Hurricanes have been an active weather phenomenon throughout history. Thanks to our modern equipment, they are easy to track, yet still difficult to predict. Their destructive force causes millions of dollars in damage each time they hit land.
We use male and female names to name them. They begin as many storm clouds over warm water and begin to form a tropical storm when enough of them gather. The rotating earth sets the storms in motion. The Coriolis Effect, which is the apparent deviation of an object, greatly influences the path of a hurricane and must be taken into effect when trying to predict its path.
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Hurricanes are known around the world for their destructive and deadly force. They are migratory tropical cyclones that originate over oceans in areas near the Equator and consist of high-velocity winds blowing circularly around a low-pressure center, known as the eye. We will look further into the specific details regarding the composition of the hurricane later.
The word “hurricane” comes from a tribe of people who lived in Central America thousands of years ago. They believed in a God who caused violent storms that raged upon the land from the sea. The god’s name was Hurakan, and his storms were called harkens.
After European explorers arrived in the Americas, they changed the name to the hurricane, which is the term we use today. Hurricanes, like all-weather, are not just a modern dilemma. They have brought disaster to people in all eras, even well known historical figures.
For instance, Christopher Columbus, on his first voyage to America, founded the first non-Indian town on the island of Hispaniola, which he named Isabella after his queen. Why isn’t this tremendously monumental and unique settlement ever discussed extensively in history books? Because less than a year after it was settled, it was totally destroyed by a hurricane and almost all records and artifacts from the island were lost. Ten years later Christopher Columbus was again thwarted by a hurricane.
He had just set sail from Central America in 1503 when a hurricane moved in from the Atlantic, and he had no choice but to sail through it. He credits God for allowing his rickety old ships to successfully navigate through the storm. Here is an excerpt to his diary regarding his crews’ journey into the storm:
Eyes never beheld the seas so high, angry and covered by foam. The wind not only prevented our progress but offered no opportunity to run behind any headland for shelter? Never did the sky look more terrible? The lightning broke forth with such violence that each time I wondered if it had carried off my spars and sails; the flashes came with such fury and frightfulness that we all thought the ships would be blasted. All this time the water never ceased to fall from the sky?
In 1607 the colonists founded the city of Jamestown and hurricanes hadn’t been reported since 1570, when part of the Spanish Armada was sunk by a hurricane. Many people weren’t had forgotten they even existed. Two years after Jamestown was officially settled, a fleet of ships was headed to the colony from England when they were caught in a violent hurricane.
When the few survivors staggered into the harbor on the storm-beaten ships, they told horror stories that spread throughout the world, and the hurricane was once again feared as in the days of Hurakan. It was this fear that inspired Shakespeare to write The Tempest, his famous play about a violent hurricane. One last historical account of a hurricane is an ironic story that involves the Pilgrims.
Most people know that the Pilgrims fled England from religious persecution and landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. But records show that their destination was actually Virginia, where they would reside in Jamestown before founding their own colony. It was an encounter with a hurricane at sea that sent them off course and landed them in Massachusetts.
The first study of a hurricane was done completely by accident. In 1680, an English pirate named William Dampier was caught in a hurricane while pirating around the Atlantic. His crew lost control of his ship and were forced to just let the hurricane blow them for hundreds of miles.
When the storm had passed, Dampier checked his coordinates and found that he was within a mile of where he had been when the ship first encountered the hurricane, therefore concluding that hurricane winds move in a gigantic circle. He called hurricanes “vast whirlwinds.”
To consider how a hurricane is formed, one must first understand the five ingredients that determine whether a simple tropical storm will mature into a full-blown hurricane or just fizzle out. Those ingredients include ocean water, the heat of the sun, air, wind, and the spin of the earth. Though many scientists disagree regarding the life of hurricanes, they almost all agree on their births.
Hurricanes form when the heat of the sun warms some ocean water. The evaporating water forms a cloud or column of wet, warm air that moves upward. As this warm, moist air rises, more air rushes in to replace it. This air is also heated and moistened by the warm ocean surface. It begins to rise and form clouds, heating the air around it. Eventually, a large mass of warm, moist air with rain clouds is formed over the ocean. Because the air is warm, it expands. It becomes less dense and lighter and forms an area of low pressure. More air near the ocean surface now rushes in.
However, this air doesn’t just flow straight in. It spirals in like water going down a bathtub drain. Appendix a This spiral, or spinning motion, is caused by the rotation of the earth. The air goes faster and faster as it spirals inward. Appendix b Then it rises in the clouds to form an eye and wall clouds. The whole storm, now spinning like a top, is carried across the ocean by the wind. Finally, when it moves over land or cold water, it loses its fuel source (warm ocean) and dies.
Hurricanes are extremely large, sometimes well over 400 miles in diameter. The winds that spiral in toward the eye can reach up to 75 miles an hour, while at the eye the sky is clear and the air is calm. Hurricanes are very erratic in nature and therefore it is extremely hard to predict their paths.
Perhaps the greatest modern-day example of the behavior of hurricanes is Hurricane Elena3. Elena was born off the western coast of Africa on August 22, 1985, and only classified as a tropical disturbance, which means that the winds are moving less than 20 miles per hour.
It rapidly moved across the Atlantic in less than a week, and by the time it reached Cuba it was a tropical storm, the winds moving over 60 miles per hour. Two days later, on August 29, Elena was upgraded to hurricane status, with winds exceeding 130 miles per hour. Meteorologists were stunned by Elena’s unpredictability. Let’s see if you can forecast her path of destruction. (see exercise 1)
It goes without saying that hurricanes hold a lot of energy. It is estimated that if all the latent heat released during a hurricane of average size could be harnessed for use, it could supply the entire United States with enough electricity for six months.4 Oddly enough, the damage from hurricanes rarely comes from the millions of gallons of rain that they release.
Floodwaters from huge waves and the consequential flooding, along with the high winds that ravage the landscape, cause one hundred times more damage than the rain. And in the bayou region of Louisiana, residents are more concerned with poisonous snakes that wash up and nest in crevices and holes, and then come out after the storm disoriented and violent, than the water and wind.
Before we look at our final topic, we need to look at how hurricanes are named. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, hurricanes were named simply by their location. (ie. Hurricane Texas, Hurricane Louisiana, etc.) After World War Two, only female names were used, but after 1978, both male and female names were used.
The first storm of the year begins with the letter ‘A’ and each subsequent storm follows in alphabetical order, alternating between male and female. A name is given to a storm only when it reaches tropical storm strength (when winds are above 60 miles per hour). After a storm receives the impressive category 3 rating, which means winds are blowing at over 115 miles per hour, the name is retired for ten years before it can return to the list.
Here are some of the names on the year 2000 list: Aletta, Bud, Carlotta, Daniel, Emilia, Fabio, John, Zeke? for the Eastern Pacific storms, and Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Keith, and William? For the North Atlantic storms.
Now we come to the Coriolis effect, a factor crucial for hurricane forecasters. Named after the French physicist Gaspard de Coriolis, the Coriolis effect is the force or acceleration acting on the motion of bodies in a rotating system of reference.
To put it a little more simply, an object moving above the earth in a northerly or southerly direction will be deflected in relation to the rotation of the earth. This deflection is clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
To better understand this principle, let’s look at a scenario involving a merry-go-round. Say you and a friend wanted to play catch on a flat, round merry-go-round. When the ride is still, obviously you can throw the ball to each other with no problem.
But let’s say that the ride started rotating counterclockwise, as the earth does as viewed from the North Pole. When you throw the ball and it’s in the air, the merry-go-round is spinning beneath the ball, and for you and your friend, the ball appears to veer to the right, like this: It sounds so interesting to us the way it all works, and fun to observe, but imagine the pressure on scientists earlier this century who was in charge of launching missiles!
Before they could be programmed on where to strike, those in charge of launching them had to carefully factor in the Coriolis effect, or else the missile would land completely off target.
But what does the Coriolis effect have to do with hurricanes? Hopefully, you’ve figured it out by now. The hurricane, nothing more than a high-pressure mass of clouds and strong winds, resides above the earth while the earth spins beneath it.
So, like the ball on the merry-go-round, or a missile, a meteorologist has to take into careful consideration the Coriolis effect when trying to predict the path of a hurricane, because the direction it’s heading will rotate with the Earth, and a new location will be in its path.
Other aspects of life affected by the Coriolis effect include aircraft flights and NASA space-shuttle launches. Also, if it wasn’t for the friction between your car tires and the road while traveling on a highway, the Coriolis effect would pull your car 1500 feet to the right for every 10 miles traveled!
So what are the practical applications after a study on hurricanes? Fortunately for those of us who live in Michigan, hurricanes don’t affect us like they do the coastal states. In the past, the only two things that hurricanes have done to Michigan are:
- swirl a mass of rain-laden clouds in our direction and gave us a day or two of steady rain;
- prevented masses of high-pressure to move eastward, giving us days of calm and clear weather.
With the advent of Doppler radar, hurricanes are very easy to track, and the National Weather Service does a good job of issuing warnings and watches, giving people ample time to leave town until the storm is over or board up their house.
But no matter how well you can track a hurricane, or even predict its path, constructing buildings to withstand winds in excess of 200 miles an hour (Hurricane Camille, 1969), floodwaters, and torrential rains, still remains a very formidable task.
he Equatorial trough is the area in the ocean in which the trade winds converge. It moves north and south with the seasons. This phenomenon can not be explained by scientists. Hurricanes always form along or are the Equatorial trough but, never in it.
In the Tropics warm air rises, cools, sinks, and then returns to the equator with the trade winds. Once this air starts sinking it warms adiabatically. This produces and a layer of high-level air that is warmer than the air below it. This is called a high-level temperature inversion. In this rising warm air is usually trapped.
This causes storms to develop closer to the surface of the Earth. If a storm is growing vigorously and is being pushed up by unusually strong winds, then there is a possibility of it breaking through the low lying air. This causes a Tropical depression, that can be up to 40,000 feet tall.
For a tropical depression to grow further into a hurricane, there must be low pressure at the surface accompanied by high pressure at an altitude of about 56,000 feet. This forms an anticyclone Constant vertical moving air feeds the anticyclone.
This causes the air to circulate around the high and low-pressure areas. In the northern hemisphere, the air turns clockwise around the high pressure, and counterclockwise around the low-pressure areas. the directions are reversed in the Southern hemisphere. This event is called cyclone circulation.
The wind continues to strengthen until the pressure between the high and the low-pressure areas can accelerate no further. It then rises until it meets the anticyclone. The anticyclone (turning clockwise) pushes the rising air outwards away from the center. By removing the rising air more air is drawn upwards. Does this force the surface?s atmospheric pressure fall. This fall in pressure need not be great. The average sea-level pressure is 1,016mb. In the center of a hurricane, it is 920mb-980mb. This means that the pressure only falls about 4-10%.
Now there is an area, 400m or more across, in which a storm has developed. The air in the center circulates upward towards the top and then disperses outwards. This draws more air upwards. If the air in the center becomes warmer then the air around it the sky in this area will clear, leaving a sunny area surrounded by what appears to be a wall of cloud. This is the eye, and what once was a tropical depression is now a hurricane.
Where Hurricanes Occur
Hurricanes begin as tropical depressions. These are areas where the atmospheric pressure is just a little lower than the air around it. Hurricanes only start in the tropics, it is impossible for them to start in places such as Minnesota. Hurricanes have different names in different places. In the Western Hemisphere, they are called hurricanes. In the Bay of Bengal, they are called cyclones.
Over most of the Pacific, they are called typhoons. Near Indonesia, they are called buggies. Also, some people in Australia call them willy-nillies. Meteorologists use one common name for all of these things. They call them Tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones are always more intense in the tropics. The opposite of tropical cyclones is anticyclones. These areas of high atmospheric pressure.
In order for a tropical cyclone to form there must be a fall of atmospheric pressure over a large area. This fall in pressure need not be great, only 20mb over a period of two days. This fall in atmospheric pressure is common in temperate latitudes but is very unusual in the tropics where the air pressure is fairly constant over very large areas. Under certain circumstances, this fall in pressure can be enough to trigger a tropical storm.
There are two main scenarios in which tropical storms turn in to hurricanes. It may be that a pocket of low-pressure air becomes detached from the edge of a mid-latitude weather system and spills over into the tropics as a tongue of low pressure (called a trough) extending the equator at high altitudes.
On the other hand, a low-pressure system on land may drift out over the sea, or wave develops along the equatorial trough. This will produce a depression that detaches itself from the equatorial trough, which reforms behind it. No matter what the causes it the depression moves westward in an easterly wave.
Minor depressions can start anywhere but will only turn into a hurricane if it crosses over an expanse of the very warm sea. This confines the birthplace of hurricanes to the tropics. In latitudes higher than 20 degrees the sea surface temperature is usually to low. In areas close to the equator the sea is often warm enough to start a hurricane but hurricanes never start in latitudes lower than 5 degrees.
This is because of the Coriolis Effect. The Coriolis effect is needed to swing the air moving towards the low-pressure area into a circular path. The effect is not strong enough to cause the swing within 5 degrees of the equator.
Vorticity will cause the air to move in a curved path and eventually cause it to rotate. After it?s momentum accelerates it forms into an even smaller radius. In order for a hurricane to form within 5 degrees of the equator, air would need to converge on the low-pressure region from such a vast area that there is simply not enough air available.
Taking into account the need for high sea surface temperature, and a sufficiently strong Coriolis effect, you would come to the conclusion that the area that hurricanes can form a belt over the oceans is confined to between 5 degrees and 20 degrees. This is true for both hemispheres.
There is also a restriction for what time of year hurricanes can start. Hurricanes can usually only start in late summer, and fall, because this is the only time of year that the water is warm enough to start a hurricane. Sometimes hurricanes can start during other seasons but this is very rare.
Most hurricanes do not develop until the depression crosses the western side of an ocean, but some form in the North Pacific. Over the tropics, air moves vertically in Hadley cell. As it moves away from the equator the Coriolis effect causes the air to swing right in the Northern hemisphere and left in the Southern hemisphere (it always swings to the east). It also causes the high-level air moving away from the equator to be deeper to the east of Hadley cell than on the west.
The high-level air then sinks (still over the tropics) and warms itself. This limits the amount of air rising from the surface. This is because the air meets with a layer of subsiding air, and since the air is warmer and less dense it can rise no further. Sometimes it is possible for this air to break through the layer of subsiding air, but since the air on the west side of the Hadley cell is denser it is easier for the air to escape. This is why hurricanes start on the west side of the ocean.
Depressions can only turn into hurricanes if they pass over a warm expanse of sea. This is because the depression must collect enough water vapor to provide a layer of vapor most air deep enough to supply it with sufficient latent heat of condensation. This means if depression goes over the land it would not collect enough water and will die out. This is another reason why most hurricanes begin on the west side of the ocean.
There have been many hurricanes that caused tremendous amounts of damage. In the late August 1992 hurricane, Andrew crossed through Southern Florida and Louisiana. It’s winds reached up to 164 MPH. It demolished 63,00 homes in Florida and left 44,000 people homeless in Louisiana. Hurricane Andrew is the most costly hurricane in history. In these two states alone it caused damages estimated at twenty-five million dollars.
A few days later, on the other side of the world, Tropical Storm Polly was forming in the China Sea. It traveled westward towards the Coast of China. There it killed 165 people and left five million without homes.
When we think of hurricane damage we think of huge buildings being crushed by the power of the wind, but in real life, the things that suffer the most damage are the homes and the crops. This is especially true in third world countries where the food is especially needed.
Typhoon Cecil devastated crops in central Vietnam in May 1989. It also demolished around 36,000 houses, but houses are a lot easier to replace than crops. In September 1989 hurricane Hugo devested crops in the Caribbean and the eastern United States. Like most hurricanes Hugo uprooted trees. This resulted in the destruction of orchards and forests. It Damaged the Caribbean nation forest, and the Francis Marion Nation forest in South Carolina lost more than two-thirds of it?s trees and three-quarters of its endangered cockade woodpeckers.
To measure hurricane damage scientists use the Saffir/Simpson scale. There are other scales that can be used but this one is the most widely used. It takes into account such factors as, the pressure in the eye, the wind speed, and the size of the storm surges.
Hurricanes are an entirely natural event and nowadays we know a lot more about them than we ever did. The information that we know now is taken from our past experiences with hurricanes. Most of this information is from recent years. Now, this does not mean that there are more hurricanes now than there ever were. In older times these hurricanes were not recorded. The people would repair the damage and move on with there lives as if nothing had happened.
Occasionally though some people recorded these events. In 1696 for example a party of Quakers sailing from Jamaica to Philadelphia was caught in a hurricane and shipwrecked overnight, onto what is now known as Jupiter Island. this event and all the hardships suffered by the crew were recorded by Jonathan Dickinson. We know of this hurricane only because it turned a normal sea voyage into a catastrophic shipwreck.
Other storms are remembered because of the scale of their damage. In 1099, for example, a hurricane moving through the English channel killed 100,000 people along with the English and Dutch Coast. Besides the fact that many lives were lost, there would be major economical problems. There would be shortage of people, therefore fewer people to employ, therefore an increase in wage rises.
Sometimes the hurricanes affected things other than the economy, and population. On rare occasions hurricanes like to disrupt wars. one of the most famous of these occurred in 1281. The Mongols, who at the time ruled China and Korea, ordered the Japanese to give up all their power to them. When the Japanese refused the Mongols sent a Korean ship to the southernmost Japanese island of Kyushu.
Their army attacked the island and soon overcame the Japanese?s defenses. Then out of now where a hurricane came and destroyed most of the Mongol army, saving Japan. The Japanese called this hurricane kamikaze. Does this mean? Divine wind?. They ended up turning the day of its arrival into a religious celebration.
The Kamikaze is probably the only time that a hurricane has done any good for anyone, and even in this incident, many were killed. Most such storms only bring death and destruction, sometimes on a vast scale. Measured in the terms of human life, the worst hurricane ever recorded in the United States lasted from August 27 to September 15, 1900. It formed in the Caribbean and found its way into Galveston, Texas, on September 8. It had winds of 77 MPH gusting up to 120 MPH. This may not sound like much of a hurricane but, like other hurricanes, it brought storm surges. It was this that caused most of the damage.
At the time Galveston was a thriving city, with a population of 40,000. It had a rapidly growing industry. A warning was issued to the town but little took notice. At dawn the town was starting to get anxious, they were heavy storms heading inland. As the eye of the storm grew closer the water level rose. By noon the bridges connecting to the mainland were submerged making the people?s chance of escaping impossible. The water soon formed huge waves that destroyed buildings near the shore.
The city was flooded to a depth of about four feet of water. The houses (made mostly of wood) were torn from their foundations by the winds. At 10 pm the winds finally subsided and the hurricane had passed. In the end, more than 2,600 homes were destroyed, and around 10,000 people were homeless.
About 5,000 people were injured, and about 6,000 were killed. In my opinion, the most interesting hurricane ever occurred in the Bay of Bengal in 1876. 100,000 people were killed in only half an hour.
These are just some of the more devastating hurricanes that have hit the mainland throughout history.
In the 1960s the US Navy Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tried to weaken hurricanes by seeding them. The basic idea was to seed the clouds just outside the eye with silver iodide. The silver iodide, which is widely used in cloud seeding, encourages supercooled water to freeze. This releases latent heat which would make clouds grow. , stealing some of the humid air that is helping the cloud wall grow. It also creates strong winds.
It worked with Hurricane Beulahin 1963, and Hurricane Debbie in 1969. The only problem is scientists have no way of telling if these hurricanes would have weakened anyway. Hurricanes often weaken and then regain strength naturally. Also in the 1980s scientists figured out that there wasn?t enough super cool water for this to work effectively.
Concerns have also been made that this could cause hurricanes to redirect itself and cause even more damage in other areas. For these reasons, hurricane seeding is no longer used. One good thing did come out of hurricane seeding anyway. The NOAA ended up gaining a lot of information for hurricane research.
Latent heat is the heat given off by water as it changes phases. It is a major source of energy for thunderstorms and hurricanes. It also is a factor in any process involving water, such as the forming of snow crystals. The graphic above shows what happens during evaporation – the phase change from liquid to vapor. Fast-moving air molecules in warm air collide with liquid water molecules.
The water could be falling raindrops or in a pond or a bowl. The collision transfers energy from the air molecules to the water molecules. This gives some of the water molecules enough energy to speed up, break away from the liquid, and go into the air as water vapor. Since energy can’t be created or lost, the air molecules lose energy and slow down. This lowers their temperatures; the air cools. Perspiration evaporating from our bodies cools us by taking heat energy from our skin in a similar way.
Heat is added to the air when the water condenses from a gas to a liquid. This uses the same process as air being cooled by evaporating water, except the energy is transferred from the water molecule into the air. Energy added to the air heats the air and makes it lighter. The lighter air rises. This is what feeds hurricanes and thunderstorms.
Latent heat uses the same principles as thermodynamics. None of the energy is wasted. t before leaving the house.
The second part of our report will be about hurricanes. A hurricane is an intense tropical low-pressure area with winds that are 120 kilometers per hour or greater. Hurricanes are also called tropical cyclones or typhoons.
The most damage a hurricane does is when the storm surges hits. Storm surges are currents. They form when the hurricane piles up water along the shore and then blows it inland. They are much more damaging during high tide. Hurricanes grow larger and more powerful from the vast amounts of energy that go into them by condensing water vapor.
Unlike a tornado, hurricanes have no fronts. The middle of a hurricane is called the eye. The eye of the storm is usually 15 to 150 kilometers in diameter. However, because the air in the eye is sinking there is no rain. There is almost no wind either. The eye is surrounded by intense thunderstorms called the eyewall. When you are in the eye of the hurricane you may think it the storm is over but then the other side of the hurricane hits.
You may think the storm is over in the eye because there is no wind or rain and the sky may even be blue. The winds in a hurricane get stronger as they go into the center of the hurricane and they are most violent just outside of the eye. When A hurricane is fully growing it is about 650 kilometers in diameter with winds about 120 miles per hour.
Unlike a tornado, a hurricane can last for days at a time. They die out because they lose moisture. That is the hurricane’s main need. Hurricanes require the upwelling of warm and moist air for them to keep ongoing. This report helped us learn more about hurricanes and tornadoes that we didn’t know before. It told us things that were very interesting and that we would never now unless we did this report.
A hurricane is a violent wind storm that threatens shorelines (Pacific and Atlantic oceans) with flooding, excessive rainfall, and vicious gusts of wind. A hurricane can be very deadly, so it is very important to know about the storm and its properties. As you read this paper, you will learn about hurricanes as a general topic and some specific examples such as how the tragedy of hurricanes highlighted flaws in the US government.
Hurricanes begin as tropical depressions when warm, moist air over the ocean rises up and creates low pressure. Higher pressure pushes into it and creates warm air. The warm air rises and causes the air to swirl. It forms clouds that gain strength from the warm air that rises from the ocean. When these clouds reach land, they are accompanied by high waves and harsh winds.
These cause destruction to the subjected land(s). Hurricanes form in either the Pacific or Atlantic oceans. Many start as depressions coming off the coast of Africa. Hurricanes happen when the oceans have been warmed during the summer months. In the North Atlantic, hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30. Hurricanes lose strength as they pass over land, since warm water in the main source of energy that fuels the storm. Hurricanes are divided into 5 categories, 5 being the strongest and 1 being the weakest.
A hurricane is placed into a category depending on how fast its winds were. If a hurricane travels 74-95 mph, it is a category 1 hurricane, 96-110 mph: category 2, 111-130 mph: category 3, 131-155 mph: category 4 and over 155 mph: category 5. Parts of a hurricane are the eye, eyewall, spiral rain bands and rain shield. The average diameter of a hurricane is 600 km (350 mi) and the average diameter of the eye (calm) is 30 km (18.5 mi).
Hurricane Katrina started as a tropical depression over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005. Katrina then crossed the south of Florida as a category 1 hurricane with limited deaths and flooding. Katrina continued its path and headed towards the Gulf of Mexico as it progressed to a category 5 hurricane.
On August 28th, Katrina and quickly intensified and became a Category 5 at 7:00 am – and the 4th most intense Atlantic hurricane on record. When it hit New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mississippi, it had decreased to a category 3 hurricane. This information is displayed on timelines and diagrams.
Katrina hit Georgia, Mississippi, New Orleans, Kentucky, Alabama, Cuba, Louisiana, West Virginia, Bahamas, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Florida, and The Gulf Coast. Louisiana and Mississippi had suffered the most, due to vulnerability and how crucial it was.
New Orleans, in particular, had suffered the most. In total, 1577 people from Louisiana were killed during the hurricane. It was affected most because New Orleans is completely below sea level. This made it vulnerable to high waves and sharp winds. The levees built to keep the city safe from flooding also broke, causing more flooding than predicted.
A storm surge is a wind constantly blowing on the surface of the ocean so strongly that it temporarily raises the sea level around the affected area for a short period of time. Storm surges can be a 3-20 ft above normal. When they occur at high tide, they can be much worse.
Flooding is usually the main concern for storm surges. It’s somewhat like a tsunami, but much slower and less destructive. This is part of what happened in New Orleans. As it is below sea level, any small rise of the sea is enough to flood the city. As the sea rose during the storm, high waves hit the shores of New Orleans, expanding into the city and breaking the levees built to protect the city.
When the levees broke, more water was let in due to water pressure. The river and canal banks also flooded due to the vast amount of water. The entire city was flooded due to the storm surge.
Hurricane Katrina affected the world Economically and humanly. As of April 2006, the Bush Administration got $105 billion for repairs and reconstruction of the region, making it the costliest natural disaster in US history. There was severe damage to the economy caused by interruption of the oil supply and exports such as grain. Before Katrina, the region supported almost one million non-farm jobs. 60% of them in New Orleans. In conclusion, the total economic impact on Louisiana and Mississippi exceeds $150 Billion.
New Orleans was also a major shipping port, so this was also lost. 1833 lives were lost to the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. Over 100,000 people lost their homes. Many evacuated to Covington permanently. Katrina was also responsible for the increase in the world price of oil.
Katrina highlighted many flaws in the US government. One being their emergency response procedures. The US government simply was not persistent enough in demanding the complete evacuation of subjected regions. Lives, homes, and communities would have been spared if they had taken the outcome into consideration and listened to the climatologists when they were supposed to.
The US government lacked preparation in the relief effort in response to Hurricane Katrina and its tragic aftermath. The response to the flooding of New Orleans was delayed and uncared for. This is specifically the fault of F.E.M.A (Federal Emergency Management Agency). Providing food, water, security, and sanitary conditions is part of the role of the government in case of an emergency.
They did not fulfill their main roles. This left people in subjected areas homeless and hungry. Raising petrol prices did not help the situation either. People were desperate for help and the government did not give it importance.
Hurricane Katrina was a killer storm. With varying wind speeds from 74 mph to over 155 mph, Katrina was the strongest hurricane in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It struck various places with different strengths and was the cause of a great tragedy. Katrina was responsible for many economic and human costs. Katrina also proved faults and flaws in the US government and emergency response services.
Example #6 – interesting ideas
The Effects Of Hurricane Katrina
September 29, 2005, seemed like a perfect, beautiful day but this was the day that the world witnessed a catastrophe that would have lasting effects on our economy. People sat glued to their television screens as Hurricane Katrina ripped through three states taking with it the homes and lives of millions of people.
In the aftermath of this powerful hurricane, the people of the United States realized how valuable their families, lives, and the economy was to them. Something that we took for granted every day.
As the days wore on after that fateful day in September, the economy plummeted to an all-time low due to the oil refineries that were ripped through by massive winds. The gas prices continued to rise and reached a record of $5.00 per gallon in some states, which made it difficult for citizens of a rich nation to drive to their jobs. It forced people to use other forms of transportation.
At one point there was a scare of running out of fuel which made trucking companies shut down until an alternate fuel source could be determined.
Aside from fuel deficiency, there were also heightened crime rates in rural areas hit by Katrina. People were forced to break into stores to retrieve food and other supplies for their families, while looters took advantage of the situation and broke into places to steal materialistic items for their pleasure. These criminals, when confronted by authorities, opened fire and killed many officers.
Due to the floodwaters, many people contracted deadly diseases and died because they could not get proper medical attention. Many people were left wondering what happened to their families and months later they still have yet to find their loved ones.
All hurricanes rotate in one and same direction, its the direction earth follows that makes Sun seem to be rising in the East. Not a single hurricane recorded so far rotates otherwise, the same stands for each typhoon, twister, and tornado.
Thus proving that evolution has no room in Hurricane existence or they are rotating in different directions! And also in light of hurricane patterns being one of the oldest clocks men has been observing, just as is the Rotation around Kaba called tawaf in Muslim rites of Pilgrimmage during Hajj in Mecca being over 4 millennium’s old ritual shows remarkable similarity with the rest of celestial bodies indeed are self-evident signs that all things were rotated by a right hand only.
If there were another creator or even no creator, then things would be rotating both left hand and right hand around their respective inner and out axis. Hurricanes attest to the fact that the Universe is operating under the A1law of axial rotation when observed from the north pole, the same stands for each and every hurricane as well!
Hurricanes are giant, spiraling tropical storms that can pack wind speeds of over 160 miles an hour and unleash more than 2.4 trillion gallons of rain a day. These same tropical storms are known as cyclones in the northern Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, and as typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean.
The Atlantic Ocean’s hurricane season peaks from mid-August to late October and averages five to six hurricanes per year. When they come onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds, and heavy waves can damage buildings, trees, and cars. The heavy waves are called a storm surge.
Storm surges are very dangerous and a major reason why you MUST stay away from the ocean during a hurricane warning or hurricane. Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around the eye. The rotating storm clouds create the “eyewall”, which is the most destructive part of the storm.
The difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane is wind speed – tropical storms usually bring winds of 36-47 miles per hour, whereas hurricane wind speeds are over 74 miles per hour. Hurricanes are classified into five categories, based on their wind speeds and potential to cause damage.
- Category One — Winds 74-95 miles per hour
- Category Two — Winds 96-110 miles per hour
- Category Three — Winds 111-130 miles per hour
- Category Four — Winds 131-155 miles per hour
- Category Five — Winds greater than 155 miles per hour
Hurricanes are named to help us identify and track them as they move across the ocean. For Atlantic Ocean hurricanes, the names may be French, Spanish, or English, since these are the major languages bordering the Atlantic Ocean where the storms occur.
Sometimes names are “retired” if a hurricane has been really big and destructive. It’s like when a sports jersey or number is retired after a really great athlete leaves a sport. Retired names include Katrina, Andrew, and Mitch. The costliest hurricane to hit landfall was Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm that hit Southeast Florida and Louisiana in August of 1992. Andrew cost the U.S. $26.5 billion.
The deadliest U.S. hurricane on record was a Category 4 storm that hit the island city of Galveston, Texas, on September 8th, 1900. Some 8,000 people lost their lives when the island was destroyed by 15-foot waves and 130-mile-an-hour winds.
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