Hurricane Terms and Meanings – What You Should Know

Hurricane Terms Meanings

It’s that time of year again-hurricane season-and there’s really no better time to make sure that you understand the terminology, used by meteorologists, so that you can fully understand the situations and potential risks as they occur. Some of these terms you’ve heard before, others you may not be as familiar with, but all of these hurricane-related terms are important to know.

Hurricane season: The part of the year in which there is a relatively high incidence of hurricanes. The hurricane season in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico runs from June 1 to November 30. In the Eastern Pacific basin it runs from May 15 to November 30. Hurricane season in the Central Pacific basin runs from June 1 to November 30. Remember that this is just the hurricane season, and that hurricanes can and do occur outside of these windows.

Air pressure: Air pressure is the force exerted by air, whether compressed or unconfined, on any surface in contact with it. When more air is present over an area, a column of atmosphere has more weight, which results in high pressure. When air is removed from the column, low air pressure is the result. Hurricanes are such a powerful source of suction mainly because of their low pressure center. Typically, the rule is, the lower the pressure, the more intense the hurricane.

Cyclone: This is a blanket term for any area of low pressure that has a closed circulation. Hurricanes, tropical storms, Typhoons and tropical depressions are all cyclones because they are closed areas of low pressure.

Hurricane Watch: Sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are possible and may occur within the specified area in association with a tropical cyclone. Because hurricane preparedness activities can become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane Warning: Sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected to occur somewhere within a specified area in association with a tropical cyclone. The warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Storm surge: This is an abnormal rise in sea levels, accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, creating possible life-threatening situations.

Eye: Clear, sometimes well-defined center of the storm with much calmer conditions than the outer layers of the storm. The eye is either completely or partially surrounded by the eyewall cloud.

Eye Wall: The area surrounding the eye, containing some of the most severe weather of all of the storm, with the highest wind speed and largest precipitation.

Rain Bands: Bands of precipitation coming off the hurricane that produce severe weather conditions such as heavy rain, wind and tornadoes.

Indirect hit: This term generally refers to areas that do not receive a direct hit from a hurricane but do experience hurricane-force winds or tides of at least 4 feet above normal.

Tropical depression: An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation where the maximum sustained surface wind speed is 38 mph.

Tropical disturbance: A generic term used for discrete weather systems that originate in the tropics or subtropics and maintain their form for at least 24 hours or more.

Category: You will often hear meteorologists referring to a category when discussing a hurricane. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. It is a 1 to 5 category rating system based on the hurricane’s maximum sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage in five specific categories:

Category 1: 74- 95 mph.
Damage potential: minimal

Category 2: 96-110 mph.
Damage potential: extensive

Category 3: 111-129 mph.
Damage potential: devastating

Category 4: 130-156 mph.
Damage potential: catastrophic

Category 5: greater than 157 mph.
Damage potential: catastrophic

During the hurricane season, especially, it is important to pay attention to the weather reports and keep yourself informed of any possible storm activity. Also, be sure to pay attention to any evacuation orders and curfews put in place for your protection. Protect your home and belongings from the storm by installing impact windows and doors through out.

Installing impact windows and doors that are hurricane-safe and with a high DP rating, protects your home, belongings and loved ones from the flying debris and heavy winds of the storm. Have peace of mind, with East Coast Windows! Call us today at (954) 946-3697 to get more information about our doors, windows, and services, or get a free quote by filling out our online form!

9 Interesting Hurricane Facts

Hurricane Facts

We are all familiar with the yearly storms, the high-speed winds and the terrifying news stories. Every year we prepare for hurricane season by tying down furniture, making sure our impact windows and doors are installed properly, and ensuring the safety of loved ones. When living in a place such as Florida, hurricanes are unfortunately the “bad” that comes with the “good” otherwise beautiful weather for most of the year. Here are 7 interesting hurricane facts that you may not have known about one of Earth’s most destructive natural disasters.

1. The world’s deadliest hurricane to date is the 1970 Bhola Cyclone, killing as many as 500,000 people in East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh). The winds of this storm reached 115 mph, and the giant storm surge reached 6 meters high, causing major destruction. Some areas lost nearly half their population to this disaster, and most of the region’s fishing industry was wiped out. The people were highly unsatisfied with the central government’s handling of relief efforts, resulting in political turmoil and a strengthened resistance movement. Tension greatly increased in the following year, which led to a civil war and genocide. The conflict turned into the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and concluded with the founding of Bangladesh– one of the first times that a natural event helped to trigger a civil war.

2. The deadliest hurricane in the U.S. occurred in Galveston, TX on September 8th, 1900. Known as the “Great Galveston Hurricane,” this category 4 storm claimed about 8,000 lives and had winds up to 145 mph. About 3,600 homes were destroyed, and the amount of monetary damage was the equivalent of over $600 million in modern times. At the time of this hurricane, technology and weather reports were not as accurate or advanced as they are now, so residents were mostly aware that a storm was coming, but they had no idea of the size or intensity.

3. The highest wind speeds recorded in a hurricane was from Cyclone Olivia, hitting Australia with significant power in 1996. On the morning of April 10th, Olivia produced the strongest non-tornadic winds ever recorded, with peak gusts reaching 254 mph.

4. Hurricane, cyclone, or typhoon? Many people believe that these terms mean different types of storms, but in reality they are all referring to the same thing, just in different locations on the globe. Hurricanes are tropical storms that form over the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific, cyclones are formed over the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, and typhoons are formed over the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

5. Why are hurricanes named as they are? During World War II, U.S. Air Force and Navy meteorologists needed a better way to denote hurricanes, and many began paying tribute to their wives and girlfriends back home by naming tropical cyclones after them. Other methods were used, but due to the sheer number of storms, there was a need for a more unique naming system. By 1953 the National Weather Bureau (later called the National Weather Service) embraced forecasters’ informal practice of giving hurricanes women’s names, and many other countries adopted the new nomenclature. Through the years, many feminists took issue with the female-only names for these destructive storms, and by 1979 the names began to alternate between male and female. Names of devastating storms with major loss of life and economic impact, such as Katrina in 2005 and Andrew in 1992, are permanently retired.

6. Hurricane season dates are different for each U.S. coast. The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1st while the Pacific hurricane season starts on May 15th. However, both hurricane seasons end November 30th.

7. When a hurricane makes landfall, tornadoes can often form within the hurricane. The reason for this is that the friction over land is much greater than the friction the storm has over water. When a hurricane hits land, the winds near the ground slow down, while the upper-level winds keep their momentum. This change in the wind speed — and sometimes direction — with height is called a “wind shear.” This can lead to a column of rotating air that can generate a weak tornado. These tornadoes usually occur up to 12 hours after landfall.

8. The costliest U.S. hurricane was Hurricane Katrina, which hit Louisiana in 2005. Katrina’s estimated damages totaled up to $108-160 billion. This storm was a category 5 hurricane when moving across the Gulf of Mexico, but dropped to a category 3 by the time it hit Louisiana. While not the strongest storm on record, the main reason for the damage and destruction was the failure of levees in the New Orleans area. These levees were water barriers that were set up to prevent flooding. When they failed, large portions of the city began to flood. Since parts of New Orleans are below sea level to begin with, the flooding created a huge and damaging effect, enhanced by the winds and other elements of this horrible hurricane.

9. One of the leading feminists who persuaded forecasters to name hurricanes after men as well as women was named Roxcy Bolton from Florida. She greatly disliked the association of violent and destructive storms only to women, and over time her voice was heard. Starting with Hurricane Bob in 1979, hurricanes began to be named after men as well. Bolton suggested jokingly they be named after senators instead. She also suggested that the name “hurricane” be changed to “him-i-cane,” though that never took off. Roxcy Bolton also founded the nation’s first Rape Treatment Center, persuaded National Airlines to grant maternity leave to pregnant flight attendants rather than firing them, pressured Miami department stores to eliminate the men-only dining sections in their restaurants, lead the first “March Against Rape” in 1971, and was instrumental in bringing many rape cases to the attention of the public, despite police concerns. She was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame in 1984, and died at the age of 90 on the morning of May 17th, 2017.

Call East Coast Windows for your impact door and window installation at (954) 946-3697, or get a free quote by filling out our online form!

What to Expect from Hurricane Season 2022? 

 What to Expect from Hurricane Season 2022 

As all Floridians should be well aware, hurricane season is on the horizon! Hurricane season starts on June 1st, and the forecast suggests that this year’s weather will rank above average in intensity and projected hurricane numbers.

According to the latest forecast from CSU forecasters, we should expect about 19 major storms this year, among which nine of them will become hurricanes and four of them could become major hurricanes. The 2022 hurricane season will be the seventh year in a row with above-normal hurricane activity.

The names of this year’s storms are Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Martin, Nicole, Owen, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virgine, and Walter.

 What Does This Mean for Residents of Florida? 

It’s going to be another stormy season for Florida. If you’re new to the area and unaware of how this season goes, you’ll have to prepare for some extreme winds and rain-soaked days. Different areas are affected differently, and storms can often change course or alter their path during their journey, keeping residents on their toes. Overall, there is a 96% possibility that you will encounter at least one tropical storm this season, a 75% chance of encountering at least one hurricane, and a 44% chance of encountering at least one massive hurricane.

Besides hurricanes, the threat of flooding is also high. You have to prepare accordingly to protect yourself and your family members during and after a major storm.

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season 2022?

Don’t fear! Finding out that a hurricane is coming can be terrifying news, but if you take the proper steps to prepare yourself you can rest easy so that you, your family, and your belongings will be safe and secure.

So, what are some necessary steps you can take?

  • Install Quality Hurricane Resistant Windows: it is extremely important to protect your windows and doors; installing impact windows and doors will protect you and your loved ones from the inevitable flying debris that occurs in extreme winds and hurricane conditions. This debris can include tree branches, street signs, roofing materials, and other items left outside that essentially become flying missiles in the midst of a major storm.
  • Take Care of Your Home Exterior: If you have trees near your residence with shaky or falling branches, then now is the time to trim them. When you know a storm is coming, secure your outdoor furniture, children’s toys, potted plants, or other appliances. You can use a rope to tie them or move them inside of your house temporarily.
  • Have an Emergency Kit Ready: The strength or direction of a hurricane can sometimes change rapidly, and you might have to quickly evacuate yourself from your home. Having an emergency kit ready with important documents, jewelry, insurance papers, a first aid box, and a flashlight could come in handy.
  • Make Changes To Your Home Interior: As you are notified that a storm is approaching, it’s wise to remove valuable things that could fall from your walls such as art and paintings. Unplug your electronic appliances and turn your gas off.
  • Have an Evacuation Plan Ready: Consult with your local authority to figure out the closest hurricane shelter. Don’t forget to make arrangements for pets if you have any.
  • Download FEMA App: You can easily download the FEMA application for your mobile devices where you can gather information on weather alerts, safety tips, and resources. This app includes a configurable emergency supply checklist, maps of open shelters and rehabilitation centers, disaster survival information, and National Weather Service weather warnings.

The 2022 hurricane season is on its way, and it’s time for people on the East Coast to prepare themselves. Protect your home and loved ones by installing hurricane-resistant impact windows and doors. You can send us an email or simply call us at 954-545-0997 to learn more about our high-quality impact doors and windows.