Jason Samenow's Thoughts on the Philippines Disaster

Jason Samenow is both a meteorologist and the weather editor for The Washington Post and its Capital Weather Gang. He has some insightful comments about the Philippines' disaster here.

I would add two thoughts:
  1. As we have discussed before, there is a looming crisis in U.S. weather satellites which may result in serious data gaps in the next few years. These satellites provide critical data for the computer models that forecast hurricanes in addition to every other storm. This issue came to light for a time after Sandy but has largely been forgotten. It is still an issue.
  2. Second, why do Hurricane Hunters have to be confined to the United States, especially in view of the possibility of satellite gaps? The European nations banded together to create the most successful weather modeling organization in the world. Why can't the Asian nations create a similar consortium to fly recon flights into typhoons threatening Asia? 
While the science rejects the notion that 'global warming' is causing more/worse hurricanes, sea level has been rising since the end of the Little Ice Age. Combine higher sea levels with growing coastal populations and you have the formula for more for more disasters. 

The investment in satellites and hurricane hunters is tiny compared to the lives that can be saved and the damage mitigated. Time to evaluate the risks and move quickly on these issues. 


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