A Short Overview of Hurricanes

Topics: Tropical cyclone, Atlantic Ocean, Wind Pages: 3 (1080 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Hurricanes are powerful atmospheric vortices that are intermediate in size. Hurricanes are unique and powerful weather systems. The word "hurricane" comes from a Caribbean word meaning "big wind". Views of hurricanes can be seen from a satellite positioned thousands of miles above the earth.

Hurricanes originate as tropical disturbances over warm oceans with trade winds. The tropical turbances intensify into tropical depressions, and eventually into a tropical storm. They only originate in the tropical trade winds because the ocean temperatures are quite warm there. Powered from the heat that the sea gives off, they are steered by the east trade winds and the temperate west ones, as well as by their own ferocious energy. Around their core, winds grow with a tremendous amount of velocity creating violent seas. As they move toward the shore, they move the ocean inward, while spawning tornadoes and producing torrential rains and floods.

For a hurricane to form, the ocean temperature must be warmer than twenty-six degrees Celsius, or eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the air near the oceans surface must be filled with moisture. The seawater that is warmed by the heat from the sun evaporates to form vast storm clouds. As the warm air rises, the cooler air replaces it thus creating a wind. The rotation of the earth bends the wind inward causing it to rotate and spiral upward with a great amount of force. Around the Equator, the spin is the fastest. There, it can be faster than six hundred miles per hour.

You cannot see a hurricane all at once, unless you're looking at it from above or are looking at a picture taken by a satellite, because it is too large. The whirling mass, shaped like a donut, can be two hundred to six hundred miles wide and forty thousand to fifty thousand feet high. Towns can be ripped from the land and small countries entirely devastated by the raging winds.

The eye wall is a ring of fierce thunderstorms...
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