During the year of 1988, several events changed the lives of hundreds of people. The summer Olympics, a presidential election, and Hurricane Gilbert Essay which torethrough Jamaica, part of Mexico and the United States.
Hurricane Gilbertoccurred between September 10th and the 17th. Hurricane Gilbert was one of themost wretched storms of the century. What had started out as a tropical storm,grew into a terrible nightmare for those that lived in Jamaica. "The onsetof the storm was first seen by satellite on September 3rd 1988. This wascategorized as a tropical storm; a wrinkle in the uniformly eastern flow"(Sheets 1).
Gilbert was not only infamous for its’ category rating, but for thebarometric pressure which was the lowest recorded for an Atlantic storm. Causesthat contributed to the strength of Hurricane Gilbert include: atmosphericconditions, the category rating, and the proximity of its’ eye. The effects ofthe hurricane consisted of property damage, economic losses, casualties and somesolutions such as insurance and funds. Atmospheric conditions were some of thefactors that contributed to Hurricane Gilbert’s intensity.Order now
Hurricane Gilbert hadextremely powerful winds that reached 160 knots which is about 175 mph and gustsup to 121 mph (Stengel 18). At 10, 000 feet, Gilbert’s counterclockwise windsreached up to 200 miles per hour, and at ground level the winds were around 175mph (Stengel 17). With winds that strong, almost nothing could stop that storm. When the winds began to spread out over a large area, they stirred the Atlanticwaters and brought cool water underneath the earth’s surface; therefore, causinga reduction in the amount of rapid showers and thunderstorms (Sheets 1). Waterwas another contributing factor in the destruction caused by Hurricane Gilbert. Hurricane Gilbert formed in the same manner as most tropical storms do.
;Areason for Gilbert’s strength was the warm air placed itself in contact with thewater, the air became wet and was then moistened by evaporation" (Sheets2). Hurricane conditions can only happen during warm months and over warmwaters. Storm surges only occur when the storm meets the land. Gilbert’s systemof low pressure and high winds created a dome of high and intense water that wasforced ashore. The water flow then caused storm surges which flooded many lowlying areas, such as, beaches and coastlines. The waves of the waters reached ashigh as 30 feet.
Floods were another cause of destruction. Torrential rainscreated sudden flooding as Hurricane Gilbert moved inland. As Gilbert’s windsdiminished, rainfall floods became Jamaica’s greatest threat. (Sheets 2).
Airmass was a third cause of destruction. During the summer of 1988, both Jamaicaand the United States were hot and humid. A drought in the Midwestern UnitedStates caused forest fires and harvesters had a hard season with the crops (Stengel17). Since the air was relatively warm around the Caribbean and the Northeasternpart of South America, the humidity was significantly higher, and the seatemperature was somewhat warm consequently causing the formation of HurricaneGilbert.
Hurricane Gilbert’s barometric pressure reading was a very importantfactor in it’s destructive force. A barometric pressure reading is the measureof the storm’s strength. Hurricane Gilbert received the lowest sea levelpressure reading for a storm in the Western Hemisphere. Gilbert’s pressurereading was recorded at 888 MB.
or 26. 23 inches. Since Gilbert had a lowpressure reading, it was more likely to cause extreme damage. Hurricane Gilbertreceived a rating or category of five on the Saffir/Simpson scale, which reads astorms strength (Sheets 3).
Category five is the highest level that a hurricanecan be rated at. This denotes that Gilbert was proficient enough to cause;catastrophic damage; (;Hurricane Gilbert; 689). Anotherhurricane to reach level five was Camille, a hurricane that occurred in 1969 (Trippet18). When a hurricane such as Gilbert, that is rated a Category five, wind andwater damage are extremely dynamic. Windows can be blown out, trees up rootedand mall buildings can be destroyed during a hurricane (;HurricaneInfo; 3). Hurricanes that are large in size, will usually have smallereyes, like Hurricane Gilbert.
Hurricane Gilbert had an eye less than 10 miles indiameter, but the hurricane covered the entire western half of the Caribbean aswell as southeastern parts of the Gulf of Mexico (Sheets 3). The vortex ofGilbert was 450 miles in width (Stengel 17). Even though the eye of HurricaneGilbert looked almost invisible, it still was readily visible. As the eye ofGilbert turned and moved in .