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Hurricane Delta

  • 12 Oct 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, Hurricane Delta made landfall in the USA state of Louisiana, which is still recovering from the damage caused by a previous hurricane (Laura) in August 2020.

Key Points

  • Hurricane Delta is the 10th named storm to make USA landfall so far this year, breaking a record that has stood since 1916.
    • As per the scientists, global warming is a major cause behind rapidly intensifying Atlantic hurricanes.
  • Delta is also the first Greek alphabet named hurricane on record to make landfall in continental USA.
    • When a very active hurricane season occurs and the list is exhausted, the Greek alphabet is used (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, etc).
  • It hit Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane, but weakened to a Category 1 as it moved inland.
  • Hurricanes:
    • Hurricanes are the biggest and most violent storms on the planet.
    • Every year, between June and November they hit the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern coast of the United States, sometimes leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
    • In the western North Pacific, they are called "typhoons".
    • In the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, they are called "cyclones".
    • In Australia, they are called “Willy-Willy”.
  • Formation:
    • A hurricane starts out as a tropical disturbance. This is an area over warm ocean waters where rain clouds are building.
    • A tropical disturbance sometimes grows into a tropical depression. This is an area of rotating thunderstorms with winds of 62 km/hr or less.
    • A tropical depression becomes a tropical storm if its winds reach 63 km/hr.
    • A tropical storm becomes a hurricane if its winds reach 119 km/hr.

  • Category of Hurricanes:
    • Hurricanes can be classified in five categories depending on the sustained wind speeds.
    • In the Atlantic, the Saffir-Simpson wind scale is used to measure their destructive power.
  • Parts of a Hurricane:
    • Eye: The eye is the "hole" at the center of the storm. Winds are light in this area. Skies are partly cloudy, and sometimes even clear.
    • Eye Wall: The eye wall is a ring of thunderstorms. These storms swirl around the eye. The wall is where winds are strongest and rain is heaviest.
    • Rain Bands: Bands of clouds and rain go far out from a hurricane's eye wall. These bands stretch for hundreds of miles. They contain thunderstorms and sometimes tornadoes.
  • Naming:
    • Each year, tropical storms are named in alphabetical order. The names come from a list of names for that year. There are six lists of names. Lists are reused every six years.

Source: IE

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