2012 Hurricane Season Gets Even More Active in Atlantic and Pacific

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Isaac, Kirk and Leslie Race in the Atlantic This Week. Image Credit: NASA

Hurricane season has been in full swing in the Atlantic and Pacific regions in the past week, with tropical storms and hurricanes forming and waning in both major ocean regions.

Isaac Dwindles to a Tropical Depression: Haiti and Louisiana Recovering

In the Atlantic region, the much-anticipated Hurricane Isaac turned its focus to Louisiana.

The hurricane tested the new flood control system, which held up well to the storm.

At its peak, Isaac displaced 7000 people in Louisiana and caused 100,000 people to lose power across New Orleans.

This Category One storm caused 24 deaths in Haiti.

Although Isaac was the lowest intensity hurricane, its slow pace meant that the danger from flooding increased – like an unwelcome guest, Isaac refused to be ejected from the region, bringing a deluge that has finally tapered off.

Hurricane Kirk Gets Trekkies Excited

On August 31st, Hurricane Kirk strengthened to a Category Two hurricane, but it did not reach land, and quickly dissipated in the open ocean, prompting the National Hurricane Service to state that Kirk was not expected to live long and prosper.

Tropical Storm Leslie Moving to Hurricane Status

Behind Kirk and Isaac lurks Tropical Storm Leslie, which is expected to mature into hurricane status this week. Leslie is expected to move over the west side of Bermuda later this week, and it will likely bring larger waves to the U.S. East Coast as well.

Tropical Storm Tembin: A Lengthy Visitor in the Pacific

In the Pacific, Tropical Storm Tembin visited South Korea. Tembin visited Taiwan for over a week, and caused crop losses valued at $6.6 million in U.S. dollars. As Tembin moves across the Taebaek Mountain Range, it is expected to weaken.

Fast-Moving Tropical Storm Bolaven Blamed for Deaths of Fishermen

In North Korea and eastern China, Tropical Storm Bolaven moved quickly to the north. The storm made landfall on August 28th and speedily turned into an ex-tropical storm. The fast-moving storm was blamed for the deaths of twelve people, including eight fishermen.

Intensity Defines Hurricanes, Duration Spells More Damage

While Isaac was a relatively low level hurricane, the duration of the storm meant that the hurricane brought extensive rain to the areas it passed through, leading to flooding.  In the Pacific region, Tropical Storm Tembin caused a lot of property damage, in spite of the fact that its winds did not even reach hurricane status. While wind intensity defines a hurricane’s category, its ability to cause damage also depends on the speed of the hurricane. A hurricane that moves slowly across land can bring more damage than an equivalent hurricane that moves quickly.

References

ABC News. Haiti Death Toll Climbs After Tropical Storm Isaac. (2012). Accessed September 4, 2012

Rowling, R. Tropical Storm Leslie Creeps North On Course to Bermuda. (2012). Business Week. Accessed September 4, 2012

Focus Taiwan. Tembin Leaves Behind Heavy Crop, Infrastructure Damage. (2012). Accessed September 4, 2012

NASA. Hurricanes and Tropical Cyclones. (2012). Accessed September 4, 2012.

National Hurricane Center. Tropical Storm Kirk. (2012). Accessed September 3, 2012

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