The Real Home of Hurricanes: Ethiopia?

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Joined: 07/10/2008

I read the following news from ABCNEWS.com and posted it for discussion. What do you think? Will it be possible? If possible what should be done in Ethiopia and the Sahel region? May be radar network and share data? What do you suggest?

The Real Home of Hurricanes: Ethiopia?
Researchers Say Many Storms Begin on Far Side of Africa
By NED POTTER
July 25, 2008

We've seen the image so many times: the satellite picture of clouds in the Atlantic or the Caribbean, gradually taking the familiar spiral shape of a hurricane.
Most of us think of the storms as beginning over the steamy Atlantic waters, which provide fuel for hurricanes as they strengthen and threaten landfall. But it turns out that many storms begin much farther away -- all the way over on the far side of Africa.
Watch "Focus Earth" Saturday on Discovery's "Planet Green" network.
They can start as thunderstorms in Ethiopia, picking up heat and energy as they drift westward across the Sahara desert.
"It's a remote part of the world, but it really does have a lot of implications for folks living downstream," said Jason Dunion, a scientist at the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
For years, Dunion and fellow researchers have been studying hurricanes to determine their true origins. That led them to take interest in tropical disturbances from as far away as the Red Sea.
"Only about one in 10 or so of these tropical 'waves' actually forms into a named storm," said Dunion, "but what's really interesting is they account for over half the hurricanes and tropical storms that we see in the entire Atlantic."
Hurricane Bertha, earlier this month, became a named storm just a few hundred miles off the African coast. It was also one of the longest-lasting hurricanes on record, though it did not make landfall.

Dolly, which hit south Texas on Wednesday, did not fit the out-of-Africa pattern. It formed in the Caribbean.
What determines if a particular disturbance will become a major hurricane, or fade to nothing as it crosses Africa? Among other things, scientists are curious about sand from the Sahara, which can be picked up by the wind and sometimes travel for thousands of miles.
Saharan sand -- along with small amounts of microbial life unique to Africa -- has been detected as far away as southern Florida.
Scientists believe the sand may suppress hurricane formation, though the theory is heavily debated. If there are more sand particles in the upper layers of the atmosphere, they theorize, raindrops may coalesce around them, and a storm may lose power before it can actually become a hurricane.

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Joined: 09/02/2009
Just think... If the cost of

Just think... If the cost of dealing with even one major hurricane were spent on rejuvinating the deserts of Etheopia, it might stop many of the hurricanes that grow into killers. Even irrigation and planting in those regions would help the people there as well as decreasing life and property threating damage to the United States, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, as wellas the many small islands so often devistated. Instead of simply tracking the storm, why not deal with the source(s)???

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Esther Nakkazi's picture
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Joined: 06/04/2008
Real Home of Hurricanes

Hailu in Uganda here they have predicted big storms too. But apart from the government making the alert and calling a press conference there is nothing in particular that has been laid on the ground.

Although the public is talking about it no one seems to be doing anything and it is sad because am sure there will be panicking if there is any kind of disaster from the storms. Has your government done anything?