The Causes of Cyclone As an Area of Closed, Circular in the Same Direction
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The Causes of Cyclone As an Area of Closed, Circular in the Same Direction

A cyclone is really a kind of storm but, unlike a storm, which is a local happening, a cyclone can cover thousands of square kilometers. In a cyclone the winds blow towards the centre of an area of low air pressure. They blow in a spiral or circular fashion because they are made to turn by the rotation of the earth. Cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere move in a counter clockwise manner, while those in the Southern Hemisphere move in the same direction as the hands of a clock, that is, clockwise. In tropical regions cyclones may develop enormous strength. They are really the most destructive of all storms because they destroy houses and crops and damage everything that lies in their path. Cyclones always start over an ocean and usually move across open water. They sweep over islands and peninsulas and frequently move along a coast, bringing disaster to any towns or villages located in the area. Sometimes they cause huge waves that flood towns close to the shore.

A cyclone is really a kind of storm but, unlike a storm, which is a local happening, a cyclone can cover thousands of square kilometers. In a cyclone the winds blow towards the centre of an area of low air pressure. They blow in a spiral or circular fashion because they are made to turn by the rotation of the earth. Cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere move in a counter clockwise manner, while those in the Southern Hemisphere move in the same direction as the hands of a clock, that is, clockwise.

In tropical regions cyclones may develop enormous strength. They are really the most destructive of all storms because they destroy houses and crops and damage everything that lies in their path. Cyclones always start over an ocean and usually move across open water. They sweep over islands and peninsulas and frequently move along a coast, bringing disaster to any towns or villages located in the area. Sometimes they cause huge waves that flood towns close to the shore.

What causes a cyclone to form? According to scientists, strong movements of hot air grow over oceans in tropical areas where there are no winds then cooler air flows in to replace the hot air, which begins to rise upwards but the rotation or turning of the earth causes the whole mass of air to whirl or spin. The moisture or water vapor carried by the cool air turns into rain when it reaches the hot air.

Cyclone Catarina

In the centre of a cyclone there is always a calm area, which is known as the eye of the cyclone. Many ships are damaged or even sunk when they mistake the eye of a cyclone for an area of calm sea. The eye of a cyclone is always followed by even worse gales than the winds that come before it but once a cyclone leaves the ocean and begins to move inland, it usually loses its strength. Apparently it needs moisture from an ocean to keep it going.

Cyclones are also called hurricanes. This name is common in the West Indies, where hurricanes frequently disturb the islands of the Caribbean Sea and also the peninsula of Florida in the United States. In the western part of the Pacific Ocean they are called typhoons, form a Chinese word. A wind that travels at more than 72 miles per hour (about 115 kilometers per hour) is described as hurricanes or cyclones on the Beaufort Scale of Winds.

Polar Low over the Barents Sea on February 27, 1987

Meteorological officials have an unusual way of naming cyclones. Some years ago, they decided to identify each one by giving it a girl’s name. Obviously, it would be very hard to differentiate one from another, unless some system was decided on. So a girl’s name beginning with the letter A is given for the first cyclone or hurricane and so on. When the end of the alphabet is reached, those responsible for identifying the cyclones go back to the beginning again, but they choose a different name with A as the first letter. This explains why the cyclone that struck Darwin last Christmas on December 25, 1974 is known as Tracy. Tracy is a girl’s name and it was the next on the list.

A tornado is not the same as a cyclone or a hurricane. It can be distinguished from the latter by the smaller diameter of the area it covers and by the violently twisting, upward movement of its centre. It has no eye of the kind typical of cyclones. Instead, there is a funnel of air in the middle. Around the edges of a tornado, the speed of the wind may be as much as 300 miles (480 kilometers) per hour. Tornadoes can do serious damage to houses and other buildings, because they pull everything upwards as they pass. They are really very violent thunderstorms and usually occur over land. When they occur at sea, they are called waterspouts, because they suck the water upwards into the air.

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