23 Dec 2016

A black chevy truck driving through high waters with palm trees blowing

A hurricane is a natural disaster that has far reaching consequences. It can cause extensive damage, not only to the coastline, but for several hundred miles inland. Flying debris and flooding caused by heavy rainfall are just a couple of the dangers associated with a hurricane. A slow moving hurricane is more likely to cause more rain which in turn causes more flooding. A majority of the deaths that are associated with these storms are caused by floods. Hurricanes usually form from June to November because that is when the water in the sea is the warmest.

All coastal areas located around the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean are prone to hurricanes. Once the winds of a tropical storm reach over 74 miles an hour, it is then classified as a hurricane. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used to define the category of a hurricane. A category 1 hurricane is the weakest, with wind speeds between 74-95 miles per hour. Hurricane Floyd was a Category 1 hurricane and the storm still managed to cause over a billion dollars in damages and know down 19 million trees. The strongest hurricane is a Category 5. This storm has winds that are greater that 155 miles per hour. Between 2000-2007, there were 8 Category 5 hurricanes. They were Felix (2007), Dean (2007), Katrina (2005), Rita (2005), Wilma (2005), Emily (2005), Ivan (2004), and  Isabelle (2003).

Originally, hurricanes were given the name of the saints that were honored on the day the storm occurred. In 1953, girl’s names were assigned to the storms by the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. The first hurricane that was named after a girl was Hurricane Maria. Until 1979, hurricanes were named after girls. The first hurricane to have a boy’s name was Hurricane Bob, which occurred in July 1979 near New Orleans. There are six lists of names that are used. Those lists are rotated so the list that was used in 2010 was used again in 2016. The list of names does not include names that start with Q, U, X, Y and Z. If a storm has been extremely devastating, that name is removed from the list and is replaced by another name that starts with the same letter.