Gateway Gazette

World Weather Online: Hurricane Season is Upon Us

Hurricane season often occurs at the beginning of June until the end of November. Late August through to September are particular peak months for these monstrous tropical cyclones.

The Atlantic hurricane season is a time where hurricanes often form in the Atlantic Ocean. Tropical cyclones, also known as hurricanes, are a spiral arrangement of strong winds combined with heavy rain and thunderstorms.

The evaporation of water from the ocean’s surface is what gives a hurricane the energy it needs to cause the chaos it does. A cyclone becomes a hurricane when it reaches speeds of 75mph (120 kilometres per hour) or more.

Where are the danger zones?

United States coastal areas are most in risk of being hit by hurricanes due to their highly dense populations and geographical make up.

The Gulf and Atlantic coasts are where most hurricane related problems and fatalities have been experienced. Interestingly, despite this, these areas have also seen the highest influx of population accordingly to the National Hurricane Centre.

Hurricanes are only found in the Eastern North Pacific or the North Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea. During May until December, 99 percent of hurricanes arise.

Hurricanes we’d rather forget

The 1900 Galveston Hurricane was a category 4 storm with wind speeds up to 145 miles per hour. The hurricane reached the Texas south coast of Galveston late on 8 September. This hurricane was known as the greatest natural disaster to hit the United Coasts and with it brought the deaths of at least 8,000 people with some reporting as many as 12,000. This Category 4 it was the first destructive of its kind, taking the lives of an estimated 8,000 people and to this day remains the deadliest one on record.

Hurricane Andrew, 1992, was originally a category 4 storm with wind speed initially thought to be 145 miles per hour. However it was later found that the wind speed was actually 165 miles per hour which topped it up to a category 5 hurricane. The damage alone was astounding, with approximately $25-26.5 billion worth of damages in Florida alone.

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina took the lives of approximately 1,200 people with winds of 175 miles per hours, ranking it into category 5. The hurricane hit along the coast of Mississippi and caused a staggering $75 billion worth of damage in New Orleans. The hurricane began on the 23rd of August in the Bahamas and didn’t end until 30th August in Tennessee where it finally began to subside.

(Source: World Weather Online)

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