When Nature Strikes -- Hurricanes
Hurricanes--also called tropical cyclones or typhoons - are among the world's most dangerous natural hazards. Every year they threaten millions of people in many parts of the world with death and destruction. These huge, powerful, low-pressure systems produce heavy rain, high winds, storm surges, inland flooding, and other damage.
People in the areas affected by hurricanes have known about them for thousands of years, but Europeans first became aware of them when Christopher Columbus experienced one during his final voyage in 1502. Residents living today along the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast are very familiar with hurricanes, as are those in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Pacific Islands. Tropical cyclones and typhoons impact the shores of the Eastern, Central, and Western Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Australia, and elsewhere.
"When Nature Strikes - Hurricanes" describes cutting-edge research about forecasting storm paths and intensity, and the historical record of past events. Producing reliable computer models to predict where storms will move and how powerful they will be involves greater abilities to collect vast amounts of data and then developing powerful mathematical equations that use these observations to make images quickly which can aid meteorologists and emergency responders.
"How Well Can Hurricane Tracks and Intensities Be Forecast" classroom activity
"When Nature Strikes" is produced by NBC Learn in partnership with the National Science Foundation.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
As a strong hurricane heads towards a vulnerable coast, people take precautions - boarding up houses, packing the car, and evacuating. These massive storms can spell disaster for people in hurricane prone...more
Below is a list of some weather conditions that call for an advisory, watch, or warning. Heat Advisory/Warning: A heat advisory is issued when the daytime temperature will be 105ºF (40.6ºC) for three hours...more
Altocumulus clouds (weather symbol - Ac), are made primarily of liquid water and have a thickness of 1 km. They are part of the Middle Cloud group (2000-7000m up). They are grayish-white with one part...more
Altostratus clouds (weather symbol - As) consist of water and some ice crystals. They belong to the Middle Cloud group (2000-7000m up). An altostratus cloud usually covers the whole sky and has a gray...more
Cirrocumulus clouds (weather symbol - Cc) are composed primarily of ice crystals and belong to the High Cloud group (5000-13000m). They are small rounded puffs that usually appear in long rows. Cirrocumulus...more
Cirrostratus (weather symbol - Cs) clouds consist almost entirely of ice crystals and belong to the High Cloud (5000-13000m) group. They are sheetlike thin clouds that usually cover the entire sky. The...more
Cirrus (weather symbol - Ci) clouds are the most common of the High Cloud (5000-13000m) group. They are composed entirely of ice and consist of long, thin, wispy streamers. They are commonly known as...more