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  • USA: These 3 hurricane misconceptions can be dangerous. Scientists want to clear them up

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USA: These 3 hurricane misconceptions can be dangerous. Scientists want to clear them up

Source(s):  New York Times, the

By Kendra Pierre-Louis


The cone is misunderstood,” said Jeff Masters, a meteorologist with the forecasting service Weather Underground. “A lot of people look at the cone and think, ‘Oh, that’s the width of the storm, or that’s the area that we expect to get the impacts.’ But no, that’s where we expect the center of the storm to track.”


A hurricane’s category, which refers to the storm’s powerful wind speeds, also captures attention. (Hurricane Florence is currently a Category 4 storm.) But the storm surge, the rising water pushed ashore by those winds, is far deadlier than the wind itself, mostly because of drownings. The storm surge does not correlate with the hurricane category.


Even the height of the storm surge may not reflect the true danger, Dr. DeGaetano [the director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University] said. “The impact of the surge is not necessarily how high it is but how far inland — how far horizontally — that that amount of surge will eventually flood when it reaches the coast,” he said.


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  • Publication date 11 Sep 2018

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