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.Know More
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
Hurricanes generally last just a few weeks from attaining this classification to dissipation. Reaching cool waters, making landfall and other factors can reduce this duration to just a few days.Full Answer >
No one knows when the first hurricane took place. Christopher Columbus wrote the first record of a hurricane in 1494 when he described a storm that struck the island of Hispaniola. The first recorded hurricane to strike the U.S. mainland took place in August 1635.Full Answer >
The parts of a hurricane are called the eye, the eye wall and the rain bands. The eye is at the center of the hurricane and usually measures between 20 to 40 miles. The eye wall surrounds the eye, stretching 5 to 30 miles in width. The rain bands form the spiraling portion of the hurricane and can be dozens or hundreds of miles wide.Full Answer >
The largest typhoon on record is the Super Typhoon Tip, which formed in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean in the fall of 1979. It would have covered half of the United States if it had hit land, as it reached 1,380 miles wide.Full Answer >