Super Hurricanes

For millennia, we saw the oceans as mysterious wellsprings of nature's power, capable of rising up and engulfing us. The history books are filled with stories of cities and towns caught off guard by the sudden onrush of a tropical storm.

We now see hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones as the product of climate systems on a much larger scale... water and wind, oceans and land. They are fueled by heat from the sun, captured and stored in the upper layer of tropical oceans. The deeper and warmer this upper layer becomes, the stronger and longer lasting a hurricane can be.

In the Atlantic Ocean, they often begin their lives over mountains in East Africa. As the wind sweeps over them, an area of low pressure forms. It travels across the Sahara Desert, then moves out over the warm Atlantic. There, it can spawn thunderstorms over a broad region. As the low gradually comes under the influence of the Earth's rotation, called the Coriolis force, it begins to spin.

Super Hurricanes

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