Friday November 16, 2012 By Jonah Whitman

Hurricane Facts

Have you ever had a hurricane hit your town? If not you will learn how dangerous they are after reading the following. You will learn about one famous hurricane as well as how hurricanes are categorized and named. You will also learn how hurricanes are formed and how the strength of a hurricane is determined.

Hurricanes form over warm water with a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Hurricanes that form in the northern hemisphere form when winds start turning counter clockwise around a low pressure system over the water. In the southern hemisphere, hurricanes form when winds starts turning in a clockwise direction around a low pressure system. Hurricanes maintain strength from the ocean's warm water. When hurricanes hit land they weaken because there is no more warm water to refuel them. The difference between a hurricane and a typhoon is hurricanes form and hit in the Atlantic or northeast Pacific Ocean and typhoons form and hit in the northwest Pacific.

Hurricane Mitch 1998

The famous hurricane I chose is Hurricane Mitch. Hurricane Mitch formed on October 22, 1998 and made landfall in Florida on November 5, 1998. This hurricane was a tropical storm when it hit Florida. Hurricane Mitch also hit Honduras, parts of Central America, and islands off the coast of Florida. The highest wind speeds of Hurricane Mitch were 180 mph. Hurricane Mitch lasted about 20 days total and ranged from South America all the way to the Northern Atlantic. This hurricane was a Category 5 until it hit Honduras and became a Category 1. There were about 9,000 people missing and 9,000 people killed as a result of Hurricane Mitch. Most of the people that were killed were residents of Honduras. Hurricane Mitch caused 40 million dollars worth of damage in Florida and tons of crop and property damage in Central America.

Naming and Categorizing Hurricanes

The scale used to categorize hurricanes is called the Saffri-Simpson scale. The wind speed is used to determine the category of the hurricane. The wind speeds of each category are Category 1: 74 -95 mph, Category 2: 96-110 mph, Category 3: 111-129 mph, Category 4: 130-156 mph, Category 5: 157 mph or more. Hurricanes are named with people's names. Before 1950, hurricanes were named after the places they hit. From 1950 to 1952, only male names were used to name hurricanes. Then from 1953 to 1979, only female names were used to name hurricanes. Then in 1980, scientists started alternating male and female names with 6 alphabetical lists that change yearly. Hurricane season is from mid-August to late October. These months are hurricane season because in the past hurricanes have happened the most in these months.

I hope you learned about hurricanes from this writing. You hopefully learned about a famous hurricane, how hurricanes are categorized and named, and how hurricanes form and are different strengths. Hopefully, a hurricane will never hit your town but if it does, you will know how dangerous it can be.