Hurricane Fact Sheet - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Hurricane Fact Sheet

HURRICANE BASICS

  • Strong winds rotating around low pressure center
  • Rotate counter-clockwise in northern hemisphere
  • Sustained, maximum winds of 74 miles-per-hour or more
  • Same as typhoon, in the Pacific
  • Hurricane season: June 1st through November 30th
  • Have formed as early as March, as late as December
  • Major storms hit almost exclusively August-October

HURRICANE CATEGORIES

  • Determined by Saffir-Simpson Scale
  • CATEGORY ONE: winds 74-95 mph
  • CATEGORY TWO: winds 96-110 mph
  • CATEGORY THREE: winds 111-130 mph
  • CATEGORY FOUR: winds 131-155 mph
  • CATEGORY FIVE: winds greater than 155 mph

STRENGTH AND PATH

  • Generally, warmer ocean water means stronger hurricanes
  • Steered by ocean currents, atmospheric pressures, own winds
  • Expert: hurricane movement like path of leaf in a stream

WHERE USUALLY HIT

  • 36% of all U.S. hurricanes hit Florida
  • 76% of Category 4 or higher hit Florida or Texas

DEADLIEST HURRICANES TO HIT CONTINENTAL U.S.

  • Galveston, 1900: Category 4 killed 8,000 or more
  • Southeast Florida, 1928: Category 4 killed 1,836 people
  • Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Coast, 2005: Category 4 killed 1,833
  • Great Miami Hurricane, 1926: Category 4 killed at least 800
  • Florida Keys/Southeast Texas, 1919: Category 4 killed 600
  • New England, 1938: Category 3 killed about 600
  • Florida Keys, 1935: Category 5 killed 408
  • Southwest Louisiana/NW Texas, 1957: Category 4 killed 390

COSTLIEST HURRICANES IN U.S. HISTORY (Adjusted for inflation)

  • Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Coast, 2005: estimated $81 billion
  • Hurricane Andrew, Southeast Florida, 1992: about $34 billion
  • Hurricane Wilma, Southwest Florida, 2005: almost $21 billion
  • Hurricane Rita, Texas-Louisiana line, 2005: some $10 billion
  • Hurricane Hugo, South Carolina, 1989: $9.7 billion
  • Hurricane Agnes, Southeast Florida, 1972: $8.6 billion
  • Hurricane Betsy, Southeast Florida, 1965: $8.5 billion
  • Hurricane Charley, Florida Gulf Coast, 2004: some $7.4 billion
  • Hurricane Camille, Mississippi/Louisiana, 1969: $6.9 billion
  • Hurricane Jeanne, Florida, 2004: $6 billion or more

Sources:

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/deadly/index.html.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

 

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

 

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