Buffer Zone Acts as Protective Barrier against Hurricanes

Hurricane hits the coast of Florida

The U.S. coast appears to have a “buffer zone” that protects it against strong hurricanes

A new study has recently found out that the United States has a “buffer zone” near the coast and it acts as some sort of barrier against strong hurricanes. This barrier along both the East and Gulf Coasts diminishes the intensity of the hurricanes. So, as a hurricane gets nearer to the U.S., it also gets weaker.

James Kossin, the study lead author of National Centers for Environmental Information, studied data on hurricanes from 1947 to 2015. He states that this buffer zone is stronger when hurricanes are stronger. The Atlantic Ocean has periods when hurricanes are active which are followed by periods when they are inactive and so on. It seems that this buffer zone is synchronized with the hurricane activity.

Evidence in this sense is provided by Hurricane Matthew from last October, that decreased from an intensity of Category 4 near Haiti to Category 1 near the U.S. The buffer is constructed of strong crosswinds and cool water temperatures along the coast. The winds disassemble the hurricane and the temperature of the water does not provide energy. The climate appears to be perfect for providing protection against hurricanes during their peak period.

The study has made another interesting discovery, too. Even during the calm hurricane period some storms gather and they have proven to develop into real strong windfalls. Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida during a quiet hurricane period, in 1992, and its intensity was of Category 5.

Meteorologists not involved in the study analyzed the research and gave positive feedback regarding it. WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue found the study useful and agreed to it. We have been in an active hurricane period since the mid-1990s. The quiet hurricane period that preceded it lasted from the late 1960s to mid-1990s. The meteorologist stated that it makes perfect sense that the storms created during the quiet period to be more extreme and that they should be hitting the U.S. coast in an even more extreme version.

The data extracted from this study can be used by the authorities to strengthen the anti-hurricane measures not only in the U.S., since the buffer zone protects only the U.S. coast, not other areas usually struck by hurricanes, such as the Caribbean and South America.

The study, “Hurricane intensification along United States coast suppressed during active hurricane periods” can be found in the British journal Nature.
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