How Hurricanes Form and Why Hurricanes Are NeededFitness Gear & Equipment
Hurricanes in the Atlantic, typhoons in the Pacific and tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean are all one and the same. This is how they form and why the Earth and mankind need hurricanes.
All the time we see on the news the fluffy haired newscaster yelling things like hurricane Alice is now at category 4. We need to look behind those scenes at what’s really going on.
How Hurricanes Form
They form the world over about the same way. The hurricanes that strike the United States usually form in one of two areas, the Atlantic and sometimes in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. Many times a hurricane will form as a cluster of thunderstorms moving west off of the western coast of Africa, near the Cape Verde Islands.
The thunderstorms gather around other thunderstorms and grow in a low-pressure area known as a tropical depression. The storms spin around this low-pressure area becoming stronger. By the time August arrives, the Atlantic Ocean has had all summer to heat up and the water is getting quite warm. Hurricanes thrive and grow when the water temperature is at or above 80F (27C). As this tropical depression becomes stronger by moving over hot and humid water, the air rises into the center of the storm feeding it and causing it to become stronger.
As the depression strengthens, the central pressure drops and the winds increase. When the storm deepens and the pressure or the barometric pressure drops enough, the winds will hit a certain velocity, the storm can then turn into a tropical storm, this is when they are first named.
The storm continues over open, hot and humid water and grows. It is the deepening or the lowering of the central pressure that causes the winds to increase, as the pressure continues to drop the winds increase in the center of the storm. When the winds hit 74 mph (119 km/h) they are then designated as a hurricane.