Hurricanes - Book Report/Review Example

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Hurricanes Name Professor Course 8th April 2013 Introduction Hurricanes are extremely devastating because of their capability to destroy billions’ worth of property and to kill very many people evidenced by the property and life lost during the recent hurricane Katrina…
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General Overview: Structure and Categories of Hurricanes Tropical cyclone are meteorological phenomena consisting of low-pressure systems have thunderstorms and spin in an anticlockwise direction. There are different categories of tropical cyclone based on their average speed, whereby tropical depression have a speed of up to thirty eight miles for every hour, tropical storm have a speed of seventy three miles per 60 minutes and are then termed as hurricanes if their speed exceeds seventy four miles for every hour. In addition, there are different classifications of hurricanes determined by their speed, whereby hurricanes with a speed between 74 to 95 miles per hour are a weak hurricane and that with a speed of above 155 miles per hour is a strong one. Furthermore, they vary in their width and size but usually hurricanes are approximately 300 miles in width, and the hurricane core or eye is considerably calm with a width of between 20 to 40 miles (Fitzpatrick, 2006). The structure of a hurricane consists of the hurricane eye, a part that encloses the hurricane’s eye referred to as the eye wall and lastly the spiral rain bands. There are dense bands of thunderstorms that range from one mile to ten mile in width while those up to three hundred miles in length are at the outer rain bands of the storm. Mostly, the right side of the hurricane is extremely dangerous in terms of tornadoes, winds and storm surge. Furthermore, atmospheric reactions (this also takes into account presence of weather patterns or the absence), and ocean conditions are the main determinant of the hurricanes speed and path. The complex nature of the ocean and the erratic movement of hurricanes, makes it extremely difficult to predict the path and speed of hurricanes. Therefore, a hurricane results from an initial disturbance caused by thunderstorms, coupled with temperatures of the ocean water being above 27 degrees Celsius up to a depth of 150 feet. When these conditions are met, the cyclone obtains energy and heat from the disturbance and contact with the now warm surface of the ocean, and then the wind begins to spin water displacing air due to pressure differences resulting to the formation of a hurricane. Methods of Study and Tools Used The most commonly used method is observation and the tools used in the study of hurricanes are satellite images and infrared imagery, which helps in predicting the movement, direction and in determination of the speed of hurricanes. The other tools used include Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer to measure radiation of foam to determine wind speed. In addition, there is Acoustic Doppler Profiler, which is mainly used to provide wave information, and any changes thereof indicate a possibility of a hurricane. Finally, we have National Data Buoys placed in strategic locations to measure mainly wind speed, direction and temperatures, and the Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Equipment to determine the clouds and water vapor (Olsen, n.d). New Discoveries In recent years meteorological experts have discovered new ways of identifying hurricanes using the sounds waves they produce that are noticeable; hence, this provides an alternative way of measuring and predicting hurricanes. Moreover, it has been discovered that cloud seeding can be used to reduce oceanic temperature, which is the main energy source for hurricanes, thereby weakening the hurricanes. In addition, recent scientific studies seem to explain a Read More
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