Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Super Typhoon Haiyan

Since Lubos is busy posting his usual nonsense, let me just say a few words about Haiyan. It was likely the strongest hurricane to make landfall at peak strength, and surely one of the most powerful ever documented. Some supposedly stronger winds have been recorded, but they all seem to be from the era before good measurements were possible. Central pressures were not measured, but are plausibly close to the lowest ever.

Some numbers and discussion from Jeff Mastershere.

It's devastating impact was due to a combination size, extreme strength at landfall, and a vulnerable target with lots of people. Storms of comparable strength are known, but they were mostly fish storms, losing peak intensity before making landfall or not making landfall at all.