# 10 explain why hurricanes cannot form along the equator Ideas

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s and the Equator

Subject: hurricanes and the equator

If Coriolis force drives weather systems in one direction in the northern hemisphere and another in the southern does this mean that hurricanes and other weather systems cannot cross the Equator?

Worried about hurricanes crossing the equator ? The Coriolis force is what we call an apparent force – it handles the problem that the earth is spinning and thus a point on the globe is always changing direction or always accelerating. You may also view Coriolis as a consequence of the conservation of angular momentum. At the equator you have a great deal as you are rotating about 25,000 miles in a day while someone on the poles is not moving anywhere in the same period. From your and my perspective air, rockets, and aircraft, are all deflected to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern. (Yes, they correct for Coriolis when they shoot artillery shells!) The Coriolis “force” is a maximum at the poles and zero at the equator.

Observations show that no hurricanes form within 5 degrees latitude of the equator. People argue that the Coriolis force is too weak there to get air to rotate around a low pressure rather than flow from high to low pressure, which it does initially. If you can’t get the air to rotate you can’t get a storm. This is a reason why genesis does not occur at low latitudes but it does not explain why a developed hurricane does not cross the equator..

Could a hurricane cross ? Yes, because a well developed storm has plenty of spin that would dominate the weak Coriolis force near there. If it crossed the Coriolis force would be working against the initial direction of the spin, but it would be dominated by what we call the relative vorticity of the storm. Have we seen this happen ? Hurricanes can move south and get close to the equator but I cannot find an example of one crossing in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific. In the Indian Ocean some come closer to pulling off this trick. Why don’t they cross ? The variation in Coriolis with latitude – called the Beta effect – actually will move a hurricane to the NW in the northern hemisphere even if there is no large scale wind pushing the storm along ! So, Coriolis not onlyseems to be a necessary ingredient to make a storm, but it may also pull them away from the equator making the crossing event a tough one to pull off.

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Gary Barnes, Professor of Meteorology

Department of Meteorology

University of Hawaii, Honolulu HI 96822

## Extra Information About explain why hurricanes cannot form along the equator That You May Find Interested

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### Hurricanes and the Equator – SOEST Hawaii

• Author: soest.hawaii.edu

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• Sumary: If Coriolis force drives weather systems in one direction in the northern hemisphere and another in the southern does this mean that hurricanes and other weather systems cannot cross the Equator?

• Matching Result: Observations show that no hurricanes form within 5 degrees latitude of the equator. People argue that the Coriolis force is too weak there to get air to …

• Intro: Hurricanes and the Equator Reply to ASK-AN-EARTH-SCIENTIST Subject: hurricanes and the equator If Coriolis force drives weather systems in one direction in the northern hemisphere and another in the southern does this mean that hurricanes and other weather systems cannot cross the Equator?     Worried about hurricanes crossing the…

### Why Hurricanes Almost Never Form Near Or Cross The Equator

• Author: forbes.com

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• Sumary: Meteorology 101: Why hurricanes rarely form near or cross the equator.

• Matching Result: This is why there is no Coriolis force at the equator and why hurricanes rarely form near the equator. The Coriolis force is simply too weak to …

• Intro: Why Hurricanes Almost Never Form Near Or Cross The EquatorWhile the Atlantic basin remains quiet, the eastern Pacific basin is already up to the the “E” storm, Emilia, and another potentially developing storm right on its heels. As I poked around this morning looking at the latest models and satellite imagery,…

### How Hurricanes Form – UCAR Center for Science Education

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• Sumary: Tropical storms can grow into hurricanes, and hurricanes can grow into stronger hurricanes. However, only a small number of storms grow into tropical storms. Even fewer become hurricanes. Learn what is necessary for hurricanes to form.

• Matching Result: At lower latitudes, where there is no Coriolis effect, hurricanes cannot form within 300 miles (500 kilometers) of the equator. Storms grow if there is a …

• Intro: How Hurricanes Form | Center for Science Education Thunderstorms, warm ocean water and light winds are the conditions needed for a hurricane to form (A). Once formed, a hurricane consists of huge rotating rain bands with a center of clear skies called the eye which is surrounded by the fast…
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### Impossible or improbable? Hurricane crossing the equator

• Author: earthscience.stackexchange.com

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• Sumary: No known hurricane has ever crossed the equator. Hurricanes require the Coriolis force to develop and generally form at least 5° away from the equator since the Coriolis force is zero there. Are…

• Matching Result: No known hurricane has ever crossed the equator. Hurricanes require the Coriolis force to develop and generally form at least 5° away from the …

• Intro: Impossible or improbable? Hurricane crossing the equator The Coriolis effect is necessary for FORMATION but NOT for MAINTENANCE of a tropical cyclone. Once formed, in a full-fledged tropical cyclone of hurricane intensity the wind balance is cyclostrophic, between the pressure-gradient and centrifugal force, with the Coriolis effect negligible by comparison….

### If a hurricane rotates in one direction and a cyclone rotates in …

• Author: smh.com.au

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• Sumary: This was published 17 years ago

• Matching Result: Hurricanes and cyclones can’t actually form within 4 degrees of the equator, because the Coriolis effect is just too small. Once a tropical …

• Intro: If a hurricane rotates in one direction and a cyclone rotates in the other, what happens if they cross the equator?This was published 17 years agoSeptember 17, 2005 — 10.00amIf a hurricane (northern hemisphere) rotates in one direction and a cyclone (southern hemisphere) rotates in the other, what happens if…

### Hurricane Energetics – ATMO336 – Fall 2014

• Author: atmo.arizona.edu

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• Matching Result: Hurricanes cannot develop on or very near the Equator. In fact they do not form in the region within 4° latitude either side of the equator.

• Intro: ATMO336 – Fall 2014 Hurricane Energetics Below is repeated a section on hurricane formation and dissipation. Please reread the section. You should now better understand the material, especially the material relating to phase changes of water, stability of the atmosphere, and vertical wind shear. After that is a new section…

### Hurricanes, Typhoons, & Tropical Cyclones – UBC EOAS

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• Matching Result: However, hurricanes cannot form at the equator, because Coriolis force is zero there. The Coriolis effect is what gives hurricanes their …

• Intro: Hurricanes Hurricanes, Typhoons, & Tropical Cyclones Learning Goal 9e: Describe hurricane structure, and how and where they form and move. Climatology of these Storms Source: NASA. A hurricanes, also known as a tropical cyclones or typhoons in other parts of the world, are rotating storms about 150 to 300 km…
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## Frequently Asked Questions About explain why hurricanes cannot form along the equator

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic explain why hurricanes cannot form along the equator, then this section may help you solve it.

### Do hurricanes develop close to the equator?

The most destructive storms on Earth, hurricanes develop over warm ocean waters close to the equator.

### Suppose a hurricane crosses the equator.

But what would happen if a storm did cross the equator? Nothing at first because Coriolis would be working against the storm, which would cause it to spin down, become disorganized, and stop being a hurricane, most likely turning into a remnant low.

### Why does the equator not have cyclones or hurricanes?

Tropical cyclones do not form at the equator because there is no coriolis force there, which is the reason why.

### The location of the hurricane equator

Tropical cyclones initially move westward (due to easterly winds) and slightly towards the poles, but they also have different names depending on where in the world they form. Tropical cyclones occur around the equator at 5 ° – 30 °.

### Why don’t there seem to be as many hurricanes in the South Atlantic Ocean south of the equator?

Any powerful tropical system is extremely rare due to the strong wind shear in the troposphere that prevents the development of these cyclones and the absence of weather disturbances that are favorable for development in the South Atlantic Ocean (like the tropical waves typical of the southern North Atlantic).

### Why does the Southern Hemisphere not experience hurricane formation?

The formation of cyclones is hindered by the cooler ocean temperatures, stronger winds, and consequent wind shear in the Southern Hemisphere.

### Why only the south is affected by hurricanes?

The cold ocean current and ocean temperatures, along with the direction of the trade winds, are the two main reasons why the U.S. West Coast does not experience hurricanes. Hurricanes require ocean temperatures to be warmer than 79 degrees.

### The equator is just an imaginary line on a map, so why do hurricanes not form near it or cross it?

Polar PowerSince cyclones require the Coriolis force to circulate, which is strongest near the poles and absent at the Equator, hurricanes almost never occur in equatorial regions and never cross the Equator itself.

### Why does South America not experience hurricanes?

Strong upper level winds and South America’s proximity to the equator typically shield the region from North Atlantic impacts, despite the fact that tropical cyclones rarely affect the continent. No tropical cyclone has ever affected the Pacific side of South America.

### Where do hurricanes never occur on Earth?

People claim that the Coriolis force is too weak there to cause air to rotate around a low pressure instead of flowing from high to low pressure, which is what it does initially, and as a result no hurricanes form within 5 degrees latitude of the equator.