Increased Ocean Swell, Decreased Wave Period
As a hurricane approaches, ocean waves will increase in size, while the period between waves will decrease. Eventually, chop and whitecaps will begin to overtake the surface of the water.
If you're resourceful enough to have your own barometer, you'll notice that the air pressure it measures starts to fall as a hurricane gets nearer.
Marked Increase in Wind Speed
By the time you notice a big increase in winds, the oncoming storm may be less than 24 hours from landfall.
The outer rainbands of a hurricane can arrive several hours before the full force of a hurricane hits land.
And how do know the difference between a bad storm and a hurricane? Sustained wind speed. Tropical storms are classified as having winds of 39 mph or greater, while hurricanes have wind speeds in excess of 73 mph.
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