MadSci Network: Environment & Ecology

Re: Can we have a hurricane in Michigan?

Date: Tue Feb 6 13:05:18 2001
Posted By: Jason Goodman, Graduate Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Area of science: Environment & Ecology
ID: 981466909.En

No.  Like a car, a hurricane sucks in fuel and uses it to keep moving.  But
a hurricane's fuel is warm, moist, humid air rather than gasoline.  The
only place it can suck in enough warm humid air is over the ocean.  When a
hurricane hits land, it can't get enough fuel.  So it stops, just like a
car does when it runs out of gas.

Hurricanes die out in just a few hours after they hit land.  It would take
a hurricane much longer to reach Michigan.

Also, the winds almost never blow in the right direction to bring a
hurricane to Michigan.

You should be very glad that hurricanes don't come to Michigan.  I grew up
in Hawaii: we had a hurricane when I was in the third grade.  It was very
scary.  Someone's roof got ripped off their house, smashed against the top
of our house, and landed in our back yard.  We had no telephone, and no
electricity for a month, because the hurricane tore down the telephone
poles.  Some of my friends lost their houses.  And this hurricane was tiny!
We had another hurricane when I was in college which was much worse. 
Almost everyone's house was smashed up during the second one, and a few
people died.

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