1. What types of winds were required in each level of the atmosphere? Describe the wind speed and direction at each level. Tropical winds are required for the formation of a hurricane. The winds should blow from the same direction at all levels.
2. Why is it critical that all levels blow in the same direction to form a tropical storm? What happens when you have lower winds blowing a different direction than upper winds? All levels of winds should flow in the same direction because when the winds come together, the force of the collision forces air to rise which causes thunderstorms. When masses of cold and warm air meet at the boundary, denser cold air can help lift warm and moist air to form thunderstorm. In case the lower winds flow in a different direction from the upper winds the storm cannot be formed as it will be hard for the warm moist air to form a thunderstorm.
3. It seems intuitive that stronger winds would be better for forming a hurricane. Why is this not the case? Strong upper level winds will probably rip apart developing thunderstorms by dispersing the latent heat and preventing the warming temperatures and thus causing lower air pressure at the surface thus discouraging the formation of hurricanes.
4. What was the ideal latitude range for the formation of the tropical storm? Why?
ES 1010, Earth Science 4. The ideal latitude for the formation of tropical storm is between 5 and 30 degrees Celsius as it cannot form in areas which are too close or too far from the equator.
5. Given that tropical storms/hurricanes require high moisture and temperatures, why can’t tropical storms form at the equator (0 degrees latitude), where temperatures and moisture are generally very high? The tropical storms cannot form at the equator because there is no deflection or curvature and thus the air cannot spin around the center of the storm and thus the storm cannot be formed at the equator.
6. What moisture level was required for each of the atmospheric layers? The low and mid-level require a lot of moisture while the upper level can either be dry or moist.
7. Why is moisture critical to form a hurricane? The moisture is very important as it condenses to form clouds and also the condensation of the moisture in rising air releases heat energy into the storm.
8. How did the sea temperature affect your score? Why? The right sea temperature was highly awarded as the hurricanes can only form in the presence of warm sea temperature.
9. Which of the above factors seem to make the biggest difference in your score and why? Latitude seems to make the biggest difference in the score. This is because the hurricane cannot form near or very far from the equator.
10. Explain why hurricanes dissipate so quickly once they make landfall. Once the hurricane makes a landfall, it disappears as a result of the storm moving to cooler waters which cannot be able to supply warm air, moving over land and thus cutting off the warm moist air or the storm moving to an area with strong winds which disperse latent heat.
Elsner, J. B., & Kara, A. B. (1999). Hurricanes of the North Atlantic: Climate and society. Oxford University Press.
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