Winds

The strong winds of a hurricane can produce considerable structural damage and risk to life from flying debris, even inland from the coast. The damage caused by hurricane Andrew was predominantly due to wind. Although winds reduce after landfall, as the central pressure increases, and the intensity of the storm lessens, destructive winds can still occur far inland.

The damage from winds is proportional to the energy of the airflow, i.e., to the velocity squared; thus, a wind of 1 OOmph is four times as effective at causing damage as a wind of 50mph. Maximum gusts, of course, are even stronger than reported sustained winds (which are measured in the United States by averaging wind speed over 1 min). In a hurricane over the open ocean at about 36 ft (11 m) a gust averaged over 2 s is generally about 25% greater than the 1 min average. For flat grassland, the 2-s speed is around 35% larger, while in woods or cities, this measure of gust speeds is 65% greater. Thus a 1 min average wind of 1 OOmph would be expected to have gusts to 125 mph over the ocean and 165 mph over a forest.

traveled by the hurricane's center, received only 0.62 inches (15.7 mm) of rain during the entire storm.

Tornadoes. Tornadoes are also a threat from tropical cyclones. Much of the damage of Andrew was associated with tornadic vortices whose wind speeds were added onto the large-scale hurricane winds (Black and Wakimoto, 1994). These rapidly rotating small-scale vortices are spawned in squalls, usually in the front right quadrant of the storm with respect to the storm's track.

Wind damage and tornadoes also can occur well inland associated with tropical cyclones. In 1959, hurricane Gracie caused 12 deaths in central Virginia 24 h after landfall on the South Carolina coast. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 caused significant damage in Charlotte, North Carolina, after landfall.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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