2. a) Why are hurricanes called tropical cyclones and not equatorial cyclones?
Hurricanes are called tropical cyclones and not equatorial cyclones because only tropical cyclones that form over the Atlantic Ocean or eastern Pacific Ocean are called “hurricanes”. A hurricane needs the Coriolis Effect to aid the rotation of the cyclone, however this is only strong enough between 5-20 degrees north or south of the equator. b) As the name cyclone suggests the storms cycle. In what direction do they cycle and why? Explain. The direction in which a cyclone spins depends on which side of the equator the cyclone is present. Cyclones spin in a clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere and anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere. This difference in rotation is due to the Coriolis Force, which is caused by the Earth's rotation. The Earth spins faster at the equator than the poles. c) Early in their development, Atlantic cyclones begin to movie in what direction? Why?
Early in their development Atlantic cyclones move westward due to the easterly trade winds in the Hadley cell. Found in the tropics, these winds are surface winds that blow from the South-East in the Southern Hemisphere and North-East in the Northern Hemisphere, therefore resulting in pushing the cyclones westwards towards North America. d) What happens to the hurricane when it hits the Gulf stream? Why? As a hurricane hits the warm water of the Gulf Stream it strengthens, therefore becoming more intense. The warm water above 27°C is needed for the hurricane to form due to the creation of an unstable atmosphere, which will lead to air rising and creating deep convection that result into strong winds. e) What happens to the hurricanes as it makes landfall? Why? As the hurricanes make landfall, the center of the storm moves across and intersects the coastline. Therefore, the eye of storm is now moving across land. This results in severe damage because the strongest winds are all situated along the eyewall. Due to the fact the hurricanes have lost their prime source of fuel, being warm water, the hurricanes also lose their strength and quickly scatters. f) Using the information on Hurricane Juan (find at national hurricane center website) and observing your track, describe why Juan was different in its formation. Hurricane Juan has a different formation compared to the other hurricanes on the map because this hurricane was special in never entering the tropical latitudes of 5° and 20° North or South. This resulted in hurricane Juan having a fairly straight pathway northwards, instead of being affected by the Trade Winds like most hurricanes coming from the Atlantic. g) Describe some of the damage that was caused by hurricane Juan.
Hurricane Juan, damaged the woodlands in the central portion of Nova Scotia with lesser damage east and west of the storm center. The hurricane caused significant damage to standing timber on both Crown and private holdings throughout the region. Several flights over the central part of the province were made in order to evaluate the damage imposed by the hurricane. Juan's passage resulted in 8 fatalities and over CA$300 million (US$200 million) in damage h) Hurricane Mitch was one of the most intense and one of the most deadly hurricanes to strike North/Central America. Offer reasons why it was so intense and why it was so severe in terms of lives lost. Hurricane Mitch was truly devastating