The main ingredients in the recipe for the development of a hurricane are warm water, warm air and wind. As the warm water condenses in large gusts of wind, the water vapor rises and cools to form cumulonimbus clouds, the beginning stage of a hurricane.Continue Reading
Hurricanes generally form within 20 degrees either north or south of the equator, excluding the 5 degrees closest to the equator, because ocean temperatures less than 165 feet below the surface are at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water condenses and rises, it releases heat into the surrounding air. That air then also rises and is pulled into the cloud. As this process repeats, the air begins to pinwheel around, giving the hurricane its circular shape.
The first stage of a hurricane is called a tropical disturbance and occurs when this pinwheel joins with other clouds. The next stage, called a tropical depression, continues as increased air pressure at the top of the clouds causes the air pressure on the surface to drop. The storm becomes known as a tropical storm when the sustained winds exceed 39 mph. It becomes known as a tropical cyclone, another name for a hurricane or typhoon, when sustained wind speeds are 74 mph or above.Learn more about Storms
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 >
A monsoon is a seasonal reversal of wind, while a hurricane is an organized storm with very low pressure. Monsoons typically occur in Southeast Asia and Australia, as well as Western Africa. By contrast, hurricanes occur in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and affect Eastern Asia and both coasts of North America.Full Answer >
Hurricane Patricia, a storm that made landfall on the Western Pacific coast of Mexico, had a maximum measured wind speed of 198 miles per hour, the highest recorded sustained hurricane wind speed, as of 2015. However, scientists record much higher wind speeds with typhoons and cyclones.Full Answer >
The minimum sustained wind speed required for a tropical storm system to be classified as a hurricane is 74 mph, but tropical cyclones have been recorded with wind speeds as high as 215 mph. However, only tropical systems occurring in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific basins are called hurricanes.Full Answer >