ZooとThoughts is created to motivate your learning of English. A language is not only vocabulary and grammar, it is also grown from culture. By learning about culture, the language becomes even less foreign because you are able to understand the nuances within the vocabulary and grammar. If you are in a conversation with someone and you are discussing a topic it is important to understand the words they are saying, the context in which they are saying them, and the culture that helped shape that opinion. That’s what this page is meant to do – help you understand on a deeper level.
The United States is a natural disaster waiting to happen. It’s probably unavoidable because of the sheer size of the country. From the western seaboard to the Atlantic ocean, there’s always some sort of trouble brewing, from earthquakes to tornadoes, we’ve got it all. It’s a good thing we don’t export this shit, right?
Japan of course has it’s own natural disasters. The peak time for typhoons in Japan is August and September, and then you always have to worry about earthquakes. I used to live in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States, but I’ve never actually been in an earthquake. There were occasional tremors, but nothing serious.
So let’s start at the western part of the United States and move west. California has to worry about earthquakes all the time, because the state sits on what is known as the San Andreas fault line. This fault line is what connects the North American and Pacific tectonic plates, and it is always shifting. By the way, if you’ve heard that California is sinking into the ocean, this is a myth. The tectonic plates move laterally (up and down) not longitudinally (right and left). Besides earthquakes, during the summers forest fires are prevalent in the U.S. from southern California to the middle of Texas. These fires can be caused from campers or from lightning strikes during thunder storms. That area of the U.S. gets so dry that any tiny spark can grow into a major fire. Currently the biggest fires are in California and Montana.
Now let’s look at the middle of the United States known as Tornado Alley. Tornado Alley is a lateral group of states in the U.S. where tornados are prevalent, tornado season is from April to June. As with any other type of weather disaster, tornadoes are formed because of certain air currents mixing with other air currents and interacting with the heat and the humidity in the air. Tornado Alley stretches from South Dakota to the top half of Texas, but it can extend from as far as Colorado to parts of Ohio.
Finally, the eastern seaboard is best known for hurricanes. Hurricanes are really powerful storms that can travel hundreds of miles, unlike a Tornado which usually lasts less than 10 minutes. Tornadoes can spin off from hurricanes and happen at the same time as the storm. Tornadoes can also form in the ocean during a hurricane, we call these water spouts. They’re a pretty neat thing to see, but they are just as destructive if they make it onto land. Hurricane season is an actually season for us on the east coast. It starts June 1st and lasts through November 30th, but starting around September is when it’s peak hurricane season. Hurricanes form usually near the African coastline and depending on wind currents they can travel up the eastern seaboard towards New York, like Hurricane Sandy a few years ago or, they can turn and go into the Gulf of Mexico.
In general, the ones that hit the warm waters of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico can be stronger. The warmer the water is, the more devastating a hurricane can be. It creates pressure in the storm system and that pressure has to be released. This year the gulf waters have been 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 33 degrees Celsius. It feels great for people who like to boil in the sun, but it means that a catastrophe can brew more easily in the Atlantic. When my mom was growing up here in Florida the gulf water didn’t get above 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 26 degrees Celsius.
So what happens in everybody’s favorite city, New York City? It gets destroyed multiple times in Hollywood movies, literally every freak natural disaster that Hollywood can think of gets set in New York.
Hurricane Harvey has hit Texas and caused billions of dollars in damage and now Hurricane Irma is set for Florida. Just got the text from my older brother that we need to prepare. Tracks have been updated, we’re going to go through a hurricane. Would you guys like me to document it?
As with any natural disaster in whatever part of the world, please always be prepared and stay safe.
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I want to know, what your thoughts on this culture point? Leave a comment below. Is it important to you? Do you have a deeper understanding now? Is it important in your culture or family culture? Please let me know what you think, what you would like to learn next! Please share this page with your friends so we can grow our community!