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8/4/2011 - Hurricane Facts - Wind and Rain

The right side of a hurricane usually has the fastest winds, while the left side often has the heaviest rain.

A hurricane is a whirling mass of thunderstorms that spins counterclockwise. As a hurricane moves, the wind on its right side blows in the direction of the storm's motion.That means a hurricane packing 100 mph winds and moving at 20 mph has a combined wind of 120 mph on that side of the storm. It also means that the forward motion of 20 mph takes away from the opposing wind on the left side of the storm: 100 mph - 20 mph = 80 mph. In this example, that's a 40 mph difference in wind from one side of the storm to the other. The forward motion has no effect on the wind in the front or rear part of the hurricane.

So looking at the tropical storm path for Emily as an example, we would expect the strongest winds to be on the right side, in the Bahamas, and the heaviest rain on the left side, our side.

Here's hoping we get the rain - we need it.

Peter Schulz - Editor - Email TCR

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