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EPSC 185 (25)
John Stix (20)

September 12th Lecture

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Earth & Planetary Sciences
EPSC 185
John Stix

EPSC 185 Fall 2013 th  September 12 , 2013  hurricane formation  warm moist air moves over the ocean  water vapour rises into atmosphere  as water vapour rises, it cools & condenses into liquid droplets  condensation releases heat into atmosphere making the air lighter  warmed air continues to rise with moist air from oceans taking its place creating more wind  4 main requirements for hurricanes to form  enough Coriolis force to develop a low pressure center o in N Hemisphere, “parcels” of air feel a deflection to the right of their motion o as air moves from high to low pressure, it deflects to the right, this is why we see counter-clockwise motion around low pressure systems & vice versa for high pressure systems o force is strongest near the poles & weakest near the equator  no force at equator mean there’s no force to rotate the system, so no hurricanes  could be storms there but won’t be hurricanes until they rotate  a pre-existing low-level focus or disturbance o call them trigger mechanisms as they cause series of storms to form o intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ)  migrates with sun in summer  slightly displaced towards N Hemisphere since there is more land mass & therefore more warming o easterly waves  usually in Atlantic basin over Pacific  are of low pressure system moves off Africa; you get really strong heating that creates cluster of thunderstorms  moves off coast line & warms waters  this is key for hurricanes  warm waters create moisture  regions of thunderstorms & low pressure moving E to W  thunderstorms forming on convergent side (to E) have potential to organize into thunderstorms o middle latitude cold fronts  more common in autumn months  fronts & precipitations come together  systems move off Atlantic  pockets of low pressure will break off of low pressure system; it already has weather & rotation associated with it so it can become a hurricane  not as common, but it does happen  sufficiently warm sea surface temperatures approximately 27C at least 60 m deep o warm waters evaporate more readily o heat drives low pressure system & pushes the storm on o direct relationship between intensity of most intense hurricanes & temperatures of sea-surface over which storms are moving o 6 strongest hurricanes all occurred in W Pacific where sea-surface temperatures are warm
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