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Geog. 111 Notes 12

Geog. 111 Notes 12 - -hurricanes tropical cyclones-usually...

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- hurricanes/ tropical cyclones : -usually form over bodies of water (the ocean), using latent heat as primary fuel source; also require low wind shear (region where winds are light and hurricanes form is ITCZ or Inter Tropical Convergence Zone [shifts north and south with season, for example shifts north during Northern Hemisphere summer]; strong winds would “tear apart” the system) -features of tropical cyclone: very distinct boundaries, distinct eye in the middle -different names in different places: cyclones (near India and west of Australia), typhoons (near East Asia), willy-willies (near Australia), hurricanes (around North and South America); do not form on the equator (require Coriolis force for rotation) but form in lower latitudes north of equator with warm ocean water (this is why hurricanes usually do not form on coasts of South America, which have cold ocean currents) -structure of hurricanes: eye (region of light wind, clear skies and descending air), rain bands (concentric rings of heavy precipitation spiraling around the eye wall), eye wall (where the heaviest rainfall and highest winds are found); for a hurricane to last a long time it must efficiently cycle energy over a large scale (a form of exhaust or release is necessary for this, and the main one associated with hurricanes is in the eye; downdrafts on periphery also accomplish some release), outer rain bands can spawn tornadoes (however convection in outer bands is not nearly as high as in eye wall) -hurricane formation: some disturbance in atmosphere necessary to “start engine” (easterly wave in atmosphere for example), fuel is necessary to strengthen hurricane (latent heat associated with warm
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