Landfall

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Hurricane Maria losing its characteristic structure after making landfall in Puerto Rico Maria FT 20170920 0715 UTC.gif
Hurricane Maria losing its characteristic structure after making landfall in Puerto Rico

Landfall is the event of a storm moving over land after being over water. More broadly, and in relation to human travel, it refers to 'the first land that is reached or seen at the end of a journey across the sea or through the air, or the fact of arriving there. [1]

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Tropical cyclone

Typhoon Hagibis making both of its landfalls in Japan Hagibis 2019 both landfalls.gif
Typhoon Hagibis making both of its landfalls in Japan

A tropical cyclone is classified as making landfall when the center of the storm moves across the coast; in a relatively strong tropical cyclone this is when the eye moves over land. [2] This is where most of the damage occurs within a mature tropical cyclone, such as a typhoon or hurricane, as most of the damaging aspects of these systems are concentrated near the eyewall. Such effects include the peaking of the storm surge, the core of strong winds coming ashore, and heavy flooding rains. These coupled with high surf can cause major beach erosion. When a tropical cyclone makes landfall, the eye usually closes in upon itself due to negative environmental factors over land, such as friction with the terrain , which causes surf to decrease, and drier continental air. Maximum sustained winds will naturally decrease as the cyclone moves inland due to frictional differences between water and land with the free atmosphere. [3]

Landfall is distinct from a direct hit. A direct hit is where the core of high winds (or eyewall) comes onshore but the center of the storm may stay offshore. The effects of this may be quite similar to a landfall, as this term is used when the radius of maximum wind within a tropical cyclone moves ashore. [4] These effects are high surf, heavy rains that may cause flooding, minor storm surge, coastal erosion, high winds, and possibly severe thunderstorms with tornadoes around the periphery.

Hurricane Isaias making landfall in North Carolina Hurricane Isaias at US landfall.gif
Hurricane Isaias making landfall in North Carolina

Storms, e.g., tropical cyclones, can be quite large. Potentially, dangerous winds, rain and flooding may impact an area near the center of the storm, though technically landfall may not have occurred. Accordingly, it may be helpful to gauge the anticipated impact of such storms, to be aware of their general location and landmasses adjacent to the major thrust of the storm.

Tornado or waterspout

When a tornadic waterspout makes landfall it is reclassified as a tornado, [5] which can subsequently cause damage to areas inland. When a fair weather waterspout makes landfall it usually dissipates quickly due to friction and a reduction in the amount of warm air supplied to the funnel. [6]

See also

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Hurricane Ophelia (2005)

Hurricane Ophelia was the fifteenth named tropical cyclone and the eighth hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was a long-lived storm that was most memorable for its very erratic and extremely slow track off the East Coast of the United States, alternating several times between tropical storm and hurricane intensity.

Hurricane Danny (1997) Category 1 Atlantic hurricane

Hurricane Danny was the only hurricane to make landfall in the United States during the 1997 Atlantic hurricane season, and the second hurricane and fourth tropical storm of the season. The system became the earliest-formed fifth tropical or subtropical storm of the Atlantic season in history when it attained tropical storm strength on July 17, and held that record until the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season when Tropical Storm Emily broke that record by several days. Like the previous four tropical or subtropical cyclones of the season, Danny had a non-tropical origin, after a trough spawned convection that entered the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Danny was guided northeast through the Gulf of Mexico by two high pressure areas, a rare occurrence in the middle of July. After making landfall on the Gulf Coast, Danny tracked across the southeastern United States and ultimately affected parts of New England with rain and wind.

Tropical Storm Arlene (2005) Atlantic tropical storm in 2005

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Tropical Storm Alberto (2006) Atlantic tropical cyclone

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Tropical Storm Helene (2000)

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Severe weather

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Glossary of tropical cyclone terms Wikipedia glossary

The following is a glossary of tropical cyclone terms.

Tropical Storm Beryl (2012) Atlantic tropical storm in 2012

Tropical Storm Beryl was the strongest off-season Atlantic tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in the United States. The second tropical cyclone of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, Beryl developed on May 26 from a low-pressure system offshore North Carolina. Initially subtropical, the storm slowly acquired tropical characteristics as it tracked across warmer sea surface temperatures and within an environment of decreasing vertical wind shear. Late on May 27, Beryl transitioned into a tropical cyclone less than 120 miles (190 km) from North Florida. Early the following day, the storm moved ashore near Jacksonville Beach, Florida, with peak winds of 65 mph (100 km/h). It quickly weakened to a tropical depression, dropping heavy rainfall while moving slowly across the southeastern United States. A cold front turned Beryl to the northeast, and the storm became extratropical on May 30.

Hurricane Sergio (2018) Category 4 Pacific hurricane

Hurricane Sergio was a powerful and long-lived tropical cyclone that affected the Baja California Peninsula as a tropical storm which caused significant flooding throughout southern Texas. Forming in late September 2018, Sergio became the eighth Category 4 hurricane in the 2018 Pacific Hurricane Season, breaking the old record of seven set by Hurricane Olaf from the 2015 Pacific Hurricane Season, which formed in mid-October. As the twentieth named storm, eleventh hurricane, and ninth major hurricane of the season, Sergio originated from a disturbance that was located over northwestern South America on September 24. The National Hurricane Center monitored the disturbance for several days as the system organized into a tropical storm on September 29. Sergio gradually strengthened for the next couple of days as it traveled west-southwestward, becoming a hurricane on October 2. The storm then turned towards the northwest as it underwent rapid intensification and an eyewall replacement cycle, before peaking as a Category 4 hurricane on October 4, with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph (220 km/h). The hurricane maintained peak intensity for 12 hours before undergoing a second eyewall replacement and turning towards the southwest. The system then began another period of intensification, achieving a secondary peak with winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) on October 6. The next day, Sergio began a third eyewall replacement cycle, falling below major hurricane strength. At the same time, the system unexpectedly assumed some annular characteristics. Over the next few days, the cyclone curved from the southwest to the northeast, weakening into a tropical storm on October 9. Sergio made landfall as a tropical storm on October 12 on the Baja California Peninsula, and later in northwestern Mexico as a tropical depression before dissipating early on October 13.

Tropical Storm Bertha (2020)

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Tropical storms Amanda and Cristobal East Pacific and Atlantic tropical storms in 2020

Amanda and Cristobal were two consecutive tropical storms that affected Central America, the central United States, and Canada in late May and early June 2020. The first tropical cyclone formed in the East Pacific and was named Amanda. Amanda regenerated into a second one in the North Atlantic named Cristobal after crossing Central America. Amanda was the second tropical depression and the first named storm of the 2020 Pacific hurricane season, and Cristobal was the third named storm of the extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and the earliest third named storm in the North Atlantic Ocean on record. Cristobal's regeneration date in the North Atlantic eclipsed the date set by Tropical Storm Colin in 2016, which formed on June 5. It was also the first Atlantic tropical storm formed in the month of June since Cindy in 2017, and the first June tropical cyclone to make landfall in Mexico since Danielle in 2016.

Hurricane Isaias Category 1 Atlantic hurricane in 2020

Hurricane Isaias was a destructive Category 1 hurricane that caused extensive damage across the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States while also spawning a large tornado outbreak that generated the strongest tropical cyclone-spawned tornado since Hurricane Rita in 2005. The ninth named storm and second hurricane of the extremely active and record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Isaias originated from a vigorous tropical wave off the coast of Africa that was first identified by the National Hurricane Center on July 23. The tropical wave gradually became more organized and obtained gale-force winds on July 28 before organizing into Tropical Storm Isaias on July 30. Isaias marked the earliest ninth named storm on record, surpassing 2005's Hurricane Irene by eight days. Isaias strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane on the next day, reaching an initial peak of 85 mph (140 km/h), with a minimum central pressure of 987 mbar. On August 1, the storm made landfall on North Andros, Bahamas and subsequently weakened to a tropical storm, before paralleling the east coast of Florida and Georgia. As Isaias approached the Carolina coastline, it reintensified back into a hurricane. Soon afterward, Isaias reached its peak intensity, with maximum 1-minute sustained winds of 90 mph (150 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 986 millibars (29.1 inHg), before making landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, at 03:10 UTC on August 4, at the same intensity. The storm proceeded to accelerate up the East Coast of the United States as a strong tropical storm, before transitioning into an extratropical cyclone over Quebec on August 5. Isaias's extratropical remnants persisted for another day, before dissipating on August 6.

Hurricane Marco (2020) Category 1 Atlantic hurricane in 2020

Hurricane Marco was the first of two tropical cyclones to threaten the Gulf Coast of the United States within a three-day period, with the other being Hurricane Laura. The thirteenth named storm and third hurricane of the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Marco developed from a fast-moving tropical wave west of the Windward Islands and south of Jamaica on August 20. The fast motion of the wave inhibited intensification initially, but as the wave slowed down and entered a more favorable environment, the system developed into a tropical depression, which in turn rapidly intensified into a strong tropical storm. Due to strong wind shear, Marco's intensification temporarily halted; however, after entering the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on August 23, Marco briefly intensified into a hurricane, only to quickly weaken later that evening due to another rapid increase in wind shear. Marco subsequently weakened to a tropical depression before degenerating into a remnant low early on the next morning. Marco's remnants subsequently dissipated on August 26.

Hurricane Sally Category 2 Atlantic hurricane in 2020

Hurricane Sally was a destructive and slow-moving Atlantic hurricane which was the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. state of Alabama since Ivan in 2004, coincidentally on the same date in the same place. The eighteenth named storm, and seventh hurricane of the extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Sally developed from an area of disturbed weather which was first monitored over the Bahamas on September 10. The system grew a broad area of low-pressure on September 11, and was designated as a tropical depression late that day. Early the next day, the depression made landfall at Key Biscayne, and subsequently strengthened into Tropical Storm Sally that afternoon. Moderate northwesterly shear prevented significant intensification for the first two days, but convection continued to grow towards the center and Sally slowly intensified. On September 14, a center reformation into the center of the convection occurred, and data from a hurricane hunter reconnaissance aircraft showed that Sally rapidly intensified into a strong Category 1 hurricane. However, an increase in wind shear and upwelling of colder waters halted the intensification and Sally weakened slightly on September 15 before turning slowly northeastward. Despite this increase in wind shear, it unexpectedly re-intensified, reaching Category 2 status early on September 16, before making landfall at peak intensity at 09:45 UTC on September 16, near Gulf Shores, Alabama, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 965 millibars (28.5 inHg). The storm rapidly weakened after landfall, before transitioning into an extratropical low at 12:00 UTC the next day. Sally's remnants lasted for another day as they moved off the coast of the Southeastern United States, before being absorbed into another extratropical storm on September 18.

References

  1. Definition of 'Landfall' in Cambridge Dictionary.
  2. National Hurricane Center (2009). Glossary of NHC Terms: Landfall. Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
  3. Sim Aberson and Chris Landsea (2008). Subject : C2) Doesn't the friction over land kill tropical cyclones? Archived 2009-05-06 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
  4. National Hurricane Center (2009). Glossary of NHC Terms: Direct Hit. Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
  5. Glossary of Meteorology (2009). Waterspout. Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
  6. Bruce B. Smith (2009). Waterspouts. Retrieved on 2009-02-05.