What’s the Weather: How do hurricanes form?

Weather Authority University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Welcome to hurricane season 2021! Hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and continues through the last day of November. But why is this time so popular for tropical activity, and how do tropical cyclones form?

How do hurricanes form?

There are a few different “ingredients” necessary for a tropical cyclone to form. The first is a tropical wave: a complex of thunderstorms that can either develop over water or develop over land and move over water. This complex gives the cyclone its start. It’s the seed that will grow and develop into a larger, stronger storm.

Part of what helps that tropical wave develop are the correct conditions in the upper atmosphere. Upper-level winds around the developing tropical wave allow more energy to be focused on the tropical wave.

Finally, you need sea surface temperatures in the area of development to be nice and warm! In fact, they need to be roughly 80 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. This warm, ocean water helps to drive convection, which helps the tropical cyclone to build.

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