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The extreme weather in Texas made this month’s topic an easy choice. We’ve updated an old LittleClickers to help you better understand hurricanes.

1. Hurricane Harvey didn’t have the strongest winds. Why was it so bad?  Answer: Flooding. The New York Times shows why with maps and charts https://nyti.ms/2vu92ZU

2. Help! Our car is underwater. Is it ruined? Cars are not boats, and water (especially salt water) is bad for them. Up to 500,000 cars were flooded by Hurricane Harvey. Tell your parents not to start the car because it sucks water into the engine. We found an expert on the subject https://youtu.be/JlJ–E1SR2Q

3. Are there any hurricanes going on, right now? At http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ you can see a real-time map created by the National Hurricane Center. You can also find out what to do if you are in the path of a hurricane.

4. How do hurricanes get their names? You might wonder, especially if your name is Harvey or Katrina. At http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/tcp/Storm-naming.html you learn that the names are assigned six years in advance by a group of scientists from all over the world. Male and female names are used, and no hurricane is named after a real person.

5. What’s the difference between a hurricane, typhoon, cyclone or a tropical depression? The only difference is the location that they occur, according to bitly.com/2iQCdFn. In Asia, they say typhoon or cyclone. In the USA, we call strong storms hurricanes.

6. Who was Saffir-Simpson, and why should I care? Saffir was an engineer, Simpson a meteorologist. Together they created a scale, from 1 (75 MPH winds) to 5 (160 MPH and up) based on the damage winds cause to buildings. Learn more http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php

7. Which is worse — a tornado or a hurricane? At bitly.com/2x0mryb you learn that a tornado can have much stronger winds, but a hurricane can cause more damage due to floods. And hurricanes can cause tornados, making them worse.


1. Make a plan for a storm. Visit http://www.ready.gov/kids where you can learn how to get your house ready for a big storm. You can also play games, like the word search on the right.

2. Explore the forces in a hurricane. At http://bit.ly/2gyxRlC you learn how to turn two plastic bottles into a micro tornado, caused by the Coriolis effect, a force caused by the rotation of the earth.


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