BASIC HURRICANE FACTS
A tropical cyclone is a general term for an intense low-pressure weather system that forms over and is fueled by tropical ocean waters. In the North Atlantic Ocean and Eastern Pacific Ocean, strong tropical cyclones are called HURRICANES, but they have other names in other ocean regions.
The beginning of life for any hurricane is a pre-existing disturbance in the atmosphere that requires certain atmospheric and oceanic conditions to develop into a hurricane. Mature hurricanes are nearly circular in shape and are typically a few hundred miles in diameter.
Destructive forces of hurricanes are threefold: wind, rain, and storm surge.
The most powerful and destructive threat to coastal areas is from storm surge.
STORM SURGE is an abnormal rise in water level that is caused by two factors:
- Inverted-barometer effect: pressure allows a dome of water to rise
For more information about hurricane science please visit Hurricanes: Science and Society