|Published:||Jun 28, 2012 1:15 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Jun 28, 2012 1:15 AM EDT|
HURRICANE CENTRAL, Fla. - WINK Skytracker Meteorologist Scott Zedeker explains the anatomy of a storm.
A hurricane is defined as an area of low pressure, but one big difference is that instead of cold air existing in the center of the system, a hurricane has a "warm core" or warm air within it's center.
There are three main ingredients in the recipe of hurricane formation.
First is very warm water with a temperature of 80-degrees or higher.
The second ingredient is moisture. A big, deep layer of moisture extending from the sea surface to roughly 20,000 feet is needed.
The final ingredient needed for hurricane formation, has to do with wind. The wind needs to be light, or low wind shear. this allows the hurricane to grow vertically.
When we mix together these elements of warm water, moist air, and light upper winds, an area of low pressure is able to form, strengthen and a hurricane is born.
Hurricanes have a well-defined circulation. In other words, a very noticeable counter-clockwise rotation around it's center.
A hurricane first begins as a tropical depression with winds of 38-mph or less. If it becomes more organized and winds reach 39-mph or above, the system is deemed a tropical storm and receives a name. If wind speeds increase to 74-mph the tropical storm becomes a hurricane.
To measure the strength of the hurricane we use a wind scale of intensity called the Saffir Simpson scale which runs from category one to five, five being the most powerful with winds of 157-mph or greater.
Hurricanes bring not only the force of wind, but storm surge, freshwater flooding and tornadoes so keep it tuned to WINK News for any developments throughout the hurricane season.