is a Typhoon or Tropical cyclone?
The term "typhoon" are regionally specific
names for a strong "tropical cyclone". A
tropical cyclone is the generic term for a non-frontal synoptic scale
low-pressure system over tropical or sub-tropical waters with organized
convection (i.e. thunderstorm activity) and definite cyclonic surface wind
Tropical cyclones with
maximum sustained surface winds
of less than 17 m/s (34 kt, 39 mph)
are called "tropical depressions". (This is not to be confused with the
condition mid-latitude people get during a long, cold and grey winter
wishing they could be closer to the equator ;-)) Once the tropical cyclone
reaches winds of at least 17 m/s they are typically called a "tropical
storm" and assigned a name. If winds reach 33 m/s (64 kt, 74 mph)), then
they are called: a "hurricane" (the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast
Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific Ocean east of
160E); a "typhoon" (the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline); a
"severe tropical cyclone" (the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160E or
Southeast Indian Ocean east of 90E); a "severe cyclonic storm" (the North
Indian Ocean); and a "tropical cyclone" (the Southwest Indian Ocean).
that just the definition of
"maximum sustained surface winds" depends upon who is
taking the measurements. The World Meteorology Organization guidelines
suggest utilizing a 10 min average to get a sustained measurement. Most
countries utilize this as the standard. However the National Hurricane
Center (NHC) and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) of the USA use a
1 min averaging period to get sustained winds. This difference may provide
complications in comparing the statistics from one basin to another as
using a smaller averaging period may slightly raise the number of
What is a
"Super-typhoon" is a term utilized by
the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center for typhoons that reach maximum
sustained 1-minute surface winds of at least 65 m/s (130 kt, 150 mph).
This is the equivalent of a strong
Saffir-Simpson category 4 or category 5
hurricane in the Atlantic basin or a
severe tropical cyclone in the Australian basin.
Typhoons are undoubtedly one of
the mightiest and most devastating forces of nature. They travel great
distances and last long enough in the atmosphere to wreck a path of fear
and destruction in their wake.
Some of the dangers associated with typhoons are:
Storm surge is a large dome of water often 50 to 100 miles wide that
sweeps across the coastline near where a typhoon makes landfall. The
stronger the typhoon and the shallower the offshore water, the higher
the surge will be. Along the immediate coast, storm surge is the
greatest threat to life and property.
- Widespread torrential rains can produce deadly and destructive floods.
Typhoon force winds can destroy poorly constructed buildings and other
structures. Debris become flying missiles in typhoons. Strong gusts can
down trees and power lines causing massive disruption.
Weather Advisories and Warnings
Malaysian Meteorological Service maintains a constant vigilance on the
weather throughout the year. During the "typhoon season", monitoring
efforts are intensified as the position and behavior of all typhoons in
the western North Pacific region are meticulously tracked. This
information forms an integral part of the flight weather information
provided to the aviation and shipping sectors.
different categories of weather statements, outlooks, advisories and
warnings issued to the mass media are:
Advisories - issued when there is a possibility of heavy rainfall
occurrence within 24 to 48 hours.
Warning - issued when latest information received indicate that heavy
rainfall is expected.
Strong Wind and
Rough Sea Advisories - issued when there is a possibility of strong wind
and rough seas within Malaysian waters within 24 to 48 hours.
Strong Wind and
Rough Seas Warnings - issued when latest information received indicate
that strong wind and rough seas are expected.
Listen to the radio
and television for regular broadcasts of weather bulletins and other
measures to avoid possible damage or loss of life due to flooding if a
tropical storm develops or moves into your vicinity.
When driving in
highland areas under torrential rain, watch out for landslips.
If a tropical storm
is expected to hit your area, secure all loose objects that could be
blown away by strong winds.
Avoid going out to
sea when a tropical storm or typhoon approaches.
Prepare to evacuate if you live in
coastal areas or near river banks.
Beware of Post-Typhoon Hazards
and furniture, combined with dirt and a humid environment, can create
another problem -- mold. Although most people are not affected, those with
allergies can develop asthma-like symptoms.
"Hygiene is very important," says Dr. A.J. Smith, an ophthalmologist.
"Whatever allergens near the face and eyes need to be flushed out. I would
just encourage almost seemingly excessive hygiene for your eyes and face,
and seek attention if it doesn't resolve by a day or two."
Residents can use a 10 percent bleach solution in water to clean and
sanitize walls and some furniture, although it's also likely to discolor
fabric, said Jim McFerran, sales and service manager for Advance
Management. Whatever towel, sponges, and other items you clean with should
be sealed in a trash bag and thrown away, and the clothes you wear when
cleaning should be washed in hot water, if possible.
"For carpet cleaning, you want a professional to do it. Anything a normal
person could do would be less effective and not long-term," he said. "If
mold is already there, we can use certain commercial chemicals and steam
cleaning, which also kills the mold."
McFerran said his office has received many calls from people trying to
rescue their carpets. He said they can expect to pay up to 40 cents per
square foot to have a carpet cleaned.
"The No. 1 thing we tell our customers is that if the carpet is wet, get
the furniture off of it or put something, anything between the two," he
"Don't wait. The natural matter or stain from the wood will be leached
into the carpet, and it won't come out."