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how they start

Hurricanes form over the ocean, often beginning as a tropical wave – a low pressure area that moves through the moisture-rich tropics, possibly enhancing shower and thunderstorm activity.

Hurricanes are powerhouse weather events that suck heat from tropical waters to fuel their fury. These violent storms form over the ocean, often beginning as a tropical wave – a low pressure area that moves through the moisture-rich tropics, possibly enhancing shower and thunderstorm activity.

As this weather system moves westward across the tropics, warm ocean air rises into the storm, forming an area of low pressure underneath. This causes more air to rush in. The air then rises and cools, forming clouds and thunderstorms. Up in the clouds, water condenses and forms droplets, releasing even more heat to power the storm.

When wind speeds within such a storm reach 74 mph, it’s classified as a hurricane. The terms “hurricane” and “tropical cyclone” refer to the same kind of storm: a rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has closed, low-level circulation. Read on.