What causes a hurricane?

A Hurricane is a tropical storm with winds that have reached a constant speed of seventy four miles per hour or more. Hurricane windows blow in a large spiral around a relatively calm center known as the eye of the storm. The eye is generally between twenty to thirty miles wide, and the storm may extend outwards of around 400 miles.

As a hurricane nears land, it can bring heavy rainfall, high winds and huge storm surges. The storm surge and heavy rain can lead to flooding, power outages and even landslides. Landslides are also associated with the heavy rain from a hurricane.

What causes a hurricane?

This site stated that hurricanes are intense areas that form over warm ocean waters in the summer and early fall. Their source of energy is water vapor which is evaporated from the ocean s surface.

Water vapor is the fuel for the hurricanes to form because it releases the latent heat of condensation when it condenses to form clouds and rain, warming the surrounding air. The heat energy was absorbed by the water vapor when it was evaporated from the warm ocean surface cooling the ocean in the process.

Typically the heat released in this way in tropical storms is carried away by the wind shear, which blows the top off the tropical storms. But when there is little wind shear, the heat can build up, causing low pressure to form. The low pressure causes the wind to begin to spiral inward toward the center or eye of the tropical storm.

These winds help to evaporate even more water vapor from the ocean, spiraling inward toward the center, feeding more showers and thunderstorms, and warming the upper atmosphere still more. The thunderstorms where all of the energy is released are typically organized in to rain bands which are also called feeder bands as well as into an eyewall encircling the eye of the tropical storm. The eye wall is where the strongest winds occur, which encircle the warmest air, in the eye of the hurricane. This warmth in the eye is produced by sinking air, which sinks in response to rising air in the thunderstorms. The winds stop rapidly moving from the eye wall to the inside of the relatively calm eye where the wind can exist.