What is a superstorm?

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Hurricane Sandy
New York, Oct 29: As superstorm Sandy has caused large-scale devastation across USA, "superstorm" seems to have become a widely used word on television channels and newspapers.

What is a superstorm?

Experts say superstorm is a subjective term for any storm that is extremely and unusually destructive. The term is often used to describe the 1993 Storm of the Century, which impacted much of northeast America with varying degrees of destructive weather.

What makes Sandy a superstorm?

Sandy is so big that winds could be felt up to 450 miles away from the storm's centre, say weather experts. On top of this the warm, moist air that Sandy's dragged from the south is expected to collide with cold and wintry weather from the north and west. It will then officially become a powerful superstorm and those conditions could drag it further in-land and across more parts of America. A full moon also means the sea tides will be higher than usual, making it easier for the storm's powerful winds to push water onto the land and potentially causing mass flooding, says a BBC report.

What is a Hurricane?

A hurricane is a very big storm. It can be up to 600 miles (966 km) wide with strong winds spiralling inward and upward.

Each hurricane usually lasts for more than a week, moving 10-20 miles per hour over the open ocean.

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