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GEOG 2110L (50)


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GEOG 2110L
David Stanley

HURRICANES ** an intense tropical cyclonic storm consisting of a warm-core low pressure cell at its center, inward-spiraling rainbands, and having sustained winds in excess of 119 kph (74 mph) * called by different names in different parts of the world hurricane: Atlantic Ocean & eastern Pacific Ocean typhoon: western Pacific Ocean cyclone: Indian Ocean * due to the necessary requirements for formation, they begin life only in tropical waters, but may move to higher latitudes; can be found in 3 of the Earth’s main oceans, Atlantic, Pacific, & Indian, but are very rarely ever found in the SouthernAtlantic Characteristics: * cyclonic storm with warm-core low pressure at its center * range in diameter of 160 - 960 km (100-600 mi) & average about 600 km (360 mi)] * form over warm ocean waters * strong pressure gradient to generate strong winds; strongest near the center, in the eye wall, and decreases outward * may have tornadoes within it; heavy rain, lightning * has an average life span of from 8-10 days, but may last over 2 weeks Requirements for Formation: * Warm most air: yields greater instability and lift * Ocean water T°’s > 27°C (81°F); this is the systems fuel source * Uplift initiated by an easterly wave (trade winds at the ITCZ) * must form between 5 & 20 degrees latitude for sufficient Coriolis Force to initiate rotation Parts of a Hurricane: * Eye: center of low pressure, usually calm winds * Eye Wall or Collar clouds: area of strongest pressure gradient & thus most intense wind * greatest vertical cloud development & concentration of T-storms, and heavy rain; may also produce tornadoes * Spiral rain bands: primarily stratus clouds, with more moderate rain * often find T-storms imbedded with these bands * largest part of the storm in terms of areal coverage Life Cycle of a Hurricane: * Tropical disturbance: the initial mass of thunderstorms with weak, if any, cyclonic circulation * usually originate in conjunction with an easterly wave which is a large undulation or ripple in the normal trade wind pattern * Tropical depression: stronger cyclonic
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