This Is Super Typhoon Haiyan As Seen By Satellite

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Super Typhoon Haiyan. Click for animation.

Spare a thought for the inhabitants of the Philippines. This is Super Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the most powerful storm ever recorded. The animated colour enhanced infra red satellite imagery above is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US and it shows the storm in action. The Super Typhoon is now heading towards Vietnam and southern China.

The US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported that “maximum sustained surface winds were estimated at 160 knots to 195 knots”. That’s 184 miles per hour to 224 miles per hour. “Haiyan had winds of 190 – 195 mph at landfall, making it the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history. The previous record was held by the Atlantic’s Hurricane Camille of 1969, which made landfall in Mississippi with 190 mph winds,” stated former NOAA hurricane expert Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground on his blog.

We are already seeing a rush of reports attributing the severity of this storm to climate change. Britain’s Mirror newspaper reported on its website that “As climate change continues we should expect more devastating storms”.  A claim slammed by US weather expert and climate change sceptic Dr Ryan Maue on Twitter as the “first of many garbage articles to come”.

The fact is that it is impossible to attribute any one weather event to climate change.

Nevertheless, expect more debate on this issue and more headlines like the Mirror’s.

The attribution war begins.

The attribution war begins.

Expected track of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Courtesy: Weather Underground.

Expected track of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Courtesy: Weather Underground.

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