Thesis statement: A hurricane can be the most terrifying storm, people as well as the land can ever experience. The devastation caused by hurricanes is immense and the effects are felt for a long time after it is over. Hurricanes have brought destruction, loss of many lives and will remain etched in the minds of everyone who will have been affected by it, by the time it ends.
A hurricane’s ability to cause immense damage to everything it comes across leaves people all over the world in awe, even those who do not expect to have to go through the effects of such a storm ever in their lives. Reports of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation it caused in New Orleans, the coast of Louisiana, parts of Mississippi and Alabama, in 2005, reflected just how much destruction both people and land could face in a hurricane (Leatherman & Williams 56). This was because they lacked some form of caution and preparation in handling an attack of a storm having been given warning of its coming. This hurricane showed everyone just how powerful hurricanes usually are.
Hurricanes might not really be the main storms on the earth, but their mixture of size and strength make them fatal and the most disparaging storms on earth.
Eye of the Hurricane
‘The eye of the hurricane’ is a round area, which has lighter winds in the middle of tropical cyclone. This is at the axis, where precipitation is often lower as compared to the surroundings.
It has less surface pressure with warmer temperatures as compared to the surroundings. They differ in size although they allegedly have a diameter of thirty to sixty kilometers. It is outlined by an ‘eye wall, ‘which has intense convection while the sunken air results to compression and warming in the eye. The eye occurs in the midst of wild tropical storm and is characterized by clear sky, calm air and warmer breeze. As hurricane gains its strength, the winds swirl wildly and an eye is created, which is circular and radiate like a chimney amid the storm.
Several legends have been associated with the eye such as they only affect coastal areas but it is not true since they have been known to be affected by hurricanes, thus the eye of the hurricane may also occur there. Others maintain that within the eye, one is safe from any damages and can therefore move outside freely. This is however not accurate since eye of the hurricane is not permanent and may change anytime. Therefore, it is advisable to keep indoors even when one is within the e eye of the hurricane. It was traditionally perceived as being spiritual and often regarded as a save haven, which meant blessings for the individuals within the eye. In some places, it was regarded as an eye of God, able to see all places. Today, these perceptions have changed due to ample scientific knowledge in place.
The eye of the hurricane is now perceived as just a natural occurrence, which can be explained scientifically.
In a typical year, the Atlantic Ocean can usually come up with at least six hurricanes. At the beginning of the year 2010, the predictions made were that the Atlantic would produce at least seven or eight hurricanes. Researchers were very pessimistic about the conditions being observed during the year and that is why they likened the hurricane season of 2010 to the one experienced in 2005, when hurricane Katrina occurred. Hurricanes have baffled researchers over the years as no one has yet to discover a way of preventing them from happening. Studying about hurricanes can be very beneficial as one gets to learn just how interesting, though dangerous some of the world’s phenomenon can be.
Hurricanes are at times compared to tornadoes, which are storms that occur on land because of heavy thunderstorms. They both compare in the way they form in a whirlwind sort of way.
Causes of hurricanes
A number of atmospheric conditions have to occur simultaneously to form a hurricane. There must be a disturbance that has been there for a period of time, warm water in the ocean, unsteady levels of pressure in the atmosphere, which are low enough forces known as Coriolis forces , moist mid atmosphere and varying upper atmosphere levels. The major means that contributes to the growth of a hurricane is known as the “monsoon trough”.
It comes out of the Inter-Tropical Zone (ITCZ), where a swirl known as the cyclonic spin has already formed. This zone is a depression of low force caused by the coming together of the northeast and southeast trade winds (Christopherson 235). Another cause of hurricanes can be observed as per what happens in the north Atlantic side. Here, waves known as easterly waves that have low forces usually form over North Africa then move towards the Atlantic. This can also happen with a wave from the eastern side. These waves are of extreme strength and the force that pushes them towards the coastline forms them into storms that later occur as hurricanes. A facade that occurs in the ocean can also bring about the formation of a hurricane. When the winds that form above the water are favorable with not so much strength and little movement, rains and storms increase and this may bring about the formation of a hurricane.
Finally, a structured collection of storms can move off the land and flow into the warm waters of the ocean. These storms contain a small whirlpool, which causes very favorable conditions for the formation of hurricanes.
Effects of hurricanes
The occurrence of hurricanes can bring both positive and negative impacts on people and the environment as research has shown. When the storm is forming in the water body, mostly the ocean, the air is cleaned up and due to the force of the storm; it is then distributed all around making the air around void of pollution.
The occurrence of a hurricane also helps to bring people together during evacuation efforts and rebuilding of the area that has been destroyed. This helps to foster togetherness. The negative impacts of a hurricane however, outweigh the positive ones. This is due to the trail of destruction that hurricanes leave in their wake.
From the environment, to the human beings, nothing is left unharmed wherever a hurricane occurs. Population along the coastlines is always affected in the event of a hurricane. Loss of lives and property is usually observed here. Most of these areas near the coastline have a large population and this at times proves it difficult for rescuers to clear out everybody in time, as people have to be moved to higher ground to escape the effects of the rising waters.
Storms are usually a source of great rainfall. However, this kind of rain is considered destructive because it causes flooding. Once the hurricane has destroyed the coastline, the storms usually move towards land and this is where the floods occur. These floods are a cause of many deaths and destruction to the environment. Water sources are also polluted such that the residents do not have access to enough clean water for their consumption during and after the floods. The road and rail network as well as communication cables are also destroyed when hurricanes occur. Some secondary effects are felt mostly by the economy in that the country ends up spending a lot of taxpayer’s money in rebuilding the destroyed areas and reimbursing the affected people who incur losses caused by the hurricanes (Pielke 5). Diseases, such as typhoid and cholera also befall this population affected by hurricanes.
This is usually due to the lack of clean water for drinking, and the stagnant water left behind after the flooding.
Researchers have been trying to come up with means of reducing the intensity of the hurricanes that are experienced nowadays. Climate change being a natural occurrence cannot really be avoided it therefore remains that humans reduce the activities that interferes with the natural phenomenon such as hurricanes through climate mitigation. If such efforts are invested, then there will be a decrease in the strength of hurricanes expected to happen in times to come (Keim & Muller 188). Americans are also being encouraged to adhere to warnings given about the coming of a hurricane to reduce the damage caused in future.
When people are put on alert about an incoming hurricane, they should move to higher ground that is far from the coastline. This would all go into at least reducing the number of casualties recorded due to a hurricane attack.
Christopherson, Robert. Elemental Geosystems. Pennsylvania: Prentice Hall. 2001.Print. Keim, Barry and Muller, Robert.
Hurricanes of the Gulf of Mexico. Louisianna: LSU Press. 2009. Print.
Leatherman, Stephen and Williams, Jack. Hurricanes: causes, effects and the future. Mineapolis: MBI Publishing company. 2008. Print.
Pielke, Roger. “Trends in hurricane impacts in the united states: Environmental and Societal Impacts Group.” National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO.