Hurricane is the name of tropical cyclones, mostly in North and South America. The word “hurricane” itself is a distorted name of Huracan, the god of fear, of the South American Kiché tribe of Indians. In the Western Pacific Ocean, hurricanes are called “typhoons” (from Chinese «tai fung», which means «big wind»), “cyclones” in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, “willy willy” off the coast of Australia, “willy wow” in Oceania, and “baguio” in the Philippines.
What exactly is a hurricane? The hurricane is an atmospheric vortex of large size with wind speeds up to 75 mph, and up to 124 mph in the surface layer. A hurricane or tropical cyclone is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs over a warm sea surface and receives “fuel” from the fact that moist air rises, water vapor condenses as rain, and the drier air that is produced in this process descends. When the “fuel” runs out, the hurricane subsides.
How and where are hurricanes formed? Hurricanes form as cyclones in the inner tropical belt over the world’s oceans when water temperatures exceed 79 degrees Fahrenheit. A hurricane generates a perturbation (a sudden disruption of something’s normal course) that occurs when warm, moist air that comes into contact with the sea begins to rise. When it reaches high altitudes, it condenses, releasing heat. This causes other masses of hot air to rise and condense, creating a kind of chain reaction. Meanwhile, the air currents begin to rotate counterclockwise (clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere) due to the Earth’s rotation, taking the perturbation clouds with them. When wind speeds reach 81 miles per hour, it becomes a hurricane. Hurricanes in the Northern Hemisphere, due to the rotation of the Earth, move westward (from Africa towards America) with a speed that initially does not exceed 12-15 miles per hour.
The birth and development of a tropical cyclone is a manifestation of the work of nature’s colossal heat machine. Well, how are hurricanes caused? At first, huge masses of water vapor from the ocean surface heated by the sun rise into the atmosphere. Thus, an area of low pressure is formed in the center of the future cyclone. It and the Coriolis force make the masses of humid air move in a spiral. More and more masses of humid air are drawn into the vortex, and the vortex itself begins to move. The vapor that has risen to a higher altitude condenses, and water falls in showers of rain clouds. The energy released during condensation warms the air, pulls it higher and pulls new masses of warm moisture from the sea surface. It takes a vast expanse of water, heated to 27 degrees to a depth of about half a meter, to bring this mechanism on line. As long as such conditions persist under the cyclone, it lives. As long as it comes on land, it will be deprived of its nourishment: the vortex energy is rapidly lost. A circular area of low pressure with relatively clear and calm weather – the so-called eye of the storm – is formed in the center of each tropical cyclone. The eye of the storm is bounded by a wall – an annular layer of clouds with maximum height. The most powerful downpours and strongest winds occur within the wall of the eye. You still can not understand and answer the question of how are hurricanes formed? In order to see the formation of hurricanes, we recommend you to watch how are hurricanes formed video.
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