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How Does a Hurricane Work?



How Does a Hurricane Work?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.67

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    determined, structural, landfall, evacuate, meteorologists, circulate, tremendous, span, surge, cyclone, aircraft, coastal, courtesy, radar, destructive, increase
     content words:    Cyclone Catarina


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How Does a Hurricane Work?
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Cyclone Catarina, 2004, seen from the ISS. Photo courtesy of NASA
 
2     It's been front page news many times. A hurricane makes landfall and causes tremendous damage and loss of life in communities along the coast. But why does it happen this way? How does a hurricane work?
 
3     A hurricane begins with a cluster of thunderstorms known as a tropical depression. A tropical depression is an area of low pressure with wind speeds of less than thirty-eight miles per hour. Some tropical depressions grow and increase in wind speed until they become tropical storms. A tropical storm has wind speeds of thirty-nine to seventy-three miles per hour. Some tropical storms continue to grow until they become hurricanes, huge storms with wind speeds of seventy-four miles per hour or more.
 
4     Hurricanes begin over the ocean in particular areas of the world. It takes a specific set of circumstances to create a hurricane. There must be warm water and warm, moist air that rises. That is why hurricanes usually begin in the tropical latitudes over oceans.

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