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Facts and Myths About Hurricanes

Windy day

This is lining up to be one of the worst hurricane seasons in known memory. There were a couple of bad years back in 2004 and 2005, but with Harvey and now Irma, 2017 could be the worst. With the amount of hurricane activity, here are some facts and myths that seem to be popping up.

  • Fact – Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones are the same thing. It just depends on where you are. Here they’re hurricanes. In China and east Asia, they’re typhoons. And in the southern hemisphere, they’re cyclones.
  • Myth – The top 5 costliest disasters in the United States are hurricanes. The 1994 earthquake is in the top five but the rest are hurricanes. Experts think Harvey might be the worst, but up in the top five are Katrina, Sandy and Andrew.
  • Fact – The Great Red Spot on Jupiter is basically a giant hurricane. It’s also massive. It’s larger than the Earth, and the winds blow up 400 miles per hour.
  • Myth – They put out a list of 26 names for hurricanes every year. Some people think this is true to coincide with the alphabet. But Q, U, X, Y and Z don’t get a name. They also don’t create a new list every year. They recycle them every six years. So this year’s list will be back in 2023. When there’s a major storm though like Harvey or Irma, they do retire that name and replace it.
  • Fact – Our hurricanes spin counter-clockwise, and south of the equator they spin the opposite. This is because of the Coriolis Effect.

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