The greatest storm on earth
Few things in nature can compare to the destructive force of a hurricane. Called the greatest storm on Earth, a hurricane is capable of attacking coastal areas with crazy winds of 155 miles per hour or higher, wicked areas of rainfall, and a storm surge. In fact, during its life cycle a hurricane can expend as much energy as 10,000 nuclear bombs!
Hurricanes are born over water, driven by solar energy stored in the ocean. Hurricanes, properly called tropical cyclones, can travel for weeks across the ocean, blasting islands and coastlines with fierce winds, crazy rains and wavy seas.
Hurricanes can also remake land — eating up barrier islands and dunes while putting sand on other beaches. But ironically, as soon as a hurricane reaches land, it starts to lose power.
Hurricanes can remake history — the Galveston, Texas, hurricane of 1900 killed 8,000 to 12,000, and sort of erased the city, helping convert the inland city of Houston into a huge chemical giant.
These gigantic cyclones can be even more deadly. A 1991 cyclone went across low-lying Bangladesh, drowning, and killing an estimated 139,000 people.
And hurricanes can cost. Early estimates from Florida indicate that Charley and Frances cost $20- $40 billion — more than disastrous Hurricane Andrew in 1991. Sandy’s cost in the New York area is said to top $60 billion Hurricanes are born over water, driven by solar energy stored in the ocean. Forty percent of all U.S. hurricanes hit Florida and eighty-eight percent of Major hurricanes strikes have hit either Florida or Texas. Pennsylvania's only hurricane strike between 1851-2012 was in 1898 (from Blake et al. 2005).