According to the “The handy weather answer book” by Kevin Hile a hurricane is defined as a tropical storm formed in the Atlantic Basin. Winds reach speeds of 74 miles per hour or more. Frequently, hurricanes occur during the months of summer. This allows energy to build from the warm surface of the ocean. Wind speeds, clouds, and the Coriolis Effect all contribute to the formation of a hurricane (123). Hurricanes are a vital motive in nature. Douglas explains, “Whirling energy beasts are the atmosphere’s automatic pressure-relief valves, comparable to an integrated thermostat; they also dispense essential rains, restoring supplies and soil moistures’ (108). Despite that, hurricanes produce fierce winds. Nonetheless, it is the water that creates the most harm. “They can raise tides as high as 20 feet, and dump as much as 20 inches of rain inland,” (Douglas, 107). In fact, the development of Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina caused a tremendous amount of destruction to the United States. Analyzing both of these hurricanes will allow a better understanding of the damage they caused, by comparing occurrence of the event, the intensity, and damage. Examining these differences will display how unique each hurricane can become and the serious danger they bring to citizens.
Hurricane Sandy took place in October 2012. According to Galarneau, Davis, and Melvyn, “Sandy was a late season tropical cyclone over the North Atlantic, that created a demolishing storm surge from southern New Jersey to Rhode Island” (4296). Sandy evolved from an African tropical wave that connected with a large area of low pressure. Mixed with high humidity of the southwest Caribbean, Sandy first made landfall over Jamaica. Next, it made landfall on Cuba. It continued its course through the Bahamas. Rather than head east, Sandy proceeded on North. Earth’s rotation acts to put more vertical spin into the atmosphere the closer it gets to pole, this contributed to the growth of Sandy. However, once it got further north, Sandy transitioned to an extratropical storm. This means there was a large-scale temperature contrast between warm and cold air masses. Eventually, Sandy made landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey. After the final landfall, the cyclone diminished, gradually weakening while it moved through New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania (Galarneau, Davis, and Melvyn, 4297-4298).
Hurricane Katrina occurred in August 2005. “The hurricane developed in the Atlantic Ocean, traveled the Gulf of Mexico, and hit New Orleans and many other cities along the southern coast ” (Hile, 136). On August 24, 2005, Katrina flourished in the hot tropical waters south of Nassau, Bahamas. It first made landfall in Florida, however; Katrina shifted in the southwest direction towards the Gulf of Mexico. Once in the Gulf of Mexico, it moved north to Mississippi and Louisiana. It made a second landfall by Buras, Louisiana, on August 29, and a third near the Louisiana-Mississippi...