Q:

Why do hurricanes occur?

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Quick Answer

Hurricanes occur because during the summer months, warm air over the ocean rises to leave an area of low pressure, into which cool air immediately flows. This air too warms up and rises, and new pockets of cool air take its place. As the cycle repeats itself, the warm air eventually cools far above the surface to create clouds, and a hurricane can form.

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Why do hurricanes occur?
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Full Answer

When the mass of air and cloud becomes massive enough, it begins to rotate clockwise if it forms south of the equator, or counter clockwise if it is north. The area of highest pressure is the center, or “eye,” of the hurricane. By the time a hurricane reaches land, it no longer has new pockets of warm ocean air to fuel it, but it can still take a long time for the storm to lose its power. There are five different classifications of hurricane, with Category 1 being least severe and Category 5 causing catastrophic damage.

Hurricanes and cyclones are similar, but only hurricanes form near North America, either over the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean or over the Atlantic Ocean. While hurricanes do help regulate the earth’s temperature by moving hot air from the equator to temperate areas of the globe, they are extremely destructive forces of nature. It can be difficult to prepare for an oncoming storm, since some hurricanes can be several hundred miles in diameter and produce winds that reach 200 mph.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do hurricanes occur?

    A:

    Hurricanes occur mostly along the few degrees of latitude that surround the equator. They happen most often in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but they are also common in a few other areas as well. The Indian Ocean also has regular hurricanes.

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  • Q:

    How often do hurricanes occur?

    A:

    According to NASA, approximately 85 hurricanes occur worldwide each year. Not all of these hurricanes are devastating; some of them appear to be ordinary storms for the most part and only develop into official hurricanes for a few short hours, whereas others can be considered full-force hurricanes for several weeks. In order to be considered an official hurricane, in addition to having an eye with low atmospheric pressure, the circulating wind speeds should exceed 74 miles per hour.

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  • Q:

    Where do hurricanes occur most often?

    A:

    Hurricanes occurs most often near shores and coastlines, especially where there is a lot of warm tropical water. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans generate the greatest number of hurricanes. Strong hurricanes have the ability to affect inhabitants far inland.

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  • Q:

    How many hurricanes occur each year?

    A:

    A different amount of hurricanes occurs each year. The most hurricanes that have ever happened in a single year in the Atlantic Basin are 12, and the least is two. The Eastern Pacific has had anywhere from four to 14 in one year.

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