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SHAKE AND BLOW
Stronger, more frequent tropical cyclones ahead: study
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) July 08, 2013


Erick leaves one dead, three missing in Mexico
Mexico City (AFP) July 09, 2013 - Tropical storm Erick has been downgraded to a tropical depression off Mexico's Pacific coast after leaving at least one person dead and three missing, authorities said late Monday.

Erick, which reached the level of a category one hurricane on Saturday, also left 5,000 people homeless in the western state of Nayarit.

The body of a 44-year-old man was found Sunday after he was apparently swept away by the Indio River, according to the state civil protection director, Matin Tapia.

Authorities are searching for three other people in the area of Xalisco, which was hardest hit as the river swelled to as much as six meters (20 feet) more than its normal level.

Although Erick never made landfall its fierce winds and rain left around 5,000 people homeless, Tapia said.

Erick was downgraded to a tropical depression Monday as it continued to churn off the Pacific coast, along Baja California, the National Weather Service said.

It is moving at a speed of 30 to 40 kilometers per hour (18-24 miles per hour) with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour, and causing waves of up to four meters.

Tropical Storm Chantal heads towards the Caribbean
Miami, United States (AFP) July 09, 2013 - Tropical Storm Chantal barrelled toward the Lesser Antilles islands in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday on its way to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the US National Hurricane Center reported.

As of o600 GMT Chantal was located about 250 kilometers (155 miles) east of Barbados packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers (50 miles) per hour, the NHC said.

The storm is moving in a northwesterly direction at 43 kilometers per hour (26 mph).

Chantal's center will sweep through the Lesser Antilles later Tuesday morning and into the eastern Caribbean, and approach the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, the hurricane center said.

Besides Puerto Rico and the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, tropical storm warnings are in effect for the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, as well as for Barbados, Dominica and Santa Lucia, the NHC said.

Chantal is expected to strengthen during the next 48 hours.

It is also expected to dump two to four inches of rain over the Leeward and Windward Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, with maximum amounts of six inches possible, the NHC said.

Poverty-stricken Haiti, which is still recovering from a devastating earthquake in January 2010, is especially prone to landslides triggered by heavy rain.

The world typically sees about 90 tropical cyclones a year, but that number could increase dramatically in the next century due to global warming, a US scientist said Monday.

Rising greenhouse gas emissions could lead to a 10 to 40 percent increase in the frequency of tropical cyclones by the year 2100, said prominent climate scientist Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Those storms could be up to 45 percent more intense, making landfall 55 percent stronger -- a "substantial" increase, said the research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Stronger storm surges, winds and rain would likely be felt most acutely in the southern Indian Ocean, North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean, and could raise risks of damage in coastal areas, he said.

Satellite data has shown that cyclones -- which are rotating systems of clouds and thunderstorms -- have remained relatively consistent in frequency and power over the past 40 years.

But he projected a steady uptick in the future using six different climate models combined with forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which predicts carbon dioxide emissions will about triple by 2100.

Tropical cyclones can bring heavy rains and winds, and vary in potency from tropical depression to tropical storm to hurricane.

The Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico typically see about six hurricanes and 11 tropical storms per year, while the Pacific Ocean gets about 10 hurricanes and 19 tropical storms, according to US government ocean monitors.

Cyclones form in areas where there is warm deep water and cool humid air. Wind over the water pushes thermal heat upward, causing the warming air to circle and get stronger.

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SHAKE AND BLOW
Erick weakens to tropical storm off Mexico coast
Mexico City (AFP) July 07, 2013
Hurricane Erick was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday after losing some of its punch without having touched land. At 1800 GMT, Erick was about 245 miles (395 kilometers) southeast of the southern tip of Baja California, according to the Miami based National Hurricane Center. "Gradual weakening is forecast over the next 48 hours," the NHC said. Maximum sustained winds for Erick ... read more


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