November 16, 2012

By: Amber Zogg

Wow! What is that? It looks like a tower of water. It's rotating too. But, what is it? It's a hurricane.

What is a hurricane?

A hurricane is a large storm that develops off the coast of Africa. It forms when there is warm water and fast winds. The water must be at least eighty degrees Fahrenheit. The winds must be coming together pushing up humid air coming up form the clouds of the storm allowing more air to come up. The winds outside of the storm steer it, and let it grow. These winds have to be blowing in the same direction to make the storm move. To be a hurricane the wind speed must be at least seventy-four miles per hour; anything lower is a tropical storm. To maintain strength, a hurricane absorbs heat from the ocean. Once a hurricane makes landfall, it weakens because there is no more warm water to use.

Categorizing and Naming.

The Saffir-Simpson Scale is used to categorize hurricanes. It measures wind speed. The wind speed of a hurricane determines what category it is. There are categories from one to five. One being the weakest, and five the strongest. Category one hurricanes have winds at 74 mph to 95 mph. Category two hurricanes have wind speeds of 96 mph to 110 mph. A hurricane must have winds from 110 mph. to 129 mph to be considered a category three hurricane. To be a category four hurricane the winds must be from 130 mph to 156 mph. Lastly category five hurricanes have winds 157 mph or higher. Naming a hurricane is different from wind speed though. Before they started using human names for hurricanes, they named them by when and where they first made landfall. Hurricanes are now named with human names, but at first they only used female names. In 1970 though, they added male names to the lists. They have six lists of names which rotate year after year, but a name can be taken off the list if the hurricane was too disastrous.

Hurricane Ike.

Hurricane Ike formed in August, 2008. When Ike made landfall it was a category two hurricane with wind speeds of 110 mph. Hurricane Ike made landfall on the north end of Galveston Island. Ike weakened as it moved towards Texas and Arkansas. It became extra tropical over the middle of the Mississippi valley and moved rapidly through the Ohio Valley and went into Canada. Ike also hit Grand Turk island, Cuba, Haiti, and the Bahamas. One hundred and three people died during hurricane Ike. Ike cost a lot of money too. Twenty to twenty five billion dollars is how much money Ike cost. Hurricane Ike was a long lived hurricane, and the third most devastating storm newt to Katrina and Hurricane Andrew. Hurricane Ike was also the first big storm to make land fall in Galveston, Texas since 1983.
Hurricanes are big storms which cause a lot of destruction. Hurricanes also bring death and injuries. They have high winds and are powered d by warm water. There are 5 categories of hurricanes 5 being the most destructive and deadliest. Thank you for reading.