hurricane season begins June 1st and it ends November 30th if you’ve ever experienced a hurricane yourself you know how scary they can be between the strong winds the heavy rains the flooding hurricanes can be devastating we have 12 powerful facts about hurricanes that you might not know first help us spread the word about as by clicking that share button also be sure to in our email list so you don’t miss our future content.
storms are only called hurricanes in North America a tropical cyclone is a low pressure system that draws energy from the warm ocean water when a tropical cyclone matures in the Atlantic or the eastern Pacific Ocean it’s called a hurricane if it happens in Asia though it’s called a typhoon if it happens anywhere else in the world it’s called a cyclone .
hurricanes come in all shapes and sizes all hurricanes are not the same some are so disorganized it takes weather experts to spot them hurricanes can be as small as only a few miles across others can be as large as half of the United States and that was the case with typhoon tip in the western Pacific Ocean in 1979 the smallest tropical storm ever recorded was tropical storm marco in 2008 it only extended 12 miles from the eye of the storm which is smaller than the length of an haplin when there’s a hurricane you just never know how big or small it’s going to be .
the eye wall is the greatest danger at a hurricane hurricanes have spiraling bands of wind and rain that radiate from the center and that’s what gives hurricanes their distinctive buzzsaw shape while these bands can be damaging and cause flooding and tornadoes the worst part of the hurricane is the eye wall it’s a tight group of thunderstorms raging in the center of the storm the most severe wind occupies the eye wall the most severe damage it occurs when this part of the storm comes onshore .
the eye of a hurricane is very warm because hurricanes are tropical the eye of the storm is very warm it forms when the air rushes down from the upper levels of the atmosphere and fill the void that’s left by the low air pressure close to the surface the air dries out and it heats up very rapidly in the case of an intense hurricane the temperature of the eye can reach 80 degrees despite thousands of feet above the Earth’s surface being very cold .
you can learn a lot about a hurricane by its eye the eye of the hurricane can tell you a lot about it and what you should expect if the eye is ragged and asymmetrical it means the storm is struggling to gain strength if it is round and smooth though it means the storm is very strong and stable a tiny high also known as a pinpoint eye means that it will be a very intense storm .
hurricanes can have two eyes the eye of a storm doesn’t last forever storms can go through a process called the eyewall replacement cycle where storm develops a new eye to replace the old one during the cycle the storm could weaken however when that new eye forms it could become even more intense than it was with the first die an example of this was hurricane Matthew in October of 2016 the impact of that storm was less severe because the eyewall replacement occurred right before it made its closest approach to land .
the strong winds are only part of the danger the strong winds caused by hurricanes that’s what you normally hear about on the news but the wind itself isn’t the most dangerous part of a hurricane more than half of the deaths resulting from hurricanes are due to storm surges or the ocean water that gets pushed to the immediate coast it isn’t just the coastal areas that can be flooded during a hurricane either during hurricanes Katrina and Sandy the water was pushed so far inland that homes miles from the coast were still submerged in water .
California not often ever experiences tropical cyclones regardless that California occupies tons of of miles of shoreline there are not often ever tropical cyclones there it is nothing just like the East Coast which appears to face hurricanes yearly lots of them it is as a result of the ocean water in California is simply too chilly to maintain a storm like that there have been a number of storms recorded in California and the worst one hit San Diego in 1858 .
Hurricane Hunters fly right into the storm satellite and radar imagery can tell us a lot about a storm but we can get more information from Hurricane Hunters they’re a group of very brave people from the Air Force and the NOAA who fly specifically outfitted airplanes right into the eye of the storm they measure the winds and report their findings this all started in World War two and it’s been an important storm measuring tool ever since .
Hurricane Hunters drop sensors to measure the waves Hurricane Hunters have all sorts of tools to gauge the strength of a storm their tools can measure wind pressure temperature and moisture there are weather radars on board that give them a detailed view with storm they also drop sensors into the ocean that measure the waves and the sea foam which can estimate how strong the wind is on the surface .
we started naming storms to keep track of them we started naming storms in the 1950s in order to help keep track of them when two storms are happening at the same time it’s hard for meteorology to talk about them without confusing the public since then naming hurricanes has become a worldwide thing today the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean receive a list of alternating male and female names and they are reused every six years .
names are retired if the storm was extremely harmful if a storm was notably harmful the identify is retired out of respect for the households of the storm victims in addition to the survivors when a reputation is retired a brand new identify with that very same letter takes its place Hurricane Katrina was retired and for good cause in 2018 the names Florence and Michael have been retired because of the injury they prompted they’ve been changed with Francine and Milton which shall be used when the listing is reused in 2024 .