Severe hurricanes seem to be increasing in strength
The Hurricane Season ?? Hurricane Season ?? falls in the months of June to November. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean, hitting the island of St. Maarten, the Bahamas and Florida, among others. Category 5 is the highest hurricane category. Hurricane Irma certainly fell here with wind speeds of almost 300 km per hour. Hurricane Irma was expected to be the first of more of these very severe hurricanes.
- How does a hurricane form?
- Why are hurricanes getting more powerful?
- Hurricane Force Models
- What is a hurricane?
- Hurricane names
- Hurricane Irma
How does a hurricane form?
Hurricanes arise above the sea off the coast of Africa and for this the seawater in this area must have reached a temperature of at least 26.5 degrees Celsius. Thunderstorms form at sea and these start to circle each other due to trade winds. Due to the high temperature of the water, a lot of water vapor is released into the atmosphere. This is the engine of the hurricane. This water vapor causes the winds to spin around each other faster and faster and the hurricane is getting bigger.
Why are hurricanes getting more powerful?
Due to global warming, the temperature of the seawater is getting higher. This means that the atmosphere above this seawater contains more and more water vapor and therefore feeds the hurricane much more. The rain caused by the high humidity releases energy that makes the air rise. As a result, the air pressure falls and this falling air pressure has a suction effect and causes more rain, more energy and more wind. This allows the hurricanes to get bigger and more powerful.
The severe hurricanes moving across the Indian and Atlantic oceans have been mapped since 1981 and, according to Elsner of Florida State University (2008 study), the wind speeds of the heaviest hurricanes have only increased since then. This is because the water of the Indian and Atlantic oceans has become increasingly warmer, so that an increasing proportion of the ocean surface reaches temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius and higher. At these temperatures, the hurricane feeds and increases in strength.
Hurricane Force Models
The results of Elsner’s research are confirmed by the models of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), which show an increase in the intensity of the hurricanes. According to these models, the intensity of the hurricanes will increase by two to eleven percent and the amount of rain that will accompany them by ten to fifteen percent.
What is a hurricane?
A hurricane is a tropical storm in which the wind forces exceed 119 km / h. A hurricane always has an eye in which it is relatively calm with enormous wind speeds around it. Hurricanes cause enormous rainfall. A hurricane can be hundreds of miles wide.
There are five categories according to the Saffir-Simpson scale:
- Category 1 is a light hurricane with wind speeds between 119 and 154 km / h (wind force 12).
- Category 2 is a moderate hurricane with wind speeds between 155 and 178 km / h.
- Category 3 is a more extensive hurricane with wind speeds between 179 and 210 km / h.
- Category 4 is an extreme hurricane with wind speeds between 211 and 250 km / h.
- Category 5 is a hurricane with wind speeds above 250 km / h. A category 5 hurricane is devastating and causes extensive damage.
Hurricane Irma was a hurricane with wind speeds of nearly 300 kilometers per hour. Creating a higher category than category 5 makes little sense. The categories are intended to indicate the degree of destruction (the destructive force). Category 5 is already devastating.
Hurricanes are named in order of the letters of the alphabet, the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used. Boys names and girls names are used alternately for the hurricanes. Before the 1960s these were only male names, after that this was changed in the context of emancipation. Every year it starts again with the A. The names have been fixed years in advance. Should the names run out, that is to say that there have already been 23 hurricanes that hurricane season, then the Greek alphabet will start. Alpha, beta, gamma, delta.
Naming hurricanes has happened from World War II. In the early twentieth century, hurricanes were named after latitude, but that was a bit difficult to remember and pronounce, hence the names. This was harking back to an older custom. Around the nineteenth century it was customary to name hurricanes after saints.
Irma was a massive hurricane in size. If you were to lay Irma over Western Europe, this hurricane would stretch from the Dutch Wadden Islands to the Spanish Costa ?? s. The wind speeds reached a speed of 298 km / h and outliers of up to 350 km / h were measured. There was a heavy rainfall of 600 mm. These are sixty buckets per square meter. This made hurricane Irma a severe hurricane from the devastating category 5. During hurricane Irma there were calls to create a category 6, but that was quickly rejected as meaningless, because category 5 is already devastating.