Superstorm statistics

Date:16 February 2013 Tags:, ,

NO. 2 most powerful IKE

Scientists use a metric called Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE) to measure the severity of a storm. IKE is based on how far out tropical-storm-force winds (63 km/h to 117 km/h) extend from the centre. Sandy’s IKE ranks second among all recorded hurricanes at landfall, behind 2003’s Hurricane Isabel. Sandy generated more than twice the energy of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

40+ Simulations

Computer models have become more accurate in predicting the paths of storms, even the dramatic swings that marked Sandy’s path. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) uses more than 40 models – simple ones run on an ordinary computer; complex ones require hours on a supercomputer. NOAA closely predicted Sandy’s route three days before landfall.

20 Oct, 8:15 PM EDT – Sandy makes US landfall

91 cm – Most snowfall, West Virginia

224 km/h – Highest wind gust, New Hampshire

32 cm – Most rainfall, Maryland

Any crisis brings out heroes, but smart heroes work in teams:

Swiftwater  Rescue Teams
These units are made up of first responders who are trained and equipped to conduct water rescues in rivers or raging floodwaters. These fire department, military and police units can spot hidden obstacles by reading water conditions, handle victims in raised litters, and pilot boats in fast currents. New York’s fire department alone deployed
30 teams.

Unwatering Teams
The US Army Corps of Engineers has speciality engineers who know how to drain floodwaters from infrastructure. New York governor Andrew Cuomo said he didn’t even know they existed before his state needed them. The teams study topography to deliver drained water to areas of natural drainage. Based in Illinois, the teams helped drain hundreds of millions of litres of water from New York City subways, tunnels and low-lying areas.

Collections Emergency Response Teams
The American Institute for Conservation operated a 24-hour hotline staffed by responders trained to assess damage and initiate salvage of cultural collections after a disaster. In Sandy’s aftermath, the volunteers assisted more than 12 non-profits and fielded calls from studio artists.

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