• Kyle Sooley-Brookings

5 Common Hurricane Myths Debunked

Hurricane Isabel (2003) as seen from orbit during Expedition 7 of the International Space Station. The eye, eyewall, and surrounding rainbands, characteristics of tropical cyclones in the narrow sense, are clearly visible in this view from space.

With hurricane season in full swing, we decided to take a look at 5 of the most common hurricane myths.

1. Only coastal areas are at risk from hurricanes

While coastal areas are most at risk to an impact from a hurricane, many storms, if they are strong enough can travel inland and just as many problems inland as near the ocean.

In 1954 Hurricane Hazel reached Toronto, Ontario. The storm killed 35 people in Ontario and damaged infrastructure, 50 bridges were at risk of being washed out by the rising waters.

The main reason for so much damage was due to a lack of preparedness.

2. Upper floors of an apartment are a safe place to ride out a hurricane

When hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992 it blew out most windows in high-rise buildings. Hurricane Wilma blew out windows from the Four Seasons and Conrad Hotels in 2005.

When a hurricane is headed your way, it is safer to evacuate.

3. Opening windows during a hurricane will stabilize pressure

Buildings and home are not 100 percent airtight. There are little openings that would equalize air pressure inside and outside.

In fact, opening windows can let water in your home easier and can cause more damage.

4. Sea-surface temperatures are warm, therefore the storm or hurricane will intensify

Warmer ocean waters are indeed a key factor in creating more devastating hurricanes, but warmer water doesn't always mean hurricanes will get stronger.

For hurricanes to remain strong, there needs to be low wind shear. Strong upper-level winds can tear a storm apart.

5. Taping your windows is the best method to keep them from breaking

Regardless of the tape you use, it won't be strong enough to stop wind-driven debris from smashing them. Use shutters or plywood instead.


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