World of Weather - Hurricanes

WORLD OF WEATHER (CBS46) -- The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. These dates are when the ocean temperatures are warm enough to support Tropical systems to develop.

In order to have a tropical system, the ocean needs to be at least 80 degrees at the top 50 meters of the ocean. Because of this, only 12% of tropical systems form in June and July – the water just isn’t warm enough. The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is September when the ocean waters are much warmer.

For a tropical system to develop, you need warm moist air for fuel and you need winds blowing over the warm ocean air. In the Atlantic, the winds blow westward across the Atlantic from Africa. At the beginning stages, a tropical system becomes a Tropical Depression when it has winds of 25-38mph.

It then becomes a tropical storm when it has winds of more than 39mph. This is also when it officially gets a name. It then becomes a hurricane when it has winds of more than 74 miles an hour. Once a system is a hurricane, it is given a category.

The category given is based on the wind speeds and can fluctuate as the hurricane weakens or intensifies. The most destructive hurricanes are those with a category 3, 4, or 5. Those are classified as major hurricanes.

Tropical systems weaken as soon as they move over land because they are no longer being fed bye the warm ocean waters. Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones are all tropical system. They are just given different names depending on where in the world they occur.

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