Hurricanes!


Let’s talk about hurricanes, people, not because they are a fun thing to live through or talk about, but because this season there have been just SO MANY OF THEM, or at least that’s what it seems.


First question: Have there actually been more hurricanes this season compared to previous years? Well yes. The forecast for the 2017 season called for 14-19 named storms, and of those, 5-9 of them were likely to be hurricanes. This is somewhat above average (12 named storms and 6 hurricanes for an average season between 1981 and 2010), but not substantially so. It seems like it is a lot above average, though, because many recent years saw few if any hurricanes make landfall and cause the devastation that we are seeing this year.


Second question: Why is this season above average for hurricane activity? Lots of warm temperatures, especially in the water at the surface of the ocean, and wind speeds that are fairly stable from the surface of the water to ten miles up, which means that tall hurricanes can form fairly easily. Some other temperature conditions from as far away as Africa have made this season particularly favorable for hurricane formation.


Third question: What should we do about these hurricanes? If you are in the projected path of a hurricane, follow all evacuation orders carefully, people. Better to be alive with no house than to be dead and have a house. Just saying. If you need some more indication that you should evacuate when told to do so, just look at some of the devastation that the 2017 hurricane season (and others) have brought to the continental United States, to Puerto Rico, and to large numbers of other Islands in the Caribbean. Many of these hard-hit areas still need our financial help. Consider giving charity, but to an organization that has a good track record of being able to use these funds to help people on the ground. Do your research, readers! Donate wisely.


Fourth question: Where can you read more about hurricanes, how they form, and what we can do about them? Check out the links below:


http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/hurricane/article177950476.html


https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2017-atlantic-hurricane-season-one-of-busiest-september


http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/07/us/hurricane-season-2017-outlook/index.html


http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/


Happy reading, and stay safe!

#science #fall #weather

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