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Inside the Hurricane



Inside the Hurricane
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.37

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    landfall, torrential, therefore, cumulonimbus, extremely, affects, lower, buoyant, dome, bands, docks, loss, level, cooler, hemisphere, spiral
     content words:    United States


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Inside the Hurricane
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     When you look outside your window, you should not see a hurricane. Hurricanes only form under certain conditions. This means it takes special "ingredients" before a hurricane is born.
 
2     Scientists compare hurricanes to heat engines. These storms take heat from tropical areas. They move the heat to cooler areas. This keeps the tropics from overheating. As you may have guessed, hurricanes only form over warm water. The water needs to be warmer than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You may be interested to know hurricanes do not form at the equator. This is because of the Coriolis effect . The Coriolis effect is a force that changes a wind's direction. Since the Earth spins, its winds do not blow in straight lines. The Coriolis effect pushes these winds sideways. In the northern hemisphere the winds are pushed to the right. In the southern hemisphere the winds are pushed to the left. At the equator there is no Coriolis force. Therefore, thunderstorms cannot be pulled into curving or spiraling bands.
 
3     Before a hurricane forms, the sun heats the water. As the water gets hotter, it evaporates. During evaporation the water turns into water vapor. As the water vapor rises, it carries the heat from the water. Once it reaches the air, the water vapor condenses or turns into clouds. These clouds are called cumulonimbus clouds. In hurricanes they are very tall columns.

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