A guide to the world’s deadliest storms
Hurricanes are violent storms that can bring destruction to seaside locations, threatening lives, homes and organizations.
Hurricanes establish from thunderstorms, fuelled by warm, moist air as they cross sub-tropical waters.
Warm air rises into the storm.
Air swirls in to fill the low pressure in the storm, drawing air in and upwards, strengthening the low pressure.
The storm turns due to the spin of the earth and energy from the warm ocean increases wind speeds as it constructs.
When winds reach 119km/h (74mph), it is referred to as a hurricane – in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific – or a typhoon in the Western Pacific.
” Everyone has a strategy until they get typed the face. Well, we will get typed the face.”
Florida Mayor Bob Buckhorn, ahead of Cyclone Irma (2017 )
The main eye of calmer weather condition is surrounded by a wall of rainstorms.
This eyewall has the fastest winds listed below it and violent currents of air increasing through it.
A mound of water accumulate below the eye which is released as the storm reaches land.
These storm surges can cause more damage from flooding than the winds.
” Urgent caution about the quick increase of water on the SW FL coast with the passage of #Irma’s eye. MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!”
Tweet from the National Cyclone Center
The size of typhoons is primarily measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale – other scales are used in Asia Pacific and Australia.
Winds 119-153km/ h.
Some small flooding, little structural damage.
Storm rise +1.2 m-1.5 m.
Winds 154-177km/ h.
Roofing systems and trees might be harmed.
Storm surge +1.8 m-2.4 m.
Winds 178-208km/ h.
Houses suffer damage, severe flooding.
Storm surge +2.7 m-3.7 m.
Typhoon Sandy (2012) caused $71bn damage in the Caribbean and New York City.
Winds 209-251km/ h.
Some roofings destroyed and major structural damage to homes.
Storm surge +4 m-5.5 m.
Typhoon Ike (2008) struck Caribbean islands and Louisiana and was blamed for a minimum of 195 deaths.
Major damage to structures, severe flooding further inland.
Storm rise +5.5 m.
Typhoon Irma (2017) triggered devastation in Caribbean islands, leaving thousands homeless