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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nature Holds Many Secrets | Hurricanes, Angry African Ancestors

Eastern coasts of Caribbean, United States, and South America, are in danger of being blasted by hurricanes wind and rain during hurricane season from June through November. But, why?  

The reason why is because of Africa’s Sahara desert dust storms and the transition of thunderstorms off the west coast of Africa. The waters in the North Atlantic Ocean are typically at their warmest while the Sahara is at its hottest from July through October, so the chances of a hurricane are highest during these months.

There are several African legends about the paths hurricanes follow; it is no accident they follow the routes of former slave ships.

African legend, the paths hurricanes follow.

Hurricanes are gigantic weather systems using convection, the movement of hot and cold air, to create dangerous storms. They are rotating heat engines powered by the warmth of tropical waters having three main parts, the eye, the eyewall, and rainbands. 

Hurricanes cannot form just anywhere in the world due to the need for hot and humid air. They normally form close to the equator and move west or northwest. Hurricane Alley is a stretch of warm water through the Atlantic Ocean from the west coast of North Africa to the coast of Central America.

There are several African legends about the paths hurricanes follow; it is no accident they follow the routes of former slave ships. According to African legend hurricanes are the work of angry African ancestors stolen from their homeland exacting revenge for the millions of African lives killed in the Atlantic Ocean and those who survived the transatlantic forced into slavery in the Caribbean, United States, and South America.

According to NASA, scientists have long known that hurricanes that hit the Atlantic coasts are born in storm systems off the west coast of northern Africa. Hurricanes, the wettest of storms are driven by weather over one of Earth's driest of places, the Sahara desert. 

Nature Holds Many Secrets, African legend says hurricanes are angry African ancestors.

African legend, the paths hurricanes follow.

Hurricane Isabel was born near the Capo Verde (formally Cape Verde) islands off the western coast of Africa. The same waters produced Andrew in 1992 and Frances in 2004. Hurricane Katrina did not form off the coast of Africa like many hurricanes but near the Caribbean island of the Bahamas. 

The 2016 hurricane Matthew formed from a tropical wave that pushed off the African coast just southwest of the Cape Verde Islands in late September. Matthew Category 3/4 hurricane brought destructive hurricane conditions to eastern Florida, the Georgia coast and coastal South Carolina. Matthew would likely be stronger than any hurricane in recent decades, including the 2004 hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Jeanne) as well as Hurricane David in 1979. By the time Matthew reached Florida, it traveled more than 3,000 miles.

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