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Hurricanes (Grade 7)

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When the wind is howling, the rain is crashing down, and storm warnings are being blared on all radio and television stations, you may find yourself wondering if you are in the middle of a tornado or a hurricane. Both are wicked weather events that involve wind, rain-and significant threat. Which type of storm is more dangerous? That is a question experts have been trying to decide for years.

Hurricanes are commonly located over oceans and typically begin as tropical storms during the late summer or fall. Strong winds rotate and, as they do, they pull water up from the sea and dump it on the closest land. As the eye of the storm reaches shore, everything calms. The sun may shine, but it does not last long before the other half of the storm hits. Frequently hurricanes bring storm surges or huge rushes of water that come ashore and cause floods, knocking down buildings and dragging homes and cars back out to sea. Hurricanes often last for hours, or even days before finally fading away.

Tornadoes, on the other hand, are found more on land, usually beginning as thunderstorms with thunder, lightning, and even hail. As they build in strength, the winds begin to rotate and become like a huge, powerful vacuum. These winds create a funnel cloud, which moves up to 30 miles an hour across the sky. If the tornado touches the ground, it can destroy homes, and lift cars.

As to which storm is the most dangerous, the answer has not been decided yet. Tornadoes move faster, but hurricanes last longer. There is no question, however; being a part of one is an event no one is likely to ever forget.
What factor do tornadoes and hurricanes share?
  1. Both begin over water as tropical storms.
  2. Both have a central eye where it is calm.
  3. Both are dangerous weather events.
  4. Both include thunder, lightning, and hail.
What is the difference between tornadoes and hurricanes?
  1. Tornadoes last for hours to days.
  2. Tornadoes include a strong storm surge.
  3. Tornadoes are made up of ocean water.
  4. Tornadoes create powerful funnel clouds.
What does a hurricane have that a tornado does not?
  1. A funnel cloud
  2. A central eye
  3. A thunderstorm
  4. A high risk of danger
Hurricane winds are measured by the                  scale.
  1. Fujita Intensity
  2. Saffir-Simpson
A hurricane forms over a(n)                .
  1. mountain
  2. forest
  3. prairie
  4. ocean
A hurricane can cause sea level to rise because the air pressure under the hurricane
  1. is higher than normal.
  2. is lower than normal.
  3. is the same as usual.
Hurricanes begin when the weather conditions are just right for a cluster of thunderstorms to form over a tropical ocean. If such a cluster remains long enough, it organizes into a tropical depression, with winds of up to 42 miles per hour. If a tropical depression increases to winds of 43 to 74 miles per hour, it is a tropical storm. A tropical storm is given a name and watched closely, by satellite, to see if it gets worse and begins to have the telltale circular shape of a hurricane. If the air pressure continues to drop, the wind rises to above 75 miles per hour, and a true hurricane is born.

Which of the following causes weather forecasters to say a storm has become a hurricane?
  1. A cluster of thunderstorms form over a tropical ocean.
  2. A cluster begins to organize into a tropical depression.
  3. Winds increase to over 75 miles per hour.
  4. Winds increase to 23 to 42 miles an hour.
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