If you live near the Southeast or Atlantic coast, you’re probably familiar with hurricanes. You know how to prepare for one, where to evacuate to, and have a survival kit in place. When a hurricane becomes a tropical cyclone or typhoon though, things can get confusing! Here are some interesting facts about hurricanes and why there are different types depending on location.
When a tropical storm forms over the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific it’s referred to as a hurricane. When the same type of storm is formed over the Northwest Pacific Ocean it’s a typhoon. And finally, tropical storms that take place over the South Pacific and Indian Ocean are referred to as cyclones. They’re the same type of storm located in different parts of the world.
Have you ever heard of the “eye” of the hurricane? It’s a real thing! The eye is located in the center of the hurricane. It can be anywhere from 2 miles in diameter, to over 200 miles in diameter, but they are typically seen around 30 miles in diameter. The winds around the eye of a hurricane are usually the strongest.
The National Hurricane Center was formed on July 1, 1956 in Miami, Florida. The Center declared 2005 the year with the most tropical storms on record, with an astounding 28 storms. The year 1933 comes in second with 21 tropical storms, and 1995 comes in third with 19 tropical storms.
Can you guess where the Hurricane Capital of the World is located? That title goes to an inland in the Caribbean called Abaco where 42 severe hurricanes have happened since 1951. In the U.S., Florida has had more hurricanes than any other state. It has been hit by at least 40 percent of the hurricanes that occur in America.
All hurricanes have names! The National Hurricane Center was the first organization that started assigning female names to the hurricanes in 1953. In 1979, men’s names were included on the list. The names are in alphabetical order, excluding the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z. There are six lists of names. Each list is used in rotation every six years.
A storm name is retired when it causes so many deaths or so much destruction, it becomes insensitive to use the name again. The World Meteorological Organization is in charge of retiring hurricane names and choosing new names.
Hurricanes are determined by wind speeds. While a tropical storm carries winds that travel 35-50 miles per hour, hurricane’s wind speeds are double that and travel for at least 74 miles per hour. Hurricanes are categorized into five types, depending upon their wind speed and their capacity to cause damage. A Category 1 storm is the weakest hurricane with winds having speeds between 74-95 mph; a Category 5 hurricane is the strongest with winds greater than 155 mph.
Most of the category 5 hurricanes occurred in the years 2000-2009. These included: Isabelle (2003), Ivan (2004), Emily (2005), Katrina (2005), Rita (2005), Wilma (2005), Dean (2007), and Felix (2007). Hurricane Katrina is one of the costliest category 5 type hurricanes, which has caused damage over $100 billion.
The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season officially ended on Nov. 30. Regardless, the impact of Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona, which brought extensive damage to Florida’s coast and Puerto Rico, continue to be felt. In total, this hurricane season produced 14 named storms that reached 39 miles per hour or greater.
On December 6, 2022, Tropical Storm Risk released their early prediction about the 2023 season. TSR expects the season to be 15 percent below average and for there to be 13 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, and Emily will be the first five hurricane names of 2023.
ALE Solutions assists in helping residents impacted by hurricanes and other natural disasters. Our “Boots on the Ground” strategy allows us to secure properties and hotel rooms on a “first come, first served” basis. For more information about our Catastrophe Solutions, please visit alesolutions.com