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  • Hurricane season comes to end
    Sunday, November 30, 2008
    MIAMI (AP) — Sunday marks the final official day of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season.

    This year's season saw 16 named storms, eight of which were hurricanes. Five of those hurricanes reached Category 3 strength or higher. State officials say the most devastating storm was Tropical Storm Fay, which resulted in 15 deaths, just in Florida. The storm caused 41 counties to be declared federal disaster areas.

    Four systems — Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike — threatened Florida within a single month. The State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee was activated for 27 days to support response and recovery operations.

    Now that hurricane season is over, state emergency managers are warning residents that cooler and drier temperatures increase drought and fire conditions in Florida.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 7:15 PM  
    Tropical Storm NISHA forecast and strike probability
    Thursday, November 27, 2008
    Tropical Storm NISHA is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    India
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 25% currently
    probability for TS is 95% currently
    Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Pondicherry
    (11.9 N, 79.8 E)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% currently
    probability for TS is 95% currently
    Nagappattinam (10.8 N, 79.8 E)
    probability for TS is 70% currently
    Bangalore (13.0 N, 77.6 E)
    probability for TS is 60% within 12 hours

    Note that
    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Severe Cyclonic Storm strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.

    Storm Alert issued at 27 Nov, 2008 6:00 GMT (Final Warning)
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 10:58 AM  
    Children dying in Haiti, victims of food crisis
    Saturday, November 22, 2008
    In pockets of Haiti accessible only by donkey or foot, children are dying of malnutrition — their already meager food supply cut by a series of devastating storms that destroyed crops, wiped out livestock and sent food prices spiraling.

    At least 26 severely malnourished children have died in the past four weeks in the remote region of Baie d'Orange in Haiti's southeast, aid workers said Thursday, and there are fears the toll will rise much higher if help does not come quickly to the impoverished Caribbean nation.

    Another 65 severely malnourished children are being treated in makeshift tent clinics in the mountainous area, or at hospitals where they were evacuated in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere, said Max Cosci, who heads the Belgian contingent of Doctors Without Borders in Haiti.

    One evacuee, a 7-year-old girl, died while being treated, Cosci said, adding: ""The situation is extremely, extremely fragile and dangerous.""

    At a makeshift malnutrition ward at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the capital, 10 emaciated children were under emergency care, their stomachs swollen and hair faded by pigmentation loss caused by malnutrition. Several had the puffy faces typical of kwashiorkor, a protein-deficiency disorder.

    Five-year-old Mackenson Duclair, his ribs protruding and his legs little more than skin stretched over bones, weighed in at 19.8 pounds, even after days of drinking milk enriched with potassium and salt. Doctors said he needed to gain another five pounds before he could go home.

    Dangling from a scale mounted from the ceiling, 4-year-old Venecia Lonis looked as limp as a rag doll as doctors weighed her, her huge brown eyes expressionless, her hair tied with bright yellow bows.

    Mackenson's grandmother, who has raised him since his mother died, said she barely has a can of corn grits to feed herself, the boy and her 8-year-old granddaughter each day.

    ""These things did not happen when I was growing up,"" 72-year-old Ticouloute Fortune said.

    Rural families already struggling with soaring food prices in Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest country, lost their safety nets when fields were destroyed and livestock wiped out by the storms, which killed nearly 800 people and caused $1 billion worth of damage in August and September.

    UN World Food Program country director Myrta Kaulard said she fears more deaths from malnutrition in other isolated parts of Haiti, and search and medical teams were fanning out in the northwest and along the southwestern peninsula to check.

    The World Food Program has sent more than 30 tons of food aid — enough to feed 5,800 people for two weeks — into the remote southeastern region since September, and other groups funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development have sent food as well, she said.

    But the steep, narrow paths and poor visibility make it difficult to deliver the food to the mountain communities where hunger is worsening. In one case, a WFP truck flipped over while struggling up a hill and slid into a ravine, killing an aid worker.

    ""There is always a bottleneck. The same situation that the people are facing is the same situation we're also facing,"" Kaulard told The Associated Press Thursday.

    Haiti in general and the mountain villages in particular have long suffered from chronic hunger. Child malnutrition rates have been high for years — the WFP reported in 2007 that nearly a quarter of children were chronically malnourished.

    Remote rural areas in particular grow only enough staples to feed themselves less than seven months out of the year, Kaulard said.

    But throughout the year, aid workers and officials have been seeing hunger get more severe, and now people who live in the mountains and aid groups who are working there say the situation is worse than it has been in the past.

    This year, for instance, Haiti's agriculture ministry estimates 60 percent of the harvest was lost in the storms nationwide. Land quality is already poor and farmers lost seeds for next year when the storms hit, Kaulard said.

    Effects of the storms vary widely from village to village and even family to family. In some places, food supplies seem intact. In others, Doctors Without Borders has found rates of severe malnutrition as high as 5 percent.

    Aid shortages may soon compound the problem. Donor countries have funded only a third of the UN's $105 million aid appeal for Haiti following the storms, and resources could run out in January, Kaulard said.

    At the hospital, Enock Augustin sat beside the bed where his 5-year-old daughter Bertha was sleeping. The fragile-looking child was evacuated by helicopter Nov. 8 with vomiting and diarrhea. When she arrived, nearly a quarter of her body weight was due to fluid retention, a sign of severe protein deficiency.

    The swelling gradually receded as she was fed nutrient-enriched milk and treated with antibiotics and anti-worm medicine; she shrank to just 21 pounds.

    She has since gained about two pounds but can't go home until she reaches 26 pounds, doctors said.

    For months, the Augustin family had gotten by despite the soaring prices of corn grits and imported rice because they grew potatoes, which they could eat or barter for plantains, yams and breadfruit that did not fluctuate with the world market.

    But then, in August, Tropical Storm Fay hit, followed by Hurricane Gustav, Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike.

    ""Every time a hurricane came through, it killed our animals and plants,"" said Augustin, a father of six. The road was washed out, markets became unreachable and ""the price of everything went sky high.""

    The entire family subsisted on two cups of corn grits, and Bertha began shrinking — and then swelling — before his eyes.

    ""She was really bad. We put her in the helicopter and they brought her here,"" Augustin said. ""I hope the government will hear about us and bring more support.""

    tehrantimes
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 10:53 PM  
    Tropical Storm NOUL forecast and strike probability 1N
    Monday, November 17, 2008
    Tropical Storm NOUL is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    Vietnam

    probability for TS is 80% currently
    Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Nha Trang
    (12.2 N, 109.2 E)
    probability for TS is 80% currently
    Phan Rang (11.6 N, 109.0 E)
    probability for TS is 75% currently

    Note that
    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Typhoon strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.



    Storm Alert issued at 17 Nov, 2008 6:00 GMT
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 8:14 PM  
    Tropical Storm KHAI-MUK forecast and strike probability 1K
    Friday, November 14, 2008
    Tropical Storm KHAI-MUK is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    India
    probability for TS is 70% within 12 hours
    Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Machilipatnam
    (16.2 N, 81.2 E)
    probability for TS is 65% within 12 hours

    Note that
    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Severe Cyclonic Storm strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.


    Storm Alert issued at 14 Nov, 2008 18:00 GMT
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 9:42 PM  
    PALOMA WEAKENING RAPIDLY
    Sunday, November 9, 2008
    TROPICAL STORM PALOMA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 16A
    NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172008
    700 AM EST SUN NOV 09 2008

    ...PALOMA WEAKENING RAPIDLY...

    AT 7 AM EST...1200 UTC...THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA HAS DISCONTINUED ALL
    WARNINGS ASSOCIATED WITH PALOMA.

    A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS...
    INCLUDING CAT ISLAND...THE EXUMAS...LONG ISLAND...RUM CAY...SAN
    SALVADOR...ACKLINS ISLAND...CROOKED ISLAND AND THE RAGGED ISLANDS.

    FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
    PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

    AT 700 AM EST...1200Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM PALOMA WAS
    RELOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 21.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 77.8 WEST. THIS
    POSITION IS NEAR CAMAGUEY CUBA.

    PALOMA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 5 MPH...7 KM/HR. A
    DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS.
    ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF PALOMA SHOULD BE NEAR THE
    NORTH COAST OF CUBA LATER TODAY AND BE APPROACHING THE CENTRAL
    BAHAMAS BY MONDAY MORNING.

    MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 70 MPH...110 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
    GUSTS. CONTINUED WEAKENING IS EXPECTED TODAY. PALOMA IS FORECAST
    TO DEGENERATE TO A WEAK AREA OF LOW PRESSURE BY MONDAY.

    TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 115 MILES...185 KM.

    ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 985 MB...29.09 INCHES.

    STORM SURGE FLOODING ALONG THE SOUTH COAST OF CUBA SHOULD DIMINISH
    TODAY.

    PALOMA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL TOTALS OF 1 TO 2
    INCHES OVER EASTERN CUBA. RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10
    INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS.

    REPEATING THE 700 AM EST POSITION...21.3 N...77.8 W. MOVEMENT
    TOWARD...NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 5 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70
    MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...985 MB.

    THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
    HURRICANE CENTER AT 1000 AM EST.

    $$
    FORECASTER FRANKLIN
    This information is provided as a public service from the National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ or http://hurricanes.gov/
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 1:11 PM  
    Hurricane PALOMA forecast and strike probability 7P
    Hurricane PALOMA is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Red Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    Cuba
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 100% currently
    probability for TS is 100% currently
    Red Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Camaguey (21.4 N, 77.9 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 65% currently
    probability for TS is 90% currently

    Note that
    Red Alert (Severe) is CAT 1 or above to between 31% and 100% probability.
    CAT 1 means Hurricane strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.



    Storm Alert issued at 9 Nov, 2008 9:00 GMT
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 1:11 PM  
    Powerful Hurricane Paloma strikes storm-weary Cuba
    CAMAGUEY, Cuba (AP) — Powerful Hurricane Paloma slammed into southern Cuba on Saturday as authorities scrambled to move hundreds of thousands of people to safer ground and protect crops on an island still reeling from two other devastating storms.

    Paloma made landfall near Santa Cruz del Sur as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, but quickly weakened into a still-ferocious Category 3 with winds of 120 mph (195 kph) and torrential rains, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

    In the central-eastern province of Camaguey alone, more than 220,000 people were moved from low-lying, vulnerable areas to higher ground. Another 170,000 people were evacuated in the eastern province of Las Tunas.

    Former President Fidel Castro warned in an essay published in Cuban state media Saturday that Paloma would damage roads and new crops planted after hurricanes Gustav and Ike hit in late August and early September, causing an estimated $9.4 billion in damage and destroyed nearly a third of Cuba's crops.

    In the southern city of Camaguey, 79-year-old Rosa Perez was waiting out the storm at a government shelter at the University of Camaguey with her 83-year-old husband and about 900 others from the town of Santa Cruz del Sur.

    Perez was a toddler when she watched her mother, older sister and about 40 other relatives swept away in a storm surge during a 1932 hurricane that killed about 3,000 people.

    "We're just waiting to see what happens to our home and our beach," Perez said nervously.

    Fellow Santa Cruz del Sur resident Aida Perez, who is not related, watched the news with her daughters, ages 19 and 10.

    "This is a really hard blow," the 44-year-old said, adding she was certain they would lose their home and everything in it. "But what's important is that we are alive."

    Outside, on the nearly deserted, flooded streets of the provincial capital, four men struggled in the pouring rain to carry a refrigerator to a more secure building.

    The hurricane center said the center of Paloma Saturday evening was just east of Santa Cruz del Sur in southern Cuba. The hurricane, which earlier packed winds of 145 mph, was weakening over land. Forecasters said the storm is expected to weaken further as it crosses Cuba over the coming hours.

    Paloma was moving northeastward at about 10 mph (16 kph) and was expected to hit the open Atlantic early Sunday.

    Paloma's outer rain bands were already lashing Cuba's southern coast after the storm knocked out power across much of Grand Cayman Island. A hurricane warning was in effect across the central and eastern provinces of Cuba.

    "Although it may weaken a bit, we have to pay full attention to this storm," top Cuban meteorologist Jose Rubiera said on state media.

    Before Paloma made landfall, Cuba's National Information Agency reported that poultry and pork operations were being secured and crops protected in the eastern provinces of Camaguey and Santiago. State television showed workers warehousing bags of rice, trimming tree branches and clearing out storm drains. Bus and train transportation across central and eastern Cuba was suspended.

    There were no other immediate reports of evacuations in other provinces, but Cuba regularly evacuates large numbers of people to higher ground ahead of tropical storms and hurricanes — a measure that historically has prevented major loss of life.

    On Grand Cayman, the late-season storm downed trees and flooded low-lying areas and ripped roofs off some buildings, but residents appeared to ride out the storm unscathed. Businesses reopened Saturday, and authorities were restoring power and water service.

    Donovan Ebanks, chairman of the Hazard Management Committee, said there were no reports of injuries.

    "Our indications are that there has been minimal if any damage on Grand Cayman," Ebanks said. Paloma's fierce winds ripped the roofs off some buildings on Cayman Brac, to the east.

    Cleva Jackson, a hotel owner on Grand Cayman, said she had been unable to contact relatives in Cayman Brac who sought refuge in an emergency shelter where the roof partially collapsed.

    "The roof had caved in and everyone was trying to find shelter in the kitchen, but I haven't heard anything from them," she said. "We just can't get through."

    The hurricane center said Paloma could bring battering waves and a life-threatening storm surge of up to 23 feet (7 meters) to parts of Cuba. Rubiera, the Cuban meteorologist, warned residents along the southern coast to be especially vigilant. The Bahamas government late Saturday afternoon issued a tropical storm warning for the central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Acklins Island, Crooked Island and the Ragged Islands.
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 11:33 AM  
    PALOMA forecast maps and satellite image
    Saturday, November 8, 2008

    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 10:11 PM  
    EXTREMELY DANGEROUS PALOMA NEARING THE COAST OF CUBA
    HURRICANE PALOMA ADVISORY NUMBER 14
    NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172008
    400 PM EST SAT NOV 08 2008

    ...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS PALOMA NEARING THE COAST OF CUBA...

    A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF
    CIEGO DE AVILA...CAMAGUEY...LAS TUNAS...GRANMA AND HOLGUIN.
    PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO
    COMPLETION.

    AT 4 PM EST...2100 UTC...THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS HAS
    DISCONTINUED THE HURRICANE WARNING FOR GRAND CAYMAN. A HURRICANE
    WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR LITTLE CAYMAN AND CAYMAN BRAC. THIS
    WARNING COULD BE DISCONTINUED LATER TONIGHT.

    AT 4 PM EST...THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL
    STORM WARNING FOR THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS...INCLUDING CAT ISLAND...THE
    EXUMAS...LONG ISLAND...RUM CAY...SAN SALVADOR...ACKLINS
    ISLAND...CROOKED ISLAND AND THE RAGGED ISLANDS. A TROPICAL STORM
    WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN
    THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

    A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCE
    OF SANTIAGO DE CUBA.

    INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN CUBA AND THE BAHAMAS SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR
    THE PROGRESS OF PALOMA.

    FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
    INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
    BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

    AT 400 PM EST...2100Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE PALOMA WAS LOCATED
    NEAR LATITUDE 20.5 NORTH...LONGITUDE 78.5 WEST OR ABOUT 75 MILES...
    120 KM...SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF CAMAGUEY CUBA AND ABOUT 70 MILES...115
    KM...NORTHWEST OF CABO CRUZ. THIS POSITION IS ALSO ABOUT 35
    MILES...60 KM...WEST-SOUTHWEST OF SANTA CRUZ DEL SUR CUBA.

    PALOMA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 10 MPH...17 KM/HR...AND
    THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED THROUGH SUNDAY WITH A DECREASE IN
    FORWARD SPEED AFTER LANDFALL. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER
    OF PALOMA IS EXPECTED TO BE APPROACHING THE COAST OF SOUTH-CENTRAL
    CUBA TONIGHT...EMERGE INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN LATE SUNDAY...AND BE
    NEARING THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS LATE SUNDAY OR ON MONDAY.

    MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 145 MPH...230
    KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. PALOMA IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS
    CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. LITTLE CHANGE
    IN STRENGTH IS FORECAST UNTIL LANDFALL THEN STEADY WEAKENING SHOULD
    OCCUR FOR THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.

    HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES...45 KM...FROM
    THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 115
    MILES...185 KM.

    THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE
    HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS 952 MB...28.11 INCHES.

    POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 20 TO 25
    FEET...ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...IS
    EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE THE CENTER OF PALOMA MAKES
    LANDFALL ALONG THE SOUTH COAST OF CUBA. STORM SURGE FLOODING IN
    THE CAYMAN ISLANDS WILL GRADUALLY SUBSIDE TONIGHT.

    PALOMA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO
    10 INCHES OVER CENTRAL AND EASTERN CUBA...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM
    TOTALS OF 20 INCHES POSSIBLE. THESE RAINS MAY PRODUCE LIFE-
    THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUDSLIDES. FIVE TO TEN INCHES OF RAIN
    ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS. RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1
    TO 3 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS JAMAICA AND ADDITIONAL RAINFALL
    AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS LITTLE CAYMAN AND
    CAYMAN BRAC.

    REPEATING THE 400 PM EST POSITION...20.5 N...78.5 W. MOVEMENT
    TOWARD...NORTHEAST NEAR 10 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...145 MPH.
    MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...952 MB.

    AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
    CENTER AT 700 PM EST FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 1000
    PM EST.

    $$
    FORECASTER BLAKE
    This information is provided as a public service from the National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ or http://hurricanes.gov/
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 9:59 PM  
    Intense Hurricane PALOMA forecast and strike probability 6P
    Intense Hurricane PALOMA is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Red Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    Cuba
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 100% currently
    probability for TS is 100% currently
    Red Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Camaguey
    (21.4 N, 77.9 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 55% within 9 hours
    probability for TS is 100% currently

    Note that
    Red Alert (Severe) is CAT 1 or above to between 31% and 100% probability.
    CAT 1 means Hurricane strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit
    http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.



    Storm Alert issued at 8 Nov, 2008 21:00 GMT
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 9:55 PM  
    EXTREMELY DANGEROUS PALOMA STRENGTHENS A LITTLE MORE
    HURRICANE PALOMA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 12A
    NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172008
    700 AM EST SAT NOV 08 2008

    ...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS PALOMA STRENGTHENS A LITTLE MORE...

    A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.
    PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO
    COMPLETION
    .

    A HURRICANE WARNING IS ALSO IN EFFECT FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF
    SANCTI SPIRITUS... CIEGO DE AVILA...CAMAGUEY AND LAS TUNAS. A
    HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
    WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO
    PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

    A TROPICAL STORM WARNING AND A HURRICANE WATCH ARE IN EFFECT FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCE OF GRANMA. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

    A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCES
    OF HOLGUIN AND SANTIAGO DE CUBA.

    A TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS... INCLUDING CAT ISLAND...THE EXUMAS...LONG ISLAND...RUM CAY...AND SAN SALVADOR. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.

    INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN CUBA...JAMAICA...AND THE BAHAMAS SHOULD
    CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF PALOMA.

    FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
    INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
    BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

    AT 700 AM EST...1200Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE PALOMA WAS LOCATED
    NEAR LATITUDE 19.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 79.6 WEST OR JUST SOUTHEAST OF
    CAYMAN BRAC. THIS POSITION IS ALSO ABOUT 110 MILES...175 KM...
    EAST-NORTHEAST OF GRAND CAYMAN AND ABOUT 165 MILES...265 KM...
    SOUTHWEST OF CAMAGUEY CUBA.

    PALOMA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 8 MPH...13 KM/HR...AND
    THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH SUNDAY. ON THE FORECAST
    TRACK...THE CENTER OF PALOMA IS EXPECTED TO MOVE AWAY FROM LITTLE
    CAYMAN AND CAYMAN BRAC THIS MORNING...AND BE APPROACHING THE COAST
    OF CENTRAL CUBA LATE TONIGHT OR EARLY SUNDAY.

    REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE
    THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 140 MPH...225
    KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. PALOMA IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS
    CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME
    ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE THIS MORNING...WITH WEAKENING
    EXPECTED LATER TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY.

    HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES...45 KM...FROM
    THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 115
    MILES...185 KM.

    THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE EXTRAPOLATED FROM RECENT HURRICANE
    HUNTER DATA IS 943 MB...27.85 INCHES.

    STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 7 TO 9 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS...
    ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...IS EXPECTED
    NEAR THE CENTER OF PALOMA IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS. STORM SURGE
    FLOODING OF 15 TO 20 FEET IS EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE
    THE CENTER OF PALOMA MAKES LANDFALL ALONG THE SOUTH COAST OF CUBA.

    PALOMA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO
    10 INCHES OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS AS WELL AS CENTRAL AND EASTERN
    CUBA...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 15 INCHES POSSIBLE. THESE
    RAINS MAY PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUDSLIDES.
    RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS
    JAMAICA.

    REPEATING THE 700 AM EST POSITION...19.7 N...79.6 W. MOVEMENT
    TOWARD...NORTHEAST NEAR 8 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...140 MPH.
    MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...943 MB.

    THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
    HURRICANE CENTER AT 1000 AM EST.

    $$
    FORECASTER BEVEN
    This information is provided as a public service from the National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ or http://hurricanes.gov/
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 1:26 PM  
    Intense Hurricane PALOMA forecast and strike probability 5P
    Intense Hurricane PALOMA is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Red Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    the Cayman Islands

    probability for CAT 1 or above is 100% currently
    probability for TS is 100% currently
    Cuba
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 50% in about 21 hours
    probability for TS is 85% within 9 hours
    Red Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Camaguey (21.4 N, 77.9 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 40% in about 21 hours
    probability for TS is 80% in about 21 hours

    Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    Jamaica
    probability for TS is 55% in about 21 hours
    Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    George Town
    (19.3 N, 81.4 W)
    probability for TS is 60% currently

    Note that
    Red Alert (Severe) is CAT 1 or above to between 31% and 100% probability.
    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Hurricane strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.



    Storm Alert issued at 8 Nov, 2008 9:00 GMT
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 1:20 PM  
    CATEGORY TWO PALOMA LASHING GRAND CAYMAN
    Friday, November 7, 2008
    AT 4 PM EST...2100 UTC...THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA HAS ISSUED A
    HURRICANE WARNING FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF SANCTI SPIRITUS...
    CIEGO DE AVILA...CAMAGUEY AND LAS TUNAS. A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS
    THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA
    WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY
    SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

    AT 4 PM EST...THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM
    WARNING FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCE OF GRANMA. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING
    AND A HURRICANE WATCH ARE NOW IN EFFECT FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCE OF
    GRANMA. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE
    POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS. A
    TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
    EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

    A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.
    PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO
    COMPLETION.

    INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN CUBA AND THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS SHOULD
    CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF PALOMA.

    FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
    PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

    AT 400 PM EST...2100Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE PALOMA WAS LOCATED
    NEAR LATITUDE 18.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 81.3 WEST OR ABOUT 40 MILES...
    70 KM...SOUTH OF GRAND CAYMAN AND ABOUT 290 MILES...465 KM...
    SOUTHWEST OF CAMAGUEY CUBA.

    PALOMA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 6 MPH...9 KM/HR. A
    TURN TOWARD THE NORTHEAST IS EXPECTED OVERNIGHT AND THAT GENERAL
    MOTION IS EXPECTED FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON THE FORECAST
    TRACK...THE CENTER OF PALOMA WILL PASS NEAR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
    TONIGHT OR EARLY SATURDAY AND BE APPROACHING THE COAST OF CENTRAL
    CUBA LATE SATURDAY.

    MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 105 MPH...165 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
    GUSTS. PALOMA IS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON
    SCALE. FURTHER STRENGTHENING IS LIKELY AND PALOMA COULD BECOME A
    CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE TONIGHT OR EARLY TOMORROW. SLOW WEAKENING
    IS POSSIBLE BY LATE SATURDAY.

    HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 25 MILES...35 KM...FROM
    THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 120
    MILES...195 KM.

    THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE AS ESTIMATED FROM AIR FORCE
    RESERVE AND NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT DATA IS 967 MB...28.56
    INCHES.

    STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 5 TO 7 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS...
    ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES...IS EXPECTED
    NEAR THE CENTER OF PALOMA IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS. STORM SURGE
    FLOODING OF 8 TO 12 FEET IS EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE
    THE CENTER OF PALOMA MAKES LANDFALL ALONG THE SOUTH COAST OF CUBA.

    PALOMA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO
    10 INCHES OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS AND CENTRAL AND EASTERN CUBA WITH
    ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 15 INCHES POSSIBLE. FLASH FLOOD AND
    MUDSLIDES ARE ALSO POSSIBLE...ESPECIALLY IN HIGHER TERRAIN.

    REPEATING THE 400 PM EST POSITION...18.7 N...81.3 W. MOVEMENT
    TOWARD...NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 6 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...105
    MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...967 MB.

    AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
    CENTER AT 700 PM EST FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 1000
    PM EST.

    $$
    FORECASTER BLAKE/FRANKLIN

    This information is provided as a public service from the National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ or http://hurricanes.gov/
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 9:45 PM  
    Hurricane PALOMA forecast and strike probability 4P
    Hurricane PALOMA is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Red Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    the Cayman Islands

    probability for CAT 1 or above is 95% within 9 hours
    probability for TS is 100% currently
    Red Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    George Town
    (19.3 N, 81.4 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 90% within 9 hours
    probability for TS is 100% currently

    Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    Cuba
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 30% in about 33 hours
    probability for TS is 70% in about 21 hours
    Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Camaguey
    (21.4 N, 77.9 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 25% in about 33 hours
    probability for TS is 65% in about 33 hours
    Santa Clara (22.4 N, 80.0 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 33 hours
    probability for TS is 50% in about 33 hours

    Note that
    Red Alert (Severe) is CAT 1 or above to between 31% and 100% probability.
    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Hurricane strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.

    Storm Alert issued at 7 Nov, 2008 21:00 GMT
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 9:42 PM  
    Hurricane PALOMA forecast and strike probability 3P
    Hurricane PALOMA is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Red Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    the Cayman Islands

    probability for CAT 1 or above is 50% in about 21 hours
    probability for TS is 75% within 9 hours
    Red Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    George Town
    (19.3 N, 81.4 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 50% in about 21 hours
    probability for TS is 75% within 9 hours

    Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    Cuba
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 20% in about 33 hours
    probability for TS is 60% in about 45 hours
    Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Camaguey
    (21.4 N, 77.9 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 45 hours
    probability for TS is 55% in about 45 hours
    Santa Clara (22.4 N, 80.0 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 45 hours
    probability for TS is 50% in about 45 hours

    Note that
    Red Alert (Severe) is CAT 1 or above to between 31% and 100% probability.
    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Hurricane strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.



    Storm Alert issued at 7 Nov, 2008 9:00 GMT
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 12:59 PM  
    Tropical Storm PALOMA forecast and strike probability 2P
    Thursday, November 6, 2008
    Tropical Storm PALOMA is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Red Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    the Cayman Islands

    probability for CAT 1 or above is 35% in about 33 hours
    probability for TS is 65% in about 33 hours
    Red Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    George Town
    (19.3 N, 81.4 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 35% in about 33 hours
    probability for TS is 65% in about 33 hours
    Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    Cuba
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 69 hours
    probability for TS is 45% in about 45 hours
    Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    Santa Clara (22.4 N, 80.0 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 69 hours
    probability for TS is 40% in about 69 hours
    Camaguey (21.4 N, 77.9 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 69 hours
    probability for TS is 40% in about 69 hours

    Note that
    Red Alert (Severe) is CAT 1 or above to between 31% and 100% probability.

    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Hurricane strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.



    Storm Alert issued at 6 Nov, 2008 21:00 GMT
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 11:54 PM  
    Tropical Storm PALOMA forecast and strike probability 1P
    Tropical Storm PALOMA is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    the Cayman Islands

    probability for CAT 1 or above is 20% in about 69 hours
    probability for TS is 45% in about 45 hours
    Cuba
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 15% in about 93 hours
    probability for TS is 40% in about 69 hours
    the Bahamas
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 93 hours
    probability for TS is 20% in about 93 hours
    Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    George Town (19.3 N, 81.4 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 20% in about 69 hours
    probability for TS is 45% in about 45 hours
    Santa Clara (22.4 N, 80.0 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 93 hours
    probability for TS is 35% in about 69 hours
    Camaguey (21.4 N, 77.9 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 93 hours
    probability for TS is 25% in about 69 hours

    Note that
    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Hurricane strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.



    Storm Alert issued at 6 Nov, 2008 9:00 GMT
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 7:14 PM  
    Tropical Depression AL17 forecast and strike probability
    Wednesday, November 5, 2008
    Tropical Depression AL17 is forecast to strike land to the following likelihood(s) at the given lead time(s):
    Yellow Alert Country(s) or Province(s)
    Honduras
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 15% in about 45 hours
    probability for TS is 50% in about 33 hours
    the Cayman Islands
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 15% in about 69 hours
    probability for TS is 40% in about 69 hours
    Jamaica
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 10% in about 93 hours
    probability for TS is 25% in about 93 hours
    Yellow Alert City(s) and Town(s)
    George Town
    (19.3 N, 81.4 W)
    probability for CAT 1 or above is 15% in about 69 hours
    probability for TS is 40% in about 69 hours

    Note that
    Yellow Alert (Elevated) is CAT 1 or above to between 10% and 30% probability, or TS to above 50% probability.
    CAT 1 means Hurricane strength winds of at least 74 mph, 119 km/h or 64 knots 1-min sustained.
    TS means Tropical Storm strength winds of at least 39 mph, 63 km/h or 34 knots 1-min sustained.

    For graphical forecast information and further details please visit http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/

    This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is sponsored by UCL, Benfield, Royal & SunAlliance, Crawford & Company and Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. TSR acknowledges the support of the UK Met Office.



    Storm Alert issued at 5 Nov, 2008 21:00 GMT
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 10:55 PM  
    Cyclone Nargis leaves millions in misery six months later
    Six months after devastating cyclone Nargis struck Burma, more than a million people are still living in misery. There is an acute lack of clean water and growing fears of food shortages, while thousands remain living in makeshift shelters. And on top of that, there are increasing reports of human rights abuses.

    "The Burmese military's obsession with control is making a speedy recovery in the delta area almost impossible," according to Win Min, an independent Burmese academic based at Payap University in Chiang Mai.

    International human rights groups have reported an increase in forced labor, forced relocations and extensive land confiscation by the country's military authorities.

    "Forced evictions have been the [State Peace and Development Council] SPDC's key contribution to the relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation effort throughout the last six months," Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International's Burma researcher, told Mizzima.

    "Amnesty raised these concerns in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone, and since then the SPDC's reconstruction plans have involved significant numbers of forced evictions and the relocation of many villagers," he added.

    And the most absurd anomaly is the military junta's crackdown on those individual Burmese – actors, business people, doctors and writers – who were so moved by the plight of the people they made independent sorties into the delta to distribute food, medicines and other relief supplies.

    Nearly a hundred community workers who tried to help with the disaster relief effort are now languishing in jail, including the renowned comedian and outspoken critic of the regime, Zargana. They are all facing long prison sentences for their compassion.

    This also includes six people whose only crime was cleaning bodies found in the delta in preparation for funerals. They have been in detention now for more than three months.

    The Chairman of the Cyclone Relief Committee of the National League for Democracy (NLD) – Aung San Suu Kyi's party – was also recently arrested on the pretext that he was involved in a bomb plot. Ohn Kyaing – an elected NLD MP and former political prisoner -- was actively involved delivering aid to cyclone survivors in the Irrawaddy delta.

    International aid agencies admit that these "humanitarian heroes," as they dub them, were in fact crucial in the first few weeks. "These 'well-wishers' made a real difference in the first few days, even if their efforts were unsystematic and erratic," Bridget Gardner, the head of the International Federation of Red Crosses and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Rangoon, told Mizzima. Most of these voluntary efforts have ceased because of the government's crackdown on them.

    According to aid workers, many children have returned to school, farmers are anxiously waiting to see how their harvests fare and more and more houses are being built every week. "All the severely affected townships have been reached," Bishow Parajuli, head of the UN's Humanitarian Mission in Burma, told Mizzima. "However, there are still areas where more assistance is needed," he added.

    The situation varies from place to place throughout regions of the delta left devastated by Cyclone Nargis six months ago, according to Ashley Clements, head of the international non-government organization World Vision in Burma. "We're at a turning point now – and attention has to be paid to the longer-term, especially providing safe havens for children and secure livelihoods for the people who were left with nothing by the cyclone," he said.

    In the past few weeks, one in three Burmese villagers interviewed by World Vision researchers in some of the worst cyclone-affected areas, said they had been forced to reduce the number of meals they ate in a day in the past month because of lack of food.

    Up to 30 per cent of children aged between 5 and 11 are not enrolled in school; while more than half of children aged 12 to 17 are not attending school, according to their report.

    The most critical issue at present is the approaching rice harvest. While the UN's Forestry and Agriculture Organisation confidently predicts a good, if not bumper, harvest, farmers are far less sanguine.

    "We will have to wait for the next planting season," moaned an elderly villager in a cyclone-affected area. "We don't expect much from this one," he added.

    Burmese community groups working in the area believe that the whole Irrawaddy area -- the rice bowl of Burma and once the rice bowl of Asia -- will produce less than 60 percent of its usual output. And the yield will be significantly affected by hastily prepared fields, many still not properly drained of saltwater.

    For many villagers, shelter and clean water remain a persistent worry. "An acute shortage of drinking water is the biggest concern," a Burmese activist emailed the Bangkok Post after recently visiting his home in the delta. Less than forty percent of the ponds, used by villagers to collect rainwater for drinking, have been fixed and the saltwater drained, according to a Burmese community group working in the area. In three key cyclone-affected areas, less than two-thirds of people interviewed by a local aid organization reported they had access to safe, clean drinking water.

    Maybe as many as a million people are still living in makeshift or temporary shelters, according to Burmese aid workers. International aid workers, including UN staff, operating in Burma were unable to estimate how many victims are still in need of permanent accommodation.

    "Step by step, people are rebuilding their homes, supported by the authorities, the UN and various other actors on the ground," said UN Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli. "In the Laputta and Bogale areas alone, the UN still needs support to build shelters for up to 15,000 vulnerable people," he added.

    But some scars may never heal. The psychological trauma suffered by adults and children has left an indelible mark on those who survived the cyclone. "Farmers are reporting that their buffalos were traumatized and are still suffering six months later," said Ashley Clements. "So you can only imagine the impact the ordeal is having in the children in particular," he said. According to the World Vision survey, more than 70 per cent of children they interviewed are afraid of wind and rain following last May's disaster.

    "The relief stage is nearly over and long-term reconstruction about to start," said Bridget Gardner. "There have been successes, weaknesses and lessons learnt for the future," she added.

    But while the international aid workers are happy to support the Burmese government's view that things are moving in the right direction and all that is needed is more financial support for the reconstruction effort, the reality is far less rosy. Already the international community has overpaid because of the Burmese government's insistence on maintaining its artificially fixed exchange rate.

    "I estimate the UN lost at least $5 million due to the initial enforcement of the Foreign Exchange Certificates – pocketed by the junta through the government-owned Myanma Foreign Trade Bank," said Sean Turnell, an expert on Burma's economy and financial system at Macquarie University in Australia.

    What is worse is that the UN's solution – paying local contractors in foreign currency – will lead to far more misappropriation, overcharging and sheer corruption, noted Mr. Turnell. The military government and its cronies will continue to skim off millions of dollars instead of it going to benefit the poor victims of the cyclone. It will also help shore up the government's budget and its foreign reserves.

    International analysts believe that the aid effort is only going to worsen the long-term situation for the people of Burma. Indebtedness, already a serious problem before the cyclone hit, is soaring. Most rural and many urban households were bearing huge debt burdens before Cyclone Nargis.

    According to UN surveys, nearly one in every two households was indebted prior to the cyclone: 32 percent in urban areas and 55 percent in the countryside. This has worsened dramatically since the cyclone as much of the aid, especially to farmers -- seeds, fertilizers, ploughs and draft animals -- has been channeled through government agencies in the form of loans rather than grants.

    In three of the worst-affected areas in the Irrawaddy delta, nearly 40 percent of local households had sold off some of their assets, and more that 40 percent had borrowed food or money for food within the past month.

    Increasing indebtedness will be followed by more land confiscation, according to analysts familiar with the military regime's way of doing things. In Laputta, the government offered farmers of more than 100 acres loans on tractors for a deposit of 200,000 kyat ($200) – the balance of the loan to be repaid later. A tractor costs around 1.7 million kyat. Most farmers could not manage the deposit, much less hope to earn enough money to pay back the loan. They were then forced to give up their land to the state.

    The confiscation of land is being repeated time and again throughout cyclone-affected areas. "As few villagers can prove clear title to their land in the delta, many returnees have already been forced to give up their plots to make way for agribusinesses and other interests," Amnesty's Benjamin Zawacki told Mizzima.

    The government has also told people that they will forfeit their land if they do not make it productive, but then did not provide the necessary tools or equipment for them to do so. This cruel catch-22 scenario has resulted in forced evictions and extensive confiscation of land under the guise of 'the common good'.

    This is going to lead to increased poverty, especially in the rural areas, as farmers will find it impossible to repay their debts.

    So, six months on, millions of villagers face a harrowing future with little prospect of things getting better any time soon. While the UN and international aid agencies talk about the increase in humanitarian space, the reality is that the military government's obsession with control will inevitably doom the reconstruction efforts and the Burmese people will find themselves even worse off than ever.

    "Human rights concerns have been largely ignored by international aid agencies as they respond to the disaster," according to Benjamin Zawacki.

    "While this may have been understandable during the immediate relief phase, it is totally unacceptable now. The UN and others' failure to acknowledge and address these concerns will only make Myanmar's recovery less sustainable in the long run," he warned.

    Larry Jagan is a freelance journalist based in Bangkok and a specialist on Burma. He was the former news and current affairs editor for Asia and the Pacific for BBC World Service.

    mizzima
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 2:35 PM  
    Tropical depression may form in Caribbean Sea, affect Bahamas
    A low pressure system in the southwestern Caribbean Sea had a 20 percent to 50 percent chance of developing over the next 48 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Monday.

    None of the weather models however forecast the storm would reach the oil rich U.S. northwest Gulf of Mexico.

    Most of the models showed the system would move toward Cuba and the Bahamas over the next several days.

    Energy traders watch for storms that could enter the Gulf and threaten oil and natural gas platforms as well refineries along the coast.

    Commodities traders likewise watch storms that could hit agriculture crops like citrus and cotton in Florida and other states along the coast to Texas.

    If the system ever develops into a tropical storm, with winds of 39-73 miles per hour (63-117 kph), it will be named Paloma.

    bahamaislandsinfo.com
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 2:29 PM  
    Thousands evacuate as Vietnam capital battles flood
    More than 40,000 people were evacuated from inundated areas of Hanoi today and some residents who stayed behind had to cope with floating garbage as they waited for flooding to recede even though rains eased.

    Authorities in Vietnam's capital moved more than 10,300 families from their homes and asked the army to stand ready to help victims of the worst flooding in the city in more than two decades, the online VNExpress newspaper reported today.

    Flood waters from southern China caused rivers in northern Vietnam to swell to their peaks today, worsening inundations across a wide region that have killed 127 people, 93 of them in northern and central Vietnam.

    Among the dead were 22 people killed in Hanoi, which has a population of about 6 million and includes urban and rural areas.

    "Garbage and home appliances are floating everywhere. The water is black and as black as acid," a Reuters witness said by telephone from Tan Mai, an urban area about five miles south of Hanoi's centre.

    "Each lane is like a ferry station and it is chaotic, like in wartime."

    More storms are forecast to strike Hanoi late this week, possibly bringing tornadoes and strong winds, the national weather centre said.

    Vietnam, the world's third-largest rice exporter, has reported nearly 642,000 acres of rice, corn, sugarcane and fruit had been submerged.

    But its main agricultural areas, including the Central Highlands coffee belt and the Mekong Delta rice basket - both several hundred miles to the south - have not been affected by the floods.

    Vietnam's Health Ministry has called on all medical staff in flooded area to prepare for any outbreaks of cholera or dengue as residents parts of Hanoi and 17 other provinces struggled with shortages of fresh water, food and power cuts.

    independent.co.uk
    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Londen time 2:08 PM  
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