Probable Super Cyclone Phailin in Bengal Bay Made Landfall Earlier Tonight
This post is a courtesy of mafr’s tip. Terms: a ‘lakh’ is equal to approximately 100,000; ‘Phailin’ means ‘sapphire’. Will meteorologists and government officials link it to climate change?
From Fox News:
The Indian Metrological Department warned Cyclone Phailin was expected to remain a “very severe cyclonic storm,” with winds of up to 130 mph into Sunday before weakening as it moves inland.
The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii forecast maximum sustained winds of 167 miles per hour with gusts up to 196 miles per hour.
Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at Weather Bell, a private U.S. weather firm, said even in the best-case scenario there will be a storm surge of 20-30 feet.
A storm surge — the giant wall of water that that a cyclone blasts ashore — is the big killer in these storms, even more than winds.
Satellite images showed the cyclone filling nearly the entire Bay of Bengal, an area larger than France.
“If it’s not a record it’s really, really close,” University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy told The Associated Press. “You really don’t get storms stronger than this anywhere in the world ever. This is the top of the barrel.”
To compare to killer U.S. storms, McNoldy said Phailin is near the size of 2005?s Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,200 people and caused devastating flooding in New Orleans, but Phailin also has the wind power of 1992?s Hurricane Andrew, which had 165 mph winds at landfall in Miami.
Reuters has early coverage here: