A hurricane is a powerful whirling storm that measures 200-600 miles in diameter. Winds near the middle of a hurricane blow at speeds of 75 miles or more. The storm clouds can rise as high as 10 miles. Hurricanes form in the warm areas of the North Atlantic Ocean and the eastern North Pacific Ocean. They can occur from June to November. Most of them strike in August and September.
It all starts when the heat of the sun warms the ocean water. Hurricanes need ocean water temperatures in the low to mid 80's (F) or warmer to supply the warm moist air that fuels the clouds. The evaporating water makes a cloud of warm moist air that moves upward. As the warm moist air rises, more air rushes in to replace it. Eventually a big mass of warm, moist air with rain clouds, it forms over the ocean. Because of the warm air it gets bigger.
It becomes less thick and lighter and forms an area of low pressure. More air near the ocean quickly moves in. However, this is near the ocean and doesn't just flow straight like water going down hill. It circles like water going down a bath tub drain. The spinning of the water is caused by the circling of the earth. The air moves faster and faster as it circles in. Then it rises in the clouds to make the eye and wall clouds. Finally the wind moves it on land.
Click here to learn about the power of the hurricane.
Click Here to learn about the different kinds of Hurricanes.
Click here to learn about the parts of the hurricane.
Title Page/ Storms/ Hurricanes by Other Names/Famous Storms/ Predicting Storms/Staying Safe/ Fun Stuff/ Our Stories/ Bibliography/Guest Book