A hurricane is a large slow moving storm that is characterized by strong wind gusts and heavy rain. They develop in areas that are close to the equator where monsoonal lows commonly develop. In the northern hemisphere hurricanes spin in a counter clockwise direction. In the southern hemisphere a hurricane is known as a cyclone and spins in a clockwise direction. They are also called typhoons when they develop in the area around Japan and Asia. Hurricanes activity peaks in the late summer when the weather and water temperatures are perfect for hurricane formation.
What do Hurricanes need to form?
For a hurricane to form certain weather conditions must be present. Hurricanes need both warm moist air and water. The water temperature needs to be 80 degrees or more and must be at least 150 feet deep for a hurricane to form. Hurricanes from over the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans near the equator. This is the area of the earth where the weather is warm and tropical. The countries in this area experience months of wet, stormy weather. The presence of low pressure systems in these areas make it perfect for hurricanes to form.
How do Hurricanes Form?
A hurricane will form when the moist, warm air rises up off the ocean water and into the atmosphere. This creates an area underneath where low air pressure exists. The warm air continues to try and fill the space left by the rising warm air causing the air in that area to start to swirl. As the warm, moist water off the ocean rises it begins to cool down and form clouds that become caught in the rotating low pressure system. The cycle continues and the whole system of clouds and air begins to rotate faster and faster. An eye forms in the center of the system which is a calm and clear area with no wind or rain and very low air pressure. The eye draws more of the warm, moist air into the developing system increasing the hurricanes strength and rotation. Out from the eye is the eye wall and this is the area of the hurricane that is the strongest. It is an extremely dense layer of thunderstorms and has the highest wind speeds. Finally the outer sections of the hurricane are the spiral bands. These consist mainly of rain and wind gusts.