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Cyclones and hurricanes

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Nature and flora

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was an extremely destructive and deadly Category 5 hurricane that struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in August 2005, causing catastrophic damage from central Florida to eastern Texas. Subsequent flooding, caused largely as a result of fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system around the city of New Orleans, precipitated most of the loss of lives. The storm was the third major hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the third most intense tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in the United States, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969.

Nature and flora, Science

Tropical cyclone

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; while in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

Nature and flora

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma was an extremely powerful and catastrophic Cape Verde hurricane, the strongest observed in the Atlantic in terms of maximum sustained winds since Wilma, and the strongest storm on record to exist in the open Atlantic region. Irma was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the Leeward Islands on record, followed by Hurricane Maria two weeks later, and is the second-costliest Caribbean hurricane on record, after Maria. The ninth named storm, fourth hurricane, second major hurricane, and first Category 5 hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Irma caused widespread and catastrophic damage throughout its long lifetime, particularly in the northeastern Caribbean and the Florida Keys. It was also the most intense hurricane to strike the continental United States since Katrina in 2005, the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in the same year, and the first Category 4 hurricane to strike the state since Charley in 2004.

Nature and flora

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey of 2017 is tied with 2005's Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone on record, inflicting $125 billion in damage, primarily from catastrophic rainfall-triggered flooding in the Houston metropolitan area. It was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005, ending a record 12-year span in which no hurricanes made landfall at the intensity of a major hurricane throughout the country. In a four-day period, many areas received more than 40 inches (1,000 mm) of rain as the system slowly meandered over eastern Texas and adjacent waters, causing unprecedented flooding. With peak accumulations of 60.58 in (1,539 mm), Harvey was the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States. The resulting floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes which displaced more than 30,000 people and prompted more than 17,000 rescues.

Nature and flora

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Inflicting nearly $70 billion in damage, it was the second-costliest hurricane on record in the United States until surpassed by hurricanes Harvey and Maria in 2017. The eighteenth named storm, tenth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the year, Sandy was a Category 3 storm at its peak intensity when it made landfall in Cuba. While it was a Category 2 hurricane off the coast of the Northeastern United States, the storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. At least 233 people were killed along the path of the storm in eight countries.

Nature and flora


A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops between 180° and 100°E in the Northern Hemisphere. This region is referred to as the Northwestern Pacific Basin, and is the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth, accounting for almost one-third of the world's annual tropical cyclones. For organizational purposes, the northern Pacific Ocean is divided into three regions: the eastern, central, and western. The Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) for tropical cyclone forecasts is in Japan, with other tropical cyclone warning centers for the northwest Pacific in Hawaii, the Philippines and Hong Kong. While the RSMC names each system, the main name list itself is coordinated among 18 countries that have territories threatened by typhoons each year. Only the Philippines use their own naming list for systems approaching the country.

Nature and flora

Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan, known as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. On making landfall, Haiyan devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 6,300 people in that country alone. In terms of JTWC-estimated 1-minute sustained winds, Haiyan is tied with Meranti for being the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone on record. In January 2014, bodies were still being found.

Nature and flora

1900 Galveston hurricane

The Great Galveston Hurricane, known regionally as the Great Storm of 1900, was the deadliest natural disaster in United States history, one of the deadliest hurricanes to affect Canada, and the fourth-deadliest Atlantic hurricane overall. The hurricane left between 6,000 and 12,000 fatalities in the United States; the number most cited in official reports is 8,000. Most of these deaths occurred in the vicinity of Galveston after storm surge inundated the entire island with 8 to 12 feet of water. In addition to the number killed, every house in the city sustained damage, with at least 3,636 destroyed. Approximately 10,000 people in the city were left homeless, out of a total population of nearly 38,000. The disaster ended the Golden Era of Galveston, as the hurricane alarmed potential investors, who turned to Houston instead. The Gulf of Mexico shoreline of Galveston island was subsequently raised by 17 ft (5.2 m) and a 10 mi (16 km) seawall erected.

Nature and flora

1991 Perfect Storm

The 1991 Perfect Storm, also known as The No-Name Storm and the Halloween Gale, was a nor'easter that absorbed Hurricane Grace and ultimately evolved back into a small unnamed hurricane late in its life cycle. The initial area of low pressure developed off Atlantic Canada on October 29. Forced southward by a ridge to its north, it reached its peak intensity as a large and powerful cyclone. The storm lashed the east coast of the United States with high waves and coastal flooding before turning to the southwest and weakening. Moving over warmer waters, the system transitioned into a subtropical cyclone before becoming a tropical storm. It executed a loop off the Mid-Atlantic states and turned toward the northeast. On November 1 the system evolved into a full-fledged hurricane with peak winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km/h), although the National Hurricane Center left it unnamed to avoid confusion amid media interest in the predecessor extratropical storm. It later received the name "the Perfect Storm" after a conversation between Boston National Weather Service forecaster Robert Case and author Sebastian Junger. The system was the fourth hurricane and final tropical cyclone in the 1991 Atlantic hurricane season. The tropical system weakened, striking Nova Scotia as a tropical storm before dissipating.

Nature and flora

Polar vortex

A polar vortex is an upper level low-pressure area lying near the Earth's poles. There are two polar vortices in the Earth's atmosphere, overlying the North and South Poles. Each polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale, low-pressure zone that rotates counter-clockwise at the North Pole and clockwise at the South Pole, i.e., both polar vortices rotate eastward around the poles. The bases of the two polar vortices are located in the middle and upper troposphere and extend into the stratosphere. Beneath that lies a large mass of cold, dense Arctic air.

Nature and flora

Hurricane Andrew

Hurricane Andrew was a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that struck the Bahamas and Florida in mid-August 1992, the most destructive hurricane to ever hit the state until Hurricane Irma surpassed it 25 years later. It was the strongest in decades and the costliest hurricane to make landfall anywhere in the United States until it was surpassed by Katrina in 2005. Andrew caused major damage in the Bahamas and Louisiana, but the greatest impact was felt in South Florida, with sustained wind speeds as high as 165 mph (270 km/h). Passing directly through the city of Homestead in Dade County, it stripped many homes of all but their concrete foundations. In total, it destroyed more than 63,500 houses, damaged more than 124,000 others, caused $27.3 billion in damage, and left 65 people dead.

Nature and flora

1970 Bhola cyclone

The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck East Pakistan and India's West Bengal on November 12, 1970. It remains the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded and one of the deadliest natural disasters. Up to 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, primarily as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta. This cyclone was the sixth cyclonic storm of the 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, and also the season's strongest.

Nature and flora

Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew was the first Category 5 Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Felix in 2007, and also caused catastrophic damage and a humanitarian crisis in Haiti, as well as widespread devastation in the southeastern United States. The deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Stan in 2005, Matthew was the thirteenth named storm, fifth hurricane and second major hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused extensive damage to landmasses in the Greater Antilles, and severe damage in several islands of the Bahamas who were still recovering from Hurricane Joaquin which had pounded such areas nearly a year earlier. At one point, the hurricane even threatened to be the first storm of Category 3 or higher intensity to strike the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, but Matthew stayed just offshore paralleling the Floridian coastline.

Nature and flora

Extratropical cyclone

Extratropical cyclones, sometimes called mid-latitude cyclones or wave cyclones, are low-pressure areas which, along with the anticyclones of high-pressure areas, drive the weather over much of the Earth. Extratropical cyclones are capable of producing anything from cloudiness and mild showers to heavy gales, thunderstorms, blizzards, and tornadoes. These types of cyclones are defined as large scale (synoptic) low pressure weather systems that occur in the middle latitudes of the Earth. In contrast with tropical cyclones, extratropical cyclones produce rapid changes in temperature and dew point along broad lines, called weather fronts, about the center of the cyclone.

Nature and flora

Hurricane Wilma

Hurricane Wilma was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, and the second-most intense tropical cyclone recorded in the Western Hemisphere, after Hurricane Patricia in 2015. Part of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which included three of the ten most intense Atlantic hurricanes ever, Wilma was the twenty-second storm, thirteenth hurricane, sixth major hurricane, fourth Category 5 hurricane, and the second-most destructive hurricane of the 2005 season. A tropical depression formed in the Caribbean Sea near Jamaica on October 15, headed westward, and intensified into a tropical storm two days later, which abruptly turned southward and was named Wilma. Wilma continued to strengthen, and eventually became a hurricane on October 18. Shortly thereafter, explosive intensification occurred, and in only 24 hours, Wilma became a Category 5 hurricane with wind speeds of 185 mph (298 km/h).