Cameron K. and Ben K. Project

Hurricane Heat Engines

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What are hurricanes?

Hurricanes are large, spinning storms generally shaped like a spiral with winds with very high speeds and they form over warm ocean waters. They can be very devastating as were Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.

How do hurricanes form?

Hurricanes develop over warm ocean waters and by swirling over the water and evaporating the water into the storm cloud(s).

Overview of 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Hurricane Sandy occurred in 2005 killing 285 people. Hurricane Katrina killed over 1200 people. Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, primarily New York and New Jersey. The hurricane affected states along the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida. The death toll was catastrophic. The lives lost will always be remembered and honored and we will never forget those who lost their lives during these hurricanes. Over 1400 people died in both of these hurricanes. 28 storms formed in the 2005 hurricane season in the Atlantic. Along with that, 15 hurricanes formed during this season.

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

There's a change in SST according to the map and graph from 9-20-05 to 9-28-05 because the colors in the different areas shown in the map are various and there are some obvious differences in the colors between 9-22-05 and 9-28-05. The closer the place is to the equator, the warmer it'll be there.

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

After the hurricane passes the temperature has a rapid drop. Then the temperature almost immediately starts going up again. Gradually the temperature goes up

yet the temperature doesn't quite reach the peak temperature it was before the hurricane occurred. This is because it is a later time of the year and the weather is colder than it was before the tropical typhoon.

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

The change between the hurricane passage and the effect on SST is the higher up the passage is, the colder the waters are. Then the farther down the passage is, the warmer the waters are. The temperature of the waters depend on the distance from the equator. The closer places are to the equator, the warmer they'll be. The farther away the place is from the equator, the colder it'll be.

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

Hurricane Rita occurred on the 18-24 of september the temperature before the hurricane was around 29.5 degrees Celsius. After the hurricane passes the sea surface temperature drops dramatically, the temperature drops to around 25.75 degrees Celsius. After about a day the temperature begins to climb back up to around 28 degrees Celsius. The time it took to get back to about the normal temperature was around 4-6 days.

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

The high winds help absorb the water when it is evaporated from the warm ocean surface water. This act is also the reason the surface temp drops because it leaves mostly cold water in the ocean when it uses the warm ocean water as fuel. The sun heats the water and causes the surface water on the oceans to evaporate, fueling the hurricane.

How are hurricanes categorized?

A hurricane is categorized by its wind speed using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Eye: The eye is the "hole" at the center of the storm. Winds are light and skies are only partly cloudy, sometimes even clear, in this area.