WW2010
University of Illinois

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Meteorology
 
  introduction
 
  air masses, fronts
 
  clouds, precipitation
 
  el nino
 
  forces, winds
 
> hurricanes
 
  hydrologic cycle
 
  light, optics
 
  midlatitude cyclones
 
  severe storms
 
  weather forecasting

Hurricanes
 
  introduction
 
  definition
 
  how they're named
 
  movement
 
  convective processes
 
  development stages
 
> destruction

User Interface
 
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NOTE: We've guessed that you're not using a client that supports colored tables and have tried to compensate. Low graphics mode looks much better on clients that do... we recommend switching to Netscape 3.0 or Microsoft Internet Explorer.
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Destruction Caused by Hurricanes
saffir-simpson scale and dangerous features

Once a hurricane develops, the Saffir-Simpson Scale is used to classify a hurricane's damage potential. There are five possible categories, from 1-5.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Damage-Potential Scale
Scale Number

Category
Central Pressure

mb
inches
Wind Speeds

mi/hr
knots
Storm Surge

feet
meters
Observed
Damage
1 >=980

>=28.94

74-95

64-82

4-5

~1.5

some damage to trees, shrubbery, and unanchored mobile homes
2 965-979

28.50-28.91

96-110

83-95

6-8

~2.0-2.5

major damage to mobile homes; damage buildings' roofs, and blow trees down
3 945-964

27.91-28.47

111-130

96-113

9-12

~2.5-4.0

destroy mobile homes; blow down large trees; damage small buildings
4 920-944

27.17-27.88

131-155

114-135

13-18

~4.0-5.5

completely destroy mobile homes; lower floors of structures near shore are susceptible to flooding
5 <"920"

<"27.17"

>"155"

>"135"

>"18"

>"5.5"

extensive damage to homes and industrial buildings; blow away small buildings; lower floors of structures within 500 meters of shore and less than 4.5 m (15 ft) above sea level are damaged

Table from: Ahrens (1994)

In addition to the high winds associated with hurricanes, other components associated with these storms can inflict significant amounts of damage.

Flooding:
Heavy rains and ocean waters brought ashore by strong winds can cause flooding in excess of 50 cm (20 in) over a 24 hour period. The runoff systems in many cities are unable to handle such an increase in water because of the gentle topography common to many of the coastal areas where hurricanes occur.
Storm Surge:
An abnormal increase in the ocean's level, sometimes in excess of several meters high. Probably a hurricane's most devastating feature, storm surges ravage low-elevation coastal areas. It is especially damaging when the storm surge occurs during high tide and consequently, is often responsible for most hurricane-related deaths.
Tornadoes:
A number of theories exist about their origin, but in the case of Hurricane Andrew, severe damage was inflicted by small spin-up vortices that developed in regions of strong wind-shear found in the hurricane's eye wall. The strong winds of the hurricane frequently hide the smaller tornado paths, making it difficult to attribute damage caused by one or the other.



development stages
Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hydrologic Cycle