Nor'easters and Hurricanes: Three Reasons Why These Equally Devastating Cyclones Are Different
We are hearing the term “nor’easter” a lot in the news lately… in fact, a fourth nor’easter hit the eastern U.S. late last week, leaving 50,000 people in New Jersey without power. Images and video are terrifying, showing damage on the scale of a hurricane. While these infamous storms can be just as destructive as a tropical cyclone, they are different types of storms… and it all has to do with when and where that storm is born.
How do they differ?
1. Location, location, location.
- Hurricanes form over the warm waters in the Atlantic Basin as tropical cyclones. Because tropical cyclones get their energy from the latent heat released from warm ocean waters, they are born with a warm core.
- Nor’Easters form when cold dry air from the north meets up with warm moist air from the south – creating a clash of air masses which release the energy needed to create a mid-latitude cyclone. Due to the nature of how and where they form, mid-latitude cyclones are inherently cold.
2. The science of the matter.
- Hurricanes have their strongest winds near the surface and are typically much smaller than nor’easters. While they can have devastating impacts when they make landfall, they tend to hit smaller areas hard.
- Nor’easters have their strongest winds towards the top of the storm – which is why many flights were cancelled during recent nor’easters. A nor’easter is roughly 4 times larger than the size of a typical hurricane–meaning nor’easters impact a much larger piece of real estate!
3. The dangers they bring.
- Hurricanes tend to cause flooding, wind damage and flying projectiles, dangerous surf, downed trees and powerlines, beach erosion, and power outages.
- Nor’easters can bring on whiteout conditions, dangerous icy roads, unpredictable blowing snow drifts, gusty winds, rough seas, ice damage to trees and powerlines, and power outages.
The bottom line: Nor’easters are just as dangerous as hurricanes. Due to geography and time of year, they bring different types of precipitation, but both can cripple regions for days or even weeks. Impacts from both hurricanes and nor’easters are felt near and far. Power outages from both kinds of storms can leave you in the dark for days… and sometimes even weeks or months. Don’t be left in the cold. Consider investing in a Cummins standby generator to ensure you and your family are prepared when the next major storm arrives.
Cummins home standby generators are safe, permanent backup solutions for your home. Connected to your home’s gas line, they automatically turn on the moment an outage strikes and then run powerfully, quietly and efficiently until the outage is over. They’re simply the best choice for backing up your home and ensuring your peace of mind.