A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, a disruptive weather system, characterized by a spiral, donut-like shape. Hurricanes can carry thunderstorms and rain, though the force of cyclonic winds can often be enough to cause severe damage on their own.
There are no concrete factors that can be pinpointed as the cause of hurricane formation. However, there are several conditions which are linked with tropical cyclones:
- Warm water
- Rapidly cooling air leading to the release of heat
- High humidity
- Low wind shear
- An existing storm system
- Low atmospheric pressure
These conditions cause water to evaporate and swirl, forming a vortex. Warm water at the storm center evaporates and is drawn upward. The vapor spirals outward and sinks back down as it reaches the edges of the hurricane. This cycle of evaporation and cooling continues, increasing or decreasing depending on region. For example, if the storm passes over a warm body of water, it is likely to increase in size. However, the storm loses fuel as it travels over land.
The Primary Traits of Hurricanes:
- Latent heat, particularly near the core
- Spiral, donut-like formation
- Strong winds
- Counter-clockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere
- Clockwise rotation in the Southern Hemisphere.
- An eye, storm center, where temperatures are high and skies are clear.
You can make your own hurricane in a bottle at home. Follow the instructions below to complete this cool experiment.