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Storms are coming

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Romy Van Ingen, Co-copy editor

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     Hurricane Harvey + Hurricane Irma + Hurricane Jose + Hurricane Maria = a total of four major hurricanes this year, making 2017 one of the busiest hurricane years on record, according to www.weather.com.     

     Hurricane season, which spans from June 1st to November 30th, is a stressful time of the year. People all across the nation begin preparing once hurricanes actually form; however, because of the devastation Harvey left in Texas, people in Florida were all the more prepared when Irma began to head their way.

    Hurricane Harvey hit Texas Aug. 25, 2017. Thousands of people were evacuated before and after the hurricane made landfall, and many more were left without a home following the Category 4 storm.

    Hurricanes Irma and Maria also caused their fair share of damage. Hurricane Irma left its mark on many islands, including Anguilla and St. Martin, in early September. It also affected Puerto Rico and Florida. Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico Sept. 20, 2017, and has caused the entire country to lose power and many to lose their homes.     

     Why are all these hurricanes forming so quickly and so violently in the Atlantic? It is because this is a La Niña year. La Niña is the cooling of the water in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of South America. El Niño, which has been the leading weather pattern in the oceans for the past two years, is the exact opposite of his sister, La Niña. La Niña causes a change in pressure and temperatures in the ocean and that is what helps  hurricanes form.

   “The grip of one of the strongest El Niños in recorded history is loosening, and in its place it appears that the cool flipside, La Niña, is arriving”, wrote Dennis Mersereau for Mental Floss.

    Low pressure, specifically, causes hurricanes to form because water vapor releases the heat of condensation which warms the surrounding air; however, when there is little to no wind shear, heat can condense and cause low pressure systems.

    Junior, Jakob Ocasio, said, “The destruction caused by the hurricanes has been crazy! All the damage, all the rain and all the people who lost their lives. I can’t help but wonder: is there anything else we could be doing to help?”

    Ultimately, when low pressure systems cause hurricanes to form, there is no easy way to get rid of them. It is not often that a hurricane of a high category will dissipate because warm waters of the gulf strengthen them. Usually they make landfall or drift out into the ocean before eventually dissipating. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria strengthened and tore through many countries and completely decimated places that once attracted many tourists, destroying their economy, and it may take years for them to rebuild what once was.      

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Storms are coming