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
According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, hurricanes form when heat from calm, warm seas rises into a cooling atmosphere, generating a tropical system. The rising moisture causes the forming clouds to begin a rotation, much like water flowing down a drain. As the storm builds, it draws more and more energy from the ocean's warmth until it reaches hurricane strength.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 >
Hurricane Katrina occurred early in the day on August 29, 2005. It finally dissipated on August 31 of the same year after reaching and damaging much of the eastern border of the United States.Full Answer >
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 >