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LostCosmonaut

The Meteorology Thread: Hector Lives

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Bad news for the Oroville Dam.

When hydropower breaks, it can get scary as fuck.

Presenting, the Vajont Dam. Here's a picture from wiki;

240px-La_diga_del_Vajont_vista_da_Longar

And the caption;

The Vajont Dam as seen from the village of Longarone in 2005, showing approximately the top 60–70 metres of concrete. The wall of water that overtopped the dam by 250 metres (820 ft)[1] and destroyed this village and all nearby villages on 9 October 1963 would have obscured virtually all of the blue sky in this photo.

 

To be fair, that was because of a landslide that fell into the reservoir, not rainwater, but still.

Hopefully the engineers in California did a better job than the 1950s PRC; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam

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2 minutes ago, LostCosmonaut said:

I'm mostly curious to hear what someone who actually has experience being on boats in shitty weather has to say about the situation. My gut instinct is that the captain fucked up pretty hard.

I've obviously never been in that sort of situation and the boats that I work with are much smaller.

With that said, some initial thoughts.

The Captain fucked up hard. But it seems to me the ship owners fucked up harder by not having proper survival equipment on that ship. They should have something like this.

Freefall_lifeboat.JPG

The gallows humor is pretty typical of what I would expect from folks who work in a high risk industry. "This is what every day is like in Alaska" and the bit about "Nobody in their right minds would go into that". It's one of those psychological tricks that you buck yourself up with because no one in their right minds would be out there.

In these sort of maritime disasters it is usually a series of unfortunate events which accrue. 10 tons of straws breaking the camel's back so to speak.

There is a bit of tragedy here in that we're dealing with real human beings. I recounted the bit about someone getting coffee to Mrs. The Captain and her eyes welled up a bit when I told her that one of the guys asked for Splenda, not sugar. It's just common every day stuff. 

They waited far too long obviously to abandon ship since there was only 8 minutes between the order was given to lower the life rafts and when the ship went down. And at that point, I can only imagine the panic at trying to go through as complicated of an operation of lower life rafts in a hurricane on a sinking ship with cargo containers flying around.

I don't get the bits about "The suggested course change was not authorized". By whom? By the Captain? By the shipping company? Or some other entity? They had hours to get the situation corrected. But didn't.

 

 

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It makes me wonder just how much leeway the Captains on these cargo ships have to deviate from a course or to turn back altogether. The margins these shipping companies are working under aren't that great. Hanjin, one of the largest shipping companies in the world just went bankrupt a few weeks ago.

I suspect there is a lot of pressure for these guys to go forward regardless of the risk since a delayed shipment no doubt can cost millions of dollars. And if the ship sinks, fuck it, the shipping company has insurance.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, LostCosmonaut said:

Interesting times in the tropical Atlantic: NAO favors westward tracks, MJO is in a favorable phase for convective activity, and we've got a strong wave off Africa with model support.

 

:getin:

Time to start checking Jeff Master's blog regularly again?

 

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Interesting historical fact that got posted on WU;

 



ZCZC MIATCDAT5 ALL TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM TROPICAL STORM EARL DISCUSSION NUMBER 10 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 11 PM EDT SUN AUG 15 2004 IF NOT FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA THIS PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN THE LAST ADVISORY ON EARL...AT LEAST FOR NOW. THE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE EARL THIS EVENING WAS DENIED ACCESS TO VENEZUELAN AIRSPACE. HAD THEY BEEN ABLE TO GET TO THE STORM...I DOUBT THEY WOULD HAVE FOUND A CLOSED CIRCULATION...AS THE QUIKSCAT AMBIGUITIES AT 22Z LOOK MORE LIKE AN OPEN WAVE. HOWEVER...THERE IS ENOUGH DOUBT TO KEEP ADVISORIES GOING UNTIL THE NEXT AIRCRAFT ARRIVES TOMORROW MORNING...AND INDICATIONS ARE THAT THAT MISSION WILL BE ALLOWED TO PROCEED.

 

 

For reference, even Cuba allows Hurricane Hunters into their airspace, provided they share the data.

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