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Hurricane Research Paper

 

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Hurricane Katrina

According to (Brunner, 2007), Hurricane Katrina slammed into the U.S. Gulf CoastonAug. 29,2005, destroying beachfront towns in Mississippi and Louisiana, displacing amillion people, and killing almost 1,800. When levees in New Orleans were breached, eighty percent of the city was submerged by the flooding. About twenty percent of its 500,000 citizenswere trapped in the city without power, food, or drinking water. Rescue efforts were so delayedand haphazard that many were stranded for days on rooftops and in attics before help arrived.The city became a toxic pool of sewage, chemicals, and corpses, and in the ensuing chaos,mayhem and looting became rampant; about fifteen percent of the city

s police force had simplywalked off the job. The 20,000 people who made their way to the Superdome, the city

semergency shelter, found themselves crammed into sweltering and fetid conditions. At a secondshelter, the convention center, evacuees were terrorized by roaming gangs and random gunfire.Relief workers, medical help, security forces, and essential supplies remained profoundlyinadequate during the first critical days of the disaster. New Orleans was in the path of that particular storm. I remember it like it wasyesterday. My family and I received minor damage from this hurricane that year. We were left inthe dark for over a week when this storm occurred. The city was mostly deserted during thisstorm. It was mostly the poor and immobile who were left behind as the storm hit (Getis et. al,2011). I d

o not think that Hurricane Katrina would have been such a tragedy if there weren’t

many people left behind. It may seem impossible, but there could have been other ways to getthose people out of there before the storm actually hit. The main thing that actually was a tragedyin New Orleans was the fact that the levees failed, which caused a majority of the flooding anddrowning of its victims. I had a lot of family members that came to stay with us to escape the

Hurricane Science

Hurricane Isabel with ocean chlorophyll levels from satellite measurements. NOAA Earth Observatory.

A tropical cyclone is a general term for an intense low-pressure weather system that forms over and is fueled by tropical ocean waters. In the North Atlantic Ocean and Eastern Pacific Ocean, strong tropical cyclones are called hurricanes, but they have other names in other ocean regions. The beginning of life for any hurricane is a pre-existing disturbance in the atmosphere that requires certain atmospheric and oceanic conditions to develop into a hurricane. Mature hurricanes are nearly circular in shape and are typically a few hundred miles in diameter.

Hurricane winds rotate cyclonically (counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere). The strongest winds are located in a hurricane’s eyewall, which surrounds a nearly calm eye at the storm’s center. A hurricane’s eye is typically tens of miles in diameter. Clouds in both the eye wall and the spiral bands outside the eye wall can produce very heavy rain.

Hurricanes are steered by larger-scale, global winds, such as the trade winds and the Bermuda/Azores High, which is an area of high pressure that exists over the Atlantic Ocean. A hurricane interacts with the ocean before landfall and with the land after landfall. Land interaction generally causes a hurricane to decay.

Hurricane activity varies by season and also due to weather and climate patterns that vary on time scales of weeks to years to decades. Hurricane activity may also be affected in the longer term by climate change. In recent years, the relationship between hurricanes and climate change has become a source of public interest, significant scientific debate, and a focus for current research.

Hurricane Science: Content Outline

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