Hurricane Facts

Hurricane Humor

For a little diversion, here is a little hurricane humor ...

What Do Fish Say When They Hit a Concrete Wall? Dam
What Lies At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches? A Nervous Wreck
How Do You Catch a Unique Rabbit? Unique Up On It
How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest? They Take The Psycho Path

TOP OF PAGE

What are tropical storms and hurricanes?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hurricanes are cyclones that develop over the warm tropical oceans and have sustained winds in excess of 64 knots (74 mph). But hurricane has stages of development starting as a tropical depression.

A tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 mph (33 knots) or less. A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph (34-63 knots). And once an intense tropical weather system has a well defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher, it's classified as a hurricane. In the western Pacific, hurricanes are called "typhoons," and similar storms in the Indian Ocean are called "cyclones."

TOP OF PAGE

How do hurricanes form?

Hurricanes are formed from thunderstorms. However, these thunderstorms can only grow to hurricane strength with cooperation from both the ocean and the atmosphere. First of all, the ocean water itself must be warmer than 26.5 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit).

The heat and moisture from this warm water is ultimately the source of energy for hurricanes. Hurricanes will weaken rapidly when they travel over land or colder ocean waters -- locations with insufficient heat or moisture.

Related to having warm ocean water, high humidity is also required for hurricane development. High humidity reduces the amount of evaporation in clouds and maximizes the heat released due to more precipitation.

TOP OF PAGE

When and where do hurricanes usually form?

TOP OF PAGE

What are some of the hazards associated with hurricanes?

TOP OF PAGE