types of hurricanes


Hurricanes are one of the most devastating meteorological phenomena that exist. The time of year when they most often appear is in September. There are various types of hurricanes depending on the intensity, origin and form.

In this article we are going to tell you what are the various types of hurricanes that exist, their characteristics, causes and consequences.

What is a hurricane

types of hurricanes

The first thing of all is to know what a hurricane is and how it is formed. A hurricane is a meteorological phenomenon that manifests itself as a powerful tropical storm characterized by extremely strong winds and very low atmospheric pressure at its center. These weather systems, also known as tropical cyclones or typhoons in different regions of the world, sare capable of causing a wide variety of significant impacts, but its essence lies in the intensity of the winds and the spiral circulation that surrounds them.

How they are formed

types of hurricanes that exist

Hurricanes form from a series of specific conditions in the ocean and atmosphere. For a hurricane to form, ocean water with a temperature of at least 26 degrees Celsius or higher is needed. The warm waters provide the energy needed to fuel the hurricane, as the heat from the water evaporates and is released into the atmosphere.

The atmosphere must contain a significant amount of moisture for water vapor condensation to occur. When moist air rises, it cools and condenses into small water droplets, releasing latent heat that drives the system. A relatively calm atmosphere is needed in the middle levels of the atmosphere to allow the system to develop. Too strong winds or sudden changes in wind speed can inhibit the formation of a hurricane.

Often, an area of ​​low atmospheric pressure or a tropical wave serves as the starting point for the formation of a hurricane. This initial disturbance acts as a focal point around which the system can develop.

The Earth's rotation, known as the Coriolis effect, is essential for the formation of a hurricane. This effect causes moving air to deflect to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere. which creates the rotation necessary for a tropical cyclone.

When warm, moist air rises from the ocean surface, it creates a region of low pressure at the surface. The surrounding air is drawn into this low pressure area and begins to rotate counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere or clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

types of hurricanes

cyclone formation

The types of hurricanes that exist are classified into five main categories according to the intensity scale known as the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Each category represents a different level of intensity and has specific characteristics and effects. These are the types of hurricanes that exist and their characteristics:

  • Category 1 (Winds of 119-153 km/h: In this category, the winds are moderately strong. A category 1 hurricane is considered when its sustained winds reach speeds of 119 to 153 km/h. Damage is usually minor in this category. Damage to roofs, trees, and power lines may occur. Local flooding and storm surge are possible, but are generally not as destructive as in higher categories.
  • Category 2 (Winds of 154-177 km/h: Category 2 winds are significantly stronger than Category 1. Sustained winds range from 154 to 177 km/h. In this category, damage may be moderate. Strong winds They can down trees, damage buildings and cause power outages.Coastal flooding and storm surges are more severe, increasing the risk of flooding.
  • Category 3 (Winds of 178-208 km/h): Category 3 hurricanes are considered "major" hurricanes due to their intensity. They have sustained winds of 178 to 208 km/h. In this category, the damage can be devastating. The winds can cause significant damage to buildings and structures, as well as severe flooding due to storm surge. Evacuations are common to protect lives.
  • Category 4 (Winds of 209-251 km/h): Category 4 hurricanes are extremely dangerous. Its sustained winds range from 209 to 251 km/h. In this category, the damage is catastrophic. Winds can destroy homes and buildings, and floods can inundate coastal areas and entire communities. Bowel movements are essential, and meticulous preparation is required.
  • Category 5 (Winds of more than 252 km/h or more): Category 5 hurricanes are the most intense and dangerous. Its sustained winds exceed 252 km/h. Damage in this category is catastrophic. Structures can be washed away, and flooding can be deadly. Storm surge can penetrate inland for miles. Preparation and evacuation are critical to saving lives.

Hurricane season and climate change

Hurricane season varies depending on where it occurs; The North Atlantic hurricane season occurs most frequently in August, September and October, just like in the Pacific, when the temperature differences are greater and the water is warmer. However, in the southern hemisphere the season begins in October and ends in May.

Hurricanes receive the name of a person for identification (there can be several names at the same time, distribution of damage through insurance, warning to the population...), there are fixed rules for their distribution, for example they alternate. Male and female names: For example, since Hurricanes Irma and José were active at the same time, other rules include, for example, that the first storm in odd-numbered years receives a female name and the first storm in even-numbered years receives a male name.

Although the most notable thing about a hurricane is its strong winds, its danger depends above all on the amount of rain it brings. These rains cause massive flooding and rising sea levels, causing floods. Combined with tides, it can produce deadly coastal storm surges, while the winds represent only 5% of the total deaths.

The temperature of the ocean and atmosphere is one of the most important factors in determining the type and type of hurricanes that are forming, so in some cases human-induced climate change is causing an increase in sea temperatures. Recent observations are so important that they suggest that the destructive potential of hurricanes is getting worse (longer in duration and more frequent).

Other authors have observed that, although the number of category 1 to 3 hurricanes appears to have decreased over the last decade, The number of higher category hurricanes has increased.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the types of hurricanes and their characteristics.

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