Hurricanes

Christian Liu, Andres Lopez

Intro

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Overview

Hurricane Rita happened about 3 weeks after hurricane Katrina. Rita was a tropical depression on September 18 it became a tropical storm. By September 20 it was a hurricane off the coast of key west, Fla. Rita was a category 3 but became a category 5 and dropped to a 4 then back to a 3. It hit land in Louisiana and when it did hit land it started to flood. Rita also proceeded storm surges in southeastern Florida, it was a category 5 at peak intensity and is the strongest tropical cyclone recorded so far.


Explanation of where hurricanes occur.


Hurricanes occur near the equator due to the more direct sunlight heating up the water more in that area compared to others around the world, and tropical waters in the area, so in other words the water is hotter there so the hurricane can get more energy there before turning right, away from the equator towards land due to the earth's rotation.


How Hurricanes Develop

Hurricanes develop in tropic waters by the equator because the water has to be warm and the air moist. In those conditions the low pressure air goes below the humid high pressure air. Then clouds start to create from the moist warm air rising and the low pressure air goes down and the cycle starts to spin faster and faster. The warm water is the energy source for the hurricane because the as the warm air goes up and gets to the top it creates energy.
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Information of how hurricanes are categorized.
Hurricanes are categorized by their wind speeds. All hurricanes start of as a tropical depression before turning into a tropical storm which has a wind speed of 39-73 and as it goes over 74 it officially becomes a level 1 hurricane and if the wind speed gets after it turns into a bigger category hurricane. The biggest category hurricane is a level 5 hurricane that has a wind speed of 156 or more.

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Purpose

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

Is there evidence of a change in SST in the data maps?

Yes there is evidence of the SST (sea surface temperature) in the Gulf of Mexico changing as shown above, from when the storm hits, to a few days after. It shows the the SST changing by showing the heat in the water at around 30 degrees C. when the storm hit,and over time slowly dropped down to a 27.2.

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

As the hurricane formed over the Gulf of Mexico, the air mass above water took the temperature and humidity of the water below it leaving the water colder. Over time due to all the hot water being absorbed the colder water from below starts to rise making the surface water cooler and cooler, and as the sun heats up the surface water it started to return back to normal.

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Partner 2

Explain the effect in temp on my line graph

As you can see in the line graph above the surface temp starts at around 30 then it drops a little then goes back up then drops again, but then it drastically drops to around 26 from 29.5. This happened because of the hurricane that hit these waters because when a hurricane hits it makes the temperature drop because it uses the warm water to make energy and or to power the hurricane.

How long did it take for the sst’s to return to normal?

As you can see the drop in temp from the hurricane only took 1 day to drop and it took 4-6 days to get to the temp but then it just stopped rising and sat at a new temp average temp for a few days. Then it started to drop again but just off of a guess I'm going to say that it would have taken about 7-8 days for the temp to get back to normal to before the storm but after the storm the water temp rises for 4-5 days then drops because the area that the measurements are coming from starts to get cooler because the seasons changing.

Question 1

Question 2-What other effects on sst is occurring?

Some other effects that could be happening during this time is the weather changing and the seasons changing to fall and just cooler weather. It could also be a cold front because a lot of times after a storm here in Texas there are cold fronts after which make the temp drop and the air cooler than it normally is. It could be a La Niña year too because that makes the water cooler than a normal year or than an El Niño year.