The 2005 Hurricane Season

By: Puja Bhat & Jane Kim

It looks like a short story or a script of a horror movie, but unfortunately, it is a real disaster, HURRICANE.

Brief overview

The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season had a record of 14 hurricanes, 7 of them major . The United States had to spend over $100 billion for the damages that these deadly category 5 hurricanes caused. It was a year filled with Tropical storms and Hurricanes.

Where do hurricanes occur?

Hurricanes use warm, moist air as fuel, thus forming over warm ocean waters near the equator. A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone that forms over the surface of the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific ocean.

How do hurricanes develop?

Hurricanes first start out as a tropical storm, they use warm and moist air to fuel themselves, they are near the equator because of the warm surface waters. It is formed by medium and low winds blowing in the same direction and at the same speed to force air upward from the ocean surface. Winds flow outward above the storm allowing the air below to rise. The warm air from the bottom rises and cools, the more air drawn in, the stronger the storm gets.

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How are hurricanes organized?

The cyclones are categorized by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, which measures the wind speed. A hurricane is categorized by its wind speed using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. There are 5 categories, with Category 1 with the minimum wind speed of 74-95 mph to Category 5, with the speeds over 155 mph. Category 2 hurricanes have a wind speed from about 96-110 mph, Category 3 hurricanes have a wind speed ranging from 111-131 mph and Category 4 hurricanes wind speeds go from 132- 155 mph. Other things that come from the wind speed are things like damage at Landfall and the storm surge. The type of damages at Landfall range from minimal to catastrophic and the storm surge types range from 4-5 feet to 19 feet and above.


The purpose is to examine the authentic sea surface temperature data and to explore how hurricanes extract heat energy from the ocean surface.

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 a change as Hurricane Rita gets closer to land. In the area where the hurricane is, the water’s surface temperature rose, and when the hurricane has left the area, the water became cooler.

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

The red circle is where the main part of Hurricane Rita is. On September 20, 2015, Hurricane Rita started at the east of the Gulf of Mexico, the water near where Hurricane Rita is warmer than the majority of the Gulf of Mexico. On September 22, 2015, Hurricane Rita moves into the center of Gulf of Mexico, the circle where the cyclone is has warmer surface temperature water. On September 28, Hurricane Rita has left the waters, the Gulf of Mexico is much cooler, with most areas ranging from yellow to dark green.

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

After the hurricane passed the temperature on our line plot decreased/went down. It was not drastic, but it occurred because of the change in the month and season, from September to October and from Summer to Autumn.

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

The SST or Sea Surface Temperature did not return to its previous temperature. It is not unusual for this to happen after hurricanes, this happened because the Sun's ray is not slanted.

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

A creation of a hurricane is mostly based on the warm surface temperature of the water it is on, the water must be at greater than 80'F, the lower pressured area is where the warm air is removed, rising upwards and cooling. So the hurricane lives off of warm water and moist air, but when it moves onto land, it will lose its energy, thus dying out and the storm ceases.

What other effects on SST may be occurring?

When a hurricane passes over an ocean, its powerful winds stir and mix the warm surface water with the colder, deeper water. This mixing results in warm water being forced down into the deep ocean and cold water being brought to the surface layer.