Don’t Underestimate a Hurricane

Today’s blog post is once more, early for the pending hurricane in the Carolinas. We will return to your regularly scheduled blogging later next week. Hurricane Florence has weakened to a category 2 storm, but it is no less deadly. It might be worse than if it had remained a category 4 and kept moving.   The Category System There are a lot of factors that go into how strong a storm is. We don’t have an easy system to boil this down to a master deadliness rating. There’s the amount of rain, the storm surge, the wind, the size of it, how long it’s going to impact a given area, and more. If we had a complex system that factored in everything, the average person wouldn’t be able to understand the taxonomy and understand the storm. As a result, we build our hurricane categories on one factor alone: windspeed. We start out with tropical depressions and tropical storms, then work our way up to faster and faster winds, all the way up to roaring 150mph+ category 5 storms. The wind is a predictable, understandable factor. We know the faster the wind gets, the more damage there will be. In some ways, the wind speed is a measure of how much energy is in a storm. This is an understandable set up. You see Category 5 and you know the storm is gonna be a whipping bulldozer that levels everything […]

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