Archive for the ‘Central Florida hurricanes’ Tag

HURRICANE MISCONCEPTIONS – A LIST OF 23

Image source of Ike radar loop = WeatherUnderground.com

Image source of Ike radar loop = Weather Underground

LEFT CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE AND SEE A RADAR LOOP OF IKE AS HE COMES INTO VIEW AND EVENTUALLY MAKES LANDFALL.  WATCH FOR A DISTINCT RIGHT TURN TRACKING DIRECTLY TOWARD HOUSTON JUST BEFORE REACHING THE COAST.  IF IT HAD CONTINUED STRAIGHT, THE WINDS AND THE SURGE ALONG THE COAST AT GALVESTON AND SOUTHWESTWARD WOULD HAVE BEEN EVEN WORSE BECAUSE THAT COAST WOULD HAVE BEEN CROSSED BY THE RIGHT-HAND LEADING QUADRANT OF THE STORM

(see item 13 below).

23 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HURRICANES

©* Tonie Ansel Toney (see conditions for copying at the end)

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/

I have learned of these misconceptions by communicating through the years with my students, friends, neighbors, attendees of some of the hurricane seminars that I have conducted and visitors to hurricane expos where I have given presentations.  Most of this occurred in Florida.  I learned that these items have been relatively “common” misconceptions through informal pre-tests I have given to college students at the beginning of certain semesters, answers to questions I have asked in classes during the course of myriad semesters, through conversations with people of all walks of life (and a broad range of ages and experience), and by listening carefully.

ALL 23 UPPER CASE STATEMENTS ARE FALSE IN SOME WAY.  BRIEF EXPLANATIONS FOLLOW.

1. IF THE SPEED OF WIND BLOWING DIRECTLY INTO THE SIDE OF A DWELLING CHANGES FROM 40 MPH TO 80 MPH, THE FORCE THAT IT EXERTS INTO THE STRUCTURE WILL INCREASE TO TWICE WHAT IT WAS. THE TRUTH: A doubling of the velocity will cause a four-fold increase of the force upon a surface being struck at right angles.  The relationship is “exponential,” not “linear.”

2. IF, DURING A HURRICANE, YOUR TRUE WIND DIRECTION IS FROM THE SOUTH, THE HURRICANE’S EYE IS TO THE NORTH OF YOU. THE TRUTH:  It is generally west of you.  Hurricane winds move approximately parallel to (or concentric with) the nearly circular eye-wall.  A good rule-of-thumb for eye location (in the Northern Hemisphere) is: Imagine standing with the wind at your back.  Extend your left arm out from your side and your hand will be pointing toward the eye.

3. IF AN APPROACHING HURRICANE IS ABOUT ONE DAY AWAY, PRUNING OF TREES IS ADVISABLE. THE TRUTH:  It is too late to prune at that time – it should have been done much sooner, preferably prior to the hurricane season.  Pruned material must be disposed of properly – if lying around the items can become a dangerous airborne hazards. Please read on by clicking here; there are 20 more which might interest you. And, don’t miss viewing the animated image of Ike at the beginning of this post.

HURRICANE FOCUS ON CENTRAL FLORIDA

LEFT CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO MAKE IT LARGER.

It was obtained from the NOAA Coastal Service Center.  I prepared this chart using a program with a menu whereby I could select the city and pick the time frame.

I live in Citrus County, Florida.  Our house is 17.5 miles from the Gulf of Mexico (measured with Google Earth) and it sits 50′ above sea-level.  I present short Chautauqua-type seminars at Central Florida Community College’s Senior Institute.  The main campus, located in Ocala, is 69′ above sea level.  Its distance from the Gulf, (to the nearest whole number), is 35 miles.

In the three years we have lived and travelled around here I have become increasingly alarmed at the number of homes and businesses I see in Central Florida that seem to have no window protection.  What I look for are pre-drilled anchors or pre-installed braces for temporary panels, and I hopefully look for permanent shutters.  Permanent protection like accordion or rolling shutters is expensive but can blend in nicely with the building’s architecture and is so very easy, by comparison to “temporaries”  to get ready for a storm.  Temporary protection, such as aluminum panels or plywood (and other newer plywood alternatives) cost less.  Heavy plywood can be a real job putting in place and for some people there are problems with storage space.  The lighter-weight alternatives are improving but if you decide on one of those products, make sure they comply with the codes.  There are also shatter-resistant films for window glass and the same advice about compliance applies there.

There seems to be a notion among many that we in interior Central Florida can’t get a major hurricane – that any that reach the shore will be reduced significantly by friction so that window protection is really not necessary.  Those people are wrong.  What has just happened in Houston is a prime example.

At other places in this web-log I have written a great deal about the importance of protecting windows and the damage, danger, and hardships that can occur when they are blown or broken out.  My 8-9-2008 posting, Window Protection for Hurricanes is Essential, goes into more detail and tells a bit of my family’s story of our hurricane Andrew experience.

Here is the NOAA site for information on storm shutters.  If you live where hurricanes might visit, I suggest you read the questions and answers.

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/shutters/index1.html

This link is to the web page of the Florida’s Bureau of Mitigation, Division of Emergency Management Office:

http://www.floridadisaster.org/mitigation/rcmp/hrg/content/openings/openings_index.asp

Here is a private posting about window protection that I feel is well done (note – it has several pages):

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/22549/hurricane_window_protection_options.html?cat=6

Please visit the rest of this web-log at https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/.  If you are interested in weather, there are some tutorials scattered about and more will be added in time.  At the end of this page there is a cue to click to the previous page.