Determining Force Strengths of Hurricanes

Hurricanes are tropical storms that occur yearly along the Atlantic coast. While they usually only cause roughly 8 deaths per year, they cause a lot of damage to the structure of homes and other buildings. This research was conducted to compare force strengths between different combinations of hurricane effects: air, air and water, air and debris, and air, water, and debris. To determine which particle combination held the highest force strength, combinations of a leaf blower, a hose, and toothpicks were aimed against a force plate for a set amount of time. The highest force within the allotted time was recorded for each combination. The trials were run multiple times and the force for each combination was averaged to be compared using box plots. Since all 4 box plots of the forces overlapped, an ANOVA test was run to see if the forces were all the same, with a null hypothesis that stated that all forces were equal. After running the test, it was determined that all 4 forces were equal, as there was a p-value of 0.0569, which was greater than the alpha level of 0.05. The highest average force was the air combination with 10.74 N and the lowest average force was the air and debris combination with 10.15 N. The results occurred as they did because the air alone was focused into one area while the air, water, and debris combination was dispersed over a larger area on the force plate, which caused the air to hit the plate with a more direct force. Since the air alone still held the highest force, the hypothesis that the combination of air, water, and debris would have the highest force was rejected.

Research Conducted By:

Brittany Ahlgrim
Warren Mott High School

Suyailim Nahin
Warren Mott High School