English 100 #3221
17 May 2007
A hurricane is one of the most severe storms the country has to endure. A hurricane can easily damage millions of dollars of property and even kill anyone in their paths. A hurricane is a local name for tropical cyclones in the Caribbean, Nnorth Atlantic and Eeastern Nnorthern Pacific. On average there are about six hurricanes in a season and of those about 2 reach become a major hurricane. Hurricane season starts in June and ends in November. A hurricane is a low press air mass with high winds and heavy rains capable of large amounts damage. The formation of a tropical storm, the identification of a storm, the damages that a hurricane is capable of, and what the National Hurricane Center is responsible for reporting to the public to arise awareness about what a hurricane is.The power of a hurricane and how they form, the destruction that a hurricane can cause and what happens during the aftermath of a hurricane.
A hurricane starts life as a tropical storm. When the storm begins in the ocean, the water temperature must be at least 80 degrees F and at least 150 feet deep. If not, the storm will bring up cold water from the deeper depth of the waters and the storm will run out of heat before it even gets started or no hurricane will be formed. When a hurricane does form, the evaporation from the ocean provides the storm with moisture and heat. The rising of the warm air causes a low pressure area and this causes the surface winds to increase. Next, the air outside of the storm must be humid which will allow the storm to intensify. If not, the dry air absorbs the moisture and removes the heat causing down drafts. This disrupts the storm from forming and eventually it will die out. “The Location of the forming storm must be at least 300 miles away from the equator or the force of the Coriolis Effect will not be great enough to create the necessary spin.”(Encyclopedia Britannica) The last condition required for the storm to become a hurricane is that there is little or no change of wind speed in relation to altitude. The center must remain vertical over the warm body of water to provide the storm with energy. These conditions are found between 5 and 15 degrees latitude. (Buckley, Hopkins, Whitaker p134)
Hurricanes are classifies in many ways according to their intensity during development and given a name to help forecasters identify the storm. which is measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale. A hurricane is rated on a measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale which starts at from one being the least severe, to five which is the most intense. A class 1 hurricane has a maximum speed between 74 and 96 miles per hour, and has a minimum surface pressure greater than 980 millibars. The storm surge is four to five feet. A class five hurricane has a maximum speed of 156 miles per hour or greater, a minimum surface pressure of 920 or less, and a storm surge of eighteen feet or over. (Buckley, Hopkins, Whitaker 134) In order to be able to keep a record of hurricanes, the National Weather Service had to come up with a system to name them. Before 1953 there was not any system in use to name hurricanes and they could only be identified by their dates. Between 1953 and 1978, hurricanes were only given female names. Starting in 1979 the National Weather Service began practicing the use of using male names as well. There were two sets of six lists created to name a hurricane. One list was to be used for the Atlantic hurricanes and the other list was for the Pacific hurricanes. These lists are repeated every six years. Each name on the lists used a different letter of the alphabet and alternated between male and female names. If a particular hurricane was very intense and damaging, then that name is retired and a new name replaces it on the list. (Encyclopedia Britannica) The letters "Q", "U", "X", "Y", and "Z" were not used on the list. Since 1954, forty names have been retired and...
Cited: Zehnder, Joseph A. "Tropical Cyclone." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopedia
Britannica Online.16 May 2007
Buckley, Bruce, Edward J. Hopkins, and Richard Whitaker. “Weather a Visual Guide.” Sydney,
Australia: Firefly 2004.
“Hurricane Hazards.” Federal Emergency Management Agency. 2007.
Blake, Eric S., Edward N. Rappaport, Christopher W. Landsea. “The Deadliest, Costliest, and the
Most Intense United States Tropical Cyclones from 1851 to 2006 (and Other Frequently Requested Hurricane Facts.” National Hurricane Center.15 April 2007.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document