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    MTS Houston lunch will hear talk about impact of hurricanes

    Organisations and Associations // November 15, 2012

    The next Marine Technology Society Houston Section luncheon will be held on December 6 and will feature a presentation by Jill Hasling, President of the Weather Research Center on Supersized Hurricanes and what they could mean to the Gulf of Mexico.

    Her presentation will address whether the number of super-size hurricanes is increasing and what would the impact of a hurricane the size of Sandy be on offshore Gulf of Mexico operations.

    Research at Weather Research Center has shown that 'size matters' when it comes to the impact of hurricanes.

    The Gulf of Mexico has never recorded a hurricane the size of Sandy. Sandy had sustained winds of tropical storm force that extended out 480 nautical miles, sustained winds of 50 knots that extended out over 200 nautical miles and sustained winds of hurricane force winds that extended out 200 nautical miles.

    Compare this to recent Gulf of Mexico hurricanes such as Hurricane Ivan 2004, Katrina 2005, Rita 2005 and Ike 2008 with the hurricane force winds extending out 90, 90, 75, and 110 nautical miles.

    Hurricane Sandy demonstrated that waves can cause the most devastating damage. With a fetch of over 300 nautical miles, Hurricane Sandy caused significant waves of 32.5ft at buoys off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

    Another element of the hurricane to consider is the central pressure which might be a better indication of the impact of the damage than the maximum sustained winds.
    Hurricane Ike, Isaac, and Sandy, all had significantly lower maximum sustained winds than the central pressures would have indicated.

    Hurricane Sandy’s lowest central pressure was 940 mbs, which could have caused maximum sustained winds of 119 kts; and Hurricane Ike’s lowest central pressure was 944 mbs, which could have caused winds of 116 knots.

    The damage from these hurricanes seems to indicate that the hurricanes were stronger than the maximum sustained winds indicated.

    Are there cycles in the hurricane climatology for the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico? If so are we in for more supersized hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and how long into the future could this cycle of large and intense hurricanes last?

    These are taxing and difficult questions to answer. But for anyone operating in the Gulf of Mexico, they are questions that need to be addressed and will be discussed at this luncheon on December 6.

    The luncheon will be held at the Pelazzio, 12121 Westheimer, Houston 77077. Register online at The cost is $30 for MTS members and $40 for non members with payment in advance. Lunch sign in begins at 11:30 am the day of the event and meetings conclude at 1:00 pm

    Jill F Hasling is President of Weather Research Center and Director of The John C Freeman Weather Museum. She became a Board Certified Consulting Meteorologist [CCM] of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in 1992 and Fellow of the Society in 2000. 

    She is one of the few women Fellows of the American Meteorological Society and has worked in meteorology since 1974 as a programmer, forecaster, researcher and forensic meteorologist. 

    She founded Weather Research Center with her father, Dr John C Freeman, in 1987 and continued her work of training young meteorologists in the art of marine and tropical weather forecasting.


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