Hurricane Heat Engines

By: Caleb & Joshua

Want to find out more about Tropical storms? You hurri-came to the right place!

We hope after you read this, that you will know "s'more" than you previously did.

Where do hurricanes form?

They form near the equator, between the tropics, over warm water that is at least 50 m deep, and at least 80 degrees in farenheight.

How hurricanes form?

Hurricanes form as warm moist air forms very tall cumulonimbus cloud. Wind starts to circulate around the center, because of the unstable cool air at the top of the column. Once the wind speeds reach at least 74 mph, it is considered a tropical cyclone.
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How are hurricanes categorized?

Hurricanes are categorized based upon, the wind speed. The categories range from 1 to 5, 1 being the weakest, and 5 being the strongest. Category 1 contains hurricanes from wind speeds of 74 to 95 miles per hour. Category 2, wind speeds of 96 to 110 mph. Category 3, 111 to 130. Category 4, 131 to 155, and category 5, greater than 155 mph.

What is the purpose this s'more?

To examine authentic sea surface temperature data to explore how hurricanes extract heat energy from the ocean surface.

Map data analysis

Is there evidence of a change in sea surface temperature (SST) in the data maps? Explain what the evidence of change in SST is.


There is a change, the SST decreases. The hurricane works by using the warm moist air as a kind of "fuel." The air condenses into clouds, and wind start turning around the center, which is the eye.



Describe the change between the hurricane passage and the effect on SST?


Areas in the Hurricane’s wake have a lower temperature, because it takes the energy from the water, and heat is created by energy. The energy is used up as it dumps the water, and blasts strong winds, taking the heat energy out of the water.


What other effects on SST may be occurring?


Other things that may affect SST is the season, the weather, and time of day. The season can affect it because of the tilt, although the equator is barely affected. The weather affects it because if it is cloudy, than some of the Suns rays are mitigated, and don't reach the surface. Less rays mean less energy transferred to the water, and that means less heat. Time of day is the last listed factor. If it is night, a part of the ocean doesn't get light, which means that it doesn't get heat energy.

Map and graph data analysis

1. Bonus question I can conclude that hurricanes extract their energy from the ocean by evaporating the warm water from the ocean and by bringing it it into the low pressure atmosphere above the hurricane

1. The ocean water temperature changed because the hurricane took as much heat from the water as it could while it was active. It also left the water cold when it died off then the water warmed back up but it never warmed back to where it was, and the water eventually got cold again due to seasonal changes.

2. The ocean water temperature never returned to its original temperature but the highest it got after the storm was close to 28.75 degrees Celsius and it was this about 12 days after the storm