Which side of a hurricane contains the highest winds of the storm?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Which side of a hurricane contains the highest winds of the storm?
Jeff Storr, Kankakee

Dear Jeff,
Hurricanes are intense low pressure systems with a counterclockwise wind circulation in the Northern Hemisphere. Hurricane forecasters define quadrants of the storm with respect to the direction the hurricane is moving. If the storm is moving west, the front, right quadrant would be northwest of the eye. Strongest winds ( and hurricane-induced tornadoes) are almost always found in or near the right front (or forward) quadrant of the storm because the forward speed of the hurricane is added to the rotational wind speeds generated by the storm itself. Winds within the back left quadrant tend to be weakest since the forward speed of the storm would be opposite to the rotation of the wind field.

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