Hurricane Florence is currently wreaking havoc in the United States of America. With increased water levels along the coast and extending further inland, residents of the North Carolina region, are terribly affected.
A good understanding of rainfall formation will tell us why hurricanes are disastrous. The amount of water vapor in the air known as humidity is a factor to be considered, cold air is unable to hold much water vapor as warm air, and so is more easily saturated. Precipitation originates violently and as a result, violent storms occur as hurricanes.
The scientific term for all these storms is – tropical cyclone. Only tropical cyclones that form over the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific Ocean are called “hurricanes.” We won’t be considering the four types of rainfall or which could be responsible for such occurrence.
The source of hurricane energy is water vapor from the ocean surface. The water vapor serves as hurricane fuel due to the release of latent heat of condensation when it condenses to form clouds and rain, and in turn, warming the surrounding air. The air traveling violently on high speed in a spiral form helps to evaporate more water from the ocean. The inward spinning of this wind results in heavy shower and thunderstorms, warming the upper atmosphere.
The level of hurricane disaster could be determined by the speed at which air mass in spiral motion is traveling over a distance. When it is traveling at a speed below 131 meters per hour (mph), its impact could be mild. But in a situation when it is traveling within the range of 131 to 155 meter per hour, its effect is considered extreme, and when it is 155 and above, it is considered to have a catastrophic effect within the expected areas of impact.
Hurricane Florence left the residence of northern Carolina and coastal region flooded with homes destroyed.
Homes of Carolina residence, most importantly those within coastal regions were flooded such that one could only see the roof of the buildings. Other properties as cars were covered with the flood. The entire area was cut off from electricity supply, this destroyed electronic gadgets and other properties worth millions of dollars.
Records have it that over 200,000 people are without power supply. Meanwhile, the affected residents are being sheltered elsewhere as they await the flood water to recede.
Hurricane impact diminishes as it moves over cooler waters that do not have the necessary heat energy needed to fuel hurricane with water vapor.
In the case of hurricane Florence, as it crosses over land, greater friction of the land and vegetation rapidly decreases its energy and so it is removed entirely.
• What preventive measure could’ve been deployed to coup the scourge of this hurricane?