Thursday, October 15, 2009

Interesting science facts about hurricanes

Hurricanes are tropical cyclones that are also known under the names typhoons, tropical storms, cyclonic storms, tropical depressions, depending on its location and strength.

Hurricanes develop over large bodies of warm water, and lose their strength if they move over land and because of this they do much bigger damage to coastal areas than the inland.

Hurricanes are not only devastating winds that do great damage to humans, they are extremely important to relieve drought conditions, and they also help maintain a relatively stable and warm temperature worldwide by moving warm, moist tropical air to the middle latitudes and polar regions.

Hurricanes that develop in the northwest Pacific Ocean are the largest on earth on average, twice as large as the ones that develop in Atlantic.

Hurricanes are most frequent in the late summer because this is the time when the difference between temperatures aloft and sea surface temperatures is the greatest. September is the most active month for hurricanes.

In the last 200 years hurricanes have been responsible for the deaths of about 1.9 million people worldwide.

Bhola hurricane that strike Pakistan in the 1970 is the deadliest hurricane in history responsible of deaths of almost half a million people.

Famous hurricane Katrina killed at least 1,836 people in 2005 after striking Louisiana and Mississippi, and it caused total economic damage of over $100 billion.

The most deadly hurricane in U.S. history is hurricane is The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 that killed more than 10,000 people in Galveston, Texas.

The strongest hurricane on record at landfall was hurricane Camille, with 165 knots (85 m/s) or 190 miles per hour (310 km/h) sustained winds and 183 knots (94 m/s) or 210 miles per hour (340 km/h) gusts.

Hurricane Tip was the largest hurricane on record, having tropical storm-force winds 2,170 kilometres (1,350 mi) in diameter.

Many scientists believe that ever-increasing climate change impact will cause more frequent and more powerful hurricanes in years to come.

On average two major hurricanes strike United States every three years.

Major hurricanes include 3+ category hurricanes.

United States was hit with 64 major hurricanes (categories 3 to 5) in the 20th century. Florida is state most frequently hit with hurricanes. 36 of the 64 major hurricanes strike in September.

Season with most hurricanes was in 2005 when there was 15 hurricanes.