007 - Hurricanes

Factual Question

What is a hurricane?
How do hurricanes form?

Debatable Question

Can living in a hurricane prone area ever be considered safe?

Key Terminology

  • Hurricane
  • Coriolis force
We will be using the words above today and by the end of the lesson you will understand their meaning. If you are still unsure then the useful link below will remind you of what the words mean.

Useful Link

Watch - Why is Wind Important?

As you watch the DVD ' How Earth Made Us - Wind' from the BBC, answer the following questions in full sentences on paper:
  1. How does the wind help humans?
  2. How has the wind harmed humans?
  3. What have humans done to harness the wind?
Or complete the chart below.

How Earth Made Us - Wind

Copy of How Earth Made Us - Wind

Activity Task One

  1. Your task is to sort out the information below in to points of interest and how a hurricane occurs.
      • Draw a table in your book; it should have two columns and 5 rows.
      • Title the first column ‘How a hurricane occurs’ and the other ‘Diagram of Process. 
      • Find the statements which describe the formation of a hurricane and write them in order in your table. (Left hand side)
      • Once you have written how hurricanes occur you now need to draw pictures to illustrate.
    2.  Now in your book write down all the facts about hurricanes.

Hurricane Statements

Hurricanes gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters.

Hurricanes only form over really warm ocean water of 80°F or warmer. The atmosphere (the air) must cool off very quickly the higher you go.

Each hurricane usually lasts for over a week, moving 10-20 miles per hour over the open ocean.

Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around an "eye." The centre of the storm or "eye" is the calmest part. It has only light winds and fair weather.

The wind must be blowing in the same direction and at the same speed to force air upward from the ocean surface.

When they come onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and large waves can damage buildings, trees and cars. 

Evaporation from the seawater increases their power. 

A hurricane is a huge storm! It can be up to 600 miles across and have strong winds spiralling inward and upward at speeds of 75 to 200 mph. They are called tropical cyclones in Asia.

The Coriolis Force is needed to create the spin in the hurricane and it becomes too weak near the equator, so hurricanes can never form there. 

They often occur in areas that are between 5 and 15 degrees North and South of the Equator.

Hurricanes names are chosen from both boys and girls names and they go down the alphabet each season. If a hurricane does significant damage, its name is retired and replaced with another.

Winds flow outward above the storm allowing the air below to rise.

The Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30, but most hurricanes occur during the Autumn months. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season is from May 15 to November 30.

One of the deadliest hurricanes was the Bhola Cyclone which hit Pakistan and killed between 300,000 and 500,000 people in 1970.



Activity Task Two

  • Before we look at how hurricanes can be classified watch the two youtube clips and mindmap the damage that is caused to humans, the environment and property.
  • Suggest why it might be important to classify the strength of hurricanes now you have seen what damage can be caused.

Tacloban Before and After

Typhoon Yolanda

  • Using the description box and website link below; describe the different categories of hurricanes using images. This could be done as a guide on A4 paper to advise people of the damage that may be caused by different category hurricanes.

Hurricane Damage


Winds (MPH)

Pressure (Millibars)


Storm Surge
































Activity Task Three

  • For almost every type of disaster that can happen in the world some sort of disaster plan of action has been written. What would you do to protect your house, pets and your family from the destruction of a hurricane?
  • Use the information image and youtube clip below to help you.
Taken From: http://ready.ga.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Hurricane-Preparation.jpg

Hurricane Preparation

Activity Four

You are a reporter for National Geographic and you have been given the assignment to develop a newspaper report that will describe and explain the impact a hurricane has had on an area. You can choose any hurricane that has occurred throughout the world; there is no constraint on location or year that it swirled.

 The newspaper report must be set in a standard newspaper article format (as seen below) and should include the following information.

        • Headline
        • Location – Where did the devastation take place? (Remember to include a map).
        • Description on what happened – Why did the hurricane take place? Time line of events. Include diagrams.
        • The effect of the damage – Economic (buildings, roads, infrastructure), social (people forced to move), and environmental (landscape).Try and include eye witness accounts.
        • What is being done to rebuild the damage caused? How can we inform people about the danger of hurricanes? E.g. evacuation/ emergency plans.

Presentation of Newspaper Report

        • Word Limit - 750 maximum
        • Header
        • Columns for the information
        • Images/sketches/maps needed figure numbers need a title
        • Bibliography

Hurricane report

How will I be Assessed?

You will be formally assessed on your newspaper report and I will be focusing on Criterion A - Knowing and Understanding and Criterion C - Communicating.

How will I be assessed?

Criterion A: Knowing and Understanding

Achievement level

Level descriptor




The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors below.


i.   makes a limited use of terminology

ii.  demonstrates basic knowledge and understanding of content and concepts through limited descriptions and/or examples.


i.   uses some terminology accurately

ii.  demonstrates satisfactory knowledge and understanding of content and concepts through simple descriptions, explanations and examples.


i.   uses considerable and relevant terminology accurately

ii.  demonstrates substantial knowledge and understanding of content and concepts through descriptions, explanations and examples.


i.   consistently uses a range of terminology accurately

ii.  demonstrates detailed knowledge and understanding of content and concepts through developed and accurate descriptions, explanations and examples.

Criterion C: Communicating

Achievement level

Level descriptor




The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors below.


i.   communicates information and ideas in a style that is not always clear

ii.  organizes information and ideas in a limited way

iii. lists sources of information inconsistently.


i.   communicates information and ideas in a style that is somewhat clear

ii.  somewhat organizes information and ideas

iii. creates an adequate reference list and sometimes cites sources.


i.   communicates information and ideas in a style that is mostly appropriate to the audience and purpose

ii. mostly structures information and ideas according to the task instructions

iii. creates an adequate reference list and usually cites sources.


i.   communicates information and ideas in a style that is completely appropriate to the audience and purpose

ii.  structures information and ideas completely according to the task instructions

iii. creates a complete reference list and always cites sources.

Useful Resources