HURRICANE (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     9th July 2024        

Context: Hurricane Beryl became the earliest storm on record during the Atlantic hurricane season to have reached the highest Category 5 classification.


  • About: Hurricanes, known generically as tropical cyclones, are low-pressure systems with organised thunderstorm activity that form over tropical or subtropical waters. 

o They gain their energy from warm ocean waters.

  • Development of Storm Systems: As the warm, moist air continues to rise, it cools and condenses, forming clouds and thunderstorms. This system gains strength from the ocean's heat and water evaporation.
  • Other elements affect hurricanes:

o Strong vertical wind shear can inhibit the development of hurricanes by tilting the structure of a storm and by forcing cool, dry air into its core.

o Vertical wind shear is a measure of how much the wind changes in speed or direction at increasing heights in the atmosphere. 

  • Classification: Hurricanes are categorized using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which ranges from Category 1 to Category 5 based on sustained wind speeds.

5 Category Of Hurricanes

  • Category 1: A wind speed of 74-95 mph (119 to 153 mph). 
  • Category 2: Wind speeds are between 96-110 mph (154 to 177 mph). 
  • Category 3: 111 to 129 mph (177 to 207 kmph) wind speeds. There would be no water or electricity.
  • Category 4: Winds of 130 to 156 mph (210 to 251 mph).
  • Category 5: Wind speeds would be 157 mph (253 km and above).

Hurricane Beryl

  • About: It emerged as the earliest Category 4 storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, with sustained winds exceeding 130 miles per hour.
  • Path: Currently, Hurricane Beryl is moving across the Windward Islands, including Barbados, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago.