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Below, I am posting an essay on hurricanes written by a meteorologist. It 
does mention birds, so it technically complies with list rules, but it is 
95% about the development and behavior of hurricanes. I am aware that some 
lists limit the number of lines a post can have. To be on the safe side, I 
am posting it in two parts.

The essay is taken from a book, published in 1998, which compiled the 
stories of persons who survived the 1938 hurricane, that killed 600 people 
on Long Island, NY and in New England. Having been rescued  from a  Quogue, 
L.I. home surrounded by water during the eye of that storm, I contributed to 
the book. (The persons who lived in the house directly across the street 
from ours drowned in nearby Westhampton Beach).

                                                               "ABOUT 
HURRICANES

The word hurricane derives from Huracan, the storm god of the Arawak tribe 
of the West Indies. The storm which we call hurricane is called Typhoon in 
the Pacific, Cyclone in the Indian Ocean, Willy-Willy in northern Australia, 
and by various other local names. These storms have never been observed in 
the eastern South Pacific, or in the South Atlantic. Once formed, their 
tracks usually curve to the northwest or southwest, and away from the 
equator.

Hurricanes form over the oceans, along a zone of converging northern and 
southern hemisphere air. The is a squally line that extends more or less 
continuously around the world, usually with about ten degrees of the 
equator. It varies seasonally north and south, and is quite variable in 
activity. In the North Atlantic, this squally line is farthest north in late 
summer, and lies roughly west of the Cape Verde Islands off Africa, across 
to the West Indies. Nowadays, the squally areas along this line are watched 
carefully by satellite.

Hurricanes are not completely understood, far from it! But progress is being 
made. A squally area in the proper location gets a "push" from some warm, 
moist air over the ocean. The warm air rises, and (in the northern 
hemisphere), a counterclockwise spinning motion is imparted to the mass by 
the rotation of the earth. As the air rises, it expands and cools, due to 
the lower pressure aloft. This cooling causes condensation to occur with a 
release of heat, which further increases the updraft.

The now cooler and drier air is pushed upward, and is finally "exhausted" 
out of the storm at high altitude, about eight to ten miles up. This air 
travels some distance away from the center before descending in a 
counterclockwise manner to the surface as cool, dry air. This is the general 
circulation within the storm. It then becomes a complete entity, and travels 
over tropical seas, feeding on the great supply of heat and water vapor, 
which is ever present.

The rotational speed of the winds within the storm depends upon the amount 
of heat and humidity. The forward speed of the storm, and its direction, 
depend upon conditions that are, at present, not easy to predict, as is well 
known. Hurricanes usually move  forward at  five to fifteen miles and hour 
in the low latitudes, and increase this forward motion to forty to sixty 
miles per hour by the time they get to the Long Island-New England area. At 
the same time, the rotational speed has decreased considerably. This effect 
is conservation of energy similar to the spinning figure skater who extends 
his arms to slow his rotational speed.

                                                        (continued in next 
post)

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
[log in to unmask] 

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