Typhoon Hagupit

The Typhoon Hagupit approached the Philippians province Eastern Samar at the 6th of December 2014 and caused significant damage. With wind speeds up to 250 kilometer per hour (155 mph) the typhoon Hagupit damaged the electricity and communication network as well as numerous houses. The rainfall totals were extraordinarily high, leading to landslides, debris flows, and life-threatening flash floods. One year ago, the typhoon Haiyan moved through the Philippines and more then 7000 people were killed. So this time the government was better prepared. Because of the evacuation of the population into schools, churches and hospitals far less death are mourned.

Development of tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclones like the typhoon Hagupit develop only under certain climatic conditions. The temperature of the ocean has to be over 26°C (78.8 °F) so that large amounts of water vaporize. The air which is warm and rich in water vapor is now moving into a local low pressure field. In this cyclone the air is moving upwards (convection). With this rise the air masses are transported in to colder regions of the atmosphere and the water vapor is condensing. Thereby, the convection increases and the pressure on the water surface decreases. Consequently more warm air full of water vapor is transported to this cell. The rotation of the cyclone is caused by the Coriolis power. This power is strong enough between 12° and 15° northern and southern latitude. So that is why tropical cyclones appear in this region most likely. When the tropical cyclone hits the coast, it becomes weaker because of the friction and the missing amount of warm air full of water vapor.

With regard to the global climate warming experts have controversial debate about the increase of tropical cyclones. Higher temperatures in the oceans might lead to an increase of the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones in the next decades.

Track of Typhoon Hagupit

The Typhoon Hagupit developed in the Pacific Ocean. In this regions tropical cyclones are called Typhoon. In North and South America they are named Hurricane. The following animation shows the track of the typhoon Hagupit with images from the satellite MTSAT.

The images of this animation are from geostationary satellite MTSAT and are provided by the University of Dundee for registered users.