Hurricanes are dangerous, no matter what way you slice it – especially massive beasts like the Category 5 Major Hurricane Irma churning in the Caribbean. As the continental U.S. gears up for a likely landfall within the next few days, let’s break down the different quadrants of a hurricane and how their impacts could affect us.
For example sake, imagine a hurricane is traveling north and we’re looking down on the tropical system from above. From there, we’ll cut the system into four quadrants with the eye wall as the center marker:
Top Right Quadrant
Most dangerous part of the storm. This is where we see it all. The most extreme wind, flooding rain and dangerous storm surge. This is also likely where we would see feeder bands spawning tornadoes. Most tornadoes formed from a tropical system, are usually short-lived and appear 100 miles to the east of the eye wall.
Bottom Right Quadrant
This is where we find the most dangerous wind speeds. Apart from the eye wall, this is where the strongest winds within the storm are located.
Top Left Quadrant
Most dangerous area for storm surge. Storm surge is the MOST dangerous part of the storm. Hurricane Irma will likely kick up 7-11 foot storm surge for coastal areas, causing catastrophic flooding.
Bottom Left Quadrant
“Weakest” part of the storm. Although, this is technically the least threatening part of the storm, this could still be a very dangerous part of the storm, and similar precautions should be taken.