To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of tropical revolving storms? (40 marker)
A tropical revolving storm is a term that covers hurricanes, tropical cyclones, typhoons and willy-willies. These intense low-pressure weather systems are associated with catastrophic wind speeds averaging at 120kmph and torrential rainfall. Tropical revolving storms are huge and extremely violent extending to about 500km in diameter. They occur in the tropics and the sub-tropics and form over the oceans where sea surface temperatures are above 27’C. Tropical storms are natural hazards, a natural event brought about by weather or climate that threatens life and property, and therefore cannot be prevented, however there are methods that can mitigate the impacts. The effects of these storms can be devastating. Examples of major natural disasters caused by these storms are Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Tropical Cyclone Nargis in 2008 and two methods that are helping to mitigate the effects of tropical revolving storms in the future are preparedness and planning.
The impacts can vary in severity due to a range of human and physical factors. Human factors include how urbanised the area affected is, as built up cities tend to have impermeable surfaces which increases run-off and therefore worsens the floods that occur. Torrential rain and flooding, along with storm surges and strong winds, are all hazards posed by tropical revolving storms. These hazards, similar to the storm, are inevitable and cannot be stopped from occurring but methods can take place to try and reduce the impacts. Physical factors are out of our control. The size of the storm affects how widespread the impacts are, as well as the duration of the storm and the intensity of the storm, also affecting certain areas. Preparation and preparedness are not the only methods that can be carried out. Monitoring and forecasting with the use of satellites and radar create computer models based...
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