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Hurricanes Know Your Risk

What Part of A Hurricane Is The Most Dangerous?

Hurricanes are vicious storms that bring dangerous storm surges and high-forced winds. Extreme weather occurrences are becoming more frequent and robust, making understanding how they work necessary.

We will take a closer look at what part of a hurricane is the most dangerous and how it fits into the entire system.

How is a hurricane born?

When warm ocean water collides with moist, humid air, it creates hurricane conditions. You throw some thunderstorms and low wind shear, and a complete nature menace is born.

The Anatomy of a Hurricane

Every hurricane brings with it unique and unexpected challenges. But, for the most part, they all work the same way.

Outflow

The leading edge of cooler surface winds from thunderstorm downdrafts that tend to gust is known as the outflow boundary. Sometimes you can see the arc clouds as shelf cloud or rolling clouds.

You typically feel a pressure jump during outflow.

Feeder Bands

Feeder bands, or rain bands, are the lines of thunderstorms and moist cloud streams pulled into the hurricane’s center. 

Really, the weather term is pretty nightmarish. But, feeder bands help create the nightmare of a hurricane by fueling it with rainfall.

Eyewall

The eyewall is proof that the hurricane is right on top of you. It surrounds the eye and is what brings in the damaging wind and torrential rains. 

Eye

The eye of the storm had to come from somewhere, and this is where it came from. The myth is that the eye is the safest part of a hurricane. The winds calm to around 15mph, and you typically can spot a few rainbows on the horizon.

But looks are deceiving, or so they say.

Is the eye the most dangerous part of a hurricane?

While to the human eye, the eye of the hurricane is that brief moment where you can assess the damage before the second half hits. But, what it does while it’s over water makes it the most dangerous part of a hurricane.

Hurricanes hang out in the ocean before they hit land. While out there, in the eye, waves are crashing against each other in every direction, creating waves as tall as 130 ft.

Storm Surge

The powerful winds that hurricanes bring sometimes bring with them deadly storm surges. While referred to as walls of water, they are not tsunamis (though they can be dangerous in a similar way).

Instead, they are surges of water caused by the wind pushing it onshore. A storm surge can reach  25 miles inland and destroy everything in its path.

What part of a hurricane is the most dangerous and why?

The deadliest and the most dangerous are two different things. A hurricane’s eye is the most menacing, but the right front quadrant takes the most lives. That part of the hurricane produces the most rainfall and devastating winds due to the forward momentum.

That said, every single side of a hurricane is dangerous and can be fatal. Always follow evacuation orders and take hurricane readiness precautions.

When should I evacuate from a hurricane?

  • If you are in a flood or storm surge zone, you should evacuate as soon as the National Weather Service issues a hurricane watch. By the time the storm makes landfall, low-lying escape routes could already be impassible.
  • People who live in mobile homes or have reason to worry about structural stability should evacuate during a watch. The wind can’t only destroy a structure; it can turn debris into weapons.
  • It isn’t easy leaving your home and belongings behind. But, going before a hurricane hits is sometimes the only way to guarantee survival. You will always want to follow the guidance of your state, town, or community when they issue a mandatory evacuation order or emergency message with a fully prepared supplies for the road & car.
  • And, even if you think you know a better way out of town, try to follow the evacuation route. It is set up for your safety and the safety of others.

FAQs about The Most Dangerous Part of a Hurricane

How long can hurricanes live?

Once a hurricane hits land, it starts dying pretty fast. It only takes 12 to 24 hours for it to weaken to a lower-category storm.

But, the lifespan of a hurricane in the water can be several weeks as long as it remains fueled by tropical weather conditions (and longer than, say, a tornado or earthquake).

How long does it take a hurricane to form and hit land?

Tornado formation is mostly unpredictable. A storm system can sit in the tropical storm phase for weeks or shift overnight to a full-fledged hurricane.

You will typically get at least three or four days’ notice that a hurricane is headed in your direction.

How often does a hurricane form?

In an average year, ten tropical storms form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. 

Of those ten, around six will evolve into hurricanes. 

When is hurricane season?

The Atlantic hurricane seasons begin June 1st and end November 30th. Hurricanes most actively occur between mid-August and mid-October.