Tropical Storms: How they form

6 Storm Team Weather School

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – As we get into the summer months, our attention turns to the tropical weather picture and sometimes we’ll see frequent clusters of showers and storms developing over the tropical Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.

The ingredients that are necessary for Tropical Storm formation are very warm ocean waters, typically around 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the Gulf, the Atlantic waters to be about that warm or warmer.

In between the clouds and the warm water is this moist air very moisture-laden tropical air that allows for clouds to develop.

So with all these ingredients in place, you begin to get rising air coming off the warm water through the moist atmosphere, and then the clouds begin to develop. As this air continues to lift, we see the rising air causing other flow of air across the oceans into the rising air.

The clouds, the showers, the storms continue to build.

Then, all of a sudden the air begins to rotate in a large scale fashion that contributes to the low pressure that contributes to the cloud formation and contributes to the possibility for these storms to become stronger and larger.

And across the Atlantic we see several of these happen just about every month during our summer tropical weather season. So far this year, it’s been a busy season, but this is what happens when the tropical systems begin to form across the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.


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