Tuesday September 10th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
More Human Cost Behind A CAT 5, Strengthened By Climate Change, Hurricane
It’s been a couple of days since Hurricane Dorian’s last final destructive act in the Canadian Maritimes. The world is now coming to grip with what Dorian did to Grand Bahama Island and Freeport when the thing stalled over the island as a CAT 4/5 hurricane. I contend that fact that A) the hurricane attaining top winds of 185 mph at its zenith and B) the hurricane slowing and stalling where it did in the Bahamas are climate change signatures. We should get some expert analysis soon involving attribution. So, what are the real life consequences of all this? There is plenty to contemplate.
In a cooler world, say that of the 1970s in which Hurricane David paralleled Florida, we saw a system that did not stall and only retained CAT 1-2 status on a similar path. Still, Hispaniola and the Dominican Republic in particular, got a body slam from David when that system was at CAT 5 strength, so these strong Atlantic hurricanes are not unprecedented. I do contend, though, trying to make some sense, that due to a warming atmosphere and ocean more CAT 5’s will become more common, affect areas farther to the north, and like last year with Michael, occur later in the season.
Florida escaped Dorian by just a hair both geographically and meteorologically. I fear that what has been built up on the Florida Peninsula won’t be sustainable for too much longer.
Well, none of this academic discussion matters to people from the Bahamas that survived Dorian. Here is one such story as related by Desdemona Despair:
Humanitarian crisis unfolds in hurricane-stricken Bahamas – “What we are hearing lends credence to the fact that this has been a catastrophic storm and a catastrophic impact”
Aerial view of boats littering the area around a marina in the Bahamas on Monday, 2 September 2019, after they were tossed around by Hurricane Dorian. The storm pounded away at the islands in a watery onslaught that devastated thousands of homes, trapped people in attics and chased others from one shelter to another. At least five deaths were reported. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard Station Clearwater / AP
By Ramon Espinosa, Dánica Coto, and Michael Weissenstein
3 September 2019
FREEPORT, Bahamas (AP) – Practically parking over the Bahamas for a day and a half, Hurricane Dorian pounded away at the islands Tuesday in a watery onslaught that devastated thousands of homes, trapped people in attics and crippled hospitals. At least five deaths were reported, with the full extent of the damage far from clear.
The United Nations and the International Red Cross began mobilizing to deal with the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of the most powerful hurricane on record ever to hit the Bahamas.
Dorian’s punishing winds and torrential rain battered the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, which have a combined population of about 70,000 and are known for their marinas, golf courses and all-inclusive resorts. The Grand Bahama airport was under 6 feet (2 meters) of water.
Bahamian officials received a “tremendous” number of calls from people in flooded homes, and desperate callers trying to find loved ones left messages with local radio stations. […]
Cars are submerged in floodwaters from Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Bahamas, Tuesday, 3 September 2019. Dorian inched northwestward after being stationary over the Bahamas, where its relentless winds have caused catastrophic damage and flooding. Photo: Ramon Espinosa / AP Photo
Red Cross spokesman Matthew Cochrane said more than 13,000 houses, or about 45 percent of the homes in Grand Bahama and Abaco, were believed to have been severely damaged or destroyed. U.N. officials said more than 60,000 people on the hard-hit islands will need food, and the Red Cross said some 62,000 will need clean drinking water.
The Red Cross authorized a half-million dollars for the first wave of disaster relief, Cochrane said.
“What we are hearing lends credence to the fact that this has been a catastrophic storm and a catastrophic impact,” he said. […]
NASA satellite imagery through Monday night showed spots in the Bahamas where Dorian had dumped as much as 35 inches (89 centimeters) of rain, said private meteorologist Ryan Maue.
The Bahamas’ health minister said that Dorian devastated the health infrastructure on Grand Bahama and that severe flooding rendered the main hospital there unusable.
Julia Aylen wades through waist deep water carrying her pet dog as she is rescued from her flooded home during Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Bahamas, Tuesday, 3 September 2019. Practically parking over the Bahamas for a day and a half, Dorian pounded away at the islands Tuesday in a watery onslaught that devastated thousands of homes, trapped people in attics and crippled hospitals. Photo: Tim Aylen / AP Photo
Sands said the main hospital in Marsh Harbor in the Abaco islands was intact and sheltering 400 people but in need of food, water, medicine and surgical supplies. He said crews were trying to airlift five to seven kidney failure patients from Abaco who had not received dialysis since Friday.
Across the stricken islands, choppy brown floodwaters reached roofs and the tops of palm trees. Parliament member Iram Lewis said he feared waters would keep rising and stranded people would lose contact with officials as their cellphone batteries died.
“It is scary,” he said, adding that people were moving from one shelter to another as floodwaters kept surging. “We’re definitely in dire straits.”
Since the above story was published more than 50 people have been reported killed, and I fear that totals will be in the hundreds just like in the aftermath of what we saw in association with Maria in 2017, another strong hurricane. Of course as expected, we now have more “climate refugees” trying to escape by migrating to Florida, but politically Trump is holding up many applications. Such a shame.
In the long run over the course of the rest of this century and beyond we will see if CAT 4/5 hurricanes in the Atlantic become so common that people can’t live in the Caribbean, Bahamas or Florida in present day infrastructure, not to mention the threat from higher seas. Perhaps as has been the case in the Far East people will adapt, building very strong buildings to withstand 180+ mph hurricanes. In the meantime struggle with much suffering will rule the day.
Please help those who are struggling from the aftermath of these monster storms during this transitional period in which nature will dictate change.
Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
Here are some very eye opening “ETs” from Tuesday:
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Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”