Hurricanes 2 -How to brew a Hurricane

I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On the Ocean. Last week we discussed storm surge and freshwater flooding from hurricanes and why they are so dangerous to human populations. But what is a hurricane actually? Hurricanes are defined as intense tropical cyclones that spiral and can produce wind speeds of at least 74 miles per hour and up to 160 miles per hour. So what does it take to create such a monstrous storm? To start, you need warm moist air from ocean waters, at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 26.5 degrees Celsius at the ocean surface, which are most common near the equator. This warm air rises from the surface of the ocean, leaving lower air pressure below it. As more air from the areas nearby pushes into this area of low pressure, it too becomes warm and moist, causing it to rise. As the warm air rises, it cools. This creates the condensation for cloud formation, and then thunderstorm creation. These systems rotate and grow as they feed off the warm ocean waters. As the system rotates faster and faster, it forms what’s known as the eye of the storm, an area with very low air pressure at the center of the system. The eye of the storm is often 20 to 30 miles wide (but can vary), and is what is known as the calm part of the storm. However, areas just outside the eye of the storm are known to have the strongest winds and rains of the hurricane. Because of the rotation of the Earth on its axis, storms forming north of the equator rotate counterclockwise, as the storms south of the equator spin clockwise. The path the storm takes is dependent on seasonal weather patterns, strong winds, water currents, and water/surface temperature of the ocean where it forms. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

More Information and Links:

Contributing Professor: Dr. Courtney Schumacher

http://atmo.tamu.edu/people/faculty/schumachercourtney.html

ResearcherID

Links:

Information/Preparing for Hurricanes:

Ready.gov-Hurricanes

National Hurricane Center

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/

REALLY cool satellite images:

http://www.goes.noaa.gov/

http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/

Hurricanes 1 -Storm Surge/Freshwater flooding

Storm Surge and Freshwater Flooding

I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On the Ocean. The word Hurricane inspires fear and awe in all of us, but no one more than those who live near coasts. Fewer people, however, associate this fear with freshwater flooding and what is known as Storm Surge. Storm surge is ocean water that is being pushed towards the shore by the force of the winds that surround the storm. Storm surge itself is incredibly dangerous, but becomes even more so when it combines with the normal tide to create hurricane storm tide. This combination raises the water level to heights that can destroy roads, homes, and critical infrastructures at the coasts. Alongside storm surge is the problem of freshwater flooding. As hurricanes make landfall, they unleash large amounts of rain, causing flooding that can happen very rapidly, and give little time for evacuation. It can become life-threatening very quickly, making it a part of what makes hurricanes so dangerous. This flooding can also extend far past the initial landfall of the hurricane, in fact heavy rainfall from traveling hurricanes contributes to flooding that can reach across several states. The force of the winds and waves, as well as the flooding and storm surge accompanying these storms, are the backbone of what makes them so lethal to life on land. Other life-threatening results of hurricanes are tornados, floods, flying debris, and landslides; which are all caused by the high winds and massive amounts of rain at rapid velocities. Therefore, the very best action for hurricanes is to get out of their destructive path. Check forecasting by weather professionals such as the National Hurricane Center, and be prepared to leave as soon as it’s recommended. To create the best action plan for you and your family, visit Ready.gov for the most up to date recommendations for before, during, and after these deadly storms. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

More Information and Links:

Contributing Professor: Dr. Courtney Schumacher

http://atmo.tamu.edu/people/faculty/schumachercourtney.html

ResearcherID

Links:

Information/Preparing for Hurricanes:

Ready.gov-Hurricanes

National Hurricane Center

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/

REALLY cool satellite images:

http://www.goes.noaa.gov/

http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/

 

Tune in!

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Get excited, because On the Ocean is making its debut tomorrow morning (Aug. 18th) at 8:30 am on 90.9 KAMU-FM! (Click on the link for online listeners) The podcast will then be posted here with cool pictures and additional links at 8:35 am. It will be posted under the Shows tab, so get ready for Hypoxia Month!

 

Tune in everyone, and have a great week from us at On the Ocean!

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Welcome to the website for On the Ocean! Here you can listen to our radio show, read the text for each show, check out links and photos, and find more information on our subjects.

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Our first show will be airing Tuesday, August 18th!

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