Many of the hurricanes and tropical storms in this area move around the western periphery of … While a hurricane is over warm water it will continue to grow. Interestingly, Southeast Asian countries, along with the Indian subcontinent, are also vulnerable to the cyclones originating in the Indian Ocean. They thunder across the warm oceans of the world such as the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Western Pacific Ocean (where they are called typhoons), up to higher latitudes. While similar conditions do exist near the Equator, the absence of the Coriolis force or Coriolis effect hampers the formation of hurricanes in this area. Well, there you have the answer to what is a hurricane. They form near the equator over warm ocean waters. Since convection is strongest in the tropics it defines the initial domain of the tropical cyclone. 40% of the hurricanes that occur in the United States hit Florida. Tropical storms can grow into hurricanes, and hurricanes can grow into stronger hurricanes. Tropical cyclones are characterized by a large low pressure center and numerous thunderstorms. This is called hurricane season. The eye of the hurricane is relatively calm while the areas surrounding the eye called the eyewall is where the harshest weather and winds will resides (NOAA, 2013). Hurricanes are unique storm systems that form under very specific atmospheric conditions. The scientific term for all these storms is tropical cyclone. The destructive power of hurricanes has earned them a reputation of much-feared natural disasters that occur all over the world. In the eastern North Pacific Ocean, hurricane season lasts from May 15 to the end of November. Tropical cyclones generally form in any ocean where water temperatures are greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the upper-level winds are benign. Other than a well-defined circulation, a hurricane is typically characterized by sustained winds of 74 miles per hour, which can go well beyond 150 miles per hour at times. What is a hurricane? Tropical cyclones are distinguished by the deep convection that fuels them. When do hurricanes occur? Why do hurricanes happen Hurricanes are the result of a number of environmental factors, primarily both wind and water currents in hot climates mixing to generate extreme winds and rotational cycles that result in the iconic cyclone appearance hurricanes have from space. Understanding where and when hurricanes happen. Year after year, hurricanes seem to hit the United States with rapid succession. All tropical cyclones are areas of low atmospheric pressure. The formation of hurricanes is a complex process which is triggered by numerous factors coming into play. And if you live in Florida, forget about it. Hurricanes and more generically, tropical cyclones occur in seven distinct basins around the world. No, hurricanes can occur at any point in the tide cycle. Hurricanes Michael, Harvey and Irma occurred in the past two hurricane seasons and are inside the top-10 most damaging in U.S. history. In the North Atlantic, for instance, the peak season typically occurs between August and September. Tropical disturbances forming over the warm tropical waters of oceans near the tropics lead to the formation of typhoons. The typhoons of the western Pacific are likely to hit Japan, China, & Southeast Asia. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions pose a variety of threats to people and property. In the North Atlantic and central and eastern North Pacific, these storms are called “hurricanes.” In the western North Pacific, they are called “typhoons” and in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, they are called “cyclones.” (Tropical cyclones are rare in the South Atlantic.) If you’d like more info on hurricanes, check out Visible Earth Homepage. We’ve also recorded an episode of Astronomy Cast all about planet Earth. Central Pacific hurricanes are rare and on average 3 or 4 storms form or move in this area per year. If the eye of a storm is over your area, you will experience a short period of calm. Hurricanes most often occur in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. They form near the equator over warm ocean waters. Hurricanes are by far most common in the Pacific Ocean, with the western Pacific being most active. When planning a vacation, if you are heading to a tropical climate it would be a good idea to know when and where hurricanes occur. But devastating hurricanes haven’t always been the norm. The Eye of a Hurricane. Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around the eye. When planning a vacation, if you are heading to a tropical climate it would be a good idea to know when and where hurricanes occur. Research has shown that most of the monster storms that hit the US and Canada start out as a distinct weather pattern in the atmosphere over western Africa, specifically a spot off the coast of the African Cape Verde islands.. These storms are fueled by a different heat mechanism than other cyclonic windstorms(nor’easters, polar lows, and European windstorms). Near the equator, where there is no Coriolis effect, hurricanes cannot form within 300 miles (500 kilometers) of the equator. Because of low pressure at its center, winds flow towards the center of the storm and air is forced upward. Actually, the term hurricane is used only for the large storms that form over the Atlantic Ocean or eastern Pacific Ocean. read more. See no ads on this site, see our videos early, special bonus material, and much more. Hurricane return periods are the frequency at which a certain intensity of hurricane can be expected within a given distance of a given location (for the below images, 58 statute miles). In the Atlantic and Pacific, September is the month with the most hurricanes. High in the atmosphere, winds flow away from the storm, which allows more air from below to rise. Hurricanes (by whatever name) are by far most common in the Pacific Ocean, with the western Pacific being most active. Tropical storms occur in several of the world's oceans, and except for their names, they are essentially the same type of storm. The same trend can be seen in the Eastern Pacific wherein most hurricanes occur in August and September. In the Northern Hemisphere, hurricanes occur between the months of June and November. The eye is normally circular in shape, and may range in size from 3 km to 370 km in diameter. Hurricanes start when warm, moist air from the ocean surface begins to rise rapidly, where it encounters cooler air that causes the warm water vapor to … Hurricanes most often occur in the Atlantic Ocean. To continue to feed itself a tropical cyclone must remain over warm water. (Below is a graphic that shows you when hurricanes are most active across parts of the world.) The Atlantic Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Hawaiian islands are the most vulnerable to hurricanes. Storms in the Indian Ocean are capable of hitting Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Most of the damage is caused by flooding and storm surge. Storm surge and inland flooding have historically been the number one offsite link and two causes of loss of life during hurricanes. Here are oceans where they can form and their commonly used names: North Atlantic (including Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico): Hurricanes In fact, it was the first hurricane-intensity tropical cyclone to hit the region. Hurricanes take energy from the warm ocean water to become stronger. More deaths and injuries occur after a hurricane hits than during. If the eye of a storm is over your area, you will experience a short period of calm. Hurricanes that form in the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean occur between June 1st and November 30th each year. And here’s a link to NASA’s Earth Observatory. The time of the year when hurricanes occur in a particular region is considered the 'hurricane season' for that region. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The formation of hurricanes is a complex process which is triggered by numerous factors coming into play. Hurricanes can also bring strong winds, tornados, rough surf, and rip currents. Where Do Hurricanes Occur? Post was not sent - check your email addresses! While the area inside of the eye is relatively calm, the surrounding eyewall is where the harshest weather and winds occur. Hurricanes occur in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas, and can impact inland areas over 100 miles away from the coast. If it is strong enough, a hurricane can continue to cause widespread destruction for a considerable time after the landfall. The only land masses impacted by tropical cyclones in this region are Hawaii and Johnston Atoll. The Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30, but most hurricanes occur during the fall months. The generic, scientific term for … October 21, 1999; Share on Facebook. By the way, cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons are the same thing: depending on where they are born, they are called by one name or another. During an average season, three hurricane-strength storms occur in September. It turns out that that is a major question. To do this, they typically form between 5 to 15 degrees latitude north and south of the equator. Even the name of a hurricane is decided on the basis of where it occurs. 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