MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: Does North America act as a hurricane blocker?

Date: Sat Jul 23 17:03:40 2005
Posted By: Nezette Rydell, Warning Coordination Meteorologist
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 1121711828.Es

Hurricanes do form and make landfall in the Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific, and Western Pacific. Forecasting and warning for these areas is the responsibility of the National Hurricane Center in Miami (Eastern Pacific), the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu (Central Pacific), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu (West Pacific) and the Japan Meteorological Agency (West Pacific).

Hurricanes are called typhoons in the Western Pacific Basin. Last year alone 11 named storms made landfall in Japan. The American Territory of Guam is routinely impacted by typhoons, as are many of the island nations throughout the Pacific Basin. Typhoons have made landfall in prior years along the Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese coasts as well.

The size and strength a tropical cyclone attains and maintains is dependent on the atmospheric and oceanic conditions, primarily pressure patterns and sea surface temperatures, rather than the expanse of open ocean over which they move.

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