Tropical cyclones could develop to depression, storm or typhoon. It is important that people know the hazards associated to a tropical cyclone so that damages could be minimized.
A tropical cyclone is a weather disturbance that usually forms over the warm waters of oceans in the tropics which is over 26 degrees Celsius and is warmer than the water surrounding it. Tropical cyclones may develop into a depression, a storm or a typhoon and could be devastating and cause a lot of damages to properties and lives. The strong wind and heavy rains formed from tropical cyclones could wipe out everything on their course of direction.
Tropical cyclones could be classified according to their strength, determined by the maximum speed of wind near the center. This could either intensify or weaken depending on some conditions. Whether the tropical cyclone weakens or gets worse, it is always important to bear in mind that there are hazards that tropical cyclones may bring.
What are some of the hazards that are associated to tropical cyclones and how can you minimize the damages that they cause?
The strong wind associated to tropical cyclones is hazardous to properties, people, plants and animals. Houses of light materials are the easiest to be blown. Trees, crops and animals could also be damaged by strong winds. If there are big trees beside your house, make sure to trim the branches that may cause damages to your house when they break. Seek shelter elsewhere if your house cannot stand strong winds. Be alert for any warnings or announcement from those authorized people so that you will be updated with what is happening in your place.
Strong and heavy rains could cause floods especially in low-lying areas. Flash floods are also associated with tropical cyclones. Flash floods are sudden occurrences and cannot be predicted so there are cases when a lot of properties and lives have been damaged and wiped out. The disaster could be avoided if people are aware of the hazards and follow some precautionary measures.
A storm surge is a term used for big waves and high tides that occur during tropical cyclones. The most affected are those living in coastal areas. Taking precautionary measures is very important in order to minimize damages during tropical cyclones.
Tropical cyclones are natural occurrences and it cannot be prevented but the damages that the hazards may cause could be minimized. It is important for people to know the precautionary measures before, during and after a tropical cyclone to lessen the damages.
Hurricanes and Tropical Cyclones Scale
In the Atlantic Ocean, tropical cyclones are called hurricanes. There is a scale that rates all cyclones and hurricanes called the Saffir Simpson scale that ranges from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most destructive of hurricanes. It is always good to know what each category means.
Category 1: Winds of 74 – 95 mph (119 – 153 km/h). A category 1 storm can cause damage to property, older mobile homes and people, pets and livestock can be killed if hit with falling or flying debris. Even though the weakest category, any tropical storm can quickly intensify before making landfall.
Category 2: Winds of 96 – 110 mph (154-177 km/h). These winds are capable of causing extensive damage. Even with well built homes, there could be loss of roofs and siding. A category 2 storm can cause large power outages.
Category 3: Winds of 111 – 129 mph (178 – 208 km/h). A category 3 storm is considered a major storm and will cause devastating damage to property and power lines. Power and water may not be available for days or weeks.
Category 4: Winds of 130 – 156 mph (209 – 251 km/h) is an extremely dangerous cyclone or hurricane and will cause catastrophic damage upon landfall. Well built homes will possibly lose their roofs and possibly lose walls.
Category 5: Winds of 157 mph (252 km/h) or higher. A category 5 hurricane is rather rare, but there have been some to hit the United States and in the Indian Ocean.
It is very important to heed the warnings of all weather services and news sources. Make sure you prepare your home and your car with all emergency food supplies well before the storm hits your area as supplies like food, water, plywood and gas/fuel can run out quickly.
The higher the winds, the larger the storm surge will be, especially if the storm surge occurs at high tide.