453: Upcoming Hurricanes

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Upcoming Hurricanes
I'd like to see more damage assessments for hurricanes hitting New York and flooding Manhattan -- something like the 1938 Long Island Express, but aimed a bit more to the west.  It's just a matter of time.
Title text: I'd like to see more damage assessments for hurricanes hitting New York and flooding Manhattan -- something like the 1938 Long Island Express, but aimed a bit more to the west. It's just a matter of time.


It must be hurricane season! This comic gives some ideas on upcoming hurricane paths. Lets look at each path.

Hurricane Illinois-Has-It-Too-Easy: They really do. This smart hurricane, while actually impossible, comes from Canada to strike little old Chicago before heading back to Canada.

Hurricane Where-The-Hell-Is-Bermuda: Nice little irony here, normally people get lost once they get to the triangle and never come back. This poor hurricane can't even get there to get lost.

Hurricane Screw-It-Let's-Just-Trash-Florida-Again: Why you would want to live in Florida during hurricane season is beyond me. Sticking out from the rest of the US, Florida is in a nice spot to get hurricanes from the East, South, and West. And with the state not being very high or wide, it is common for a hurricane to run over Florida, lose some strength, then rebuild in the Gulf of Mexico, only to do a U-turn and strike again.

Hurricane Freud: You just need to know that Sigmund Freud had a thing about sex, and let's just leave it at that.

Hurricane Red and Blue: Playing a game of Light Cycles from Tron, Hurricane Blue lost -- it crashed into the lightwall of Hurricane Red.

Hurricane Cos(x): Just following the simple math function, Hurricane Cos(x) just oscillates between 1°N and 1°S. This, while cool, is impossible as near the equator the Coriolis effect is way too weak to cause rotation. In fact, there has never been a hurricane within 5° of the equator due to the Coriolis force being too weak, and the Coriolis force is what causes the hurricane to rotate.

The title text refers to a 1938 Category 5 Hurricane that caused $41.1 billion in damage in current money. Had it been further west it could have caused more damage as the right side of a hurricane is stronger and more destructive than the left side as the winds on the right side push water inland.


[An unlabeled map shows the region roughly between central Canada and northern Brazil. Dotted lines indicating hurricane paths cover the map, all red except where noted.
Hurricane Illinois-Has-It-Too-Easy comes from somewhere to the northwest, goes through Illinois, and then back to the northwest.
Hurricane Where-the-Hell-Is-Bermuda enters from the east side of the map, wanders around the Atlantic in a scribble, goes north for a while, and then peters out.
Hurricane Screw-It-Let's-Just-Trash-Florida-Again comes from the east, starts to curve to the north, and then turns sharply to head straight for Florida and zigzag through it.
Hurricane Freud starts in the Gulf of Mexico, draws a set of balls to Florida's cock, and then comes on land and stops.
Hurricane Red and Hurricane Blue (which is a blue line) are playing a game of Tron, zipping in straight lines and right angles around Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba. Red successfully cuts off Blue and then dies shortly thereafter.
Hurricane cos(x) forms a graph of cos(x) along the bottom edge of the map.]

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I wonder, is there a reason why Randall chose cos(x) over sin(x)? Is there a y-axis somewhere on the map? Not that it matters; just curious... Bobidou23 (talk) 23:24, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

cos(x), sin(x), they're the same thing, plus or minus pi/4... -- IronyChef (talk) 02:57, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Something seems off about this explanation. Like reading a blog. 05:14, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

If something is less than satisfactory, you are fully welcome (and even encouraged) to edit the explanation to be better. lcarsos (talk) 06:37, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Whoever said hurricanes cannot form within 5 degrees of the equator was wrong... It is not likely but it is possible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Agni http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon_Vamei 14:36, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

This title-text seems strangely prophetic after Tropical Storm Sandy in 2012. -- (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Yes, I agree. David1217 (talk) 17:18, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
There is more to win from predicting something that is going to happen than there is to lose from predicting something that doesn't happen. Tharkon (talk) 19:30, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Has anyone any idea what the "&" symbol is about in Hurricane Where-The-Hell-Is-Bermuda? 12:32, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Regarding Hurricane cos(x):

  • If Equator is the x-axis and the y-axis goes through the Prime meridian of Greenwich it would be possible to say if this was a true cosine function hurricane.
  • A cosine would be 1 (the maximum value) at x=0 (i.e. the maximum value would occur under Greenwich), whereas a sine would be 0 at x=0.
  • If it had been a basic cos(x) without any constants added, then it should have been centered along the equator instead of as it is - ranging from about 5.5° to 9.5° north latitude.
  • But if the formula was of the form a*cos(b*x)+c with a, b and c given constant, the wave could move to the center of this range with c=7.5°. With the constant a=2° the wave would move between the max and minimum of the range, and then b could be chosen to make the wave length fit with the path shown in the map.

-- -- Kynde (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

There is no reason to assume the axes are on the meridian and equator. Tharkon (talk) 02:41, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Disclaimer: I know I'm pretty late to the whole "cos(x)" discussion, but here are my 2 cents.
  • Probably no great surprise that Randall wrote "cos" while drawing a sine function. Assuming he did not have any special reason to prefer one over the other, there was a 50/50 chance of him writing "cos" rather than "sin" to label the curve, and a 50/50 chance of him drawing a sine rather than a cosine function -- taking the leftmost point as the origin and not considering other, arbitrary phase offsets. And, finally, there was a 50/50 chance that the choice of label would not agree with the curve drawn.
  • Observation: The letters in "cos" all have the nice feature that, if written in uppercase as is Randall's usual style, they are indistinguishable from lowercase, which is the usual style for trig functions appearing in textbooks and scientific journals. Not so with "sin". So, probably by accident, using "cos" allowed Randall to write in his usual style while still having a function label in the style people are used to seeing in print.
Incidentally, Randall has used both lowercase (see #184) and uppercase (#1047, 3rd row below "World Population" table entry) to write "sin".
Redbelly98 (talk) 23:49, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

The details for Hurricane cos(x) mentions a trivia section, which is not present in this article. Just some random derp 17:41, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

I was about to post the same comment but then I decided to read these first. 07:52, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Is it just me or is long island missing from the map?? --Effy (talk) 10:15, 2 April 2017 (UTC)