15 Mind-Blowing Hurricane Facts That You Won't Believe

Oluwatosin Michael
Oct 05, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Dec 03, 2021
Super Typhoon in the ocean.

Along with tornadoes, hurricanes are known to wreak considerable damage across the coastal regions of the world every year.

Hurricanes and tornadoes are tropical storms that are humongous. These weather phenomena produce heavy rainfall and also super strong winds in the places they hit.

Hurricanes are formed when the waters near the equator are warm. The air above the ocean turns out to be moist and warm.

This causes the surface of the ocean to rise and air from the surroundings gets sucked in. When this happens, fresh air replaces the ascended air which also gets warmed and sucked. This process goes on until they form clouds of wind and these clouds spin off the earth.

When there is quite a bit of warm water, they form what is called a hurricane. In this article, you'll learn mind-blowing hurricane facts about these dangerous hurricanes, such as hurricane destruction facts, hurricane facts for kids.

How do hurricanes form? What is a major hurricane? Where did the word 'hurricane' originate? Read on to learn some interesting facts about weather phenomena like hurricanes and thunderstorms.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you must also check facts on how did Halloween start and basking in the sun.

What are hurricanes?

These hurricanes are tropical gigantic storms that form above oceans, and they have a circular center, which is called the eye of the hurricane.

The eye of a storm is calm, and there are no clouds in it. However, as calm as it seems, the wall of the eye is the most dangerous part of the hurricane as it holds the thickest of clouds and the strongest gusts of winds.

It also has the heaviest rain. One of the iconic storms was formed by Hurricane Elena in the Gulf of Mexico.

These hurricanes are harmless as long as they are on the sea, but when they occur on the land, they pose great danger. The winds that get caught up in a hurricane can spiral up to a wind speed of 200 mph (321.86 kph). These winds have the capacity to rip up trees and sometimes even buildings.

Hurricanes are also known as 'cyclones' and 'typhoons'. In the northwest Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, they are called hurricanes. In the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, they are known by the name 'cyclones'. The Northwest Pacific calls them typhoons.

The hurricane that occurred over the Northwest Pacific had a diameter of 1379.44 mi (2220 km). This is the largest hurricane that has ever been recorded. This happened in the year 1979, known as Typhoon Tip.

How long can hurricanes last?

The hurricanes in the southern hemisphere rotate in a clockwise direction, while the ones in the northern hemisphere have a rotating direction in an anticlockwise direction.

This direction in the southern and northern hemispheres is governed by the Coriolis Force. The Coriolis force occurs due to the rotation of the earth.

An average hurricane entirely lasts as little as a day or can even sometimes go up to a duration of a month before they entirely dissipate. These hurricanes don't form overnight.

They go through what is called a 'life cycle' which is the entire development process of the storm. The process depends highly on factors such as air, ocean temperature, wind speeds, and the atmosphere’s condition.

Why are hurricanes named after females?

The organization responsible for naming hurricanes is the World Meteorological Organisation, or WMO. Every year, the storms are arranged in alphabetical order.

The list was released by the WMO. The name is retained if the storm evolves into a hurricane.

The naming of hurricanes was taken seriously, and they were named after female names first in the year 1953. In the 19th century, an Australian forecaster named storms after the girls of South Sea Islanders. Later, he took the opportunity to name it after politicians he despised.

One travel website, the Atlas Obscura, states that hurricanes were named after women because of their unpredictable character, much like that of a woman. This has been a debatable topic for all. Sometimes forecasters make sexist comments, which received backlash from the public.

In recent days, the naming system has been fixed in such a way that the names of males and females are given to the storms, and they are either in English or Spanish, which is based on the country they affect. In 2021, hurricanes Elsa, Fred, and Henri were named.

It is to be noted that storms are not given a name as soon as they start forming. Only if they form a hurricane are they given a name.

But their names are chosen well ahead of time. The list of names is recycled once every six years. For example, the name of a storm is deemed retired only if the hurricane has deadly effects, like, for example, Hurricane Katrina of 2005 or Dorian from 2019.

A flooded street after catastrophic Hurricane.

What was the first-named hurricane?

The first hurricane ever to be named was called George." This hurricane was the first US hurricane that hit in the year 1947.

The hurricane after that was named Bess after the First Lady, Bess Truman, and hit in 1949. Some of the other names that these hurricanes took upon themselves were Alice, Barbara, Carol, Dolly, Edna, Florence, Gilda, Hazel, Irene, Jill, Katherine, Lucy, Mabel, and many more in alphabetical order.

The worst hurricane to hit was the Great Hurricane which hit the Atlantic in 1780.

It caused around 22,000 fatalities. In recent times, Hurricane Mitch was said to be the deadliest. It shook Central America in 1998.

Some of the other deadliest cyclones were Bhola in Bangladesh (1970), Haiphong Typhoon in Vietnam (1881), Typhoon Nina in China and Taiwan (1975), Galveston Hurricane, Texas (1900), Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans (2005), and many more. This shows that hurricanes have been a disaster for mankind.

Did You Know...

The tropical storm is also referred to by labels such as a hurricane, typhoon, and tropical cyclone. Depending on where they're found, most hurricanes are given different names.

Hurricanes are named hurricanes in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Northeast Pacific Ocean, whereas typhoons are called typhoons in the Northwest Pacific. Tropical storms are called cyclones in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

A hurricane is a tropical storm (caused by a tropical wave) that revolves around a low-pressure point and produces intense, violent winds and rain.

If the system classifies the cyclone on the basis of the speed of winds, if it is between 39.13-72.5 mph (62.97-116.68 kph), the system categorizes it as a tropical storm, and if the speed of these high winds surpasses 72.5 mph (116.68 kph), it is labeled as a hurricane.

Many hurricanes rotate or hurricanes start spinning on average 500 mi (804.67 km) wide and 10 mi (16.09 km) high, and they rush forward at 19.56 mph (31.48 kph) like a massive spinning top. These dangerous winds can even hit land with rain bands causing heavy rain and at the same time causing landfall.

Sea level rise is anticipated to have an impact on the intensity of flooding following a storm surge.

Global sea levels have risen over 8 in (20.32 cm) in the last century due to the expansion of warmed ocean water and the melting of land-based ice into the oceans. Sea-level rise, which is partly caused by climate change, may have more severe regional consequences.

The science underpinning sea-level rise has been considered responsible for the rise in storm surges. There has been a lot of debate in the media on whether climate change played a role in the severity of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017.

Hurricanes are chaotic, dynamic, and localized, making it difficult to detect climate change signals in these aspects of the climate system. Despite almost a century of hurricane records in the Atlantic basin, no discernible long-term patterns in hurricane frequency or intensity have been found.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for hurricane facts, then why not take a look at Hurricane Katrina, or the clarinet range.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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