Hurricanes A guide to the world’s deadliest storms Winds 154-177km/hRoofs and trees could be damaged. Storm surge +1.8m-2.4m – Advertisement – Hurricanes are violent storms that can bring devastation to coastal areas, threatening lives, homes and businesses. Hurricane Sandy (2012) caused $71bn damage in the Caribbean and New York The storm rotates due to the spin of the earth and energy from the warm ocean increases wind speeds as it builds. – Advertisement – “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. Well, we’re about to get punched in the face.” Florida Mayor Bob Buckhorn, ahead of Hurricane Irma (2017) A mound of water piles up below the eye which is unleashed as the storm reaches land. These storm surges can cause more damage from flooding than the winds. The size of hurricanes is mainly measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale – other scales are used in Asia Pacific and Australia. Air swirls in to fill the low pressure in the storm, sucking air in and upwards, reinforcing the low pressure. Winds 178-208km/hHouses suffer damage, severe flooding Storm surge +2.7m-3.7m “Urgent warning about the rapid rise of water on the SW FL coast with the passage of #Irma’s eye. MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!”Tweet from the National Hurricane Center Winds 252km/h+Serious damage to buildings, severe flooding further inland. Storm surge +5.5m Winds 119-153km/hSome minor flooding, little structural damage. Storm surge +1.2m-1.5m “For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life.” Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin ahead of Hurricane Gustav, 2008 Winds 209-251km/hSome roofs destroyed and major structural damage to houses. Storm surge +4m-5.5m – Advertisement – When winds reach 119km/h (74mph), it is known as a hurricane – in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific – or a typhoon in the Western Pacific. Hurricane Ike (2008) hit Caribbean islands and Louisiana and was blamed for at least 195 deaths Hurricanes develop from thunderstorms, fuelled by warm, moist air as they cross sub-tropical waters. Warm air rises into the storm. Hurricane Irma (2017) caused devastation in Caribbean islands, leaving thousands homeless – Advertisement – The central eye of calmer weather is surrounded by a wall of rainstorms.This eyewall has the fastest winds below it and violent currents of air rising through it.