Did you know that hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon? The only difference in the names comes from the place in which they occur.
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When does a tropical storm become a hurricane or cyclone?
A hurricane is a tropical storm, or cyclone, when it reaches wind speeds of at least 74 mph. The strongest can have wind speeds exceeding 155 mph.
What is another name for a hurricane?
The term hurricane refers to cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere, located east of the International Dateline to the Greenwich Meridian. The term typhoon describes cyclones that fall north of the Equator and west of the International Dateline.
What is the name of the scale used to measure the intensity of hurricanes?
The Saffir-Simpson Scale measures hurricane intensity based on wind speed. It is used to estimate the amount of property damage and flooding expected in an area. The scale ranges from a Category 1, where wind speed starts at 74 mph, to a Category 5, where wind speed exceeds 155 mph.
What is the name of the scientific principle that describes why hurricanes in the Northern Hemisphere rotate counter-clockwise?
The Coriolis Effect is a natural phenomenon caused by the Earth’s rotation that makes thunderstorms spin. North of the Equator, storms rotate counter-clockwise. South of the Equator, storms rotate clockwise.
Atlantic hurricanes are often a result of tropical disturbances, which originate from which continent?
Africa. During peak hurricane season, between August and October, many of the most severe Atlantic hurricanes develop off the coast of Africa. Tropical disturbances are a result of the mixture of warm temperatures from the Saharan Desert and cooler temperatures along the continent’s coast — sometimes these disturbances pick up speed as they cross the Atlantic and turn into hurricanes.
How are hurricane names assigned?
Hurricane names are assigned in alphabetical order and by alternating male and female. Meteorologists originally began naming tropical storms alphabetically after women so that it would be easier to keep track of simultaneous storms. In the 1970s, the storms discovered gender equality, and male and female names are now alternated.
Why don’t hurricanes regularly threaten the Pacific Coast of the U.S.?
Warm air over tropical oceans provides the energy that drives hurricanes — water temperatures must be over 80 degrees. But California’s coast rarely rises above the 60s because of the cool currents coming down from Alaska. By the time a hurricane hits the Western U.S. Coast, it has diminished into a windy rainstorm.
What is the process called where heat from the Earth’s surface rises into the atmosphere, cools and sinks back to the surface, often forming thunderstorms?
Convection is the action of warm air rising and cold air sinking. As warm air rises to higher altitudes, it cools and condenses forming thunderstorm clouds, which usually eventually result in precipitation.
What is extreme heat?
Extreme heat is when temperatures rise 10 degrees above normal.
What instrument is used to measure the intensity of precipitation in a thunderstorm?
Doppler radars measure the intensity of precipitation through radio waves. Scientists have learned to use these images of wind motion to predict what is happening to the weather currently and what might happen in the near future.
The Midwestern U.S. is where most tornadoes occur. Why?
Midwestern U.S. experiences most tornadoes because cold, dry air from the Rocky Mountains collides with warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. The media even has a term for the area where tornadoes are most frequent — Tornado Alley.
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