Science 10 Is Weather Becoming More Extreme? Sarah Stride

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Science 10 Is Weather Becoming More Extreme? Sarah Stride

In recent years extreme weather has been more frequent and more intense. Looking at past and present statistics Hurricanes have been happening more often and are getting more intense. The first storm is the Great Hurricane Of 1780. This hurricane is holding the record as the deadliest Atlantic hurricane. This storm wiped out Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Lesser Antilles, Bermuda, and possibly Florida and other States. Not knowing the total damages the death toll was well over 22,000 people. The second storm is the 1970 Bhola cyclone. The 1970 Bhola cyclone is the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded. This storm hit East Pakistan (Bangladesh today) and India's West Bengal on November 12, 1970. No one knowing the exact death toll, it is estimated that 300,000-500,000 people perished in the aftermath of this storm, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recent history. The Bhola was not extremely large, reaching strengths equivalent of a Category 3 Hurricane. The last storm is Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hurricane Katrina was the largest and 3rd strongest hurricane ever recorded to make landfall in the US. Katrina was at a Category 5 hurricane, with winds up to 175 mph. The storm surge from Katrina was 20-ft (six meters) high. The final death toll was at 1,836, mostly from Louisiana (1,577) and Mississippi (238). More than half of these victims were senior citizens. 705 people are reported as still missing as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina affected over 15 million people in different ways from having to leave their homes, rising gas prices, and the economy suffering. It was estimated that 80% of New Orleans was under water. Hurricane Katrina caused $81 billion in property damages, but it is estimated that the total economic impact in Louisiana and Mississippi may exceed $150 billion, earning the title of expensive hurricane ever in US history. Hurricane Katrina impacted about 90,000 square miles. From looking at these three Hurricanes we can see that they have gotten more intense and they are happening more often.

Droughts have been more frequent and more intense throughout the years. The Horn of Africa has been affected by droughts almost every year for the past 12 years. Data for 2009 shows that Kenya’s agriculture was the most severely affected, with wheat fields dropping by 45% compared to 2010’s good crop season. Australia suffered multi-year droughts between 2002 and 2010. The total Australia wheat fields in 2006 dropped by 46%. The 2010 drought in Russia was very long, intensive, spread over a sizeable area and caused serious damage to the environment, economy and human health. Droughts have a huge impact on the earth and on the people. Droughts are getting more frequent every year.

Temperature extremes are greater than they have been historically. With the look of the chart below you can see the weather at its highest and it’s lowest. Throughout the years the numbers are increasing.

World Weather Element

World Element Characteristic


Date (D/M/Y)

Site Observations

Geopolitical Location

Longitude/ Latitude



Highest Temperature

56.7°C (134°F)


1911- present

Furnace Creek (Greenland Ranch), CA, USA

36°27'N, 116°51'W

-54m (-179ft) )

Lowest Temperature

-89.2°C (-128.5°F)


1912- present

Vostok, Antarctica

77°32'S, 106°40'E

3420m (11,220 ft)


Highest Sea Lvl Air Pressure Below 750m

1083.8 hPa


1961- present

Agata, Russia

66°53'N, 93°28'E

261m (856.3ft)

Highest Sea Lvl Air Pressure Above 750m

1089.1 hPa


1963- present

Tosontsengel Mongolia

48°44'N, 98°16'E

1724.6m (5658.1 ft)

Lowest Sea Lvl Air Pressure (excluding tornadoes)

870 hPa


1951- present

Eye of Typhoon Tip

16°44'N, 137°46'E



Greatest 1-Min Rainfall

31.2mm (1.23")


1948- present

Unionville, MD, USA

38°48'N, 76°08'W

152m (499ft)

Greatest 60-Min Rainfall

305mm (12.0")



Holt, MO, USA

39°27'N, 94°20'W

263m (863ft)

Greatest 12-Hr Rainfall

1.144 m (45.0'')



Foc-Foc, La Réunion

21°14'S, 55°41'E

2290m (7513ft)

Greatest 24-Hr Rainfall

1.825m (71.8")



Foc-Foc, La Réunion

21°14'S, 55°41'E

2290m (7513ft)

Greatest 48-Hr Rainfall

2.493m (98.15")



Cherrapunji, India

25°02'N, 91°08'E

1313m (4308ft)

Greatest 72-Hr Rainfall

3.930m (154.72")



Cratère Commerson, La Réunion

21°12'S, 55°39'E

2310m (7579ft)

Greatest 96-Hr Rainfall

4.936m (194.33")



Cratère Commerson, La Réunion

21°12'S, 55°39'E

2310m (7579ft)

Greatest 12-Mo Rainfall

26.47m (1042")


1851- present

Cherrapunji, India

25°02'N, 91°08'E

1313m (4308ft)


Heaviest Hailstone

1.02kg (2.25lb)



Gopalganj district, Bangladesh

23°00'N, 89°56'E

4m (13.1ft)


Longest Dry Period

173 months



Arica, Chile

18°29'S, 70°18'W

65m (213ft)


Maximum Gust

113.2m/s (253mph; 220kt)

1055 UTC 10/4/1996

1932- present

Barrow Island Australia

20°49'S, 115°23'E

64m (210ft)

Maximum Gust for Tropical Cyclone

113.2m/s (253mph; 220kt)

1055 UTC 10/4/1996


Barrow Island Australia

20°49'S, 115°23'E

64m (210ft)



Under Investigation


"11 Facts About Hurricane Katrina." 11 Facts About Hurricane Katrina. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. .

"The 10 Biggest, Deadliest, Most Destructive Hurricanes EVER!" Ranker. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. .

Web. 24 Apr. 2015. .

"World Meteorological Organization." Global Weather & Climate Extremes. Web. 27 Apr. 2015. .
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