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30 Important Facts About Hurricane

'Hurricane Irene' is going to cause billions of dollars in damage along a densely populated arc that includes Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and beyond. At least 65 million people could be affected. There are many facts about hurricane which are important and interesting to learn. This post offers 30 facts about hurricane. Hurricanes, Cyclones, Typhoons - by whatever name, tropical systems are some of the most deadly storms known to man. After learning about the nature of these storms, forecasting accuracy is improved and has increased warning time to those in the path of the storm.

'Hurricane Irene' is going to cause billions of dollars in damage along a densely populated arc that includes Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and beyond. At least 65 million people could be affected. On average, two major hurricane (cat 3-5) strike every three years in US; in all categories, about five hurricanes make landfall every three years. On average, a hurricane cat 4 or higher only strikes once every six years. 2004 has been an anomaly.

 There are many important facts about hurricane which are interesting to learn. This post offers 30 facts about hurricane.

Hurricanes, Cyclones, Typhoons - by whatever name, tropical systems are some of the most deadly storms known to man. After learning about the nature of these storms,  forecasting accuracy is  improved and has increased warning time to those in the path of the storm.

NASA explains how hurricanes are formed:

Tropical cyclones are like giant engines that use warm, moist air as fuel. That is why they form only over warm ocean waters near the equator. The warm, moist air over the ocean rises upward from near the surface. Because this air moves up and away from the surface, there is less air left near the surface. Another way to say the same thing is that the warm air rises, causing an area of lower air pressure below. Air from surrounding areas with higher air pressure pushes in to the low pressure area. Then that “new” air becomes warm and moist and rises, too. As the warm air continues to rise, the surrounding air swirls in to take its place. As the warmed, moist air rises and cools off, the water in the air forms clouds. The whole system of clouds and wind spins and grows, fed by the ocean’s heat and water evaporating from the surface.”

30 Facts about hurricane:

  1. The word hurricane comes from the Taino Native American word, hurucane, meaning evil spirit of the wind.
  2. In the Pacific Ocean, Hurricanes are generally known as typhoons. In the Indian Ocean they are called tropical cyclones. These same tropical storms are known as cyclones in the northern Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, and as typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean. Australians call hurricanes, willy-willies.
  3. The first time anyone flew into a hurricane happened in 1943 in the middle of World War II.
  4. The first hurricane of the year is given a name beginning with the letter “A”. 
  5. A hurricane can be hundreds of miles across. It's like a big engine, with upper-level winds acting as a vent, pulling the rising warm air away from the storm.
  6. Hurricanes may have a diameter of 400 to 500 miles (640-800 kilometers).
  7. A typical hurricane can dump 6 inches to a foot of rain across a region.
  8. The most violent winds and heaviest rains take place in the eye wall, the ring of clouds and thunderstorms closely surrounding the eye. Because the atmospheric pressure is so low in the eye, the water rises up there in a sort of mound.
  9. It contributes to the devastating storm surge when a hurricane hits land, but most of the surge comes from winds pushing the sea water ahead of the storm, raising ocean levels by several feet.
  10. The “eye” (center) of a hurricane can be up to 20 miles (32 km) across. The weather in the “eye” is surprisingly calm with low winds and clear skies.
  11. Every second, a large hurricane releases the energy of 10 atomic bombs.
  12. Slow moving hurricanes produce more rainfall and can cause more damage from flooding than faster-moving, more powerful hurricanes.
  13. Hurricanes can also produce tornadoes. They are not as strong as regular tornadoes and last only a few minutes.
  14. Because hurricanes need warm, moist air, they usually begin in late summer or early fall. The Atlantic Ocean’s hurricane season peaks from mid-August to late October and averages five to six hurricanes per year.
  15. The heavy rain, strong winds and heavy waves are called a storm surge. Storm surges are very dangerous and a major reason why you MUST stay away from the ocean during a hurricane warning or hurricane.
  16. The difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane is wind speed – tropical storms usually bring winds of 36-47 miles per hour, whereas hurricane wind speeds are over 74 miles per hour.
  17. Hurricanes  are by far most common in the Pacific Ocean, with the western Pacific being most active. In some years, the Philippines are struck by more than 20 tropical storms and typhoons.
  18. Today, an alphabetical list of names is drawn up each year for the coming year’s hurricanes.
  19. The United States Weather Bureau calls a wind a hurricane when it blows as fast as 74 miles an hour. Hurricanes are named to help us identify and track them as they move across the ocean. For Atlantic Ocean hurricanes, the names may be French, Spanish or English, since these are the major languages bordering the Atlantic Ocean where the storms occur.               
  20. Sometimes names are "retired" if a hurricane has been really big and destructive. It's like when a sports jersey or number is retired after a really great athlete leaves a sport. Retired names include Katrina, Andrew and Mitch.
  21. The best defense against a hurricane is an accurate forecast that gives people time to get out of its way. The National Hurricane Center issues hurricane watches for storms that may endanger communities, and hurricane warnings for storms that will make landfall within 24 hours.
  22. The National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane watch 24 to 36 hours before expected landfall. Hurricane warnings are issued 24 hours in advance. Evacuation orders may be issued for long stretches of coastline.
  23. The costliest hurricane to hit landfall was Hurricane Katrina, a Category 5 storm that slammed Louisiana in August of 2005. Damages cost an estimated $91 billion.
  24. The deadliest U.S. hurricane on record was a Category 4 storm that hit the island city of Galveston, Texas, on September 8th, 1900. Some 8,000 people lost their lives when the island was destroyed by 15-foot waves and 130-mile-an-hour winds.
  25. Humans have not mastered a method to lessen the impact of a hurricane, but it hasn’t been for a lack of trying. In the 1960s, scientists began experimenting with seeding clouds in hurricanes with silver iodide, which would supposedly cause supercooled water in the storm to freeze and reduce the power of the winds. It didn’t work as well as hoped, and Project Stormfury was abandoned.
  26. About 90 percent of the deaths that occur during hurricanes result from drowning in floods.
  27. During the past 30 years more U.S. hurricane deaths have resulted from rain-induced inland flooding than from storm surge.
  28. The world’s worst hurricane (for loss of life) took place in 1970 in Bangladesh. That hurricane created a flood that killed more than one million people
  29. Hurricanes are classified into five categories, based on their wind speeds and potential to cause damage. The intensity of a hurricane is measured on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. This scale measures the wind speed and air pressure of the storm. Based on these characteristics, a hurricane is ranked with a number between 1 and 5. Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricanes are considered intense and extremely dangerous.
  30. The planet Jupiter has a hurricane which has been going on for over 300 years. It can be seen as a red spot on the planet. This hurricane on Jupiter is bigger than the Earth itself.

Hurricanes have a severe impact on lives or the economy are remembered by generations after the devastation they caused, and some go into weather history.

Sources:

- Accuweather.com

- National Geographic

- Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

Useful links:

* Hurricane: Know the Terms

* How do hurricanes form?

* How Do Storms Develop?

* More Hurricane Facts

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Comments (6)

Such important information in tough times just like now.

Nice article. The list of facts were interesting. Being prepared is the best way to survive a hurricane. Check out http://factoidz.com/are-you-prepared-for-a-hurricane/ for some preparation suggestions. In any natural disaster preparedness is key.

Interesting bits of information and timely.

Another excellent work Amera.

Yes, excellent

Well researched...voted up.

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