UN: Besides Haiyan, 2013 storm season near average

Nov 13, 2013 by Karl Ritter

Apart from Typhoon Haiyan, which has devastated the Philippines, it's been an average year for tropical cyclones, the U.N. weather agency said Wednesday in its annual climate report.

The World Meteorological Organization counted 86 tropical storms so far this year, just three short of the annual average since 1981. They were unevenly spread across the globe.

The Atlantic saw its quietest season since 1994 in terms of the intensity and duration of , according to the WMO report, which was released as U.N. climate talks were ongoing in Warsaw. Of the 12 named storms only two—Humberto and Ingrid—reached hurricane strength. Both were Category 1 hurricanes, the lowest level.

The Western North Pacific, however, had recorded 30 storms by early November, above the annual average of 26, the WMO said. Thirteen of them were typhoons, including Haiyan, which struck the Philippines last week.

Storms that reach 74 mph (119 kph) are called hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons in the northwest Pacific.

Typhoon Haiyan is one of the most powerful storms to make landfall anywhere, and it is feared to have killed thousands of people and affected more than 9 million.

"Although individual cannot be directly attributed to climate change, higher sea levels are already making coastal populations more vulnerable to storm surges. We saw this with tragic consequences in the Philippines," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement.

The reached a record high in March this year, according to the report. Since satellite measurements began in 1993, seas have been rising annually by about 3.2 millimeters or just over one-tenth of an inch. Scientists believe it's a result of global warming.

The report also said 2013 is on track to become one of the top 10 hottest years on record. The first nine months of the year were about 0.86 F (0.48 C) warmer than average, meaning 2013 so far is tied with 2003 as the seventh hottest year since the start of measurements in 1850, the WMO said.

The hottest year on record is 2010.

Explore further: Correction: Hurricane vs Typhoon story (Update)

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Monitoring heavy metals using mussels

2 hours ago

A research team in Malaysia has concluded that caged mussels are useful for monitoring heavy metal contamination in coastal waters in the Strait of Johore. Initial results indicate more pollution in the eastern ...

Climate change report identifies 'the most vulnerable'

4 hours ago

Extreme weather events leave populations with not enough food both in the short- and the long-term. A new report by the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the School of Geography and the Environment ...

Obama readies climate change push at UN summit

7 hours ago

President Barack Obama will seek to galvanize international support in the fight against climate change on Tuesday when he addresses the United Nations, with time running out on his hopes of leaving a lasting ...

New toxic spill traced to Mexico mine

7 hours ago

Civil protection authorities have confirmed new toxic spills in northwestern Mexico, where a massive acid spill from a copper mine contaminated waterways.

User comments : 0