Breakdown: How warm water can form hurricanes

Breakdown: Why warm water helps hurricanes form in oceans

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Hurricanes are large storms that can produce strong winds and can drop torrential rain. Hurricanes can be as wide as 600 miles across and wind speeds can range from 74 to 200 mph. Hurricanes can last for days or sometimes a week and typically move at about 10 to 20 mph. Canes rotate counter-clockwise around the center which is known as the eye.

Let’s talk about formation. For starters, canes need warm water--at temperatures of at least 80 degrees. Hurricanes take in the heat from warm waters, which gives them power. As this weather system tracks across these steamy waters, the warm tropical air rises into the storm; this forms an area of low pressure below the rising air. More air will move in to replace the rising air.

The rising air then cools, forming clouds and thunderstorms. In the clouds, water condenses and forms droplets, releasing even more heat to fuel the storm. To sum it all up: it is a spiraling, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that forms over tropical or subtropical waters. It has a closed, low-level circulation that keeps storms spinning counter-clockwise around the center of circulation which is referred to as an eye.

The eye is in the center of a hurricane and it is usually looks like a circle. Inside of the eye is calm and sometimes you can even catch a glimpse of blue sky depending on how organized the storm is. When the eye passes overhead it will be rather calm but the eye wall surrounds the eye which is the strongest part of a hurricane. So things could quickly go from good to worse.

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