Jeffs713's Tomball & Tropical Weather

So what *is* a fish storm?

By: jeffs713, 9:49 PM GMT on September 01, 2009

So after reading quite a few posts on the main blog about "fish storms", I felt a need to clear up a few misconceptions with them.

1. What is a "fish storm"?
> A "fish storm" is one that is generally viewed to not impact land areas at all. In other words, it misses the Caribbean islands, and curves out to sea before hitting the United States coastline.

2. What about Bermuda, and the Canadian Maritimes?
> According to many of the people to proclaim a storm to be a "fish storm", they don't exist. Don't mind the thousands of people that live there, and the billions of dollars that have been invested in structures and infrastructure.

3. Ok... so if it doesn't hit the Caribbean islands, and it doesn't hit the US East Coast, and it misses Bermuda and the Canadian Maritimes... can it then be considered a "fish storm"?
> Absolutely not. Even if it doesn't make landfall it still impacts people. Thousands of people are at sea in the Atlantic Ocean at any given time. From fishermen to oil tankers, from container vessels to navy ships, they are all impacted by storms in the Atlantic.

4. But that is only a few thousand people, and just their ships, right?
> Not really. Since I work in the container shipping industry, consider just one container vessel. An "average" transatlantic vessel will hold 1500-3000 containers on board, carrying everything from resin (used to make plastics) to foodstuffs, to finished electronics. Basically... a very large majority of our daily purchases. When a major storm is kicking up waves and wind in the Atlantic, the storms at the very least are delayed into port (kinda hard to do 20 knots when you are getting battered by 30+ foot waves), and at the very worst, a container vessel can lose part of its cargo if hit by a rogue wave. (I will post some pics of this tomorrow). Also, keep in mind these brave people are *working* in nasty weather. They are hauling fish, checking containers on board, and protecting our shores in this kind of weather.

Here are a couple of photos of damage on container vessels that have resulted from a storm:

5. Ok... I'm starting to see your point. But what if everyone at sea was moved from the area?
> You still have the crazy/stupid/wierd/suicidal people that surf these high waves, or go swimming with strong seas... and get sucked out by the currents. Even beyond that, strong waves cause coastal erosion, and potential undermining of coastal structures, if not outright tidal flooding.

So basically what I am saying is that there is no such thing as a "fish storm". Every tropical cyclone is going to impact SOMEONE. People can die, millions of dollars of damage can be done, even if a cyclone never makes landfall.


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Jeffs713's Tomball & Tropical Weather

About jeffs713

I live near Tomball, Texas (30 miles NW of Houston), and will write about whatever comes to mind. You've been warned.