Tropical Cyclone Ana is on a direct course for Hawaii, and may yet slam into the island chain, as Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie declared a State of Emergency for the Hawaiian Islands. This was how yesterday’s headline read, as the course and trajectory of Tropical Cyclone Ana were still a topic of debate among weather forecasters. The different trajectory models had it traveling on a more Northeastern trajectory that it actually took. As it happened, the eye of the cyclone missed Hawaii.
What a difference a day makes, as the Tropical Cyclone stayed south of the main island chain, with sustained winds of 80 mph recorded. Tropical Cyclone Ana passed within 150 miles of the main island of Hawaii, and is forecast to maintain its current northwest trajectory. Tropical Cyclone Ana will decrease in intensity as a ridge of high pressure moves into the area from the north on Sunday, pushing the now Tropical Storm westward.
In a press release, Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie declared a state of emergency in Hawaii on Oct.15, in advance of Tropical Cyclone Ana making landfall. The Emergency Proclamation grants the State of Hawaii specific rights to access State and Federal emergency resource funds to deal with the devastation caused by this severe weather system. With the current trajectory of Tropical Cyclone Ana taking the storm in a northwest direction, the damages will be less than expected.
Gov. Abercrombie stated at the time that it was now time to prepare for Ana, allowing Hawaii to, “respond quickly” to any likely repercussions related to the storm. He indicated that all Hawaiians should “prepare for Ana.” The Governors Emergency Proclamation covers a period of 10 days, from Oct.14 through Oct. 24, 2014.
A Tropical Cyclone is called by a number of different names, depending on which region of the world you reside in. A Tropical Cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean is termed a “Hurricane”, as well as in the Northern and Eastern portions of the Pacific Ocean. In the Southwest Pacific Ocean, as well as the southeast Indian Ocean, a Tropical Cyclone is referred to as a Severe Tropical Cyclone. It is called a Typhoon in the Western Pacific Ocean, in and around Japan, while in the North Indian Ocean it is referred to as a Severe Cyclonic Storm.
Essentially, there is no difference between a Hurricane or a Typhoon or a Tropical Cyclone, as most meteorologists are quick to point out. All of these storms refer to a storm with maximum sustained wind speeds of over 74 mph. When wind speeds in these storms exceed 110 mph, the terms “major” and “severe” and “mega” are often added to the equation, but only elsewhere, not in the U.S.
Climate Change scientists are indicating that the effects of man-made Global Warming are a contributing factor to the amount and intensity of recent mega storms such as these. The theory goes like this; if the temperature of the air has become warmer because of carbon emissions, (a man-made issue) then it would follow that the temperature of the water in the Earths Ocean will increase, leading to more and stronger storms of this nature. According to a study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC), wind speeds associated with storms of this nature are, “likely to increase,” adding, “increases may not occur in all ocean basins.”
The State of Emergency declared by Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie was made in advance of the Tropical Cyclone Ana reaching the shores of the island chain, when it was actually just a Tropical Storm. Regardless of the fact that the cyclone missed hitting the island chain directly this proclamation was the best way for all Hawaiians to prepare for the event, which did increase to the perceived storm levels indicated.
By Jim Donahue
The Weather Channel – Hurricane Ana
The Weather Channel – What’s the Difference Between a Hurricane and a Typhoon?
Gov. of Hawaii