A Complete and Exhaustive Guide to Hurricanes – part three
As mentioned in the ending of the previous article, something like wind shear can destroy a cyclone formation. A hurricane can weaken when it makes landfall or when it gets deprived of warm moisture as it moves towards cooler waters.
At the same time it is also possible for a storm to reintensify if it can meet conditions that are favorable for it; so it is possible for a weak storm to gain strength once again; this is something that the meteorological departments the world over need to be particularly careful about. When the systems move from being a tropical to an extra-tropical one they exhibit changes in storm speed, direction, and position. The worrying thing is that the decay of cyclones occurs at higher latitudes and in the path of major shipping routes in the Atlantic Ocean.
Hurricane winds can extend for up to 300 miles in width and scope; this means that a small dot on a satellite image is much more than that. Mariners have to take into consideration the path of the hurricane and not just the force in its center.
Also it is important to know that the size of a hurricane is not a great indicator of its intensity. A small hurricane will have winds radiating 25 miles from the storm center while a large hurricane can have winds pushing as much as 150 miles from the center. Tropical storm force winds can have an even greater range, extending for around 300 miles from the eye of the hurricane.
The wind field is an important characteristic that defines a cyclone. The strongest winds are at the center of the surface circulation; also it is important to know that the stronger side of a hurricane is usually its right side. This means that high winds on the right side of a hurricane will whip up bigger waves in that direction. This phenomenon leads to greater danger for areas locate at the right semicircle of a hurricane making landfall. The topography of the land can either add to the danger from these winds or act as a barrier to break them. Winds at the right can hit 100 knots and at the left side these are around 70 knots. The right-rear quadrant is the most difficult for seafarers to navigate. Swells from a tropical cyclone can travel large distances, often 2000 nautical miles from the center of the storm. These swells acted like an early warning system for mariners before the days of the satellites.
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