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How Hurricanes Form: For Kids

Children are curious by nature, they are in a time of discovery, in which they want to know the causes and everything that is hidden behind the world around them. One of the most fascinating things in this world is weather phenomena, so it is not surprising that you wonder how all these wonders are formed. The volcanic eruptions , thunder, rain, etc., are phenomena difficult to understand but we must explain.

That is why from AgroCorrn we want to help you explain how hurricanes are formed for children , so that the little ones can begin to understand and respect one of the most spectacular phenomena on our planet.

You may also be interested in: What is a hurricane and how is it formed

What are hurricanes

Before starting to explain what a hurricane is and how it is formed, it is important that the child knows some concepts that will facilitate understanding. That is why below we will explain the concepts related to hurricanes and that are necessary to understand their origin:

  • The wind : we all know the wind or, at least, we have all observed it. But what is the wind? Well, they are the air currents that are produced when the pressure changes. Wind is the basic element of the hurricane and it is necessary to understand it to understand this phenomenon.

The wind is the key element of the hurricane , a wind that is created by the exchange to currents of warm air and cold air currents. This process, which we will explain in the next section, makes the phenomenon gain strength, passing through different stages before becoming a hurricane.

  • Tropical depression : it is the first step for a hurricane to form. The hot water causes the water to evaporate very quickly, causing the hot air to rise upwards and the cold air to take the place that the hot air used to occupy. This causes the characteristic turn of hurricanes and causes winds of up to 63 km / hour.
  • Tropical storm : it is the intermediate step between a tropical depression and a hurricane. In this position, the wind goes from 63 to 117 km / hour. The higher the wind speed, the closer it gets to becoming a hurricane. It is considered a hurricane when this wind reaches a speed of 119 km / h.

It must be clear that tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane are three very similar phenomena, the difference between them is the destructive power and the speed of the wind they give off .

How is a hurricane formed

We have all seen images, both of the form and of the damages and consequences that hurricanes can cause with their strong winds and torrential rains. However, not everyone knows how hurricanes form. We have already explained the basic concepts of the hurricane to understand its beginning, so below we explain how a hurricane originates step by step:

  1. The onset of a hurricane is a disturbance or tropical depression , which means low pressure in a warm sea where the water is above 26º. From there comes the energy that the hurricane will generate, from the water that quickly evaporates and forms clouds.
  2. The hot air rises upwards , while the cold air occupies the space previously occupied by the warm air.
  3. This cold air heats up, rising upward with the hot air and creating air currents that form a tropical storm .
  4. The cold air entering and rising upwards in the form of cold air forms the hurricane , while the condensed vapor causes the precipitation.
  5. As long as it is in the hot water, the hurricane will gain strength and capacity for destruction.

Hurricane: definition and categories

Not all hurricanes are the same. There are some that are stronger than others and, consequently, cause more serious damage than others. That is why a system has been created to divide hurricanes according to the category to which you belong so that people can know what is arriving and what precautions they should take.

This system is called the Saffir-Simpson Scale and is used to measure the strength of hurricanes in America, although now it is also used to measure Asian typhoons and cyclones. Here we will talk about the categories of hurricanes and the damage caused by each of them:

Category 1 Hurricanes

This type of hurricane causes winds with speeds of between 119 and 153 km / hour . The damages caused by Category 1 hurricanes are:

  • Small floods.
  • Small structural damage.
  • Waves between 1.2 and 1.5 meters high.
  • Destruction, whether minor or total, of power lines.
  • Small damage to trees and vegetation.

Category 2 Hurricanes

In this type of hurricane, winds with a speed of between 154 and 177 km / hour originate . The damages caused by Category 2 hurricanes are:

  • Small structural damage.
  • Destruction, minor or total, of; roofs, windows and doors.
  • Waves between 1.8 and 2.4 meters high.
  • Considerable, even total, damage to power lines and billboards.
  • Considerable damage to trees and vegetation.
  • Flooding of the roads near the coast.
  • Considerable damage to piers and piers.
  • Evacuation of the population living near the coast.

Category 3 hurricanes

In these types of hurricanes, winds with a speed of between 178 and 209 km / hour originate . The damages caused by Category 3 hurricanes are:

  • Great structural damage to buildings near the coast, especially by waves and floating debris.
  • Large trees are felled, the same with billboards and everything that is not properly installed.
  • Destruction of caravans and mobile homes.
  • Heavy damage to roofs, windows and doors.
  • Structural damage in small buildings.
  • Waves between 2.5 and 3.7 km / hour.
  • Flooding of flat lands less than 1.65 meters above sea level up to 13 kilometers inland.
  • The entire population must be evacuated along the coast.

Category 4 hurricanes

In these types of hurricanes, winds with speeds of between 210 and 249 km / hour originate . The damages caused by Category 4 hurricanes are:

  • Large damage to windows and doors, the roofs of small houses are totally destroyed.
  • The bushes and trees are completely destroyed, the destruction of signs, signs and billboards are also totally destroyed.
  • Mobile homes are also totally destroyed.
  • Waves between 5 and 5.5 meters high.
  • The entire population that lives in the area of ​​500 meters from the coast must be evacuated, also those lands 3 kilometers within the earth that are low with respect to sea level.

Category 5 hurricanes

In this type of hurricane winds with speeds of more than 250 km / hour originate . The damages caused by Category 4 hurricanes are:

  • All trees and shrubs are uprooted from the ground by the wind.
  • Large roof damage.
  • The billboards, signs, garbage, etc., are torn off and displaced by the air, being able to impact against any other object or house.
  • Destruction of roofs and walls of small buildings.
  • Waves higher than 5.5 meters in height.

Where hurricanes form

Since for the hurricane to form, the sea temperature has to be close to 26-27ºC, they usually originate in times of heat. This phenomenon occurs in almost all tropical ocean areas , the hottest, except the South Atlantic and the South Pacific.

Apart from this, it must be taken into account that a hurricane requires a very large expanse of ocean so that it can gain strength, so they have to form somewhere far from the coast to avoid entering the mainland and losing power before becoming a hurricane. Depending on where it originates, instead of a hurricane, what makes landfall will be a tropical depression or a tropical storm.

In addition, depending on the geographical area in which this phenomenon occurs, we have different names to identify it , thus:

  • We call it a hurricane when the tropical cyclone originates from the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • We call it a Cyclone if it forms in the North Indian Ocean or in the Bay of Bengal.
  • We call it a Typhoon if it forms in the western Indian Ocean, that is, China, Korea or Japan.
  • We call it Willy-Willy if it is trained in Australia.
  • We call it Baguía if it is formed in the Philippines.

Be that as it may, it is always the same atmospheric phenomenon.

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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