Gathering Storm

Gathering Storm on National Geographic on StarSat - web

Gathering Storm

Hurricanes are the most destructive storms on the planet. A storm only counts as a hurricane once the winds it causes reaches a maximum speed of at least 120 km/h. On land, this can cause property damage due to objects being hurtled around at great speed and flooding due to torrential rain. Combine these factors and even relatively small hurricanes can cause millions of dollars in damage. Big hurricanes can damage entire cities so severely that even years after one hits the damage still isn’t fixed, not to mention the lives that hurricanes can take.

The one saving grace about hurricanes is that the moment they hit land they lose a lot of their power. Bad news for coastal areas but good news for inland ones. Considering that hurricanes, and tropical storms in general, are at their most powerful when still at sea, the men and woman that work full-time atop the ocean’s waters face tremendous danger every year when hurricane season comes.

Thanks to a ton of paperwork hundreds of cameras have been installed on ships, boats and oil platforms so that you witness first-hand how the professionals at sea risk their lives to protect their equipment, their cargo, and ultimately their jobs. We also get to hear the greatest stories of people who’ve been through killer storms and lived to tell about it.

Life on sea is a difficult one, especially considering how spontaneous these extreme weather conditions can be. Understanding how the ocean and its weather works are critical to carving out a living on the ocean surface. Luckily for us, we have a team of scientists that will explain, through first-hand experience, scientific insight and advanced technologies, how these storms operate.

Wednesdays at 9 PM on National Geographic (ch 220, from 15 July)