Hurricanes are devastating storms that bring with them both wind and rain; each can produce trillions of gallons of moisture at once.
Hurricanes often form around a central hub called an eye. While its center remains calm and free from clouds, its surrounding area poses the greatest danger. Eyes of hurricanes typically feature blue hues; they may even include twinkling stars.
1. Hurricanes are named after the people who live in the area where they form
Hurricanes are powerful forces of nature that can create massive amounts of destruction in their path. From deadly storm surges and tree removal, to knocking down buildings with gusty winds, hurricanes have the power to cause immense destruction in their wake. Fuelled by warm ocean waters and producing an energy equivalent to that released by ten atomic bombs in one second – hurricanes are truly destructive forces!
Did you know that hurricanes can actually be named after the people living near where they form? According to an article in Los Angeles Times, this has been practiced for decades – helping meteorologists and emergency responders communicate with locals as well as prepare residents for potential disasters and evacuation if necessary.
The hurricane naming process is managed jointly by the National Weather Service (NWS) and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The NWS assigns names to tropical storms, hurricanes, and other severe weather events; its name lists are generated using information gathered via satellite, air observations, surface measurements and other data sources gathered over time; updated annually, they remain current.
Before the United States implemented its unified hurricane-naming system in 1951, Americans used numbers and letters to distinguish multiple storms that formed simultaneously in a given region. It could become quite chaotic when several were hitting simultaneously in coastal regions like Massachusetts. With its introduction came male and female names for storms.
Eyes provide a reliable indicator of a hurricane’s strength; for example, an eye with jagged edges indicates weakening while one with smooth, round contours indicates stability and strength.
Hurricanes are dangerous at sea, but can be even more deadly on land. Their torrential winds, rain, debris, and flood waters have killed hundreds annually as well as caused billions in economic damages. Their massive waves can wreak havoc along coastal regions leading to flooding.
2. Hurricanes can make it rain fish
Hurricanes are known to be devastating natural disasters. Producing 60-foot waves and producing heavy rainfall equivalent to 10 atomic bombs every second, hurricanes are capable of dismantling coral reefs, moving shipwrecks and breaking oil pipelines – but what might surprise you is that hurricanes can even make it rain fish!
Marine animals such as sharks and whales typically seek sanctuary during hurricanes; however, smaller marine creatures often succumb to the turbulent water conditions caused by rapid temperature and salinity shifts, as well as decreased amounts of dissolved oxygen and murky waters which suffocate or dehydrate aquatic life.
Strong winds and pounding surf can damage oyster beds, shellfish colonies and entire ecosystems. A hurricane’s undersea fury may also dislodge sand and mud deposits from below the seafloor – blocking sunlight needed by corals for survival.
Sharks and whales tend to avoid these conditions by swimming deeper into the ocean during a storm, while smaller creatures such as turtles, oysters and crabs may be devastated by hurricane-force winds and rains – leaving these animals suffering for months or years after such a disaster has passed through their area.
Coriolis force also plays an integral part in influencing hurricane intensity; when combined with global rotation, Coriolis forces cause hurricanes to form near certain threshold temperatures of ocean water – thus explaining why hurricanes usually form on either side of the Equator instead.
Other elements that influence hurricane strength include its speed, depth of water and wind shear (changes in wind speed with height). When these conditions are met, hurricanes can strengthen and grow; however, if too warm water or land surfaces come into their path quickly it will weaken rapidly; hence why it’s essential to monitor weather and prepare for potential hurricanes before their impact hits.
3. Hurricanes are the largest storms on Earth
Every summer and fall, thunderstorms can form into some of Mother Nature’s most destructive forces – hurricanes. Each year only about 14 low-pressure systems attain sustained winds above 74 mph to achieve hurricane status and earn their names. A multitude of conditions must come together in order to form these giant storms, with warm ocean surface temperatures having to meet 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) being an essential ingredient – easily met in Atlantic and Tropical Pacific regions but often not reached when approaching Africa due to landlocked coastlines.
Another key factor is a system’s distance from the equator. Due to the Coriolis effect – caused by Earth’s spin axis which deflects wind towards poles – hurricanes cannot form within 5 degrees of the equator; however, such storms still form occasionally in western Pacific where they’re known as typhoons.
Hurricanes are propelled by the movement of moist air that stirs in an atmospheric cycle, adding heat and moisture. This energy drives rotating bands of rain and wind that make up hurricanes; scientists refer to this complex movement process as deep moist convection and inertia-gravity waves.
Viewed from above, storms exhibit a distinct buzz saw shape when seen from above. Their low-pressure centers known as eyes are surrounded by bands of intense rain and wind known as eye walls – this means the eye itself may or may not contain precipitation and wind at once; sometimes even its center remains calm while other times severe conditions surround it; journalist Edward R. Murrow once described flying through an eye of a storm like flying into an amphitheater with round seats made out of dollars yet empty bowls below;
Beyond their eye, hurricanes are defined by outer rainbands spanning hundreds of miles in both width and length. These rainbands often boast hurricane or tropical storm-force winds; sometimes tornadoes may even form. Most dangerously of all is their right front quadrant; this area can bring storm surge, flooding, and some of the strongest winds to shore.
4. Hurricanes are shaped like a spiral
Have you ever watched a satellite image of a hurricane? If so, its appearance might appear like a swirling vortex of clouds and wind – this is due to the Coriolis Force which forms it as a spiral shape due to Earth’s rotation causing moving air currents to diverge right as they rush towards its low pressure center. As it moves further from its initial place close to the Equator, Coriolis Force exerts less of its force; at its strongest when closes its grip.
Hurricanes are complex storms to create, with an intricate chain of events leading up to them. Hurricanes begin as easterly waves formed from kinks in the African Easterly Jet, which blows from West Africa over the Atlantic into warm waters of the Atlantic, traveling eastward over warmer waters of the ocean before moving eastward again over more humid waters, eventually becoming thunderstorms, which, when close together and with enough moisture content, can form hurricanes.
As hurricanes form, their winds accelerate as they pick up heat from warm ocean water and as they pass over land where evaporation of water speeds their speed and power; one large hurricane has the capacity to release energy equivalent to that produced by 10 atomic bombs every second!
Hurricanes cause catastrophic destruction when they strike land, with strong winds and torrential rainfall creating widespread devastation that can include the fall of trees, roof leaks, floods and even “storm surge”, or an unexpected rise in sea level that threatens coastal homes and communities.
Climate change appears to be intensifying hurricanes every year, leading scientists to study them closely and researching them thoroughly. Scientists are still researching this phenomenon, but so far it appears that warmer ocean temperatures could be fuelling their formation more quickly – this may mean we’ll witness more intense hurricanes with harder-to-predict paths in future, making preparation key before hurricane season hits your area.