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While hurricanes are a fascinating display of Mother Nature’s powers, they are highly dangerous when they spawn large waves that hit coasts. Hurricanes usually weaken over land, but may still cause inland flooding due to heavy rains and storm surges. Here are more interesting facts about hurricanes:
1. Hurricanes are tropical storms (or cyclones) that occur in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricanes that form in the Northwest Pacific (near Japan) are called typhoons and those occurring in the South Pacific and Indian oceans are called cyclones.
2. Hurricanes are the largest storms on Earth. Their size varies greatly – from 100 to 2,000 km. The largest hurricane on record is Typhoon Tip, which occurred in 1979 in the northwest Pacific. It had a diameter of around 2,220 km.
3. All hurricanes have an eye of typically 30–65 km in diameter of mostly calm weather. This is why, if the eye of the storm passes over an area, the storm will calm. However, the eye is surrounded by the ‘eye wall’ where the most severe weather occurs.
4. A tropical storm classifies as a hurricane when its winds reach the speed of at least 119 km/h. The fastest recorded hurricane wind speed is 345 km/h in Hurricane Patricia in 2015.
5. Hurricane season occurs from June until November, when the conditions of forming tropical storms are there: warm seas and humid atmosphere.
6. Hurricanes release a vast amount of energy. Each second, a large hurricane releases an amount of energy equivalent to 10 atomic bombs. Hurricanes are sometimes called “heat engines”.
7. In the Northern Hemisphere, hurricane winds move counterclockwise around the center, while in the Southern Hemisphere, the winds travel clockwise due to the Coriolis effect.
8. Hurricanes rarely produce thunder and lightning because these phenomena are formed by vertical winds that cause water and ice to rub together. Most hurricane winds are horizontal. However, in 2005, Hurricane Emily, Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina all had thunder and lightning.
9. The deadliest hurricane to hit Canada was the Newfoundland Hurricane of September 9, 1775, which killed over 4,000 people. Not only is the Newfoundland Hurricane the earliest recorded Canadian hurricane, it is also by far the deadliest.
10. The word “hurricane” comes from “hurucane”, a Taino Native American word that means “evil spirit of the wind”, which is not surprising.
To stay safe in a hurricane, preparedness is key. Essential tips to prepare for hurricanes are available in this article. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.