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Hurricane Ida


Hurricane Ida- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 1: Salient features of world’s physical geography- Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones, etc.


Hurricane Ida- Context

  • Recently, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, the USA as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm.
  • Hurricane Ida has been put into Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with top sustained winds of 240 km per hour.


Hurricanes- Categorization

  • Saffir-Simpson scale: based on wind speed, Hurricanes are categorized on the Saffir-Simpson on a scale of 1 to 5.
    • Hurricanes that reach category three or higher are classified as major hurricanes because of their potential to cause devastating damage to life and property.


Hurricanes- Key Points

  • About: Hurricane is basically a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and the northeastern Pacific Ocean.
    • Tropical cyclone: It is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterized by low atmospheric pressure, high winds, and heavy rain.
  • Location of Formation: Tropical Cyclone or Hurricanes are formed over warm ocean waters near the equator.
  • Duration of formation:
    • Atlantic Hurricanes: often formed from June to November and covers the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Eastern Pacific Hurricanes: Formed from May 15 to November 30.


Tropical cyclones or hurricanes- Pre-Conditions

  • Presence of large sea surface with warm ocean water: temperature of the top layer of the sea should be at least 28°C, up to a depth of about 60 meters.
  • Presence of Coriolis force enough to create a cyclonic vortex: This helps in an ‘anticlockwise’ rotation in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere, resulting in the formation of Tropical Cyclones/Hurricanes.
  • Small variations in the vertical wind speed,
  • A pre-existing weak low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation,
  • Upper divergence above the sea level system.


Other Names of Tropical Cyclones

  • Tropical Cyclones are called by different names depending upon the location of their occurrence. They are as follows-
Name of Tropical Cyclone Location in the World
Typhoons China Sea and the Pacific Ocean
Hurricanes The Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean
Willy-willies North-western Australia
Tropical Cyclones Indian Ocean Region




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