Hurricanes have eyes. Scientists explain how and when they form

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    The researchers told what forces form the very heart of the hurricane, which is also called the “eye”. And why these eyes are not formed in everyone.

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    At the end of September, the most powerful hurricane “Ian” hit Florida. And on September 28, NASA Expedition 68 astronaut Bob Hines captured an amazing image of the hurricane's heart, also known as the “eye.” Scientists have explained why not all hurricanes form eyes, how it happens and what it depends on, writes Forbes.

    Another stunning photo of Hurricane Ian's eye was taken by the operational ground-based thermal imager aboard the Landsat 8 satellite. This image was also taken on September 28, about 3 hours before the storm made landfall in Florida. In the photo you can see swirling clouds in the eye wall, which are mesovortices, indicating a hurricane with a very strong wind.

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    Leading international weather and climate expert Dr. James Marshall Shepard explains why hurricanes form eyes and how they do it.

    Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones are essentially the same type of storm. These storms are usually formed due to cloud accumulation or tropical disturbances. If there are some favorable factors, the system can develop into a tropical depression – for example, at a temperature not lower than 26 degrees Celsius at a depth of at least 50 meters, a sufficient amount of humid air and minimal changes in wind speed and direction in the atmosphere.

    If sustained wind speeds are kept at 63 km/h, the storm is defined as a tropical storm, at 119 km/h it is already a hurricane.

    Hurricanes have eyes. Scientists have explained how and when they form

     Hurricanes have eyes. Scientists have explained how and when they form

    According to Shepard, the reasons for the formation of a hurricane eye are still not known for certain, but most likely this is due to the conservation of angular momentum . In simple words, the same physics applies here as in the case when the skater, bringing his hands closer to the body, begins to spin faster. Hurricanes are also rotating systems. And the steeper the curvature or the faster the rotation, the stronger the centrifugal force.

    Hurricanes use warm ocean water as “fuel” and convert it into energy as the water vapor condenses into clouds. At the same time, the energy released during the condensation process is an important part of the hurricane's upward movement. As a result, a strong movement creates a vacuum in the center, causing some of the air in the upper part of the “eye wall” to turn inward and descend.