Q:

Where are hurricanes found?

A:

Storms classified as hurricanes generally originate in the tropical latitudes of the northern Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line. Tropical cyclones west of the International Date Line in the northern Pacific are called typhoons, and those that originate in the Indian Ocean or southern Pacific Ocean are simply called cyclones.

Hurricanes and other tropical cyclones tend to form in the tropical latitudes because these storms need access to warm, calm water to form. The warmth provided by these waters heats the air above the ocean's surface, causing it to rise. The rising air deposits clouds to the upper atmosphere and creates a low-pressure zone, and the air flowing into this depression triggers the rotation that creates a tropical cyclone.

Most hurricanes that form in the Atlantic Ocean track westward toward the Caribbean Sea, turning north at some point. They may work their way into the Gulf of Mexico and hit the southeastern Unites States, or they may travel up the eastern seaboard. In some cases, hurricanes can form in the Gulf of Mexico or western Caribbean Sea. Pacific hurricanes tend to form off the western coast of Mexico and travel either westward into the ocean or northwest up the coast toward California.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do hurricanes usually happen?

    A:

    Most of the hurricanes that affect the United States form in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa and travel west towards America. A smaller number come together in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico and move north.

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  • Q:

    What are some games about hurricanes?

    A:

    Some games about hurricanes include Create-a-Cane, Aim a Hurricane and Stop Disasters. Each game focuses on a different aspect of hurricanes, from their creation, to their movement, to their effects on humans.

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    How are hurricanes measured?

    A:

    Hurricanes are measured according to the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. The scale goes from 1 to 5, with the weakest hurricanes scoring only a 1, while the strongest hurricanes score a 5 on the scale. Tropical storms must have sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour to be classified as a hurricane.

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    How do hurricanes move?

    A:

    Hurricanes are blown around the planet by the prevailing global winds. When a hurricane forms in the Atlantic Ocean, it comes together in a band of winds called the trade winds, which blow east to west in the low latitudes. Once a hurricane approaches land, local weather conditions become a much larger factor in its movement. In particular, high pressure zones can stall or divert a hurricane from its path.

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