Hurricanes are giant, spiral tropical storms that occur in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Southern Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. These destructive natural weather occurrences can pack wind speeds of over 160 miles an hour and unleash more than 2.4 trillion gallons of rain a day. Hurricanes are also known as cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, and as typhoons in the Western Pacific Ocean. They begin as tropical disturbances in warm ocean waters with surface temperatures of at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hurricanes are huge heating systems that emit energy on a staggering scale. They draw heat from warm, moist ocean air, and release it through condensation of water vapor in thunderstorms. These natural weather occurrences spin around a low-pressure center known as the eye of the storm. The eye is surrounded by a circular “eye wall” that hosts the storm’s strongest winds and rains. When a hurricane makes landfall it often produces a devastating storm surge that can reach 20 feet high and extend nearly 100 miles.
Facts on Hurricanes
- A tropical storm is a hurricane which travels about 74 miles per hour or .
- A huge hurricane can release energy equivalent to 10 atomic bombs per second.
- Hurricanes also produce mild tornadoes, which can last up to a few minutes.
- Hurricanes mostly occur from June to November when seas are the warmest, forming conducive weather for the hurricanes to build up.
- Hurricanes are large enough to carry winds that travel about 160 miles per hour.
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