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Blowin' in the Wind, Issue #046 Official Hurricane Season Dates - August 30, 2007
August 29, 2007
Hello ,

The usual Hurricane Season Dates

People often ask what are the normal hurricane season dates.

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th. The most active recent hurricane season in the Atlantic occurred in 2005 during which all previous records were shattered. There were fifteen recorded hurricanes during this period. And five of them reached category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson strength scale another four would reach a Category 5, the highest category currently defined. The costliest and the most intense Atlantic hurricane was Hurricane Katrina which totally devastated parts of New Orleans, Louisiana and other stretches of the Mississippi coastline. A massive storm surge, 30 feet in some places, caused a major part of the destruction.

The 2005 hurricane season led to at least 2,280 deaths and damages of over $128 billion. Of the storms that hit land, Emily, Wilma, Rita, Dennis and Katrina were responsible for causing the most destruction. Florida and Louisiana each got it twice during the 2005 hurricane season dates. Andrew held the title of most infamous one before 2005.

Facts about Hurricanes

A large low pressure storm originates off of the African coast and starts to spin counterclockwise. It begins simply as a band of harmless looking thunderstorms. Then it tracks westward, strengthens and evolves into a hurricane when the warm air over the western Atlantic Ocean interacts with perturbations in the wind patterns above.

Three Stages

in the formation of a hurricane:

1. Tropical Depression We start with an organized band of thunderstorms whose wind speeds remain at 38mph or less.

2. Tropical Storm This is structurally the same as a tropical depression except now the wind speeds exceed 39, but not 73 mph.

3. Hurricane When the winds reach a velocity of 74 mph, the storm officially turns into a hurricane.

Calm clouds in the middle of the storm

Hurricanes also have an eye. This is designated by an area of tranquillity that is surrounded by thick clouds. Nearby, the eye wall contains the most violent winds in a hurricane. Not too comforting.

Thunderstorms and the high wind speeds that accompany hurricanes pose a threat to both life and property. However, the storm surge that precedes the hurricane can also be very destructive. If this occurs during high tide, we call it a storm tide and it has the potential to cause even greater losses overall.

When the hurricane hits land, it weakens subsequent to being cut off from the warm ocean water, which acts as a fuel supply. However, the storms can still threaten our land because they can even now pack winds over 100 mph and spawn tornadoes. Flash flooding occurs following massive amounts of rainfall associated with the storms.

What's to say about hurricanes? Stay out of their way! Go play somewhere else during the hurricane season dates. These giant storms are nothing to play around with!

Get a jump start on your seasonal shopping if you have a budding scientist in your family. This could be fun!

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