What is a Hurricane?

Flooding after the rain in Davie, FL during 2017 hurricane season
Flooding in Davie , FL during 2017 hurricane season

A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that forms in the tropics. Hurricanes that affect South Florida usually form in the eastern Atlantic Ocean just south of the Tropics or in the Caribbean Sea.

Hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends on November 30. But these intence storms can happen before and after the official season.

National Hurricane Center and tracks and predicts these powerful storm systems. On average, these storms  occur 12 times a year in the Atlantic basin.

Do not forget to prepare for hurricane season.

Hurricane consists of a counter-clockwise circulation of the storm’s clouds, heavy rains, strong winds, tornadoes, and storm surge that causes in coastal flooding.

A tropical cyclone is a rotating low-pressure weather system that has organized thunderstorms but no fronts (a boundary separating two air masses of different densities). Tropical cyclones with maximum sustained surface winds of less than 39 miles per hour (mph) are called tropical depressions. Those with maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or higher are called tropical storms.

Hurricane happens when a storm’s maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating, or category, which is based on a hurricane’s maximum sustained winds. The higher the category, the more damage to properties it can cause:

Category 1 – 74-95 mph
Category 2 – 96-110 mph
Category 3 – 111-129 mph
Category 4 – 130-156 mph
Category 5 – 157 mph or higher

Hurricanes originate in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, the eastern North Pacific Ocean, and, the central North Pacific Ocean.

World Meteorological Organization identifes the storms, maintains and updates the names list.