Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Develop New Metric to Measure Destructive Potential of Hurricanes

26.04.2013
TIKE designed to focus on size of storms as well as duration and intensity

Researchers at Florida State University have developed a new metric to measure seasonal Atlantic tropical cyclone activity that focuses on the size of storms in addition to the duration and intensity, a measure that may prove important when considering a hurricane’s potential for death and destruction.

Just ask the survivors of Hurricane Sandy.

The 2012 hurricane was only a Category 2 storm on the often referenced Saffir-Simpson scale when it became the largest hurricane on record, killing 285 people in its path in seven different countries and becoming the second costliest in U.S. history. Likewise, Hurricane Katrina was a weaker storm than 1969’s Camille but caused much more destruction even though the two hurricanes followed essentially the same path.

The new metric, called Track Integrated Kinetic Energy (TIKE), builds on the concept of Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE) developed in 2007 to more accurately measure the destructive potential of a storm. IKE involves using kinetic energy scales with the surface stress that forces storm surge and waves and the horizontal wind loads specified by the American Society of Civil Engineers. TIKE expands the concept by accumulating IKE over the lifespan of a tropical cyclone and over all named tropical cyclones in the hurricane season.

“Representing the activity of an Atlantic hurricane season by a number is a very difficult task,” said Vasu Misra, an associate professor of meteorology in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science and FSU’s Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS). “TIKE gives a succinct picture by taking into account the number of tropical cyclones in the season, the duration of each tropical cyclone and the time history of the wind force over a large area surrounding each tropical cyclone. This makes TIKE much more reliable as an objective measure of the seasonal activity of the Atlantic hurricanes than existing metrics.”

Misra developed TIKE through a collaboration with Steven DiNapoli, a former COAPS data analyst, and Mark Powell, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration atmospheric scientist currently stationed at COAPS who created IKE with a colleague six years ago. Their paper, “The Track Integrated Kinetic Energy of the Atlantic Tropical Cyclones,” was published in the American Meteorological Society’s Monthly Weather Review.

Misra, DiNapoli and Powell calculated TIKE for each hurricane season, including all named tropical cyclones in the Atlantic from 1990 through 2011, and found larger TIKE values during La Niña conditions and warm tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature conditions. The information will help them in developing a model that can predict TIKE for an entire season — a prediction that could help emergency managers, businesses and residents with preparedness.

“I look forward to the global climate models improving enough to allow skillful predictions of storm size, which will help us predict TIKE for an upcoming season,” Powell said.

TIKE is not intended as an alternative to existing metrics but as a complimentary tool, the researchers said.

The need for more information about the potential for destruction was brought home during the 2012 season. The Integrated Kinetic Energy calculation that TIKE is based on was more than 300 terajoules for Hurricane Sandy. The figure, which represents units of energy, was the largest IKE measurement for any hurricane between 1990 and 2006.

“That means that Sandy actually had more wind forcing over a large area than Hurricane Katrina,” Misra said. “If the public was aware that this number was so high, which is an indication of the large potential for damage from storm surge and waves, some of them might have been able to make better life- and property-saving decisions.”

This research was supported by grants from NOAA, the Southeast Ecological Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Vasu Misra | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.fsu.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>