Category Archives: Tropical

How accurate was the forecast for Hurricane Michael?

Five days in advance of Hurricane Michael’s landfall, the National Hurricane Center forecast showed the storm making landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, with 80 mph winds, just above Category 1 hurricane force.

As we all know by now, the storm lashed the coast with winds in the 155-mph range, or strong Category 4 intensity. Continue reading

Category: Severe Weather, Tropical, Weather Dangers

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What’s up with all the wild weather?

Another week of destructive weather around our country culminated in the passage of Hurricane Maria over the island of Puerto Rico on Wednesday of last week. Some of the rainfall totals from automated stations on the island were of truly biblical proportions.

Though still subject to verification and a check on accuracy, 12.20 inches of rain fell in one hour at Gurabo Abajo, one of several stations on the southwest side of El Yunque, the high mountainous area in the northeast. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Seasons, Tropical

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What are the leading threats from hurricanes?

With all the news about hurricanes over the past couple of weeks we’ve been asked a lot of questions about the various threats posed by these storms.

Hurricane Harvey is a clear example of the damage that long-duration heavy rains can inflict. Hurricane Irma provides an example of the destructive power of the winds associated with these storms. Continue reading

Category: Severe Weather, Tropical, Weather Dangers

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Is UW-Madison involved in hurricane forecasting?

Hurricane Harvey is the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma hit Florida in October 2005.

Harvey made landfall early Saturday morning as a Category 4 storm with estimated sustained winds of 130 mph and gusts to 150 mph. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Tropical

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How are hurricane intensities measured?

An obvious hurricane threat is its powerful wind, which can blow in a single spot for many hours.

Wind damage is such a hallmark of hurricanes that hurricane intensities are classified by meteorologists using the Saffir–Simpson scale, which rates hurricanes on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the damage their winds would cause upon landfall. Continue reading

Category: Meteorology, Severe Weather, Tropical

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