Some people consider hurricane to be the most powerful storms on earth – and when you see widespread devastation from those storms – the claim would be hard to dispute. So what makes a hurricane so powerful and deadly?
One answer might be winds. In order to be considered a hurricane, maximum sustained winds associate with the storm have to be least 74 miles per hour. Remember, that’s a constant wind speed, not a wind gust. Hurricanes are categorized by wind speed and faster winds are usually the sign of a stronger storm. Winds not only damage structures but they blow dangerous debris everywhere… and interestingly wind damage can start long before the biggest part of the storm arrives.
Rain can also be a very dangerous part of a hurricane. Believe it or not six to 12 inches of rain falls when your typical hurricane makes landfall – sometimes even more than that. In fact large amounts of rain can happen in areas more than 100 miles from where the storm comes ashore – so widespread flood and mud slides become an enormous problem.
Finally, storm surge can be devastating. Because we don’t live near the water’s edge many folks around here may not know about the effects of storm surge but it is actually the greatest potential threat to life and property. Storm surge is a huge dome of water – sometimes 50 to 100 miles wide – that sweeps across the coastline as the hurricane makes landfall. Sometimes it can be more than 15 feet deep and when you combine that high water with a constant pounding of waves it is easy to see why a storm surge is so deadly.
Here in Arkansas our greatest potential threat from a hurricane would be heavy rains or tornados. It may surprise you to know that tornados spawned by hurricanes are quite common so be sure to stay with 40/29 as Isaac comes ashore so we can keep you up to date with the latest weather information.
Laura Huckabee 40-29 news.