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Hurricane Activities
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Hurricane

Weather Theme Page for K-3
Introduction to Hurricanes How Hurricanes Form Naming Hurricanes Hurricane Structure Hurricane Classification Tracking Hurricanes Preparing for a Hurricane Landfall, Storm Surges Hurricane Activities Hurricane Glossary

How Hurricanes Form and Die

Hurricanes need four conditions to form: Hurricanes form in the tropics, over warm ocean water (over 80ºF or 27ºC) and at latitudes between 8° and 20°, Hurricanes form mostly from June through November (hurricane season). These powerful storms are fueled by the heat energy that is released when water vapor condenses (turns into liquid water -- rain).

A hurricane goes through many stages as it develops:

  1. It starts as a tropical wave, a westward-moving area of low air pressure.
  2. As the warm, moist air over the ocean rises in the low air pressure area, cold air from above replaces it. This produces strong gusty winds, heavy rain and thunderclouds that is called a tropical disturbance.
  3. As the air pressure drops and there are sustained winds up to 38 miles per hour, it is called a tropical depression.
  4. When the cyclonic winds have sustained speeds from 39 to 73 miles per hour, it is called a tropical storm (storms are given names when they begin to have winds of this speed).
  5. The storm becomes a hurricane when there are sustained winds of over 73 miles per hour.

The End of a Storm:
When a hurricane travels over land or cold water, its energy source (warm water) is gone and the storm weakens, quickly dying.

Hurricanes
Introduction to Hurricanes How Hurricanes Form Naming Hurricanes Hurricane Structure Hurricane Classification Tracking Hurricanes Preparing for a Hurricane Landfall, Storm Surges Hurricane Activities Hurricane Glossary


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