Hurricane Deadliness

Earth, Hurricane, Atmosphere, Spiral

A hurricane’s deadly forcesHurricanes have an arsenal of effects that can destroy property and cause loss of life (visit here). The combination of wind and water can have catastrophic impacts on man and nature. Learn what these mortal features can do and how to survive them.Storm Tides and WavesStorm surge is simply the rise in water that floods the coast as water is pushed onshore by powerful winds, and to a much lesser degree very low pressure. It’s important to know the tides of the coastal area where you are located. For example, many locations on the Gulf coast have quite small tidal ranges, whereas places on the U.S. east coast have large tidal ranges. It makes a significant difference on the consequences to the coast if a hurricane moves ashore during a low or high tide in a place where the tidal range is large. Today, inland flood causes the largest loss of life. In the past, when hurricane forecasting technology was much less sophisticated, storm surge was the motive for the majority of deaths. It’s ideal to leave a construction that could be affected by the storm tide of a hurricane. The force from sea water is extremely powerful and can destroy a home easily. High waves take the debris from destroyed buildings which are on the coast that batter other structures farther inland. Nevertheless, it’s wise not to”ride out” a hurricane and evacuate to a safer location.Hurricanes produce strong sustained winds that have the capability of destroying structures and toppling trees and power lines. The Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale gives an estimate on the kind of wind damage which can be expected with various categories of hurricanes. A significant hurricane is considered a class 3 or higher. Strong winds can blow off in garage doors, break windows, or lift roofs from houses. Make sure that you have shutters or plywood to cover windows properly during a hurricane. Also, know how structurally sound your roof and garage doors are so that they will not fail in the event of high winds. The safest place to stay is in the basement to protect you and your loved ones from high winds. If you’re in a flood zone, evacuate to higher ground. If you don’t have a basement, then find a small room on the lowest floor with no windows near the center of the home to stay.TornadoesTornadoes are often associated with land falling tropical cyclones. The majority of the tornadoes occur within a day of land fall, even though it’s possible for tornadoes to still occur a couple of days later still connected with the circulation. The most significant hurricane associated tornado outbreak on record occurred with Hurricane Ivan in 2004 with 123 tornadoes. Other hurricanes that generated a substantial tornado outbreak were: Hurricane Buelah (115), Hurricane Frances (103) and Hurricane Rita (101) tornadoes. Unlike their Midwest cousins, tornadoes on average are poorer in hurricanes. There’s typically a poorer signature on radar and hail nearly never accompanies them. Stronger land falling hurricanes have a greater potential to produce tornadoes than weaker ones. Tornadoes happen with land falling hurricanes as the hurricane moves over land and encounters greater low level friction from the land. This slows the wind at the surface more than higher aloft, adding to vertical wind shear. It’s this increase in wind shear that sets up an environment favorable for tornado development. FloodingAll hurricanes do not produce severe flooding. There are several factors that contribute to the flood potential of a hurricane or poorer tropical cyclone. The most important element is the rate of movement. If a tropical cyclone moves into a region where steering currents from the winds aloft are weak, very heavy rain may result. It’s possible for the tropical cyclone to be nearly stationary for days resulting in very heavy rainfall amounts of 40 to 50 inches or more. Rainfall amounts are also influenced by the terrain of a location. Mountains cause an added lift to happen, improving rain rates on the windward slopes. The surrounding environment where the hurricane forms is another consideration. If a hurricane forms in the deep tropics, it generally can tap a deeper source of heavy layered moisture. Hurricanes which form in higher latitudes have a higher chance of entraining dry air from mid latitude weather systems limiting moisture. When a tropical cyclone is approaching, understand the possibility of heavy rainfall to make flooding or flash flooding in which you reside. SummaryA hurricane has the potential to cause widespread damage and loss of life. The best way to survive the effects of a hurricane is by staying informed. For more on how to prepare before a hurricane strikes, check’s article on hurricane preparedness.

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