What is a hurricane?« Back to Questions List

Hurricanes are born at sea. They are massive, rotating tropical storms followed by powerful winds and rains. They consist of high winds and lines of clouds that spiral in towards a common center known as eye. The eye is about 15 miles in diameter surrounded by a towering wall of clouds that are responsible for the heavy rains. Winds start to blow at a minimum speed of 75 miles per hour and speed around the eye exceeds 150 miles per hour. Such high speeds can easily uproot trees, overturn cars and lift the roofs off buildings.


hurricane                                                                                                                     hurricane 1


Hurricanes begin as small areas of low pressure over tropical seas. Warm, moist air rises rapidly and as tons of water vapor condenses, great quantities of heat are released to further fuel the upward rush of air. Soon moist surface winds start spiraling in from all directions. As winds intensify, hurricane takes its shape. The fury continues until it moves over land or colder region of the sea, where its supply of heat and moisture is finally cut off.



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