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Hurricanes Final Draft

Page history last edited by Andy M 13 years, 9 months ago

Hurricanes                 Andy

Do you really know what a hurricane is? Hopefully you do, because there are many of these disastrous giants all over the planet. Did you know, that 100 to 10,000 people could die from a hurricane? Hurricanes are ferocious and deadly things and should not be thought of lightly. Some hurricanes are worse than others; people are still wondering the true nature and characteristics of hurricanes from the past and present too.


             First of all, hurricanes usually form over tropical waters. While in the U.S., hurricanes are commonly formed over the southern temperate zone. If you’ve ever wondered how hurricanes get so much power? Well, they get their power from the waters that they travel over when they start moving to a new area. Have you ever heard the weather station, a family member, or just some other person say something like, “This is hurricane weather?” Well that’s because the common sign of a hurricane forming is when there are lots of thunderstorms in an area. This makes it easier for weather pros to spot a hurricane from far away.

            Next, hurricanes are classified and named in a few ways. To classify a storm as a hurricane, it must pass certain requirements. If a storm reaches at least 74 miles per hour, then it is classified as a hurricane. But if it is any less, then it is just a strong or common storm. There are also different categories for hurricanes, which have to do with how strong they are. The first category of hurricanes is the weakest. For a hurricane to qualify for category one, it has to have winds from 75-95 miles per hour and storm surges of about 4-5 feet. Category two hurricanes have winds up to 100 miles per hour and storm surges as big as 6 –8 feet! These are just the two lowest categories of hurricanes, even though they sound pretty harmful. Category five hurricanes are the giants you always here about. Only a few hurricanes have gained the title of “category five hurricane”. To be in category five, a hurricane must have wind speeds up to 155 miles per hour! They must also have storm surges that can go over 18 feet! That is how people put these beasts in different categories and groups.


Weather pros have made some really crazy names for hurricanes in the past. It’s actually challenging. It would really test your “name creating abilities” too! Hurricanes are named alphabetically. You would start with the letter a, then you would work your way down the alphabet. It’s not as simple as I’m describing it though. You may be thinking right now that it’s really easy, but you don’t just have to conjure up a name for each letter of the alphabet. You have to switch off using male and female names, without repeating yourself! I just couldn’t imagine doing that. But if you’re still (somehow) saying, “that’s easy” then you’re wrong. Because that little fact of not repeating yourself really comes into play when you hear that the name giving starts all over the next year. You would have to name at least a hundred hurricanes by the time you retire!


Scientists have gathered a lot of information about some of the most devastating hurricanes that have occurred in the past. Hurricane Gilbert struck in 1988. The hurricane had ferociously killed 318 people and cost close to 10 billion dollars in damage! Gilbert was 500 miles wide. This hurricane’s wall had winds going at 175 miles per hour! Gilbert was probably one of the most devastating hurricanes of all. Hurricane Hugo also struck South Carolina in September on 1989. This hurricane caused 6 billion dollars worth in property damage. About 300 miles away, there were whipping winds of 40 miles per hour. Hugo is also in the running for the most deadly hurricane of all. Hurricane Mitch did do some heavy damage to Central America in 1998 though. Millions of people had been left homeless after this hurricane. There was 6 billion dollars of damage. At least 11,000 people died when the hurricane struck! The rain on the ground eventually accumulated up to 4 inches after the hurricane.  This next hurricane surely went down in history. Hurricane Andrew set the record for property damage. It caused at least 30 billion dollars of damage on Southern Florida. Hurricane Andrew drifted to different parts of the country, it struck Louisiana on August 25th. Twenty five thousand people lost their homes and half of Louisiana’s 400 million dollar sugar crops were destroyed. Andrew ended on August 26th.


Hopefully, you have now learned the true abilities and secrets of hurricanes. How they are classified, named, the famous hurricanes of history. Now it’s probably not as much of a mystery how thousands of people die from hurricanes every year.






 “Architecture." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010. Web. 23 Feb.  2010  <http://school.eb.com/eb/article-250308>.


 “Mitch, Hurricane." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010. Web. 23 Feb. 2010  <http://school.eb.com/eb/article-9438676>


 “Tropical Twisters.” http://kids.mtpe.hq.nasa.gov/archive/hurricane/index.html


 “Severe Weather and Natural Disasters” http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/wwatch/hurricanes/index.htm


“Hurricanes the Greatest Storms on Earth”



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