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  • It's summer where Squeaks and I live, which means we've had a lot of thunderstorms lately!

  • Summer thunderstorms usually have rain, thunder, and lightning, and sometimes strong, gusty

  • winds.

  • Sometimes the power even goes out!

  • Good thing Squeaks and I keep a flashlight here just in case!

  • But some areas of the world experience a really extreme kind of storm: a hurricane.

  • Hurricanes are big, powerful storms that have strong winds.

  • And I mean strongIn order to be considered a hurricane, a storm's winds have to be

  • blowing faster than 119 kilometers an hour.

  • That's faster than a car zooming down the highway!

  • Sometimes you'll also hear this kind of storm called a cyclone or a typhoon, but they're

  • just different names for the same thing.

  • From outer space, many hurricanes look like this: big, swirling storms that have a really

  • cool shape.

  • [Squeaks squeaks]

  • That's right, Squeaks, this hurricane looks kind of like a circle!

  • The clouds wind around a space in the center of the hurricane, called the eye.

  • It even sort of looks like an eyeball!

  • Now, a hurricane's shape is pretty cool, but it's not the only thing that's special

  • about this kind of storm.

  • Everything has to be just right for a hurricane to form.

  • It's kind of like a puzzle.

  • All of the pieces have to be there, and have to fit together in exactly the right way,

  • or a hurricane won't form.

  • The first piece of the hurricane puzzle is warm ocean water.

  • The water has to be at least 27 degrees Celsius, or about as warm as a swimming pool, for a

  • hurricane to form.

  • The warm water causes the air above it to warm up and rise high into the sky

  • The warm air very humid, which means that there's a lot of water in it.

  • This warm, moist air rises high into the sky from the warm water below.

  • As the air rises into the sky, other air rushes in to take its place.

  • The air that rushes in gets warm and humid, too, and then it rises high into the sky as

  • well.

  • As the air rises, it cools, and clouds start to formlots of them!

  • High in the sky is also where we find the second thing that's important for making

  • a hurricane: wind.

  • And not just any wind.

  • The wind that helps make a hurricane has to be calm and steady.

  • It can't be the kind of wind that blows really hard for a moment or two, then calms

  • down again.

  • If there are sudden gusts like that, the storm can get blown apart, like how a candle gets

  • blown out.

  • But if there's warm, damp air along with those steady winds, and it stays like that

  • for a few days, the rest of the pieces that make up a hurricane fall into place.

  • The steady winds push the growing storm over the ocean, and the warm water gives the storm

  • energy.

  • It causes more air to rise, more clouds to form, and the winds inside the hurricane to

  • become stronger.

  • In fact, the only place that it's not very windy is the hurricane's eye.

  • It's actually very calm in the eyeeven though it's right in the middle of the storm!

  • As it grows, the hurricane also starts to turn.

  • It spins around, with the eye in the center, kind of like a top.

  • As long as hurricanes have that warm air for fuel, they can keep goingand keep growing!

  • But when they reach land, or pass over cooler water, they lose their warm air, so they start

  • to fall apart.

  • Hurricanes usually leave behind a lot of rain, though.

  • Sometimes the rain can last for days!

  • They also can can push a lot of ocean water onto the shore, which can cause floods.

  • But people can prepare for hurricanes, especially if they know when they're going to happen.

  • For example, most hurricanes near North America happen between May and November every year,

  • because that's when the different pieces that make a hurricane fit together the best.

  • And scientists have lots of tools to try and track hurricanesthey use what they know

  • about science to make really good guesses about where they'll pop up, where they'll

  • go, how big they'll be, and how long they'll last.

  • In places where hurricanes happen a lot, they usually build buildings in special ways so

  • they won't get damaged by the strong winds or flooding water.

  • And if you live or go on vacation in a place where hurricanes might happen, you can be

  • prepared, too!

  • You can talk to grownups about what you can do if a hurricane happens.

  • That might mean like bringing in things from outside to protect them from strong winds,

  • or it might mean helping to prepare a kit with food and water, flashlights, and a radio.

  • b Speaking of flashlights, I know mine could

  • use some new batteries.

  • C'mon, Squeaks, let's go to the store.

  • Thanks for joining us for this episode of SciShow Kids!

  • If you want to watch more videos with me and Squeaks and you're watching this on YouTube,

  • you can click the red subscribe button.

It's summer where Squeaks and I live, which means we've had a lot of thunderstorms lately!

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B1 US hurricane warm air water wind sky

What's a Hurricane?

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    joey joey posted on 2021/05/09
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