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Why are tropical storms and hurricanes named?

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center does not control the naming of tropical storms. Instead, there is a strict procedure established by the World Meteorological Organization. For Atlantic hurricanes, there is a list of male and female names which are used on a six-year rotation. The only time that there is a change is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate. In the event that more than twenty-one named tropical cyclones occur in a season, any additional storms will take names from the Greek alphabet.


What is the difference between tornadoes and hurricanes?

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A tornado is a violently spiraling funnel cloud that extends from the bottom of a thunderstorm to the ground. It is important not to confuse a tornado with a hurricane or tropical cyclone because tornadoes and hurricanes are very different phenomena. The only similarity between them is that they both contain strong rotating winds that can cause damage.

Location: Tornadoes usually occur over land, while hurricanes almost always form over the ocean.

Size: The largest tornado every observed was 4 km wide, but most tornadoes are about 0.8 km wide. Hurricanes are much larger, ranging from about 160 km to 1600 km wide.

Life cycles: A tornado’s lifetime is short, ranging from a few seconds to a few hours. A hurricane’s life cycle can last from days to weeks.

Wind speeds: The strongest tornadoes can have wind speeds over 483 kph, but even the strongest hurricanes rarely produce wind speeds over 322 kph.


But tornadoes are a different kettle of fish

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Tembisa 27 July 2016. Picture:

“Tornadoes are really beyond the edge of our understanding of things,” says Tony Del Genio, a climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. “This science is in its infancy.”

Del Genio says tornadoes are nature’s hardest weather event to predict. They are essentially flukes of nature. Unlike hurricanes, they form spontaneously, are short-lived, and traverse a much smaller land mass by comparison.

Many atmospheric conditions need to converge at the right time for tornadoes to form. They need hot, humid air near the ground with a cool air mass above them. They also need strong wind velocity at higher altitudes, known as wind shear, to get them spinning.


They are classified as follows:

Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph (33 knots) or less.

Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph (34 to 63 knots).

Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher. In the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons; similar storms in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean are called cyclones.

Major Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph (96 knots) or higher, corresponding to a Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.


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Tropical cyclone or cyclone. What’s the difference?

A tropical cyclone is a generic term used by meteorologists to describe a rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has closed, low-level circulation. Once a tropical cyclone reaches maximum sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or higher, it is then classified as a hurricane, typhoon, or cyclone depending upon where the storm originates in the world.

Tropical cyclones rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere.


Hurricane, cyclone, typhoon, tornado – what’s the difference?

We take a look at  hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons and tornadoes.

March 13, 2019

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Hurricane Irma from space.

What is the difference between a hurricane, a cyclone, and a typhoon?

The only difference between a hurricane, a cyclone, and a typhoon is the location where the storm occurs.

Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon; we just use different names for these storms in different places. In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, the term “hurricane” is used. The same type of disturbance in the Northwest Pacific is called a “typhoon” and “cyclones” occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.


A study posted in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Nuerology states that "a decreased risk for death due to MI and all cardiovascular diseases (including stroke) was observed among persons with cats. Acquisition of cats as domestic pets may represent a novel strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in high-risk individuals."

Owning cats can seriously help out your health situation. Kitties can easily reduce your levels of stress — especially for women above 50 years old — and the comforting rhythmic sound of their purring actually has healing qualities. The sound has been linked to lessening chances of a heart attack and even strengthening your bones.

So, tell everyone who's ever diminished your cat-loving nature to the cat lady stereotype — even calling it "crazy" — to knock it off. In the end, just know that you'll be the healthiest (and happiest) one in the room. Other than your cat, of course.


Science says being a 'crazy cat lady' is actually good for you

Cats have significant, positive impact on mental health, study says

May 17, 2019
Elizabeth Gulino
Editorial Fellow

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Tell the "crazy cat lady" archetype to step aside — there's some new research in town, and it says that owning cats actually makes you healthier and definitely not a crazy cat lady. According to Psychological Medicine, there's absolutely no link to owning cats and psychosis later in life, and there's even more research proving that cats are actually beneficial to several parts of our health. In fact, living with a cute kitten — or two or three or four — can actually reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases.


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Sports drink: Powerade Mountain Berry Blast – Powerade's Mountain Berry Blast also has 56 grams of sugar. Each of these five Reese's cups contains about 11 grams of sugar.

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Iced coffee: Starbucks Iced Flavored Latte – A Grande Starbucks Iced Flavored Latte with 2% milk and your choice of syrup has about 28 grams of sugar. The same amount of sugar is in 2.5 Krispy Kreme donuts.

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Iced coffee: Dunkin Donuts Iced Caramel Latte – A 16-ounce Dunkin Donuts Iced Caramel Latte has 37 grams of sugar. Each Krispy Kreme donut has about 11 grams of sugar.


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Juice smoothie: Bolthouse Farms Berry Boost – You'd consume 24 grams of sugar by drinking this Bolthouse Farms Berry Boost 15.2-ounce bottle -- or by eating six Chips Ahoy! cookies.

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Sports drink: Gatorade Thirst Quencher Cool Blue – This 32-ounce Gatorade bottle has 56 grams of sugar, the same that can be found in approximately five Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.


The recommendations for kids between 1 and 6 years old are to limit fruit juice consumption to 6 ounces per day, while children 7 years and older, teens and adults should limit fruit juice to 8 ounces per day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

"Further research is needed to examine the health risks and potential benefits of specific fruit juices," Guasch-Ferré and Hu said.

Welsh said we need to consider both fruit juices and sugar-sweetened beverages when we think about how much sugar we consume each day. Between the two, she tipped the scales in favor of fruit juice: "Given its vitamin and mineral content, fruit juice in small amounts may have a beneficial effect that isn't seen with sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages."

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Milk: Silk Almond Milk Original – A glass of original almond milk contains 7 grams of sugar. Unsweetened almond milk has 0 grams.

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Juice smoothie: Naked Berry Blast – The 15.2-ounce bottle of Naked Berry Blast has 29 grams of sugar. Each of these eight Chips Ahoy! cookies contains about 3.6 grams of sugar.


Recommended amounts of fruit juice

This is one of the first studies to examine the relationship between sugary drinks, including 100% fruit juices, and early death, wrote Marta Guasch-Ferré, a research scientist in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Dr. Frank B. Hu, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, in an editorial published alongside the new study.

However, the study is limited in what it can tell us, noted Guasch-Ferré and Hu, who were not involved in the research. Because so few coronary heart disease-related deaths occurred, the analysis here is considered weak; more time and a higher number of participants would probably give a stronger signal either way. Also, each participant's sugary drink consumption was recorded at the start of the study only, based entirely on self-reporting, which is not considered reliable.

"Although fruit juices may not be as deleterious as sugar-sweetened beverages, their consumption should be moderated in children and adults, especially for individuals who wish to control their body weight," Guasch-Ferré and Hu wrote.

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Milk: Generic skim milk – An 8-ounce glass of skim milk has about 11 grams of sugar. A single Starburst candy has 2.7 grams.

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Milk: Silk Vanilla Soymilk – A glass of vanilla soymilk has about 8 grams of sugar, which is equal to the amount found in three Starbursts.


Each additional 12-ounce serving of fruit juice per day was associated with a 24% higher risk of death from any cause, and each additional 12-ounce serving of sugary beverages per day was associated with an 11% higher risk. A similar relationship between sugary beverages and death due to coronary heart disease was not found.

"In looking at our results for sugar-sweetened beverages and juices independently, we need to be clear that the risk presented is relative to that present in the lowest consumers of each," Welsh explained.

She was not surprised by the the findings. She and her co-authors said "a number of possible biological mechanisms" explain the elevated risk of death. For example, research suggests that sugary beverages increase insulin resistance, which is known to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, while fructose consumption may stimulate hormones that promote weight gain around the waist -- another cardiovascular disease risk factor.

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Energy drink: Red Bull – Three-quarters of a cup of generic-brand frosted flakes contains about 11 grams of sugar. This 16-ounce can of Red Bull has 52 grams of sugar. Red Bull and many of the companies in this gallery offer lower or no-sugar versions of their drinks. "Nearly half -- 45% -- of all non-alcoholic beverages contain 0% (sugar)," said Christopher Gindlesperger, spokesman for the American Beverage Association.

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Energy drink: Monster Energy – This 16-ounce can of Monster Energy has 54 grams of sugar. It contains the same amount of sugar as about 3.5 cups of frosted flakes.


To address this issue, she and her colleagues repurposed data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke study, which seeks to understand why more African-Americans die from strokes than other races and why people in the Southeast have more strokes than those in other areas of the United States.

Drawing from this multiethnic study, Welsh and her coauthors analyzed data from 13,440 adults 45 and older, nearly 60% men and almost 71% of them overweight or obese.

People who consumed 10% or more of their daily calories as sugary beverages had a 44% greater risk of dying due to coronary heart disease and a 14% greater risk of an early death from any cause compared with people who consumed less than 5% of their daily calories as sugary beverages, the study showed.

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Tea: Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng & Honey – A 23-ounce can of Arizona Green Tea contains 51 grams of sugar, which is about the same as can be found in 20 Hershey's Kisses. The World Health Organization recently proposed new guidelines that recommend consuming less than 5% of our total daily calories from added sugars. For an adult at a normal body mass index, or BMI, 5% would be around 25 grams of sugar -- or six teaspoons.

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Tea: Lipton Lemon Iced Tea – There are 32 grams of sugar in this 20-ounce bottle of iced tea. Each of these 12 Hershey's Kisses contains approximately 2.5 grams of sugar.


Cardiovascular disease link

Seven US cities, including New York and most recently Philadelphia, have levied taxes on sweetened drinks with added sugar in an effort to reduce consumption. These laws often highlight how soda and other sugary beverages contribute to the obesity epidemic among kids and high rates of diabetes among adults.

The new study defined "sugary beverages" as both sugar-sweetened thirst-quenchers, like soda and fruit-flavored infusions, and 100% natural fruit juices that have no added sugar. So how does fruit juice stack up against soda?

"Previous research has shown that high consumption of sugars like those in soft drink and fruit juices is linked to several cardiovascular disease risk factors," Welsh explained. Obesity, diabetes and elevated triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood) are among the risk factors linked to excessive sugar intake. "Few studies have been able to look at how this consumption might impact mortality risk," she said.

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Juice: Minute Maid 100% Apple Juice – This 15.2-ounce bottle contains 49 grams of sugar, which is about the amount of sugar in 10 Oreos.
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Juice: SunnyD Original – A 16-ounce bottle of SunnyD Original contains 28 grams of sugar. Each these six Oreos contains about 4.6 grams of sugar.


It's not just soda: Drinking too much fruit juice (or any sugary drink) linked to premature death risk

By Susan Scutti, CNN
May 17, 2019

(CNN)Many sugar-sweetened beverages have little to no nutritional value and lots of calories, and their harmful health effects have been well-documented. Now, a study links drinking too many sugary beverages -- and even 100% natural fruit juices -- to an increased risk of early death.

Specifically, drinking an excessive amount of fruit juice could lead to an increased risk of premature death ranging from 9% to 42%, according to the study, published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Overall, the sugars found in orange juice, although naturally occurring, are pretty similar to the sugars added to soda and other sweetened beverages, the study suggests.

"Sugary beverages, whether soft drinks or fruit juices, should be limited," Jean A. Welsh, a co-author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta, wrote in an email.

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A 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola Classic contains 65 grams of sugar, which is the same amount of sugar found in five Little Debbie Swiss Rolls.

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A 20-ounce bottle of Pepsi contains 69 grams of sugar. Each Little Debbie Swiss Roll contains an estimated 13 grams of sugar.


In a sense, you are called upon to stand up and give voice to the aspirations of many who have become timid or fearful, who have become indifferent or apathetic, who have been cowed to silence and intimidated by the forces of state repression or coercion, or have been overwhelmed by the demands of daily subsistence—the  unceasing efforts simply to wait for a ride (which I have witnessed a thousand times) or just to survive.

We believe in you. We have seen hope in your eyes. We have seen courage in your actions. Our generation may have tried but failed. But yours is more prepared, more real, more capable, and certainly “woke.” Thus, with you in the forefront, the battle is joined, and may the words of the poet accompany you in this uncertain and improbable quest: “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield!”

* * *

Ed Garcia is a framer of the 1987 Constitution. He worked at Amnesty International and International Alert in the United Kingdom for over two decades and taught at the Ateneo, UP and FEU.

See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here


To the young who were not only witnesses but participants in the valiant campaign of the Otso Diretso, I have this to say: “Be not afraid! Yours is the successor generation. The future belongs to you, and its shape and texture, its spaces for freedom and progress are yours to design, and the ranks of the committed yours to forge.”

If you feel underrepresented in the halls of Congress, remember that you have power in your hands and strength in your numbers—if you are able to organize and mobilize.


But the Otso Diretso experience, in a sense, is just the beginning. It could signal a new awakening. It provides our youth an opportunity to shape a future different from the shameful past. It raises issues you will need to grapple with, such as the following: the challenge of Charter change by an unbridled Congress that will be converted into a constituent assembly (con-ass); the pushback against an escalation of the bloody war on drugs with its attendant devaluation of human life, particularly in inner-city communities; the resistance against the continued incursion of China into Philippine waters; the fight back against threats to our freedom to dissent and our rights to a free press and media; and the resolve to put a stop to the moral meltdown in our society caused by so-called leaders who believe that cursing those who differ is unifying the country.

We have in our hands a continuing nightmare, certainly a far cry from the dream of our great statesman Ka Pepe Diokno who, in confronting the dictatorship that had jailed him in solitary confinement for seven long years, said in defiance: “I fight, I continue to struggle to build a nation for our children.”

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