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Hurricanes summer is over and fall has arrived but many people to the south of us are observing another season hurricane season. According to the Montshire Museum of Science, hurricanes usually occur in the North Atlantic from June to November, with most of them in September. On average, between six to eight hurricanes form in the North Atlantic or North Pacific each year (Montshire), however, as many as 15 have occurred in the Atlantic in a single year. Hurricanes are powerful, whirling storms that measure several hundred miles in diameter. The winds near the center of a hurricane blow at speeds of 74 miles per hour or more (World Book, 400). Many hurricanes leave a trail of widespread death and destruction.

The definition of a hurricane, according to World Book Encyclopedia, is an area of low pressure that forms over oceans in tropical regions. Such a storm in the North Pacific Ocean is called a typhoon, and one in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean is called a cyclone. Most hurricanes originate within the doldrums, a narrow equatorial belt characterized by intermittent calms, light variable breezes, frequent squalls, and lying between the northeast and southeast trade winds (Encarta). Hurricanes consist of high-velocity winds blowing circularly around a low-pressure center, known as the eye of the storm. The low-pressure center develops when the warm, saturated air prevalent in the doldrums is under run and forced upward by denser, cooler air.

From the edge of the storm toward its center, the atmospheric pressure drops sharply and the wind velocity rises. The winds attain maximum force close to the point of lowest pressure. Encarta Encyclopedia states that hurricanes generally move in a path resembling the curve of a parabola. Also, that in the Northern Hemisphere the storms usually travel first in a northwesterly direction and in the higher latitudes turn toward the northeast. In the Southern Hemisphere the usual path of the hurricane is initially to the southwest and subsequently to the southeast. Hurricanes travel at varying rates. Those areas in which the hurricane winds blow in the same direction as the general movement of the storm are subjected to the maximum destructive violence of the hurricane.

According to the research team at Storm Central, hurricanes go through a set of stages from birth to dissipation. Tropical disturbance ...

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... of friends and loved ones, etc. Much advancement has been made over the years to forewarn potential victims of these horrendous storms. Hurricanes are an act of nature that no one can ever control. As long as there are bodies of water, wind, and warm air, we will still be searching for the perfect warning system for those on the coast. We just have to be thankful that technological advancements have brought us thus far, now we have only the future and further experimentation to look forward to.

Bibliography Works Cited

Why hurricanes form over warm oceans USA Today Weather, 11/4/99

Montshire Minute: Hurricanes Montshire Museum of Science, 11/6/99

How are Atlantic hurricanes ranked? Hurricanes 99, 11/10/99

What are Hurricanes? Hurricanes 99, 11/10/99

Hurricane Stages of Development Storm Central, 11/11/99

Hurricanes Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 98 Microsoft, 1993-1997

Hurricanes World Book Encyclopedia World Book-Childcraft International Inc. Volume 9: 400-403.
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