You think you know hurricanes? Well, be prepared to be schooled.
While you may believe you know all the important facts, you may actually be ill-informed, which is why we’re here to help. Here are five myths about hurricanes that you need to know:
MYTH 1: A storm surge is the deadliest part of a hurricane
A storm surge is a wall of water pushed ashore as the center of a hurricane nears the coast, which can certainly be deadly. But in fact more people die from inland flooding and flash floods of rivers and streams because they underestimate the power of moving water.
MYTH 2: Hurricanes are so windy that it is impossible for planes to fly through them
Looks like scientists have found a way to get round this one, too. A group of hurricane scientists known as “hurricane hunters” have developed special airplanes which they fly into the middle of the hurricane to record data such as air pressures and wind speed.
MYTH 3: Hurricanes only form during hurricane season
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Hurricanes can form any time of year, however, as long as the conditions are right. Usually, this is during the hurricane season, but every so often it’s not. For example, Hurricane Lili hit in December 1984 and Tropical Storm Anna formed in April 2003.
MYTH 4: Hurricanes and typhoons are completely different types of storms
Aside from the name, the composition of hurricanes and typhoons is exactly the same. Tropical systems with wind speeds in excess of 74 miles per hour are called “hurricanes” in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Caribbean. To the west of the International Date Line, these storms are known as “typhoons.” Australians have their own name for hurricanes/typhoons, too — they call them “willy-willys.”
MYTH 5: Hurricane Katrina was the most devastating US hurricane in history
Though Katrina caused 1,800 deaths, it is a misconception that it was the most catastrophic hurricane of all-time. The great Galveston hurricane of 1900 was the deadliest US hurricane, causing a staggering 8,000 deaths.
BONUS! MYTH 6: The right side of the hurricane is more dangerous than the left
Actually, this one is true! Hurricanes spin counter clockwise and travel in a forward direction, so the right side of the hurricane will have faster wind speeds than the left.