How Do Hurricanes Form And Why Are They So Dangerous?

How Do Hurricanes Form And Why Are They So Dangerous?

Terrifying image of the Sunshine Skyway bridge before the passage of Hurricane Ian 1:02

(WABNEWS Español) — Hurricanes are the largest and most violent storms that can exist on earth, whose scientific term is “tropical cyclone.” Only tropical cyclones that form over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are called hurricanes.

Hurricanes use warm, moist air over warm water near the equator as fuel, he explains. NASA website.

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Warm, moist air near the surface of the oceans moves upwards away from the water, leaving less air below, near the ocean.

Afterwards, the air from the areas of higher pressure moves and occupies the areas of low pressure. Then that new air becomes warm and moist and also rises. As the warm air continues to rise, the surrounding air rotates to take its place, thus an air column begins to form.

When warm, moist air rises and cools, the water in the air forms clouds.

All this great system composed of clouds and air rotates and grows due to the heat of the ocean and the water that evaporates from the surface. As it rotates faster, the eye of the hurricane forms, a very calm and clear low pressure space.

(Credit: spaceplace.nasa.gov)

Other weather phenomena that can form in the same way are typhoons and cyclones.

When do hurricanes weaken?

As hurricanes make landfall they weaken because they no longer have a source of food from the oceans. However, when their power is so strong, they can cause great damage when they enter the land due to their winds and the rain they generate in their path.

Which way do hurricanes spin?

Storms that form to the south of the equator rotate clockwise, and those to the north rotate counterclockwise.

How dangerous can a hurricane be?

The damage caused by a hurricane or a tropical cyclone can be established according to its category, whose scale is from 1 to 5.

Category 1: It has winds of between 119 and 152 kilometers per hour, its damage on land is minimal and it causes a rise in the tide of between 1.21 and 1.52 meters.

Category 2: It has winds of between 154 and 177 kilometers per hour, its damage on land is moderate and it causes an increase in the tide of between 1.82 and 2.43 meters.

Category 3: It has winds of between 178 and 209 kilometers per hour, its damage on land is extensive and it causes a rise in the tide of between 2.74 and 3.65 meters.

Category 4: It has winds of between 210 and 249 kilometers per hour, its damage on land is extreme and it causes a rise in the tide of between 2.96 and 5.48 meters.

Category 5: It has winds of more than 250 kilometers per hour, its damage on land is catastrophic and it causes a rise in the tide of more than 5 meters.

How are hurricanes named?

The names of the hurricanes – Dorian, Matthew, Hermine, Fiona, Alex, etc. – are taken from a list of the National Hurricane Center (NHC, for its acronym in English) that is maintained and updated through a strict procedure by a international committee of the World Meteorological Organization, as indicated by the NHC. There is one list of names for tropical cyclones that form in the Atlantic, another for those that form in the Pacific, and another for those that form in the North Central Pacific.

Every year there is a list of 21 names for the cyclones that occur and it rotates every six years. Thus, the list of cyclone names from 2016 will be used again in 2022.

In the event of more than 21 hurricanes in a year, the next name from the previous season’s list of names will be taken.

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