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July 28, 2020 58 min
Hurricanes are perhaps the most destructive force of nature we have to deal with here on Earth. When a mind-boggling number of factors all fall into place just right, the outcome can be an enormous system of storms that is as awesome as it is powerful. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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Everybody, you may not know this yet and if you don't prepare to be blown away, we are creating right now, the first ever stuff. You should know book, it's called stuff. You should know Colan an incomplete compedium of mostly interesting things and you can preorder it now.

That's right and if you preorder everyone there's an incentive because you get a free gift and don't worry if you've already preordered, because you can just head on over to stuff. You should read Bookscom Sa very beautiful little web page and it's got all the information and if you already preordered can't you just like upload your receipt and get that preorder Gift Yep you can and they will mail it off to you and you will get in the Mailand. You say: Oh thank you don't mind if I doou and it's a poster that you will love and cherish and possibly pass on down to your children as an Airlin. That's right! Everyone! We could be more excited about this book. It's really coming together! Well, it's us through and through, and you can go check out some excerts at stuff. You should read Bookscom welcome to Stuff You Should Know a production of BI heart radios have stuff works, hey and welcome to the podcast, I'm Josh Clark and there's Charles W Chuck Brian over there jherry's around here someway or so. This is stuffe. You should know everybody be wrath of God edition.

I I I've been thinking that Bob Dellan Song all day.

Oh Yeah, you know it's weird.

I have two and I hadn't realized it until you just said that really yeah, my brain is Eft, which song hard rains going to Follw er yeah hurricane hurricane hard, rinks going to fall, you crazy that would fit to. I guess it would it hadn't even occurred to me Great Song Hurricane. Now, I'm going to be singing hard, brans going to fall, which is not nearly as good as the hurricanes on I'm surprised. You've know any BOB dillan song, that's shocking! Those are the two!

No more than that! NO THAT'S IT!

I know that one that goes the DU.

What's that one?

Oh it's all of them!

Gotca God bless him. He's got a new AU mountains, great dude. How many does that make MHE's got a lot of RECK EA CEE? Well, Goderkins Great Song, it is. It was a good movie too sad.

I didn't see that Yeah Denzil Washington Adly Played Him and yes it's I mean if you like injustice, you're going to love that movie.

Well, you mean, if you like movies about fighting injustice. Think is what you mean right. Yes, either way you're going to like the movie.

I love injustice. rightsadly. There are people who say things like that these days, that's true, so chuck we're talking about hurricanes, not the Bob dylling song, but about the actual, like weather system, whether disaster anominally. I guess you mean typhoons, no, I mean hurricanes, but that's the same thing and so is chuck.

You mean cyclones, kind of yes, all three of those are the one an the same. Did you know that you know? I think I knew that and just sort of forgot, because when I read it I was like Oh yeah.

I think I knew that right.

So I mean it's.

It just depends on where they occur in the world. Basically that there's I mean a aside from exactly you know where they occur, where they may claim and then the way that they turn and move.

They are the same thing. They start the same way. They're the same group of Weird.

You know, weather coincidences that happen to assemble into something and hurricanes to me are as good as it gets natural disaster wise I mean they are as interesting as they come.

They are so ridiculously destructive and then theoretically, what they could do if they got even worse, which they may it just boggles the mine, I'm a hurricane fan in a way, but I hate Miami as far as their universitys concerned.

You hate the you. No, not really I'm just teasing yeah and I think the other thing about hurricanes is so fascinating. Is it's it's a regular thing? It's not like a volcanic eruption or a SUNAMI.

You know or an earthquake.

It's you know every year, they're going to be.

You know like a hundred tropical stormsand, you know. Thirty to fifty of these are going to develop into hurricanes. You can count on it right, Jack, yeah and they actually, they have seasons, to tell you the truth, depending on where you are in the world and the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the Atlantic. You've got what's appropriately called the Atlanta curricane season and it runs from about June first o November, thirtieth down under in the Southern Hemisphere.

They have a hurricane season that runs from about January to March and again like there's some differences to them. But it's essentially the same thing: it's just that hurricanes tend to form over the North Atlantic and northeast Pacific, and then cyclones are over the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean, and then typhoons tend to hit the Northwest Pacific Ocean around Asia to the Middle East.

That's right, so I coul think the Australians would call them cycl right is that right, yeah and we call Goet old hurricanes, that's right and actually hurricane which, since we're just bouting out facts about hurricanes at this point right now, it actually comes from an old min word Hyrican, which is the name for one of their gods of destruction of thunder and lightning and wind, and, I believe, maybe rain, who brought the flood that destroyed almost all people and then made it recede because humanity had gotten too wicked.

And if that sounds familiar, that's because there's a flood story ind. Basically every culture in the world which makes me really wonder like what happened.

What is everybody talking about? That actually may have happened at some point. I just find that fascinating yeah and how a hurricane forms can get very convoluted as we realized when we started diving into this research and we'll describe it in a bit more detail. But you know me and my Earth Science for kids websites, there's door in the very simplest of terms, hurricanes form over warm ocean waters near the equator in the tropics and that warm moist air rises up and then is replaced by cooler, Airan and then that air warms up and starts to rise and that just causes a cycle.

That starts these clouds to form and they start rotating and they get little more organized. And if there's enough that warm water, eventually that wind's going to pick up and you're going to get a hurricane yep and they move in the northern hemisphere, especially in the Atlantic, which we're going to kind of focus on Atlantic curricanes. Here but again, most of the of we're talking about applies to cyclones and typhoons too.

But in the Atlantic in particular, they usually start off the west coast of Africa and move down toward the equator where they slide over through the Caribbean and then up along Florida. The Carolinas sometimes to New England, but most of the time they'll hit the the Gulf stream and will be carried up to England where they peter out and show up for a pine at the pub yeah you know hurricanes. Will they eventually will die out?

One hundred percent landfollow will make them die out because, like that's the worst part for the people, you know living on planet earth because that's where it hits the land. But that actually means the hurricane is dying because there's not that warm water anymore bit or the further north. They go the cooler that water gets and that'll just peter it out as well, yeah, which I mean, if you really think about it, when you take all these factors into consideration, just those two that and eeds warm water and that it can't be overland like a hurricane, is a startling series of coincidences that happen like again and again repeatedly during a certain section of the year in certain sections of the world, and they it just takes everything being perfect, like a perfect storm, but over and over again, for these things to happen, and, like you said, you know, there's so many different storms that form off the west coast of Africa or off the the yeah or off the west coast of Australia that can form into these things.

But they don't they usually don't, because all of those factors just aren't working just perfectly for the thing did not only kind of catch to ignite in a way, but also to kind of develop steam and to really pick up and become a problem.

Yeah, and I know what you mean about loving hurricanes in a certain weird way.

Obviously the Landfallin is the destruction is terrible and we don't wish that ever absolutely.

But when you see those images from above of the hurricane rotating and how big it is, it's just it's humbling and just sort of mind, boggling display of nature at work. You know right, it is that I mean that hits it on tehead. It's definitely not all the death and property destructon that I'm a fan of now. Of course, I'm like man, I love injustice.

I know man. This is what happened to you overnight, so so, let's let's talk about this. Let's talk about how hurricane actually forms and then what it forms into okay: We're going to do the earth side don think that okay wi'll take over everybody. I hope you like my voice, because that's all you're going to hear for a little while I think it a listening. They're probably used to that.

Do you know when we first started this, I couldn't stand my voice couldn't stand it yeah yeah, I finally Reasen the day Wer. You know I reach the Dayton with it.

I just ignore it.

So Chuck you've got air right boy.

Okay, air over the ocean and over the land, the stuff that's closest to the surface - is actually the warmest, which is you know like if you've ever been, skydiving is really cold up there.

I haven't no, it's really cold up there trust me and when you or like, if youere ever like, if you climb a mountain or something it's always cold up there, one reason: Why is because never done it. The just trust me trust me, the upstairs O my house is cooler it shouldn't be. It should be much warmer because heat rises in your house yeah, but the AC up there there's fewer rooms, tit just really packs. Okay, you're making this ser science thing way hard.

So the the air at the surface of the earth is warmer because it gets warmd by the earth or by the ocean right, open ocean temperatures, kind of tend to warm with the seasons and so by around June first, which was when hurricane season starts. You've got an ocean which, with service temperatures, hovering around seventy nine to eighty degrees, parentheight, okay, yeah and I think eighty is where you've got to be kind of that's a threshold yeah to even get.

If you want to talk about hurricanes, yeah it' got to go to eighty degrees exactly and not just at the very surface. I think it needs to be that down to about a hundred and fifty feet, because hurricanes mix a lot of water together and if it's not warm water that stays available. It's not it's just going to peter out right yeah, so you need eighty degree at a minimum service temperature water down to a hundred and fifty feet, and so you've got that going on in the ocean around certain times a year.

And if we can travel into the interior of Africa, all the way to Sudane a little monarch butterfly will flap its wings, and I creates an air disturbance and weeks later, that develops into an even bigger disturbance and it moves further west across Africa and finally off the coast, and it will encounter that warm water and warm air. That's that's! Being heated by the water and that disturbance will actually encounter that water that's evaporating and rising, and as that water evaporates and rises, it's becoming less dense right. The the molecules that make up that air with the water vapor are further. Apart than colder, that's above it well nature of abhors a vacuum right and when the air leavs that area right above the the surface of the ocean, Coldere starts to move in below it right, which pushes the other air further upward, but then that Coald Thare is warmed up too, and that starts to rise, and so what you have under this disturbance in the air that was created by a butterfly's wings in Sudan.

Is this this motion in the ocean?

That's all that com that that is kind of this upward trojectory of air, constantly moving upward and it's full of water vapor. So it's when it gets high enough up into the cooler regions in the atmosphere it condenses informs clouds and those clouds eventually start to rein and as it condenses and starts to rain that actually heats up that area. The latent heat of condensation heats up that area. So now you have this column of Warm Moist Air, rising up moving with cold there trying to come in and replace it as the warmare moves, and you have a lot of air movement. You have some storm starting and you have all the ingredients now for what could become a hurricane, that's right and that that heat exchange is going on and that's going to create a lot of wind and that's just going to make everything worse, because those winds can verge at the surface and they're colliding with each other and that's pushing that warm moistair up and up, and that cycle just starts to happen that rotational cycle, that's so tied to like the image of a hurricane right and those winds get involved and everything kind of everything kind of just synchronizes yeah seems like right exactly. I mean like that's what I'm talking about with all the different coincidences that have to number one be present then have to work just right, because if that wind that's converging at the surface to replace that warm moistair, that's rising man. I've never saind moist this many times in my life and been okay with it, but I'm all right so far. How are you doing I'm great okay, if the the the speed of that win, that's coming in at the surface is different than say, like the speed of that you know higher up in that column, you're going to have whats called windshere, and it's going to keep the storm from being organized into a cohesive hole. So it's just that ffector ALOM that somehow yeah the winds at different levels of this storm thats starting to organize, have to be moving at roughly the same speed. That's a big one, alright, and then, because of these, these thunderstorms that are are starting and the more condensation. That's that they're heeding more and more so they're creating more and more storms. So you've got all these storms that are kind of starting around this area and they start to get organized together.

And then this is this. Eventually, this is called a tropical depression and eventually, if all, if everything that we're going to keep talking about happens, just precisely right is going to organize hinto a tropical storm and then a hurricane and then the hurricane as well see goes through different stages of categorization and all has to do with the speed of those winds that have now kind of organized into this rotational monster, which is really a tight or sometimes a loose collection of storms that form one big storm. That's what a hurricane is that are all kind of moving in the same direction at about the same speed, and it all has to do with that.

That thing that started all this, that rising moistaire in that one spot, because, as these different storms assemble into a larger, more cohesive hole, the center, the lowest pressure center right, where th there's the most tha warmest moistest air is rising up.

It also has the lowest pressure in because nature ohors vacuum higher pressure, airs trying to come in to fill it, but there's something that we have to talk about called the Coreolis effect and here's where things really run off the rails for us, take it chuck yeah. The corlos effect is when you see that hurricane rotating that's a by product - or I guess a product of that Coreolos Force, which is we've talked about it before, but it's the natural phenomenon that makes fluids an any kind of freemoving object, either go to the right of their destination, if you're in the northern hemisphere or to the left in the southern hemasphere right, not toilets in Australia.

I thought we found out. I thought we said that okay, so I thought I said it wasn't true, and somebody showed us that it was. It was the opposite yeah. I think it's not true, welwe'll find out again, but at any rate in the Northern Hemisphere, your wins deflect to the right n, the Southern Hemisphere they're going to deflect to the left and this that deflection. That gets the storm spinning and that's why you get different rotations in each hamisphere. They rotate counter clockwise here in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere right, but we do need to keep going with the corios effect. Sorry, I didn't mean to scare everybody, but the corealist effect does two things.

It makes the the hurricane rotate like you were saying basically on an axis around that lowest pressure center and then it also moves the hurricane physically itself, as it kind of travels southward from west Africa toward the equator, which is really bizarre because at the equator the coreolist effect is at its absolute weakest. It's strongest at the Poles, but for some reason something about the coreol. Is The fect moves. The hurricane like a hurricane, could theoretically cross the equator from the northern hemisphere of the southern.

Who knows what would happen when it and when it transferred over to that other, like the opposite, coreois effect.

As far as we know, dit horizon it.

Probably, as far as we know, it's never happened, but we've only been keeping track of this stuff for about a hundred years, but it just doesn't ever seem to happen for some reason: The coreals effect tespite being weakest of the quater moves, hurricanes back upward over and up back into the left right, it's right, so the coril always affect us. Two very important things for hurricanes, but probably the biggest one. The most important one as far as the hurricane itself is concerned, is to keep that thing. Spinning around in the same motion, clockwiser counterclock, wise depending on your hemisphere, all right. I think we should take a break and we can come back and talk a little bit about what these different categories mean right after this, so so chuck before we talk categories, I have to pop one more thing in about the coreols.

It's important you're ready sure so that lowest pressure center what's called the eye.

That is actually it's the clearest part of the hurricane. Sometimes it's clear skies, beautiful Erily, calm and the reason why is because of that coreolis effect that the lowest pressure center is never overwhelmed by the higher pressure air. That's trying to get in the whole reason that hurricane spins around the center is because all that wind from sometimes hundreds of miles away, is traveling to that center, trying to fill it, but the corealist effect deflect it.

They end up going around that center, the winds and then up so lifting more warm air up, and they never make it to that middle, which is what causes that and the stronger the winds, meaning the stronger the pressure gradient between the center of the the hurricane and the outer bands beyond the eye wall, the stronger the difference between that gradient, the stronger the hurricanes going to be because the stronger the winds are going to be trying to fill that low pressure void.

That's what causes hurricanes to spin around clockwisor counter clockwise. That is absolutely fascinating to me.

It's very cool the eye, the storm calmest place in the world. It really is, although it's counter intuitive, it is so these categories category one - and this is all broken down and very sort of I mean the there's really there's it's pretty stiff is far as how they categorize these things.

It's not Willy Nilly, they don't say like this. It's getting pretty bad. I think it's a to actually measure things and therare demarcation line by usually wind speeds is one of the big part yeah.

Seventy four to ninety five miles per hour is a category one and that's GOINGNA. You know I could blow a tree branch into your roof sure or or get some shingles shut. Ering O man, if you get out the pruners category, to is ninety six to hundred and ten miles per hour.

That's getting pretty dangerous and you're going to get some pretty extensive damage. This point, like you, know the siting of Your House, the frame of your house, shallow trees, can be snapped or uprooted. At this point, you're probably going to get some power loss right.

Number three is a major hurricane category. Three is at one eleven to a hundred and twenty nine miles an hour and they rank. This is devastating damage and you know lots of trees uprooted.

You definitely will lose probably power and water for a period of time for the category three and then you've got your category four, which is a hundred and thirty two, a hundred and fifty six catelgry five is hundred and fifty seven are higher you're, probably not going to see hi many cat fives, but the cat for is pretty catastrophic and those are the ones that we've seen more and more O in more recent years right.

Category fives are just yeah, that's extreme catastrophe, they're monsters, monsters so category four and five there's not a tremendous amount of difference at both, like you, said, considered catastrophic damage causing hurricanes, but I get the impression that the difference between a four and five in real, like real life, is substantial, but either way they're going to like leave so many trees and power lines down that your thi H, whatever area gets hit substantially by one of those category. Four O fives are going to basically be isolated, both without power, but also the roads are going to be made impassable, and sometimes you can be stuck in the midst of this. For weeks before you can can be reached again.

The destruction can be so bad from them.

Yeah, and you know if you are a coastal liver.

This is a part of your life every year.

Hurricane season is a big deal. You've got your your house retrofitted. Ideally, at this point I think, like almost any coastal house, these days is on stilts.

If it's you know built in the last twenty plus years, O not just that. I think after two thousand and five I want to say, was Hurricane Andrew Florida in particular past new building codes. That said like, if you put a roof on it, has to have like this kind of joist and like whatever windows are put in, have to be like win proof up to a hundred and thirty miles. proerly they've definitely like started to take that seriously, because so many people were dying before, but also because of the billions and billions of dollars of property damage. That would happen every year.

Yeah I mean here in Atlanta. Obviously we don't get hurricanes coastal Georgia. We certainly do, but we do get the outer bands of the hurricane and we can get some really bad, wind and rain, and some flooding and stuff like that, but we're obviously far enough inland to where the eye of the hurricane is not going to really affect us.

But if you're in the Gulfer along the Florida or South Carolina North Carolina up into Virginia even and they you know like you said they can go higher, Maryland and New England, but and even New York City. But generally, I think, if I kind of from Virginia down is where you're going to be the most worried in hurricane seasons. So you know you me, and I have a place in Florida right and we were down there once and I think it was hurricane Michael, a year or so ago came through and we got out of. There came up to Atlanta and that thing followed us all the way up to Atlanta and knock the power out were at our place. There was that a shaggy dog story.

Do you Knowti, say what that means: e Shaggy Dog storyis, a story that seems worthwhile or worth saying to the person saying it, but not anybody else.

Oh, I don't think so an why dod they call it a shaggy dog. I have no idea. We need to get to the bottom of that someday.

No, I think it's a great story, and I remember when that happened. In fact, you do sure wow. I love him in my life is part of your life.

I know it's like happens to or three times a year sure and every Tuesday that's right, yeah. I totally remember that and you've also, you know, like any good coast. Deliver you've got hurricane, shutters and stuff like that right, Oh yeah, for sure, and like the high impact windows and all that stuff yeah, you just got to do that stuff these days. Oh, you definitely do and it's like really kind of scary. If you're out there not like that, you know because that was two thousand five when they passed that builling co, there's a lot of places that haven't been retrofit and you know it's like the whole community kind of comes together to take care of everybody who needs help around that time, which is pretty cool. But one of the reasons why everybody has you know days to prepare for this kind of thing and go to the store and buy every banana. You can get your hands on and like five los of bread and all that and put up sandbags and stuff is because of the modeling and forecasting that has has been developed in the last.

I don't know fifty sixty years, that's really saved a lot of people's lives because we didn't have warnings before it was just the sky started to look pretty bad, and you know an hour or two later your town was gone.

Yeah and it's you know I rent the Beach House on Ila Palms, every usually and all those houses are.

You know fifteen feet off the ground on those on those legs, and it's just crazy to me to think about the old days when you would just have a house sitting on the sand like seventy five feet from the from high tipe is just such a bad idea, because such a bad idea, one of the things one of the big problems that make hurricane so destructive chuck, is that not only is it the wind that can come through and you know once it reaches. I think, like a category three four or five, your that's when you're going to start to lose your deck, not just your decks are your roof. DEKAING is really what I meant you'd be like my deck, which would suck because decks are kind of expensive, but it's your roof decking that you really be worried about, and that happens when the the wind itself Pierces. The envelope of your house like it breaks a window or something like that. Now, all of a sudden you've got a pressure difference inside and outside of Your House, which can actually pop the roof right off of your house, which, once that happens, your walls start to give way. It's a bad jamp wind is very destructive too, but the reason people started putting houses on stilts is because that wind is so strong and the hurricane can be so massive that it actually pushes the ocean inland yeah.

It's not like a huge wave, it's a it's. Here's the ocean way further inland than it should be, and it's called a storm surgeon. It's a huge problem, h with hurricanes yeah - and you know I've been to places before and after just from year to year on, vacation and the it can literally remake the coastline.

They look vastly different after a hurricane.

I think that one of the years we went to Ilapalms it was after a hurricane and instead of you know the walk to the beach from the house. Instead of you know that sort of gradual decline to the to the water, it was a in some places like a twelve fifteen foot drop right of just a sheer wall, cliff of sand and people had ladders and stuff like that, you would literally have to climb down t a ladder to get down to the to the oceany beach part yeah, and that's not good. If your house is built on that sand, that used to be there and as we saw in our we're running out of sand and that really matters episode that we need that sand. We can't afford the ocean to come, reclaim that that's our sand, yeah en well, the good thing about Ala, Polmzois, those houses are set back a great deal they're not on that sand. There's that big area of see, dress and just do shrubbery and stuff in between yeah, and so it's just a say or bet when you're trying to book a place right, because it's not it's not hurricane proof, but by the time the water gets there. I mean that would have to be a reallyreally big surge, yeah yeah, but it happens. It does happen, I mean it definitely like a storm search can be pretty bad. I think Hurricane Harvey in Houston in two thousand and seventeen yeah, one of the reasons it was so destructive. It was from what I saw was the second most expensive storm.

That's ever hit the US, it cost a hundred and twenty eight dollar.

So that's it.

It costs a hundred and twenty eight billion dollars in damages, and one of the reasons. Why is because of that storm search, and not just you know, flooding houses and causing property damage that kind of storm search, can overwhelm your sewer system and mess with your drinking water supply and do all sorts of horrible stuff. Yiu can kill off tons of wildlife because that's something that gets overlooked in hurricanes. You know humans are so worried about us and then our pets and everything the wildlife itself can really take a hit like fish.

HURRICAES can kill fish, that's how destructive they are. They slam them in the like underwater out, croppings and sanbars and stuff and just kill the fish. That's how that's how forceful these things are.

So, there's a lot of other problems that arise from the hurricane, in particular the storm Surgh to that we've only really started to kind of grasp in the last, like few decades of of examining hurricanes yeah but you're talking about tracking it's gotten so much better these days on the ground, there's something called the a regional specialized meter meteorological sinters - and this is just a basically a network all around the world of global cinners that are designated by the World Meteorological Organization and they are the ones who track these things. Using weather satellites using infrared technology and infrared censors Y H, they're going to detect all those all the minutia of the temperature differences cloud heights. All these things. You know how you mentioned that all these things have to kind of be perfect.

They have all these ways of measuring these little bits of perfection as they align and they know pretty well now you know things can change, and things can reverse course and know people get frustrated when they keep changing the path of the hurricaand. You know they don't keep changing it when they report otind right, but that's, I think, people kind of act that way sometimes now they do for sure. You know you make me leave my house and this thing didn't even make landfall yeah it's like tthey're, doing a pretty good job and they're doing the best they can well, it's problematic too, as far as fodcasting goes, because if you do that to people in a coastal area, you know a couple of times in one year, they're going to stop listening to you, and you know you might be a hundred percent right and something's going to make lampfall right on top of them and they're not going to leave.

So there is a definitely a fine line and there is kind of a balance between knowing too soon and and not knowing at all and we're kind of working, our way toward that sweet spot for sure, and it's gotten way better, but very, very famously. If you over follow hurricanes as they start to kind of come toward the US like there's the fame, the Spaghetti model.

Have you ever seen one of those yeah, so all of those is just a tangle of tracks of the hurricane that have been forecasted, so the European model is typically thought of is probably the most accurate and that's put together by an agency in Europe, and they say here's Wfar, the Treck, that we think then there's like ten or a dozen or fifteen different agencies in groups all forecasting a track when you put them all together.

It looks like different colored lines of Spaghetti over the map and you get a pretty good idea of just where the the things going to go.

Based on all of these different predictions kind of like the wisdom of crowd, you know what I mean where the more information you have and you put together the more guesses you put together.

Probably the closer combined they're going to be to accurate, then any one of them individually would have a chance to be yeah. The cool thing about spaghetti models - and this is true of like percentage of rain and stuff that you might see every day - is a lot of it is based on past data like what's going on now for sure. But then y? U, when you plug that into all the past data and behaviors of storms in the past, and what they've done and how they've moved an behave.

You can get a pretty cool model and I've always loved that about whether that they use so much historical data right to predict. What could happen this time right?

That's what they use to produce the cone of uncertainty, which is o that's right, one of the most confusing meteological models, maybe any kind of model there is on the planet.

It's a really great, useful tool. If you know what it's talking about, if you don't know exactly what it's talking about, it's seriously confusing and really misleading in a lot of ways, but with the cone of uncernty is everybody's, seen it it's like kind of like this funnel it looks like a tornado. Basically that that looks like it shows the Path and width of the hurricane.

It goes from kind of small Te, wider and wider and wider.

So it looks like what it's showing you is the track of a hurricane and how big the hurricanes going to grow over time.

That's not at all with the cone of uncertainty shows with the cont of ancerity, is instead it's a plot of, like a, I think, about five different circles representing the next twenty four forty eight, seventy two onto five days out forecasts - and it says, here's all the data we have and we're crunching those numbers and then we're comparing them to how accurate we were in the last five years for predicting hurricanes that were five years out and then all of a sudden you put that together. That forms the circle in that five day out circles, always the biggest one, because it's hardest to predict weather patterns five days out.

But what it looks like when you take those increasingly larger circles and connect them with the line.

Is that its forming a path and really what it's showing is?

This is the potential distance between the track of the hurricane, the center of the hurricane, and it could it could land anywhere in here, not the edges of it, we're talking just just the center.

So every time hurricane season rolls around people go and look up what the cone of uncertainty means, because it doesn't mean at all what you think it does. Hopefully, I've cleared it up for like two people, and I probably just confused the other million even further.

The cool thing about those two is that they can be changed with a sharpy.

That's right, it's really neat sein is done all right. I think we should take a break maybe and come back and talk about these hurricane names. Okay, a little history. How about that? Let's do it all right, so hurricane names are named after people now.

This wasn't always the case, and I didn't know this. This is kind of cool, but for many hundreds of years, if you were in the West indies, you woud hear hurricanes named after the Catholic Saints Day on the day that that storm made landfall.

So it would be like Hurricane Sinfilippe hit Puerto Rico and on September thirteenth, Eighteen, seventy six another little fun fact is if another hurricane hits on that same day, which actually happened, one housand nine hundred and twenty eight on September thirteenh.

They would name it the second, so that was Hurricane Sain Filipe, the second during World War, two is when we started to give human names and they were all masculine names, though yeah I cand kind of followed that whole, like Bravo, whiskey, tango thing yeah. How does that?

I don't understand that?

Well, it's like the. What do you mean it's like I, those aren't names. I don't understand it either from what I saw from what I saw. We didn't really start to use names in the West until I think the s or the S so masculine names like Bravo and tango is just a theyre calling that a masculine name. I guess so, because I think we started using human names in the S, and then we started using male and female names in the S at first it was Al first they were.

They were ladies right yeah and they said well, that's that's not cool the name that, after a woman and every time you guys show like the the weather model, the forecast model, it's it's not a hurricane! It's a woman with rollers in her hair and a rolling pin, yelling igseems sexist, and everyone finally said you know you're right that is sexis. So we're going to start to alternate between men's names and women's names, and so at the beginning of every hurricane season, the the what is the World Meteological Association, Yeah Organization, sorry, they release a list of all the names that the the Atlantic curricane season could possibly have, and each name starts with a different letter. ABCD and so on.

Can I list this years? Yeah you got Arthur okay, Bertha, nice, cristeball yeah, you got Dolly.

You Got Edward M, Youh, Fay, okay, and we should mention to that. They Nese.

You know names from places all over the world now, which is great because hurricanes affected places all over the world yeah.

So you have faith and you have Gunzalo, you have Hannah, you have.

I don't even know how Yo pronounced this I saias is SA sace.

No, I sai. As I si Suris I say us, then you got Josephine Nice name, you got kyle, you got Laura Got Marco you've got Nana Sweet Nana, you've got Omar Paulett, which I s for some reason sounds funny to me. Yeah Hurricane Pola, yeah you've got Renee Sally Teddy Vicky and finishing up because they don't have wires Ze for some reason: Wilfrid, that's a good one. Hurricane Wilfrid sounds tough or an x yume's predicted that Hurricane Dana is going to be a particularly bad one. She becus is all sweetest grandma name, I think so yeah and there's actually a long standing myth that was supposedly found to be correct by some study a few years back that people don't respect the female names of hurricanes that yeah. So there's this whole there's mean respect. There's! Okay, I don't know what's wrong with me: I'm putting everything so terribly Aday, but get this there's this this this urban legend, that hurricanes that have women's names are the most destructive because people don't take them as seriously and they don't leave. So there's more people present to be killed when a hurricane lands for a woman named hurricane than a man named hurricane and for a long time it was for a long time. It was just this kind of old wivestail or something, and then this this study found in, like I think, two thousand and fourteen, or something like that. That know this actually is true. Somebody sat down and crunch numbers and then finally, I think, two years ago, they're like this study was terrible and that's absolutely not true. If we looked at the numbers to - and that's just not the case, all right. Well, that's good to know, because that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard it is kind of dumb, but it has like this weird kernel of truth to it's like a perfect urban legend. You know what I mean yeah, because it's itbelievable yeah and who's who's ever going to sit down and prove it one way or another. You know yeah, that's true wait hold on one more thing: Owuil we're on names. Yes, there are different names elsewhere in the world, so the names you just said those are for Atlanta curricanes in Australia. They have their own site of names that they name cyclones and then elsewhere in the world. There's thirteen member nations, that name typhoons and some cyclones countries like Bengladesh and India and Thailand. Each one submits thirteen names and each list contains thirteen names from each one of those countries. So you have a hundred and sixty names to choose from every year so depending on where you are in the world, whether patterns going to have a much more localized name than than what you would expect, that's right and if a hurricane is really destructive, they will retire. That and I'm using air quotes there because they really just put it down for ten years.

I don't know why they don't just don't do it forever like there should never be another like in eleven years. Surely they won't have a Hurricane Katrina or an Andrew or a harbey right?

I don't know why? Would they there's so many names? I don't know why bring it any name back? I have no idea, I think, they're, like we have better things to do than come up with more stupid names.

You know yeah, I just I mean they obviously do that to avoid confusion and once ha storm is sort of this legendary storm like a Catrina yeah, there's just no reason to ever name another one that no, no I'm with you. I agree, and if y you don't believe in luck, I just think it's not a good idea. It does seem like ten years is a little short. I could not see them doing another Katrina, that's just not going to happen. You know no, there's no way.

So let's talk about climate change. You want to yeah well before we talk about climate change as quickly as far as the historical record goes.

You know, there's always been hurricanes in this wal kind of segue nicely into climate change, because things are getting worse, but there always have been hurricanes even way back in the day we didn't have great records, but there are you can do research on like cavewall drawings and things like that seem to indicate stuff like hurricanes, and I think there was a Lsu team that studied thousands of years of lakebed evidence and they can tell that over.

I think, like thirty four hundred years thereave been about a dozen category for or higher in that area, most of which were in the past thousand years right, it seems low, doesn't it yeah? It does, but I mean that's just for that area.

Another one. There was a really big hurricane. Historically speaking, when gingis Kan was going to invade Japan in twelve seventy four, the mongles were invading Japan there's a fleet that had something like a hundred or two hundred thousand people on board and they were really going to invade Japan and hurricane blew in and sunk the fleet and the Japanese had a name for this incredible, Miraculous Act of mercy by whatever God was watching over them.

They named it divine wind yeah and that actually would come into term into use later on in World War. Two because divine wind, ind Japanese is Camakasi, comagussie yeah and that's a chapter in our book right, I'm so glad I was teaing you up. I was like come on Chuck I didn't know. If we could reveal that, but yeah we got a book coming out this Falland, you can preorder it now plug blucg plug ten there's a great great chapter on Kamakazi in there yeah. The whole thing is just great from top to bottom chuck, I'm wondering when will be allowed to do some of those chapters as podcast episodes. If ever I don't know, I don't know Weli guess it's that permission.

I think we give ourselves that permission.

Okay, it's up to us right, okay, mybe, maybe a couple of years after it's out, we can start start dolling those ot a little bit harvesting it for parts.

Sure that's another way to put it right.

They could have another life. So well I mean the stuff that we talk about they're, not like necessarily entire podcast episodes like there there's definitely more to be said about it. So I don't totally. We could take any single one of those chapters and turn it into a podcast episode.

So climate change, here's Ha startling statistic since th s, the number of cat, five and cat forth storms has just about doubled and to the casual observer a couple of things.

It seems like they're getting worse and more frequent and you don't have to be a genius to figure out if you need warm water to make a hurricane and ocean waters are warming due to climate change, then you're going to have more frequent and more severe storms right right or no yeah. I mean that's the that's how logic goes and they basically think that's, given that we're going to have more frequent and more powerful storms, but think thet, at least according to woods, Hole Ocean Graphic Institute.

There are plenty of x factors, life that that it's not like, we just defenatively, understand how bad hurricanes are going to be, or how many more we're going to have because remember the surface water has to reach down about a hundred and fifty feet for a hurricane to form, and one of the big questions is: If the I there is global warming going on and it's heating the ocean.

How deep is it heating? The Ocean? Because, if that water, that warm water went beyond a hundred fifty feet, then hurricanes should ostensibly be able to become bigger and bigger.

And similarly, if that the surface temperature of the ocean is rising, then that just means more evaporating water, which is the key. That's the fuel to any hurricane. Is that moist evaporating water? That's rising that the more you have of that the bigger amount, more powerful a storm can be the more energy there is for the storm to use to become big and huge and destructive.

The question is you know just how bad is it going to be, but there does seem to be just general consensus that yes, climate change is happening and is going to result in worse hurricanes, and it's I mean already. There were two name storms this year in the Atlantic before hurricane season even started, so they think hurricane seasonis going to last longer it's going to start earlier and last longer, there's going to be more of them, they're, probably going to be more destructive, boo, no there's something else that I thought was really interesting, though too, is that the the R this particular year may not be as bad as it would have been. Otherwise, it was supposed to be really bad because of the warm sea levels because it started earlier and because it's a Lanenia year which actually pushes hurricanes back out to sea eventually because there's Laaninia those those breezes are kind of stilled comparatively speaking, so that her any hurricanes that do develop are just going to sit on land like it did like Doryan did to the Bahamas a year or so ago.

It just sat on the Bahamas for forty eight hours, that's not supposed to happen, and they were worried that that's going to happen because of this a lot neena year. But you know this Haran dust storms, that's going on, Oh yeah. They think that that's actually drawing the air and preventing hurricanes from forming right now.

The question is how long that will last will, at last through the whole hurricane season or well lad, eventually, stall and hurricanes will come raging through in August and September, who knows wow, so there's hurricanes everybody!

It's right.

I think we're going to release a bonus ad on some day into our feed, where I'd try again to explain hurricanes and the cone of uncertainty that stuff drives me. Nuts, man, yeah you'R, ready, I'm ready well.

Obviously, since we're done talking about hurricanes, that means its time for listener mail.

I'm Gointo call this the other side of the coin. We always like to keep things fair and balance here. Right right, hey guys discovered your show about two years ago and wondered: Where have you been anl, my life? I love the show, don't change a thing and the robber Barrons episode. He said that conservatives, Josh thaid conservatives say people aren't perfect.

We can never have a perfect society, so let people do whatever they want.

That's kind of right, but it's over simplified in there for misleading.

In our view - and I take it - him is a conservative - he says since humans are all corrupt, obviously some more than others no government can be uncorrupt since is run by people.

Therefore, we should limit the power of government and give people more freedom, since people will generally act in their own best interest. Let them decide how they want to spend their money who they work for and who they hire and fire.

As long as the government protects people's basic rights from others, we will have a pretty good society.

Ihave always been conflicted about antimonopoly laws, but the longer I live the more I think, they're a good thing, because we should limit the power of large companies just as we limit the power of the government, since those companies are also run by corrupt people.

Capitalism says, of course, you're selfish, and so am I so if you want my money, you have to give me some kind of product or service that makes my life better again. We can never have a perfect society, but it would be far worse if the government has too much power to decide how we spend our money because again they are corrupt. Also thanks for all the great research and the Super Fun way, you present it to keep it up.

That is tim in Minnesota.

That's pretty awesome thanks a lot to im. That was a really great email.

Well, I'm a conservative now wow all right, yeah, I'm pretty weak willed as it is no but Tim. That was great. Thank you for explaining it further because I definitely knew I was over simplifying things and just kind of have the teas cross in the eyes. Ditet it veryt helpful. We're Goinna have to bring you on to explain hurricanes one day yeah, and that was a better email than a lot of the blowback we got, which wasn't so instructive and more just like you guys, just reduce that and that's not true yeah blame I gues you could put in Yem.

Well, if you want to get in touch with this, like Tim did and just be a champion hero, you can do that. You can send us an email to stuff podcast, and I heard radiocom stuff you should know - is a production of iHeartRadios, housestuff works for or podcast fo, my heart, radio, Vasit, the IHAT radio, a apple podcast, O whereever. You listen to your favorite, shows

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