Tropical cyclones develop between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. They are found where sea temperatures are above 27 *c. The oceans with the highest frequency of cyclones are the Atlantic and Pacific. The majority of cyclones occur in the northern hemisphere. As air moves around the planet, it moves away from the Equator and begins to rotate because of the need to disperse the high levels of heat at the Equator across the planet's surface. This movement is a result of the Coriolis effect, combined with the evaporation caused by higher temperatures, which leads to the formation of tropical storms. Tropical cyclones do not remain where they are formed. They follow the direction of the local prevailing winds and ocean currents. The track of the tropical cyclone affects how strong it becomes. The further it travels over the ocean, the more heat and moisture it collects, so increasing its strength. When the cyclone reaches dry land, it is cut off from its energy source (heat from the ocean), so it loses strength and slows.
Hurricane Sandy Impacts
There was no electricity or fresh water.
Eleven people were killed.
Around 17,000 homes were destroyed and 226,000 were damaged.
More than 55,000 people were evacuated because of the storm surge.
Total losses in the Santiago de Cuba area came to 50 million.
Roads to the airport were blocked, so no tourists could arrive or leave the island, causing a loss in revenue.
Total losses of US$2 billion.
A five per cent drop in Cubas GDP.
Around 2,600 hectares of banana crops were destroyed.
In Santiago de Cuba trees were uprooted and stripped of their leaves.
Areas close to the coast were flooded, with beaches being swept away, destroying wildlife habitats.
Coffee plantations in mountainous areas were swept away.
117 people were killed.
Roughly nine million homes had power cuts.
650,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in the USA; 250,500 cars were destroyed by flood water.
The streets of New York were flooded, as was the subway.
Insurance claims in New Jersey totaled US$3.3 billion.
US$1.1 billion was spent repairing the damage to
sewage and water pipes in New Jersey and New York.
The damage cost in New York totaled US$19 billion.
The storm surge meant that sea water got into fresh water habitats, which had severe impacts on wildlife from Delaware Bay to Long Island Sound.
Approximately 1.5 billion liters of sewage was released into the Raritan River in New Jersey.
Around 90 per cent of beaches in New York and New Jersey were damaged; on average the beaches were 912 m narrower after the hurricane.
1.5 million liters of oil was spilt into Arthur Kill (the stretch of water between New Jersey and Staten Island, New York), damaging wildlife habitats and killing fish and birds.
Drought - A prolonged period...