Hurricane Rita

By: ClaytonHunter and CampbellGoforth

2005 The Most Active Atlantic Hurricane Season...

In 2005 the Atlantic Hurricane Season broke many records. In a span of about 6 months, around 4000 people were killed, and 160 billion dollars of damage was done. Hurricanes during this season occur in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean.

Hurricanes develop over moist, warm ocean water (atleast 80 degrees F.) Warm air rises which leaves lower pressure air below. Winds surrounding the area then push higher pressure air into the lower pressure area. That "new" air also becomes moist and warm and rises. The warm, moist air rises and creates clouds. Overtime, clouds continue to grow, while wind flows outward above the storm. Outside winds blow inward,narrating a funnel shaped cloud.


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

Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Rita was a category 5 hurricane during the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Over the time of the hurricane sea surface temperature (SST) changed over time. Below are some data maps during the time of Hurricane Rita.

How is there evidence of a change in SST in the data maps?

The SST maps during hurricane Rita are in order from start, middle and end. Over time, you will see that the surface temperature indeed does change. At the beginning the hurricane is over the water with a surface temperature of around 29 (orange color.) On the 24th of September Rita has hit the coast, and the temperatures in the Gulf start to die down. Since hurricanes form and get their energy from warm moist water, the SST will be warmer where the main hurricane is. On the 28th of September the storm has pretty much died down and the SST are returning to normal, or cooling off. Notice how the Gulf's SST was mostly in the orange color at the beginning, and cooled off to more yellow and green afterwards.

Hurricane Passage and SST

Rita moved throughout the Gulf of Mexico over the 8 day time frame. At the beginning the Gulf's SST was quite warm, in the orange area, which makes sense because hurricanes form over warm water. During the peak of the storm's damage, when it hit the coast, notice that the SST slightly went down. There is less orange and more of a yellow-orange color. At the end of the storm, on the 28th of September, the SST started returning to normal after the hurricane started to disappear.

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

After the hurricane, the temperature had dropped a lot in the days of September 14-24 . Those are the days that the most temperature had dropped. In the month on of October was when the temperature started to go back to normal. There is some times after a hurricane there an be bad weather and there might have been a little rain after the hurricane.

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

It took about 12-15 days in the month of October to return to it's previous temperature. But that was after the hurricane had already hit the land. SST started mainly going back to it's original temperature in the middle of October.

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

As the hurricane is slowly coming to the surface the the ocean has warm water and the warm water ask like fuel. The hurricane sucks up the warm water and uses it to move along the surface because, when the hurricane gets on the surface the hurricane startes to weaken. When the hurricane is extracting the warm ocean water it is also going into our atmosphere. It matters where the hurricane is happing in the icaen it is because if it is in the tropical oceans then it is going to make the hurricane much and i mena much more worst then it is going to be. We do have a effect on how bad we can make the hurricane because we throw things into the ocaen and sometimes the weather can have a effect on how bad a hurricane can be.

Identifying and explaining the limitations and advantages of maps and models of hurricanes.

Maps of hurricanes are great. Satellite images show a good view of how big the full storm may be, and SST maps show an important factor in the storm (water temperature) which may give hints on if the storm is dying down, or picking up. There are disadvantages though, don't get me wrong. Remember that further into the year, temperature changes depending on what season or month it is. SST maps may show the surface temperature of the water, but if the weather happens to start cooling rapidly because it's close to winter, you may think the storm is dying down but really it's not. Satellite images aren't very clear either. Sometimes the storm will cover areas you're trying to look at. Tropical storms span over hundreds of miles. Not being able to see the land could be a problem, especially if you live where the storm may hit.