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Stormy: What is the Eye of a Hurricane? (page 2)

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Author: Janice VanCleave

Show Time!

You should repeat this experiment at least three times and calculate the average number of rotations for each piece of paper. How do your results relate to the difference in the speed of winds of a hurricane near its eye and the speed of winds at its outer edges?

Stormy

  1. Where is the rotation speed of swirling water the fastest? Fill a 2-quart (2-liter) bowl three-fourths full with water. Place a piece of tape on the top edge of the bowl. Cut two small triangles from a piece of notebook paper. Slowly stir the water in a circular motion. Drop one of the paper triangles near the center of the water. At the same time, ask a helper to drop the second paper triangle in the water near, but not touching, the side of the bowl. Count the number of times that each piece of paper passes the tape in 10 seconds. (Hint: You should each keep track of one triangle.)
  2. The official hurricane season for North Atlantic hurricanes is June 1 through November 30. Find out the dates for the hurricane season in your area, request a hurricane tracking map from your local media weather station, and plot the positions of hurricanes. For information about plotting the coordinates of a hurricane, see pages 116–123 of Janice VanCleave's Geography for Every Kid (New York: Wiley, 1993).

Check it Out!

  1. Hurricanes occur on every continent except Antarctica. In Australia they are called willy-willies. Find out more about the different names given to hurricanes in various parts of the world. Make and display a map of the world showing hurricanes with their special names.
  2. Hurricanes almost always begin over tropical seas during late summer and early fall. Moist air and heat are the two fuels needed to start and maintain these storms. Find out more about the birth and growth of these storms. What water-surface temperature is needed? What are the names of the different stages of development, and what is the wind speed of each stage? Which way do hurricanes move? What is their traveling speed? What is the average life span of hurricanes?
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