What are Hurricanes?Most people associate twisters with tornadoes, but in fact tropical twisters come from hurricanes. Hurricanes are what scientists call "strong Tropical Cyclones". They are formed when large areas of the ocean become heated, and the air pressure over that area drops. This causes thunderstorms and strong surface winds. Cyclones develop over tropical or sub-tropical waters (for example, in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa, or in the Pacific). As they travel long distances gathering energy from the ocean, they are likely to be classified as strong Tropical Cyclones. When the winds of a tropical storm reach 74 mph, then the storm is classified as a hurricane.
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Updated: January 22, 2003
The Hurricane Hunters
The U.S. 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron fly right into the eye of hurricanes. Go along for the ride!
How are Hurricanes Named?
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