Explain how wind speeds in hurricanes are affected by landfall. The main weather systems in the tropics include the ITCZ, easterly waves, and tropical cyclones. A tropical cyclone is a warm-core low-pressure system that develops in a warm and humid air mass. Its formation requires high SST, a sufficient Coriolis Effect, and weak winds aloft. Typically, tropical cyclones move westward at low latitudes, steered by trade winds, and then northeastward at middle latitudes. When a hurricane strikes the coast, property damage is caused by a surge of ocean water above flood stage, strong winds, heavy rainfall causing flooding, and sometimes tornadoes. As hurricanes move over colder waters or land, evaporation is greatly reduced. Following landfall, the increase of surface friction leads to dramatic weakening. However, the vast quantities of water already in the system can still lead to torrential rains as the storm dissipates. In fact, more than half of deaths from hurricanes and tropical storms occur due to inland freshwater flooding. Hurricanes that threaten the East Coast and Gulf Coast usually originate over the tropical North Atlantic off the West African coast, in the Caribbean Sea, or in the Gulf of Mexico. Most hurricanes are initially steered westward by the trade winds until they curve northwestward, then northward, and finally northeastward around the Bermuda-Azores semi-permanent subtropical High. Precisely where the curve happens determines whether the hurricane strikes the Gulf Coast, the East Coast, or turns out to open waters. However, a hurricane may depart significantly from the average track. In some cases, a hurricane meanders, even moving in circles or figure-eights. Such behavior complicates hurricane forecasting. 1. As a Northern Hemisphere hurricane travels, the wind speed near Earth’s surface results from the combination of its counterclockwise spinning and forward motion. This causes wind speeds to be highest of the advancing hurricane’s eye, which is where the winds have the greatest impact on pushing and agitating ocean surface waters. a. to the left b. at the center c. to the right travel westward at lower latitudes and then curve to the north and northeast upon reaching the belt of the prevailing 2. Typically, the majority of Atlantic tropical systems form westerly winds. a. in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea between about 10°N and 20°N b. in the Atlantic Ocean around 30°N c. in the western Gulf of Mexico d. off the Southeast U.S. coast

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