Briefly explain how air pressure, rainfall, and storm surge are part of discussions related to hurricanes.

Hurricanes have been making headlines, with each event seemingly more destructive than the last. In the United States, hurricanes Katrina (New Orleans 2005, 1833 fatalities), Sandy (New York/New Jersey 2012, $75 billion in damages, 233 fatalities), Harvey (Houston, 2017) and Irma (Florida, 2017) immediately come to mind. Elsewhere, Super Typhoon Yolanda killed 6340 in the Philippines and the eastern Pacific in 2013, and Hurricane Patricia, which made landfall in southern Mexico in 2015, stands as strongest hurricane ever recorded in the western hemisphere.

In your essay you will describe what a hurricane is, make connections between hurricane formation and concepts learned in class, and speculate as to the future of hurricanes, including whether California may someday be at risk.

The goals of this writing assignment are to:

1) Apply concepts learned in the first four lab sessions

2) Interpret and explain current scientific data

3) Practice writing in the style of a formal scientific paper

4) Learn about hurricanes


Limit yourself to the course textbook, the lab documents, the last two pages of this document, and the following websites from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as you complete this assignment:

Focus on the information provided in the “Tropical Cyclone Climatology” section, though you are welcome to browse the rest of the website, including the “Educational Resources” tab.

The first five pages of this tutorial provide an overview of hurricane formation (especially pages 1, 3, and 4)

In your essay, you need to use the data provided in your sources to address the following questions:

What is a Hurricane?

What is a hurricane? When and where do they occur? Which regions of the U.S. are most prone to hurricanes? Briefly explain how air pressure, rainfall, and storm surge are part of discussions related to hurricanes.

Hurricanes and Solar Insolation

Expand on the relationship between hurricanes and solar insolation. Where on the planet do hurricanes originate and why? What causes hurricanes to “die out”? In addition to your other sources, you should refer Figure #1 on page 3, and the map in the “Overview” section of the “Tropical Cyclone Climatology” website.

EXTRA CREDIT (+3 points): Include a short paragraph explaining why the northern half of South America (Brazil, Ecuador, Peru) is NOT prone to hurricanes (**You may use outside sources to answer this question**).

Hurricanes, California, and El Nino

Since 1900, there is only one known incidence of a tropical cyclone making landfall in California, in Long Beach in 1939. A foot of rain fell on the region, and 93 deaths were attributed to the storm. There has been speculation that climate change could result in a greater frequency and intensity of hurricanes. Based on your understanding of hurricanes, what conditions would need to exist for California to be at risk of a hurricane making landfall? Examine Figures #1 – #8 on the following pages. Does the data show evidence that El Nino might play a role in hurricane formation? Does the data support or refute the idea that California is becoming more likely to be at risk of hurricanes in the next 50 years? Or, you may choose to explain why the data provided is inclusive. Draw your conclusion based on the data provided in Figures #1 through #8.

CITATION & PLAGIARISM: Use only the sources provided. A bibliography/works cited is not required for this paper. HOWEVER, please note that all other elements of this paper will be your own, original work. All university policies regarding plagiarism and academic honesty apply.

Writing Guide

Formatting Requirements:

· 12 pt font (Times, Times Roman, Calibri or similar)

· double space

· 1” margins

· 2-page limit

· A creative title (NOT “Writing Assignment #1”)


1.) Specifically state the purpose of the paper. Focus on the essay’s content.

2.) Briefly state what will be discussed in each of the body paragraphs. Each of these statements should be one sentence, and should simply introduce the concepts.

3.) Describe the type of data/information you are working with. Describe the nature of that information. For example: “Voter election data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau will be analyzed