4
$\begingroup$

Watching the news for the US hurricane Harvey and they say it will make landfall soon. But what part of the hurricane are they referring to?

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

Hurricanes make "landfall" when the center of the eye moves over land.

From the NOAA National Hurricane Center glossary:

Landfall: The intersection of the surface center of a tropical cyclone with a coastline.Because the strongest winds in a tropical cyclone are not located precisely at the center, it is possible for a cyclone's strongest winds to be experienced over land even if landfall does not occur. Similarly, it is possible for a tropical cyclone to make landfall and have its strongest winds remain over the water.

Below is an example image showing when landfall occurred for Hurricane Harvey:

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Note how this makes it consistent, as there's no other obvious way to track weaker storms, plus makes larger-scale sense. However it can certainly lead to occasional perplexed reactions by the public, as when a location battered by a big hurricane finally emerges into the eye, only to hear landfall remains hours away (on storms with slow motion). And it also results in some peculiar circumstances where a storm fully batters the coast with its central core, eye even emerges onshore, yet never makes official landfall (as was the case with Hurricane Matthew near in SC\GA in October 2016) $\endgroup$ Aug 26 '17 at 12:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.