Atlantic Tropical Cyclones and Disturbances

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What is a Hurricane?

A hurricane is a form of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that occur in eastern Pacific Ocean,  Caribbean Sea, southern Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. All coastal areas around Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic are prone to hurricanes. Tropical cyclones have low thunderstorm activity and rotate counterclockwise. When the winds of a tropical cyclone is less than 38 mph, it is called a tropical depression. When the winds reach between 39-73 mph, it is classified as a tropical storm. However, when the winds exceeds 74 mph, it is classified as hurricane. Below are some interesting facts about hurricanes.

Fact 1: The term hurricane is derived from ‘Taino’, a Native American word which means evil spirit of the wind.

Fact 2: The first hurricane that caused people to fly in it, occurred in 1943 during world war II.

Fact 3: A tropical storm is a hurricane which travels for 74 miles per hour, or higher than that.

Fact 4: Hurricanes are weather disasters, each of them having its own name.

The Hurricane Scale

When you hear a weather anchor talking about a hurricane being in a category from 1 to 5, he or she is referring to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It is a scale that group hurricanes by their wind speed. And from the wind speed, meteorologists can use it to determine the potential damage a hurricane can do. It was first used in hurricane advisories in 1975.

Category 1: 74-95 MPH

  • Minimal damage
  • No major damage to properly built structures
  • Damage to unanchored shrubs and trees
  • Evacuations maybe ordered for areas immediately adjacent to water.

Category 2: 96-100 MPH

  • Moderate damage
  • Some roof, door and window damage to buildings
  • Considerable damages to shrubs and trees with some trees being blown down.
  • Coastal and low lying areas flood 2 to 4 hours before arrival of the hurricane's center.
  • Evacuations maybe ordered for areas near the water.

National Weather

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