Are you ready for the storm of a lifetime? With Hurricane Florence officially making landfall you might be wondering how a hurricane takes its direction. (And why it might be coming yours.)The passing of a hurricane from one area to another is called hurricane propagation. The speed and path of the storm are guided by strong global winds that can change the game at any given time.
Mother Nature Takes Control
Trade winds and several other factors determine where a hurricane goes after forming in the tropics.
85% of severe Atlantic storms are carried from the shoreline of Africa and travel west towards the Northern American coasts and the Caribbean Sea. Trade winds are embedded with high and low-pressure systems that can cause hurricanes to venture off from their original east to west travels, steering them north instead.
The Bermuda High (also known as Azores High) is a high-pressure system that often dominates the North American coast. Atlantic hurricanes ride alongside the strongest of winds in the Bermuda High. If high-pressures are based in the east, hurricanes will generally move northeast into the Atlantic Ocean without causing landfall.
Storms are blocked from traveling north when high-pressure winds are positioned west and travel south. Hurricanes will thrust westward with a vengeance. Florida, Cuba and the Gulf of Mexico become the new targets.
Beta drifts affect a hurricane’s ability to change its wind field. If the wind field travels out of the tropics and heads north, it often weakens and slows the storm down. Once it enters mid-latitudes and travels north it will likely encounter a jet stream that causes it to forcefully accelerate. This is especially true if it travels alongside warm ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream. Barring that, wind shear and cold ocean water usually prevent a hurricane from surviving north of the tropics.
Keep Your Eye On the Storm
Hurricanes are unpredictable forces of nature with sharp curves and hairpin turns. The best thing you can do if a storm is headed in your direction is to evacuate as quickly as possible, taking whatever prized possessions you can. Be prepared to discover devastating aftermath after the storm passes. Roof damage and roof leakage are pretty much a given.
Heritage Construction Stands Strong
Heritage Construction specializes in storm damage restoration. We understand the wrath of mother nature and we’ll take you under our wing and work directly with your insurance company for repairs. If you’ve experienced roof or structural damage after a storm, contact us for a free roof inspection.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those on the East Coast as they brace for Hurricane Florence.