Defining a Hurricane

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Defining a Hurricane

A hurricane is a tropical storm that has winds of 74 miles per hour or

more. The winds can sometimes reach up to 155 miles per hour. Another

characteristic of hurricanes is their massive size that measures from

200 to 300 miles in diameter. In the center of each storm there is

what is called the eye of the storm (Image to Right). The eye of the

storm is usaually between 20-30 miles and is the calmest part of the

storm. Winds here may only be 74 miles per hour. Some hurricanes can

last for two weeks or more over open water and can run a path across

the entire Eastern Seaboard.

Hurricanes that develop in the Northern Hemisphere rotate in a

counterclockwise motion and in the Southern Hemisphere they rotate in

a clockwise motion. The direction of rotation all has to do with the

rotation of the earth. Hurricanes only develop in the Atlantic Ocean,

Gulf of Mexico, Indian Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean.

The major factors that effect the development of a storm, in the

Atlantic Ocean, are ocean temperature,atmospheric pressure, the Gulf

Stream, and wind currents. The first stage in storm development begins

in a long, narrow region of low pressure that occurs in ocean winds.

These areas are called the trade winds. This area of low pressure

eventually grows into a tropical depression . Winds there can reach up

to 31 miles per hour. The next stage in hurricane development is when

the tropical depression grows into a full fledged tropical storm with

winds up to 74 miles per hour. The last stage is when it finally

becomes a hurricane. There is also a specific season, called Hurricane

Season, when hurricanes a...

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...cked down. All in all, almost any large tree in

the storm's path was badly damaged. Andrew did not have much effect on

the wildlife, however. Most of the animals survived through the storm

and the regrowth of vegetation. The Northern Florida Keys did not

escape do as well as the Wetlands. The Northern Keys were completly

stripped of vegetation.

On the coast of Louisiana 70 kilometers of sand was stripped off the

barrier islands exposing old coastal marsh. Also, over 80 percent of

the oyster reefs off the Louisiana coast had between 0.3-0.9 meters of

sediment taken away. Finally, more than 70 percent of the dunes used

to protect the wetlands and coastal population were also swept away.

This just shows that not only were people's homes, communities, and

businesses effected by this storm, but many other things were too.

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