In lieu of Hurricane Irene and the impact it had on many cities and people in the U.S., I've found some information that many of you might be interested in. For those of you who were in the storm, I hope that you made it through unscathed.
What is a hurricane?
A hurricane is a huge storm! It can be up to 600 miles across and have strong winds spiraling inward and upward at speeds of 75 to 200 mph. Each hurricane usually lasts for over a week, moving 10-20 miles per hour over the open ocean. Hurricanes gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters. Evaporation from the seawater increases their power. Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around an "eye." which is the center and the calmest part. It has only light winds and fair weather. When they come onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and large waves can damage buildings, trees and cars.
If you live in an area that's prone to hurricanes, then an emergency kit can be a big help for you. An emergency kit is designed to give you all the basic things you need to survive and be safe, from a way to get clean water for yourself to first aid kits and other helpful tools.
How do hurricanes form?
Hurricanes only form over really warm ocean water of 80°F or warmer. The atmosphere (the air) must cool off very quickly the higher you go. Also, the wind must be blowing in the same direction and at the same speed to force air upward from the ocean surface. Winds flow outward above the storm allowing the air below to rise. Hurricanes typically form between 5 to 15 degrees latitude north and south of the equator. The Coriolis Force is needed to create the spin in the hurricane and it becomes too weak near the equator, so hurricanes can never form there.
I hope this interests some of you and answers some of your questions about hurricanes.
Just for fun I added a question to figure out about hurricanes. Answers will be given on the 31st. Check out my new review tomorrow for Two Cats and One Moon. A delightful children's picture book.
Men and women's names are used to name hurricanes. How many lists are there?