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A hurricane (tropical cyclone) is given a name when it becomes a tropical storm. It’s easier to remember the name of a storm that using latitude and longitude to track it. It also helps prevent confusion when more than one hurricane is being tracked. In 1953, the U.S. Weather Bureau began assigning women’s names to tropical storms. In 1979, men’s names were included on the list. The names are in alphabetical order, excluding the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z. Today, the list includes names of English, Spanish and French origin because these languages are most commonly used by the countries in the Atlantic Basin.
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A Tropical Disturbance originates in the tropics or subtropics, which is sustained for 24 hours or more; a Tropical Depression has a maximum sustained wind speed of up to 38 mph and has a closed circulation; a Tropical Storm has maximum sustained winds ranging from 39 mph to 73 mph and the center is more concentrated with outer rainfall organizing into bands.
No, it offers little strength to the glass and NO protection against flying debris. It is advisable to put up hurricane shutters over doors and windows or plywood panels if you don’t have shutters.
When a hurricane watch is issued, double check supplies, shutters and your plans. If any action needs to be taken do it now before having to hunker down. Get some cash from the ATM and gas up the car. When a hurricane warning is issued, put shutters up before winds get too high. Make sure the yard is cleaned and pool is prepped, lower the refrigerator temperature and fill up the bathtub and any empty jugs with water. If you are evacuating, make sure your property is ready and leave the area with plenty of time ahead.
The National Hurricane Center provides a “hurricane glossary” for the most commonly used words.
Wind shear is a term given to upper level winds that blow from west to east against a west moving hurricane. It tears up the hurricane’s clouds and stops tropical development.
Cape Verde-type hurricanes are in the Atlantic and develop into tropical storms fairly close to the Cape Verde Islands, and then become hurricanes before reaching the Caribbean. Typically, they occur in August and September.
No. It is a myth that opening windows will help equalize pressure in a house when a hurricane approaches. The windows should be boarded up with plywood or shutters.
It can. In years with an El Nino, there are typically few tropical storms and hurricanes because vertical shear increases during El Nino years. The shear prevents formation and intensification. El Nino is a warming of the Pacific Ocean which usually occurs every three to seven years and effects weather patterns around the world. La Nina is the opposite of El Nino with cooler than normal ocean waters in the Pacific. In years with La Nina, researchers have found there is an increased number of hurricanes and an increased changed that the United States and Caribbean will experience hurricanes.