Question Sheet: Recipe for a Hurricane


Before reading:

  1. What news have you heard lately about hurricanes? 
  2. What resources do people have to find out about hurricanes?

During reading:

  1. Why is it important to predict hurricanes? 
  2. How does a hurricane form? 
  3. When is hurricane season? 
  4. How do researchers at Colorado State University predict hurricanes? 
  5. Why are these storms named? 
  6. What is the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon?

After reading:

  1. Why do meteorologists classify storms? 
  2. Look back at old newspapers from this summer and compare Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Ivan. Where did they start? What were their courses? How were they reported on? 
  3. Why do you think most storms form off the coast of Africa? 
  4. Why can storms be unpredictable? 
  5. Explain the difference between a tornado and a hurricane. 
  6. How are computers used to understand hurricanes?


  1. When a hurricane hits a state hard, the President of the United States or the governor of that state can declare a “state of emergency.” What does that term mean? Why is it useful for the state? 
  2. The most deadly hurricane in U.S. history occurred in 1900, when a massive storm struck Galveston Island, Texas. On what date did the hurricane strike? About how many people died? How did Clara Barton and the Red Cross become involved? You can learn more about this hurricane at (Galveston County Daily News).


  1. After a hurricane, many people are without a home or have lost power. Write an article about what you think your school could do to help people in this situation. You can find suggestions at the Web sites of organizations such as the Red Cross ( to help you formulate a plan. 
  2. Write an article for a newspaper about the “hurricane chasers,” people who fly into hurricanes. What sorts of planes do they use? What’s it like flying through a storm? What measurements do they make? What does the eye look like? How dangerous are such flights? What do meteorologists learn? You can find out more about hurricane chasers at (NASA) and (U.S. Air Force).


Hurricanes can cause the water of the ocean to rise much higher than usual. In one town, the homes are built on stilts that are 8 1/2 feet high. If the storm surge is 10 1/4 feet, how much of a house would be under water?