Hurricanes are created by complexes of thunderstorms that evolve into hurricane strength with the aid of the ocean and atmosphere. The water must be warm enough to provide energy for the hurricane, usually higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The warm water provides head moisture which, in turn, provides energy. This is why hurricanes quickly weaken when they travel over land or colder ocean waters, since they lack the warmth and the moisture.
The high humidity in the middle and lower troposphere assist in hurricane development, reducing the amount of evaporation in clouds and maximizing the latent heat released due to increased precipitation. The concentration of latent heat is essential to the system. Another important aspect of a tropical storm is the vertical wind shear, the amount of change in the wind.s direction or speed as the altitude increases.
When the wind shear is weak, the storms that are part of the cyclone grow vertically and the latent heat from condensation is released into the air above the storm, aiding in its development. The stronger the wind shear is, the more slanted the storm becomes and more latent heat is released and dispersed over a larger area.
A diagram of the structure of a hurricane.