Hurricanes are intense tropical storms with high winds, heavy rain and surging seas. The mega-storms cause devastating destruction and wreak havoc on fishing. Here’s the blowdown on these natural disasters.
When a tropical storm with winds over 74 miles per hour forms over the Atlantic Ocean or eastern Pacific, it’s a hurricane. In the western Pacific Ocean, the storm is called a typhoon. In the Indian Ocean, it’s a cyclone.
The mascot for the University of Miami Hurricanes is an American ibis. According folk lore, the ibis is the last bird to take shelter before a hurricane.
Storm surge occurs when hurricane-force winds push seawater toward land. About 75 percent of hurricane deaths are from storm surge.
Hurricane is a popular nickname for athletes. Some of the most famous Hurricanes are female boxer Para Draine, baseball legend Bob Hazle, snooker player Alex Higgins and UFC fighter Shane Burgos.
In 1966, Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter, a middleweight boxing champion, was convicted of murdering three people in Patterson, New Jersey. Twenty years later, Carter was found innocent and released from prison. In 1975, Bob Dylan sang about Rubin’s plight in his protest song, Hurricane. In 1999, Carter’s story was the subject of a feature film, The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington.
In 1984, Rock You Like a Hurricane by German glam-band Scorpions reached 25 in the Billboard Hot 100. The music video, which featured nearly-naked women, large cats, cages and whips, sparked Tipper Gore’s music censorship movement, Parents Music Resource Center.
The Englsh word “hurricane” is derived from the Mayan word hurakan meaning “evil weather spirits”. Early explorers from Europe adopted the term to describe the violent storms that thrashed their ships.
Hurricanes are on the rise. The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season was the fourth in a row with an above-average number of named storms. In 2018, 22 major hurricanes ripped across the Northern Hemisphere in less than three months.
During World War II, the Hawker Hurricane, a British single-seat fighter plane, inflicted 60 percent of German losses in the air.
In the 2000 film The Perfect Storm, none of the fish caught on the doomed swordfish boat Adrian Gale are real. The swordfish, sharks and tuna are portrayed by rubber or animatronic fish. Director Wolfgang Peterson is an animal rights supporter.
In 2018, as Hurricane Florence hit the coast of North Carolina, singer Jimmy Buffett posted on Instagram. “I ain’t afraid of dying. I got no need to explain. I feel like going surfing in this hurricane.” The line ended up in the lyrics of his 2009 song, “Surfing in a Hurricane”.
Kayak anglers can paddle in a Hurricane. The North Carolina company Hurricane Kayaks builds lightweight, thermo-formed sit-on-top and touring kayaks.
The Earth’s rotation, called the Coriolis Effect, causes a hurricane to spin counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
Makes your head spin. | Photo: Shutterstock.com