Hurricanes: How they form

Hurricanes are called different names depending upon where they form.  A "Hurricane" forms in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa.  Storms that form in other oceans are called Typhoons or Cyclones.


Storm Names

Hurricanes used to be just named after women, but that made women mad, so now hurricanes are named after both men and women!
 Atlantic Storm Names for 1999-2000
Arlene Alberto
Bret Beryl
Cindy Chris
Dennis Debby
Emily Ernesto
Floyd Florence
Gert Gordon
Harvey Helene
Irnene Isaac
Jose Joyce
Katrina Keith
Lenny Leslie
Maria Michael
Nate Nadine
Ophelia Oscar
Phillippe Patty
Rita Rafael
Stan Sandy
Tammy Tony
Vince Valerie
Wilma William

      The Eye
The eye is the most recognized feature found within a hurricane. 
 Click on this picture to learn more about the 
"Eye of the Storm" 
The focus of the hurricane is the eye, the point about which the rest of the storm rotates and the lowest surface pressures are found in the storm. Its diameter is 20-50km and in the center it is often clear, where the winds are light

 The Eye wall
The eye wall location is just right outside of the eye.  The location within a hurricane where the most damaging  winds and  tense rainfall is.

Coriolis Force
Pressure gradient Force sets the air in motion, then it undergoes an deflection from its path.  This apparent deflection is "Corolis Force" and is result of the earth's rotation.

Hurricanes are so powerful , that upon landfall they cause damage and destruction.  It effects can be dangerous, even though the hurricane has yet to make landfall.  Most of the damage caused to man and nature occurs when the hurricanes makes landfall.
Strong winds are the most common destruction associated with hurricanes.  Their continuous barrage can uproot trees, knock over homes and buildings, fling deadly debris around, sink or ground boats, and flip cars.
One major cause of hurricane damage is storm surge. Storm Surge is the rising of the sea level due to the low pressure, high winds, and high waves associated with a hurricane as it makes landfall.  Storm Surge can  cause significant flooding and cost people their lives.

The intensity of a tropical cyclone is measured by the highest wind found with in it.  When it becomes a hurricane, its relative strength of the hurricane is measured on a scale based on greatest wind speed.


Movement of Hurricanes
The Growth of Hurricanes
The definition of hurricane