Of Hurricanes And Avenging Spirits: The Origin

Where do hurricanes come from?

Have you ever noticed how all the hurricanes that devastate America start roughly in the same area on the North West Coast of Africa, and follow more or less the similar pathways across the Atlantic ocean……

Hurricane tracks

There’s a reason for that…..

Sometime early in the 16th century slavers came to the west coast of Africa beginning the dark time in Africa’s history of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Africans were enslaved and transported across the Atlantic ocean for the next 400+ years however slavery had been going on prior to this in small pockets across the continent but the Atlantic slavery was the largest in both volume and intensity.

slaves_ruvuma

The slavers worked with African rulers who were willing to trade guns and other “modern” goods for the lives of captured rival tribes and also those who had committed offences punishable by death; who ended up in plantations in the Americas which produced raw materials for European markets

1024px-triangular_trade

By Sémhur – a (very) simplified map from this map by François Nancy

slavetrade-58d199915f9b581d72a541c9

The slaves were treated as cargo and packed in appalling conditions for months on end with an estimated mortality of less than 13% a cumulative total in the millions died from illness, murder, starvation, drowning, suicide, rape and simply just losing the will to live.

PJ - MBJ  -3.gif

The Myth

Hurricanes are the avenging spirits of all those who died in transit, which is why their path follows the Atlantic Slave Trade Route…..

To be specific, some believe hurricanes are the spirits of the black women, who died during this forced migration; Herricane this is her rage.

ricane

The Anatomy Of A Hurricane

Hurricanes are basically violent storms generated by low pressure systems and driven by warm moist air; which is why they form over warm ocean waters near the equator.

Warm moist air rises causing low pressure in the area below, surrounding high pressure air moves to the low pressure area and it too warms up and rises; the rising air cools  and condenses into clouds as the cycle spins.

Related image

Storms that form north of the equator spin counterclockwise. Storms south of the equator spin clockwise. This difference is because of Earth’s rotation on its axis.

The Sahara desert is largely responsible for the formation of the African Easterly Jets; strong high altitudes winds blowing east a result of the differences between air from the hot, dry Sahara desert mixing with the cooler, wetter air from the south and surrounding the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa.

African Easterly Jet

The African Easterly Jet undulates causing waves of tropical disturbance which move westward off the West African Coast. Combined with warm ocean temperatures they gain moisture and lift, and cluster, resulting in a hurricane.

Ocean currents also affect the direction and intensity of the storms (warm currents cause stronger storms) Ocean currents follow a well-defined paths formed by the combined effect of Earth’s rotation, pressure gradient and wind speed.

gobal ocean currents

global conveyor belt

warmer ocean surface currents (in red) and colder bottom currents (in dark blue)

world-hurricane-map-legend

Every recorded hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon between 1850-2016

Shipping routes are also determined by the ocean currents. A ship passing through a current whose direction isn’t where the ship is headed, burns more fuel to provide the necessary thrust to counter the current; whilst riding a current’s momentum, consumes less fuel.

global shipping routes

Global shipping Routes

Image result for slave shipping routes

hurricane-map-firefox-logo

does the hurricane track map look somewhat like the Firefox logo?

Science says hurricanes aren’t as result of any avenging spirits but hey sometimes there are forces in the universe are beyond our understanding………

~B

Day 28 Africa stories home

Photo Credits:

Atlantic Hurricane Tracks: wikimedia By Nilfanion

The Triangular Trade Wikimedia

Her-ricane KushitePrince

Where Storms are born Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

global ocean currents Physical Geography

global shipping routes wikimedia B.S. Halpern (T. Hengl; D. Groll)

Map of hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons metrocosm.com Max Galka

Firefox and Track Map comparison @kimaidou @galka_max

 

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