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How Do Hurricanes Develop?

Stretching from June to the end of November, some of the most damaging storms that Mother Nature has to offer may occur.

Even if one storm so much as grazes the shore, it can and has produced massive amounts of damage for home and business owners. The reason goes back to the fact that hurricanes are arguably the most powerful weather phenomenon known to climatology, capable of producing driving rains and massive wind gusts that can tear residences and businesses apart brick by brick.

How do hurricanes take shape?
To get a full appreciation of hurricanes’ destruction, you have to go back to what they are and how they develop. Hurricanes start out as tropical storms that take shape over the ocean warmed by the sun. Winds and condensation gather and form a circular pattern of clouds, the kind that you’ll see on meteorologists maps from storm track technology.

Also known as cyclones, hurricanes don’t become hurricanes until they’ve reached a certain wind speed. Generally speaking when there are sustained wind gusts traveling at 74 miles per hour, this is the textbook definition of a hurricane, or what forecasters call a Category 1. Hurricane strength is measured on what’s known as the Saffir-Simpson scale. Ranging from 1 to 5, the higher the number, the stronger the winds are. For example, a Category 5 storm has wind speeds of 156 miles per hour or more, capable of producing a storm surge 18 feet high.

And it’s understandable why. According to National Geographic, hurricanes produce as much energy in a day as the explosion of a half-million small atomic bombs. Read More

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