Hurricanes are powerful and have a unique way of developing on Earth. In this lesson, you will discover interesting facts of how and where hurricanes form. Continue reading to gain a greater understanding of this fascinating process.
What’s a Hurricane?
Can you imagine strong and fierce winds moving faster than a car on an expressway? Well, the winds in hurricanes can beat most cars in an expressway race, and they travel even faster than the speed limit! This sounds exciting, but can be very dangerous. Let’s take a closer look at what causes these ferocious winds and the formation of hurricanes.A hurricane is an enormous, powerful, violent and fierce storm. Its winds constantly rotate, which is similar to children playing on a merry go round. However, the winds in a hurricane build up much more speed.
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Where Does a Hurricane Form?
There is a fascinating process that occurs over warm oceans to form a hurricane. Hurricanes form over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in tropical locations that are close to the equator, which is an invisible line that separates Earth’s northern half from its southern half.
How Does a Hurricane Form?
Have you ever been outside on a hot, sunny day right after heavy rain? You probably noticed that the air felt warm and humid, which is the perfect atmosphere for a hurricane to form. Certain areas in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans have this type of humidity because of the warmth of the ocean water. The temperature is typically around 80 degrees in these climates.
Step 1: Tropical Disturbance
When winds blow into warm, moist air, the water evaporates and forms clouds. If this continues, more fierce clouds can develop, which results in a thunderstorm.
This process causes the air to form a circular pattern that gets stronger and faster. Scientists call this first level of the formation of a hurricane a tropical disturbance.
Step 2: Tropical Depression
The next step in the formation of a hurricane is known as a tropical depression. This is when cool air, winds, moisture and warm air around the thunderclouds interact to cause even more powerful thunderstorms. As the powerful winds rotate in a circular motion, they become faster and eventually reach around 25 to 38 miles per hour.
Step 3: Tropical Storm
When winds reach 39 miles per hour, an even more powerful thunderstorm known as a tropical storm develops. Have you ever heard of the eye of the storm? This is a calm place located in the center of the ferocious storm as it develops. As the winds move around, they always have a space that they do not reach called the eye of the storm. The eye of the storm is a warning sign that a ferocious hurricane is on its way.
Step 4: Hurricane
Finally, a hurricane develops. Scientists officially categorize the storm as a hurricane when its winds reach 74 to over 150 miles per hour. The hurricane is so enormous that even the eye of the storm can be as wide as 30 miles, which means that the eye can cover entire towns.
Hurricanes depend on the warm, moist air over the oceans for their strength. Therefore, when hurricanes reach land, the fierceness gradually loses its strength.
A hurricane is an enormous, powerful and violent storm that forms over warm ocean water. A hurricane develops in stages based on the speed of its circular moving winds.
The different stages in a hurricane’s formation are tropical disturbance, tropical depression, tropical storm and the last stage is a hurricane. The eye of the storm develops in the third stage and signals that a hurricane is about to form.