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CLOUDS AND WEATHER

DROUGHT
What is drought?
Most of us think of droughts as when there's no rain at all. But actually they
can happen when there's less rain than people thought there would be. It
usually happens over months or even years, when an area, like East Africa,
doesn't have a big enough water supply.
Droughts may not be an issue just because there is less or no precipitation.
However, it becomes an issue when it begins to affect water supply for
irrigation, municipal, industrial, energy, and ecosystem function.
People often do not see droughts as natural disasters like tornadoes,
hurricanes or floods, because they do not have the usual immediate
destructive ability, but they can be very catastrophic in the long run. Server
droughts can have very serious consequences. Unlike other natural
disasters, droughts happen very slowly over time.

How do droughts happen?


Droughts happen when there is not enough rain for a long period of time.
It's not like a dry spell - there is so little precipitation (rain, snow, sleet or
any kind of moisture) that a whole region starts to dry out.
Drought has many causes. It can be caused by not receiving rain or snow
over a period of time. If you live in a place where most of the water you use
comes from a river, a drought in your area can be caused by places
upstream from you not receiving enough Moisture. There would be less
water in the river for you and other people who live along the river to
use. People can also play a big role in drought. If we use too much water
during times of normal rainfall, we might not have enough water when a
drought happens.

Can scientists predict if a drought is going to happen?


No! Studies conducted over the past century have shown that
meteorological drought is never the result of a single cause. It is the result
of many causes including, global weather patterns, high pressure, the
tropical outlook and other global-scale variables.
What are the effects of drought?
Droughts can be very dangerous for people in living in areas with not
enough food or water. Deaths can happen from lack of food and water, and
there are lots of health problems too.
When there's not enough water, crops fail, which means there isn't enough
food to go around.
It also means that farmers lose money, and the area can become very poor.
How can we help if were in a drought?
One of the easiest steps we can take to help the impacts of drought is
conserving water. If we use water wisely at all times, more water will be
available to us and to plants and wildlife when a drought happens. We can
lose a lot of water doing simple everyday tasks. Did you know that turning
off the water while you brush your teeth can save more than 100 gallons of

water a month? If you have a leaky faucet, the drips can add up to 300
gallons of wasted water a month.

FLOOD
What is a flood?
It is a natural event where a land (or area) that is usually dry land, suddenly
gets submerged under water. When floods happen in an area that people
live, the water carries along objects like houses, bridges, cars, furniture and
even people. It can wipe away farms, trees and many more heavy items.
What causes flooding?
Here are a few events that can cause flooding:
Rains
Each time there are more rains than the drainage system can take,
there can be floods. Sometimes, there is heavy rain for a very short

period that result in floods. In other times, there may be light rain for
many days and weeks and can also result in floods.
River overflow
Rivers can overflow their banks to cause flooding.
Strong winds in coastal areas
Sea water can be carried by massive winds and hurricanes onto dry
coastal lands and cause flooding.
Ice and snow-melts
In many cold regions, heavy snow over the winter usually stays unmelted for sometime. There are also mountains that have ice on top of
them. Sometimes the ice suddenly melts when the temperature rises,
resulting in massive movement of water into places that are usually
dry. This is usually called a snowmelt flood.

Effects of flooding
Floods can have devastating consequences and can have effects on the
economy, environment and people.
Economic
During floods (especially flash floods), roads, bridges, farms, houses
and automobiles are destroyed. People become homeless. All these
come at a heavy cost to people and the government. It usually takes
years for affected communities to be re-built and business to come
back to normalcy.

Environment
The environment also suffers when floods happen. Chemicals and
other hazardous substances end up in the water and eventually
contaminate the water bodies that floods end up in.
People and animals
Many people and animals have died in flash floods. Many more are
injured and others made homeless. In addition to this, flooding brings a
lot of diseases and infections including military fever, pneumonic
plague, dermatopathia and dysentery.
Methods of flood prevention
Retaining walls, In some places, retaining walls levees, lakes, dams,
reservoirs or retention ponds have been constructed to hold extra
water during times of flooding.
Town planning, this will ensure that every building, office, apartments
or house that built have their own waterways and it need to ensure
that the building will not blocked the waterways which already made.
Drainage systems must be covered and kept free from objects that
chock them. This way, water can quickly run through if it rains and
minimize any chance of town flooding. Drainage systems should also
be covered to prevent litter from getting into them.

WILDFIRE
What is wildfire?

Out of the many natural disasters we have, wild fires would be one that is
very common, very difficult to fight, and maybe the most dangerous.
What is a fire? Simple, it is the visible part of a combustion. A combustion is
a chemical reaction of three things: Heat, fuel and Oxygen. These three
ingredients must be present before a fire can be made and maintained.
Wildfire is uncontrolled fire often occurring in wildland areas, but which can
also consume houses or agricultural resources.
How does a wildfire start?
Campfires:
Sometimes fires are needed for various things during camping and they can
start wildfires if not put out properly.
Smoking:
Some people smoke whiles driving, biking or walking. Sometimes the buds
are not properly extinguished and thrown away, you never know where that
bud
will
end
up
and
start
a
fire.
Lightning:
A good number of wildfires were started by
lightning. When lightning strikes, it can
produce a spark. It can strike trees, dry
leaves, rocks and many other things and just
set them off.
Fireworks:
Fireworks are banned in many places because
of their explosive nature and high potential to
start a fire. If fireworks are not blasted at the
right places, they can end up as fires elsewhere.
Arson:
This is the act of setting fire to a property, piece of land or anything with the
intention of causing damage. Sometimes they set up a fire to empty the
land because the cost is cheaper than chopping down the trees.

Factors that makes wildfires burn more.


Here are some factors that combine to provide a complex web of
ingredients that help wildfires to burn more and quicker. Here are a few:
1. Wind
Winds direct or change direction of fire to new areas with new fuels.
Additionally, they provide fresh supply of oxygen, a key ingredient of fire,
to the situation.
2. Slope
Wild fires usually move faster uphill than downhill. The steeper the slope,
the faster they burn. This is because steeper slopes tend to have lots of
fuels in close proximity and the wind action if much more aggressive
uphill.

3. Temperature
Conditions with higher temperature tend to absorb moisture from fuels
and make them conducive to catch fire. This is why areas with lots of sun
and higher temperatures tend to be dry and has more fire events.
4. Humidity
Fuels in locations with high humidity and rainfall tend to be damp and
moist. Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. The higher it is,
the higher the moisture in the fuels there and the less likely they are to
catch fire.
5. Times and seasons
In many places, the seasons tell a story. During summer lots of fires
happen. That is because the summer heat makes fuels drier and provides
richer oxygen than the winter seasons.

6. Vegetation
The ease at which wildfires spread also depends on the fuel composition.
Trees and vegetation with lots of moisture tend to slow down fires than
dry vegetation such as dry grass, dead leaves, tree needles, brush and
small trees. Additionally, some vegetation with high oils and resins aid
combustion and makes fires burn with more ease.
What are the effects of wildfires?
1. Fires also destroy houses and almost anything in its way. Additionally,
the country spends millions of money to fight them with chemicals,
logistics, aircrafts and trucks, time and personnel. The economic loss
can be huge.
2. Soils and organic matter are rich in decaying debris and nutrients.
Wildfires raise the temperatures of these soils to over 900C and this
potentially wipes away almost all the organic value of the soil.
3. Watershed:
Burned organic matter in the soil will affect the natural layering of the
soils. So when there is rain, the soil will not absorb the water, making
the soil surfaces water repellent. Water therefore is unable to drain into
water tables and the run-offs on the surfaces cause erosion.
4. Lost of habitat, many young animals and birds may die, many animals
are unable to escape or move away from fires. Birds fly away.
5. Health, the smoke or the fire will blow away by wind causing health
and respiratory problem. Sometimes people are not allowed to go
outside the house because the air quality is too poor and contains
pollutant matter.
How to prevent wildfire?
Public education is probably the most important activity in wildfire
prevention. People must be educated on how fires are started, the
destruction they cause and the importance of reporting fires, no matter how
small.

Strict rules and regulation from the government, for anyone/ company who
sets up fire in purpose should be punished.

LANDSLIDE
What is a landslide?
A landslide is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth
down a slope due to gravity. The materials may move by falling, toppling,
sliding, spreading, or flowing.

What causes a landslide?


Landslides can be triggered by rainfall, snowmelt, changes in water level,
stream erosion, changes in ground water, earthquakes, volcanic activity,
disturbance by human activities, or any combination of these factors.
Often rain, which adds additional weight to the side of a slope, can cause
slides. Other times they might be caused by erosion, as the base of a slope
is slowly removed by a stream, weakening the entire side of the mountain.

Many human-caused landslides can be avoided or mitigated. They are


commonly a result of building roads and structures without adequate
grading of slopes, of poorly planned alteration of drainage patterns, and of
disturbing old landslides.

What are the effects of landslide?


Landslides cause property damage, injury and death and adversely affect a
variety of resources. For example, water supplies, fisheries, sewage disposal
systems, forests, dams and roadways can be affected for years after a slide
event.
The negative economic effects of landslides include the cost to repair
structures, loss of property value, disruption of transportation routes,
medical costs in the event of injury, and indirect costs such as lost timber
and lost fish stocks. Water availability, quantity and quality can be affected
by landslides. Geotechnical studies and engineering projects to assess and
stabilize potentially dangerous sites can be costly.

How to prevent landslide


1. Maintaining the drainage system
2. Trees and plants with strong root structures help prevent soil erosion and
landslides.
3. Avoid to build any building surround the hills or river or dam.

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