Organized convection theory for hurricane formation

Energy for the hurricane comes from:

  • sensible heat - warm ocean transfers heat to air just above it
  • latent heat as vapor condenses into water
  • Initially, need an unstable environment: cold air aloft, warm air at the surface
  • have vigorous growth of thunderstorms
  1. intense latent heating heats the columm of air near the center of the storm - generates high pressure, divergence aloft, also lowers the pressure at the surface.
  2. lower surface pressure increases the pressure gradient at low levels - generates stronger surface winds.
  3. stronger winds increases friction via choppy seas
  4. stronger convergence into storms center
  5. enhance convection - back to 1.

the above is a positive feedback loop - enhancing the storm's strength

let's look more closely at the stages of development for a hurricane......