Meteorologists regularly refer come the best side of a hurricane as the “dirty side” that the storm.

You are watching: What is the dirty side of a hurricane

“Personally, I like to channel my inner boxer and call the the storm’s ‘right hook,’” meteorologist Paul gross said. “That’s due to the fact that this part of the storm has the many intense weather associated with the whole system.”

Gross walk on to explain, saying, this is why the is: let’s say the a hurricane is moving due west towards the U.S. East coast at 20 mph, and also maximum continual winds blowing approximately the eye are at 100 mph. The wind top top the best side of the eye (meaning, for this particular hurricane, on the north side of the eye) is blowing in the very same direction together the hurricane itself is moving. Vice versa, the wind on the LEFT side of the eye (the southern side of this specific eye) is blow in opposing direction that the storm’s movement.

So, the wind come the right of the eye basically has a tail wind, and blows more tough (perhaps 110-120 mph) 보다 the wind to the left of the eye, i beg your pardon is blowing against the storm’s movement (perhaps 80-90 mph). It is why the appropriate side that an pull close hurricane has actually the strongest wind.


But wind speed isn’t the whole story.

The wind on the appropriate side of that hurricane is blowing straight toward shore, and also that pushes a wall surface of water right into the shoreline, and also inland. This is referred to as storm surge, and is the many destructive facet of a hurricane.

On the left next of a hurricane, the wind is punch offshore, which have the right to obviously cause problems, but is not destructive like the storm surging on the various other side.

One final facet to remember, gun said: The stronger wind ~ above the best side the the storm, acting in concert through a readjust in wind direction at the surface due to friction indigenous terrain, buildings, trees, etc., creates an environment conducive to smaller sized spin-up tornadoes, which are most usual in those spiral bands sprawling the end away native the facility of the storm.

So, those on the ideal side that a landfalling hurricane acquire a twin whammy -- the strongest wind and also storm surge, plus the tornado threat.


Bottom line, gun said, is the while all components of a hurricane space bad, the “dirty side” is simply worse.

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Paul Gross

Local 4 meteorologist Paul Gross was born in Detroit and has invested his entire life and career right below in south east Michigan. Paul has actually researched, written and also produced eight half-hour documentaries because that WDIV, and many science, historical and environmental stories.

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Michelle Ganley

Michelle is the regulating Editor of Graham Media Group's Digital content Team, i m sorry writes for all of the company's news websites.