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Blowin' in the Wind, Issue #021 Summer hurricane storms - August 3, 2005
August 03, 2005
Hurricane stormsIt's that time of year again. Time to talk about hurricane storms. Learn a few basic facts about typhoons and hurricanes.
How do cyclones form?:
Thermal lows form over land, but hurricane storms form over ocean waters. What happens if a low pressure area contains a lot of heat and moisture, and the air converges (comes together) at low levels? It must then rise. While doing so it cools, then liquid water condenses, giving off extra heat to make it more buoyant.
With all this in place, a stream of air keeps rising like a continuous bubble. And it feeds back on itself. The lift causes condensation which provides extra heat to give more lift.
West winds start blowing, indicating something unusual is about to take place. Over the course of the next day or so, it keeps getting more intense. We call this the formative stage which lasts until the wind reaches 63 knots or greater.
What to call it?Generally, hurricane means it is in the Atlantic Ocean, and Pacific ones are known as typhoons. You can find other names for them as well.
A tropical depression only has winds less than 34 knots (about 65 km/h or 39 mph), a tropical storm has winds over 34 knots but maximum speeds less than 63 knots (125 km/h or 75 mph), and finally a hurricane/typhoon has winds greater than that.
The Saffir/Simpson scale serves as a nomenclature for hurricanes.
1. maximum winds are 64 to 83 knots (up to 95 mph or 153 km/h), storm surge 1.5 m (about 5 feet)
2. maximum winds are 44 to 95 knots (up to 110 mph or 177 km/h), storm surge 2 m or so
3. maximum winds are 96 to 112 knots (up to 130 mph or 209 km/h), storm surge 2.6 m or so
4. maximum winds are 113 to 135 knots (up to 154 mph or 248 km/h), storm surge 4 m or so
5. maximum winds are over 135 knots (go baby go), storm surge over 5.5 m (18 feet)
A storm surge is like a miniature tide under the storm. It can cause flooding.
On a first name basis - here is a list of individual names to be used on future hurricanes. Future hurricane news.
Names for hurricane storms in 2005
Names for hurricane storms in 2006
Names for hurricane storms in 2007
Names for hurricane storms in 2008
Names for hurricane storms in 2009
Read more about hurricane names.
The most Americans killed by a Hurricane was in 1900. This storm hit Galveston, Texas with category 4 force. It took the population by surprise and flooded them with a storm surge of nearly 16 feet. Seven higher than the highest elevation there.
Hurricane Andrew cost the most. $26 billion in 1992. Hurricane Camille is also one of the most famous past hurricanes. It was the strongest since they began naming them.
A few humorous remarksfrom people with hurricane experience:
An oak tree on the ground looks four times bigger than it did standing up.
When house hunting, look for closets with lots of leg room.
AA, C and D are the only alphabet we need (think batteries).
Chainsaw-wielding-men are nothing to be afraid of.
You can't spell "priceless" without I-C-E.
Gasoline is a value at any price.
Candlelight is better than botox it takes years off your appearance.
No matter how hard the wind blows, roadside campaign signs will survive.
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