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'Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm' Amphan Barrels Towards India, Bangladesh

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/19/extremely-severe-cyclonic-storm-amphan-barrels-towards-india-bangladesh

This shouldn’t be cyclone/hurricane season in the Northern Hemisphere.

Rapid intensification shouldn’t be happening.

Hurricanes shouldn’t be coming to a near-stop, where they can manage to intensify on relatively tiny bodies of water. Nor should they be coming to a stop over Grand Bahama Island and Abaco Island, where they destroy everything with up to 24 hours of well above category 5 winds.

This is like a toothache. It got exponentially worse, and now it’s going to get exponentially worse again. All of your cities are going to be torn down in 24 hours. All of your subways are going to be flooded out with salt water, and in time they simply won’t work at all. Also in the middle of exponential increases are tornadoes and worldwide crop damages.

By the way, an abscessed tooth is linked to blood clots breaking loose and causing heart attacks. So when are you going to fix the problem or are you going to let it get far worse and be in pain all the time, forever?

I can’t even put words to how I feel. One of the poorest areas, manufactured to be that way by colonialism, capitalism, and American corporations. Fated by its geography to be deadly during tropical storms. Like Los Angeles, it’s not meant to be settled by a large population of humans.

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Shiver me timbers, better pass out the spinach.

We really are helpless, except to clean up after.

I’m curious why you believe hurricanes shouldn’t stop, or slow to near-stop along their paths, until they weaken, and are no longer a threat? I’ve lived in a hurricane zone for 45 years, and weathered many of them. I’ve learned something new with each storm, but the condition you’ve described is not uncommon at all. An example is a tropical storm in 95 or 96 (you never forget major hurricanes, but remembering every TS, not so much), the storm entered Mobile Bay and sat there for 48 hours dumping enormous amounts of rain (46 in. in that 48 hr. period) before it finished it’s track, and downgraded over land.
Warm water availability (80F and above) is usually the main factor in determining hurricane strength and intensity. Is this body of water (Bay of Bengal) heating up faster than it has done in the past? This is happening in the Gulf of Mexico now, the water heats up earlier and cools off later, so much so, Climate Scientists are considering extending our “official hurricane season” longer than it is now.

Katrina taught us that as a storm approaches landfall, even if the intensity downgrades, the storm surge does not. Her wind speeds dropped from Cat.5 to Cat.3 at landfall in MS., but still maintained a Cat. 5 surge of up to 28 ft. in some areas.

This storm couldn’t have a worse track, the low-lands of Bangladesh will receive the most rainfall and highest storm surge, an area with historic poverty, God help them.

Large storms are more likely to come to a stop because all over the world all the time, low pressure systems are tending to be notably stronger due to more water vapor in the atmosphere and higher precipitation. The stronger lows are in general slowing the whole eastward progression of storms in temperate latitudes, and this also steers hurricanes. They’re causing more north-south air currents, more omega blocks.

The only good thing about stronger lows is that on average, the tops are being blown off of tropical storms more often. This decreases the percentage of formation of hurricanes, all other things considered. However, when the hurricanes do get optimal growth conditions, they really explode.

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“…the tops are being blown off of tropical storms more often.”

The season starts on June 1 in the Atlantic basin (I’m sure you know this), and here on the Gulf Coast we never really worried about storms until the beginning of Aug. in the past, because there was always upper atmosphere shearing winds to tear them apart like you describe. In the last 5 years those winds are more and more rare, exposing our coastline to damaging storms earlier in the season than ever before. Couple that with warmer Gulf waters earlier in the summer, and it’s truly a recipe for disaster.