Hurricanes are the Earth's strongest tropical cyclones. People are in constant danger of natural disasters and hurricanes cause a great deal of destruction. There are several factors that are a necessity for a hurricane to exist, throughout this paper these factors will be discussed in detail on how they pertain to the inner workings of a hurricane. This paper will go over many facts of a hurricane, which will lead to a better understanding of how well people are prepared for such a disaster and what are the necessary steps to take in case of such an emergency. By knowing the proper precautions people can avoid horrible disasters, such as Hurricane Alicia, a hurricane that raked havoc on the Houston/Galveston area of Texas in 1983. .
Hurricanes are tropical cyclones with winds of over 74 miles per hour and circulate counterclockwise (in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere). Hurricanes are formed form simple thunderstorms; these thunderstorms can grow to hurricane strength with certain factors from the ocean and the atmosphere. To begin a hurricane the ocean's temperature must be warmer than 81 degrees F. The heat and moisture form this water is the source of energy for hurricanes. Once a hurricane hits land or colder ocean waters the storm will weaken rapidly, because of insufficient moisture and/or heat. The vertical wind shear is also important to a tropical cyclone's environment. Wind shear is defined as the amount of change in the wind's direction or speed with increasing altitude (Hurricanes, 2000). When the wind shear is weak, the storms that make up the cyclone grow vertically, and the heat form condensation is released into the air directly above the storm, helping it grow. When there are stronger wind shears, this is when the storms become more slanted and the heat released is spread out over a much larger area.
The dark spot found in the middle of the hurricane is called the eye of the storm.