One of the greatest display of raw power is in the form of a hurricane. These huge and often disastrous force are a well-known fact of life to sailors and coaster communities in the world.

What are other names for Hurricane?

We call them different names depending on where you are. In the Atlantic or northeastern Pacific, people call them hurricanes. In the northwestern Pacific, they call it typhoons, while in the South Pacific in Indian oceans, they are known as cyclones. Whatever name they go by, they are nothing to take for granted.

Effects of Hurricanes

But how large and how powerful can these storms get? Let’s start by explaining the Saffir Simpson scale, which you may already have seen used. It measures hurricane on a scale between category 1on a low end and category 5 on a high end. To help you understand what the scale means, let’s start with the smallest cyclone ever on record.

Tropical Storm Marco 2008

To be classified as a category 1 hurricane, a storm needs to have a wind speed of at least 74mph/119kmh. Since Tropical Storm Marco only had a wind speed of 65mph, it would not register on the scale. The storm was about the same size as Rhode Island, and the damaged it caused when it impacted Mexico was minimal. Actual hurricanes effects could get much nastier than this.

Hurricane Nate in 2017

Even on a low end at a category 1 storm, hurricane Nate in 2017, became the costliest natural disaster in the history of Costa Rica, causing $787,000,000 in damage and claiming the lives of 48 people. A category one storm has a wind speed ranging from 74 to 95mph. Hurricane Nate’s wind speed At 90mph easily made the mark. The further up the scale we go, the more ferocious the hurricane effects become.

Hurricane Arthur 2018

At Category 2, hurricane must have a wind speed between 96-110mph. This is fast enough to damage roofs and windows of homes, uproot trees and destroy mobile homes. Hurricane Arthur 2018 is a recent example of this size, which grew up to the size of Montenegro.

Category 3 hurricanes are considered the major hurricanes. To be considered a category three, a storm needs to have wind speed between 111-129mph. Even the most well-built homes and offices can suffer minor damages against this while it may destroy a building without a solid foundation.

Hurricane Otto in 2016

Hurricane Otto in 2016 was a good example of category 3, which grew to have a maximum wind speed of 115mph and became close in size to the Netherlands.

Hurricanes get extremely terrifying when they reach category 4. The deadliest natural disaster in America history caused by a category 4 hurricane. It struck the city of Galveston in 1900, with a wind speed approaching 145mph. The hurricane destroyed the entire city and killed about 12,000 people.

This is nowhere near the deadliest cyclone in history, the Bhola cyclone in 1970. It smashed into a place that used to be called East Pakistan, now known as Bangladesh. The storm was about the size of Albania and claimed the life of over 500,000 people. This was more than all American fatalities during the Second World War combined.

 

Hurricane Harvey in 2017

Another horrible record set by a category 4 hurricane was Harvey in 2017. Approaching the size of Hungary, it slammed into the coast of Texas in 2017. It became the costliest hurricane effect in history, damaging over $125,000,000,000 properties, which is also close to Hungary’s global GDP. We can as well call it the Hungary missile.

Hurricane Katrina 2005

Hurricane Katrina 2005 was another monster close in size to Poland with a wind speed of 175mph. It also caused 125 billion dollars in damage and claimed the lives of over 1000 people when it struck the southern U.S. This is America’s first category 5 hurricane. There are many more hurricanes that are bigger than hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Patricia 1999

Hurricane Patricia in 1999 grew to the entire Iberian peninsula, Spain and Portugal combined. It is the highest hurricane with wind speed at 215mph; that is fast enough to probably destroy most building it will ever come across. There are still a few that have grown even bigger.

Hurricane John 1994

Another ferocious hurricane effect in history is hurricane John in the size of Iran. Hurricane John holds the record for the longest lasting hurricane at 31 days and the farthest distance traveled by one (11,530km/7,160ml). Only a handful of hurricanes have ever been bigger than this. One of them was Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy 2012

Hurricane Sandy became the biggest hurricane to ever strike the U.S. It was about half the size of Australia, which looks horrific on a map by the east coast. It has a wind speed of only a 115mph, a category 3 storm. The damaged it caused was not as bad as it could have been if it upgraded itself

Typhoon Tip 1979

The biggest and most terrifying storm our planet has ever experienced was Typhoon Tip in 1979. Growing in the North Pacific, hurricane Tip, reached a size comparable to the entire country of India and maintained a wind speed of about 190mph. Thankfully, it weakened before it hit Japan, but imagine the damage it could have caused if it had hit somewhere at its peak strength. If the Hungary missile caused billions of dollars in damage, imagine what an Indian missile could have done to Japan.

Hurricanes effects will probably get much bigger later during the centuries because of global warming. The warmer the ocean waters get, the stronger hurricane will be. Experts estimate that because of global warming, hurricane sizes will increase by 2-11%. This does not sound like a lot until you remember that 2-11% of wind speed close to 200mph is close to 4-22 additional wind speed. This is fast enough to get you a speeding ticket anywhere in the world. Speed is important, or at least the illusion of it is.

References:

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Marco_(2008)

You may also read about: Hurricane Safety Facts and Hurricane Categories