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Old 10-11-2013, 11:41 AM   #1
Golden Cockroach
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Unhappy India about to get hit by Phailin

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An atmospheric beast is forming in the Bay of Bengal and heading straight for India. Cyclone Phailin—pronounced pie-leen; it’s a Thai word for “sapphire”—has exploded from tropical storm strength to potentially the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane.

Meteorologists can’t precisely determine Phailin’s current strength because there are no “hurricane hunter“ aircraft taking direct measurements of storms in the Indian Ocean basin. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), a Hawaii-based forecasting outpost of the US Navy, says Phailin is undergoing “extreme rapid intensification.”

While strengthening, the storm has grown to nearly half the size of India itself (image via University of Wisconsin):

The storm’s growth, both in size and in strength, is expected to continue until landfall. The latest forecast from JTWC shows Phailin hitting land on Saturday near Brahmapur, India, at the strength of a category 5 hurricane:

That forecast may, in fact, be conservative. Waters over the Bay of Bengal are exceptionally warm right now—more than 28°C, which is the generally agreed upon threshold above which rapid intensification of tropical cyclones is most likely.

The last storm of this magnitude to hit India was the 1999 Odisha cyclone, which killed more than 10,000 people and caused $4.5 billion in damage. That storm hit the same general area that Phailin appears to be headed, at about Phailin’s predicted strength.

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Old 10-11-2013, 11:48 AM   #2
Ground Beetle
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I thought you meant India was going to be hit by Sarah Palin which also carries high winds but is not half the size of India. She's like a size 6 or maybe 8.
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