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ANATOMY OF A HURRICANE

Life Cycle:

  • Formation- Storms in disturbed area of ocean
  • Tropical depression- Thunderstorms start to swirl around a centre
  • Tropical storm- Winds over 39 mph
  • Hurricane- Winds over 74 mph

Inside:

  • Eye Wall – Composed of dense clouds that contain the strongest winds in the storm.
  • Eye- Relatively calm, center area approximately 20-40 miles across.
  • Warm Air- Rises from the ocean fueling the storm.
  • Rainbands- Thunderstorms ranging from a few miles to tens of miles wide and 50 to 300 miles long.

Formation:

  • Hurricanes form over tropical waters in areas of high humidity, light winds, and warm sea surface temperatures, typically 80 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

Hurricane Facts:

  • On average, two major hurricanes (categories3-5) hit every three years.
  • 95% of all intense hurricane activity occurs from August to October.
  • 85% of all major hurricanes (category 3, 4 & 5) originate from African easterly waves.
  • 6,850 miles is the longest distance traveled. Hurricane Faith in 1966.

Hurricane Categories:

  • Category 1– Minimal Damage, Wind factor 74-95
  • Category 2– Moderate Damage, Wind factor 96-110
  • Category 3– Extensive Damage, Wind factor 111-129
  • Category 4– Extreme Damage, Wind factor 130-156
  • Category 5– Catastrophic Damage, Wind factor 157+

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