When typhoon Haiyan - known in the Philippines as Yolanda - pounded into the islands of Samar and Leyte at 4.40am after picking up speed on a 900-mile track across the Pacific, the US navy's warning center, JTWC, in Honolulu, calculated its winds to be gusting at up to 235mph (380kph).
This would make it the fourth most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded and possibly the strongest to have ever hit land. By comparison, St Jude, the storm that hit in southern England last month, had winds gusting to 99 mph.
As Filipino communities calculated the flood and wind damage done in the 25-mile-wide path of the storm, meteorologists questioned claims that Haiyan was the strongest ever to make landfall. "All we can say at this stage is maybe. The estimates of wind strength and central pressure are just that – estimates – albeit from well-attested satellite techniques developed over decades. Without ground observations right in the centre of the track we can never be totally sure," said Julian Heming, tropical prediction scientist at the Met Office.
Haiyan is the third Category 5 "super typhoon" to hit the Philippines since 2010.
~ from Typhoon Haiyan the Biggest Yet As World's Tropical Storms Gather Force by John Vidal ~
I've asked this before, but how many dots are needed before the vast majority feels confident enough to start connecting them?
Typhoon Haiyan, in and of itself, doesn't prove that man-made global warming is real -- I use the term "man-made" because males are primarily responsible -- but the number of records set for violent storms over the past decade or two should cause people to be concerned -- very concerned. We keep hearing and reading of record droughts, tornadoes, blizzards, floods and hurricanes. Why have many of these records been set in the past few years. There has to be SOME sort of explanation.
Scientists -- not pundits, politicos, religious nuts or the folks who benefit financially from denying climate change -- have zeroed in on the primary cause. That would be human society as it is operated in the industrialized world. They issue dire warnings after another and yet the issue somehow is still open to debate?
What will it take to put this picture into a clearer focus? Really! What will it take?