Whirlwinds from the Water
From an Everyday Thunderstorm to a Deadly Disaster
To understand how a hurricane is formed, we first have to know the "weather machine." The weather machine is how weather moves on earth due to different scenarios and patterns. To create a hurricane, you need warm water. Warm water releases warm air. Warm air rises and condenses, which creates a thunderstorm. The storm can cluster with other storms. As the cluster moves, it sucks up more warm air and water. Winds from the north cause the storm to rotate due to the Coriolis effect and the earth's rotation around its axis. It continues to consume warm air and water until wind speeds reach 39 mph. Most die then, but some reach 74 mph to become a devastating tropical cyclone. Not every tropical thunderstorm becomes a hurricane though. The name of the storm changes on what ocean it forms on. On the Atlantic and eastern Pacific, they're hurricanes. On the Indian Ocean, they are called cyclones. On the western Pacific, they are known as typhoons.
Preparing for a Catastrophe
When the storm is confirmed as a cyclone, hurricane hunters fly into the storm and give data to meteorologists to start predicting its path. This is so the region it's going to hit can get ready for trouble. Meteorologists then use the Saffir-Simpson scale to see how powerful it is by its wind speeds. Category 1 being the weakest and 5 being the strongest. Finally, meteorologists give the information to the citizens weather to board the windows and stay, or go to a shelter away from the coast.
Hurricane Katrina: The Nuisance that Hit New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest tropical cyclones of all time. The mayor of New Orleans issued the first ever mandatory evacuation of the city. Louisiana is lined with wetlands that can not stop a storm surge. Worst of all, the poorest sections were below sea level. When the storm struck, the storm surges were nine meters high. Eventually, eighty percent of the city would be under some amount of water. The poor had to retreat to shelters and if they had them, attics. When it was over, Katrina killed nearly two-thousand people and affected nine-thousand square miles. Government seemed oblivious to the problem, not getting there immediately. There were several contributions to why Katrina was and still is such a talked-about disaster, but it will still be in our memories forever.