Saturday, September 15, 2018

While The Deplorables roll back environmental regulation
   Tropical cyclones (aka hurricanes and typhoons)
   wreak havoc on Atlantic and Pacific coastlines

All the storms indicated in the map above are tropical cyclones. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; while in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

The Northwestern Pacific Basin is the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth, accounting for almost one-third of the world's annual tropical cyclones. There are no official typhoon seasons as tropical cyclones form throughout the year. While the majority of storms form between June and November, a few storms do occur between December and May.

Like other basins, typhoons are steered by the subtropical ridge towards the west or northwest, with some systems recurving near and east of Japan. The Philippines receive the brunt of the landfalls, with China and Japan being impacted slightly less. Some of the deadliest typhoons in history have struck China. Southern China has the longest record of typhoon impacts with a thousand-year sample via documents within their archives. Taiwan has received the wettest known typhoon on record.

Despite the impacts of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas reported in the American news media this morning, as indicated on the September 13 map above the most dangerous cyclone in mid-September 2018 is Super Typhoon Mangkhut. As noted in The New York Times Typhoon Mangkhut Wreaks Havoc in Philippines, Leaving at Least 16 Dead with the death toll expected to rise as recovery begins.

Named after the Thai word for mangosteen fruit (not to be confused with the mango), Super Typhoon Mangkhut was the equivalent to a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane.  (When ripe the fruit of the purple mangosteen is sweet and tangy, juicy, like the flesh of citrus fruits, with an inedible, deep reddish-purple colored rind.)

Mangkhut currently is headed for the coast of China - more specifically Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and several other major cities in the Pearl River Delta metropolitan region of Guangdong Province, which make up the most populated area in the world. Forecasts indicate that Mangkhut will reduce a Category 2 storm when it comes ashore, possibly near Maoming, a big petrochemicals center.

Still, it's hard to ignore a headline like this:

The purpose of this post is simply to remind us that while a disaster-level Atlantic cyclone has come ashore on the East Coast of the United States, a disaster-level Pacific cyclone is endangering a region of 110 million people in China and has already killed people, likely dozens, in the Philippines.

Also if you are curious, which many Republicans aren't, you might find this story interesting How climate change could cause more mega-storms like Super Typhoon Mangkhut and Hurricane Florence. Or maybe you're one of the Deplorable Trumpists in the Carolinas and, with pride before you drown, would prefer to follow Harvard Law's Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker.