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Hurricane Season 2017

Josh Calloni, Reporter

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Hurricane season, which lasts from July to October, usually brings the U.S. and surrounding area’s an average of six hurricanes, but this season was much different with 10 already having formed.

Nine hurricanes grazed the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican this hurricane season. Hurricanes Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, and Ophelia all made landfall. On top of that, tropical storms Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don and Emily also made landfall. These tropical storms came earlier in the season, spanning April to late July, leading up to the more hardcore hurricanes. In August, Franklin and Gert formed, and had a path towards central Mexico, both hitting land, but weakening shortly after into a tropical storm.

The worse of the hurricanes, Harvey, formed in late September, hitting Houston, Texas, and destroying the city, having a casualty count of 82. The storm was a category 4 when it made landfall. The second worse, Irma, formed as a category 5, and hit landfall first in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Dominican, and Cuba, causing major damage. Irma then hit South Florida, weakening greatly, into a tropical storm, bringing strong winds to the southern states. As for Jose, Lee, Katia, Ophelia, and Nate, they all weakened to tropical storms. Maria, the final major hurricane, wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, causing huge amounts of damage.

“I think all the hurricanes in the Atlantic are a bigger problem than we think. The destruction cost is just getting higher and higher as more hurricanes form. On top of that, the warmer the ocean and air temperatures get off the coast of Africa, where the form, more hurricanes will form. I think the hurricanes are awful, but I also think they will only get worse,” freshman Sean Yates said.

Hurricanes form in the Atlantic, due to warm, moist air moving up and away from the surface, leaving a less pressure in the air, and causing an area of lower air pressure. New air from different locations add in to this, and start rotations in the cloud, forming the hurricane. Most hurricanes form off the coast of Africa, near the equator, so there is plenty of warm water and warm air. Hurricane season usually comes when water temperatures are at their highest, making for easier hurricane conditions. They then start moving, usually towards North and South America, but occasionally towards northern Europe. Hurricanes start as Tropical Disturbances, worsen to Tropical Depressions, then to Tropical Storms, and finally, if weather is right, into a hurricane, according to NASA’s hurricane page.

“I think hurricanes forming is due to global warming. It’s definitely a problem, but there’s nothing we can really do about it but plan accordingly. Ten hurricanes is a lot though,” sophomore Evan Sanker said.

With the water temperatures playing huge roles in hurricane formations, there is no real solution to preventing them.

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The student news site of Wentzville Timberland High School
Hurricane Season 2017