Facts About Hurricane

hurricane AndrewWhat is a hurricane?

Hurricanes are large tropical storms which can be 600 miles across, carries strong winds that go more than 74 to 200 miles per hour, and huge amounts of rain. The term tropical storm is used to refer to a storm with wind speeds under 74 miles per hour. Anything above is this limit is already considered as a hurricane. A hurricane lasts for only about a week and moves at a speed of 10-20 miles per hour when over open ocean.

Hurricanes are stronger over open waters and weakens it reaches land fall. These tropical storms absorb heat and energy as it goes over warm ocean waters. The evaporation from the seawater increases the hurricane’s power. For hurricanes to develop, the ocean-water temperature needs to be above 79 degrees F which is the reason why most hurricanes form in late summer and early fall.

The eye

Wind movements in a hurricane is in a counter-clockwise direction. Wind moves around a calm, peaceful center called the "eye." The eye is the only place in the hurricane where winds are not strong and the weather can be generalized as fair.

When the eye is passing over you, it seems the hurricane is over. The eye part commonly measures for 10 to 30 miles wide. Although, the winds might be calm inside the eye, winds near it has gustiness of 186 miles per hour.

Hurricane classification

Hurricanes are classified into five categories, based on their wind speeds and potential to cause damage.

  • Category One — Winds 74-95 miles per hour
  • Category Two — Winds 96-110 miles per hour
  • Category Three — Winds 111-130 miles per hour
  • Category Four — Winds 131-155 miles per hour
  • Category Five — Winds greater than 155 miles per hour

Although, hurricanes often weaken when it reaches land fall, the winds and rains still enough to damage properties, cause flooding, and can take lives.

When is the hurricane season?

Due to its dependency on ocean water temperatures, hurricanes are season. The Atlantic hurricane season is usually from June 1 to November 30. However, most hurricanes occur during the fall months. Meanwhile, the Eastern Pacific hurricane season is from May 15 to November 30.

Hurricane vs cyclone

When looking at its definitions, hurricanes are no different from tropical storms. The only difference is where each one occurs. Hurricanes are formed in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The Western Pacific Ocean folks call theirs typhoons. While cyclones is the term used by residents of Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal, and Australia.

Why are hurricanes given names?

Hurricanes have names for a a good reason. Giving these large tropical storms with distinctive names is better than the more confusing latitude-longitude identification method. Short given names can be advantageous when exchanging information across the oceans, to ships, ports, and other forecasting centers. Moreover, by providing unique names mix-up two storms that occur at the same time would be unlikely.

But believe it or not, hurricanes were previously named after the particular saint’s day on which the hurricane occurred. Then, people started using latitude-longitude positions which, as was mentioned earlier, is rather confusing in itself.

The most costiest hurricane

Andrew, the most expensive natural disaster in United States history, cut a path through the northwestern Bahamas, the southern Florida peninsula and south-central Louisiana.

The category 5 hurricane came ashore on August 24, 1992, near Homestead, Florida, resulting in 15 deaths. As many as 250,000 people were left temporarily homeless. More than 700,000 insurance claims were filed relating to Andrew. Hurricane Andrew cost $26.5 billion.

Image Source: Wikipedia

 
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