Tropical storms can become hurricanes if wind speeds reach 74 miles per hour. Hurricanes may last anywhere from a few hours to a month. The average length of time is about 72 hours.
Hurricanes form when air in the middle of the ocean becomes warmer than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It starts with an area of low pressure, which is just like your finger when you put it up against a window: If the air outside the window is cold, then the finger will feel cold to the touch; but if the air is hot, then the finger will feel warm. Low pressure occurs when a storm moves away from its originator—usually another large-scale system such as a tropical wave or a continental shelf. As the storm moves away, it pulls in cooler, more arid air from behind it, causing the atmosphere to thickens near the surface. This in turn causes the center of the storm to deepen in color from blue to green to black.
As the hurricane intensifies, it begins to pull water from the ocean into its core. The hotter the water gets, the higher the concentration of dissolved gas in it. When the amount of gas in the water reaches 776 millibars, it becomes "super saturated".
Hurricanes are tropical storms that occur in the Atlantic Ocean and have winds of at least 119 kilometers per hour (74 miles per hour). Coastal locations are frequently the worst hit by devastating winds, rain, and storm surges as the storm collides with or brushes up against land. Flooding can also be a major problem for people living in or near coastal areas who fail to take precautionary measures such as moving vehicles off of flooded roads.
When Hurricane Gloria struck Puerto Rico in September 1989, it was considered one of the most severe hurricanes to make landfall in the United States. The hurricane caused over 60 deaths and $15 billion in damage. It also created several new islands including Dos Island, which is now known as Vieques due to environmental concerns.
Hurricanes form when air from the tropics rises into high-pressure systems located over continents. They usually originate in either the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico and move west toward North America. When the hurricane makes contact with land, it often strengthens more rapidly because water evaporates from the surface and falls as precipitation during thunderstorms associated with low pressure centers formed within the hurricane. These storms are called "tropical cyclones".
A hurricane is classified by the Saffir-Simpson Scale as a Category 1 hurricane if it has winds between 111 and 129 kilometers per hour (69 and 83 miles per hour).
In the Atlantic Basin, the most hurricanes that have ever occurred in a single year are 12, while the fewest are two. In one year, the Eastern Pacific has seen anything from four to fourteen. A hurricane is a Caribbean Indian term that translates to "bad spirit and strong wind." It is a massive spinning system with surface winds reaching speeds of at least 74 miles per hour. They can cause tremendous damage when they hit land.
Hurricanes are formed when air currents collide over warm water creating clouds that release their energy as rain or wind. The heat from the ocean plays an important role in increasing the power of storms. As more and more air flows into the storm, it gets compressed which increases its temperature and lowers its oxygen content. This makes it easier for it to become unstable and produce damaging winds and heavy rains. Hurricanes usually last three days and reach their peak intensity early on their track toward land. But some can last longer than twelve hours or go through several peaks during their lifespan.
There have been nine hurricanes that have reached Category 5 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Scale from 1936 to the present day. There have also been five hurricanes that have reached Category 4 strength on the scale in the same time period. The most recent major hurricane to strike the United States was Hurricane Sandy in 2012. She was rated as a category 3 storm when she struck New Jersey as a late autumn storm, but her strong winds blew away much of the foliage from tree branches, causing widespread damage to fruit trees and vineyards across the state.