Did you know that hurricanes are the largest most
destructive storms on Earth?
Hurricanes are also called typhoons and tropical cyclones
in other parts of the world, but they are basically the same type
In addition to strong winds that may damage homes
and injure people, hurricanes can produce tornadoes, severe flooding
and beach erosion. Most people who lose their lives during hurricanes
live on the coast and are killed by a large sheet of ocean water
moved by the hurricane called storm surge.
Our ability to monitor and forecast hurricanes has
improved greatly because of satellite technology and scientists
who volunteer to fly directly into the storms to take measurements
and study them. By studying the information sent back by Air Force
and NOAA Hurricane Hunter planes, we can measure how strong a hurricane
is and make a good estimate of what direction it may move in.
Through accurate forecasts and warnings, the staff
of NOAA's National Hurricane Center have probably saved thousands
of lives. People living in areas that are likely to be hit by a
hurricane usually get advanced warning of a day or two and then
have enough time to prepare for these huge powerful storms before
What's in this section?
- Describe when and where hurricanes form.
- Describe what is necessary for hurricanes to strengthen.
- Describe what parts of the hurricane are most damaging.
- Graph information on wind speed, atmospheric pressure, and storm
- Convert miles per hour to knots. (Knots are like miles per
hour for boats.)
- Trace the path of the worst hurricane in the year you were born.
- Use the graphs you make to find the wind speed and storm tide
- Determine the effect of storm tide on coastal areas.
- Hypothesize what would happen if a major hurricane hit your
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