What is a Hurricane?
|A hurricane is an intense tropical weather system with a well defined circulation and maximum winds of 74 m.p.h. (64 knots) or higher. Hurricanes are made over warm tropical oceans and are steered by easterly trade winds, temperate westerlies, and their own energy. In the western Pacific, hurricanes are called "typhoons", and in the Indian Ocean similar storms are called "cyclones". On average, five hurricanes hit the U.S. coastline every three years.
When hurricanes come ashore, they cause massive waves, spawn tornadoes, and produce heavy rains and floods. There is a scale that measures the severity of a hurricane. This scale is called the Saffir-Simpson Scale. This scale categorizes hurricanes by their wind speed and the amount of damage they inflict. There are five different categories for hurricanes from category 1 to category 5. Category 1 hurricanes cause a small amount of damage and category 5 hurricanes cause catastrophic damage. The most violent activity takes place in what is called the eyewall. This section is located just outside of the eye of the hurricane. Hurricanes are a fascinating topic!