||Facts on File
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It has been a decade since the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones was published. During that time the science, history, and culture of tropical cyclones around the globe has remained ever evolving, providing the meteorological world with improved forecasting techniques, altered naming systems, new intensity and duration records, and all-too-many fresh horrors. Since this work was published, the naming lists for those tropical cyclones that tear across the western North Pacific Ocean every year, for example, were entirely changed in the year 2000. Instead of purely western male and female names, they now feature identifiers that are unique to the countries and cultures most vulnerable to typhoon activity. Cambodia, for instance, submitted Sarika, which translates as "singing bird." Typhoon Singing Bird ... as a naming system, it certainly does catch the public's attention. Since this work was published, 1992's Hurricane Andrew was officially upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane; and in 2005, no fewer than 31 tropical systems originated in the North Atlantic Ocean. Among them was the most destructive and deadly tropical cyclone witnessed in the United States during the last half a century, Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Gilbert's 17-year reign as the most intense tropical cyclone yet observed in the North Atlantic basin was deposed by a late-season Hurricane Wilma, which mounted an astonishingly low central barometric pressure reading of 26.05 inches (882 mb), while improvements in forecasting and warning systems have made the various weather services' landfall and intensity predictions that much more accurate and timely, thereby reducing economic costs while enhancing life safety. In Australia in March |1999, Cyclone Vance generated the strongest wind gust yet observed on that continent; and in April 2006, Cyclone Monica produced a central pressure reading of 25.96 inches as it passed just to the north of the Australian continent, the most intense cyclone yet seen in that region of the globe. Typhoon activity in the western North Pacific Ocean has also set new records: In 1998, Super Typhoon Zeb generated a pressure reading of 25.75 inches as it blasted across the northern Pacific, while the 2002 season saw Cyclone Zoe traverse the South Pacific Ocean with a frighten-ingly low central pressure of 25.75 inches. We have even seen the formation of a mature stage tropical cyclone in the very inactive South Atlantic Ocean: Caterina of March 2004...