Kevin, Toren, and Joe are back to talk about Big Wind: hurricanes! We’ll cover the biggest and most destructive ever, including the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, plus a Public Service Announcement, the Great Hurricane of 1780, and Galveston, Texas in 1900. Part 1 of 2.

Music: “Goin’ Down to Dunwich” by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

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  • Joe Fulgham

    Correction to my ferry story: It wasn’t a typhoon, but I was told (at that age) it was a tornado and we were feeling its effects. Also, I meant it *felt* like days. I certainly had to try to sleep while the ship was being rocked up and down by huge waves.

  • William

    I am looking forward to this episode as I live on the Gulf Coast and have been through several major hurricanes (Erin, Opal, Ivan, Katrina to name a few).

  • Derek Weber

    Great ep guys. Thought I’d offer my 2c.

    Cyclones aren’t just an Indian thing – it’s what we Call them in Australia and we get them off the northwest coast (Broome, say), through the north occasionally (Darwin & the Gulf of Carpentaria) and especially off the northeast coast over the Great Barrier Reef through Queensland, where they can cause a huge amount of damage.

    Also, as part of your PSA, get lots of fresh batteries and a wireless radio to listen to weather updates. I do t know if you have a national broadcaster up in North America, but the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) does that job for us down here. 🙂

  • Jonathan

    So what actually is the difference between a hurricane and a cyclone? I had always thought it was purely regional semantics, but you said something about hurricanes in the Pacific which no one really cares much about, so now I wonder if there’s a technical distinction. I know you didn’t really want to go into it in the episode, but now you’ve got me curious.

    • Derek

      From Wikipedia (on cyclones): “In the Atlantic and the northeastern Pacific oceans, a tropical cyclone is generally referred to as a hurricane (from the name of the ancient Central American deity of wind, Huracan), in the Indian and south Pacific oceans it is called a cyclone, and in the northwestern Pacific it is called a typhoon.[13]”

      So it sounds like “cyclone” is the technical term and “typhoon” and “hurricane” are regional names.

  • Derek

    In the news! Meteorologists considering not using female names for cyclones because (stoopid) men don’t take female-named cyclones seriously enough. #facepalm

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-24/bureau-considering-reseach-on-female-storm-names/6968122

  • Matt

    Here’s a pretty quick explanation for the “strap your roof” thing:

    In wood-frame construction, the roof trusses are attached to the walls via a couple of nails each. This is fine for normal winds and/or the downward pressure of roof weight; but hurricanes and tornadoes can rip or lift the trusses right off the walls. The metal brackets and straps are there to tie the boards of the house together more securely. It isn’t really something you do when the hurricane’s a-comin’, but something that should be installed on your house in hurricane or tornado-prone areas.

    They’re also needed for buildings in earthquake regions, as the lateral motion of earthquakes can “walk” the roof trusses off of the walls, or the walls off of the foundation, causing a collapse.