When discussing hurricanes, very frequently the term eye of the storm comes into play. For those who are not intimately familiar with these destructive forces of nature, this terminology might mean very little. As a matter of fact, even those who live in the parts of the country where hurricanes are a given, sometimes find themselves fooled by the eye of the storm and the calm that it brings. There are plenty of descriptions in literature and early eyewitness accounts that appear to give an almost spiritual mysticism to this eye. It is described as the sudden stillness that follow the ravages of a howling storm; many have commented on the blue skies and sunshine that suddenly replaces the grey and black clouds that have been swirling above your head for such a long time; some have commented on the sudden warmth that comes like a spring morning after the merciless pounding of cold rain and tornadoes.
Here is the eye of the storm in review:
It is true that the eye of the storm is indeed the part of the hurricane that provides a break to you. It is a calm spot, which so much more is pronounced because just outside of the eye are the most violent storms the hurricane has to offer. Thus, the sudden calm is indeed an almost spiritual, or perhaps eerie, experience.
The formation of the eye can be seen on the satellite pictures that you will be able to see on the Internet or on the television newscast. While the clouds are spinning in a circular motion, the spot around which they are spinning is referred to as they eye, and it is always highly visible.
The reason for the beautiful weather attributed to the eye is the simple fact that while the air is rising to the top anywhere else in the storm, in the eye it is actually sinking, bringing warm air. This also explains why no rain is falling from the eye and why so many eyewitness accounts have actually reported seeing beautiful blue skies.
The size of the eye varies, depending on the size of the hurricane. Some eyes are as small as five miles across, while others are as big as 60 miles. It is hard to gage – when the eye of the hurricane is above you – just when the storms will start up again.
Do not be fooled by the calm weather you suddenly experience as part of the eye of the storm. It simply means that the storm has passed you by halfway, and soon the winds will start up again, the rain will begin once more, and your chance of seeing more dark and ominous clouds as well as tornadoes are very good. Many people who have been waiting out a storm may now be tempted to leave their safe rooms and venture outside to begin clean up. Do not do so! Whatever clean up anyone does now will be for naught when the storm starts up again; additionally, since there is the distinct danger that the storms and the rain will start up again without a warning, you may actually put yourself in danger if you leave your safe room. Thus, even if you suddenly hear nothing and it looks like a beautiful sunny day outside, do not leave your safe room unless you are prompted to do so by the authorities.
If you remember these few simple steps, you will remain safe, and you will be able to weather the storm, even as the eye of the hurricane is promising fairer weather up ahead.