What is a Hurricane? Hurricanes are born over very warm oceans. They can occur at any tome of year although they usually happen from May to December. They begin as areas of heavy showers where warm, moist air rises and cools to form rain clouds thousands of metres high. As this air rises, an area of low pressure develops. The clouds start to spin around the low pressure and suck up moisture. The centre of the storm – called the eye is an area of descending air.
Hurricanes usually only last about one week but sometimes the storms grow over 800km across and can last for up to 3 weeks. When hurricanes drift over land or away from the Equator they begin to die – this is because they need a warm ocean power source to feed them warm, humid air.
Where do Hurricanes happen? Hurricanes develop over the sun-warmed tropical waters of the oceans. They generally are carried up away from the Equator.
What are the effects? Hurricanes destroy lives and property in 3 main ways: Wind speeds of over 150mph uproot trees, flatten crops and houses, turn over cars and batter shipping Very low air pressure and high winds causes a storm surge which when it hits land can cause flooding Very heavy rain adds to flooding and crop damage
Peter Jenkins From:“Bob Parker” firstname.lastname@example.org_bob@yahoo.com To:“Peter Jenkins” Jenkys@hotmail.comJenkys@hotmail.com Sent:12th September 2004 21:24 Subject:Hurricane Ivan! St John's Port Jamaica 12th September 2004 Dear Peter, At last I've found some time to write to you. We struggled through the stormy seas and gales to get here last Friday. If that was the tail end of Hurricane Ivan, I'm glad we did not have to face its full fury!!!! The scene in St John's is terrible. There wasn't a building with a roof on! People were wandering about in shock. Even the hospital was damaged by the 150mph winds. There was no electricity, no drinking water and no phones - all the poles have been blown down! Over 60,000 people are thought to have lost their homes and over 4,000 people were injured. We know of 27 people who are dead, but we expect the total to be higher. The damage is like that of a nuclear explosion. The people here are stunned, most have lost their homes. Their jobs are threatened as nearly all of the nutmeg and banana crop has been destroyed. Today we've heard that another hurricane is on the way. Hopefully we can fix the roofs before the rains hit. Best wishes and see you soon, hopefully! Bob