Case studies – weather and climate and associated hazards

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Case studies – weather and climate and associated hazards

Case study - The great storm of 1987:

·         One of the most severe storms of recent times occurred during the early hours of 16th October 198 7

·         A small but intense depression formed over the bay of Biscay and moved rapidly northwards during 15th October

·         The storm intensified as it crossed the English channel and moved across southern England and the midlands before reaching the Humber estuary

·         Warnings for heavy rain had been issued during the evening, and at 1.35 am the Met office sent a warning to the ministry of defence fearing a major disaster that could require military assistance

·         Winds gusted to over 100 mph as the storm tore across the southeast England, killing 18 people

·         15 million trees were blown down, falling on houses, cars, railways and trains

·         Blocked roads stopped thousands of people from getting to work or school

·         Power lines were brought down, leaving thousands of homes without electricity

·         The scale of the damage was tremendous

·         Short-term responses were largely focused on a massive clear up operation

·         Trees had to be cleared from roads, damage houses had to be repaired and power lines re-connected

·         It took several days, and in some cases weeks before schools, businesses and the country’s infrastructure were operating normally

·         The Met Office carried out a review following some criticism that it had not predicted the sheer scale of the storm

·         Following the review, the Met Office improved the quality and quantity of it weather observations from ships, aircraft, buoys and satellites, particularly over the sea to the south and west of the UK

·         Computer models were refined to improve forecasting

·         The great storm of 1987 was an exceptional event, with an occurrence interval of about once every 200 years – prior to 1987, the last recorded storm of such intensity was in 1703

Case study – reducing the impacts of tropical cyclones in Bangladesh

·         Tropical cyclones are a real threat in Bangladesh

·         In 1970, the Bhola cyclone killed up to 500000 people

·         In 1991, some 138000 people were killed by another deadly cyclone

·         In response to these deadly events a number of initiatives were introduced:

o   Tropical cyclones are monitored, with warning issues over TV, radio and internet

o   In remote village…

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