Hurricane Heat Engines

By: Isabelle Bowles & Aidan Boomjue

Picture of the effects of Hurricane Rita

2005 Hurricane Season

The 2005 hurricane season broke records from 21 named hurricanes in 1993 to 27 named hurricanes in 2005 (one unnamed). 15 hurricanes in 2005 reached major hurricane level. This tropical storm season started June 8th 2005- January 6th 2006. 6 hurricanes hit the U.S in 2005; Cindy, Dennis, Katrina, Ophelia, Rita, and Wilma. Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi, Southeast Louisiana, and Alabama coast killing 1,200 people. The cost to repair after hurricane was $143 billion.

Where Hurricanes form

Hurricanes occur near the equator or in warm waters. They are formed there because of the warm waters which is caused by the Sun's direct rays during the fall and summer. They can also form in the Indian Ocean.

How Hurricanes develop

They form over warm water near the equator (SST must be at least 80 degrees Celsius.) The warm air of the ocean rises and causes an area of lower air pressure below. Air from around with higher air pressure pushes into the low air pressure area. All of the air becomes warm and after it rises and cools the air forms clouds. The storm spins counter clockwise and the hurricane is formed.
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How Hurricanes are Categorized

Hurricanes are categorized by their winds speeds. When a tropical storm hits 76 mph it is now a tropical cyclone. When the tropical cyclone hits 96 mph it has reached level 2, When the hurricane reaches winds speeds of 111 it is a level 3 storm. A hurricane that reaches wind speeds of 130 mph it is a level 4 storm. The most dangerous hurricanes are level 5s. They have wind speeds of up to 157 mph

What is the Purpose of this activity?

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

Group Member #1 (Aidan Boomjue)

Is there evidence of a change in sea surface temperature (SST) in the data maps? Explain what the evidence of change in SST is.

Yes there is evidence of temperate change as shown on the map as shown by the colors

Describe the change between the hurricane passage and the effect on SST?

When hurricane Rita was above the water, the water got warmer. When Rita went elsewhere the water got cooler as shown on the map

Group Member #2 (Isabelle Bowles)

Explain the effect on the temperature in your line plot after the hurricane passed?

The temperature goes back up but not to where it was before the hurricane hit. When the hurricane hit it when down to 26 degrees Celsius, 5 days after the hurricane it was at about 28 degrees Celsius. Before the hurricane it was 29.5 degrees Celsius.

How long did it take for the SST to return to the previous temperature?

The temperature does not return to previous temperature. The temperature does go up but not as high as it was right before the hurricane. (Examples in answer of first question).

Aidan Boomjue

What conclusions can you make about how hurricanes extract heat energy from the ocean?

The conclusion that I can make is that the hurricane extracts heat from the ocean because on the graph it shows that the place where the hurricane is at is getting warming and that the hurricane draws heat from the ocean. Another reason why I am right is that the area where the hurricane was at was getting cooler.

Isabelle Bowles

What other effects on SST may be occurring?

I think that the time of year plays a big role on the SST. If it is summer then obviously the water will be hotter because that part of the earth is getting direct sunlight. If it is winter then the water will be colder because that part of the earth is not getting direct sunlight.