How to track a hurricane
Hurricanes, also known as cyclones or typhoons, are huge, devastating tropical storms that can be up to 600 miles wide. They have strong, forceful winds that spiral inward and upward circling around the “eye” of the storm. Inside the eye, there are clear skies and light winds, however, surrounding the eye wall there are bands of wind and rain that spread out for over hundreds or thousands of miles. Hurricanes begin as tropical disturbances over warm ocean water (27°c or 80°F) and gathers heat and energy as it moves across the ocean. As evaporation from the ocean water increases its power, it changes into a tropical depression (wind speeds of less than 38 mph), then tropical storm (wind speeds of 39-73 mph) to finally a hurricane (wind speeds greater than 75mph). Hurricanes can last two weeks or more over open water and moves about 10-20 miles per hour. The safety of millions of people depends on the meteorologists and their ability to track these storms. Hurricanes may not be dangerous over open water, but are devastating when they hit land. They can cause torrential rains, high winds and storm surges as well as tornadoes, flash floods and land slides. Without warning of these hurricanes approaching, millions could die. The most effective tools meteorologists use are satellite images, radar and aircraft reconnaissance to study and warn people of approaching hurricanes.
Satellite imagery is one of the helpful tools meteorologists use to provide information on hurricanes. They give accurate photos every 30 minutes as images from the satellite are taken about 22,000 miles above the equator. Satellites capture images of visible clouds and air circulation patterns that help to track, observe...
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