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.Learn More
The three main parts of a hurricane include the eye, the eye wall and the rain bands.The eye is the very center or the calm of the storm, the eye wall forms around the center and contains the strongest rain while the rain bands are the exterior clouds that expand to make the storm grow bigger.Full Answer >
The word "hurricane" comes from the Spanish "huracán," which in turn probably derived from the Native American Taino language of the Carib people. In Taino, Hurican is variously the god of evil or the god of the storm, and was imported himself from the Mayan god Hurakan.Full Answer >
Floods occur most often in low-lying coastal areas and river floodplains. The country that floods the most is Bangladesh due to prolonged monsoon conditions.Full Answer >
The largest concentration of tornadoes occur in Tornado Alley, which encompasses most of the Great Plains of the central United States. One quarter of the most significant tornadoes in the United States occur in Tornado Alley. Oklahoma experiences the highest number of tornadoes and the most severe tornadoes in the United States.Full Answer >