What a Hurricane Needs
The center of a hurricane is the calmest part. It is called the eye and has only light winds and fair weather. Wind of a hurricane blow counterclockwise around the eye at the Earth's surface in the northern hemisphere (clockwise in the southern hemisphere).
There are five things that a hurricane needs.
- Hurricanes take energy from the warm ocean water to become stronger. While a hurricane is over warm water it will continue to grow.
- Winds flow towards the center of the storm low in the atmosphere and air is forced upward.
- High in the atmosphere the winds flow away from the storm, which allows more air from below to rise.
- The air that rises needs to be warm and moist so that it forms the clouds of the storm. Warm, moist air is found above warm, tropical ocean waters.
- A hurricane also needs the winds outside the storm to be light. These winds steer the storm, but are not strong enough to disrupt it.
A hurricane dies when it moves away from the tropics. When a hurricane moves into areas with cooler ocean water, it weakens. It will also weaken if it travels over land.