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Have you ever thought about being caught by surprise by a hurricane? For Brazilian people, this torment is just a good Hollywood movie, but for people living in Florida, those storms are part of everyday life.

USA East Coast’s hurricane season officially starts in the first day of June and finishes up to the end of November. For six months, people who live in that area change their routines. The weather reporters are as famous as the characters of any popular TV series.

Miami possui um sistema de bombeamento da água de seus canais. Dias antes de um furacão se aproximar, as bombas são acionadas para que o nível esteja baixo o suficiente para receber a água que acompanha a tempestade. Dessa forma as inundações são evitadas e os prejuízos financeiros são menores.

PREVISÃO PARA 2016 Ao que tudo indica, esse ano será de ventos calmos, mas nem por isso deve-se esquecer de conferir a previsão do tempo. Segundo James Franklin, chefe da divisão especializada em furacões da NHC, National Hurricane Center, é muito importante que pessoas que estejam em áreas afetadas fiquem atentas às notícias. “Apesar de não termos grandes sinalizações de distúrbios meteorológicos, a população precisa se preparar como em todas as temporadas”, diz o especialista. Historicamente, as piores chuvas são em agosto e setembro, mas Franklin lembra que os furacões são imprevisíveis. “Houve anos em que nenhuma tormenta chegou ao território americano, e anos tranquilos que resultaram em chuvas destruidoras. Em 1992, formou-se um furacão de categoria cinco. O Andrew foi devastador para o condado de Dade”, conta. Segundo o especialista, as tempestades de 2016 estão difíceis de prever. “Estamos tendo sinais ambíguos. Dois fatores estão competindo: esperamos ventos que fluem na mesma direção, o que ajudaria a formação de um furacão, e águas mais frias, fator que dificulta a formação dos cones”. Com essas condições, a NHC está prevendo de dez a dezesseis tempestades. Quanto aos furacões, eles variam de densidade. Entre quatro a oito considerados dentro da média e de um a quatro com grandes dimensões. Oficialmente é uma temporada com número esperado.

A combination of facts is responsible for the formation of tropical cyclones. Usually, they evolve in areas with warm water and calm wind. As the warm air evaporates and moves up to the sky, that causes an ocean area of lower air pressure, which makes the cold air around invade the empty space. Once again, the air heats up and goes up. This process forms the circular movement in the shape of a funnel. Many storms start, but only a few reach the continent. The phenomenon dissolves itself completely as it enters cold waters. When the hurricane can overpass the sea, it loses force due to the friction with the earth’s surface. That is the reason why the most devastated areas are usually located at the sea shore.

Wind speed may vary from 72 miles up to 186 miles an hour and its diameter may achieve up to 1242 miles. Some of the hurricanes move on the earth at 15 miles an hour. Miami has a water pumping system in its ducts. Days before the approaching of a hurricane, the pumps are turned on so the water level gets low enough to receive the water that comes with the storm. This way, overflows are avoided, as financial loss is smaller.

2016 FORECAST It seems this year the wind will be calmer, which does not mean you should forget to check the weather forecast. According to hurricane division chief of NHC – National Hurricane Center, James Franklin, for people from affected areas, it is very important to stay tuned to the news. “Although there are no great signs of meteorological turbulences, people have to be ready as in every season”, says the specialist.

Historically speaking, the worst storms happen in August and September, but Franklin remembers hurricanes are unpredictable. “There were years no storms reached the American territory, and there were quiet years that resulted in destroying storms. In 1992, a category five hurricane formed. Andrew was devastating for Dade County”, he tells.

According to the specialist, 2016 storms have been difficult to predict. “We are receiving ambiguous signs. Two factors have been competing: we expect winds that go in the same direction, which would facilitate a hurricane formation, and colder water, which makes the formation of the cones harder. Under those conditions, NHC is predicting ten up to sixteen storms. Hurricanes’ density may vary though. There are four up to eight of them considered as average ones, and one up to four considered as big dimension ones. Officially, the season should have the expected number.

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