The words hurricane, cyclone and typhoon are all names for the same type of storm. The name tells you where the storm occurred. Hurricanes are defined as storms over the North Atlantic or the Caribbean. In the western Pacific Ocean, hurricanes are known as typhoons. Cyclones are hurricanes over the Indian Ocean.
- If forced to weather a storm, get inside the most secure building possible and stay away from windows.
Hurricanes only form over really warm ocean water of 80°F or warmer. The atmosphere (the air) must cool off very quickly the higher you go. Also, the wind must be 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. Hurricanes typically form between 5 to 15 degrees latitude north and south of the equator. The Coriolis Force is needed to create the spin in the hurricane and it becomes too weak near the equator, so hurricanes can never form there.
facts about tornados
- The most powerful Tornadoes occur in the United States.
- A typical tornado only lasts for a few minutes.
- Every tornado has its own color, sound and shape.
- You need to step on the pedal of a car pass 70 miles per hour to outrun the fastest tornadoes.
High winds are known to cause damage, depending upon their strength.
Prepare for tornadoes by gathering emergency supplies including food, water, medications, batteries, flashlights, important documents, road maps, and a full tank of gasoline.
• When a tornado approaches, anyone in its path should take shelter indoors—preferably in a basement or an interior first-floor room or hallway.
• Avoid windows and seek additional protection by getting underneath large, solid pieces of furniture.
• Avoid automobiles and mobile homes, which provide almost no protection from tornadoes.
• Those caught outside should lie flat in a depression or on other low ground and wait for the storm to pass.
Facts about thunderstorms
IF YOU’RE OUTDOORS: Keep an eye at the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing winds. Lightning often proceeds rain, so don’t wait for the rain to begin. If you hear the sound of thunder, go to a safe place immediately. The best place to go is a sturdy building or a car, but make sure the windows in the car are shut. Avoid sheds, picnic areas, baseball dugouts and bleachers. If there is no shelter around you, stay away from trees. Crouch down in the open area, keeping twice as far away from a tree as far as it is tall. Put your feet together and place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder. If you’re with a group of people stay about 15 feet from each other. Stay out of water, because it’s a great conductor of electricity. Swimming, wading, snorkeling and scuba diving are not safe. Also, don’t stand in puddles and avoid metal. Stay away from clotheslines, fences, and drop your backpacks because they often have metal on them. If you’re playing an outdoor activity, wait at least 30 minutes after the last observed lightning strike or thunder.
IF YOU’RE INDOORS: Avoid water. It’s a great conductor of electricity, so do not take a shower, wash your hands, wash dishes or do laundry. Do not use a corded telephone. Lightning may strike exterior phone lines. Do not use electric equipment like computers and appliances during a storm. Stay away from windows and doors and stay off porches.
IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING: Call for help. Call 9-1-1 or send for help immediately. The injured person does not carry an electrical charge, so it is okay to touch them.