How Do Hurricanes Form?

Since Hurricane Sandy’s presence did me a kindness and extended studying time for my Neuro midterm, I thought it appropriate to blog about this topic.

According to a NASA website, one thing that defines the difference between tropical storms and tropical cycolones is the wind speed they achieve. Hurricane Sandy is considered a Category 1 tropical cyclone, meaning it will  have winds rotating at 74-95 mph. The title “hurricane” is given to cyclones that are specifically developed over the Atlantic Ocean or eastern Pacific Ocean.

Hurricanes need a source of water and warm, moist air to form. This air rises when it is warmed by the water and sinks when it is cooled so that it can be warmed again. This creates low air pressure. Surrounding areas that have higher air pressures will go towards the low air pressure and become a part of the warming-cooling cycle. This makes the air spin and also creates clouds around it. And viola, a hurricane!

The hurricane will continue to grow larger as long as it is being fed by the ocean’s heat. This is why when hurricanes hit land, away from their water source, they tend to become weaker very rapidly (most of the time anyway).

Here’s another short and informative video showing how hurricanes form.

Tips for Hurricane “Survival”:

So everyone stay safe!

  1. Keep bottled or filtered water
  2. Stock on non-perishable foods
  3. Keep electronics charged
  4. Keep a flashlight handy
  5. Make sure to close your storm windows if you got them
  6. Don’t go outside for a while!

References:

http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/hurricanes/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bat5l9a8zHM

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2 comments on “How Do Hurricanes Form?

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