Hurricanes

Kaylee C. and Alyssa R.

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2005 Atlantic Ocean Hurricane Season Overview

There were 28 storms that occurred in the Atlantic but only 27 were named. 15 Hurricanes were formed and 7 of the 15 became major hurricanes and 6 out of the 15 came on land, Cindy, Dennis, Katrina, Ophelia, Rita, Wilma, except for Ophelia which stayed just off the coast but gave off major winds. This was one of the most costly years of money, death and damage due to all of the storms. Also this year (2005) broke many previous hurricane records.

Where hurricanes happen

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Hurricanes occur near the equator. They form in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

In the picture it shows where the hurricanes occurred all the way from 1985-2005. It also shows what type/category of hurricane it is based on the color.

How hurricanes form

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The warm air over the ocean rises up from the surface causing a low air pressure underneath. Air from around with higher air pressure pushes into the lower air pressure. The new air that pushed in then becomes warm and moist and rises like the original air. As the air continues to rise, the air around twirls in to take it's place. As the warm moist air rises it begins to cool off and the water in the air turns into clouds. The clouds and winds spin and expand from the warm ocean. Eventually the storm rotates faster and faster causing an eye to form in the middle that is very calm with low air pressure. The high air pressure from above the storm flows into the eye.

How hurricanes are categorized

Hurricanes are categorized based on the wind speed of the hurricane. The scale that the Hurricanes are based on is called Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. The scale has five different categories 1,2,3,4, and 5. The wind speed for the category 1 is 74-95 mph and storm surge of 4-5 feet, category 2 is 96-110 mph and storm surge of 6-8 feet, category 3 is 111-130 mph and storm surge of 9-12 feet, category 4 is 131-155 mph and storm surge of 13-18 feet, and category 5 is 155+ mph and storm surge of 18+ feet.

Purpose of the activity

To examine authentic sea surface temperature data to explore how hurricanes extract heat energy from the ocean surface.

Evidence of sea surface temperature change

Yes, there is a change of surface temperature. In the pictures the color of the water temperature is changing from a mostly orange yellow to a yellow which means the temperature is getting colder after the hurricane passed through because of upwelling.

The affect of a hurricane to SST

Whenever the hurricane was going through the ocean, September 20-23 the water was warmer because hurricanes form in warmer water. As the hurricane hit the lands surface, September 24, the oceans water temperature began to drop due to the hurricanes upwelling of cold water after passing through.

The hurricanes affect the SST after they pass

The hurricanes absorbs a majority of the temperature in the ocean. When hurricanes was officially called a hurricane the temperature was about 27 C on average. Before hurricanes was called a hurricane, the temperature dramatically dropped almost 3.5. C.

SST recovery after a hurricane passes

The temperature never truly recovered. The temperature dropped about 3.5 C but only recover about 1.5 C. The ocean temperature(s) would recover during warm temperature seasons or climate. The warm water that is needed to form a hurricane follows the hurricane forcing the cold water from the bottom of the water to come to the top. That is the main reason why the ocean temperatures never recover in line graph that was used.

Conclusions about SST when a hurricane occurs

The hurricane uses a majority of the ocean heat energy. The Hurricanes use heat as an energy source, which is why the ocean temperatures was so dramatically changed. When the hurricane stops using the ocean heat energy, the ocean temperatures slowly grow back. That is a main reason why hurricanes occur mainly in hot weather because the ocean temperature already has a lot of heat energy. In colder weather, the ocean temperature is below the need of heat energy for a hurricane. Also a main reason is because a majority of the warm water follows the hurricane’s trail forcing the cold water from the bottom of the water. The cold water then replaces the warm waters place leaving the ocean’s water temperature very low.

Others effects on SST when a hurricane occurs

Other things that could affect the SST is the time of the year. The visible sun hours can be shorter making the water temperature be cooler or the Sun's visible hours could be longer and that could make the water's temperature rise.