In DepthSevere Weather

Deadly storms break records, damage facilities

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Science  21 Sep 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6408, pp. 1172-1173
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6408.1172

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Weather and marine scientists were awestruck last week as they watched two deadly, record-breaking storms evolve on opposite sides of the globe: Hurricane Florence in North America, and Typhoon Mangkhut in Asia. Now, they are scrambling to analyze a torrent of information on the origins and impacts of the storms, collected by satellites, gauges, robotic submarines and other instruments. They are also assessing damage to research infrastructure. Roofs were peeled off laboratory buildings and dormitories at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Weather buoys and storm gages from U.S. government research institutions were dragged by high-speed winds and overtopped with floodwaters. Institutions in China, Taiwan, and the Philippines were similarly battered by typhoon-strength winds and waves.

  • * With reporting by Dennis Normile and Paul Voosen.