Hurricane Categories Explained

Hurricane Categories Explained – We will explain Hurricane Categories One to Five, but first, you need to understand what a Hurricane is.

What is a hurricane?

A hurricane is a large rotating storm with high-speed winds that forms over warm waters in tropical areas. Hurricanes have sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour and an area of low air pressure in the centre called the eye.

Hurricane Explained
What is a Level 5 Hurricane

Different Names for Hurricanes – The scientific name for a hurricane is a tropical cyclone. Tropical cyclones go by different names in different places. In North America and the Caribbean, they are called “hurricanes”, in the Indian Ocean they are called “cyclones”, and in Southeast Asia, they are called “typhoons.”

How do hurricanes form?

Hurricanes form over the warm ocean water of the tropics. When warm moist air over the water rises, it is replaced by cooler air. The cooler air will then warm and start to rise. This cycle causes huge storm clouds to form. These storm clouds will begin to rotate with the spin of the Earth forming an organized system. If there is enough warm water, the cycle will continue and the storm clouds and wind speeds will grow causing a hurricane to form.

Hurricane Categories Explained

  • Category 1: Winds 74 to 95 mph or 120km per hour (Minor damage)
  • Category 2: Winds 96 to 110 mph or 110km per hour. (Extensive damage — Can uproot trees and break windows)
  • Category 3: Winds 111 to 129 mph or 210km per hour (Devastating — Can break windows and doors)
  • Category 4: Winds 130 to 156 mph or 250km per hour (Catastrophic damage — Can tear off roofs)
  • Category 5: Winds 157 mph and higher. The absolute worst and can level houses and destroy buildings

Where do tropical cyclones occur?

Level 5 Hurricane Explained
What is a level 5 Hurricane

Tropical cyclones occur over the ocean in areas near the equator. This is because there is plenty of warm water in these areas to allow the storms to form. There are seven major areas in the world that tend to produce tropical cyclones. See the map below.

Locations of tropical cyclones throughout the world
When do hurricanes occur?

Hurricanes that form in the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean occur between June 1st and November 30th each year. This is called hurricane season.

Why are hurricanes dangerous?

When hurricanes strike land they can cause huge amounts of damage. most of the damage is caused by flooding and storm surge. Storm surge is when the ocean level rises at the coastline due to the power of the storm. Hurricanes also cause damage with high speed winds that can blow down trees and damage homes. Many hurricanes can develop several small tornados as well.

How are they named?

Hurricanes in the Atlantic are named based on a list of names maintained by the World Meteorological Organization. The names go in alphabetical order and the storms are named as they appear. So the first storm of the year will always have a name that starts with the letter “A.” There are six lists of names and each year a new list is used. Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Categories Explained

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