Hurricanes in the South


Streaks of lightning fill the night sky in Athens, Georgia

Ryan Dickinson, News Reporter

The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th. Throughout these months, warm Atlantic waters create the ideal conditions for powerful, destructive storms. These storms start their life as a tropical depression, typically off the west coast of Africa or in the Carribean Sea. From there they travel across the warm waters, gathering tropical moisture and energy. These massive storms are notorious for causing flooding via storm surge and downpours. High winds, and tornadoes are also common during these storms. Lethal combinations that plague the deep south.

A sunset in Charleston, South Carolina Pre Hurricane Dorian

Oftentimes, these storms aim for the South-Eastern region of the United States. States like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, The Carolinas, And Florida are subject to this weather for a majority of the summer. Florida has the highest number of hurricanes per year with 40% of all United States hurricanes making landfall in Florida. The Sunshine state is no stranger to these storms and has emergency preparedness plans in place. However, no amount of planning will rid the widespread damage that tropical storms and hurricanes can bring. People living in the southern states accept that they are at risk for hurricanes, just how the people of the midwest accept the possibility of tornadoes. It becomes a way of life as the years pass.

Hurricanes are one constant in the south that are unavoidable. The south, being the poorest region in the country, often has trouble bouncing back from damages. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast around New Orleans. This caused widespread destruction and damage that is still affecting the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas today, 15 years later.

Boat owners preparing sails for severe storms in Gulf Shores, Alabama

People often avoid areas with bad weather. Places like the midwest are avoided because of the risk of tornadoes. The great lake states are avoided because of their harsh winters and blizzards, and the south is avoided because of the tropical risks. All three of these regions are some of the least expensive places to live in the county. Missouri, Michigan, and Mississippi are some of the cheapest places to live in the county and in these three regions respectively. This is because of the demand of the area. Less demand means less value, and less value means poorer residents. A domino effect that creates a wealth inequality all because of the weather.

Weather can be a very powerful factor in the success of an area and it’s people. It’s known to alter people’s lives for better or worse. Some would agree that the weather has control over an area, more than politicians or even the people. Weather can be uncontrollable and dangerous, the best way to stay safe is to predict it’s actions and take precautionary measures like evacuations when necessary. Severe weather can be thrilling to see but it’s important to stay safe.

As The Weather Channel slogan states “It’s amazing out there.”



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  • US Department of Commerce, NOAA. Katrina. 7 Sept. 2016,
  • Center, National Hurricane. National Hurricane Center, 1 Jan. 2001,
  • NOAA – Twitter
  • The Weather Channel – Twitter/Instagram
  • Weather Underground Meteorologist Alex Wilson & Mike Bettes – Twitter/ Instagram
  • The Weather Channel live – LIVE TV BROADCAST
  • The Weather Underground – LIVE TV BROADCAST