Last Updated 24 Mar 2020

Severe Weather Storms: Hurricanes and Tornadoes

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A hurricane is an extremely violent tropical cyclone. The origin of the term Hurricane originates from a Mayan Storm god by the name of Hurakan. He was a Central American idol who believably caused the storms. Years later, the hypothesis of someone creating angry storms has been corrected. It is known that these storms are an act of nature by God’s laws at work. The term hurricane just stuck with the weather condition. Another source states that the origin of the term was derived from a Carib term that means ‘God of Evil. The term is a Spanish word; huracn. The creation of a Hurricane begins as the heat rays from the sun hit the waters of the ocean. This causes evaporation. When it evaporates, the weather is still warm due to the temper of the heat rays. As the saying goes, “heat rises’, well, so does the moisture/evaporated water from the ocean until it’s cooled down by air pressure. Depending on the next phase of whether or not the cloud continues to grow or becomes heavily filled with moisture determines the chances of heavy rain, thunderstorms, or a tropical disaster.

A tropical disaster is a thunderstorm with cyclonic circulation, which carries winds less than 20 knots’ at least 30mph wind speed. If the situation escalades towards the descriptions of a Hurricane, the NGC (National Hurricane Center) based in Miami, FL triggers its movements and watches. The seasons of watch are primarily summer and fall; due to the heated temperatures. Though these seasons are not the only times of watch, it is monitored year round. If the clouds continued to grow without any form of disturbance, or breaking up within the clouds, it is considered a tropical depression.

In a tropical depression, the clouds still move over the ocean which it picks up more moisture and speed of the wind which creates a larger problem called a tropical storm. The winds are tracked at least at 39 mph. The tropical storm is officially considered a hurricane once the speed of the wind increases to 75 mph. The presenting conditions needed for a hurricane is temperature, pressure, volume, and density. If you are to combine these variables into the troposphere at the warm to high levels, you’ll have the storm.

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But depending on the amounts, one may be more severe or less severe than the other. Step by step, in order for a Hurricane to exist, it needs to have more than an 80°F temperature in the ocean. This not only gives the hurricane energy, but, it makes the air much more humid due to the evaporated water. While this occurs in the air, the wind is already coming together from different directions forcing the warm air in an upward direction for cooling. These winds begin to spread outward allowing more air to be compacted.

The air that has risen creates the storm clouds while the winds from the opposite direction are coming against it counterclockwise rotation, and expand the size of the clouds, which now are creating the storm. Before we consider a Hurricane to be a hurricane it goes through a series of phases of growing and maturing. We see a slight chance of a hurricane in a tropical disturbance, which is monitored. The tropical disturbance is only a thunderstorm that has a very mild cyclonic circulation. If the wind speeds during the disturbance, it increases between 23 and 39 mph.

It is then classified as a tropical depression. This is considered phase 2. Phase 3 of the storm is another increasing increment of wind speeds between 40 and 73 mph, classifying the storm as a tropical storm. This is the last phase before the storm is considered a full, Hurricane with wind speeds greater than 74 miles per hour. The next procedure in this is the calculations of the hurricanes strength. The wind speed is a determining factor of the hurricane’s strength. It is based between category 1 and category 5.

To determine where to place the Hurricane, we also need to know the flooding and slope of the storm. Category 1 is still intense, but it is less intense compared to category 5. Category 1’s wind speed is between 74 and 95 mph, and the storms surge (large wave of water) is 4 to 5 feet above normal. In this category, it typically is known to damage trees and mobile homes that are not mounted or tied down, and do cause some coastal flooding. Category 2 has 96 to 110 mph wind speed, surges of 6 to 8 feet, with damaging abilities of the roof, doors, windows, trees, and plants.

It is also capable of damaging docks. Category 3 is 110 to 130 mph wind speed and surges of 9 to 12 feet; causing trees of various sizes to be blown down, flooding near shoreline, and also inland structural damage. Mobile homes are also destroyed in this category. In category 4, it has a winds speed of 139 to 155 mph, surge is of 13 to 18 feet, causing inland flooding of terrain, extreme doors and window damages, and extravagant damage of basements and lower level flooding near the shore. Category 5 is of wind speeds of more than 155 mph with a surge that is greater than 18 feet.

This category is the strongest. Its flooding causes the lower levels of shoreline buildings to be severely damaged. The roofs during this category are completely not effective, and some major building failures occur. At this point evacuation is beyond necessary to do. The eye of the hurricane through all categories is the strongest part of the hurricane that causes the most damage. The media shows cone shaped track paths for hurricanes for the convenience of the people. It’s used to convince the people in the surrounding areas not to focus so much on the line, but more on the path of the eye.

Hurricanes obtain their name alphabetically from the world meteorological organization. The first hurricane of the year starts with the letter A and continues on down the alphabet. The alternation of male and female names is available in the list of 21 names available for the year. Men names become in effect in 1978 because woman names were not so popular in naming deadly storms after them. There are not any names for Q, U, X, Y, and Z. If a storm is overly extreme in damages, then that name is retired and replaced with a new name, but different letter. A hurricane is similar to both a cyclone and Typhoon.

The characteristics are similar, but a hurricane is stronger. A typhoon is a violent tropical cyclone that originates from the west Pacific where as the hurricanes are buy originate elsewhere. The cyclone has a low pressure and strong winds in rotation, while the hurricane is vise versa To prepare for a hurricane, you should create a checklist. On this checklist, make sure you have gathered important medical documentation, Social Security cards, birth certificates, GED/Diplomas, titles, deeds to property. Make sure you also take photos of special memories.

Record a video or take photos of your property and carry that with you because this documentation will be needed for future insurance claims for damages. Designate a family member you will go to for refuge or hotel if need be. Carry extra clothing in case a shelter is where you’ll need to be residing at. Have battery stocked for the electric, because it may be out of days at a time. If you are staying on property go to the opposite side of house the storm is not doing much damage. Apply plywood if you know how to or if you can afford to have is installed prior to the hurricane season.

Last but not least, if you have not yet evacuated before the storm truly does hit, stay inside. The aftermath effects of hurricanes on people in other states occur when hurricane victims begin to migrate to another state, causing economical effects; it also causes social effects and environmental effects. These are all broad effects that can go on and on in detail because if they are forced to leave where they were located and into an area with very little to no resources but now having to rely on the government. For the government, this means more money is needed by the government to support and provide for them.

Which cutting out some of what the locals have would have to soon be in effect. The term tornado originated from a Spanish term ‘tronada’. It was altered into tornado around the 1620s. It was taken from a Latin term ‘tonare’, which means thunder. Tronada meant thunderstorm. A tornado is a strong wind that goes in circular motion creating a funnel shaped cloud which typically destroys everything in its path. Tornadoes are formed when sufficient instability and wind shear are both present on the lower level of the atmosphere.

With the combination of the unusual instability a wind shear are combined in the atmosphere of increasingly strong winds. Between the Fujita scale and the Parson’s scale, they are both used for measuring a tornado. The Fajita scale is much more commonly used. It is more used for the intensity of a tornado while the Parson’s scale is based on the space that the tornado effects. Although in each classification of the Fajita scale things are damaged, the only difference in each classification is an approximate increase of wind speed in between 30 and 50 mph.

The intensity of most tornados tends to stick between Gale and moderate which on the F-scale that is F0-F1 with wind speeds ranging between 40 – 112 mph. If ever it does get stronger, then typically, it reaches between significant and severs levels which are F2 and F3 with wind speeds ranging between 113 – 206 mph. Tornado season typically range from later April to mid August, with highs. Tornadoes generally hit the central part of the United States, such as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Tornado season is typically in spring, summer, and part of the colder months going into winter season. A majority of the time they go the same counterclockwise direction, and without a doubt, they can and will go any other direction, but it is based on the location. Although tornados are very dangerous, a state that has the largest amount of tornadoes does not mean that it has the most injuries and deaths. Research showed from a study in 1993 of 1167 recorded tornadoes that only 16 were reported deaths. As ime goes on the 16 steadily decrease, because once reported by the National weather services of Tornado watches and warning that you have enough time to find shelter even if the tornado is actively growing above you. Another form of a tornado is called a waterspout. This is a mild tornado that occurs over water such as oceans and great lakes that carry heavy rain and thunderstorm that can still cause offshore and inland damage and injuries. Warning signs that a tornado may be approaching is the color of the clouds, and climate outside. Rubbish or any other dirty particles flying strong outside.

Another way to know if a Tornado is approaching is by the sounds of heavy water fall or strong winds. Lastly, which should be the most obvious is the funnel cloud beginning and collecting surrounding clouds. To prepare before a storm, devise a plan of shelter, if in certain situations. Do frequent drills (monthly is fine), know your city and keep a map to continue to follow the storm. Stock on batteries, invest in a NOAA weather radio with warning sounds, keep posted with the news reporting, and check with your counties emergency management center to help answer any other unanswered questions in regards to your safety during this storm.

A safety procedure to follow during a tornado is mainly to find shelter. If you do not have a basement, dungeons, or any other underground shelter to seek refuge in, seek for shelter in an interior room or hall with lower floors, and position yourself under sturdy furniture. You must stay away from windows, doors, and automobiles. Don’t try to run from it in a vehicle. If you happen to be outside find a ditch and lay flat. If you are in a mobile home, it is strongly suggested that you evacuate from it. If you have any other concerns, you should contact weather emergency hotlines for your local area.

A few major economic effects left after a tornado is loss of loved ones, and/or injuries not only to other, but yourself if you are there. Business slows down due to turmoil of what to do next. Government costs to repair and rebuild along with the cost to have emergency services and shelters in motion helping By creating a miniature tornado model, you slightly feel the forces against the container and watch the funnel and circular motion of the tornado. Though it is not like a real tornado, it gives an illusion of what is could possibly look like.

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Severe Weather Storms: Hurricanes and Tornadoes. (2017, Apr 15). Retrieved from

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