12 Curious Hurricane Facts

Friday, October 11th, 2013

  • The word “hurricane” comes from “hurucane,” which is the Taino Native American word for evil spirit of the wind.
  • A hurricane can generate up to 20 billion tons of rain per day.
  • The strongest winds of a hurricane can be found in the eye wall, which is the ring of thunderstorms and clouds surrounding the hurricane’s eye.
  • The costliest hurricane to hit the Untied States was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm caused $125 billion dollars in damage and killed over 2,000 people. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 was the second costliest hurricane in the Untied States.  Superstorm Sandy caused $68 billion dollars worth of damage and killed 354 people.
  • The deadliest hurricane that formed in the Atlantic Ocean was the Great Hurricane of 1780.  It struck on October 10 and hammered the Caribbean, killing 25,000 people.
  • The deadliest hurricane to hit the United States was the Galveston, Texas Hurricane which struck on September 8, 1900.  It had 145 mph winds and the storm surge killed over 8,000 people.
  • Hurricanes can also produce tornadoes, but they’re weaker than the ones spawned by supercell thunderstorms and last only a few minutes. In 1967, a hurricane that hit Texas produced 140 tornadoes.
  • A hurricane generates massive amounts of energy so much that every second a major hurricane can release the same energy as 10 atomic bombs.
  • On average, hurricanes move about 250 miles per day, but the giant waves created by a hurricane can radiate outward at a pace of 900 miles per day.  Before weather satellites, these big waves would alert the residents that a hurricane was approaching.
  • The red spot on the planet Jupiter is really a ginormous hurricane that has been raging on the planet’s surface for over 300 years. The size of the hurricane is larger than Earth.
  • Slow-moving hurricanes can cause more damage than faster-moving storms.  The slower pace allows more rain to fall on a region, creating large-scale flooding.
  • Most hurricanes die before they reach land.  The storm will pass over an area of cooler water.

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12 Curious Facts References:


The Handy Weather Answer Book, by Walter A. Lyons, Ph.D.



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