Earth Sciences and Ecology Question #3054

Selena Henderson, a 27 year old female from Houston asks on November 20, 2005,

Why don't hurricanes hit the country of Panama? Is there any data predicting the probability of hurricanes hitting Panama within the next 10 years? What is it about the location and landscape of Panama that seem to make it hurricane resistant?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on December 26, 2005

Nobody can tell for sure what the future holds for hurricanes in Panama, but it's very unlikely that one will ever head in that direction. The reason hurricanes don't hit places like panama and costa rica is that they are just not in the classic path that Atlantic hurricanes travel. Due to the ocean currents, upper level wind flows, and rotation of the earth, hurricanes always take an upward curving path as they move east to west. Since they always curve upwards away from the equator, they always curve away from Panama. Panama is simply too far south to be in the path of a hurricane.

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