Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Weather Nerd Dictionary For Dummies

This gust was pushing me over.
Here's a post for all you weather nerd wannabe's.  Just a few tidbits about Hurricane season and the definitions surrounding the storm.

Hurricane Categories -

■ Category 1 hurricanes have sustained winds of 74 to 95 mph. These very dangerous winds will produce some damage.
■ Category 2 hurricanes have sustained winds of 96 to 110 mph. These extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage.
■ Category 3 hurricanes have sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph. Devastating damage will occur.
■ Category 4 hurricanes have sustained winds of 131 to 155 mph. Catastrophic damage will occur.
■ Category 5 hurricanes have sustained winds greater than 155 mph. Catastrophic damage will occur.
 Source: NOAA

Storm Surge - a rise in level of coastal water - a rise in sea level above the usual tide as a hurricane or other intense storm moves over water, causing flooding when the storm comes ashore.

Deteriorating Conditions - for some reason everyone just likes to use this phrase...over and over...when talking about the hurricane conditions:)

Overwash - a deposit of marine-derived sediments landward of a barrier system, often formed during large storms; transport of sediment landward of the active beach by coastal flooding during a tsunami, hurricane, or other event with extreme wave action

Why is everyone freaking out about a Category 1 Hurricane?  Because of it's size and duration.

Eye Wall - The eye wall of a hurricane surrounds the eye of the hurricane with a wall of clouds that is considered the most deadly area of a hurricane. The eye wall removes any trace of a storm from the hurricane's eye and produces deadly winds more than 150 mph.

Eye - the center of the storm as well as the calmest part of the storm. When you see a photo of a hurricane, the eye is the empty hole in the middle of the storm that the bands of the hurricane surround. The eye is calm and almost serene, and is where the weather service flies its planes into to determine the ferocity of the storm.
Spiral Bands - Hurricanes have spiral bands that surround the eye wall of the storm. These bands are what produce the vast majority of the wind and rain that hurricanes produce and are the largest part of the storm.
Hurricane Season - Begins June 1 and ends November 30.
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