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Forces of Nature , Hurricane Facts , Categories & More

Flooding is a major killer associated with hurricanes. For instance, in 1935 , one hurricane surge managed to completely cover the Florida Keys with water. More than 400 people died as a result. Unlike most forces of nature, this hurricane never received a name but is considered as one of the most powerful to ever influence U.S. history. In this article, you will learn more of the destruction that a hurricane is capable of and how meteorologists use tools to track and pinpoint the behavior of this natural force.

In 1900, a hurricane that created a surge in Galveston, Texas was responsible for the drowning of more than 6,000 people, as water reaches a height of 20 foot tall.

Satellite imagery, airplanes flying in the air, and computer-models are used to forecast when a hurricane is going to hit , courtesy of the US National Hurricane Center located in Florida. With a collection of equipment, a great deal of tools is used to track storms and predict when and where they will make contact ashore.

The tools of a meteorologist are so advanced , they can pinpoint the location and intensity of a storm as soon as it forms. A couple of factors that help to alert when a storm may become much more includes storm bands, asymmetries, and shearing clouds. Satellites play an important role in tracking these storms.

In order to gain an accurate measure of pressure and winds , forecasters send people they refer to as ‘hurricane hunters’ to utilize radar equipment and specialized planes to gather important details.

When a hurricane poses a potential threat to surrounding regions , a hurricane watch is issued through the National Hurricane Center. When it becomes apparent that a hurricane may hit within a 24-hour time period , a hurricane warning is sent out.

The coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico serve as home to more than 70 million people , all of which are in great danger if a hurricane should make its way to the United States.

Hurricanes are classified into five categories (1 to 5), which are determined by how fast their speeds reach and the possibility for damage to take place.

A Category One hurricane reaches winds between 74 and 95 miles per hour.

Category Two hurricanes reach winds between 96 and 110 miles per hour. An example of one is Hurricane Bonnie, which hit the North Carolina coast in 1998.

Category Three hurricanes reach winds between 111 and 130 miles per hour. An example of one is Hurricane Fran, which struck North Carolina in 1996.

Category Four hurricanes reach winds between 131 and 155 miles per hour, such as Hurricane Luis, which passed over the Leeward Islands in 1995.

Category Five hurricanes reach winds greater than 155 miles per hour. Hurricane Andrew, which is known as the costliest hurricane to strike the United States, attacked Florida in 1992.