Dangerous Disasters

November 19, 2012

All articles written By: Emma Henderson

What are Hurricanes?

A hurricane is the most powerful storm known to man. Hurricanes can be minor, but can also be dangerous and deadly. Hurricanes bring extreme winds and abnormal amounts of precipitation.


Hurricanes: Formation and Strength

Hurricanes form right off the coast of Africa when the water is at least 80 degrees and warm. Hurricanes occur any time between early May and late November, but the official hurricane season begins May 15th and ends November 30th. Hurricanes gain strength from the wind and evaporation from sea water. Once a hurricane reaches land they weaken because they are running into things and they have more obstacles than they did while in the water, so things like trees and houses are slowing them down.

Hurricane History

The first major hurricane was recorded in 1900 and the last one recorded so far was this year 2012, so we have been watching these giant terrifying storms for a long time. Before 1952 hurricanes were tracked and labeled by there location/latitude and longitude, they were tracked by numbers, but they needed and wanted an easier system. So, in !952 the National Weather Service copied an idea from the Navy. The Navy named there ships after women, the National Weather Service decided they would name storms after women too. Yet some found it unfair that it was only women's names. So, in 1979 male names where added to the lists, and today 6 different name lists rotate around. All alphabetic letters are used except U,Q and Z. When a storm is catastrophic the name is retired. Hurricanes are categorized by wind speed and surge amount. There are 5 categories, 1 being the least serious and 5 being the most. Category 1 has winds 74 to 95 mph and surge 4 to 5 feet. Category 2 is 96 to 110 mph and has surge 8 to 10 feet. Category 3 is 111 to 130 mph and surge 10 to 12 feet. Category 4 is 130 to 155 mph and 13 to 18 feet surge. Category 5 is greater than 155 mph and 18 feet surge. There is no real difference between a hurricane a cyclone and a typhoon just there location. They are really all the same storm but, depending where you are it goes by a different name.

Hurricane Ike of 2008

Hurricane Ike formed September 4th 2008 and 4 short days later made landfall in Cuba on September 8th. When Ike first landed it was categorized as a category 4 hurricane. Ike first made landfall in Cuba, but then pushed on to the Gulf of Mexico, and then to the Texas coast. After passing the coast Ike made his way through Texas and Arkansas. After leaving there he passed through the Mississippi Valley and the Ohio Valley leaving the United States and making his way into Canada. Hurricane Ike was the result of 168 deaths, and made a costly land of 19.3 million dollars in damage overall. Did you know Ike started as a giant tropical storm? It had extreme winds, or over 100 people are still missing, and only 1 million of the damage was peoples houses or property damage?

Stay Safe, Take Precautions

As we now know hurricanes are extremely dangerous and deadly. Hurricanes can cause damage to our homes and lives. If your area is ever having a hurricane take precautions and stay safe. This matter can not be taken lightly.