- from Hurricanes
Why don’t hurricanes form in Kansas, Oregon, or Vermont? Why do they always start in the tropics?
In a part of the tropics that’s pretty near the equator, ocean waters are at least 80°F. The first thing a hurricane needs to get going is lots of warm water. The second thing it needs is wind blowing to the west from Africa.
Hurricanes feed on warm moist air rising from the Atlantic Ocean. Warm water turns into water vapor (evaporates). Then it rises from the surface of the ocean. As it rises, it cools. This makes the water vapor condense, or get denser. Then, cumulonimbus clouds form. Those are huge thunderstorm clouds that rise very high. When they form, the first stage of hurricane development has begun.