What is the Hurricane Eye Wall and What Does It Do?

While the average hurricane is about 300 miles wide, the eye is about 20 to 40 miles across. Surrounding this large center, the eye wall is typically about 10 miles thick from top to bottom.

Before hurricanes make landfall, the rotation in the eye wall takes in hot air from the water’s surface and disperses it to the outer edges of the storm. You could say it works like the “engine” of a hurricane, powering it up to dangerous speeds. Large, powerful hurricanes may even develop two eyes and eye walls.

The eye wall combines the worst parts of a hurricane and amps them up. In this area of a hurricane, you’ll see:

  • Heavy, dense thunderstorms
  • The hurricane’s strongest winds
  • Storm surges – which happen when water from the ocean is driven by the powerful winds in the eye wall

In general, the right side of a hurricane is the most dangerous because winds spin in a counterclockwise direction. Over time, this intensity decreases, but experts warn you not to go outside at the first signs of decreased winds. You may be experiencing the eye’s calmer center. Once it advances to the point of the eye wall, you will experience the wind rotation and pressure changes with renewed intensity.

How Can I Prepare for the Eye Wall of a Hurricane?

While those factors seem daunting and inescapable, you can protect yourself with a hurricane preparedness plan. Whether you’re evacuating or riding out the storm, you should always prepare yourself with:

  • A family emergency evacuation plan that you’ve practiced in advance
  • A minimum three-day supply of food and water
  • Water pumps or makeshift dams to combat flooding
  • Flood, wind and home insurance
  • Storm shutters
  • Storm shields

Remember, if you’re unable to evacuate, you’re only as safe as the weakest point in your home. While storm force winds turn trees, rocks, cars and other heavy items into projectiles, a storm’s wind along with pressure of flood waters can also break into your doors and windows. To protect your home and family, install storm shutters and shields over every entryway and opening of your home, including windows.

If you’re able to evacuate, close your storm shutters before you leave. Making that part of your escape plan can reduce the amount of repairs you’ll have to do when you return. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Let Home Safety Solutions Be Part of Your Hurricane Preparedness Plan

Home Safety Solutions has been helping Tampa residents prepare for hurricanes and violent storms for over 30 years. As an authorized dealer and installer of many top home storm protection brands, we’re proud of our work and products.

Every hurricane is different. Contact us today to protect your home from each variety.