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Identify the conditions which lead to the formation of an intense tropical low pressure system (hurricane or typhoon).

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Introduction

Geography Atmospheric Systems Essay a) Identify the conditions which lead to the formation of an intense tropical low pressure system (hurricane or typhoon). The conditions which lead to the formation of an intense tropical low pressure system (hurricane or typhoon) are: a warm tropical ocean - with a minimum temperature of 27�C to create a continuous source of heat which then generates rising air currents. Also, a minimum water depth of 60m as the moisture provides enough latent heat to provoke condensation release which drives the system. Another necessary condition is a location of at least 5� north and 5� south of the equator - with trade winds converging at the surface, and as a result of the Coriolis Effect air spiralling as it converges. Finally, hurricanes/typhoons are therefore unable to form on the equator - where the Coriolis force does not exist. b) Describe the weather conditions associated with the passage of such systems and explain their varying impact on human activity. ...read more.

Middle

Tropical cyclones out at sea cause large waves, heavy rain, and high winds, disrupting international shipping and at times causing shipwrecks. Tropical cyclones stir up water, leaving a cool wake behind them, which causes the region to become less favourable for subsequent tropical cyclones to develop again. On land, strong winds can damage or destroy vehicles, buildings, bridges, and other outside objects, turning loose debris into deadly flying projectiles. The storm surge, or the increase in sea level due to the cyclone, is typically the worst effect from land falling tropical cyclones, historically resulting in 90% of tropical cyclone deaths. The broad rotation of a land falling tropical cyclone, and vertical wind shear at its periphery, leads to the formation of tornadoes. Over the past two centuries, tropical cyclones have been responsible for the deaths of roughly two million people worldwide. Large areas of standing water caused by flooding lead to infection, as well as contributing to mosquito-borne illnesses. ...read more.

Conclusion

The storm weakened before making its second landfall as a Category 3 storm about a week later in southeast Louisiana. It caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge. The most severe loss of life and property damage occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, which flooded as the levee system catastrophically failed, in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland. The federal flood protection system in New Orleans failed at more than fifty places. Eventually 80% of the city became flooded and the floodwaters lingered for weeks. The aftermath of the hurricane was considerable in terms of the economic, environmental and criminal damage that occurred in its wake. The storm is estimated to have been responsible for approximately $80 billion (2005 U.S. dollars) in damage, making it the costliest as well as one of the deadliest tropical cyclones ever recorded in U.S. history. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alex Potter 6N2 18th March 2009 ...read more.

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