You may have read my creative writing piece in which I spoke about my own personal experience with Hurricane Charley, now I've decided to teach you a little more about these tropical storms and how dangerous they can be. A hurricane, or Tropical Cyclone, is a rapidly rotating storm and is characterised by the drop of pressure in its midst; the eye of the storm is a vacuum void of all wind ironically. Hurricanes are somewhat similar to tornadoes but on a far greater scale. These great tropical storms usually form over warm seas and take their energy from moist water rising which creates the great storms and rain clouds that spiral out from the eye of the storm whilst the rapid winds are created by the rotations of the Earth as winds flow inwards towards the axis of rotation. These great storms can produce powerful tornadoes from their midst so they are almost like a super storm creating deadly winds, dark skies, rain clouds and crackling lightning at times.
Furthermore the sheer size of hurricanes makes them so dangerous. Unlike a tornadoe which is one funnel of strong winds a hurricane can reach up to 4000 kilometres in size and have wind speeds of at least 75 miles per hour making it at least on par with a tornado! The one main factor preventing hurricanes from being utterly devastating is that they lose power the further they move away from the sea and the storm surges and tornadoes that they produce are particularly weakened as the storm moves further inland. I was lucky that by the time Hurricane Charley reached Orlando it had lost much of its power but it was nevertheless incredibly powerful and caused huge amounts of damage. Some of the most devastating Hurricanes such as Katrina occur when the storm is close to the coast still, for example New Orleans which Katrina wrecked is under sea level so the force of the storm there was incredibly powerful as it had more energy from the warm water rising.
Hurricanes form only over warm bodies of water so the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and American side of the Atlantic Ocean are home to these tropical storms. Interestingly November is the only month when all Tropical Cyclone basins are active at once, my birthday is in November though so it's still a cool month! On the left at the top of the article is a picture of Hurricane Katrina taken from space. You can see by it's size on the map how huge it is so especially in smaller countries these storms can be hard to outmanoeuvre.