Cyclones Essay

594 words - 2 pages

And their effect on the built environment They are known as Hurricanes in the Caribbean, Typhoons in the China Sea, Cyclones in the Indian Ocean and most commonly called Tropical Cyclones. You can call them what you want but they all have one thing in common: they are extremely destructive when they hit cities and towns. A cyclone is a huge mass of air moving in a spiral with winds that can reach up to 250 km/h. A cyclone starts off in the sea where the winds are calm and the water temperature is at least 240. Warm air pushes upwards at a fast rate while cold air is sucked in below. The warm air gains moisture and starts producing thunderclouds. Spinning in a clockwise direction (anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere), the cyclone gradually picks up speed. Driven by the fast winds, the Cyclone can move at up to 50km/h. While all this is happening a distinct "eye" is forming in the centre of the Cyclone. This "eye" unlike the rest of the Cyclone is completely calm and is not windy at all. Cyclone Tracy was the most destructive cyclone recorded to hit Australia since white settlement in 1788 (the Bathurst Bay cyclones killed 300 people but didn't reach land). Cyclone Tracy hit the coastal city of Darwin on Christmas Day 1974. Although people had warning on New Year's Day about Cyclone Tracy, they were busy preparing for Christmas and thought that the cyclone would pass away just like Cyclone Selma had done three weeks before. Cyclone Tracy came roaring down the Arafura Sea (where most the cyclones develop in that area) and was...

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