So far this month, the average mean temperature has been 58 degrees with the mean max moving reaching 68 degrees while the mean min falling to only 48 degrees.

05.08.08

100,000 Feared Dead From Cyclone In Myanmar Repbulic

Posted in General, GWC News, Indian Ocean at 11:57 am by gmachos

Good morning everyone. I’ve continued to watch the situation over in Southeast Asia in the aftermath of the tropical cyclone that struck the Myanmar Republic on Sunday. Listening to the latest news reports from CNN as well as reading articles from various sources on the internet, I’m finding that the situation is playing out much like I had feared. Yesterday afternoon, there was an article on CNN that quoted the highest ranking official from the United States in the Myanmar Republic that stated an international relief organization estimated that as many as 100,000 people could have died from the storm as well as another 70,000 people missing.

This morning’s news revealed that the military regime in Myanmar has finally begun to let aid airplanes with food, water, and other essential supplies land. However, they have been balking at the idea of letting aid workers come in to assist with the distribution of aid as well as other things. According to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, the leading international correspondent, the problem centers around the issue of visa’s for the foreign aid workers. As a result, there was a two day delay in the process of getting aid to those who desperately need it. Amanpour went on to say that this devastating cyclone is turning into Myanmar’s Katrina. This bureaucratic blunder by the military junta is bringing flashbacks of the poor response by the U.S. government in the wake of Katrina in August and September 2005.

When you couple this with the fact that the Myanmar Republic failed to heed the warning from the Indian Meteorological Service some two days before the storm hit, you are looking at a situation that could end up causing much upheaval in that country, which has had uprisings as recently as last fall. The military has been in power there since 1962, and has put key democratic leaders, and opponents of the government either in jail, or under house arrest. This situation is becoming more and more like the aftermath of the Bangladesh cyclone in 1971.

Tri-County Red Cross Having A Major Disaster Volunteer Recruitment Drive In May

Posted in General, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety at 11:42 am by gmachos

PLAINFIELD, NJHurricaneville was recently contacted by the CEO of the Tri-County Red Cross, Nathan Rudy, and was informed that the local chapter of the Red Cross in Union, Somerset, and Middlesex counties here in New Jersey is having a major disaster volunteer recruitment drive that started on May 1st, and will go until the end of the year. By being a volunteer, you will be helping the Red Cross help those who are affected by fires as well as flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other severe weather.

According to Rudy, “We are actually working the drive all the way through December. We want to add 50 new Disaster Action Team members, 15 new Be Red Cross Ready Trainers, and to give basic disaster preparation presentations to as many people as possible.” If you are interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer, or looking for more information, please contact Nathan Rudy at: RudyN@ usa.redcross.org, or call 908-756-6414.

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »