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Hurricanes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   When you hear the word hurricane, you think of a dark, frigid day with wrapping blusters and moderate rain showers. Nothing to worry about, you might say to yourself. The hurricane is just a little rain shower possessing no dangers at all. Wrong! Hurricanes can be devastating. Hurricanes can have wind velocities as low as 74 m.p.h., and as violent as 155 m.p.h. These vast furies of air are not to be taken lightly.

Hurricane is the name given to the migratory tropical cyclones that originate over oceans in certain regions near the equator and particularly to those emerging in the West Indian region, which includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Usually hurricanes begin in confined equatorial belts characterized by perpetual squalls and light fluctuating breezes. This area, known as the doldrums, lies between the northeast and southeast trade winds. Because the doldrums of the Atlantic reside enough to the north of the equator, hurricanes do not torment the South Atlantic. However, they do display their power in the North and South Pacific oceans, because the Pacific doldrums extend north and south of the equator.

In the western Pacific, hurricane-type cyclones are called typhoons. Hurricanes consist of high-velocity gusts blustering circularly around a low-pressure center. This center is known as the eye of the storm. The eye of the storm is formed when the warm, waterlogged air predominant in the doldrums is underrun and strained upward by denser, cooler air. The atmospheric pressure drops and the gale velocity rises from the edge of the storm toward its center. Winds with the potential of being destructive may extend to affect an area 150 miles in diameter. However, gale winds may exceed a much greater area to a diameter of 300 miles.

The movement of hurricanes is important when predicting many factors about the storm, such as the size and greatness. The general path in which a hurricane travels is in the shape of the algebraic figure known as the parabola. Even though the parabola-like path is a given characteristic of hurricanes, they travel in usual, but different directions. In the northern hemisphere the storms usually travel first in a northwesterly direction and in the higher latitudes turn toward the northeast. In the southern hemisphere the common path is first to the southwest and then to the southeast. Through modern technology, these storms can be tracked with radar, sea-based recording devices, and geosynchronous weather satellites that track storms from their start to their finish.

Even though predicting these tremendous gusts are possible, it does not prevent the damage to the coastal areas that are hit. When these immoderate tempests explode on the coast of a country, they can create damage that costs billions to repair, not to mention the risk factor that blasts have on human life and the environment. Next time your local newsreports a hurricane warning in your county ... hide. u


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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