What Is a Hurricane?

Tuesday, 02 Nov 2010 11:04 AM

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The easiest way to answer the question "what is hurricane?" is to say that it is a natural phenomenon that is like a tropical storm. In most cases, it has been observed by hurricane tracking systems that a hurricane is generally accompanied by thunderstorms. In general, a hurricane is formed by low atmospheric pressure over land. Amazingly, in the northern hemisphere it moves in a counterclockwise direction, whereas in the southern hemisphere, it changes its course to move in a clockwise direction.

Hurricane tracking institutes all across the world have given different names to hurricanes. One of the most notorious was Hurricane Katrina that occurred five years ago. It appeared like a monster ready to engulf the entire U.S. It caused equally massive damage to life and property. Hurricane Katrina has taught people across the world the importance of flood insurance. It is advisable that you get a flood insurance plan to save yourself from potential damage.
 
There have been several other hurricanes including Hurricane Matthew. In 2004, this hurricane brought heavy downpours to the Gulf Coast of America, and in 2010, it caused landslides in Central America. It may be said that the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew is equivalent to that brought about by Hurricane Katrina.Other hurricanes include; Hurricane Bonnie, Hurricane Gaston, and Hurricane Fiona.
 
There are many categories of hurricanes. This classification system is helpful for weather officials when interpreting climatic conditions. This helps them to raise alarm whenever required. Basically, hurricane categories are determined based on the strength of the winds. A scale called the Beaufort Wind Scale is used to measure the force of hurricane winds. There are five hurricane categories.
 
Category 1 hurricanes have a speed of 74 to 95 mph or 64 to 82 kt, and are less harmful. Category 2 hurricanes come with a speed of 96 to 110 mph or 83 to 95 kt and can cause substantial damage. Category 3 hurricanes come with a speed of 111 to 130 mph or 96 to 113 kt. These hurricanes have the potential of causing damage to residential houses and floods. Category 4 hurricanes have a speed of 131 to 155 mph or 114 to 135 kt. They can cause full erosion and heavy flooding in the affected areas. Category 5 hurricanes with 155 mph+ or 135kt+ have the ability to cause enormous loss of property and life.
 
Considering the many devastating effects of hurricanes, it is important that  you keep in mind safety measures during the hurricane season. Remember to follow hurricane tracking information provided by the government on a regular basis. With such caution, you can keep your family secure.

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