According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, hurricanes form when heat from calm, warm seas rises into a cooling atmosphere, generating a tropical system. The rising moisture causes the forming clouds to begin a rotation, much like water flowing down a drain. As the storm builds, it draws more and more energy from the ocean's warmth until it reaches hurricane strength.Continue Reading
When the air nearest the surface of the ocean is considerably warmer than the air above, it begins to rise. As that air moves upward, it creates an area of low pressure near the surface, and nearby higher-pressure air moves in to fill this void. This air movement is the engine that initiates the rotation of the tropical depression.
As the storm builds, the winds associated with it grow stronger and stronger, changing the classification of the storm. Any tropical system with winds between 25 and 38 miles per hour is a tropical depression, while winds of 39 to 73 miles per hour indicate a tropical storm. Once wind speeds top 74 miles per hour, the storm officially becomes a hurricane, with five levels of severity depending on its wind speed. Generally, the longer a storm spends over warm ocean waters, the stronger it will become.Learn more about Storms
A hurricane is a tropical cyclone with sustained winds reaching speeds of at least 74 miles per hour, according to The Weather Channel. Hurricanes are classified on a scale of 1 to 5 using the scale Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.Full Answer >
The Great Hurricane of 1780 killed approximately 22,000 people when it struck several Caribbean islands, making it the worst on record. Although records from the time are poor, it is believed to have first made landfall on October 10 in Barbados before tearing through other islands in the eastern Caribbean.Full Answer >
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a hurricane is an organized thunderstorm that occurs over water and has sustained winds that reach maximum speeds over 74 miles per hour. These storms originate over the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. When they reach land, they often cause structural damage and flooding.Full Answer >
The largest typhoon on record is the Super Typhoon Tip, which formed in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean in the fall of 1979. It would have covered half of the United States if it had hit land, as it reached 1,380 miles wide.Full Answer >