Table of Contents
Hurricanes are tropical cyclones that rotate at high speed and cause destruction along their path. A hurricane is often featured by heavy winds, an atmospheric circulation, and thunderstorms, which are responsible for a torrential downpour immediately afterward. The name hurricane can be used depending on the location that the tropical cyclone occurs. In other aspects, it can be referred to as a typhoon or a tropical depression depending on its speed and position (Recorded Books, Inc. 2005). Hurricanes have been categorized as a national disaster in the United States. They wreak havoc in many regions of the United States, and cause numerous deaths. Hurricanes mostly occur in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans making the United States and her neighbors as the primary victims. Even though they also occur in the Atlantic Ocean, they have been widely reported in the Pacific Ocean in the past number of years. Their high winds and heavy storms often cause death and destruction of property making them a national disaster in the United States.
Hurricanes often occur over large water bodies. It usually happens on warm water where conditions are ideal for condensation. A warm water body allows for the condensation process, which results in substantial rainfall. The high circulating winds that often accompany the heavy rain occur frequently when the earth rotates, and air moves towards the rotation. When this happens, people can always witness a robust rotating wind with a higher magnitude (Recorded Books, Inc. 2005). The strength of this wind is still quite high that it lifts houses and automobiles. This rotation is often below ten degrees above the equator. Hurricanes are usually 100-3000 thousand kilometers from the equator on the earth’s surface and are often enhanced by warm waters. The more heated streams from both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are characteristics of the Northern hemisphere.
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Hurricanes can be referred to as cyclones, which mostly relate to the prevailing circulating winds that often move with speed. The high winds usually move in a counterclockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and run in the clockwise direction while in the Southern Hemisphere. The movement in different directions is attributed to the Coriolis Effect. Coastal destructions and storm surges might occur during these devastating cyclones. The storm surges are associated with an intense pressure that keeps changing with the intensity of the hurricane winds. Hurricanes obtain air and moisture from different areas and, in turn, drop it on far away fields from where they begun (Recorded Books, Inc. 2005). This phenomenon often results in massive rains, which might also result in severe flooding that, in turn, causes severe destruction on land. In water bodies such as oceans and seas, the flooding could occur in a tsunami, which could cause further disruption of property and death. The heavy rain could cause flooding that goes up to fifty kilometers from the coastline. Even though hurricanes are devastating to humans and animals, the heavy rainfall that often accompanies it relieves drought in areas that had not gotten enough rainfall for some time. Hurricanes also help in modulating the climate, and even regulate the global temperature changes.
Even though hurricanes have been known to cause devastations on both land and water, some of them might have weak winds that do not cause significant destructions owing to their low strength. In the United States, one hurricane can destroy several states while moving in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction (Recorded Books, Inc. 2005). Hurricanes come in the form of massive storms, or just the high winds, which both have the potential to cause massive damage on land. In some instances, some hurricanes in the U.S have causes destructions in different ways such that they may strike a particular state with a devastating storm but hit another with massive winds. The Labor Day Hurricane that occurred in 1935 was one of the most destructive hurricanes in the history of the United States. It hit the state of Florida with a sustained pressure of eight hundred and ninety-five mbar. It was considered a category five hurricane owing to the devastating effects it caused across the state (Kislow, 2008). Other storms that were categorized as category five hurricanes included Hurricane Camille, which struck in 1969, and Hurricane Andrew, which hit in 1992.
The two hurricanes were classified as category five owing to their strength that stood at nine hundred and nine hundred and twenty-two mbar. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the State of Louisiana, particularly in the city of New Orleans. It was a category five due to its sheer strength measured at nine hundred and twenty mbar. Even though it had a devastating effect in the city of New Orleans, its winds were not as high as the other hurricanes categorized in the same strength. It mostly wreaked havoc owing to the massive storm and flooding that hit the city and its environs. In 1900, Galveston Hurricane was one of the most destructive ever witnessed in the United States. The hurricane caused the death of more than eight thousand people then. It was the worst hurricane that ever graced the American soil. In 1928, another hurricane struck the United States in the name of Okeechobee. This storm caused the death of more than 2500 people. It also created a massive destruction and loss of property in the U.S. Hurricane Katrina that struck the city of New Orleans in 2005 caused the death of at least 1500 people (Kislow, 2008). Hurricanes have been a significant concern in the United States for more than a century such that in 1893, two hurricanes struck simultaneously. The two storms were responsible for the deaths of one thousand people each during that year.
Owing to a large number of people that have died from hurricanes in the U.S, the country has equipped its meteorological departments with advanced technological machines. These machines help to foresee an imminent hurricane before it strikes. Despite this, the exact direction of the hurricanes has become unpredictable to the meteorological units. Nine of the past storms that have occurred in the United States have caused damages worth tens of billions of dollars according to Kislow (2008). The most expensive hurricane that struck the United States was Hurricane Katrina, which caused a considerable loss totaling to eighty-four billion dollars. Based on the current dollar value in the market, the Great Hurricane that struck the United States in 1926 was the most costly.
Different hurricanes with different magnitudes have caused deaths and massive destructions in the United States. The most recent and severest of damages was caused by Hurricane Katrina in the city of New Orleans in 2005. However, the deadliest hurricane in the history of the United States is the Galveston Hurricane that struck in 1900. The accounting carried out has estimated these destructions to cost hundreds of billions of dollars to the government and the people often grappling with reconstruction in their wake.
- Kislow, P. V. (2008). Hurricanes: Background, history and bibliography. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
- Recorded Books, Inc. (2005). Hurricanes and typhoons: Past, present, and future. New York: Columbia University Press.