October 20, 2010
Hi, my name is Eric and in this podcast I will explain you how hurricanes forms and break down
the different parts of a hurricane. Knowing how hurricanes forms can help those who are
devastated by them understand the different parts of the storm. Many people think because they
are avoiding the center of the storm, they can ride it and be safe. They often regret it.
According to Brian Marshall, a hurricane develops in warm regions of the earth. They form in
water that is at least eighty degrees Fahrenheit or twenty seven degrees Celsius. Moist air is
required for them to form.
One of the parts of a hurricane is called the eye. According to National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, also known as the NOAA, the eye of the storm is calm and has
low-pressure. The eye usually forms when the wind reaches eighty miles per hour. The eye is
usually twenty to forty miles in diameter and the shape is circular. Sometimes, scientists fly
planes into the eye to see how fatal a hurricane will be.
The part directly surrounding the eye is called eye wall. It is called an eye wall because it is
known to be a wall of clouds. The eye wall is the most dangerous part of a hurricane. Research at
the University of Illinois reports that the eye wall can produce winds over one hundred and fifty-
five miles per hour. The eye wall is a ring of thunderstorm clouds. This is where the strongest
winds of the hurricane is found and where the fiercest rainfall is located.
The last part of a hurricane is called the spiral bands. This is area surrounds the eye wall and is
the largest part of a hurricane. Most of the rain falls from this area. As much as one foot of rain
can be let out each day from this area of a hurricane. The winds produced are can be fierce, but
the winds from the eye wall are still stronger.
Hurricanes usually begin their lifespan as a series of clouds and thunderstorms. The area has
little rotation, if any. A lot of these storms die down before they go down the path of becoming a
hurricane. For those that do continue, latent heat warms the area of a hurricane which causes the
colder air to rush underneath the warmer air. This process causes the storm to begin rotating, also
bringing in more moisture to the storm.
To reach hurricane status, it must go through the stages. The first stage is the tropical depression.
A tropical depression has winds less than thirty-eight miles per hour. If the tropical depression
lasts and gain stronger winds up to seventy-three miles per hour, it is now categorized as a
tropical storm. If the winds grow to be stronger than seventy-four miles per hour, it is
categorized as a hurricane.
To wrap this up, never try to ride out a hurricane because you feel that the storm will miss you.
Their courses change directions all the time. Knowing how they form gives you more insight
about what part of the storm you should try to avoid.
For more information, please visit the website www.nhc.noaa.gov
Marshal, Brian., Freudenrich, Craig,. & Lamb, Robert.( 2001). How Hurricanes work