Also referred to as tropical storms, hurricanes develop over oceanic, warm waters. They cannot occur without the presence of water and warm winds. A region of low pressure is created when warm air rises from the surface of the ocean. This is the basic premise to the formation of a hurricane.
All of us are aware of the fact that cold air sinks and hot air rises. In areas near the Earth’s equator, the oceans are quite warm and hence the air above such water is also warm. The rise of such warm air results in reduced quantity of air near the surface of the ocean. This then leads to an area of decreased pressure.An area of reduced pressure can be compared to vacuum, and it pulls high air pressure towards it. The inward movement of high pressure means that increased amounts of air is available for rising upwards. The atmosphere cools with the upward movement of air, thereby making moisture. Such moisture then turns into clouds.
The formation of increased number of clouds causes more warm air to rise up, causing the clouds to assimilate and start spinning. The water present below the clouds also spin. Such rotation is similar to the tornadoes seen on land and hence the name, ‘tropical cyclones.’ The hurricanes occurring in the Southern Hemisphere rotate clockwise, while they spin counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere.
The constant entry of warm air fuels the hurricane. The rotation and spinning action of the complete storm system keeps on going faster, which adds to the overall strength of the hurricane. With an increase in the power of the hurricane, an eye forms at the center of the storm. The eye is not similar to the rest of the storm.It consists of tranquil vacuum which pulls in high pressure. When standing below the eye of a hurricane, one can see clear skies with no winds. In the olden days, when the eye passed over a particular region people thought that the storm had dissipated. However, as the next section of the hurricane came along, people understood that there was lots more to come.The subsequent part of a hurricane is more destructive and violet than the first part. It consists of winds blowing from the opposite direction.
Hurricanes are accompanied by heavy rains, strong winds, tornadoes, lightning, and thunder. There is swelling of tides leading to a storm surge when a hurricanes moves inland. After it reaches land, a hurricane gradually disintegrates.
Hurricanes are rated as per their wind speeds. A category one hurricane will come with wind speeds of 74 to 95 mph, while a category three hurricane will elicit wind speeds ranging from 111 to 130 mph.The worst kind of hurricane is a category five which experiences wind speeds in excess of 155 mph.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in association with NASA has placed satellites above the Earth to detect the development of tropical storms. The progress of a hurricane is also tracked by these satellites. Death and destruction can be avoided by monitoring hurricanes and issuing warnings of impeding dangers of a tropical cyclone.