Monday, December 10, 2012

Bopha & Claudia

Typhoon Bopha has mercifully disintegrated over the past couple of days thanks to hostile upper level winds in the Western Pacific and South China Sea, but not before its initial passage over Mindanao resulted in the deaths of over 600 individuals and has over 800 still missing and unaccounted for.

Bopha, which was known in the Philippines as Pablo as the island's meteorological agency has a naming system for storms that approach them, decimated agriculture across the center of Mindanao with winds to over 140 mph and several inches of rain.  Many rural Filipinos are living in plastic tent villages in areas impacted by Bopha, with their banana and coconut crops destroyed, setting this region back for at least the next couple of years.

"It will take two years to properly took that time for all my crops to grow", farmer Richard Carado told Caroline Gluck in the Huffington Post. "It will take two years to get back to how things were."

Bopha wasn't the only tropical cyclone out there this past week as Claudia also developed in the Southern Hemisphere.  Claudia, which is traversing the Indian Ocean, is far away from land areas and is spinning over open oceans, only a threat to shipping interests at this point.  Claudia is a rather potent system as maximum winds were estimated to 120 mph earlier today.  It will gradually weaken as it eventually travels to cooler waters but will not harm any land areas (thankfully...we've seen enough tropical systems do that lately).

Claudia is spinning clockwise, which is what cyclones and tropical cyclones do in the southern hemisphere, so the image looks backwards if you are not used to seeing many tropical cyclones look like that.