Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
A Hurricane, like other natural disasters, is one that we all pause to listen to each time we hear of it on the news. This is because we have all seen the devastation that it can bring to us.
Many people have experienced it in one way or the other, and we have come to appreciate that hurricanes are not things that we can do much about in terms of its occurrence. It is natural. However, with modern monitoring systems and technology, we can be warned of impending hurricanes and take some reasonable level of caution to minimize the damage and the effect it can have on us.
Hurricanes are also called Typhoons or Cyclones in other parts of the world. Hurricanes are tropical cyclones forming over the Atlantic Ocean or Eastern Pacific Ocean.
What is a hurricane?
It is a powerful, spiral weather that result from low pressure systems. (low pressure systems explained below) It is seen as a massive storm (powerful winds often with rains, thunderstorms and lightning) that usually moves, covering a stretch of 500-600miles.
Low Pressure System
This is an area (over land or water) where the atmospheric pressure is lower than that of the area surrounding it.
Typically, there are winds around, and the air is a lot warmer, causing atmospheric lifting. Low pressure systems result in cloud formation and bad weather. Hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms and tropical depressions are all examples of low pressure systems.
The sustained winds within the hurricane move with speeds of over 74miles per hour (that is about the speed at which cars move on the highway), but the entire storm body moves at about 10-20 miles per hour. They often carry torrential rains and can bring about floods and landslides. Note that flooding along coastal regions is not only as a result of the rains, but more as a result of storm surges. Hurricanes can last for over a week.
With this image in mind, let us learn more about hurricanes form.