hurricane impact windows on modern South Florida home in Palm Beach County

The Science Behind Hurricanes and Hurricane Proof Windows

By Published On: June 27, 2022

Understanding how hurricanes work and the High-Velocity Hurricane Zones in your area is necessary for considering purchasing hurricane proof windows in Palm Beach County or purchasing hurricane proof housing. Today, let’s discuss the science behind hurricanes , hurricane proof windows, and why we need hurricane proof housing.

Understanding How Hurricanes Work

Beyond simply knowing that they’re a type of storm, understanding how hurricanes come about can help to understand why they occur in certain areas. This can in turn help explain the necessity of preventative measures such as hurricane proof windows Palm Beach County and other coastal towns.

The Birth of a Hurricane

All hurricanes start as tropical disturbances over warm ocean waters that have a surface temperature of at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit. These low-pressure systems are fed by energy via heat from the warm, wet ocean air, releasing it through the condensation of water vapor resulting in clouds. The rising air creates a low air pressure area, and the air from surrounding higher air pressure pushes into this low-pressure area. This process is then carried by the ocean heat and evaporating water, which starts to spin the clouds, finally, creating a hurricane.

The Anatomy of a Hurricane

As with other bodies, whether macrocosmic or microcosmic, hurricanes occur in a relatively consistent manner with several key parts. Most people will be familiar with what lies in the center of a hurricane, often referred to as the “eye of the storm”. The eye is usually 19-40 miles in diameter and is characterized by relatively calm weather. Outside of this area is the eyewall, the most dangerous part of the hurricane consisting of several thunderstorms orbiting the eye. Beyond the eyewall is the rainbands that spin outwards, enlarging the storm, this area still has relatively dangerous rain and wind speeds.

The Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale

Hurricanes are categorized on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale which ranks them from 1 to 5. These ranks are based on typical wind speeds, which can be seen as follows:

– Category 1: 74 to 95 mph wind

– Category 2: 96 to 110 mph wind

– Category 3: 111 to 129 mph wind

– Category 4: 130 to 156 mph wind

– Category 5: 157+ mph wind

Knowing the categories for historical hurricanes in your area can help determine the necessity of protection for your home. Certain areas where Category 5 hurricanes have hit are referred to as High-Velocity Hurricane Zones, and these areas need quality hurricane proof windows Palm Beach County is a great example.

Hurricane Proof Housing

There are a few aspects of hurricane proofing that determine their efficacy in protecting you and your family from the hazards of a hurricane. Hurricanes are not only dangerous because of the high-speed winds and potential flooding, but largely because of the debris that can be flung by these winds. Thus the importance of impact windows and impact shutters that can stop this debris in its tracks.

Hurricane Proof Housing and Impact Protection

The impact protection of hurricane-proof windows is typically defined by a couple of key features, the frame and the shatter-proof film between layers of laminated glass. The frame of a hurricane-proof window needs to be able to withstand high-speed impact from a range of variously sized objects, to ensure they don’t penetrate your home. Lightweight but durable aluminum is a typical material relied on for its strengths in these areas. The glass itself isn’t usually anything special, but the way that it is laminated with a special resin between the two layers ensures that if it does get hit it won’t shatter. By not shattering, these windows will keep the atmospheric conditions between the inside of your house and the intense conditions outside separate, as this is part of what can cause more devastating damage.

Hurricane Proof Housing & Hurricane Windows in Palm Beach County, FL

Hopefully shining some light on both hurricanes and the means we use to protect our homes from them has helped guide your decision in either installing or upgrading the hurricane protection in your home. This is especially important in the High-Velocity Hurricane Zones such as Coastal Palm Beach County, as well as the Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Be sure to check out our range of hurricane proofing options on our website, and contact us today if you have any questions or inquiries.


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