Hurricanes are some of the most destructive kinds of natural disasters today. They cause destruction to property and loss of life every year. According to the National Hurricane Center, the biggest hurricane in the world known as the Great Galveston Hurricane. It has occurred in the United States in the 1900’s. The deadly hurricane resulted in about 1000 deaths and an estimated damage of about $25 billion in today’s currency. This figure manifests the destructive capability of hurricanes.
So, just what are hurricanes and how are they formed? Hurricanes, also known as cyclones and typhoons in other tropical regions, are gigantic storms. This means they can only be found in tropical areas such as the South Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Causes Of Hurricane
Warm water, moist warm air, and light upper-level winds are the key ingredients to the formation of hurricanes. Hurricanes begin when masses of warm, moist air from oceans surfaces starts to rise quickly, and collide with masses of cooler air. The collision prompts the warm water vapor to condense, eventually forming storm clouds and dropping back as rain. During the condensation process, latent heat is emitted. The latent heat warms the cool air above, leading it to rise and pave the way for warmer, humid air coming from below the ocean.
As the process goes on, more warm moist air is attracted into the mounting storm, and much more heat is moved from the ocean surface to the atmosphere. This constant heat exchange develops a wind pattern that spins around a fairly calm center that mimics water spinning down a drain.
If conditions remain the same, which means there is enough fuel for the storm to continue developing, the rotating storm will continue to get powerful, eventually becoming a hurricane. When the hurricane continues to strengthen and become strong enough, an opening at the center known as the eye forms.
The eye is a clear circular center of the storm. The strongest winds occur near the eye, which means the winds get strong as you approach the eye. The eyewall is the area surrounding the eye, and it has much stronger winds than the eye. When a stronger hurricane develops, winds can reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. If the storms lose energy, it means they have reached cooler waters or hit the shores, and they start to weaken and eventually die off.
Positive Effects Of Hurricane
The vast amount of rainfall that comes along with hurricanes provides a great deal of relief from drought conditions. The rains can go as far as several hundreds of miles from the epicenter of the storm. A typical example is the 2012 remnants of the Hurricane Isaac. It contributed to about 5 inches of rainfall to the Corn Belt fields in Midwest United States.
Relief From Heat
Hurricanes develop on top of tropical and subtropical waters. If the water temperature increases, the hurricane development also increases. If the cooling effects of annual hurricanes are not experienced, it means the tropical and subtropical regions would continually heat up. This will result in the multiplication of intensity and quantity of storms. The sea surface is able to cool if a hurricane forms because of the vertex integration of the layers of the ocean instigated by the frictional force exerted by hurricane winds on the ocean’s surface. This frictional force causes the violent mixing of layers, driving colder water high up the surface. This blocks warm water necessary for hurricanes require to last.