Why are hurricanes so powerful?
Hurricanes, strong winds and storm surge (the crashing of waves inland). To understand the answer to this question, you first need to know what causes wind and waves. Temperature differences in the atmosphere create changes in air pressure. Wind is the movement of air from areas of high to low atmospheric pressure. Waves, mean white. are created by wind blowing over a body of water. Those tube-shaped barrels . that surfers ride off the north shore of Hawaii? They were created by wind blowing on the ocean’s surface thousands of miles away.
Now. hurricanes typically take shape over tropical oceans and coasts,where the war ocean waters create an area of low pressure in the moist air. Bundles of thunderstorm form. fueled by the warm ocean temps and whipped into a swirling shape by the Earth rotation and growing wind. What starts as tropical depression becomes a tropical storm,when the winds reach 39 mph (63 kph). When the winds top 74 mph (119 kph), the storm is officially declared a hurricane.
Hurricane winds can reach 150 mph (241 kph), tearing apart houses and tossing tars. When these massive storms hit land, they bring flooding rain and sometimes spawn tornadoes Even if a hurricane never makes landfall, its wind can create massive Waves three stories high that crash ashore as deadly storm surge.
The upward velocity of the air and subsequent condensation make the eye wall the region of heaviest precipitation and highest clouds. Because the outward increase in pressure is greatest there, the eye wall is also the region of maximum wind speed. By contrast, the hurricane eye is almost calm, experiences little or no precipitation, and is often exposed to a clear sky. Temperatures in the eye are 10F to 15F (5C – 8C) warmer than those of the surrounding air as a result of sinking currents at the hurricane’s core.
High winds are a primary cause of hurricane-inflicted loss of life and property damage. Another cause is the flooding resulting from the coastal storm surge of the ocean and the torrential rains, both of which accompany the storm. The affirm Simpson scale is the standard scale for rating the severity of a hurricane as measured by the damage it causes. It classifies hurricanes on a hierarchy from category 1 (minimal), through category 2 (moderate), category 3 (extensive), and category 4 (extreme), to category 5 (catastrophic). A super typhoon is equivalent to a category 4 or 5 hurricane.