Are you aware of all the natural disasters? Are you aware of the destruction caused by them? Cyclones are one of the most common natural calamities that occur in India. Hence, it is important to know all about it along with precautions and ways to deal with it. Here is a detailed blog on what is a cyclone, and how to keep yourself safe if you witness one!
Table of contents
What is a Cyclone?
In simple words, a cyclone is used as a general term for a weather system in which winds revolve inwardly to an area of low atmospheric pressure. The large-scale air mass that rotates around a centre of low atmospheric pressure happens counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.
Cyclones occur over the warm water bodies in the tropical areas of the oceans where parts of very low pressure are developed by air that is being heated by the sun. This results in the air rising very rapidly and eventually becomes saturated with moisture. It later condenses into very large thunderclouds. The cool air rushes in to fill the gap. Due to this, it is bent inwards and goes upwards in a circular motion with a great force caused by the Coriolis effect of the earth that is spinning on its axis. This results in the winds beginning to rotate faster and start to form a large rotating weather system. Usually. The centre of this entire system is a cloudless, calm area called “The Eye”, with no rain and no light.
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Types of Cyclones
- Tropical cyclones with maximum sustained surface winds which are of less than 39 mph are called tropical depressions. Tropical storms are those with maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or higher. When the storm is at the maximum sustained winds that reach 74 mph, then they are called hurricanes or typhoons. Hurricanes are formed over the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea, whereas typhoons form over the western Pacific Ocean.
- Extratropical cyclones are called low-pressure systems that form outside of the tropics in response to a grave instability of the westerly winds. As this instability is totally dependent on large horizontal temperature contrasts, concentrated regions of temperature change known as fronts characterize extratropical cyclones.
- A tornado is a fast spiralling gush of air that extends down towards the ground from a thunderstorm. The most dangerous tornadoes can cause grave destruction and problems, and can even have wind speeds of up to 300 mph. Tornadoes are made in regions of the atmosphere that have a lot of warm and moist air near the surface with drier air above, and a change in wind speed and wind direction with height above the ground.
What is the Structure of a Cyclone?
There are certain characteristics that can be found similar in all types of cyclones. A cyclone is a low-pressure area. A cyclone’s centre, which is known as the eye, is the area of the lowest atmospheric pressure in the region. Near the centre, the pressure gradient force, that is the pressure in the centre of the cyclone compared to the pressure outside the cyclone and the force from the Coriolis effect should be balanced out. If not, the cyclone can collapse on itself due to the difference in the pressure.
Cyclones are among the most dangerous and most destructive natural disasters that can occur. They have caused about 1.9 million deaths worldwide over the last two hundred years, and it is estimated that 10,000 people are killed every year by such storms.
Ways to Prevent Cyclones
- Planting trees to prevent cyclone damage. This helps to reduce the damage that is caused by the redirecting winds.
- Reduction in the height of tall trees – it is better than a group of trees and tall shrubs together can be helpful to divert wind. This decreases the pressure on the trees and moves the wind away.
- Inner canopy – during a cyclone, most tree branches break or the entire tree falls over because of the wind. When the inner canopy is cut, it helps the wind to move through the tree freely, and this helps to save the trees and the house from destruction.
- It is important to cut back the longer branches of the trees. It helps to prevent the twisting of the branches and maintains the health of the trees for longer life.
- It is vital that the trees are healthy throughout the year. Thus, it is necessary to remove the dying and diseased species. Locating trees rot both internal and external can help you to avoid breakages during the cyclone season.
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