Cyclones - Assignment Example

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CYCLONES IN THE USA by course professor institution date Cyclones in the USA Abstract This fact sheet is meant to give a deeper insight into cyclones in the USA as they are often causes of catastrophic occurrences especially to people living in the coastal region…
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CYCLONES IN THE USA by Cyclones in the USA This fact sheet is meant to give a deeper insight into cyclones in the USA as they are often causes of catastrophic occurrences especially to people living in the coastal region. There will be an overview of the events that take place during the development and advancement of cyclones, the risks associated with the cyclones, and how to mitigate the risks. The paper also provides on the detection and warning of cyclones as well as where one can get more information about cyclones. Introduction Deadly hurricanes have hit the USA with the worst in history being the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 which reached Texas as a category 4 hurricane and claimed over 8000 lives. The main reason why this hurricane claimed so many lives is due to the lack of warning and the high storm surges. Cyclones and how they happen Cyclones are natural hazards to people and often cause a considerable loss of life and property, as they are violent spinning storms that occur in areas of low pressure in warm oceans which are characterised by an inward circulation of air masses around a low pressure centre with speeds exceeding 119 km/hr. It is quite interesting to find out that the direction of the rotation of the cyclone is usually clockwise in the South of the equator and counterclockwise in the North of the equator, a phenomenon caused by the Corioli’s effect. i Cyclones have their centre, which is commonly known as the eye, the point of lowest pressure, which seems deceptively calm surrounded by violently spinning waves. The eye of a cyclone varies in size depending on the intensity of the cyclone with less intense cyclones with an eye diameter of up to 10km while more intense and violent cyclones have eye diameters of up to 100km. The areas around the eye are known as the eye wall where the wind rotates at high speeds causing a rotating wave appearance like that of a snake rolling. There are also clouds that usually form outside the eye wall that make the cyclone appear very big in size known as cloud chains. Cyclones are often given different names such as hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms, cyclonic storms etc depending on the location and the intensity. The intensity and strength of cyclones is measured by the wind speed, and cyclones are categorised into classes depending on their intensities. Category 1 cyclones include those with wind speeds of up to 125 km/hr while the most intense category (category 5) includes those cyclones characterised by very destructive and violent storms with wind speeds of more than 280 km/hr.ii Cyclones are often given names which act as unique identifiers of the weather hazard once it occurs, and this also aids in giving forecasts warning people about the event of a cyclone. Risks associated with cyclones The average life of most cyclones is one week, a period, which is usually characterised by devastating effects of the cyclone). iii As the cyclone advances towards the shore, the more severe effects of the cyclone are on the shore and the mainland. Cyclones pose a hazard on the life of both animals and human beings often causing death and injuries. The phenomenon also creates coastal erosions, destructive winds, and devastating conditions that facilitate the spread of bushfires.iv The cyclones are often formed in the North Atlantic Ocean between North Africa and the United States before they start travelling westwards towards the Caribbean islands and South Eastern United States and also in the Northeast Pacific ocean near Hawaii which then track eastwards towards Mexico. The attention of the media and also public interest goes down as the cyclones tend to lose their tropical characteristics, and their intensity reduces. The intensity of the cyclone may, however, increase when it interacts with a cold front producing a violent and fast moving system, a phenomenon known as a tropical cyclone transition.v This can produce a range of destructive phenomena from intense rainfall, storm surges, violent waves that result in coastal erosions to destructive winds. The warm dry conditions caused by the cyclone and the destructive wind are an excellent environment for the spread of bushfires. The sudden onset of this phenomenon usually has more severe consequences especially on a population that is used to calm weather conditions in warm summers. Such populations usually face forecasting challenges due to the in-frequency of the cyclones coupled with the changing structure and motion that the cyclones often exhibit. They have been experienced with devastating effects on the coastal cities of Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Miami, Carolina beech, and other areas. Though the loss of life due to cyclones has greatly been reduced in the recent past due to advancements in weather forecasting, economic losses have gone higher. Prediction and warning of cyclones Prediction and forecasting of initial developments of cyclones has greatly improved due to advances in technology where computer simulations and satellite images are used. Forecasting of cyclones is done by specialists in cyclone forecasting centres all over the world such as the National Hurricane centre in Miami where they constantly look into satellite images and meteorological data to predict the development of cyclones. Observations using ships in the high seas is usually very useful although when a cyclone is detected, ships are removed from their paths, and reinforced aircrafts fitted with instruments are used to collect data about the storm. The USA has one of the most elaborate and effective cyclones warning systems in the world which is utilised to issue details and warnings of a cyclone advancing towards the mainland. As soon as a tropical disaster has been detected, a number of forecast advisories are given that include the expected track and intensity of the cyclone. When there are clear indications that a cyclone is approaching the shores, alarms and warning across the coastal regions are raised. Mitigation of risk The warning is meant to alert the local authorities on the areas that are likely to be on the path of the cyclone so that the authorities can make arrangements of securing public safety. The path of the cyclone is particularly dangerous, and people are advised to move from there, and it may involve evacuation of more than one million people. More information Warnings and forecast are usually broadcast via TV and radio especially the NOAA weather radio which is dedicated to giving constant updates on weather conditions in the USA. There is also information available on a variety of websites such as the NOAA websites and that of the National Hurricane Centre. vi End Notes Read More
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