The first official stage of a tropical cyclone is a tropical depression meaning that a low pressure area is accompanied by thunderstorms that move in a circular wind flow with winds below 39 mph. It forms a cyclone when circulation becomes more organized and the wind speeds exceed 39 mph to 75 mph.

Ever wonder how hurricanes get their names, and why hurricanes have names at all? Meteorologists long ago learned that naming tropical storms and hurricanes help people remember them and makes communication about them more effective. The gender of the names changes every year with all even number years the storms are named after women and all odd years they are named after men. So in 2019 all hurricanes will be in men’s name and next year will be all women names. Stay safe if and when a particular storm strikes a coast.

A typical hurricane lasts between 12-24 hrs. But a hurricane can also sustain itself for as long as a month, as Hurricane John did in 1994.

When they’re no longer being fed water vapor by a warm ocean or in the presence of wind shear (variation in wind velocity occurring along a direction at right angles to the wind’s direction and tending to exert a turning force) which disrupts their structure. While both of these conditions can occur over open water, they mostly abrupt “death” of the storm. That happens when hurricanes come ashore over large land mass.

There are no category 6 hurricanes. Meteorologists measure hurricanes on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Which classifies storms from weakest category 1 to strongest category 5 based on their maximum sustained wind speeds. Some storms are also more intense, reaching wind speeds of over 200 miles per hour.

Hurricane Katrina was so destructive way beyond measure! Primarily because levees around New Orleans, Louisiana failed (levees are water barriers built to prevent flooding.) Parts of New Orleans have an elevation that is lower than sea level. Very heavy winds also contributed the damage, but flooding was the most destructive aspect of the hurricane.

The Great Galveston Hurricane known regionally as the Great Storm of 1900. It was the deadliest natural disaster in United States history. It was one of the most cataclysmic and fourth deadliest Atlantic hurricane overall.

Wrtten by: Amy Toner and Daniel Romero

Layout and design by Daniel Romero

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